Saturday, September 25, 2010


What would Nora do?

I was stunned when my husband asked me this question as I dithered over outfits for a recent newspaper interview. I didn’t have to think about what Nora (Roberts) would do – intuitively I knew.

As a member of Washington Romance Writers, I was privileged for many years to hear Nora speak at our yearly Retreat at Hilltop House in Harper’s Ferry, WV. Nora’s talk religiously fell on Sunday just before high noon.

Over the years I’d heard about Nora’s childhood, about the beginning of her writing career, about a book tour (or two) from hell, and many more snips of her life. From this limited association, I could tell that the sass and spunk in Nora’s heroines comes as naturally to them as their dry wit.

Growing up with brothers and raising sons gave Nora a Clint Eastwood glint to her eyes when trouble strikes. She doesn’t suffer fools, and her conduct in public is strictly business professional.

When it comes to her appearance, she always looks put-together. You never get the feeling that her top came from the Macys clearance rack, the pants from Target, and the bag from an outlet mall. That’s not the Nora look; further, I believe her look is more than the clothes (and hers are flawless, of course!) or the hairstyle.

What would Nora do?

She’d wear whatever the heck she wanted to, and she’d do it with verve and class.

Just thinking about how she presents herself had me squaring my shoulders and raising my chin. The difference in the mirror, and in my attitude, was immediate.

Holy cow.

Just like that, my dithering ceased. I could do this, and I could do it in style.


Well, I liked how that catch-phrase carried me through the interview so much that I’m keeping it around.

(By the way, this is my friend Holly McClure, on the left, with me)

Maggie Toussaint
MUDDY WATERS, coming Oct 22 from The Wild Rose Press


  1. MAGGIE-WWND? Huh? I ask, what would LB do, or what would MO do, or what would LLM do? They're the ones I watch to see if I'm put together. But alas and alack, no such luck. No way could I follow the mantra WWND, but maybe, just maybe, I could follow the mantra---WWMT do?
    Ahh, now I feel better. WWCD

  2. Hey Celia! You would be more comfortable with your western and Texas authors. My trouble is that I know where my wardrobe comes from, but I'm trying to imbue it with that Nora-like attitude. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Thanks for coming by, Diane. It's always nice to have a visit from you.

  4. Hmmm... WWND works for me in attitude, but I too may have to go with WWLLMD to fit my wardrobe!
    Hmm... maybe I should use WWND when my characters are lipping off!

  5. Hey Maggie,
    Great post. I enjoyed that. Sometimes it does help us when we think of things that way, doesn't it? Gives you a whole new attitude. I'm sure you would do fine, no matter what! GO FORTH AND CONQUER!

  6. I don't think Nora has the same figure problems, so it wouldn't work for me. It's still What Am I Going to Do?

    Morgan Mandel

  7. This is a delightful blog! Thank you. I was sitting here reading mail instead of preparing a talk I have to give to a mixed group of authors and wondering...what do I do? The attitude of WWND helps tons. Just what I needed to get me through this.

  8. How funny, Maggie, but also a great reminder that confidence is a woman's best friend, more so than looks, taut skin or killer body.

  9. Yes, Maggie --- nicely done -- it's as much about attitude as it is about the look....

  10. I'm so excited to have such a great response to this post.

    Thanks Katt, Cheryl, Morgan, Lynette, Keena, Liana, and Mary, friends from far and near, for stopping by.

  11. Congrats on the interview and what a great attitude! Which newspaper will the interview appear in, and when?

  12. What a great philosphy! Answering What Would Nora Do could help navigate so many situations.

    I hope the interview went well.


  13. :) Love this - so true! Thanks for the great reminder. Nora is one amazing lady and someone as you who truly inspires! ^5 *Hugs*


  14. Thanks to Tia, Abigail, and Diana for stopping by.

    Tia: the interview was for The Brunswick News and they put it out on their wire service on Tuesday of this week.

    Abigail: the interview went fine. It was the before part that was nerve wracking.

    Diana: thanks for your generous compliment.


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