RWA Day One - Lube? Yes. Hair gel? No.
Day One RWA – Lube? Yes. Hair gel? No. Next time I fly anywhere, could someone please remind me that I can’t carry on my liquids?
Ah, RWA Day One. The Tiffany Chaos has already begun. I totes forget that my one carryon bag had ALL my girlie stuff in it—hair gel, shampoo, face wash, lube. So it came as a small shock (not really, I’m incredibly suspicious looking) that I get pulled out of line for a pat down and a bag search. The pat down? Pleasurable. The bag search? Frustrating. I wasn’t mad at the TSA peeps. I am clearly a dangerous person and so is my hair gel. I thoroughly enjoyed standing there watching the poor TSA guy go through all my shit. He pulled girlie liquid after girlie liquid out of my bag. Until he saw the lube bottle. That he didn’t touch. Let’s hope the terrorists don’t find out about what I’m calling The Lube Loophole. Anywho, the guy was super nice, told me to go check the bag. He complimented my cowboy hat and told me thanks for being nice about it.
Of course I’m nice about it. I’m Cowboy Batman.
So now I’m sitting at B21 at 9:11 in Cincinnati. Flight leaves in a few minutes.
The following things I’m looking forward to at RWA11.
1 – Alyssa Palmer, aka Alys (@alyslinn on Twitter)
Alys and I have been online friends for about eight years now. We bonded on a Jason Isaacs forum, bonded enough that the web mistress nearly kicked me off the site for excessive public flirtation (not my fault – Alys is sex on legs). Sometimes months will pass without Alys and I talking. Some months we’ll email each other two or three times a day. But she’s been one of the most consistent presences in my life for almost a decade now. Sadly she’s Canadian (yeah, I know—terrible). And I’m in Kentucky so we’ve never met. But for years she’s been my muse and inspiration eager to be the first to read any and everything I write. She’s read all five drafts of THE SIREN. She’s the reason there’s a fisting scene in SEVEN DAY LOAN (it was her idea, not mine. I’m a saint.) She’s the only person other than my agent who has read ARCANA, my fantasy novel. When I write, I write first for me, second for Alys, and third for the world. This year she’s the RWA first-timer pitching her dark, hot noir novel The Paris Game to editors and agents. If she doesn’t have a book deal by this time next year, I’ll be shocked.
2 – My agent and agent-mates.
The Internet, for all its problems has an amazing gift for making friends of strangers. Shortly after Sara Megibow of the Nelson Literary Agency offered me representation and I accepted with glee (April 2010), I was quickly hunted down on Twitter by Miranda Kenneally. I didn’t think Miranda and I would be friends. I write erotica, she writes Young Adult. But Miranda quickly proved to be both hilarious and wicked (it’s always the quiet ones). We swapped WIPs. I read her novel Best. Day. Ever. in two drafts. She read THE SIREN. I fell madly in love with her 18 year old country singer Jesse Scott. She fell hard for Wes Railey, my female lead character’s 19-year-old intern. Our totally inappropriate lusts for borderline criminally underage men brought us together. Miranda will be at her first RWA. I’m hoping at some point to get enough alcohol down both our throats and get some Karaoke on. I keep changing my mind about what song we should do. My top three choices are Bon Jovi’s Livin’ On a Prayer, Tanya Tucker’s Delta Dawn, and of course, Do Me, Bel Biv Devoe.
Also high on the hang-out priority list is my agent, the ever-amazing Sara Megibow (or as best bud Josh @non_prophet calls her Smegibow), the elegant Ashley March (if you haven’t read Seducing the Duchess, I judge you), and my fellow erotic romance agency-mate Roni Loren. I got to read and blurb Roni’s book Crash Into You. My right hand still hasn’t recovered. Just kidding. While the book is hot as fuck, it’s also beautifully written, gutsy, and fun (but mostly hot as fuck).
3 – My RWA Other Half Karen Hopper.
Karen is living proof that you should make a habit of checking your SPAM folder. Karen got waitlisted for RWA when the conference sold out. Yesterday I got a heartbroken message from her saying that she checked her SPAM and found an email in it from Tiffany Rene of RWA saying a spot had opened. The email was dated May 6th. Karen worked her Karen Magic and Tiffany Rene, who like all Tiffanys is a badass, got her a spot. Karen and I bonded last year over our shared love of hats and our total determination to never have children. We also discovered we both have the same birthday – June 1st. Karen’s exactly one year younger than me (and way cuter). RWA wouldn’t be the same without her and now she gets to come. Next year in LA for RWA12, she and I are going to throw ourselves a joint birthday party. You all are invited. BYOL (bring your own lube).
