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.
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!