In which dancing happens.
After the Giant Book Fair, where I went and read, others continued on to the (greatly reduced) weekend programming. Those attending the Avon Krewe of Muses party reported the following instructions: take as many books as you can carry, but only one cupcake.
Clearly this is a conference with its priorities in order.
The grand finale, however, was the Harlequin Dance Party. Even though it started at 9pm, and it had been a very long conference, RT-ers still made an effort, put on their dresses and heels (which came off shortly afterwards) and came along to dance the night away.
The decorations were red and white, the desserts were plentiful, and the DJ had our number from the moment we walked in – lots of crowd-pleasing 70s, 80s, and 90s, as well as a rousing rendition of the Harlem Shuffle.
The Harlem Shuffle is so not a thing in Australia, so I had no idea what was going on. As best as I can tell, it’s a line dance, but with lots of soul? Also hips. Hips and soul.
Hanging out with favourite Harlequin authors on the dance floor was the highlight – Victoria Dahl joined in for a sing-along to Blurred Lines, and you couldn’t keep Caitlyn Crewes and Maisey Yates from the dance floor during ABBA’s Dancing Queen. Rachael Johns claims to not be much of a dancer, but she too was out there, in her sensibly comfortable shoes.
The Harlequin staff were not immune to the pull of the dance floor either, and you could have as easily be brushing shoulders with a New York Times best-seller as with an influential publishing exec. By 11pm no one was wearing shoes, everyone had had at least two of the chocolate creme brulees, and the champagne was flowing freely.
I only hope that by the Romance Writers of Australia party, we’ve all learned the Harlem Shuffle so I’m not out there by myself!
Next Up: Some highlights from New Orleans