Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thursday 13 #33!

My trek over the past couple of weeks culminated in the 25th Annual Romantic Times BOOKlovers Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Wow, was it a wild experience. So, let me share with you some of what I happened and a few people I met.

1. We arrived at the hotel on Wednesday around 12:30 and were told our room wasn't ready. Uh-oh, I was supposed to help stuff goodie bags for Ellora's Cave and now I was standing in the lobby with a couple of big boxes and luggage. No problem, the cutie saved the day and got us in only the group had already finished up and cleared out. No problem, it gave me a couple of hours to set up on promo alley for Stella and Audra Price and myself before heading in for the eBook Expo.

2. Ahhh, the eBook Expo was fabulous. The ballroom was filled with long rows of tables with authors ready to sign either books they wouldn't have on Saturday. Before it started I met up with Cat Johnson, a fellow East Coast Author and booksigning partner. She had her new book Model Soldier. Brenda Williamson and Rayne Forrest stopped by the say "hi" before the doors opened as well. They are both at a couple of my publishing houses so we cross emails often and it was lovely to put a face to the name.

3. I was sat between the lovely Bronwyn Green and Treva Harte [the latter went up to sit at another table to sign an anthology]. Bronwyn was such a sweetheart, a beautiful soul inside and out. We chatted in between people stopping by and had a blast.

4. Suzanne, Lisa, Susan [of West of Mars fame] and her friend Ann, all did the social thing. Susan was a crack up! First thing out of her mouth after a hug was "You look nothing like what I thought you'd look like." So yes, I had to ask what she thought I'd look like. This is fabulous, "Curly hair, like out to here." With her hands far from the side of her head, I laughed because that is not me at all. Of course I asked what it was about my emails and online chatter that said that...can't remember the answer because I'm still laughing over the image she had of me. I also had a chance to meet Joy of Joyfully Reviewed...this woman is gorgeous!

5. After the eBook Expo finished I went upstairs and stuffed bags with the Samhain gang. What a spectacular group of ladies and included Jennifer, one of the two Asheligh Raine authors, D. Renee Bagby, Beth Williamson, Bianca D'Arc, Cindy Szolyga and a couple others I'm drawing a blank on right now - forgive me]. Crissy, Amanda and Marty were the magic on the ground and all were there throughout the convention whenever a question arised. But more on that later. There were maybe seven or eight of us and no one brought the same promo item for the bag...what are the odds of that!

6. After this I went back to the ballroom for the Ellora's Cave Fantasy Party. All I remembered was I was in group 5...had no idea what it meant, but I was going with five. It was dark but I found a lovely group of authors and sat myself down to wait for the walk across the stage. There was Anny Cook and her husband, Kelly Kirch, JL Wilson, and Tiffany Bryan [I think :-)] along with her friend. I wasn't pleased in walking and hope the video of that never sees the light of day. All I can say is thank goodness I didn't trip.

7. By ten I was upstairs in the room watching hockey with the cutie. He was such a sweetie in coming with me. We'd been on the road for long enough that the lure of the same bed a few nights in a row was too good to pass up.

8. Thursday I was up and at Club RT for 9:00am. Along with other authors, I helped man the table to answer any and all questions about Samhain, what they had to offer readers and writers as well as encourage people to sign up for the scrumptious gift bags that would be drawn for at the final function on Sunday.

9. I made my way over to the Phaze table for the same thing and met up with Alessia Brio, Will Belegon, Sammie Jo Moresco, Brenna Lyons and Sapphire Phelan. Alessia had a giveaway that was the treasure of the convention...a small bottle of chocolate and cherry flavored lubricant.

10. After attending a session on Promoting through Emerging Technologies, it was back to the Samhain table in the afternoon where I had a chance to meet up with Amy T. and Laura K....both are great ladies. Laura is a reviewer who handed me the June RT BOOKreviews which had Zandia inside...she was thrilled to see her name in lights as well as I quoted one of her reviews for the print copy. The cutie and I went for a walk around the city [it was gorgeous] before heading back up for more ice hockey.

