Thursday, May 15, 2014

#RT14 Report

I realized last night that if I tweet or facebook every little thing that happens at #RT14 I will get really annoying really fast. So instead - a blog post that I can continue updating with all the kewl stuff!
Saturday 5/17
Planned: Signing 10-2 - then more driving!
Friday 5/16
It feels like a million days have already been crammed into three. The lobby/lounge is hopping all hours of the day and night.

Meet and Greet:
  • Lunch with Gretchen Rily and Jen Lilly at the Somethin' Else Cafe.
  • Drinks with the always entertaining Andrew Schaffer at
  • Evening with Rose Gordon, hanging out in the lobby again. Everyone has been fun to hang out with, but I think I'll miss Rose the most.
Other Stuff:
  • There are apparently a lot of authors who are "a big deal" that I have never heard of.
Thursday 5/15
My first full day at the conference! How many sessions did I attend??? Still none. Because reasons. Like meeting a bunch of other authors.

Meet and Greet:
  • Morning chat with Sandy Raven and Grace Callaway, two of my sisters in the upcoming Scandalous Summer box set.
  • New friends I met at the chat included Tina, Susan Hatler, and Virna De Paul.
  • Lunch with Sandy, Grace and her sister, and Tina and her husband.
  • Dinner with Rose Gordon and Dani Kristoff (who gave me a Koala bear that I will wear fo-evah).
Wednesday 5/14
First off, I drove down because OMG, the stories about my travel issues on this trip are legion. After considering planes, trains, and automobiles (and losing a $200 cancellation fee, thank you very much), I finally opted for my favorite - ROAD TRIP! Since this is a drive that I used to make every few months it was like old home week. But it's been a few years (*cough* almost 20 *cough*), so I stopped on the way down and slept like a normal person, since it's about a 16 hour drive once you do things like stop for gas or think about eating something. Because we spent all weekend traveling and I had a late afternoon appointment on Monday, I decided I wouldn't leave until Tuesday. And of course it went something like this: Monday morning, "if I leave by 7am, I can get most of the drive out of the way." Monday afternoon, "if I leave by 10am I can get a good chunk of the drive out of the way." Tuesday morning, "I need to tidy a few things and finish packing, if I leave by noon I should be good." Yeah, I left a little before 3pm. *facepalm* So when all was said and done I got here about 3pm on Wednesday - which means I missed a day of presentations right off! But that's ok, because I started meeting all my online writing buddies! And making friends in these crazy elevators.

Meet and Greet:
  • First up was Jenn Spiller (@jennspiller) who has always been awesome and actually sent me her phone number so I could text with questions. We used to live "across the mountain" from each other in Virginia but never met, then last year she moved to Texas making that whole meet thing a bit harder. Thank goodness for RT, we finally got to meet in person!
  • I was coming out of Starbucks and she was going into the gift shop, but I recognized her on first glance. Tiffany Reisz (@tiffanyreisz)! We had a hug (we're huggers!) and a brief chat. If I don't run into her again here maybe when we're both at BookCon in New York at the end of the month.
  • Rose Gordon (@Rose_Gordon1) messaged me to say she was down in the lobby and I would know her by her hedgehog bag. We met, chatted, she signed my copy of "Secrets of a Viscount," then I joined her party to go to the Pirates & Scallywags event, followed by dinner.
  • Gretchen Rily (@gretchenrily) was the first to suggest meeting up for Pirates and I met her in line for it. More hugs! She has a contagious enthusiasm for this whole event that I love catching. We're gonna have lunch on Friday. Because it is crazy how much is going on so we are doing things like scheduling lunch two days in advance.
  • Met Elf Ahearn on the elevator. We were both going up.
  • Met Christina Pilz on the bus back from Pirates & Scallywags. Apparently she's done a follow up to Oliver Twist... with a twist!
  • Met Shana on the elevator, gave her a signed card, and helped to settle the dispute between her and her husband about what sort of conference this is (they aren't here for the conference). It was the sort of resolution every marriage needs - they were both kinda right! (He thought it was contemporary romance and she had said something about historical - it's all the romance!)
Other stuff:
  • Really glad that I got into the conference hotel because it is making everything so much easier. And I've got this lovely corner room on the 37th floor with a view of the Mississippi and the French Quarter.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Down At The Bloghop: On Writing

Bloghops are some of my favorite things, and thanks to my lovely friend Kristina (aka @quickmissive), I've got a new one to participate in. Go check out hers from last week. You can check out all my buddies in my cohort because they are listed at the end of Kristina's post.

1. What am I working on?
Right this second I'm working on Lord Lucifer's Disciple, a novella in the new Haberdashers Nights series. This story will be part of the Scandalous Summer collection with a number of authors. Other than that I'm working on the fourth Haberdasher novel, Saving Persephone, which will bring us to the first major plot point in the series. What? We didn't have the first major plot point yet? Basically. There are eight more books after this, and who knows how many novellas. The Haberdasher world endlessly fascinates me.

Other than that I have about a billion books waiting in the wings of my brain. Contemporary romance, urban fantasy, futuristic science fiction, epic fantasy, mystery. If only I had more time to write!

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This question feels like a total set up. Since when has an author had a clue about what makes their work special? I think the answer for my published work is that even though I'm in the Regency romance genre, I'm injecting it with a little bit of mystery and intrigue (Regency Charlie's Angels and Regency Avengers have been mentioned). But I would need my readers to tell me what they think the answer to this question really is. Feel free to leave a comment to tell me what you think. Then I'll know the right answer next time!

3. Why do I write what I do?
Because it's so much fun. Whether I'm hanging out in 1815 with the Haberdashers, modern day Dublin with an American Werechaun, or any of the thousands of other places I've been (in my own mind), I'm always having fun. Otherwise what's the point?

I also love to research, anything from crazy details in history to cutting edge science. So all of my writing is informed by that unending curiosity about the world.

4. How does my writing process work?
Typing. There is a lot of typing. Complaining, chocolate, and typing.

Seriously, I don't know what else to tell you. After years of wanting to find some secret, magical trick to writing, a sort of authorial unicorn, the truth is that it's quite mundane. Agatha Christie said she got some of her best ideas while washing the dishes. It's about discipline and focus more than anything else. Although I prefer a few quiet hours, I can write anywhere and under any conditions if necessary. I come up with ideas quite sporadically and have learned to write down outlines while they are fresh. This is part of why I love Evernote. I can type out a summary on my phone during lunch if I have to. Once I have the outline done, then it is heads down writing until the first draft is done. I've learned to do very little editing as I go along. For one thing, it bogs you down (you can edit FOREVER), and for another thing, edit brain and author brain are two very different brains. If I try to use both at once I get very boring stuff. Only author brain can come up with cool stuff even I didn't expect. Then, if the stars align, I try to do three passes of edits before even sending it to my first editor.

Bloghop RSVP
They tell me that I get to name the next four victims, er, participants. Meet four great writers so you can find out THEIR answers next Monday. (Links will be added when they accept the challenge.)
  1. Kris Silva - Editor extraordinaire, Steampunk enthusiast, Muppet chronicler, and all around fun chick.
  2. Andy Click - My co-author for American Werechaun in Dublin. One of my favorite hobbies in March was logging into GoogleDocs to watch Andy write.
  3. Gene Doucette - Author of one of my favorite series, about Adam the Immortal. It's possible we *might* be working on a cross-over story.
  4. Tina Glasneck - She bills herself as "Writer of Mayhem and Romance with a Twist of Murder." Yeah, that sounds about right. Also brilliantand enormous fun to hang out with.