Sorry about the relative radio silence over the last several days. For those who didn’t know, I made the journey (through the grace of several friends, and Amazon paying out foreign royalties early) to the RWA conference down in Anaheim, CA. For a girl who can navigate the rough waters of self-publishing well enough, I was a real fish-out-of-water at the much more professional, traditional world of the conference. For example, I didn’t (don’t) have any business cards, never knew I was supposed to bring formal wear – I literally was meeting editors in jeans (and a nice top, yes, but JEANS people) and FLIPFLOPS (!!!). These ladies were dressed usually to the nines in power suits and matching pumps – but oh, they were wonderful. Everyone had such a passion for writing, for getting stories out to readers, and they were excited to talk to me. Little, introverted, bubbly-when-she’s-nervous me.
Folks, you’re going to have to forgive me for not taking pictures. What was one of the coolest experiences of my life also made me braindead and unable to remember, “Hey, I might need proof I went!” I was also surrounded by writers whose work I’d read all my life so, without further ado, I present my list of fangirl moments. Cuz I totally made a silly of myself on a number of occasions:
– Bella Andre. Guys, she’s even more full of awesome in person. We’re on Kindleboards together and when she saw me, she gave me a big hug.
– Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I’ve loved her stories since I was a kid, and when I heard she was at the conference I got bouncy. THEN, when I was at the Avon party (in jeans, surrounded by cocktail dresses – oh my, I was out of my element!), she sits down in the seat across from me and my new bestie Lauren Hawkeye (who I’m doing an anthology with later this year) told me who it was. I was literally bouncing in the seat for almost ten minutes, trying to get up the nerve to say SOMETHING that wasn’t a gushing omgIloveyourstoriesYOU’REMYHERO! Managed not to make a fool of myself, somehow – sounded fairly knowledgeable when I said even self-published writers don’t understand all things about the practice – but couldn’t help but gush a teensy bit. She was super gracious.
– In one of the most awesome, definitely-going-to-be-a-forever-memory kind of moment, I was recognized by one of my readers in the Starbucks line. SHE then proceeded to fangirl ME, and we talked about everything from Nathan Fillion to ComicCon to the dastardly nature of cliffhangers. Tameri Etherton, if you’re reading this, you’re awesome. We DEFINITELY need to hang out next RWA (or at ComicCon, so awesome to meet another Browncoat!!!).
– Another wonderful writer I met was Lauren Hawkeye, a future anthology buddy. OMG, she understood what it meant to be a newbie and helped me navigate the deep waters of RWA. She’s awesome, and also writes REALLY COOL BOOKS!!!! …just sayin’.
– Finally, I had my very own Close Encounter With Nora Roberts at the RITA awards ceremony. There was this familiar lady sitting at my table but I couldn’t place her face but had a sneaking suspicion. Google images never look like real life however, so I couldn’t be sure it was her until she stood up to accept the RITA for Best Romantic Suspense as JD Robb. Guys, I will admit this once to FINALLY remembering to take evidence photos, but unfortunately it was too dark for my surrepticious photog skills and, yeah, you gotta take my word for it. Woe and betide…
It was like all the stars aligned this weekend to make it PERFECT!! I released AHW4 on Wednesday, Tweeting the links as they went live (technically it was for a Thursday release but some came through early) and you guys flocked to the sale price! I couldn’t believe it: I was #1 on Amazon’s Movers and Shakers list, plus AHW4 rose to the Amazon top 100 within the first 24 hours!!! I was also informed by eagle-eyed readers (YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!) that I’d landed at #85 on the USA Today Bestseller List (and haven’t moved off it yet). AND, I’m a Featured Book on AllRomanceeBook.
*pinches myself* Did I just die and go to heaven?
I have some writerly business to take care of for my agent (does saying that ever get old?) then I need to get to writing tonight. I have a deadline in my head of when I want to release AHW5 – don’t want to commit yet because I’d hate to disappoint you guys by missing my release, or worse yet release something that isn’t ready – but it means I’ll be working overtime on getting everything in my head committed to paper. Er, electronic paper at least. I’m playing around with Dragon Naturally Speaking, learning how to use dictation software – haven’t told myself stories since I was a kid!!
Oh yeah, and today I handed in my notice of resignation to commit fully to writing. *blink-blink* By the end of the month, I’ll be a full-time writer, and it’s all your guys’ doing. I’d blame you, but really all I want to do is hug and THANK YOU PROFUSELY for this opportunity!!