Long day today. Tax Deduction the Elder was home sick with bronchitis, but he was well enough to run an errand with Loving Husband this afternoon. Boom--car accident. They're both fine, thank God, as is the other driver. But the car? Intensive care, a la insurance. Ugh. Anyway.
Where was I with RT? I think I got as far as the awards luncheon. Did I mention the time that Richelle, Cathy and I went out to Mickey D's to discuss promotion (of our books, not of the Golden Arches), and then went to bond at Macy's and help Richelle get a new purse? Okay, I guess I did. Good. I won't mention it again.
So. Friday afternoon, more panels. More drinks. (Just not during the panels.) Found out lots of stuff about the YA urban fantasy market, thanks to MaryJanice (I am SUCH a fangirl), Gena Showalter (who is so freaking cute and adorable and has written something like 30 books all before she turned 25 that if I didn't love her so much I'd hate her) and Marianne Mancusi, who was really smart and funny and I'm insanely jealous of her too. I asked why Mary used her MaryJanice "I Write Books With Vampires Having Sex Upside Down In The Deep End of the Pool" Davidson name for her YA stuff, and she told us that, apparently, the name "MaryJanice Davidson" is marketable. Who'da thunk it? By the way, for my next book, I'm using the pen name Mary Janice Davidson. (What? It's not her name. Mine would have a space between "Mary" and "Janice.")
And then I was all paneled out. Which is good, because Friday night I went out with Rachel Caine and her husband Cat, Richelle and her husband Michael, and Media Blvd Magazine reporter Christina. (Yes, I was Christina's husband for the dinner.) I learned all about Rachel's spiffy scar (it's quite the story) and had quite a terrific time. (Crap -- did the dinner happen on Thursday night instead of Friday night? Oh, what the hell do I know? I don't blog in real time. Well, at one point, we all went out to a Mexican restaurant for dinner. Pick a day.)
I called home around 7 pm local time. Tax Deduction the Younger said to me, "Mom, I miss you. When you come over?" And I said, "I'll be home in two nights, pumpkin." And he said, "That takes forever." Ripped my heart right out of my chest. I love my boys. Sigh. I told him I loved him and his brother and I'd be home soon.
Sometimes, it's really hard being a mom and being an author.
Back at the ranch (what? It was Texas; I'm allowed to say that) it was time for...Heather Graham's Vampires of the Wild, Wild West dinner/music theater shindig. We wound up sitting way the hell up front, and I got a prime spot to watch the amazing Alexandra Sokoloff (have you read her fabulous horror novel, The Harrowing? No? Stop what you're doing RIGHT NOW and go buy it. Go on, I'll wait...) dress up like a vampire saloon gal called Sacajawea (don't ask). And best of all: ALEX SANG. Hell, they ALL sang, but I know Alex personally from Backspace. AND SHE'S A GREAT SINGER! Of course, I was quite depressed -- apparently, to be an author these days, it's not enough to have a book trailer. Now you also need a music video. I'm freaking doomed.
Then there was the hotel bar. And drinking. And planning to take over the world. Wait, that last may have only been in my mind. Dunno. Anyway.
Saturday. THE BOOK FAIR, bwahahah! But before the evil laugher was...breakfast. Me, Richelle and Lila ate overpriced eggs, which we totally justified as fortifying ourselves for the madness that was to ensue. So, about $25 later (hey, I had two eggs, lay off), we refilled stock at Promotion Lane and grabbed some of it for the fair...and then went to our assigned stations at the Room That Housed Many Authors And Books. Holy crow (yes, this is a blatant plug for Jeri Smith-Ready and her Eyes of Crow), it was CRAZINESS. And I don't do crazy; I gave all that up when I moved out of Brooklyn. But I toughened up, set up my station, got yelled at for having a huge Hell's Belles sign in the aisle, was attended to by the fabulous Jessica and the Yahoos (THEY GAVE ME CHOCOLATE-COVERED STRAWBERRIES. THEY SO ROCK), and set up all my swag, which consisted of:
And 25 copies of Hell's Belles. TWENTY-FIVE COPIES? Eek! How the hell was I going to convince 25 people to buy my book? Barring stuffing each with a twenty-dollar bill, I was clueless...until I decided to not be daunted by the scary-big line of readers hovering by Charlaine Harris's table and instead started offering post-it note pads to basically everyone who walked by. And then striking up a conversation. And mentioning my fabtabulous raffle basket, which would be given away at 1 pm and which included a signed copy of Hell's Belles. And launching into my description of the book ("It's about a succubus who runs away from Hell, hides on Earth as an exotic dancer, and learns the hard way about true love. Sex, strippers, demons -- what's not to like?").
And wouldn't you know it -- I sold out.
(I also sold out this past Saturday at a booksigning near my home. To complete strangers. I'm seriously stoked.)
After the insanity that was the book fair, Richelle, Michael and I went out to an Italian Restaurant for the best-tasting meal I had in Houston. At 7 pm was MaryJanice's party in her suite, where she gave out tons of swag (I won a Sleeping With the Fishes tee shirt AND the UK version of the book--what a cool cover!) and about 40 of us ate pizza and schmoozed. Good times were had by all. I got to my room around 11 pm, where I proceeded to pack (read: stuff all my stuff into a suitcase and all my promo things into a box. Came with 7 boxes; left with 1. Either lots of people loved my swag, or all my stuff is rotting in a dumpster somewhere in Texas. Heart-shaped stressballs, decorating Southern landfills. Nah).
Sunday was all about breakfast with Cathy, getting my last box shipped home, getting a ride to the airport (Ter, I owe you one), hanging out near the gate with Jeanne, and then...going home. I walked in around 9 pm, and I ran upstairs to give my boys kisses even though they'd be fast asleep...only to find they'd been waiting up for me. They ran out of their beds and jumped on me and pelted me with kisses and hugged me.
I love my boys.
Before he went to sleep, Tax Deduction the Elder said, "Mom, you're not going away ever again, right?"
And I said, "Not for a long time, honey." And I cancelled my RWA national convention trip that very night. Leaving for five full days once a year is enough.
It's good to be home.
NEXT: RT photos