I’m just back from the RT Convention and my head is still spinning.
My Harlequin Intrigue, THE SECRET NIGHT, won the Reviewers' Choice Award for best Intrigue. It was a real thrill to go up on stage and collect that honor. And winning means a lot to me, since it’s always wonderful to be honored for your craft.
I also had another wonderful experience. I’m on the committee that chooses the recipient of the Melinda Helfer Fairy Godmother Award. And this year I got to give it to librarian Kristin Ramsdell who writes the romance review column in LIBRARY JOURNAL. Her day job is Coordinator for Library Instruction, Liaison Responsibilities, and Collection Development for the English, Communications, and Theater and Dance Departments at the California State University, Hayward. But she’s been a champion of romance for a long time. In addition to the column, she’s a frequent speaker on genre fiction panels at library conferences. Among her many publications is, WHAT ROMANCE DO I READ NEXT?: A READER'S GUIDE TO RECENT ROMANCE FICTION. Gale, 1997.
A lot of authors attended this year, many of them with e-book or small publishers. And the place was swimming with giveaways. You could pick up everything from candies and bookmarks to emery boards and even a back scratcher. One bookseller told me she was shipping home eleven boxes of books and other loot.
The best part of the conference for me was talking to friends like Angela Knight, Pat Potter, and Debra Webb, especially since I'm not going to RWA this year. We're going to Thrillerfest, which is at the same time in New York.
Of course, you can’t talk about RT without the parties. They were fantastic as usual. I loved the costumes at the Fairy Court and the Vampire Ball. And the hotel food was a very pleasant surprise. They also had a fun revolving restaurant on the top floor, where you could eat lunch or dinner and enjoy a 360-degree view of the Houston skyline. The restaurant made the full circuit in 45 minutes.
The hotel was a Hyatt Regency--so it was a big atrium with rooms around it--up to 30 floors. The atrium makes it easy to find your friends, but it was also noisy, and the noise drifted up to the rooms. Until way into the small hours of the morning.
As always, the Book Fair was a great place to meet fans. And this year, as an added feature, they showed book videos on two big screens during the Book Fair. Since the screening was sponsored by Circle of Seven, and they produced my video for NEW MOON, I got in on the deal for free!
Club RT was another good place to meet fans. I sat and chatted with a lot of people there. But the room is also a marketplace. And you know I had to buy some stuff. I got a cute tee shirt with an elephant trying to write a romance novel. But my big purchase was a gorgeous embroidered velvet jacket that I wore to the fairy ball.
One trend I'm seeing at RT--groups of authors getting together to host bookseller events. I participated in one with the thriller writers. And, some of the thriller writers attending are guys–which gives the conference a little different spin from years past. Jim Butcher, of Harry Dresden fame, was there, and he got a lot of attention. I’d met him before at another conference, so we chatted for a while.
Now that I'm back, I'd also like to tell you about a book that's just out.
DAMSEL UNDER STRESS by Shanna Swendson
It's a paranomral comedy. Owen Palmer, the dreamboat wizard at Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc., has conjured up the courage to get Katie Chandler under the mistletoe at the office holiday party. But just when it looks like Katie has found her prince, in pops her inept fairy godmother, Ethelinda, to throw a wand into the works. Ehtelinda’s timing couldn’t be worse. A plot hatched by MSI’s rogue ex-employees, Idris and his evil fairy gal pal Ari, threatens to expose the company’s secrets and the very existence of magic itself. Even worse, it could also mean the end of Katie’s happily-ever-after.
All mischief and matters of the heart come to a head at a big New Year’s Eve gala, when the crystal ball will drop, champagne will pour, and Katie will find herself truly spellbound. Find out more on Shanna's web site. http://shannonswenson.com/
PICTURES FROM THE RT CONVENTION:
Rebecca and Sunny at RT reception
Ann Parker, Jason Pinter, Karna Small Bodman, Rebecca, and Tracy Montoya on Thriller panel
Tara Taylor Quinn, Pat Potter, and Rebecca on Romantic Suspense panel
Rebecca giving Melinda Helfer Fairy Godmother Award to Kristin Ramsdell
Rebecca signing books at RT Book Fair
Rebecca at Murder by the Book booksigning