Tracy, Leslie, and Lauren

Tracy, Leslie, and Lauren at Bookmarks

As those of you who follow me on Facebook and Twitter know, I recently got back from a few days in New York. Among the highlights of the trip was seeing Lise Lindstrom (whose father, John Lindstrom, is on the Merola Opera Program board with me) make her Metropolitan Opera debut in the title role of Turandot. She gave a fabulous performance, vocally and dramatically (I had tears in my eyes at the end). It was fabulous to be part of the celebration of such an amazing achievement. I also got to spend time with my agent and editor, see a wonderful Jane Austen exhibit at the Morgan Library, go shopping (great new purse and bargain lbd), and meet fellow opera enthusiasts at a Merola outreach event.

Most important, I got to stay with and hang out with my fellow author and wonderful friend Lauren Willig. For those of you who haven’t yet discovered Lauren’s books (and I know a lot of people who visit this site already have), she writes the fabulous Pink Carnation series which combines Napoleonic spies with romance and intrigue and some wonderful nods to the Scarlet Pimpernel. I’m fortunate to have a lot of great friends, but there are some things that only fellow writers understand, particularly fellow writers who write in a similar area. Lauren and I both write books about espionage during the Napoleonic Wars. We both write books that combine elements of historical fiction, mystery, and romance. We work in story arcs that span more than one book over the course of a series.

A few minutes after I walked through Lauren’s door, we were sitting on her sofa sipping wine and discussing the finer points of obscure Napoleonic intrigues, the challenges of writing books that cross genres, the delights and frustrations of primary source research, “what’s next” in both our series. We went on talking the whole trip, over brunches and dinners and cups of tea. We saw a riveting production of Hamlet with Jude Law and a great cast and talked about the Shakespearean references in both our books. We talked about Jane Austen, who plays a role in one of Lauren’s upcoming books, in light of the Morgan Library exhibit. We spent a wonderful evening of writer talk with our fellow writer and History Hoyden Leslie Carroll over drinks at the appropriately named Bookmarks in the Library Hotel (that’s the three of us in the picture above).

I came home energized and excited to get back to work (though my first evening home included a lot of playing-with-pets time). Writers, do you find it inspiring to spend time with writer friends, particular those who write books with similar subject matter or settings? Readers, does it interest you to know which writers you read happen to be friends?

Be sure to stop by the Fraser Correspondence, where I’ve just posted a letter from Simon to Mélanie.