4 – Wednesday night.
Yes, Wednesday night. THE night. The main character of my novel THE SIREN has two jobs. Her legitimate job is writer of erotic fiction. Her not-so-legitimate job is lead Dominatrix for the infamous Kingsley Edge. I did quite a bit of research on kink and D/s while writing the early drafts of THE SIREN (a dangerous thing to research as there’s no way to study it without doing it and now I’m irrepressibly kinky), but never had the pleasure of meeting a real Domme or Dominatrix. Although the symbol of the Kink Community, Female Dominants and Dominatrixes are the rarest breed. Most men are Doms. Most women are subs. A shocking number of men are also submissives or Switches. I read somewhere that the second most common sexual fantasy among straight males involves being tied up and sexually used by a beautiful woman. I can dig that. Domiantrixes are sadly few and far between in Lexington, Kentucky. But this is New York, baby, and kink for pay is legal as long as no intercourse takes place. So on Wednesday night, I’m heading over to Mistress Elizabeth’s for a half-hour session with one of the ladies. I’m hoping to get my ass thoroughly kicked. Stayed tuned for pics.
5 – Everything else!
Last year RWA in Orlando was my first venture into writing conferences. I had nothing when I went except a novella coming out in December and a badass agent. No books out and no book deal yet. My RWA lanyard sported a lame First-Timers ribbon. This year I still have my agent, but I also have a book deal with Harlequin Spice for THE SIREN (Oct 2011) and its sequel THE ANGEL (tent July 2011). My editor is the one and only Susan Swinwood and there is no publisher in the world more widely recognized than Harlequin. So this year I’ll have a PAN ribbon on my lanyard (that stands for Published Authors Network and not Pretty Ass Nipples, Mark Lidstone) and invites to Harlequin parties and PAN-only events. I plan on challenging Megan Hart to a push-up competition at the Harlequin Single-Title author brunch. She said I’ll probably beat her as she has spaghetti arms. I think she’s hustling me. Stay tuned for results.
Before I sign off (I’m on the plane now and my ears are popping like a mother-fucker), let me give all RWA First Timers some tips.
a-Talk to everyone. You never know who that lady next to you in a workshop is. She could be me or even better, Karen Hooper (if she’s wearing a hat, it’s probably me or Karen). Don’t worry if she doesn’t write what you write. Margaret Browning and I had a lovely tea together at last year’s RWA. She writes Christian Inspirational Romances (very good ones – I read her A Lady Like Sarah and adored it) and I write erotica (safe to say she did not read SEVEN DAY LOAN). Despite our disparate genres, we could bond over our shared love of a good story and the fun and frustrations of writing historical fiction. She does write historicals and I’d like to. As I still don’t know what they used for lube in 1810, I’m just going to hanging out in the present for now.
b-Hang out in the hotel bar. That’s where you have the most fun. Go at night, get a drink, sit at any table with any group of ladies, and you’re guaranteed a good time. I’m looking to you BC Williams and Juniper Bell.
c-Don’t overdo it in the Goody Room. I still have books from last RWA I haven’t read yet.
d- Eat well, sleep well, and drink light. Skip a workshop and take a nap if you’re tired. You’ll make more connections staying up late at the bar than you will in a workshop.
e-Chillax! RWA is about networking and marketing and all that industry jazz. But it’s also one big party. Have fun! I plan to. If you ask nicely I’ll even let you touch my totes crazy hair.
I’m still on the plane and I’m going to try to take a nap. Before I go I have a few special spanks to throw out.
Spank you, Tiffany Rene of RWA, for getting both Karen Hopper and I in after the conference was sold out.
Spank you, Patricia, my Cincinnati buddy for dropping me off at the Airport.
Spank you, Mark Lidstone, for calling me last night and distracting me from my pre-travel nerves with your awesomeness. For those of you wondering, he has a great voice almost entirely lacking in a Canadian accent.
Spank you, Ben Wiebe, who, although of Mennonite stock, invoked St. Christopher to get this bad Catholic to her destination safely.
Spank you, my Alys, for taking care of all the hotel stuff.
Spank you, Gentle Readers, for putting up with my rambling.
Spank you, Josh, for taking care of Buckley and Honeytoast for me while I’m gone.
And spank you, TSA guy, for not confiscating my lube. I’m gonna need it.
Signing off for now. More Day One observations later.
By the way, I just took a shower with Alys. Best. RWA. Ever.