I've always disliked that tired old phrase, "Nice guys finish last." It simply isn't always true. Over the last year, I've made the acquaintance of many successful people in writing and publishing, and I could qualify nearly all of them as nice--at least to some extent. But my friend, the writer Luanne Rice, is Queen of Nice.
Years ago, I was sent one of Luanne's books, SUMMER OF ROSES, to review. My editor rarely sent me what I'll call women's fiction--she knew my preference for dark fiction, edgy lit and quirky non-fiction. But Luanne's novel worked a kind of magic on me: her characters were far from perfect or stereotypical or sentimental. They were very human, and living with deep pain and not a small amount of tension and fear in their lives. They had rough edges, but also hope. Hope is the key. Everyone needs it.
If one must label Luanne's work with a publishing category, a good choice might be family drama. Family is at the heart of all of her novels. Sometimes the families are cobbled together, sometimes they're wrenched apart and forced to re-make themselves. But love--or the desperate need for it--is almost always the motivating factor for her characters.
Just last week, Luanne published Last Kiss, her twenty-fifth novel. Twenty-five novels. Amazing. Those of us in the emerging stages of our careers can only dream of such an accomplishment. But Luanne and her millions of readers have made it real for her.
A little known fact about Luanne is that she's also an accomplished musician. To thank everyone who helped her reach her twenty-five novel milestone--readers, friends, publishing folks and booksellers--Luanne wrote the music for and produced this wonderful video.
See. I told you she was nice! Congratulations, dear Luanne!