Archive for July, 2012

Anaheim, Day 3

Really great day. Excellent workshops. Coffee with Molly O’Keefe & Ruthie Knox. Lunch with my editor. Publisher party; interesting conversations with Megan Frampton, Alexandra Machinist, Laurel of Wicked Lil Pixie. Hallway encounter with Golden Heart finalist Eileen Emerson, who’s having a great conference; already has multiple MS requests even before her actual pitch appts.  Hallway encounter w/Megan Mulry. Drinks with Kimberly Kincaid, Tracy Brogan, Jen McQuiston, Alyssa Alexander – critique partners who obviously think the world of each other (it’s so fun to watch them talk abt each other’s books).

Also, Joanna Bourne scooted past me and sat in my row during the workshop on 18th & 19th-century medicine. Before I left I told her how much I loved her books, and she looked as though she hadn’t heard that a hundred times from other people before. I promptly made it my goal to learn to emulate that level of graciousness.

Oh, Leigh Greenwood was in that workshop too! Now he will think I’m stalking him for sure.

Argh, I took some pictures today but it’s late and I don’t have the energy to load them on here and stick them in the blog. Maybe tomorrow.

Tomorrow I’m buckling down to not one but two two-hour workshops led by Michael Hauge. Also something by Courtney Milan about self-pub. And lunch, if everything works out, with Janine and Alyson of Dear Author, and Bettie Sharpe! Then dinner with Rose Lerner, which is hilarious because we live in the same city but it takes us both coming to Nationals for me to get my act together and hang out with her.

Edited to add: Pictures, as promised.

The Ballantine-Bantam-Dell publisher party was held in “Downtown Disney.” “Downtown Disney” was too far to walk, so I took the special Disney Shuttle. I don’t like cabs – I get a sense of accomplishment out of finding my way around a place by public (or not-public in this case) transit.

Shuttle to Disney

Nobody but me finds this interesting, right? Oh, well. Note palm trees in the background, and also the hotel at right, which is the Hilton in which I stayed. The Marriott, which hosted the conference, is to the left of this photoscape.

Outside the hotel was a ticket machine; I bought a roundtrip ticket. And after the party, some people were sharing a cab back to the hotel but I declined to join them because I didn’t want the other half of my roundtrip ticket to go to waste. Which is fallacious reasoning, as A Gentleman Undone‘s heroine Lydia would no doubt tell me, but there it is.

Heres’s the place at which the publisher party was held: Catal Wine Bar:

Catal Wine Bar

I may have had a pomegranate martini or two before taking this picture. Holding camera straight is hard.

We had a whole upstairs outdoor deck to ourselves. Beautiful evening; everyone in their fancy clothes. There were glasses of wine, pomegranate martinis (way better than they sound), and waiters coming around with trays of tiny things to eat. I mostly went for the little toasted slices of baguette with some creamy substance on them, which I now do not remember the exact nature of. Not goat cheese; I know that. If it comes back to me I’ll re-edit to provide that detail.

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This was the day I’d planned to wear my $3 thrift-store shirt with $32 worth of camisoles underneath, but when I went to iron the shirt (for some reason I packed all woven garments, and they all emerged in need of ironing), I neglected to take a good look at the iron first. Turned out it had some dark-colored GUNK on it, and next thing I knew there was dark-colored GUNK on my blouse!

Iron with gunk on it

Dirty iron! Not okay!

So I wore something else entirely. And I will never again use an iron without inspecting its surface first.

The conference proper starts tomorrow, and today was the Beau Monde (Regency chapter of RWA) miniconference.  I went to some excellent workshops on Regency-era periodicals, fashion accessories, and “how clothing worked.” The latter was taught by Isobel Carr, who’s fiercely knowledgeable and fiercely passionate about historical clothing, and I was a little bit worried that she might have me thrown out because of that line in A Gentleman Undone where Will thinks about women having secrets “like silk underthings worn against the skin.”

(For anyone who didn’t already know, underthings were never made of silk in the Regency era because silk was too hard to launder and you wouldn’t want it getting sweaty and all. I knew this, but put the line in there anyway because I’m a slave to the pretty turn of phrase.)

