Ain’t Nobody Gonna Mess With My Nora Roberts!

The Setting: A Barnes & Noble in Southwestern Pennsylvania
The Characters (emphasis on characters): Me, My Mom & My Dad Driving the Getaway Car 

I attended my first RWA Nationals this past June in New York City. Many, many things stood out to me but one thing that really caught my attention was the use of Nora Roberts. Nora was mentioned in almost every workshop I attended. People brought her name up at lunches and dinners. She was quoted left and right.

Annoying? Hardly. I know you all say you’re Nora’s biggest fan. But you are not. I hold that title and here is why.

About seven years ago, I was visiting my Mom and Dad in Pennsylvania. As with most visits to my parents’, we ended the night at a Barnes & Noble. If we’re in a Barnes & Noble, my Mom and I are in the romance section. And if we’re in the romance section, you know we’re checking the Nora Roberts section within the romance section … on the off-chance we haven’t read every title.

We have.

What should we find on this particular night? The Nora books were NOT in order. They weren’t even alphabetical. No, they were just sitting there all willy-nilly. Trilogies weren’t shelved together. The Stanislaski’s were miles apart. The O’Hurley Triplets were practically in different zip codes. And do not even get me started on how Cameron, Ethan and Phillip Quinn from the Chesapeake Bay series were placed between various single titles.

For two people who discuss Nora characters more often than some of our relatives, this is NOT okay. In fact, I dare say it was disrespectful.

So we did what any fan of Nora would do. We took every book off the shelf and re-shelved the entire section the way we felt it should have been. The way a reader needs to experience Nora.

Now don’t get your panties in a bunch. We did mankind a favor. Just think of the poor virgin Nora reader who could have possibly gone into that store and picked up Amanda Calhoun’s book and read it before knowing what happened in her sister C.C.’s book. What the hell kind of world is that? Certainly not one that I want to live in.

Of course, halfway through this little escapade my Mom and I looked at each other and just lost it. That’s right, in case the massive mounds of books all over the floor weren’t telling enough, my Mother and I were cackling like crazy people (or “laughing like loons” as Nora always says) in the middle of Barnes & Noble while my poor Dad just rolled his eyes and went on to buy a Venti Caramel Macchiato from the in-store Starbucks and pretended not to know us.

So take that supposed fans of Nora. While I may never be a speaker at RWA Nationals, I feel better having shared my story with you.

And yes, I fully intend to smile pretty when the cops show up with my restraining order about two hours after I post this. Viva la Nora!

32 thoughts on “Ain’t Nobody Gonna Mess With My Nora Roberts!

  1. That was big fun! Great post, and if there are photos, you must post at least one:)…I, too, have been the obsessed fan girl, although the trait did not consume my entire family:)

    My Waterloo was James Marsters, the actor who played Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I have met him six times, had dinner with him twice, and sang a song with him…we met in London (twice), Sacramento, Houston, and the Poconos.. Okay, not a stalker (at least I don’t think so:) but I used to be a fan convention groupie…

    1. I heart Spike and therefore I heart James Marsters! Actually… isn’t that how we met, Denny-Mermaid? We were talking about Buffy and Spike in the waiting room of the agent/editor appts at Retreat?

      Well, anyway, I’m glad you don’t think I’m too nutso! 😉

      1. Oh my…that’s right. See? Spike is still one of those things I can’t stop talking about:)…but glad you decided to share this delightful post with the WRW-DC loop. It’s a treat to read.

  2. Kerri, you are a complete nut and you crack me up! I literally have goosebumps at your insanity. Bless you child for posting this today! I am on my way tonight to see Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love in Richmond and I had started feeling a little greedy because of all the times I’ve been able to go out and see them since being stationed here in the DC area. Had you not exposed yourself just now as Nora Robert’s undisputed heavy weight champion, I mean fan of the world, I may have felt a wee bit stalkerish myself. But hands down little mama, you take the cake!!!!!! Like Drew Barrymore says, “Let your freak flag fly!” Love your wonderful spirit!

    1. Thanks Carlene-Mermaid! I forgot about your love for Sherrilyn Kenyon. It does rival my love of Lady Nora. This is why we are friends. Us stalkers must stick together.

      Have a wonderful time tonight! 😉

  3. OK, I’m a Nora virgin. Yes, yes, I know. I’m a horrible person. OK, set me up girl. What should I read and in what order? I’ll make it my goal to read all of Nora’s books by the end of 2012.

