Saturday, July 25, 2009

Literacy, Chocolate ... and a Winner!

By Kate

For the first time ever, I attended the RWA Literacy Signing last week – as an author! I signed lots of books, gave away lots of chocolate (Ghirardelli, of course, because my protagonist in Homicide in Hardcover lives in San Francisco), and had an absolute blast!

(Hey, I just got this photo of me taken by my friend Maureen Child! Thanks, Maureen!)

But before the day arrived, I must admit I worried. There are hundreds of authors signing at this event. What if I sat next to a weirdo? What if my neighbors thought I was a weirdo? What if nobody wanted my book? As a reader, I've often walked down those long aisles past the hundreds of waiting authors and I avoided eye contact with them. I felt sorry for the ones who had no one buying their books. I felt guilty that I wasn’t buying their book.

Guess what? It's okay to make eye contact. Nobody expects you to buy their books--but it's fabulous when you do. And really, it didn't matter if no one bought my book because I was having too much fun to care. Because, as luck would have it, I was seated next to this hot chick!

That’s right, I sat right next to none other than the incredible Anna Campbell! Who, by the way, was handing out full boxes of Tim Tams to everyone who bought a book from her. The secret to her success? I'm not giving anything away. But suffice to say, the chocolate was flying--literally and figuratively. I mean, the woman knows how to work the room. Chocolate talks, if you know what I mean. La Campbell had a line of fans a mile long. Some of them even wanted her books!

Another thing going on during the Literacy signing was the annual Bandita Scavenger Hunt! It was a big success! Here’s how it works: readers are handed a contest card while waiting in that mile-long line. Once they're inside, they hunt down all the Banditas who are signing and have us stamp their card. When they get the entire card stamped, they're given a blue ticket.

Later, a name is drawn--and that's our winner! Our prizes this year include Chocolate, Wine Charms for Book Lovers, two signed Bandita books, a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate and your very own Golden Rooster!!

So ... we drew the winning ticket and the name on that ticket is …

Violet Northey!!

Violet, contact me at and send me your snail mail address. I’ll rush your winnings out ASAP!!

Next year, we're hoping even more Banditas will publish and be able to sign for Literacy. Let the chanting begin!

Were you at the RWA Literacy Signing? Did you discover any new, exciting authors? Did you see any favorites? Which author's line did you stand in the longest?


Pissenlit said...

No, wasn't there. *tear*

Yum! Ghirardelli chocolate! One Christmas, a friend got me a bar that had bits of candy cane in with the chocolate. *happy sigh*

Louisa Cornell said...

Congrats, Violet! What fun! And a great prize to boot!

Hey, Pissenlit! You've got the GR! I hope you have SOME kind of chocolate available!

I had a ball at the literacy signing and got lots of signed books! I bought quite a few autographed Bandita books because my Mom keeps taking my unsigned copies home with her to read and I never get them back!

I did get to see Kandy Shepherd and got a copy of her great book Love is a Four-legged Word! I probably stood in line the longest at Colleen Gleason's table. I already have the Victorian vampire series of books, but I wanted on signed and I wanted to tell her how glad I was that Victoria ended up with Max. AND you COULD say I discovered a new author because I bought her erotic tale of Maid Marion under her other pen name - Colette Gail!!

PJ said...

Congrats to Pissenlit on nabbing the GR and congrats to Violet on winning the scavenger hunt!

I was at the literacy signing but I was too busy taking pictures to notice Kate's Ghiradelli chocolate. Drat! lol! I did get a box of Anna's Tim Tams though. I haven't opened it yet. I have company and I don't want to have to be polite and share. (grin)

My newly discovered author (thanks to Bandita Anna) was Kandy Shepherd. I bought a copy of LOVE IS A FOUR LEGGED WORD and I can't wait to dive into it.

I honestly don't know who I waited the longest to see. I was having so much fun I hardly noticed the wait at all.

Kate, do you know I carried my copy of HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER to DC with me to have you sign and every time I saw you I was so busy talking, laughing and taking photos that I forgot all about the autograph! LOL!

Helen said...

