So now that the 4th of July is nearly over, and we’ve celebrated the independence of the US (and, if you’re me, bemoaned our lack of universal healthcare and the ridiculous shortness of maternity leave), it’s time to do something sexy LIKE OFFLOAD MY CAMERA. Ready for RWA pictures? Here we go!
I arrived home from ALA (Motto: 25,000 librarians can’t be wrong!) late Sunday, unpacked and repacked. And while I was packing, I got me a FedEx with.. book marks! Holy smoke, I have to make like an author and remember I had them in my purse. Did I remember? Ha. Sometimes. Maybe.
Tuesday morning, my first appointment was with Jill Shalvis and HelenKay Dimon. We got coffee and donuts from a cart and ate in the middle of Times Square. Perfect New York breakfast. And my donut was HUGE (that’s not a euphemism).
While we were having breakfast, someone started playing piano. Times Square was a strange place at 9am, and pretty much any other time RWA attendees were outside. Seriously. There were some stories.
For example, get a load of this freaking guy. He climbed a lamppost and wouldn’t come down, bringing Times Square to a standstill during morning rush hour. Not quite sure that’s romance hero material, y’all.
But you know, if you’re stuck in traffic, you might want to play foosball. And fortunately, that morning, foosball was delivered to Times Square. (No, I have NO idea why.) (But that might be romance novel hero material, the Times Square foosball delivery guy, right?)
Later, there were people doing aerobics in Times Square, with pushups and jumping jacks. We hadn’t even started drinking yet, really. Sheesh.
And then, it was Literacy Signing time. The room was very full, and very crowded, and very hot. I also had a lot of trouble with the alphabetical order and finding people in the room. I think I forgot the alphabet, to be honest.
Jane was collecting Romance Novel Trading Cards, which was an ongoing project from RT. She had a slew of them by the end of the week.
Some of the attendees had a truly gorgeous view. This is Diana Holquist and Ellen Hartman’s room, looking west toward New Jersey. Isn’t Jersey pretty? I SAID ISN’T JERSEY PRETTY?! Fuggedabahdit. I was there to film a few segments of their video, which was inspired by actual events – at the CT Fiction Fest, I was locked out of my room, and Ellen took pity on me and allowed me to use her bathroom—much to Diana’s surprise.
Then we were waiting for our Special Guest – me, Ellen Hartman, Diana Holquist, and Kristan Higgins.
Here’s the Special Guest – my mother in law, Charlene Wendell. (Charlene is job hunting right now, and watch, her top Google result will be this site. Hi, prospective job people! Charlene is awesome, and you should totally hire her!)
Then I went to Robyn Carr’s Jack’s Bar party. Jack’s Bar is a location in her Virgin River series. Last year I stumbled upon the party while out to lunch in Orlando. This year I was invited—it’s an annual party Carr throws for her friends and her readers. There were a bunch of local Carr fans at the party – which was held at an actual Jack’s Bar in New York.
And here’s Robyn Carr with the Jack’s Bar employees. Notice Robyn’s FREAKY SILVER EYES. The source of her superpowers, I’m told.
Then, after two more cocktail parties where there were carb-o-licious hors d’oeuvres, I ended up at the Avon party at the Central Park boathouse. I am not ashamed to say that I went up to those responsible for the party and thanked them profusely for the HUGE PIECES OF MEAT at the party. Seriously. HUGE MEAT. This is just what you want to thank the romance publisher for: big slabs of meat. I didn’t take a picture of it, though. I was too busy eating the protein.
This is the view of the 8th floor bar atrium where there was a lot of drinking of expensive drinks (and bad wine) served by somewhat surly waitstaff in the evenings. This is also the view from the glass elevators that took 20 minutes to arrive in high-traffic hours and made your ears pop. Whee!
I was behind this awesome bag while waiting for Starbucks. I almost mugged the person who had it, except that I wouldn’t have been able to juggle that and my coffee. Mugging takes dexterity that I do not have.
