I arrived on Tuesday and waited forever for the shuttle I reserved in advance. I would have been more miffed but it was the beginning of the trip and I met up with several other authors at the airport and we all stood around together and chatted while we waited. Nancy Liedel, Monica Burns, Sylvia Day, Mackenzie McKade, Bianca D’arc and some lovely readers from Australia and one from here in Seattle. The shuttle was packed to the gills and I was worried Sylvia and Bianca were going to get a suitcase to the back of the head if the driver stopped short but we made it without incident.
Once at the hotel I stood in a very long line and heard people shouting my name. Turned out to be Sasha White and Vivi Anna saying hello and inviting me to drinks. Holy cripes, they said hello! Like I was a real author and everything – and thus began the oddness of the week for me.
Got checked in, the boxes I shipped were delivered, I freshened up, tried to call Megan but her number in my cell was wrong! I met up with Renee and tried to stalk a few other people, left messages and hit the bar with a huge table of folks. Met Beth Williamson and Kimberly Kaye Terry. Bonnie Edwards came over later (I LOVE her) and I saw Angie and Crissy too and a bunch of other people I am sure I’m forgetting so please forgive me! That first night was relaxed but I had a moment were someone approached me and said some really sweet things about my writing.
Me: Blink, looks around to see if she’s talking to me and not someone else. Blushes, tries not to cry and thanks her for such a sweet compliment. She told me the following day she woke up to an email with her first sale to EC, which was a lovely thing to be able to celebrate at RT!
Bed by 1 am but I slept like shite because it wasn’t my bed and the noise was bad and it was smoky and I wasn’t at home.
Got up early and registered. Got the blue badge that had “published author” on it which was pretty cool and checked out promo alley. They were just setting up so I had breakfast with several people -Renee of course, Liz Wolf who I already knew, Alexis Fleming and Lyn Cash – all really fun ladies!
Anyway, Renee came and helped me stuff my giveaway bags and then helped me set up my promo alley area and Anya’s too. I would have saved Megan a place but I didn’t have any extra containers. I went back to refill it several times but in less than one day all the pens and bookmarks were gone. Renee was such a wonderful friend during the whole thing! She helped me out so much and was just generally a total sweetie pie.
I went to the EC bag stuffing party and had to leave after two hours to go to the Samhain stuffing party. By this point I was shaking from the lack of food and Megan called to say she’d arrived so after an hour and a half, I left to get something to eat and see Megan.
We went into the restaurant to grab some appetizers because we were going to have dinner with my agent later on before the EC party. As Megan and I sat in the restaurant a woman approached and said, “Megan Hart?”
It turned out to be Susan Pezzack Swinwood, our editor from Harlequin and she recognized Megan from her website photo! She sat with us and began to visit. This was at 4:00 and we had some appetizers and hung out and chatted with her until my agent, Laura Bradford called me. We were supposed to have dinner but she’d been late in on her flight and had to rush to the hotel for her appointments so she joined us in the restaurant.
This lovely gathering went on into dinner and lasted four hours! I can’t tell you how wonderful, charming and funny Susan is and I can’t tell you how totally in awe I was at several points during the evening that in just a few years I’d gone from writing a book on a second hand laptop on bedrest to having dinner with my harlequin editor, my agent and my friend whose book was on everyone’s lips.
Anyway, it was truly fabulous several hours and I laughed a lot, setting the tone for the whole convention by the way. Megan always makes me laugh, there are times when I feel like we share a brain, LOL.
We left to go and get ready for the Moulin Rouge party EC was putting on and I loved my costume. It was a bit large but I can’t complain about that. Still I think it turned out very pretty. It also set the stage for one of the annoyances of the Con – standing in long lines far after the start time of an event. However, EC authors should have been there early, a fact I was unaware of, and so I waited outside and didn’t realize this until I walked in and the lovely Ruby Storm said, “get your butt back there, they’re lining up!”
But no one knew I’d shown up so they had to tell the announcer at the last minute, as in right as I was next, LOL. Still, they got my covers up on the screen and announced me and some cover model dude escorted me across the stage but I didn’t really even notice him because I was wearing four inch heels and I’d been so flustered getting in line and then no one knowing I just walked across the stage and tried not to fall. Still Megan got footage on her camera so I heard people cheer for me and saw that they had indeed put up my covers.
The party itself was lovely. EC did a great job decorating the room and the costumes were all quite lovely although sometimes I’d say just because you can pull out your lingerie and wear it in public doesn’t mean you should. Renee looked postively gorgeous in a white flowy top!
Great music and dancing! Time in the bar. Sleep way after midnight and there was much giggling until we just sort of passed out.
I was supposed to be at the EC author brunch but I had club RT time. Another issue with the con was the lack of time between things. Many times I ended up going directly from one thing to the next and didn’t eat for long periods of time and ended up feeling sort of shaky.
Club RT turned out really well. We did a maverick author basket and I did a Dynamic trio basket too. And this is where we met Travis. LOL. Travis, the sweet, soon to be medical student walking around with a rubber duck on his head. He referenced Terry Pratchett when we demanded to know why and this won me over. He sat with us and answered our questions about why we should vote for him and he blushed charmingly. This also attracted many women from all over the room who sat with us and ganged up on Travis, who handled himself quite well.
Met Terri, who is a total doll! And Serena from FAR as well! Yay!
Amelia June joined our crew at this time and livened the group up! There was a lunch hosted by Brenda Joyce which was nice and then bar time and the nocturne mixer. Free books! I picked up something that appeared to be cheesecake but so was NOT! Renee and I made faces at each other. It was vile and there were several dozen plates of this substance with one bite out of it propped all over the place. I chatted with Joy Nash and Mardi Ballou, which was wonderful. I also met Rhyannon Byrd and Patrice Michelle on my way out along with several fabulous readers and signed my cover card in the EC deck for the contest.
Then getting ready for the faery ball. I discovered I’d left my slip at home and the back of the costume is very see through so I ended up wearing the black vintage dress instead and even false eyelashes which felt like spiders on my eyes but they did look rather lovely. Renee saved us a place in line and we all sat together.
dancing and more dancing – costumes, lots of wings. Tawny Taylor’s costume was freaking amazing. All these lovely feathers on a head dress and train. She of course made it too. Sigh. She’s nice too. The food was all vertical. Chocolate vertical towers with mousse inside. Yum. Renee left early as she wasn’t feeling well and we missed her!
Some sort of after party where I got a Vote For Travis button from his mother and Megan did not. Ha! Still, it is my sincere belief that Megan was number one in his heart. The mimosas were nastay! We got caught in a turf war between Traaavis and Chris. Chris who is a very naughty young man. And no, Chris, from the waist up it doesn’t make you gay but I’d so pay to see naked spooning with Fred.