Friday, August 11, 2006

Susan Andersen GuestBlog: On The Road With Friends

Welcome to "Running with Quills" Week (and Two Days)!
All six talented and, may I say lovely, ladies from are with us over the next work week and two days to share with us the kinds of stuff they love to chat about at thier very popular group blog.

I feel honored to have them, and feel the same to intro them to you, my Bellas. She's the newest Quillster. Bellas, I give you the delightful Susan Andersen. If you will, Susan...
Between writing and the Soul Mate’s work, which takes him to far flung corners of the globe, I spend a lot of time on my own. So, unlike my son, who spent six weeks visiting New Zealand by himself, I’m not wild about traveling alone. A few years ago I was sent on my first book tour. The idea of it was pretty cool. . .but tours can actually be kind of lonely because you spend vast amounts of unaccompanied time in strange cities. Now, I like seeing new places. But I much prefer to do so in the company of someone with whom I can share the experience.

This past June I was sent on tour with Karen Harper and Jennifer Armintrout. What a difference! Not only did responsibility for the success of the signings not hinge on one set of shoulders, but along with Margie, the sales manager from our publisher, and Marianne, the Director of sales and marketing from News Group (which sponsored the tour) there were four people to share meals and laughter with as well.

I raved about it so much to the people who set it up that they’re sending me out on an even bigger bus tour August 24th-27th to help promote my latest book Just For Kicks (about a man with a plan, a woman uninterested in finding her prince, a teenager afraid to trust and a fan who takes his admiration for a showgirl too far). If you live in the Detroit or Chicago areas please stop by and say hello to me and about a dozen other authors.

But until then, how do YOU prefer to travel? Are you more comfortable in the company of others like I am or more of a free spirit like my Sweet Baby Boy?

Information on times, dates, places and participating authors on the Levy Sizzling Summer Tour, or to read an excerpt on Just For Kicks, please visit


Rach said...

Welcome, Susan!

Ah, travel. I'm an extrovert--MAJOR extrovert--so when traveling, I prefer to surround myself with people. I find I *need* to have someone to share with all the things I'm seeing and doing. I don't much care to be alone with my thoughts for longer than a day; I feel compelled to *share* those thoughts!

Now, the hubby on the other hand, I'm *sure* he would love to have a break from us for a few days ;o).

Julie in Ohio said...

Welcome, Susan!!! I've been a lurker at Running With Quills. You gals are great fun. :o)

I have never travelled by myself before. I remember the first time my dh and I went to Niagara Falls (our first trip). For the first time it fell on my shoulders to organize transportation, hotel...etc. It was scary. I was sure we would get to the train station and find out we were stuck, or get the hotel just to find out we were sleeping on a park bench. Everything turned out OK.
I was glad to have someone with me. There was a comfort there that I knew if something bad happened I wasn't alone to figure out what to do.

Rach said...

Now see, Julie, I leave all that up to HIM. That way if something goes wrong I can pass the buck ;oP.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buon giorno, Susan! So psyched to have you here today, leading the way for your Quillfriends.

I live in MN and everyone goes "North" to their cabin or 2nd home for weekends, etc. They drive, like, 4-6 hours (with their kids, for God's sake) to hang out with no TV,etc.

Now, I don't watch much TV, but if I'm gonna strap myself into any conveyance for 4ish hours, I dern well better climb out of it near a) a warm ocean, and 2. room service.

It's my VACATION. I'm spending hard-earned cash to relax, not chop wood or pick gnats out of my hair. "Ooooo, look at that big Walleye!" will never fall from my lips.

Not that there's anything wrong with it.

As a nice Catholic girl, I used to feel guilty about anything posh or upgraded. But recently my husband used airline points to upgrade my RWA flights to 1st class. It was kind of a nice treat.

Free spirit? Not exactly. I'm always awed by young people like your son who pick up and travel. It would have been cool to be that brave back then.

I got a big hankerin to see Italy, and it's all the fault of these Bellas. And Fabio Cannavaro.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Awesome cover, btw!!!!

Rach said...

Italy is *our* fault, Michelle? I lay the blame soley on Fabio's snaxy shoulders. =)

Julie in Ohio said...

Rach, I do the planning because if I don't, we don't go... :o)

If Michelle wants to blame us for her Italian fixation that's fine with me. She just needs to remember to take those of us with her when she goes... :P

Julie in Ohio said...

