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Friday, September 24, 2010

Terri Brisbin

I was chuffed to learn that MISTRESS OF THE STONE had been selected as a Kensington Brava finalist for Writing With The Stars. But what really drew me to the contest was the chance to pick the brain of a Brava veteran, someone who could guide me on how best to approach this contest.

The administrators contacted each finalist for the preliminary stuff, but it would be a while yet before we learned who each of us snagged as our mentors. You should have heard me when I learned I had scored Terri Brisbin!

Terri is a three-time Rita finalist and the author of 18 paranormal and historical romances. She even serves on the board of RWA. Holy Moley, I had hit the motherlode of mentors! 

She was so kind and genial, calling me up just so we could get to know each other before we got down to business. We had a lot to cover. 

Some of you know that I worked in advertising for a lot of years so I'm used to brainstorming and hatching new plans of attack on the fly. Terri kept me hopping. And while I probably exasperated her on several levels, she never gave up on me.

I think my novel has the legs to be in the Brava line, but Terri gave me the tools I needed to showcase my excerpts in the boldest and most emotional way possible. 
I'm going to tell you more about a specific excerpt in a later post (coming in November) but I just had to crow and tell you how much I appreciated this lady.  

And if you love historical and paranormal romance you MUST get a hold of Terri's books. There's a reason she earned the title of Mentor. She's fantastic!

Her latest book, MISTRESS OF THE STORM releases next week. Go and buy it. You can thank me later. 

Is this not a gorgeous cover? I want a cover like this! 

Read the excerpt here.

Show of hands. Have you ever had the privilege of working with a mentor in your chosen field? Was it a good experience?


Jennifer Shirk said...

Yes, that is a GORGEOUS cover.

Wow, that is so awesome. You did get a great mentor! I have never woked with one, but my friend has been working with one (over at romance divas) and has told me she has had a great experience with it.

Joanne said...

I have never worked with a mentor, but kudos to you for doing so. I'd imagine that Terri had much wisdom to share. What a nice way to give back to the writing community.

Laurie (BittenbyParanormalRomance) said...

I love the cover! This is another new author to me, I will have to ceck out her books.

Maria Zannini said...

Jennifer: This is my first writing mentor and it was absolutely surreal to have someone vet your work and give you suggestions. Loved every minute!

Maria Zannini said...


Ref: giving back to the community

That's a post unto itself, don't you think? How many of us will give back to the community when we've reached that level.

Maria Zannini said...

Laurie: It's definitely a swoon worthy cover. It's so sensuous and atmospheric.

Meghan Schuessler said...

Beautiful cover. Looks like an awesome contest too. I'd love to work with a mentor, maybe someday if I'm lucky :)

Maria Zannini said...

Meghan: The mentor experience was the real icing on the cake.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Wow. The cover, the mentor experience, the whole thing... Just wow.

Amanda Borenstadt said...

What a blessing to have such an awesome mentor! :)

Yeah, that is a super beautiful cover.

Maria Zannini said...

Linda, Amanda:

I've been very lucky in so many ways. I promised myself not to neglect the gift I was given. Terri is a godsend.

Sangu said...

That is such a gorgeous cover! I'm sort of coveting that dress and necklace now :-)

Dru said...

I like the cover.

My first full-time job was right after I graduated from college and it was an entry level position. The woman who was my supervisor told me one thing and I carry that with every job I start: always be nice to mail room clerk, the cleaning crew and the building guards, in other words, be nice to the service people.

Maria Zannini said...

Sangu: I'm not really a girly-girl, but I really like the whole thing too. It's puts me in the mood. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Dru: You are oh-so-right.

The whole time I worked at my last job, I always brought Christmas and birthday gifts to the service people in our building. If my team had a party, I always brought them a piece of cake or invited them to our shindig.

People don't realize how important service people are to our infrastructure--sometimes more important than bosses.

Your mentor was very wise.

Kaylie said...

The things about mentors is they're usually right, even when you don't want them to be.

jackie b central texas said...

I am not sure if you could call the person who first taught me how to use a computer a mentor exactly, he did turn out to be a darn good teacher.. It carried over every time I started a new office job and had to learn a different system, tackle one thing at a time and learn it well and before you know it everything to do with whatever part of the program was needed to use for job related tasks it would become easier and easier..

How exciting though to have a real life person show you how to refine your art and make it something that "shines" brighter than before her input!

jackie ^_^

Liz Fichera said...

What a fantastic opportunity! And just read the excerpt of Terri's book. Very cool!

Maria Zannini said...

Kaylie: The same can be said for CPs (or at least my CPs). Sometimes the thing I least want to change is the thing that need changing.

If you can find an opinion you trust, it's gold.

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: That's so true. If you've got the basics down, you've got the tools to add to that knowledge.

PS Thanks for sending your rain our way. We finally got a good soaking. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Liz: I really treasure the mentorship. It was a terrific experience.