19 April 2008

RT Day 3: In Which Carolan Needs No Other Vampire Costume...

...other than her bloodshot eyes.

Yes, friends, between the dry hotel air and the remodeling dust that pervades the building, my contact lenses are stowed for the duration.

Last night's Midnight Texas Holdem tournament, hosted by Christine Feehan, was so worth the pain of staying up late! I've never played before but author C.L. Wilson was kind enough to coach me enough that at least I wasn't the first one out. :) She, of course, won the table and generously shared her prize bag with the rest of us at the table. Next year, if Christine has this event again, I will plan it better and hopefully enjoy it to the fullest extent. :)

Today was blur of time spent in Club RT, the awards luncheon (Look! More chicken!) and generally hanging out with readers and author friends all day. I met the nicest bookseller standing in line for the luncheon...she hasn't opened her doors yet but she plans to cater to the elderly and infirm in Florida who can't get out to buy books, and don't shop on Amazon. I hope she will email me because of course her name fell right out of my head.

I met and chatted a bit with Smart Bitch Sarah this evening for a couple hours before the vampire ball. It was my pleasure to just listen to this very sharp woman talk - she knows her stuff.

I didn't quite make it into the vampire ball...I know Heather Graham puts on a great party, but I just wasn't hungry, and wasn't up to the crush of people and noise. I contented myself sitting in the common area outside the ballroom, watching the parade of sexy costumes. Most were in the best of taste - some, to be honest, crossed the line from inappropriate to outright trashy. This is what RT is all about? Where's the fantasy and romance? Where are the gentlemanly cover models? Actually the Mr. Romance competitors are still gentlemen, but the badly behaved models [cough Cavemen cough] are hogging the attention. Like the one that nearly landed on my head by jumping around the bar like an out of control monkey.

What does it say about this event where it seems wardrobe malfunctions and public simulated sex are so commonplace almost no one notices or raises and eyebrow? That an author thinks it attractions the right kind of attention to her work by dressing as little more than a streetwalker, complete with bowl of cherries nestled between her breasts - and then stands around wondering why no one is coming within ten feet of her.

Now I'm no prude, but I didn't pay 1K to be here to watch other women's private parts spill out all over the place when I'm attempting to eat.

And let's talk a little bit about snark. There was even a snark workshop this year. I'm completely capable of appreciating well-done snark - it's probably the world's third oldest profession, after all. But when did snark degenerate into "It's okay to make unkind remarks because it's just snark and if you're offended than you obviously need a humor transplant"? Words have power. They are not to be tossed around like spit wads.

And let's not talk about the guy wearing the Dark Castle Lords t-shirt who didn't bother to do his research about how to properly present himself in a kilt. I know, he was trying to draw attention to his dotcom by flashing the plaid and his manly legs. Kilt and T-Shirt stretched over a nicely muscled chest - gooood. Brown leather huarachi-type sandals - wroooooong. It would have been better if he'd gone barefoot.

Now, on the other hand, Will Belegon knows how to carry off a kilt and plaid with style. Bravo, Will! You looked smashing. I have a book for you to sign.

Where is security? Tonight I saw random men from the bar downstairs wandering up to the ballroom to crash the party or just gawk. I'm pretty sure the impression they're going to get and take home with them is not going to be altogether favorable. That's too bad for our industry.

Okay, let's talk about the wonderful costumes - the two ladies wearing gorgeous antebellum and Victorian - and historically accurate - dresses. You looked gorgeous, ladies! I also enjoyed the humor - the Cousin It, the Uncle Fester, the Ghostbuster and vampire slayers. :) That's the spirit!

On another bright note, I spent some time with Katherine Kingston, Jessica Bimberg, Ashleigh Raine, Beth Williamson, Mechele Armstrong and Melissa Lopez his afternoon, and had the pleasure of meeting Cheryl Holt, who is celebrating the release of her 20th book this year. We sat on the couch and talked industry while watching the costume parade go by. After all this success, she is still genuinely humbled when a reader expresses love for her work.

Coffee Time Romance.com had a live chat going on during the vamp ball, and as I sat in on the chat for a few minutes, I glanced up at a very nicely shaped male rear view and realized it was John DeSalvo. In a move I would never have contemplated even a couple years ago (J.C. has taught me well), I tapped him on the shoulder and invited him into the chat room. Nice guy that he is, he gave me 2 minutes to type for him while he talked online (I type faster. [grin])

Now that's class.

What does it say that classy behavior is becoming the exception rather than the rule at RT?

Much as I love getting together with my author friends and meeting readers, I'm not certain that Orlando '09 is going to be on my schedule next year. I believe my conference money is better spent at smaller, more intimate events like Celebrate Romance, and the Lori Foster get-together in June. Now, those ladies know how to put on an intelligent, stripped down, no frills, it's-all-about-the-books event.

Forgive me, it's 1:30 a.m. and I'm beyond tired.

Tomorrow is the Bataan death march of book fairs. :) I'm off to bed.


Writer & Cat said...

Thanks for taking the time to blog about your conference experience, Carolan! Just letting you know I'm following your every word :)


Jenna Leigh said...

Shelling out big bucks to see bewbies when I can go look in the bathroom mirror at my own for free? Hmmm.. hmm is this a case of apples and oranges? Well, in my case, cantelopes. *evil smile*

Will Belegon said...

Carolan, I will be thrilled to sign the book for you at the soonest opportunity. And thank you very much for the kind words.

Oh, and I'm gonna need to get a copy of Beaudry's Ghost. I have a big interest in the Civil War...(if you know her, you might want to send it Linda Lael Miller's way too... she shares that interest.)