Michelle, a cabin for a couple of days sounds like heaven to me...without the kids. With the kids it would have to be with an ocean view... :o)

amy kennedy said...

I have a fantasy--well, I have several, but we won't go in to all of them now.

I am alone on a flight to France. I have to get from the airport to my rented apartment (for a month) with only my high school french (and the kindness of strangers) to guide me.

I can wake-up in the morning and head down to the sidewalk cafe foe coffee and pastry and then do what I will for the rest of the day.

Sometimes I like to think about things that would normally make me uncomfortable--but would be liberating none-the-less.

Scary? yes. Exciting? Mais oui!

Vivi Anna said...

I can do both. When I was younger I traveled a lot. I went on holiday to Bermuda by myself...mind you I had a place to stay, with an old friend of my bro's, but for the most part I was there on my own on that gorgeous island...

Now adays, I need to know what's going on at all traveling on my own is a bit of a stressful situation.

Going to Nationals was great, but going through that airport in Atlanta was like hell...LOL


Kati said...

OK, first: Best. Shoes. Ever. on your cover!

Second, I prefer to travel in small groups. I am a planner (both professionally and personally) and am happy to plan trips, but prefer to take a friend with me.

This past May, I went on a 35th Birthday trip with three girlfriends also celebrating significant birthdays to France, Italy and Greece. We had a wonderful time.

I do think it's important though to travel with someone who shares the same outlook on traveling as you do. I am NOT someone who wants to get up at the buttcrack of dawn and go flying out the door and go all day without a break. I much prefer to get up when I wake up (usually in the 8:00 hour) and get a bite to eat, and then set out. I want a nice sit-down lunch (not something grabbed on the fly) and then to knock off by 4:30 or so in order to clean up and rest a bit before dinner. Now, I know a lot of people don't share my opinion, but hey, that's OK, I've found several who do, and we have a terrific time when we travel. I think that's the key, to travel with someone who shares your travel personality, or at least is willing to compromise. Exception cities, New York and Paris. When I'm there, I want to hit it hard and all day, interspersed by excellent eating. ;-P

Kati said...

Ames, I think you and I need to plan a trip to Paris...

Julie in Ohio said...

MK, I agree with you on the importance of traveling with someone who has the same likes as you. My dh and I are opposites. I sleep at night and that is when he is getting up. It makes vacations interesting. :o)
However when it comes to sightseeing, we can usually compromise on what can and can't be missed.

Susan Andersen said...

so, rachd, are you the one one right or the left in your picture? I'm an introvert, myself, but I still want to share my experiences/impressions of a new place with someone. It's just more fun.

Julie, you should join in the discussions on rwq! I've got one going today about names--both the ones we were given at birth and the ones people end up calling us. And interesting side issue of who plans. That would be me in my household. . .and usually I find that half the fun. The soul mate gets us around on actual trips, however, as I have NO sense of direction

Michelle, we, too, have a cottage 3 hours from home, but the difference is my son is weeks from his 31st birthday, so I find it the most relaxing place in the world. Working from the home is a mixed blessing--I don't have to commute, which is a major plus, but it's hard to walk away from your responsibilities because your office is always there beckoning (psst! What are you doing watching Lost? get in here and fix this lame chapter!!!)

Marykate, aren't those shoes The Best??? Someone told me they're Guccis. And yes, WHO you travel with probably makes the biggest difference in how much fun you have. My husband and I have the same likes when it comes to travel. We love to walk new places to really get an idea of what they're all about, and like you we're not crazy about being on a schedule. We just like to take things as they come and do what we feel like doing when we feel like doing it.

Well, shoot. Didn't mean to turn this into a manuscript. Best go feed the cats.

Monica Burns said...

Welcome Susan, the cover is great. Definite power suit and definitely leggy. I remember when my legs were THAT skinny! *sigh*

Traveling, I think it depends on my mood and where I'm going. When I travel alone anymore, I LOVE, LOVE it. I get the car to myself, listen to what I want to listen too, the hotel room is Mine ALL MINE! Maaabaaahahah!

