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Today is day 9 of the Collette Cameron Blog Hop which I’m participating in with 23 other authors. The Hop has lots of giveaways, including a basket of chocolates, gift cards, digital and print books, and a Kindle Paperwhite, and a print copy of my book The Nun and the Narc. To enter the giveaway drawing and see a list of the participants and the prizes click on the Collette Cameron blog hop button at the top of the page. This is a super opportunity to get some great prizes and discover some new authors.

Today’s post is my third installment of Thanking and Appreciating  All Those Who Support Authors,  and I want to honor one of the nicest ladies I know—Linda Keller, whom OVRWA member and author Athena Grayson describes as “… a wonderful, passionate lover of good stories. She’s been a full-hearted champion of reading, romance, and authors for over 20 years. She’s given heart and soul and full-throated support to many an aspiring author and seasoned veteran alike. A true inspiration!”

Linda is a former OVRWA president who served the organization as long as the bylaws would allow. If you’ve ever served on any board, you know what a time commitment it can be. I have to tip my hat to all the OVRWA board members who have served in any capacity. The board members of the local RWA organizations spend a lot of time and effort in making their chapters successful.

Although Linda served with the same fervor as all OVRWA presidents have, it’s her time spent in the bookselling world as an advocate for romance writers that I want to highlight. I served on the OVRWA board with Linda for a few years, and I know from my personal experience that Linda is passionate about romance and its authors.

“Linda Keller has been an inspiration to me since the moment I joined the OVRWA,” said author Jennifer McGowan. “Caring and smart, talented and through, she is an invaluable resource and advocate for authors—whether they are just starting out or seasoned professionals. I would not be where I am today without her grace and friendship.”

When Linda took a job at the local Barnes and Noble, her passion for romance overflowed into her work. Linda worked as the Community Relations manager at the Ohio Tri-County, Kentucky Newport on the Levee, and the Ohio West Chester Barnes &Noble from 2001 until she retired in 2010. According to author Becke Martin, Linda made the Barnes & Noble store in West Chester the place to go for romance lovers, and she also made it one of the most welcoming stores in the area for local romance authors. “She is incredibly knowledgeable, and generously shares her knowledge,” said Becke.

During her years at Barnes & Noble romance authors could always count on her.  She pushed for more romance books and made sure romance authors were fully represented in the store. “… she hunted, promoted and supported the writers and fans of the romance genre,” said OVRWA treasurer Sandy Pennington, who called Linda the silver fox of romance authors and books.

Her dedication to romance authors did not go unnoticed. Not only did local Cincinnati, Ohio romance authors love Linda, but she was honored twice by the Columbus Ohio Fiction Writers as Bookseller of the Year and with a Lifetime Achievement Award.  Linda was received RWA’s Bookseller of the Year Award.

“Linda Keller rocks! An amazing and supportive woman who has always put the needs of authors first,” said author Gia Dawn. “No wonder she was the Romance Writers of America’s Bookseller of the Year 2007. She’s been the Ohio Valley Romance Writers’ bookseller of the last two decades.”

As writers, we can put hundreds of thousands of words on the page, but it we don’t have people who believe in our writing those books will languish on our desks. A publisher can print and bind the books, but if you can’t get them on the shelves then they aren’t going anywhere.  Romance has always been the stepchild of literature, in spite of the numbers in which readers devour them. Having an advocate like Linda in our corner can make all the difference.

“LOVE Linda!” author Gabriella Edwards said. “More worthy persons to honor are few and far between.”

I agree with all these lovely OVRWA members and authors.

Thanks, Linda, for all you’ve done to support local authors. You’re the best!

Linda has a three-part series, THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BOOKSHELF, at Romance University, that I’d recommend to all aspiring writers. If you’re interested in checking out Linda’s Romance University series click on the links below. There’s some great info for writers in this series.

Part 1: http://romanceuniversity.org/2011/12/06/3-part-mini-series-the-other-side-of-the-bookshelf/

Part 2: http://romanceuniversity.org/2011/12/07/the-other-side-of-the-bookshelf-part-2/

Part 3: http://romanceuniversity.org/2011/12/08/the-other-side-of-the-bookshelf-part-3/

Do you have a special bookseller who has impacted your career? I’d love to hear about her or him.

Also, it’s day five of my Goddess Fish Virtual Book tour.

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Today I’m at Reviews by Crystal. I’d love it if you would drop by and chat with me.

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