Tuesday, April 28, 2009

RTed Out!



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



31 comments:

Lisa Cooke said...

Hi Christie! I just returned too and you're right, it's definitely a hoot. Franco portrayed my hero from TEXAS HOLD HIM in the contest. Talk about testosterone on hoof LOL. Those guys could work the room better than Hillary Clinton on crack!
Can't wait for next year
Lisa

Dawn said...

LOL! Funny, inspirational, and what great pictures! Except for the bald waiter, I'm super jealous. :)

Christie Craig said...

Hi Lisa!!!

And thank you so much for loaning me some autographed stickers!!!

Franco did a fabulous job! And yes...they are testosterone on hoof!!!

Thanks for stopping by.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Dawn,

You don't want the bald guy? Hey...he was kind of cute, in a grandpa kind of way!!

Thanks for stopping by.

CC

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Christie, it sounds like you had a blast. I gotta say, the guy on the right in that last picture...Yum! Good start to the morning.

This doesn't compare with your fun, but I went to bed last night at midnight, figured I'd get 7hrs sleep before the cement guys showed up to pour the floor of our new garage at 7am. I heard a truck at 5:30a--they showed up an hour and a 1/2 early because the rain the last two days put them behind schedule. Grrr! But the cement is poured, it looks nice, and we should have a garage in about a week or so. :)

Teri Thackston said...

I couldn't have described our trip any better than you have, Christie. It was a blast rooming with you and Faye, and I thank you both for keeping me away from the dinner at the Faery Ball. I managed to come home at the same weight that I left!

And thanks for keeping the details of our giggle session brief. The only thing I have to add is that what happens at RT BETTER stay at RT.

Sandy said...

Oh, Christie, you're a hoot. Glad you had so much fun at RT.

My dream is to go to RT in the future. I bet you're a great looking Cougar. Grin.

The pictures of the models were terrific.

Sandy

terrio said...

Thanks for the rundown and the pics! Sounds like you had a blast but I'm pretty sure you're incapable of having a bad time anywhere. LOL!

I did the RT booksigning last year as a fan and someday hope to attend the affair as a participant. This just makes me more excited for DC in July!

Edie said...

Christie, you had me laughing out loud. I can't wait to read Gotcha. I wish I'd been at RT to get one of your hugs.

I wrote over the weekend and I'm almost done with the first draft of my wip. :)

Christie Craig said...

Hi Stacey,

I glad I gave you a bit of yum this morning! And I can tell I haven't recovered from the RT buzz yet because when you wrote about the cement guys, I'm envisioning hard bodies in hard hats and shirtless. LOL!

Thanks for stopping by!

CC

Christie Craig said...

Ahh, Teri,

I'm not gonna give away all our secrets. Then you guys would start telling on me. Best keep most of the good stuff hush-hush!

Thanks for stopping by.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Sandy,

I wouldn't wager too much on the cougar bet, but thank you!

And let me tell you, it was hard to take bad picture of those models.

And I have to say, they all seemed very gentlemen like this year.

Thanks so much for popping in.

CC

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Oh, Christie, IF ONLY! I might not have been so grumpy. Alas, my view out the window was NOWHERE near such a lovely fantasy. :(

Christie Craig said...

Terrio,

You keep at it, girl, and you will be signing those books right along with the rest of us!

And I'm so looking forward to DC. Well, as soon as I recover from RT.

Thanks for popping in.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Hi Edie!

Hey...did you know laughing hard 100 times is equal to being a row machine for 15 minutes? So keep laughing, it's good for your heart!

Thanks so much for stopping in at KF. Congrats on almost finishing that WIP. Here's you a cyber hug, a big one!!

CC

Christie Craig said...

Stacey,

Well, darn! Maybe if you squint your eyes and pretend real hard, one of them might not be soooo bad. LOL.

CC

vicariousrising said...

Hi Christie!

I was one of those aspiring authors you spoke to both at the book signing and at your workshop on the first chapter. You were so inspiring and I am so grateful for the time you spent talking to me. I'm keeping my dream alive.

I also let my roomie at RT read the first pages of your two books I bought at the signing, and she was immediately hooked. :) You have another new fan.

Judith

Christie Craig said...

Hi Judith!

If you were here, I'd give you one of my big bear hugs!!! Thank you so much for sharing my books. Nothing is a better gift that finding me more fans.

Here's to you working hard, writing a damn good book, and making all your dreams come true.

I know you can do it.

Thanks so much for stopping in. Come back often!

CC

Faye Hughes said...

Great post, CC - although I have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to chocolate snitching. *hides all those empty wrappers behind my back*

Faye, who needs another week to catch up on lost sleep

Christie Craig said...

Hi Faye,

You just went after the chocolate because you couldn't have one of those cover models, right? LOL.

We had a blast, didn't we?

CC

Tori Lennox said...

Man, I wish I could have been there! It sounds so fun!

Christie Craig said...

It was fun, Tori.

Are you going to Nationals? Lots of laugher, sharing, and just enjoying being a crowd of other people who understand the writing bug.

Thanks for stopping in.

CC

Refhater said...

OMG! I love the pictures. Sounds like you had an awesome time.

Nothing nearly so interesting happened here. Just spent the week dealing with the sinus infection from Hell. The silver lining of the week was having an excuse to stay in bed all day long and do nothing. (Thank God for books because there is NOTHING on daytime tv.)

Keri Ford said...

Looks like you had fun, Christie! Great pics and makes me wish even harder that I had been there.

Christie Craig said...

Refhater,

Okay, it's time you got better. Even if lounging in bed and reading does appeal to us all.

Seriously, get better.

We did have a great time. I can honestly say that this was my best RT.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Keri,

It was a hoot. Of course, I think you could get a bunch of writers together just about anywhere and we'd have a good time. It's like family reunion.

Thanks for popping in.

CC

Alexis said...

I just finished reading a book where the characters are at a Romantic Times convention and I wondered if everything she wrote was true. And, it is! You describe everything exactly. Especially the cover models. That's an interesting career...

Christie Craig said...

Alexis,

It is interesting. I really did have a good time. I think all of us writers have thought that setting a book at RT would be fun. So much to plot around.

Thanks for stopping by.

CC

Gemma Halliday said...

So. Totally. Jealous.

Gemma Halliday said...

I think all of us writers have thought that setting a book at RT would be fun. So much to plot around.I remember reading a book – I think it was by Elizabeth Peters or one of her other pen names – about a murder that took place at a romance writing conference. This was before I was a writer or had ever attended one, but it was pretty darn funny. Very obvious that she’d attended a few in her time.

Christie Craig said...

Hi Gemma,

You should have been there, girl. We all had a blast.

CC