Getting away from the family gives me the ULTIMATE peace and quiet. I generally do all the planning as we run off an Itinerary on my PDA...I never will forget standing in line at Walt Disney World when I pulled out my Palm to answer the DH’s “What’s next.” The person behind us gasped, “OMIGOD! You’ve got everything on your Palm Pilot.” I laughed and proceeded to show her how great it was to have everything in terms of show times, which line to take, when the busiest times were for specific rides, etc. The woman looked at her DH and said, “We’re buying one of these when we get home.” Ok, so I’m AR, but it works for me. Besides, HALF the fun of a trip is planning it, imagining what it will be like, thinking about the fun of seeing new things.

When we go to London in a couple of years (hopefully semi-free of terrorist worry) I’m going over first for one whole week by myself for research (great way to write off my part of the trip! LOL). I know the family would yawn the whole way through most of the British Museum, and there are places I want to visit that ARE NOT on the tourist map. I’ll probably have to hire a guide to show me around those areas as I’ve been warned not to leave the well-trod path. I basically want to soak up atmosphere, and the family is just not into that. *grin*

WV: SWDSA (NO Lying!)

So what's doing, Susan Anderson? *grin*

Rach said...

Tee hee hee, Susan! Those are my two little darlin's Monkey and Bit. =)

Travleing with them isn't quite so much fun right now--we have to share a room with Bit and well, she just doesn't do that so well. Ugh.

Then, there's that whole riding in a car for hours on end thing.

MK, you are absolutely right, those shoes *are* spectacular! And about traveling with people who are the same kind of traveler. My mom is the type that needs a vacation to recover from her vacation because she packs SO much in. That can be extremely exhausting to someone who just wants to take it easy and take it all in.

Amy, you are a much braver person than I. I would be absolutely petrified to attempt something like that, let alone daydream about it!

Monica Burns said...

oh BTW, Michelle....GET a bloody DVD player in that least you'll be able to read after the kids are don't fighting over what movie to watch! LOL I don't know what we did before we got ours in our Tahoe, and now our Expedition.

Rach said...

Hey, Mon, you surfaced! How's the writing going?

England, ahhhhhhhh. I'd love to go back someday.

Julie in Ohio said...

Monica, I've considered getting a DVD in our SUV because we do alot of driving (I refuse to fly). Do they work well with bumps or does it tend to skip?

Monica Burns said...

Rach, I've not written one single word these past four days except for on the synopsis...that's tough! I'm a pantser and usually write the synopsis AFTER the book is done. *grin*

JulieO - If you get one professionally installed they don't skip at all. In both vehicles we never had any problems with skipping. The only issue we had in the Tahoe was getting the remote to work turning it on, (they put the sensor on the front windshield [rolling eyes]) and in the Expedition, it came with the DVD player installed, and the only issue was understanding the directions on using it. ROFL...Guess who had to show the DH how to use it. NO! Not the kids! LOL They really are life savers. I write on my laptop when we travel to a campground. Three hours with my headphones on while the DH drives and the kids watch a movie is HEAVENLY! LOL

Julie in Ohio said...

Thanks, Mon. I need to look into that. I'm getting tired of cleaning melted crayons off the seats...

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Oh, please remember I wrote "not that there's anything wrong with it" in my post about cabins, OK?

We got the bloody DVD thing for the kids, Mon, (welcome back, btw. I was just thinking about you this am) but NO HEADPHONES! We went to the WI Dells this weekend and I was so cranky from the drone of "Charlie and the Choc Fact." Really silly of us.

I love silence. Crave it.

Anyway, my fantasy, Amy, is to do Italy with someone who knows it, but kind of on my own, too. The "no husband and kids" fantasy.

I went to RWA alone and came back rested and feeling stronger because of the adult company and confirmation that folks "get" what I'm trying to do for readers and writers of romance. I was energized meeting adults I'd e-met through RBtheBlog and RBtheBook.

I work out of my home, too, Susan, and just can't leave the computer. My kids are around all the time, too, so that's part of my workday. But at RWA I was just doing my job, which was cool.

Oh, and I got to wear real clothes. And beautiful shoes! I didn't remember how much I loved them! That's why the Gucci pair on the cover speak to me so. Come to Mamma, caras...

And I've been missing youz, rach, mk, julieO, vivs...sory I've been incommunicado...

Julie in Ohio said...