11. Friday started out at a breakfast hosted by Jacqueline Frank with Lisa and Suzanne having saved me a place. After this I spent a little time at both Samhain and Phaze tables in Club RT before heading over to listen and eventually pitch ideas to both St. Martin's Press and Kensington [thank you Susan :-)] I need to get those both pulled together and sent off [panic time]. See not all fun and games, there was some business going on as well. And, I went to the awards lunch. We had a great table. Susan, Lisa and Suzanne, a mother from Texas [she has a ms waiting for an acceptance from Dorchester] and her daughter who now lives in Wisconsin. Then there was an EC author from Wisconsin [who unfortunately I don't remember her name but she was so sweet] and a reader from upstate New York. See, what a mix. After this it was over to the Phaze table at Club RT and then to a course on Writing a Marketing Plan [fabulous ideas came from this one] and then back to close out the Samhain Club RT and then the cutie and I walked over to the Original Oyster House. No, I don't eat fish but the beer and fries were lovely.

12. Ahhh, Saturday, the Giant Book Fair. I was set up in the ballroom and sat down by 10:30. Before the doors opened I revisted with many authors I'd met up with throughout the week and then the nerves set in. Yup, I was nervous but also very excited. This was a fun event. It ended with the last five minutes or so in darkness. Interesting and disorienting. As I promised the cutie, little chatting as I made my way out the door with Selena Illyria...we gave her a ride back home. She is such a sweetheart...gave me chocolates :-)

13. It was the cuties birthday on Sunday and one of his pressies was to buy me a fabulous new laptop! Why me the laptop and not him? Apparently not having to listen to my old one's fan is pressie enough :-) Actually after we dropped off Selena I took him to a friends house where he indulged in beer and burgers. In case you're wondering, he survived the convention by spending very little time downstairs amongst the chaos. The next morning I dashed out and picked up a copy of Harlan Coben's latest and a new game for the Xbox...he's very happy :-)

I met with so many other people that I didn't mention and while I'm not a name dropper or anything like that, a couple that stuck out for being genuinely nice people were Jade Lee and Barry Eisler. In the end, all of them so nice and friendly. It was a great book event so if it ever comes to your neck of the woods - GO. Will I be attending next years in Orlando...most likely, if it fits in the calendar. Whenever I get a chance to talk books with readers, authors and everyone else, it's a great time.

And Sparky Duck, if you're reading this...I met up with your favorite author and had a picture of you and the Mrs in my mind :-)


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a good time, Tilly! I sure did. What a blast to meet so many wonderful authors and readers from online. It was exahusting though. I'm still haven't fully recovered. LOL!

Anonymous said...

I'm delighted you had such a nice time. Boy it does sound fun! And how fun to meet Susan - that would be a highlight for me!

Happy TT!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a great deal of fun!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

If either publisher takes you on after those pitches, you owe me a free copy!

You are VERY welcome. It's the least I can do after the way you told the whole world about ME.

Lori said...

It sounds like quite the experience:) Happy TT.

Unknown said...

I'm so jealous hearing about everyone's fabulous time at RT this year. Glad it was such a fun time for you. Happy T13!

Darla said...

Sounds like a great time!

I am curious, though--how does one get an e-book signed?

Anonymous said...

Great to hear you had such a great time! :)

Denise Patrick said...

Like Adelle, I'm jealous. I'd love to go to RT someday - maybe when it comes west. I'll be going to SF in July, though, and I'm definitely looking forward to that.

Thanks for visiting my TT! And, I'll bet that annotated version of Andersen's Fairy Tales must be wonderful. I have an Annotated Mother Goose - it's a hoot!

lv2scpbk said...

Good post. I live about 3 hours from Pittsburgh. My first T-13 is up.