Congrats Pisenlit have fun with him and to Violet enjoy your wonderful prize.

How I wish I could have been there I have been looking at photos that people have put up on facebook and WOW everyone looks like they are having a ball. Maybe one day I will get there you never know your luck in a big city hey.

Have Fun

Anna Campbell said...

Pissenlit, one chook coming your way! Yay!

Kate, when I started reading your post, I had a bit of a snigger. Because I thought to myself that you WERE sitting next to a weirdo! Me!

Just to clarify matters - I was giving out caramello koalas to all and sundry. The Tim Tams went to people like the wonderful girls who look after the HarperCollins site for me.

Congratulations, Violet!

PinkPeony said...

Hi Kate!

From what I've seen on Facebook, it sure looked like you all had a fabulous time in D.C.

FYI: There's a Ghirardelli Chocolate outlet in the Bay Area (East Bay) if you're ever up this way! You can buy chocolate by the case. :-O

(congrats on the GR Pissenlit)

Joan said...

I didn't really STAND in a long line, but I worked a long line.

Suz and I passed out over 750 of the Bandit cards to the people lining up to go into the signing.

Whew, pass me stool to prop my feet up!

It's always very exciting to see the fans enjoying their favorite authors and great news to hear that our BB's are finding new authors to love!

Oh, and when I get to sign? I'm handing out PJ's chocolate turtles....

{Picture me saying "Here, have a turtle" then snatching it back and saying "Psych"....and scarffing it down, LOL)

Or....maybe she could do a gladiator version?

Hmmmmm...caramel + gladiator =

Donna MacMeans said...

Kate - I miss seeing everyone at the literacy signing. I'm afraid I got there too late to walk the aisles to say Hi before the doors were opened to the readers. They put me behind a pole (grin). PJ & Gannon found me, but not many others. I sat next to a new author, Tracy Madison, who is from Toledo, Ohio! So we got to chat about regional things. No one but the pole on the other side.

Kate Carlisle said...

Ah, Pissenlit! I'm sorry you weren't there, but what a consolation prize you've won -- the Golden Rooster for the day!! Woohoo!! Maybe he can rustle you up some Chocolate. He's got to be good for something ... :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Louisa, it was great to see you in DC and be in one of the contest rooms when you won First Prize! Now that was fun! You probably didn't hear me hotting and hollering in the back as they announced your name. :-)

I'm hearing lots of good things about Kandy's book! I'll have to get it myself. And Coleen--er, Colette's erotic Maid Marion sounds luscious!!!

jo robertson said...

I'm sad to report I wasn't at the Literacy Signing either, Kate, but I loved your talking about it. The signing is such a fun activity, all that (mostly) estrogen in one huge room. It sounds like everyone had a blast!

PJ said...'re giving me ideas, JT. :)

Kate Carlisle said...

PJ, don't let anyone take those Tim Tams from you! They're meant to be savored in privacy. Mmmmmmmmm....

I can't believe we never got together to sign the book! I'm so sorry! But I had a few instances like that, too, where I needed to conduct business but never got around to it. Seems like this year in DC, everyone was having too much fun!

Your photos on FB are fabulous!! I have to get over there and comment but I confess I'm such an FB dolt, I'm not quite sure how to do anything. I probably need to buy FB for Dummies. :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Helen, it would be so much fun to get you up here for a wild romance conference some day!!

Oh wait, I have a better idea. Let's all go down to Oz for an even wilder time!! I've got the next OZ Romance Readers convention on my calendar and absolutely plan on being there. I'm hoping I can convince some other Banditas to make the trip with me. Wouldn't that be fun?? Yeah!

Joan said...'re giving me ideas, JT. :)

{sly smile} Really?

Kate Carlisle said...

No, no, Anna, I was the weirdo at the table! LOL

And don't anyone believe that Anna was holding back on the Tim Tams. Everyone got a box. Just sayin'. Hee hee hee!

Okay, there were caramello koalas, too, and they were sensational!! I gobbled mine up in one bite and wanted more!

