Reporting live from the front lines of RWA

July 29th, 2010

Hi, it’s me, reporting live from the front lines here at the 30th annual Romance Writers of America conference, where can I just tell you the air is tingling with the excitement of the pre-published waiting to snag a meeting with an editor or agent . . . not to mention the already published hoping to pitch their next book idea, and the multi-published schmoozing it up in the hotel bar (not me, I don’t have any photo ID to prove I’m 21, ha ha ha . . . but we’ll get to that in minute)!

Did I mention the place is also packed with booksellers, librarians, and bloggers? I even met Sarah from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, and she looked nothing like Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which I somehow had it in my head that she would (you know, because she kicks so much ass).

She made this amazing video of last night’s mega signing, which is great because I didn’t get to see any of the event, having been in it.

I love Ke$ha, and I love romance, so this is basically my favorite video of all time. I like how I actually look like a lovesick crackhead when I say the line about lovesick crackheads (around 1:10). And I love how many authors contributed! They are all AWESOME.

As you can see from the above, it was an extremely fun and thrilling signing (with approximately 500 authors) at which I sat at a few yards away from NORA ROBERTS and JAYNE ANNE KRENTZ (and, no, I didn’t get their autographs, and now I’m so mad about it)! In fact I was so busy I never even saw Jayne Anne Krentz (now that I think of it, I’m not even sure she was there, although I know she had a long, long line of fans).

I saw La Nora though (as I’m sure you did, in the video above), and she looked exquisite, as always. And so tiny! How can she stay so tiny on a self-confessed diet of Cheez-its? And Julia Quinn and I exchanged bon mots (is that right?) She showed me a photo of her dad’s NEW KID’S BOOK! How cool is that??? More on that soon.

All of you looked exquisite, too, when you came through my line. How do all of you just keep getting younger, when I do not? Also, it’s very disconcerting to hear that you’ve been reading my books “all of your life.” But it turns out to be true when you’re only twenty.

I even did the math, which I call Closer Math, because it involves Kyra Sedgwick (LOVE THE CLOSER THIS SEASON) who is two years older than I am and has an eighteen year old daughter named Sosie who came to one of my first signings back when she was just a ten year old and was slightly obsessed with my cat, Henrietta. Henrietta is almost the same age is Sosie.

Kyra, Sosie, and Kevin. How does Kyra keep her neck looking so good?

So, it’s true. Henrietta and I are both getting older. But Sosie and Kyra and you all are not. WHY IS THIS?

Anyway, it was so exciting. My book, Insatiable, was given out FREE to everyone attending the conference. Well, not really free, because you had to pay to attend the conference to get it. But still. Plus, it was for sale at last night’s signing.

Several people who came up to me last night were like, “What’s this about? Does the girl in it kill vampires? Because I don’t want to read about a girl who kills vampires.”

I asked, “Even if they aren’t very nice vampires? Because vampires can be tricky that way. There are some nice vampires in the book, but it isn’t always easy to tell. That’s what the book is about. When the vampire apocalypse comes, you’ll want to be ready.”

I hope I didn’t blow anyone’s mind.

If they knew the very first thing that happened to me on the very first day I checked in to my “Disney resort hotel” (because the conference hotel was full when I applied, which was pretty early on), their minds would have been totally blown:

My passport got stolen!

RIGHT OUT OF MY BAG!!!!

AT THE MOST MAGICAL PLACE ON EARTH!!!!

(Don’t worry, RWA conventioneers: it did not happen at the Swan and Dolphin.)

But the officer from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department who showed up when I called them (because the very nice Disney security officer that I called gave me the number and that’s what he told me to do) wrote “lost” on the offense report, because I don’t quite recall if I left my passport in my room or in my bag.

(Either that, or he was “juking the stats,” like on The Wire! So not magical.)

But which is worse, my passport falling out of my bag and no one taking it to Lost and Found, or someone stealing it from my room, AT DISNEYWORLD?

(I don’t actually believe someone stole it from my room because as I pointed out to the very nice officer, nothing else was taken, such as my MOST EXCELLENT SHOES.)

When the officer from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department showed up, he was escorted by several undercover Disney operatives. You should know if you ever come to Disney World, 1 out 5 people you will see is actually an undercover Disney cop (I was told this by my extremely talkative taxi driver). You will be able to identify them by the fact that they are the only people wearing closed-toe shoes, and they will be saying things into their cell phones like, “Lots of bodies in Brazil,” and “It’s party central down on Blizzard Beach.”

(The “Lots of bodies in Brazil” remark was referring to the crowd in Brazil at Epcot. Bonita!)

When I asked what the chances were of my passport being recovered in the lost and found, the laughter was long and hard.

Anyway, I have moved hotels (for reasons of wi-fi, not necessarily safety), and I feel much better now.

And though my passport may never be recovered, I have a copy of Insatiable to use as photo ID (since I don’t have a driver’s license). I’m going to show the FAA security officers the back of the book to get on the plane to go home.

And today, to pick up my tickets when I go to . . . wait for it . . . HARRY POTTER THEME PARK AT UNIVERSAL. That’s where I’ll be this afternoon, if you’re looking for me.

Tomorrow morning, look for me at the Avon Books signing, and Saturday morning, come “chat with me”! (Conference attendees only, sorry. XXXOOO to the rest of you! Join RWA!!) Then Saturday night . . . the big AWARD CEREMONY! I can’t wait.

In the meantime . . . See you at Disney!

More later.

Much love,

Meg