It's been a few years since I attended this convention, and I really looked forward to all the fun and parties. I was a finalist in the first Romantic Times (RT) "New Voice" contest with Dorchester publishing, and I sold my first book in Orlando on the dance floor at one of the parties. I have very good memories of all the RT's I've attended.
This year I was attending as both a library employee and an author, so I often felt like I was pulled in two directions. My co-worker Jerene came with me along with my good friend and critique partner, Sheryl. Jerene was an RT "virgin" and I knew she was in for a few surprises.
I was so happy that RT was in LA, because it meant a very short trip compared to Florida or Kansas, where I've traveled before.
After flying, arriving, checking in and getting settled, Jerene and I headed for the bar... to wait for Sheryl to arrive. We met some nice ladies, nodded... and one looked at my name a bit closer.
She then introduced herself, and it turns out she's my editor for Promise Me, my latest book release. I'd never met Helen before, we just had a "cyber" relationship. She was so young! (She just edits old), and it was delightful to actually get to talk to her.
RT is all serious writing/publishing during the day and party fun at night. The first evening party was hosted by Ellora's Cave, and we were invited to the exotic world of Bollywood! The decorations were fabulous, and the dancers who entertained us made me feel like I'd stepped into one of my favorite Bollywood features.
Because I was presenting a workshop on creating author events on Thursday, I didn't get to attend any of the writing workshops that day, but Sheryl attended a workshop, "Self-Publishing: The Seven Secrets to E-Book Self-Publishing Success" with Mike Coker, founder of Smashwords. She was so enthusiastic, I asked her to write a blog about it.
I did get to attend the Samhain Steampunk Tea and grabbed some cool steampunk swag, enjoyed refreshments and discovered that Samhain is planning a lot steampunk releases. My e-reader will be, um... steaming HOT!
Thursday night was the Venetian Masquerade Faery Ball,with a Faery Court, a dinner, beautiful costumes and lots of fun.
On Friday, I had to help get things organized for the Steampunk social that Cindy Holby, Suzanne Lazear, Kathryn Smith and I were sponsoring. Since this was so much fun, I'm going to blog about it in a separate post! (There are a lot of great costume photos).
The highlight of Friday was seeing author Dean Koontz. Sheryl and I managed to get two of the very limited tickets they gave out for this program, and the biggest surprise of all, Dean Koontz is funny, no -- Dean Koontz is HILAROUS. His stories of being a "big, whoopee-de-do" author had the crowd in stitches, and needless to say, made those of us in the lower selling ranks feel good. You can be major best-selling author, but that can still mean you don't get dinner on the road. The crowd was a bit restless when it came time to get books signed, but I know what they were feeling -- since he doesn't fly and really doesn't like doing booksignings, this was a rare sighting of an elusive author.
Friday night was the Vampire Ball, featuring Zombie Dancers from Planet 9, the show that Heather Graham and her co-horts create especially for this event. There was a great song at the end that my roomies and I kept repeating, the chorus is: "Bitch, Whore, Tramp, Slut" and as we sat around the room drinking wine, we considered all the times that phrase would just encapsulate all the emotions you are feeling!