Editor’s Note: this is a guest post by Katherine Garbera + Nancy Robards Thompson.
Katherine Garbera: The first time I met Nancy I was at a Romance Writers of America meeting in Orlando, Fl. I was one of maybe two people who were under the age of 30 and I’d been attending meetings there for three years and had made my first sale to Silhouette Desire but my book hadn’t come out yet.
KG: I was so excited to see another person who was my age and immediately I knew we’d be friends. As soon as the meeting was over I went to chat with her and my instincts had been correct and we connected on several levels both as young moms (our daughters were 3 and 4 at the time) and as women. We both had full time jobs but were determined to make writing a full-time career. One book does not a career make!
Nancy Robards Thompson: I’ll never forget the day Kathy and I first met. I had finally gathered my courage to attend the local RWA chapter meeting, feeling like it was the official (if unspoken) declaration of my intention to write a book. <gulp> That very day, Kathy just happened to have a printout of the cover of her first book. I remember thinking, Oh, my gosh. She’s a real live author…! And she was so nice. We immediately clicked and realized that we had so much more in common than our love of the written word.
KG: We started meeting for lunch once a week. We’d talk about writing and our daughters and our families. We talked about ourselves and shared our affinity for planners (Franklin Covey back then), books of affirmations and music.
NRT: Yes, you had me at Franklin Covey, K! Can you believe we both lugged those huge planners around? I must add, we utilized them well, planning our lives and careers in them. Beyond that, we realized we shared so many of the same sensibilities, there was no doubt that we’d be life-long friends. Kathy is the sister I chose (since I’m the only girl in my family).
KG: Every time we got together our friendship grew and the bond was strong enough that when my husband was transferred to Chicago we still remained close friends. We talked on the phone and emailed all the time and planned to attend writing conferences together where we’d stay up all day and night for 3-5 days just enjoying our friendship and being silly and serious.
NRT: To me the true mark of a great friendship – especially between working writers – is when you’re comfortable enough to truly be yourself with that person. There’s a trust between Kathy and me. We’re supportive of each other’s careers from day one. We celebrate each other’s victories and bolster each other during the vulnerable times. There’s never a sense of competition or the air that if one person has a great idea or victory it means there’s less for the other. Kathy’s victories are my (vicarious) victories. Unfailingly, she’s demonstrated the same support of me. There’s no petty jealousy and no weirdness. I mean, we’re human. There have been plenty of times where we’ve said, “I’m so jealous,” but it comes from a good place, a place of love and support. Not the sad, icky, dark, insecurities that destroy some friendships.
Of course, anytime we talk, there’s always lots of laughter. One minute, we’ll be laughing until we’re crying, but at some point the conversation will inevitably evolve into deep talk…capped off by more laughter, of course.
KG: Nancy sold her first book and then a lot more books and I continued to write and sell books as well and we are both now full time authors with our daughters in college. Sometimes it feels like we are both still those 20 somethings who were meeting for the first time and so excited to see a kindred spirit across the room.
USA Today bestselling author Katherine Garbera is a two-time Maggie winner who has written more than 60 books. A Florida native who grew up to travel the globe, Katherine now makes her home in the Midlands of the UK with her husband, two children and a very spoiled miniature dachshund.
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Award winning author Nancy Robards Thompson lives and writes in Florida, but her imagination transports her all over the world. She has found Nirvana doing what she loves most – writing romance and women’s fiction full-time. After hanging up her press pass, this two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart struck gold in July 2002 when she won the award. Since then, she’s gone on to publish 22 books, which critics have deemed, “…funny, smart and observant.”
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