In which Kate discovers that she’s really good at double entendres (and single entendres) when she’s seriously sleep-deprived.
When I left you last, I was driving in to New Orleans at dawn, with a posse of intrepid travellers, after a very long, difficult drive.
Tuesday is an unofficial day at RT. There are sessions, and you can register, but the real conference starts on Wednesday. I had one commitment – hanging out with the reviewers and bloggers at the Blogger and Reviewer Symposium, run by Sarah Wendell (of Smart Bitches Trashy Books) and Jane Litte (of Dear Author).
But, I also had no clothes, no laptop, no swag, and no real knowledge of where any of those things were. So I had a list of things to do:
- Locate swag – I’m so glad I didn’t carry my swag and giveaways with me, but sent them via mail to myself at the hotel beforehand. I absolutely recommend this to anyone travelling from Australia, as it doesn’t affect your luggage limits, and it just makes things easier. However, I had two different swag packages, coming from two different places at two different time. One was found easily enough. The other…took some time. And, of course, the missing swag was the good stuff – USB keys full of great Escape titles. Luckily, a particularly diligent bellhop overthrew the mail room for me and found it, battered but intact, in a corner. His name is James, and everyone should send virtual high fives to him!
- Figure out the luggage situation – this was harder, as we were by no means the only people who were having trouble with American Airlines. I wish that I were exaggerating when I said that I spent more than 5 hours on hold and trying to get through to American that day, but I’m not. Eventually, after a lot of explanations, re-explanations, and (I’ll be honest) a few tears, my luggage was finally delivered at 12am Wednesday morning.
- Fix the clothes situation – With no luggage in sight, and out of clean underwear, I had to make some hard decisions about what I was going to wear for the day (and to the presentation!). I have never not wanted to do something more than put back on my airplane clothes, but I sucked it up and went shopping. Guys, this was a bright spot in an otherwise grey day – the shopping. Even in just a tiny little mall. The colours! the clothes! the variety! It was awesome.
All of this left me with no sleep before I went to the conference in time for the presentation.
It is here that I learned, (though really, I should have known), that the word ‘Bush’ in the US is not unsimilar to the word ‘Root’ in Australia. That is – you think you’re saying one thing, but the raucous laughter from your audience tells you that they’ve heard something completely different.
Here are the things I said:
- He heads deep into the bush.
- When you’re in the bush, no one can hear you scream.
- The bush is hot and dry, unless it’s hot and wet.
I stopped, eventually, and managed to talk about our amazing romantic suspense (Deadly Secrets out in June!) without descending any further into the gutter, but romance readers – they’ve got dirty minds, guys. Very dirty minds.
Erin Galloway from Penguin/NAL/Berkley and Angela James also spoke. If you catch Erin around, she’s got ARCs of a book called Virgin, which sounds awesome.
I got to meet some amazing reviewers and bloggers, and they were all so friendly, and so open to reading and reviewing books set outside the US, so look for some of our books on their sites soon! I may have also plied them with Caramello Koalas, but I think that’s legitimate.
After the presentation, registration was open, and I was able to sign in and get hooked up.
Guys – Romantic Times is all about the stuff. Here’s just what I got in the initial bag, not any of the many other freebies going around.
That’s about six print books, a couple of hundred e-books, a calendar, bookmarks, pens, notepads, screen wipes, chocolates, and, of course, the swag bag itself, which is a great size and full of pockets.
Next up: My first night in New Orleans, and it gets a little haunted!