Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011


As part of the Aspen Mountain Blog Tour, I ran a contest for a copy of my e-book But I Never Said I Didn't Love You and I'm pleased to announce Christi McMillen is the winner!

Christi, please contact me with your details and I'll forward them on for your e-book! Congratulations and thanks again for stopping by!

Blog Tour Winding Up!

Hey, everybody! Just wanted to take a moment this afternoon and say THANK YOU to everybody who stopped by and commented on my blog. Everybody who did is not only in the drawing for a free copy of my e-book But I Never Said I Didn't Love You, but you're also eligible to win a new Kindle Graphite! Winners will be announced at the AMP Community Loop later this evening, but if you're not able to join the festivities there, I'll also post them here.

Hope to see you!

Click here to Continue on your Tour.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Of course, one similarity between RT Booklovers' Convention and the myriad science fiction conventions I've been to over the years is the books. Certainly one would expect that from a convention with the word "booklover" in its title, but I wasn't prepared for the sheer number I'd come across.

Not counting the 3 I bought from Barnes & Noble in the dealer room:

2 were in the registration tote I received when I checked in
2 were from the Faery Ball, books placed on the tables as favors
1 was from the vampire ball, books on the tables again
4 were in the Mystery Chix mixer goody bag
7 were in the awards ceremony swag bag (you had to wait until the end of the ceremony to receive yours)
9 from the goody bag room (everybody got a ticket good for one trip, for up to 9 free books of your choice)
1 I just found on a table outside the main ballroom where most of the evening events were held.

I had to make a trip out to Walgreens to find some packing boxes and tape to ship the books back home. UPS loved me long time for how much I dropped in shipping stuff to and from the convention.

Yeah, I promised myself I'd exercise self control but, I mean, jeez. Come on. FREE BOOKS. If I didn't take them, somebody else would have!

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

It's the clothes what make the man

There were plenty of opportunities for fun at RT Booklovers' Convention. It wasn't all panel-panel-panel-workshop-workshop-panel-panel-workshop-workshop-DEEP BREATH, though I think that about sums up my first 25 minutes at the convention.

One of the signature events is the Faery Ball, a masquerade dinner where everybody's encouraged to come in costume. Haven't been in costume at a con since 1996, I thought I'd give it a shot. My immediate mindset wasn't something cute and foofy, though. For my inspiration, I looked toward my favorite Disney villain, Maleficent of Sleeping Beauty. Not exactly as dark, sinister, or teh sexay, but it still got a great reaction from the crowd during the costume contest. The contestants were escorted across the stage by one of the entrants of the Mr. Romance contest (a.k.a. the "mangeant", the "meat contest", or "Mr. Cover Stud"), were given a little twirl, and had a chance to show off.

The MC saw me in line and howled with laughter. In fact, my escort and I even agreed that it'd be fun if he gave me the twirl at center stage and when I was about to leave, I'd whip open my fan, hold it up to block us, and kiss his cheek.

I don't think I've ever heard that many women scream like that when I'm involved.

This is a picture taken outside the ballroom, a green screen effect where you got to choose the backdrop. The wings I'm wearing are a heavy latex and they actually flapped when I walked.

The next evening was a zombie/vampire ball but I had to ditch that costume. Somewhere along the way, I'd accidentally thrown out the fangs I'd bought for the event, so I just wore what I had to the e-pub signing event earlier that afternoon. I decided to create a connection to my book But I Never Said I Didn't Love You and thought about something to wear related to it. Since there are lots of underwear jokes, I decided to look elsewhere for inspiration. Then it hit me: my character Callum wears a London Scottish Rugby League jersey in one scene so why not? Internet-bound I go and I found one on eBay.

There was another photo opportunity sponsored by Bobbi Smith, raising funds for a charity that supports families of people in the armed services. It was a picture of you with the cover studs, so I thought it'd be fun. I got into the group, a few of the guys hooting and hollering, waving "hang loose" hand signs at me and such.

The guy second from the left was my escort during the costume contest at the Faery Ball the night before. The guy to my right, next to my "thumbs up", won the Mr. Romance contest for a cool $125,000 cover deal. (There was also a drawing to be a judge for the contest, but alas and alack, it wasn't to be.) And the two guys standing to the far right of the picture weren't smiling in very many others, so it wasn't me.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

RT Booklovers' Convention vs. Real Life

I'd been to several science fiction conventions over the years, so when I decided to go to RT Booklovers' Convention, I thought I'd been sufficiently prepared.

I thought I had been.

The prep for other cons was nothing compared to what I had to do to get ready for RTCon. It was a whole new level, since I was going there with much more than myself to present. I had some extra promo postcards and refrigerator magnets featuring my book cover made, and I also brought the requisite treat for my space on Promo Row (coffee flavored candy. It disappeared by Saturday afternoon, so that was 4 pounds I didn't have to worry about hauling back [this, however, was offset by my book haul I brought home]). I had my costume for the Faery Ball, the wings needing to be shipped ahead because of the wire frame and my not wanting to get the TSA involved in...well...anything.

Conducting the Louisiana Purchase didn't require this much prep. I made Hannibal's famous trek through the Alps look like a Sunday afternoon at Lake Michigan.

Okay, I didn't bring that much stuff, but having to ship part of of it ahead and keep track of the rest of it traveling across the country through four airports makes me wonder.

And I only forgot my verboten liquids in my carry-on bag once.

Flash forward from April, to June. I'm rolling through my head what I brought with me for promo stuff and what I can do next year to improve it. The first thing I think of: BRING THE POSTCARDS THAT HAVE MY BOOK'S INFORMATION PRINTED ON THE BACK AND NOT THE ONES THAT ARE BLANK.


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Monday, August 1, 2011

A bit more about me

Back in April, I attended my first RT Booklovers' Convention at the behest of my editor at AMP. It was a great idea, too, since it provided me with a large-scale opportunity to get to know the industry more. As part of the convention, I also attended the two-day pre-con writing workshop sponsored by author Bobbi Smith (if you're ever at a conference and you have the chance, stop and say hello. She's a really nice person). As part of the workshop, participants had the opportunity to submit a chapter for her annual Creative Writing Challenge for a chance at representation and possible publication, and since I was going all in this week, I submitted the first chapter of But I Never Said I Didn't Love You.

As much as I had to soak in during the workshop, I (barely) thought about it. During the final 15 minutes of the second day, Bobbi announced the three finalists who got to wear a special tag on their name badges to show off. Outside, I was all "oh, is it that time already?" and inside I was all "JUST ANNOUNCE THE WINNERS ALREADY!"

I was the first of the three finalists she announced.

Total shock. I hadn't expected to be published, I hadn't expected to be at the convention in a semi-professional capacity, and I certainly hadn't expected to be named a finalist my first time there.

Alas and alack, I didn't win but you know what they say at these things: THAT SHOULDA BEEN ME! THAT SHOULDA BEEN MY NAME SHE ANNOUNCED! I WUZ ROBBED!

Sorry. Wrong "you know what they say at these things". This isn't the year Kate Winslet was up against a real actress for an Oscar.

Later that evening, Bobbi provided some feedback and I told her that's what I was at the convention for: to hear these things, pick stuff up (besides the free books and other swag?), and hone my craft. Otherwise, it would have been a waste of everybody's time.

Plus, it's kinda fun to flip the recent issues of RT Book Reviews and the pictures on their website and say, "Oh, yeah! I was there! You can kinda sorta see my back and my ponytail! Hey! There's a picture where you can see my actual FACE!", or go "Hey, she was at the convention! So was she! So was he!"

Click here to Continue on your Tour.