25 Sept 2012

Online to real life - friendship made flesh

A couple of years ago, when I first published my books, I got involved in writers' groups. I 'met' some great people and among them, one writer whose books I would have read, whether or not we had connected online. Libby Fischer Hellmann writes the kind of books I read - American, female, detective/police crime novels.
Marcia Muller, Sara Paretsky, Linda Fairstein, Linda Barnes, Laura Lippman, Sue Grafton, Patricia Cornwell (until recently) and even JD Robb and Janet Evanovich, I've read and loved them all.
So, when I came across Libby and her character Georgia Davies, a former Chicago cop turned PI, I was thrilled.
Even better, she has a second protagonist in earlier books, Ellie Foreman, who reminds me so much of Libby herself. Libby is a great writer and I loved her books and, as she's written quite a few, I still have more to come.
Her latest, A Bitter Veil, set in 70s Chicago and revolutionary Iran, is a departure, but the writing is just as stellar and the story engrossing.
Anyway... last week, Libby came to visit as part of her solo trip around the UK. It was so wonderful having her to stay and we visited both Jane Austen's House and Waverley Abbey, neither of which I've been to before, even though they're on my doorstep.
In Libby, I have discovered an older sister who has wisdom, common sense and a side of wickedness that I love. I have always said that when I grow up I want to be Libby Hellmann, and after this visit, I think that even more.
This evening, as I was cooking dinner, I was wishing she was still here. She helped us celebrate our 15th anniversary and as I stepped into the kitchen on the evening of our anniversary party last Saturday and saw her expertly packing away leftover food, she was not just my sister but my (far too young to really be-) mother too. 
Here's a few pics from her visit:
Libby & Jane Austen - I prefer Libby

At Waverley Abbey. Leo is on an invisible lead..