Friday, May 4, 2007

RT Houston 2007 - awesome!

After spending some time getting over the jetlag and making sure I'm talking sense, here's a brief Brit RT virgin's report on the whole shindig!

Amazing. Party time! Well, it seemed like that. I brought lots of posh frocks and every time I opened my mouth, people said, "say that again!" or something like it. I'm proud to have brought 'gobsmacking' 'grockles' and other gems to the American reading public!

I started by staying a few days with totally awesome and wonderful Linnea Sinclair and her husband, not to mention the two cats and the duck, who likes to sit on your feet. After catching me asleep at her kitchen table on the second day, with said duck on my feet, Linnea decided I fit in, and we had a wonderful time. I can only hope I didn't intrude too much. Can't say enough about the welcome she and Robbie gave me and the lovely places they took me to. A perfect way to start my stay.

Then we flew to the conference. A great laugh on the plane when Linnea realised baggage check might be problematic. She had a mega hooped skirt for her Fairy Ball costume, which she couldn't pack properly so she screwed it up and stuffed it in her case, but if the baggage people had decided to check her luggage, they might be hit in the face with a giant, flying white thing!

Luckily, they picked my luggage, not hers, to dissect.

We got to the hotel and settled in. Nice rooms, and a great elevator, which went up 30 floors and back down again. Boggling to this Brit, who isn's used to tall buildings. And the bar was nice and central. On the second day, my roomie, Jean, arrived, and my Triskelion editor and good friend, Gail Northman, set up her office in the bar. A good tactic, because we knew where to find her and the bar was a good one.

I was introduced to butterscotch martinis, Long Island iced teas and Bellinis on this visit. Not to mention the Cosmopolitans (I said not to mention them!) Yum and wooo-------

The balls were great fun and the lunch, which twisted my stomach into knots because I was one of the featured authors, went very well. Mr. Romance was fun, won by Jason Santiago, although Fred Williams had won our hearts by introducing himself to many of us beforehand. The man is a star.

I met some really nice people. I've felt rather on the outside for many years, but when I meet an author, it's usually a fellow spirit. They think like I think, feel the same things I do. And when I mentioned my motto, the only one that really counts, "I can use that," eyes lit up and everyone agreed.

It was a particular delight to meet Judi Fennel, who is a member of a crit group and a fellow Maven, one of a few, special people who have supported me from the get-go. Go Judi!

And - wouldn't you know it - I met an aspiring author who lives 10 minutes away from me here in the UK! Weird stuff doesn't happen in books - it happens in real life!

The booksigning was brilliant. I didn't sell out but I sold lots of books, I had copies of "The Haunting" to sign and several people brought copies of "The Chemistry of Evil" for me to sign, too. It's enormously heartening to know people read and enjoy my books. Truly.

And a special mention to Dave, a gentleman, who showed me where to get the cowboy hats my family craved. Thanks, Dave! They love them!

I collected my Eppie on the first night and took it to the author signing. A very special award, since it's the only competition I enter these days. I'm thrilled to have won it.

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