And if you were on Twitter you heard this story, but bear with me. My credit card says, alas, “Smart Bitches Trashy.” NO ROOM FOR BOOKS APPARENTLY. And this is right under my NAME so you imagine I get some questions about that. The woman at the register at the Starbucks said, “I’m sorry, I have to ask – what’s this?” So I explain the site and the subject matter, and you know what I get? GOOD BOOK NOISE. And I quote, “OH MY GOSH, I LOVE ROMANCE NOVELS.”
“Do you know who’s here at the hotel, and here in this line?”
“About 3000 romance writers.”
“OH MY GOSH.” Then her coworkers started giggling—and so I told folks via Twitter that if they had books, Glenny in the 8th Starbucks would be more than giddy to have them. I love running into giddy romance fans.
Then, later, I went to the Penguin signing, where I jump in the room and take pictures and swear to all the people in the line that I am not taking books away from them.
This is Kate Noble at the Penguin signing – sneak attack photography!
Here’s Eileen Rendahl at the signing, too! Not so sneaky this time – I asked if I could take her picture.
Here’s Jill Shalvis – with ONE BOOK LEFT. Dude! The signing hadn’t been going on that long, either.
And here is Susan Sey, signing and talking to many readers.
Nalini Singh, also out of books by the time I got to her corner of the room. I’ve seen her every other week since early June. At this point, I’m going to be disoriented if I don’t see her at the grocery store next week, though I think by now she’s back in New Zealand.
Much to my not-surprise, MelJean Brook had a line of people waiting to meet her. WOO!
Jaci Burton was signing copies of “The Perfect Play,” which of course were going quickly. Why that cover isn’t embossed is beyond me.
Ann Aguirre and Carrie Lofty, signing together.
Author Kira Sinclair checked badges at the door of the RITA ceremony, and then escorted people up the stairs to the stage when they won. Rockin’ dress, right?
Beth Kery and Julie James at the RITA ceremony, waiting for the drumrolls to begin.
Last year, Toni Blake wore an “Oh, my God, did you see her dress?” dress. This year, she wore an “Oh, my God, did you see her dress?” dress. It’s like a thing with her, the looking hot with the dress thing. Sheesh.
And here’s the funny story to cap off my RITA evening: this is Harlequin editor Mary-Therese Hussey, whose mailing address was abbreviated in college to… as displayed here, Mary-The Hussey. I laughed so hard at that.
Then I went home. I was spoiled by how local I was this year – next year it’s a 7 hour plane ride to Anaheim. But I hope I see many of you there next year.
And now – the moment you’ve all been waiting for: Overheard at RWA.
“I don’t read any books that spell “magical” with a K.”
“When I heard that agency was going to start their own publishing imprint, I lost interest in [agent name]—and she asked to see my work. In my day job, that’s a conflict of interest that’ll get you fired.”
While discussing habits of romantic suspense characters who have wild crazy adrenaline sex in a stairwell while the bad guys are still after them:
“Please. I can’t even have sex if there’s dishes in the sink.”
“Excuse me – I have to go write a sex scene now. I need caffeine.”
“Ohmigod, I can’t believe I meeting you! I just told people your books are like crack!”
“I prefer to think of them as meth.”
“I have ‘Bathroom shooting’ on my calendar.”
“YOU DID NOT name your son after a Nora Roberts character… did you?!”
“I only have time for a quickie!”
“Oh, your cleavage looks great! Look at you!”
“Your crazy is showing.”
“You should always have a critique partner who wears cardigan sweater sets.”
“Are you from Avon cosmetics?”
“I started writing medical romances because there were so many asshole MDs. I wanted to write better ones. Now, there are doctors who critique my medical romances and argue whether I got the details wrong.”
“I really want them to shag in the lift. Can we have a lift?”
So – what was your favorite RWA moment this year? And are you coming next year? What about RT in Chicago? I’m planning to be at both, and I hope I see you there!