I’ve been pretty blessed in life when it comes to “famous people”. I talked to Troy Aikman on the phone inside Laurie Morgan’s tour bus when I was nine. I have a photo with George Strait with my cute little chunky self at eleven. I watched one of the Daniels’ twins eat organic grapes while waiting for luggage. Trisha Yearwood and I sat on a bench and put our shoes back on after passing through airport security. Barbara Bush writes me letters. People ask me for Julia Roberts’ autograph. People would probably say I rub elbows with some pretty influential people.

But nothing compared to who I was up close and personal with last night. I’ve noted that I often had to beg my mother to let me read certain books. The very first romance novel she ever let me read was “Fancy Pants” by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Looking back, I still swoon a little. Susan Elizabeth Phillips is lyrical with her words. The execution of her sentences is like the sensation of walking through cobblestone streets in Geneva, Switzerland in stiletto heels with absolute confidence and aplomb (I know this because I’ve tried and failed). Other than Margaret Mitchell and Harper Lee, she is the author I most want to emulate. If I could just get her to think my writing was funny, I would feel like I “made it”.

Suffice to say, Grant and I braved the icy streets of Tulsa to make it to Barnes and Noble last night where she was promoting her new book, , and not only did we manage to sit in the front row, but she called me a ‘doh-doh’ for getting a trivia question wrong. I redeemed myself a few minutes later and she rewarded me with candy (that Grant tried to get me to save). She graciously let me gush while she signed a book for my mom (who is now quite envious) and then posed for a pic. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t bring a copy of Home is Where Your Boots Are to gift her, but I’m going to stalk her so I can mail it to Chicago. Wish me luck!