Finally back on line. I goofed on my flight home, so I’m now at a Days Inn next to LAX. Good news is free wi-fi so I can finally post a blog. Let me try to catch you up on what’s been going on since I arrived at the RT Booklovers Convention in Los Angeles.
Wednesday was the official start and people and their luggage filled with costumes started arriving. Newbies are offered the RT Virgin session that explains the way things work. There are three different tracks you can follow, reader, writer and bookseller/librarian. Workshops and panels are offered for all three and then there are the social events sponsored by authors and publishers. Veteran RTers and authors Jade Lee and Anne Elizabeth had a full house for RT Advantage, or as some people like to call it: The Jade and Anne Elizabeth show! As usual, Anne Elizabeth gave good advice on how to best negotiate the wild and wacky world of RT while Jade provided the comic relief and handed out cool stuff!
I started the day with breakfast with Liz Edelstein and Megan Frampton of Macmillian Publishing. They offered a t-shirt and bookbag in the official book bag of goodies. Then they wandered around the conference and anyone they spied wearing the shirt or carrying the bag got a special gift of a water bottle, books and other goodies to promote their new reader friendly online group Heroes and Heartbreakers.
While we we chatting, Megan noticed Joanna Bourne and since I’m still talking about how much I enjoyed The Spymaster’s Lady, I immediately went to her table and asked her to join us. She admitted that she was pleasantly surprised by how well her book was received. Another author meet I can check off my list.
I had to go to the goodie room to see all the amazing baskets put together by the authors. They are free giveaways that you just need to fill out an entry form for. Ok, I admit that I did put my name in for a few, but when they offer great books, chocolate and wine, they got me.
I tried to make it some of the sessions, but I’ve got to tell you that you can’t go two feet without walking into another author. I stopped to chat with Cathy Maxwell, Sabrina Jeffries, Heather Graham, Victoria Alexander to name a few. Then it was time to meet Vida Enstrand of Kensington Publishing in the Lounge. We talked about authors, books and promotions coming up that I’ll be soon announcing on the blog.
But here’s a special event that I hadn’t planned for. Sheila English was doing an interview with Howard Gordon (executive producer of “24” and “The X-Files) about his new book, Gideon’s War and needed a videographer. I grabbed my trusty camera and microphone and we headed off about three blocks where we discovered they were shooting a pilot for a new NBC show. Sheila did her interview and Howard graciously allowed me to do a Drive By Video with him also. Then Howard invited us to watch the filming. I’ve never been on a movie or tv set before, so I was total fan girl. The main actors were Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter and also appeared in The Patriot with Mel Gibson) and Wilmer Valderrama of That 70’s Show. We got to put headsets on and listen to scene unfold. It’s going to be a cop show that has twists like Inception and Sliding Doors. I really hope it gets picked up because I’ll be an instant fan. After the scene was over, Jason came over to meet us and agreed to a Drive By Video with me. I was mesmerized by his piercing blue eyes and to die for accent. He was extremely tolerant of my babbling and completely charming. Someone has to use him as their inspiration in their next book. Because of the time, I only got my picture taken with the delightful Wilmer, but he was delightful and I can see why he has such a fanatical following.
Intergalactic Bar and Grille was overflowing with wine, tiaras and hunks! The cast of Linnea Sinclair’s movie Down Home Alien Blues was there and added to the hunkiness and the fun. As usual it included hilarious trivia questions, antics by hostesses, and good participation by their victims…er, customers! Hostesses included Linnea Sinclair, Jade Lee, Nathalie Gray, Karen Miller, Cricket Starr, Marcella Burnard and Janet Miller. Oh, and there was a duck toss too!
Before I knew it, it was time to head off to the Carina Publishing dinner that they offer to bloggers. Angela James and Malle led us to a wonderful steak place that smelled wonderful. But the best part was having 10 of us together to fuss over our favorite books. I got some great suggestions of books I missed and I promised the group I’d try. As much as I read, I’m always amazed at how much I’m not reading. So, as soon as I finish them I’ll be writing about them in the New to Me blog.
Ellora’s Cave held an amazing Bollywood Party. They hired a dancing troupe to entertain the audience. To keep the fun going everyone was offered dance lessons which kept the dance floor packed. There were gifts and other goodies that had many proclaiming this the “best party ever!”
Meanwhile, back at the hotel, my troubles continued with inconsistent internet connections, no hot water for showers, stuck elevators and spotty cell phone connections. The computer wouldn’t recognize my video camera, so I couldn’t download anything. I have it with a tech person now trying to save my Drive By’s. Keep your fingers crossed. I couldn’t even Tweet and that is unacceptable!
There’ll be more on the conference all week.
Bottom Line: My motto today is smile, smile, smile and the heck with the rest of it…do your worst.