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Monday, July 31, 2006

Wednesday - Conference Kick Off

I'm not an early riser when I'm at conference, so I managed to make it out of my room at the crack of noon. I thought that was pretty good. I met a few women from my local chapter and we went across the skyway to the mall. We were supposed to have lunch, but most of us weren't hungry. Instead, I went to the convenience store and bought two large bottles of water. Did I mention it was HOT in Atlanta?

One of the ladies had a really cool mini-computer. Not a laptop, but not a PDA or an Alphasmart either. This actually looked like something I'd use and it was cheaper than the Dana that sits untouched. It also had WIFI access so internet availability! Yea! And while the device was small, the keyboard wasn't much smaller than one of my laptops. I didn't get the name of this mini gadget, but my chapter mate promised to email info when she got home.

After we finished talking, I went back to my room and met my roommate. We've been online friends for years, but we'd never met in person before. We ended up talking for a couple of hours, then I had a phone call from another friend and talked with her for a while. It was then that I realized I hadn't eaten all day and the literacy signing started at 5:30. Gah!

The three of us went to the sports bar/restaurant. As we talked and waited for our food, I'm growing antsier and antsier. I had to put in my contact lenses, put on some makeup and change clothes before the book signing and the authors were supposed to be there at 5pm. Double Gah!

The food ended up coming five minutes before I had to leave and go up to the room. I scarfed down half my tuna sandwhich, gave my roommate some money and raced back to the room.

Frazzled, frantic, running late, I raced around getting ready, grabbed my stuff and ran down to the literacy signing. As I was getting ready to enter, I hear my name and look around. It was the ReBeLs! Yea! They'd flown in from around the country to meet their favorite authors. I was so focused, though, it took me a minute to recognize them. I felt bad that they had to say they were from RBL, but I did figure it out a split second before they said it. When I'm intent on something, it takes a few seconds for my brain to change tracks.

BTW, a certain fairly big name romance writer who shall remain nameless was very snotty to a number of the RBL ladies. This would be bad enough if they were aspiring writers, but these are pure readers and dedicated ones at that. They have to be to fly in for the literacy signing. I honestly don't understand how anyone can be snotty like that to their fans. I don't care how big your name, you should be nice. And just in case you think this is isolated, I had a different author at two different conferences who literally blew me off while I was telling her how much I liked her books and she wasn't a big name. Guess who I'll never buy again? I heard my reader friends had the same reaction to Ms Big Shot.

The signing itself, though, went really well for me! I had copies of ETERNAL NIGHTS there. This was its debut since it's not supposed to be in stores until tomorrow. I sold out of the book and even had several women who all wanted the last copy. That was really a thrill!

It was also exciting that I had so many people come up and tell me how much they enjoy my books. Readers, bookstore owners, other writers. Wow! This means so much to me! It's one of the main reasons I write, so that others can enjoy my stories, but positive feedback seems so few and far between. This was like the best thing for me. It helped give me energy and excite me about writing again!

After the signing, I went to the Booksellers' Best Awards. THROUGH A CRIMSON VEIL was up for Best Paranormal Romance. I didn't expect to win. It seems like I final in contest after contest, but I'm always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Well guess what? CRIMSON VEIL WON!!! Whoo hooo!!!

When they called my name, it took me a second or two to react because I didn't expect it. I got a really cool pin, a certificate and a copy of the poster with all the winners' book covers on it. That gets sent out to a ton of bookstores so this is great publicity. For the rest of the conference, I kept showing people my pin. :-) What can I say? I was so excited that I'd won and a huge, important award too!

More about the conference later. I have to get my oil changed today and I need to try and finish a proposal for my agent.

PS: Blogger spell check is down. Please forgive my typos.