Headphones...? I have three kids. Do they have a deluxe family size DVD with spots for multiple headphones? lol :P

We've been a missin' you, too. Hopefully life will begin to slow down for you...maybe, just a little? :o)

Julie in Ohio said...

Michelle, you mentioned "Charlie and the choco factory". That is my four year olds fav movie. Every time the oomba loombas do their little song and dance, she gets up and sings and dances with them. Yes, she knows all their songs... I would have to bann that movie in the car. :o)

Monica Burns said...

JulieO, I'm pretty sure the wireless ones, which we have, will work for up to the internet for wireless car headphones, I'm sure there are some out there somewhere! LOL

Michelle, I understand the busy deal and I thought about you last night! We are so sympatico, bella, I was showing the DH pictures from RWA and kept gushing about you. LOL

Jennifer Y. said...

Welcome Susan!

I have never travelled by myself and I think I prefer it that way. I don't think I would fee comfortable traveling alone.

Rach said...

Oh, Michelle, we miss you too, but completely understand the craziness that is summertime. Family all around all the time, out of town company, travel, etc.

We appreciate you taking time to pop in and let us know you are alive ;o).

Julie, let me know how that DVD thing works out for you =).

Playground Monitor said...

Welp, up until yesterday I loved to travel by air. But with rumors abounding that you won't even be able to carry your purse on board (can take a wallet, prescription meds and your glasses sans case in a clear plastic bag) it's just gonna suck the fun out of it.

My sister and I made a pledge to take two girl trips this year in lieu of Christmas gifts to each other. I already visited her (she lives on the Georgia coast -- what a dreary place to live. NOT!) and we didn't cook all week, watched the Shuttle launch on the beach, took a day trip to Sapelo Island, rode bikes to the 4th of July fireworks, watched chick flicks and just relaxed. Her DH and son were at Boy Scout camp.

They have one of those cabins in northern MN that they inherited from my BIL's Finnish parents. It's on a lake and I'm sure they crow about the walleye. *grin*

It's true you need to travel with a kindred spirit. I've traveled with women who whined and complained and made the trip miserable. There were 6 of us in two connecting rooms at RWA and we had a ball! We worked out the bathroom schedule and who got which bed. When one of the gals had a major hair disaster at the salon in the mall, another who has teenage daughters stepped in and saved the day.

Sorry -- another tome. Got to go start cleaning up the mess from a hellatious storm that blew through here and destroyed my beautiful patio canopy. I sat out under it to read and write and now it's a jumbled mess. A complete loss. Boohoo.


Rach said...

I'm sorry, Marilyn. That stinks! But, there must be bigger and even better canopies out there, one that wants you to take it home and enjoy it. =)

Vivi Anna said...

Miss you too Bella! Adn at next Nationals, we are totally going for a few drinks...we totally need to get the Bellas together for some fun!

Rach said...

Sounds like a fantastic time, Vivi! Where and when??

Julie in Ohio said...

I'm on board!! Give me a date and an address. I actually pretty good with directions. Comes from my lack of flying... :o)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Marilyn, that absolutely reeks! I'm sorry about the canopy. At least you can come here and we'll feel your pain.

You know, Bellas, I've been thinkin a lot about next year's RWA and how we can all hook up. I want to get our writer friends and e-friends together. But I've got some time to figure things out.

Kati said...

Where are nationals? I'd love to go!

Jacki Bentley said...

A multi-author signing is wonderful, I think. Great for readers too. One stop shopping.

I don't like to travel alone either.

Karen Harper is a lovely person to visit with!

Julie in Ohio said...

Marilyn, you just describes exactly why I don't watch the news...glasses in a plastic bag? no purses? They do still do the x-rays on these things, right?
Driving never sounded so good... :P

I'm so sorry about the canopy. That stinks but this gives you an excuse to go out and get a better one with all the trimming. :P

amy kennedy said...

Marykate--buttcrack of dawn! LOL.
I didn't even read the reast of the comments. Except--yes, we do.

amy kennedy said...

Hey, Susan, I am loving me some Jax from Skin Tight. Wow. Wow. Wow.

The book also makes me want to take dance again.

And Michelle, I think one person who actually knows something is a good idea--don't you love it that Monica is going to London first to research.

"Honey? I have to go to...a spa in Southern California. For research. And then you can come next month with the kids."

