Unexpected Friendships (A Pens History)
by Lisa Hughey
When we started this grog we didn't all know each other. This is how it all happened.
Our first photo shoot and our first meeting! We had so much fun :)
Each of us had connections.
LGC and I served on the board of the San Francisco Area Romance Writers of America and became writer friends, critique partners and then friend friends. She's talked me down off a few ledges and gave me encouragement when I thought maybe I should just go get a 'real job'.
Sophie and I had parallel lives. Grew up in the midwest, attended Indiana University (at the same time) and dated guys in the same fraternity. I married my Phi Delt. She did not. We both lived in Evanston, Illinois and then we both moved out to the East Bay of San Francisco. We have boys the same age and our girls were born 2 yrs and 1 day apart. But we didn't meet until she attended an RWA meeting after she first arrived in California. LGC and I asked her to join our critique group.
Martha and Adrienne bonded over an RWA meeting, became critique partners. And then Sophie, myself, Martha and Adrienne served on the board (again for me, ten years later) of our local RWA chapter. And I got to know them, although I didn't know them very well until after we formed the Pens.
Sophie and Julie and Gigi met through Sisters In Crime and Mystery Writers of America. And then, of course, Sophie slowly cross-pollinated both groups.
Sophie and I met Rachael at one of the RWA meetings. At that point I don't think we were serving on the board (I honestly can't remember). We sat at the same table. She had just gotten an agent and her book was under submission. We were both charmed by her as she told us about her plot while she knit a sweater.
Nicole and Julie and Sophie met at a conference through mutual writer friends and she was such fun and so freaking smart that they told her she had to join the Pens.
The underlying goal of our grog was business oriented. To reach readers of all genres, to touch lives, and hopefully sell some books in the process.
But something funny happened along the way. We became unexpected friends. Not the polite acquaintance friends that you like but with whom you'd never share anything deep or meaningful or profoundly embarrasing.
We are multi-purpose friends. Industry support, moral support, kid support. Nagging, bragging, bitching. Celebrating, cheering, pimping. We've done it all.
Last summer after wig shopping with Gigi (sadly no Nicole)
However, we have come to realize that the daily grog/blog format has run it's course. The Pens are still going to be around but we've decided to forgo the daily posts in favor of a blog that's a little less structured. We'll still be around. We'll let you know about our releases and awards and appearances. We'll post pictures of our shennanigans (the clean ones). We'll still have blog posts but on subjects and people we are impassioned about rather than a bi-weekly topic that gets a little tired by week 2 (Gigi gets the trooper award for always being last). We're all on twitter now (!) so you can catch up with us there. But in this age of instagram and sound bites, maintaining a daily blog no longer seems like the best option to stay in touch with our readers.
So, on that note, we're signing off from daily posting. But don't worry, everyone has plans to keep writing. And we still get together regularly and we may not be right here every day but we are still around.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us and loved us and cheered us on. Your comments and kind words have touched us all.
The Pens Fatales
ps-We must have too much fun when Nicole is around because I couldn't find a pic in our photo files :)