In fact, that's one more reason to make OZ our destination for the next big bash! Caramello koalas!! Worth the trek, people! Yummers!!

Kate Carlisle said...

Okay, Jen, I usually go into the City to get my Ghirardelli fix so I'm going to need the address of the Ghirardelli outlet in the East Bay. I'll be there in August! :-)

Wish you'd been in DC! Are you thinking of going to Nashville next year?

Kate Carlisle said...

Joanie, you and Suz were tireless, awesome Bandita heroes in DC! Oh wait, you wanted to put your feet up? So you weren't tireless?? Hmm. Okay, but still heroes! :-)

Oh God, PJ's TURTLES ... wait ... I'm having a moment ... oh ... oh, heaven ...

Kate Carlisle said...

Donna, I'm so sorry you were stuck by a post! Apparently there were a lot of authors stuck near or behind those gigantic posts. Wasn't that the strangest room ever?

Hey, I'm going to arrive early next time so I can roam around collecting books and saying hello to people. I didn't even think of that this time! Really, that 1/2 hour might be the only time anyone has a free minute to say hello and schmooze with people. :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Oh Jo, we missed you!!!!

I don't know if it was just me and my newbie glow (for which I was properly mocked!) but the conference this year seemed like so much more fun than some years. Was it just me? Tell the truth. I can take the mocking!

Anyway ... next year in Nashville will ROCK!!!!!

Kate Carlisle said...

Ooh, PJ and Joanie ... really?? Turtles? As gladiators? Mercy, I'm having another moment ....

I wonder ... could you make turtles shaped like little books? Or guns? A bookbinder's hammer? Just wondering ...

Nancy said...

Pissenlit, congrats on the rooster! I have to confess that neither Kate's Ghiardelli nor Anna's Cadbury lasted me more than a couple of rows.

Nancy said...

Kate, I mostly visited with people I knew at the signing. I did stop to speak to a couple of authors I'd been wanting to meet, and I hope those meetings will result in a guest appearance or two. I also got to meet Jessica Andersen in person after getting to know her via her books and email. She'll be here next month to talk about her third Nightkeepers book.

As is often the case, it was very hot in there. Last year was the one time I remember NOT being hot. The ballroom was high-ceilinged, and the aisles were wide.

I had to eat my chocolate quickly lest it melt. That's why. Really.

Nancy said...

Congratulations, Violet. I hope you love your bandita books as much as the rest of us do and enjoy your other prizes.

Nancy said...

Jen, the dh and I honeymooned in beautiful San Francisco. One of my cousins was studying at Stanford and brought his family into the city to give us a tour. One of my favorite stops was Ghiardelli!

That trip also inaugurated our shared habit of buying books and Christmas ornaments when we travel. There's nothing we love better than discovering a quirky little bookstore. Alas that those are now an endangered species.

Nancy said...

Joan wrote: {Picture me saying "Here, have a turtle" then snatching it back and saying "Psych"....and scarffing it down, LOL)

Why, JT, you got a bit of mean streak, darlin'. You try that stunt, and you're gonna need a gladiator. *g*

You and Suz really were the backbone of the bandita effort at National, just so everyone knows. The two of you coordinated everything and made the rest of us look good into the bargain.

As for gladiator turtles, I'm sure PJ can make ANYthing in chocolate, but I wonder how Demetrius and the gang will feel about being associated with a creature so slow.

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Nancy! Of course it was the heat that made you eat that chocolate so quickly. Of course. Right. Uh huh. We'll try to do something about that next time. I hate that you had to go through that hardship. :-)

I love buying Christmas ornaments when I travel!

Kate Carlisle said...

Hey, my buddy Maureen Child just sent me a photo of myself at the Literacy signing! I added it to the blog. Cool!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Congrats Violet and Pissenlit!

Kate, I was a signing author newbie this year too. I gotta say, as a signing author or a reader, the Literacy signing is OVERWHELMING! As my BFF's mom used to say, "It gave me the big eye!"

Luckily, I was seated on an end and next to a very nice author, Amanda McIntyre. I'm so glad we got to know each other a bit.