Julie in Ohio said...

LOL, Amy!!

Rach said...

LOL, Amy =)!! Will William be joining you??

Julie in Ohio said...

ROTFL, Rach!!

Great minds... :o)

Kati said...

Monica's got her priorities in just the right place!

Michelle - We miss you too! Hurry back! We've had a dearth of snaxy guys.

My DC United tied the other day with Real Madrid. I thought of you.

CrystalGB said...

I like to travel with other people. Sharing the experience makes it so much better.

Julie in Ohio said...

I've travelled by myself.

I think I need to try that sometime so I can make an informed decision... :P

Julie in Ohio said...

That's supposed to say: I've NEVER travelled by myself.

Some days.... *sigh*

Monica Burns said...

Ames, MK LOL I do believe I have my priorities straight, however I also know when to let it go.

Example, with the Coke museum so close by in Atlanta, I asked the family at dinner one night whether they'd mind me going to the museum. You could have heard a pin drop until Baby asked why the DH was looking at me as if he were going to slit my throat. So I dropped that particular hot potato quite quickly! ROFL

Sorry about the canopy Marilyn, but you know, it's an opportunity! Go find something you like even BETTER! *smile*

Oh and as for the taking stuff on the plane, I have to admit I'm not wild about my laptop going through main check-in, although I did read that if it goes in the overhead you can carry it on. Also, I read where one woman had to throw away $134 worth of hand lotion, while another threw away $50 of makeup.

So I have a question for the bellas, do you all take lotion, toothpaste, makeup, etc. as a carry on item? I never have. Curious as to whether I'm a rare bird or if the gals in the news story were odd fish.

I put my stuff in a backpack, PDA, wallet, CD player (until I get an IPOD for a present)book and tissues. Soooo I'm going to be totally ticked if I have to wind up packing my PDA and CD player.

Sometimes I just want to reach out to these maniacs and eliminate their over active testosterone glands! Grrrr Monica is FAR from a happy camper when someone messes with my ability to get things accomplished in a timely manner. AR is her middle name.

Playground Monitor said...

RWA National is in Dallas, Texas from July 11-14, 2007. I think a Bella Ball is in order. Drinks some afternoon at the bar??? Or after the Lit Signing on Wednesday night? I do that with another online group and this year we had about 15 of us sitting around the table sipping margaritas and mojitos. One of them was triple Rita nominee Bronwyn Jameson from Australia.

I'm seriously re-thinking this canopy thing. Having lived here for 18 months now, we get some serious winds blowing through and a bigger canopy would just be a bigger target. The one we had was $300 plus my husband's time putting it together. It's not covered by insurance even if we didn't have a $1000 deductible. Wouldn't you know it blew into a backyard with no grass -- just mucky red mud (this used to be a cotton field). I'm still cleaning red mud out of my toenails. Maybe we'll just go with a cheapie next time. We have some thinking to do.


Monica Burns said...

JulieO - Some days.... yeah! I hear ya hon, I hear ya! LOL

And I have nights like that too. All week it's been like, oh man will ya look at the time!! I need to go to bed...then two hours later in the wee hours of the morning, I'm stumbling in the dark to flop into the bed, only to have the alarm clock go off WAAAAYYYYY to early! How the hell did I do this when I was in my 20s without any trouble? LOL

Rach said...

Monica, I don't fly that often, but when I do I always take deoderant, toothpaste and tooth brush, hand lotion, and contact solution w/case and glasses in my backpack along with books, CD player, etc.

I like to be prepared and be comfortable. I have dry eye and hate when my contacts dry out, and my skin is dry on my hands. So, the lotion.

Strange, I know.

Marylin, where are you that you have red mud? I hear ya on the toenail dirt front, though. Growing up barefoot in the south and all that jazz.

Monica Burns said...

Hmmm, Rach, I don't necessarily think it all that strange. I can certainly understand eyedrops for dry eyes. I hate when my contacts feel like they're sucking my eyeballs out of their socket as if I were an unwilling participant in a Stephen King story. *grin*

People carry all types of things for various reasons, and I think I'm probably unusual, which wouldn't surprise me at all! LOL

Although for me, I'm comfortable knowing that the hotel will always have just about anything I need (even toothpaste/ toothbrush) if I ever got lost from my luggage. Of course that's only happened ONE time...I think maybe I do have a lucky streak after all! LOL

Kati said...