    1. I just conferred with my mother on this. She said, “duh! Of course she has to read the Quinn’s first!” That would be the Chesapeake Bay series. The first book is titled “Sea Swept” and it’s awesomesauce. There are four books in that series.

      After that, call me – we have a lot to discuss! 😉

        1. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m sooo excited for you! But also a little jealous. You have no idea how many wonderful books you get to read!

  4. ok, you officially surpass me as a big Nora Roberts fan (and a lunatic) 🙂

    I heart the Chesapeake Bay series!

    1. I know right! You were the one who actually gave me the Blood Brothers series in London last year.

      By “lunatic” do really mean “super talented writer?” 🙂

  5. Kerri,
    When you told me this story at Nationals, I thought it was so hysterical. I have a complete mental image of how this must have looked. I can just see the whole scene! 🙂
    When you told me you were Nora’s biggest fan, I thought, “Yeah, right. Aren’t we all?” But surely anyone can see that you are.
    BTW, did the manager at least give you a free coffee? I would think you and your mom earned one. Or maybe Barnes and Noble thought you’d already reached your limit in caffeine. LOL.
    Great story–once again. I’ve told it to so many people because I think it’s a riot. My friend read her first Nora book after hearing it. So, you probably converted one more Nora fan. It’s like saving the world one reader at a time.

    1. Exactly! My mother just called me and wondered what is odd about rearranging a shelf at B&N. She said it’s really a civic duty. Fair enough.

      Thanks for the idea to write about this crazy episode! 😉

  6. Kerri, that is an awesome, and hysterically funny, tale. And if I’d been there, I so would have joined you! Please tell your mother I wholeheartedly agree…we all must do our civic duty. 🙂

    But I have to know: (a) Was there any photographic evidence? And (b) Did any of the employees say anything to you?

    1. Thanks for reading, Dana-Mermaid! There are definitely no pictures. It was seven years ago so most cell phones didn’t have cameras yet. Those were different times….

      And I don’t seem to recall seeing any employees. But I’m sure the sight of two crazy women rearranging books and laughing hysterically while calling out random character names and then recalling our favorite sex scenes probably scared them off. 😉

  7. This is awesome!!! Tho I don’t tend to have order in my books, DVDs, or CDs (well, the latter 2 are not really relevant these days), I do tend to be very particular with kitchen supplies. If put in the wrong drawer or shelf, god have mercy on the poor soul who made the mistake… granted, this is specific to my own home and not in the middle of a BB&B, but nonetheless….

    1. Well, “other Danielle,” if you ever want to rearrange a BB&B or, hell, even a Pottery Barn, just let me know. I got your back! Thanks for reading! Smoochies! 😉

  8. I forgot all about that Kerri!!! But we only did what needed to be done and it was really a great service to all the Nora readers. I do wish we could have left our little post-it notes on various books, but your dad was getting antsy by the time we finished re-shelving (the correct way). Another great mother/daughter bonding moment over Nora. Thanks for the chuckle!

    1. Kerri’s mom,
      I think the post-it notes would have been very key. I know if I had been walking through a bookstore and saw a customer’s handy notes about the book, I’d probably buy it.
      Do you think you should call Nora and offer this as a service?
      I’m just sayin’…
      P.S. I’m jealous of this mother/daughter bonding moment. I wish my mom read romances. If she did, we could have given you a run for your money.

  9. You guys should get medals for bravery and fearless organizing! Seriously, the staff should’ve been flogged for their ignorance. Also, you’re hilarious.

    1. Thanks, Jen! You rock! Me & Mom – taking over the world. One Barnes & Noble at a time! Watch out, terrorists!

    1. Thanks, Cecelia! Everyone needs a little Nora in their life. That’s what I always say. 😉

    1. Of course it counts! They had a Nora marathon on a couple weeks ago and I was all over that! 😉

  10. I LOVE this! While I’ve never read a single Nora Roberts, my late mother-in-law was her second…uh…third biggest fan and would have been AGHAST! (Besides, if anyone did this in the TC Boyle section, I think I’d do the same…)

  11. this is too funny! I’m gonna have to tell my Lauren…she organizes shelves in almost every store we go in and straightens things out.
    Besides organizing you managed to make a great memory with your Mom that will last a lifetime:)

    1. Thanks Mary! I think Lauren and I would get along smashingly! We could organize the whole country, one bookshelf at a time! 😉

  12. Without you I would have never known Nora… She should thank you for all the books you have gotten me to read. Hard to say what my favorites are but I did like that Irish Trilogy and Blood Brothers. Question for you? Have you done this in other BN Bookstores?

Comments are closed.