Monday, May 22, 2006


and here I am, with it (almost) all hanging out!

Thursday was the Changeling author lunch, and some of the authors are pictured top left. In front: Angela Knight and Changeling owner Margaret Riley. Behind them: Kate Douglas, Morgan Hawke, Dakota Cassidy, editor Sheri Fogarty, me, and Kira Stone. Next you see Tawny Taylor (my roommate) and JC Wilder at the bar after the Faery Ball.

On the bottom are pictures of the Faery Court and of me in my "Sultan's Faery" costume. Wow, that was terrifying, stepping out of my room with my bare belly hangin' out for all to see. After the initial horror wore off, though, the event was fun, with the court twirling around a maypole held by a hot cover model before being escorted to our individual tables by other buff guys. I was so excited I could barely eat dinner--not even the gorgeous chocolate cake. EC's own Tawny Taylor and Stephanie "Flash" Burke took half of the costume contest prizes, Tawny with a saloon girl outfit and Flash in white face and all black costume--holding a wicked looking sword. Somehow I didn't get a decent photo of Flash in her costume--but I'm sure somebody did.

More tomorrow! The booksigning was a resounding success that deserves its very own page!

RT's over for another year... what will you remember?

The Ellora's Cave Fantasy Party kicked off the festivities with a bang as we authors came on the scene in dress-up finery in black or red (or fanciful costumes) escorted by EC's buff cover hunks.

Chocolate flowed, literally, from fountains. Card decks featuring EC authors' covers were the hits of the party...and the convention itself as readers fought to get as cards signed by authors so they might win a gift certificate to be used at the booksigning on Saturday.

Wednesday brought workshops, strolls down promo lane to Club RT to look at all the gorgeous gift baskets from authors and publishers...and shopping. I swear, every costume was more gorgeous than the last one! That's Eve Vaughn with the whip and partners in passion Sahara Kelly and S. L. Carpenter, a few of many making merry at the Vampire Ball Wednesday night. Stephanie "Flash" Burke looked stunning every night--and even in the daytime Thursday before the Changeling author luncheon when I caught her wearing a lovely Japanese kimono.

This was only the beginning of a spectacular week of meeting new friends and renewing old acquaintances! I'll be posting more each day this week...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

RT Panicville... the convention starts next week!

You have no idea the effort it takes to get into convention/party mode--at least for this aging participant who's been luxuriating for months with the idea that for once she won't be having to ship promo goodies via Fedex, enriching them while impoverishing herself...and stuffing six days' worth of clothes and costumes into two huge suitcases to haul through faraway airports.

So have I been able to kick back, relax, and keep up with writing during the hectic weeks BEFORE the fun begins? No. Instead, I've been thumbing through websites, figuratively speaking, trying to persuade myself I shouldn't go hog-wild just because I'm driving a car--not a delivery van or a truck mind you--to Daytona Beach, and that the promo items that now are littering my office are sufficient to get my name out before the eager readers and booksellers at the convention.

Bookmarks, excerpt booklets, brochures...postcards... When one has so many books to promote, the list of goodies tends to grow to massive proportions! That doesn't count the giveaway baskets...or the bigger non-paper giveaway items I've gathered.

There's still that growing panic that I've forgotten something vital...or worse, that I'll forget something vital when I finally get around to packing. If past experience is an indicator, I *will* leave something important back home--and I so don't relish a three hour drive through Orlando's weekday traffic to go retrieve it!

Then there's the worry nagging in the back of my head that the Sultan's Fairy will garner laughs instead of oohs and ahs when I step out in my gorgeous Connie Perry costume at the Faery Ball. And that I'll trip over my feet while one of EC's hunky cover models escorts me into the Ellora's Cave Fantasy Party. Oh, yeah, I also picture myself screwing up royally in front of a room full of booksellers when I present a workshop on tax deductions...all by myself since I couldn't entice a pal into sharing the spotlight. You'd think this was going to be my first RT when I've actually been at the last three--but this will be the first time I've intentionally made myself quite so *visible* as I'll be at this one. My usual thing is to mingle quietly, keep my goodies stocked on promo lane, show up when I'm signed up...and otherwise keep pretty much anonymous, which no author should do. I'm petrified!

RT's an event unto itself, something no avid romance reader, bookseller or author should fail to experience. Still, it's scary for an author who's basically happiest in front of her computer or interacting with people in small groups to get into party mode and look forward to mingling with more than a thousand people at the annual party of the year!

I'll have fun--I always do once I'm there. It's just the anticipation that has me kvetching and losing sleep the week ahead of the convention. If you're there, come up and say hello, so I won't be lonesome. I'll be the one huddling in the bar with a diet coke, the one with the look that resembles that of a deer caught in the headlights of your car.