Well, I fly all the time. Necessities for me are: laptop, iPod, noise dispersing earphones, at least two books, trashy magazines, lip balm and a bottle of Pepsi. I never wear my contacts when I fly, but always carry them with me, along with all prescription meds. I usually carry my makeup too, that way if the airline looses my luggage, I can make due overnight.

I've got a nifty bag that everything fits beautifully into. I've got to go to Indianapolis in a week or so. Hopefully things will have eased up a bit before then!

amy kennedy said...

Rach, I like to be prepared too.
Add, clean underwear to the list of carry on for me. Oh, and William is invited, si.

What can I tell you? Everything apparently.

Monica, I'm always crawling into bed way too late, what does happen?

And Julie, I've never travelled alone either--it's just a fantasy.

Marilyn, did you say you went to northern MN or you're planning on doing it. It is lovely, Walleye et. al.

Susan Andersen said...

Amy, so glad you're enjoying Jax. I love writing men with agendas that get turned on their ears.

On planes I usually carry my cosmetic case, which has all my make-up, toiletries, contact solution,curling iron etc in case my luggage gets lost. I like to travel in my glasses and a tank top with no bra.

I'm leaving for the signing on the 23rd and hope like crazy they've relaxed the restrictions a hair, because I do NOT want to spend the 5 days in my jeans, tank and glasses if they lose my luggage--especially since we're going to be on the ABC7 Morning News show in Chicago on Thursday. oh, mama. I would NOT be a pretty sight with no hair products, no make up and in the same ratty clothes. I'm not going to look my best as it is at 5:15am. I'm not a morning person at the best of time. Let's hope it's at least not HD TV (g)

Monica Burns said...

Ames, if you think lack of sleep kicks your butt now...oh you can only dream of how it will not only kick your butt, your head, your eyes, you name it, it will kick you and it WILL hurt. LOL

Playground Monitor said...

I haven't been to the house in Eveleth yet, but I've been invited. Maybe next summer's girl trip. We still have to do our 2nd girl trip this year. Sis is coming here and we're going to drive the Natchez Trace and sip mint juleps. We'd planned to do it last year but somebody named Katrina screwed up our plans.


Julie in Ohio said...

Yeah, I hear that Katrina was a real B***ch... Sorry she messed with your plans.

No make-up on the plane? That clinches it. If I can't drive there, I don't need to go. Exception = Italy.

But a boat perhaps...

Stacy~ said...

Hey Marilyn, my parents live in Eveleth! I graduated h.s. there. Small world!

I've done both with travel - went on a cruise by myself (my friend had a medical emergency and couldn't go) and had fun. When I was 22, I traveled to Finland by myself. Some things you just have to "do" otherwise they never get done.

Love your books Susan. Lori Foster pointed me in their direction LOL.

Julie in Ohio said...

Susan, thanks for blogging with us. I hope you come back and visit again...real soon. :o)

robynl said...

I love travelling with another person so the joy can be shared of the beautiful scenery, etc. Also, having someone to look at over the dinner plate helps(it isn't fun starring across the table at nothing but an empty space.

amy kennedy said...

Susan, I would be so freaked about losing product, make-up, hair etc. I guess I would pack it in my suit case and then if the horror of lost luggage happened, hope like hell there was a drugstore to buy all the necessities.

5:15? A.M.? I'm sorry.

Monica, what did you mean if I thought lack of sleep kicked my butt now? When will it kick my butt worse?

Playground Monitor said...

No kidding Stacy! I'd never heard of Eveleth, MN until my sister and her hubby inherited this little house. It truly is a small world.


Monica Burns said...

Ames, 10 years from now you'll be going, oh God, I understand what Mon was saying back on the RBTB. *grin*

You don't miss any of it until it's gone. Perky breasts included! LOL

Anonymous said...

I've loved travelling by myself and have done so most of my life.

However, I do find a kindred spirit once in a while. I'm not the lie-on-the-beach kind of gal. I like to explore old churches and castles, rivers and mountains, things that are historic. So for travel in Europe, especially France, I hooked up with a friend who majored in art and art education. She's still teaching. We usually used her car and travelled all over for about 3 or 4 weeks every summer or as long as the money held out.