What was your favorite thing about the conference?
Suz: This year it was a myriad of things. For the first time I got to go out sight seeing because a group of Texas friends and I flew in early and had planned tours. Then getting to see all the Bandits!! That was by far one of the best things for me. What our readers don't realize is how much we chat off the blog with each other. Getting to be with almost everyone, (we truly missed Christie), was the icing on the cake! Speaking of cake...the Bandit Bash party was another of my favorite things this year!! Watching my CP Jo Davis sign her debute book at the NAL free signing...her very FIRST signing. And who was her first fan? Jennifer Y!!
Tawny: Just one thing? There are so many things that I loved this year. The Blaze signing was fabulous, the Lit signing was amazing. I loved the Bandita Bash, even though I only caught the tail end of it and the Harlequin Party was fabulous. I think the time with my editor was one of the best things, right next to hanging out with incredible friends. Thats the one sad thing about conference, it always reminds me of how far away Beth lives... and thanks to my cat, she won't move to California :-(
AC: Oh absolutely, Joanie! Hanging with our Banditas and our Bandita Buddies! It was such a thrill to hear everyone cheer when I was "booted out" at the TGN ceremony. Almost as much fun as cheering on the other Banditas at all the awards ceremonies! Meeting My Editor, My Publicist, and My Publisher was also a very big thrill and riding in a limo to go out to dinner with them and the other authors in our publishing house was also a huge thrill!
What was your favorite thing outside the conference?
Beth: My favorite thing outside of conference was hanging out at Tawny's house Sunday night with Tawny and Harlequin Intrigue author Kathleen Long. We relaxed, had a few margaritas and enjoyed a delicious dinner Tawny's husband prepared *g* Then, on Monday, Tawny and I spent the day plotting our stories and working on our goals :-)
Suz: My first limo ride with Dan, the very cute limo driver, the Foxes (my Texas girls) and tasting wine up in Sonoma! I even found a wine at Sebastiani that I brought back to TX. (oh wait...it's still got some in the bottle...hmmm)
AC: Getting to play tour guide a couple of times. On Thursday night, I took my Sourcebooks sister Marie Force and two of her chapter mates to Chinatown for dinner. We went to my fave hole-in-the-wall place and I wasn't sure they'd be game. You walk in through the kitchen and up three flights of narrow stairs. The waitresses are so surly they make the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld look congenial and heaven help you if you ask for a fork! But the three of them LOVED it. Plus we'd no sooner sat down than in walked two of the Writers At Play gals, Stacey Kayne and Carla Capshaw! Carla's sister used to live in San Francisco which is how she knew about the place!
Then on Friday, I got to take our Bandit Buddy and Writers Revenge Bo'sun Terrio over to Pier 39. I'm sure I told her waaay more than she ever wanted to know about Coit Tower (designed to resemble a fire hose nozzle), seal lions (which have external ears while seals do not), and the Bay (Alcatraz is from the Spanish word for pelican and Angel Island was once called Ellis Island of the West) than she ever wanted to know! I had a GREAT TIME even if we didn't wait the 1 1/2 hours to ride the cable car.
AC: Well..... there was that lil incident at the Bandita Bash where I was wielding my crop and in walked my editor and another woman whom she promptly introduced to me as publisher and CEO of Sourcebooks, Dominique Raccah. Yes, I'm afraid I met my publisher for the very first time with my riding crop in hand. Oh well, she was bound to find out about Aunty sooner or later.
Suz: Well, I did get SEP to sign her double book release with No Body's Baby But Mine, for me. It's my favorite and we laughed about the delivery scene in the book. And Ms. Garwood wasn't at the conference, so she's safe from me for another year.
Tawny: I met so many of the Blaze authors who I've been reading and loving for years at the Blaze dinner. I felt like a total fan girl and kept telling myself to be grateful I was sitting in a corner. Thats about all that kept me from running from person to person to gush and ask for autographs.
Joan: I've been fortunate enough to get to know many of my author idols. I almost missed Susan Grant who has been such a supporter of my Roman boys. Then Sherrilyn of course, always encouraging. I did run into Gena Showalter on the elevator and had a fan girl moment. I had just finished the first two books of her Lords of the Underworld series...FABULOUS...and just had to tell her how brilliant she was!AC: I had a "fan girl" moment in the elevator with Patricia Potter. She admired all the bling on my badge and I told her I'd trade them all for one of her "girls" (silver Rita nominee badges). Basically, I gushed like an idiot, and she was very gracious.
For our published authors, did you have any encounters with fans? What was that like?
AC: I absolutely LOVED all the people I didn't know congratulating me on my first sale ribbon! Also, during the Lit signing, I was standing in the crowd around our own Christine and Tawny when I heard a small voice ask, "Excuse me, are you Loucinda McGary?" Since only my mother when she was angry and the IRS ever called me that, I had to curb the urge to say, "Who wants to know?" Instead, I said, "Yes, I am." And I turned around to see Jennifer Y! As Tawny said, she IS awesome!
Now that you're back in your Ordinary World, what's next for you?
Beth: First I'm working on my revisions for my next Supers (Dillon's story which still doesn't have a title *g*) and I'm anxious to dig into a new story for Supers that Tawny and I plotted. Then it's back to my third Supers and hopefully I'll get more done on my YA as well. Oh, and since it's only two more weeks until school starts, I need to round up my kids and do some back-to-school shopping :-)
Suz: First getting out my requested proposal (three chapters and a synopsis) to the agent who requested it. Then hammering out pages on the Western Historical Erotica, since I have a request on the full manuscript when it's finished. :) (whoohoo!!) OH and yeah, working extra shifts to pay on my overheated credit card.
AC: Discussing "next steps" with my editor, and preparing for LAUNCH DAY! Only 52 more days to go!
If you didn't go to San Francisco, what was the high point of your summer so far?
Nancy: I did go to San Francisco, but I'll answer this set of questions just to start things off. A highlight for us was going to the NC Outer Banks and seeing The Lost Colony, the nation's longest-running outdoor drama, and taking the backstge tour. And no, the NC Dept. of Travel and Tourism isn't sponsoring this blog. *g*
Was there a low point to your summer?
Nancy: Not really. We almost had a low point when a thunderstorm fried the answering machine and knocked out the phones, but since it did not fry the computer, which was on at the time, we consider ourselves pretty lucky. Yes, I know to turn off the computer. I would've, if I'd known the storm was so close.
Did you do any fabulous shopping, for anything from books to furniture?
Nancy: Fabulous? No. But I did buy some "cute little tops that don't tuck in" (paraphrasing here), on orders from Caren Crane, who worries about my geeky fondness for polo shirts.
So those are our kickoff answers. What about you? Post a comment and let us know.
Oh, yeah. The bird, seen here contemplating robbing Donna's famous corset purse, made it to San Francisco (photo by Caren Crane). Stronger counter-measures will be implemented next year.
Blog photos from RWA by Caren, Kirsten, and Tawny.