But! Not only did she not kick me out, she made me this awesome book-cover pin!

Pin of A Gentleman Undone cover

My accessorizing worries are over!

From 5:00 to 8:00 we had the “Readers for Life” Literacy Signing. This was my first time participating in the signing, and it was really fabulous. I’ve said elsewhere that I believe a book isn’t really complete until it’s been read, and “made real,” by someone, and to get to talk to some of those readers was just a great closing of the circle. They made the books real, and, in talking to them, I got to witness the made-realness.

I’m not expressing that well. It’s been a long busy day (the Disneyland fireworks are going off overhead as I speak) and I need to wrap this up and iron all the rest of my clothes with the replacement iron Housekeeping dropped off.

One last thing: Am I the only one who didn’t know Leigh Greenwood was a guy?

Leigh Greenwood

It took me about five tries to get this picture, because people kept walking in front of him. I bet he thinks I’m a stalker. “Mr. Greenwood, I want you to know I’m your NUMBER ONE FAN.”

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I promised myself I’d do a post for every day of Conference. But it’s nearing 11pm and I just lost a post I’d already put some time into, so this is going to be a minimal effort. Apologies in advance.

I flew on an off-brand subsidiary of Alaska Air. The plane was small; 20 rows of 2 seats on either side of the aisle, and we actually went outside and climbed a ramp to get in it! Like how they got on planes in old-time movies, or that time the Brady Bunch went to Hawaii, or how the President gets off Air Force One. It was a bit freaky but kind of cool too.

I took a picture when we landed in Long Beach.

Picture of the plane I took to RWA Nationals

Maybe not quite as grand as Air Force One. But interesting!

Here’s another picture, this time of people standing around on the tarmac waiting for their luggage. Because we were only allowed to take one “carry-on” onto the plane; the other got put on a cart at the bottom of the ramp and presumably stowed in the plane’s belly.

Picture of people waiting outside the plane for their luggage

I wonder where all these people are going. Not to the Romance Writers of America conference, I’m guessing.

I was going to post a picture of my hotel room, but it turns out to be not very interesting to look at. I’m not in the conference hotel, but in a slightly more budget-friendly option across the street. I have sliding doors opening onto a patio where the pool is, and so far the pool has been pretty noisy.

I was also going to post a picture of what I’m planning to wear tomorrow, but I need to iron everything first (it got wrinkly in the packing cubes) and I don’t have the energy for that right now.

On the docket for tomorrow: the Beau Monde (Regency-focused subchapter of RWA) miniconference; the “Readers for Life” Literacy Signing, and I guess some ironing.

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I’m visiting with Melanie at the Bookworm2Bookworm blog today, talking about deleted scenes. I share a scene I cut from A Gentleman Undone, and talk a bit about the decision to cut it.

Also, I’m giving away a copy of the book. Stop by and leave a comment for a chance to win!

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Wednesday, July 25 I’ll be participating in the Romance Writers of America’s annual “Readers for Life” Literacy Signing, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm in the ballroom of the Anaheim Convention Center. The event is open to the public and you can find more details here.

The seating arrangement is a little tricky, as it’s not alphabetical. I’ll be sitting at table 302, with a mix of contemporary, Western, and romantic-suspense authors: Laura Hayden, Lisa Jackson, Carly Phillips, R.C. Ryan, and Barbara White Daille.

To help you find us:

Map of the Literacy Signing room layout

Please stop by and say hi if you’re at the signing. I’ll have some candy or something to make it worth your while.

If you’re attending the RWA national conference, you can also get my signature as well as free books from me and my wonderful fellow Random House romance authors at the Bantam-Ballantine-Dell signing, 9:00-10:30 Saturday morning, July 28. I don’t know yet what room we’ll be in, but I’ll post that info when I have it.

And if you’re attending the conference but can’t make it to either of those signings, please just say hi if you see me around. Meeting other romance writers and readers is one of the best parts of going to Nationals :)

Are you going to the RWA national conference? What are you most looking forward to? What kind of candy do you think I should set out for reader-bait at the Literacy Signing?

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