Deadline Diaries

Five Romance writers tell all.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Tell me what you know....

Posted by Susan

The world is filled with experts and I find that fascinating. We are all experts of our small corner of the world. The things we know dazzle the uninitiated. With the right press release and set of circumstances, you could get a call from CNN right now.

I learned all this in a fabulous PR class I’m taking. The instructor talks about recognizing our expertise and using it to our PR advantage. But it goes beyond that. Experts are everywhere.

Last week our cat’s vet did 10 minutes on thyroid trouble in cats. Yesterday, Janet, our drapery lady, gave me a brief but inspiring explanation of patters, scale and placement in a room. Bruce, our landscaping professional, knows the name of every single plant in our yard…including the ones I recently killed. The DH keeps describing the acceleration of my car as “continuous acceleration, like a jet.” I had to gently explain that not everyone knows how a jet accelerates and, unfortunately for him, most of us don’t care.

Experts are everywhere. For a writer an expert provides that one little detail that provides the story with authenticity.

As writers, we become our own experts. We store up details and information to be used later. Years ago I walked through the Las Vegas Venetian hotel lobby at 5 in the morning. It’s probably one of the few hours it’s relatively empty. My footsteps were impossibly loud and, due to the odd shape of the ceiling, the echo sounded false and eerie. That noise appears in my current work-in-progress, as my heroine explores a palace for the first time.

You are an expert on a number of topics, cheerfully provided to you by the life you’ve lived. So tell me…what are your expert secrets? What do you know that would surprise us?

18 Comments:

At 9:59 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

Hmm.

I'm something of an expert on what plants will grow in Oklahoma. It's an art keeping a plant alive here. I oughtta know. I've killed plenty.

There are some plants that thrive here. Among the few: nandina, fotina,crape myrtle and a number of varieties of oak. Oh, and the rose of sharon. it does well here.

Anybody need some acorns?

 
At 10:11 AM, Blogger Susan Mallery said...

So what does the "rose of sharon" look like? I'm picturing a blonde...

 
At 10:27 AM, Blogger Maureen Child said...

LOL......I'm an expert on how to kill plants quickly and painlessly. Any takers?

 
At 10:39 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

Susan. More than you wanted to know:

Rose of Sharon, Hibiscus syriacus, isn't a rose, but its large, flat blossoms and nectar attract hummingbirds and tiny insects that hummers also eat. The flowers on this woody shrub come in several colors, including white, pink, purple, and red. Its leaves don't come out until late in spring, causing false alarms in gardeners who think their plants may have died. Native to India and East Asia, it is the national flower of Korea.

Note it's in the hibiscus family. The flowers are kind of like small hibiscus flowers...

 
At 10:41 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

And I see we've all done our share of murders in the plant department. Or maybe not murder. After all, we didn't do it on purpose, right?

 
At 10:45 AM, Blogger Kate Carlisle said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 10:48 AM, Blogger Kate Carlisle said...

That was me, deleting my post. My finger slipped. I swear.

Anyway, I know all of you are experts in more areas than just plant death! For instance.....
Maureen - nanotechnology and plumbing
Susan - wine and food (in relation to the restaurant business, of course)
Christie - surfing
Chris - Vikings!

I've become an "expert" in....
carbon monoxide poisoning
bookbinding
Scottish castles
estate planning
crack houses
blogging (aka blathering)

 
At 11:15 AM, Blogger Maureen Child said...

Kate......carbon monoxide poisoning??? Is this something your dh should hear about??

 
At 11:47 AM, Blogger Kate Carlisle said...

Oh, he knows about it. And as long as the margarita's waiting when I get home, nobody gets hurt.

 
At 11:51 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

Kate, yikes on the carbon monoxide. I have a carbon monoxide detector, much to the amusement of my guys. I saw this tv program and decided I just had to have one. It's never gone off. We show 0 levels of CM around here. But makes this hideous screeching sound when I try and change the batteries.

Oh, yeah. The Vikings. How could I have forgotten all I know about them? It probably happened during serious study of my royalty statements. *snort*

 
At 1:19 PM, Blogger Christie Ridgway said...

Oh, yeah. I know about surfing. Or more accurately, I know people who know about surfing.

I'm also quite expert at making kids' Halloween costumes from sweatpants and sweatshirts, as well as elaborately imaginative children's birthday parties. (I once sent invitations made of rubber thongs with glued-on sand and shells.)

Chris know about Vikings?!

 
At 4:30 PM, Blogger Kate Carlisle said...

Chris, I murdered someone in a BMW and tried to pass it off as suicide by turning on the gas. I had to research the effects of the chemical on the body (besides, uh, death). Seems it turns the skin red, among other things. Good times!

But see, you're a CO2 expert, too! Although you're trying to keep people alive as opposed to killing them.

And dammit, I loved your Vikings!

 
At 4:33 PM, Blogger Kate Carlisle said...

Oops, I mean CO1, not CO2....whatever.

Christie, your birthday invitations sound so cute!

 
At 6:34 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

Kate, yeah! I'm trying to keep people alive. I am. I truly am... Mwahaha.

Thank you re the Vikings.

Christie, the Viking Brides were a three-book contemporary series I did for SSE a few years ago. The premise was "What if a country had managed to keep its Viking ways into contemporary times." Voila, my island country, Gullandria. After the three SSEs, there was a Sil. Single Title called Man Behind the Mask that came out a little later. I can say I loved writing them and I still get mail asking for more of them. So it's all good.

 
At 7:39 AM, Anonymous KIm said...

Christine,

I just re-read "Man behind the Mask" what a great story. Thanks.

Happy November all...


Kim

 
At 8:23 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

Happy Novemember to you, too, Kim. And thank you!

 
At 11:09 AM, Blogger Susan Mallery said...

Vikings? CO poisoning? Surfing? Why can't one of you know how to make hand-dipped chocolate truffles? :)

 
At 12:47 PM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

Hello cooking. Not. I used to make a mean devil's food cake, back in the day.

Nowadays, well, I can cut up a great salad and grill a steak and everybody's happy.

Oh, and Campbell's Soup comfort casseroles. I'm good at those. Tuna noodle. Chicken divan. Oh, yeah...

 

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