First off, last year I suffered a serious case of burnout, trying to be everywhere at the same time, so this year I had a better game plan (that still went out the window when a bad back sent me hobbling to the room to lie down on more than one occasion.) This year was so very special in that three people who were with me when I took my first author baby steps on a fanfiction site were in attendance: Jared Rackler, P.D. Singer, and T.D. O'Malley. Hard to believe that was eight years ago!
Let's talk about swag! I kinda overdid it this year, as I picked up several new items that caught my eye, then, while moving, found more in a box in the closet. I barely had room on my table to put it all:
Pens, Post-it notes, mini sewing kits (I'd needed one desperately at last year's GRL), Diversion, Collusion, and Duet playing cards, purse mirrors, calculators and, for those who dropped by my book signing table, free print copies of my novellas The Match Before Christmas and Fanning the Flames. Thankfully, all of it was claimed and I didn't have to bring any home.
The Telling was my very first novel, and was a lifechanging event for me. It also brought a lot of wonderful people into my life, and I was proud to hand some of those folks a personalized copy. Several years ago a young man wrote to me about that book, told me about his own writing, then disappeared, only to return with his own novel in hand. I so loved meeting Will Parkenson face to face.
The folks I met and hung out with are too numerous to name, and if I tried, I'm afraid I'd leave someone out. Trust me, every word we exchanged, every neck I hugged, every wave across a room, every smile, is dear to me.
I would like to single out a few folks, though. Feliz Faber has been a good friend and beta for years now, and I finally got to meet her face to face. What a lovely soul she is. Doesn't she make an awesome owl at the masquerade ball?
Speaking of the ball, I returned to my fanfiction roots for my costume. I'd planned to go as Belle Morte, from Laurel K. Hamilton's Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series. Since I can't manage a French accent to save my life, have a novel about possum shifters, and am decidedly Southern, I went at "Belle Mor-tay, Master of the City of Possum Kingdom, Georgia. How's yo maker and dem?" A stuffed possum rode on my shoulder--my animal to call. Two bad I lost my fangs twenty minutes into the party. But not before snacking on good friend, Doug Starr.
With the stunning ladies of Mrs. Condit and Friends Read Books: Landry Breaux and Francis Bickford McNeal.
E.M. Lynley (on couch), reviewer/blogger Elisa Rolle (looking elegant in her gown) and Librarian Kate (side view.)
Dear friend P.D. Singer, pinning a possum to my wrist. (Don't ask.)
Michael Rupured, Charlie Cochet (love her look!) and my roomie, T.D. O'Malley.
Over the next few weeks I'll be posting more rememberances as I find the time. Just know that I had a great time, learned a lot in the writer's workshops, enjoyed reconnecting with old friends, and meeting new ones.