This weekend was one I look forward to every year, even if part of the time it’s with trepidation.

The Heart of Louisiana Chapter of Romance Writers of America held their fourth annual Readers’ Luncheon, Fall in Love with Romance on Saturday, 6 Nov. S

Sherrilyn Kenyon was our main speaker.

She gave a wonderful, inspiring, touching speech. She spoke about writing because she was tormented in school for wearing hand-me-downs from her brothers. She wrote because she could take revenge on her tormentors.

I think what touched me most was how she talked about reading being her escape and how she read big name authors, the ones you know, but then she praised authors you’ve never heard of and how she read those, too, and some of them she reads over and over.

I think, as a struggling author, I dream, like many of us, of someday making it big and being a name everyone’s heard of. But yesterday I started seeing a light I hadn’t seen before. Maybe it doesn’t matter if you’re a name people know, as long as your book touches someone.

This year has been one of God reminding me in many different and small ways that writing is what I’m called to do and I need to do it regardless of how much “fame” I get.

Here was Sherrilyn Kenyon, an author who inspires such devotion in her fans that people came to Baton Rouge from as far away as Las Vegas, Nevada, and Los Angeles to see her. She talked about how she still gets asked if she’s published anything, so apparently she’s not “a household name.” Even my father-in-law who was taking pictures asked my daughter who the red haired woman was that everyone wanted their pictures taken with! And he came to the luncheon and had her book on his chair!

Anyway, she talked about how “those simple little Harlequins” got her through dark times in her life, and how we should never dismiss them as silly little books.

I have about seven “silly little books” I’ve started, but I put them aside to work on my fantasy novels. I made a decision last week to work on polishing/finishing at least three of them that are either done or very close to it and getting them out there.

Maybe I don’t need to be a big name that everyone in RWA knows, but if my books can help someone through a dark time. Maybe that’s enough.

Oh, and here I am, as hostess/announcer for the luncheon. This is a job I do every year, along with helping to plan it, which is why I said trepidation earlier.

And for fun, here’s me hugging Sherrilyn after her talk. I think I more or less ambushed her.

And my daughter with her.