Sunday, April 20, 2008

Going home

Cover model contestants from RT 2008.

I have no tact, I had them say BOOBIES when I took this shot.

Bobbi Smith was doing a fundraiser for SOS, take your photo with the guys and make a donation. Bobbi... I can't say enough about her. She's very nice, warm, outgoing and just a good person.

There are a lot of good people in romanceland. Authors, readers, publishers, reviewers, etc. I met CL Wilson, who lives in my home state, and her mom. Readers Kitty and her daughter Nikki. Kitty is an artist who does beautiful paintings. Nikki writes poetry and we were trying to encourage her to write short stories. I met Isabo, who is just the greatest person.

There's a blur of names and faces right now my tired brain can't remember.

I do remember someone telling me that at the book fair when the lights went out, someone yelled. WHERE ARE THE MEN? (hiding in fear, I'd say) And someone told me she'd handed a book to Brenda Novak to sign and the lights went out and Brenda signed it by the light of her cell phone.

Gotta love the innovation at these conventions.

Getting up this a.m. was pure torture. My eyeballs felt glued shut. I had to pack. I went to bed at 1 and got up at 6. I managed to pack all, and eventually got downstairs.

In the lobby I saw my editor, and got to say goodbye to him. I told him I was afraid my suitcase would go over the weight limit.

He asked, "Why?"

I said, "I have an Ellora's Cave cover model in here."

I'm at the airport now, trying to wake up and make use of down time to upload and sort out photos because I know as soon as I get home it will be back in the home mode. I have to go to work at the day job tomorrow. Something amusing for me at this conference was talking to other authors and having them be stunned that I write for two houses and work FT. They said they don't know how I do it.

I don't, either.

RT 2008 was fun, tiring, and an interesting experience. I'm in a period now of introspection, trying to make decisions about the future. I was at Mona's booth at Club RT, the woman who sells gorgeous shawls and jewelry, and looking over the jewelry. I met Celeste Bradley, talked with her for about 5 minutes about jewelry. I bought a pair of turquoise earrings. Certain stones carry certain properties with them, and turquoise, which I love, is supposed to bring clarity and good fortune.

I'm not seeing either now, but there is always hope.

Though the booksigning for me yesterday was meh, and a disappointment, I'm glad I did it just to meet people who wanted to meet me. There weren't that many, but it was very gratifying to meet them. I appreciate every reader who takes a chance on my books.

And it's so validating as an author to hear a reader say, "thank you." I met one woman who told me she has horrid migraines and the books she reads help her though the pain.

The publishing world is like a roller coaster. Authors have ups and downs. You put out a book, cross your fingers and pray and hope it sells. Books you think are probably doing great sometimes end up not selling that well. Or you get really crappy reviews, and the book ends up doing well.

If I had to compare it to anything, it is a lot like modeling. Some get great gigs and do well, and have skyrocketing careers. Others get some bread and butter gigs, and others get one or two modeling jobs and they struggle.

If you're very lucky and very talented, you can make a real career out of being a romance author. So much of this business, and I heard it again and again at this conference, is luck and timing.

And if you're lucky, you do okay, and have the gratification of meeting readers who thank you for writing the books you love to write.

That is probably the best thing, for me at least, about being an author. I'm grateful for every reader who takes a chance on my books. I'll never be a "superstar" author, but I'm glad there are readers who like my books, and I'm glad I got to write the books I really love to write.

And having Jimmy portray the hero from THE SCORPION AND THE SEDUCER was a real highlight for me. I've never had a cover model portray my hero in the competition. And I've never been escorted into the competition and had a front row seat, as if I were someone special.

Now it's back to my darling hubby, whom I really miss, the dogs, the day job and reality. I'm glad I'm going home. RT is like an escape from reality in a way. You can go there and for a few days or the whole week, feel totally in another world with fairy balls, and cover models and authors and publishers and readers and booksellers.

And if you're really lucky, you have a lot of great memories to take back home with you. Or a cover model or two in your suitcase. :-)


Chez said...

Wow Bonnie I just read through all your adventures at RT and ... crumbs. Lots of ups and downs. Still I loved that you made the best of some ..frankly quite odd .. situations and your humour shines through this blog. Now you are back from Romancelandia I wish you a nice settling back into real life, minus cover models but with rooms that don't stink of cigarettes.
Chez from RBL

Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James / Ashley Gardner said...

Bonnie: Thanks for keeping this blog. It was great for me to attend the conference vicariously. It turned out to be a good thing I didn't go, but I did miss hanging out with everyone and meeting new people. Oh well, next year.

But I did get my book done!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gennita said...

It was so good to bump into you! I'm sorry we didn't spend some time talking, but that place was a madhouse and a zoo combo.

Looks like you had a great time, though, barring the booksigning incident. I'm not sure what happened. The bookseller won't sell your books???! That's so strange to me. Maybe you can explain to me at RWA ;-).

Hugs to you and I promise next time to find more than two minutes so we can play catch up, 'kay? And oh, YOU ARE SPECIAL.