I did it. I spent 4 super busy, intense days and nights at the Romantic Times Convention. Before I went, I got the news that Gotcha! is a Top Pick, 4 ½ stars for the month of June. Wow. Oh, and they said I was Hot. Okay…maybe they aren’t really talking about me, but my book, but it’s connected to my name and I’ll take it anyway I can get it.
I’ll post that review next week, because I’ve got more important things to talk about. RT was fantastic. For those of you who don’t know what RT is . . . it is Romantic Times Book Review Convention. They host it once a year. It is attended by readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, and publishing professionals, as in editors and reviewers and such. Oh . . . and I think it was also attended by a bunch of hunks . . . cover models and wanna-be cover models. Yeah, I sort of remember them.
I gave two workshops (with Faye Hughes) met up with old friends, made new friends, got to laugh with lots of booksellers. (Did I tell you I love booksellers?) There were a couple of booksellers who actually stopped me when I was walking out of the conference building and said, “Wow, we just love your books!” I dropped my purse, screamed, and gave them both a bear hug. I was afraid they were going to call for security, but I couldn’t help myself. Sure, I’ve heard the ol’ “I love your books” speech before, and I appreciate mama saying it all the time, but hey, this was like . . . real.
Another bookseller from Australia, told me, (imagine a beautiful accent) “Booksellers read authors and try to figure out what they will be like. A lot of times, we are totally wrong. But you are just like we thought you’d be.” Hmm…I guess all my potty humor gave me away, huh? Next book I write, I’m going to try to make myself appear taller, thinner, and better looking. Seriously. . . I loved every one of the booksellers and as every writer knows, booksellers are crucial to our success.
Then I met reviewers. They didn’t run from me when they saw me, so that was good news. Okay, there was that one lady. I think she’d heard about my obsessive hugging. But don’t reviewers know that writers are like wild animals, the act of running stimulates our chase instinct?
There were also the readers. One lady came up to me and said, “I loved your puke scene in Weddings.” Now let me ask you, is that not a heck of a thing to be remembered for? But what’s scary is that I was tickled pink and I hugged her too.
I can’t talk about RT without mentioning the pre-published writers. Writers there holding on to the dream, some of them holding on by a thread, wondering if the time will ever come that they will see their own books in print. When I see these people, I see myself only a few years ago. I know how hard it is to fight the fight, to believe in yourself when it feels as if no one else does, but like I told them, and I’ll tell you, if I can do this, you can do this. Yes, you might still need to learn, (Hey, I’m still learning) it may not be easy, because it wasn’t for me, but you CAN do it. Never, ever, give up.
Anyway, I signed over a 100 books. My hands were cramping, but I would have given it a go with my toes before I refused to sign. I loved it.
I know, most of you are thinking . . . can she just get to the good stuff. And by good stuff, I know you mean the very hot, good-looking men.
Yes, I have a vague memory of seeing those hard rippled abs, bedroom smiles, muscled arms and chests that just begged to be cuddled against. Yup, I think there might have been one or two. Or a dozen or two. And yes, I can appreciate it, but I’m sorry, I’m a mom of a boy who is probably only about five years younger than those hunks. And let’s just say I would have felt a bit like a cougar if I’d given any of them a second glance. (Okay maybe a third glance would have induced that feeling, the second one I couldn’t help.) And yes…I’m going to post some of my pictures below!
In a nut shell, I had a blast. Dorchester had parties. Wine, chocolate, the Mr. Romance contest and dancing! I didn’t partake in the wine too heavily, I don’t care what that waitress at the bar says. Now . . . as for indulging in the chocolate . . .? I couldn’t. I had to set a good example for my roommates. I had two big bags of chocolate to pass out at the Bookseller’s workshop. And my roommates, Faye Hughes and Teri Thackston, kept getting into it. I swear, I’d go to the bathroom and come back in the room and they’d be sitting in the beds, their mouths full and trying to look innocent. But duh, they forget to get rid of the brightly colored and sparkly wrappers littered all around them. I mean, please! At least I made sure my wrappers were hidden in the bathroom trash can.
Oh, and we giggled like a group of school girls—yes there were a couple of nights we stayed up until the wee hours of the morning snickering so hard that I swear all of us were in danger of peeing in our pants.
I can’t share with you exactly what the laughter was about, because what happens at RT, stays at RT! But it was something about the bottoms of someone’s pajamas splitting when they tried to move a suitcase. I swear it was just like in the movies. The tearing noise . . . the “Oh my goodness” scream and then the hoots of laughter. What was bad was this person had also accidentally put her top on inside out. See what all that chocolate will do to you?
Oh, not to brag are anything, but I did get propositioned. How cool is it that I can actually say I was hit on at RT. So what if it wasn’t by a cover model, but a waiter, old enough to be my dad, who asked if I’d kiss his bald head. The things people will do for tips!
There were also some lessons to be learned from attending the conference. If you are going to bring the girls out to play . . . (and there’s nothing wrong with it. I can guarantee you that the cover boys enjoyed it immensely) but just go ahead and introduce them. “Hello, this Lucy and this is Ethel and they wanted to say hi.” It would have made the situation less awkward. Because when you meet someone and their girls are just standing there—well some of them were more like lying there—you feel sort of awkward. A quick introduction will put everyone at ease. Okay . . . maybe I’m just jealous, not because I don’t have the girls, but mine are so darn shy and haven’t seen the light of day since I lost my bathing suit top while going off the high dive at a public pool. Yup, some of those girls and their girls were looking good and proud of it while my girls hid behind their minamizer.
So that’s what I’ve been doing this week. What have you guys done? Any news to share? Lessons learned? Did you get asked to kiss an elderly waiter’s bald head? Oh, come on, someone out there can top that, right? And here are the images for everyone to enjoy.
Crime Scene Christie