Afraid being in the middle meant I didn't see any completed Bandita cards. I kept directing people to Trish, "...behind me about 3 seats on the next row..." Or a few to Donna, "...other side of this row, wearing a hat..."

It was a REAL BLAST and such a good cause too.


Kate Carlisle said...

Hi, Aunty Cindy!! It really was a blast, wasn't it? I had a great time! And besides the lovely La Campbell, I was also sitting next to lovely Linda Cardillo, who was very nice to me AND was also giving away Ghirardelli chocs! And next to Linda was the fabulous Stella Cameron. I think I was in a pretty sensational neighborhood. Sounds like you were, too. :-)

PinkPeony said...

Hi Kate:

Yelp has the info on the Ghirardelli outlet. See below..

Nancy...when hubby gets back from the east coast, we're going to have an SF weekend and stay in a hotel, eat and shop. We live 20 minutes away across the bay but it's always wonderful to spend time in the city. We're big Cal fans...Stanford...grrr...


Pissenlit said...

Congrats, Violet!

*DROOL* I had a Caramello Koala once! Tasty tasty koala.

After all this talk about chocolate, I think I'm going to go dig some up...though I can't decide between Lindor milk chocolate and dark chocolate covered espresso beans.

{Picture me saying "Here, have a turtle" then snatching it back and saying "Psych"....and scarffing it down, LOL)

ROFLMAO!!! That sounds like something I'd do! Though, not with turtles if by turtles you mean chocolate, caramel and toasted anaphylactic shock.

Nancy said...

Kate, LOL on the chocolate! The dh keeps a jar of it on his desk, and the AC was off in his building all week. He didn't eat fast enough, so he's replacing it all.

Me, I'd scrape it off the labels and eat it anyway. *g*

Nancy said...

Pissenlit, that sounds like a great weekend.

As for Cal vs. Stanford, my cousin went where he could get money, a program through his employer. So I think that weighed more than anything else.

Hard to believe his kids are grown now and one of them's getting married this fall. We have a picture of the groom-to-be pushing his sister in a stroller in Ghiardelli Square.

Joan said...

I just had a thought....

When *I* sign at the literacy signing I'll pass out chocolate chips cookies!!!

Kate Carlisle said...

Joanie honey, have a heart, will ya? We don't want a stampede in there!!

... sniff ... Kate didn't get any of Joanie's chocolate chip cookies ... sniffle ... waaaaaaaahh!!! :-(

Kate Carlisle said...

Nancy, I'm with you! LOL .... just scrape those labels and enjoy! :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Jen, the Ghirardelli outlet is just minutes from my brother's place. Yippee!

I WILL be there in August and I'll report my findings to all!

Kate Carlisle said...

So Pissenlit, I'm wondering what you decided on. It's too late in the day for dark choc espresso beans -- but I do love them. :-)

The Lindor is always a treat!

Can't believe I'm talking about chocolate. I swore I was starting a diet this week!!

Louisa Cornell said...

I should have known that rowdy roar from the back of the room at the Daphnes was a Bandita Posse!! Thanks, ladies! My agent was impressed with all the applause and yelling. And it gave me that warm fuzzy feeling all over. Or maybe that was my fear that I'd fall off my shoes!

PinkPeony said...

Kate...when you go to the outlet...just be sure to check the expiration dates. They stamp them on the cases if you're buying by the case and it's usually 3 months out.

Pissenlit said...

Kate, I decided to pass on the Lindor and like you, figured that it was too late in the day for the chocolate covered espresso beans. I enjoyed some Neapolitan ice cream in a sugar cone instead. :)

Kate Carlisle said...

Louisa, my dear, you know we were stalking you every step of the way! Had to cheer on our girl, right? :-)

And I'm so glad we could impress your agent! Or scare her. I'm never quite sure. Hee hee.

Kate Carlisle said...

Ooh, thanks for the expiration warning, Jen! Gosh, I never think of that. Oh heck, I'd probably eat them anyway, expired or not. I so need to start that diet. *sigh*

Pissenlit, good choice on the Neapolitan!! It's never too late for ice cream. :-)