Welcome to Friday’s Featured Female!

Friday's Featured Female, #FFF

This weekly series features inspirational stories from admirable women.  IMHO, it’s always good to be reminded of how strength, determination, hard work, heart and ingenuity can impact the quality of one’s life and I’m proud that these women will allow me to share their stories here.

Today’s #FFF is Patience Bloom@RomanceIsMyDayJob – an editor at Harlequin, runner and die-hard Duranie (she wrote a 50 page term paper on the band in high school and walked down the aisle at her wedding to “Rio”).  Patience and I met through one of my best friends, Susie (who you might remember from my #SecretVacation5K), and had a girl-crush quick.  Patience is smart, a little bit snarky and about to set the world on fire with her own true story about how a Facebook message from a high school friend changed her life in Romance Is My Day Job: A Memoir of Finding Love At Last.

Sooooo have you met Patience?

Patience Bloom, Romance Is My Day Job

Three years ago, I got married. A year ago, I sold the story of how our love affair came to be, resulting in Romance Is My Day Jobout February 6 from Dutton Books. These two major occurrences still stun me. They shouldn’t because I started writing early, at age 8, keeping diaries with entries such as, “Dear Diary, I love William so much, I’ll die. Love, Patience.” How could I not write about love?

Patience Bloom, Romance Is My Day Job

Patience and Sam’s wedding

In my late twenties, I landed in a writing-adjacent career–romance publishing–and while I did try to sell the “treasures” in my trunk (about eight novels and twenty screenplays), it never quite worked out. Instead, I put more energy into becoming a better editor.  Even though I met Mr. Right, I stopped writing—though maybe I secretly scribbled away the whole tale. I meandered along, never thinking my writing would see the light of day.

And then the story blossomed into Romance Is My Day Job. Imagine decades of trying…and that dream comes true. Me. Published. People reading what I wrote. As an introverted person, I found the actual writing part easy, gratifying yet intense. Once I finished the book, the fear came hard and fast: my story will be out there. People will read what I put my guts into. I was going through what every writer must endure—that pressure, that anticipation, the oh-my-god-it’s-out-there when you’re so used to living in your head and having people say, “Thanks, but it’s not for us.”

Romance Is My Day Job, Patience Bloom, Dutton Books, love story, chick-lit

Wearing my editor hat has been pretty darn nice. I negotiate contracts, read books and edit them. Maybe I get a jitter before I have to speak in front of a group, but after sixteen years, there are few surprises. This writer terror is very different. How does one combat it in a professional way—i.e. without calling your editor, agent, critique partner in tears? To calm my nerves, I looked for solutions. Certainly, I couldn’t eat any more chocolate. I already exercised. Medication didn’t seem like a good long-term answer to help me deal with the next scary phase of birthing a book: promotion, going out into the world and actually being out there.

In a moment of serendipity, I found yet another article on how meditation has been shown to have far-reaching health benefits. It helps with sleep, anxiety, posture, and basically everything. Maybe I could try it. I signed up for a class. Early on, my teacher mentioned how meditation can help you “sit still while you’re on a roller coaster” which resonated with me. My mind was a speeding train to who-knows-where, and I needed to slow down and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime ride, just as I enjoyed my wedding. Two meditation classes later, I’m noticing that I don’t get as easily frantic. I’m still nervous—and thoroughly excited–now that my book is one week from publication (it would make a great Valentine’s Day present, by the way) but I’ve found a healthy way to deal with a racing mind. With my job, my new husband and my book, I’m definitely enjoying this ride.

John Taylor, In The Pleasure Groove, Patience Bloom

Patience and JT hanging out

Duranie Trivia: Patience’s editor also edited John Taylor’s book,  In The Pleasure Groove.  Maybe this will help her (and me!) meet the band on their next tour (see my #14in2014 Goals).

To keep up with Patience, you can find her at her blog, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram.  For an adorable visual insight into Patience and her book before you buy (not an affiliate link) Romance Is My Day Job, check out this adorable video.

NYC Friends: Please do me an early birthday favor and go see Patience at her book signing at Barnes & Noble on 82nd and Broadway on February 11th at 7pm.  Tell her I sent you and give her great big Duranie hug for me!