The weather is cold and grey and we are back from Kisscon. We really enjoyed meeting everyone. The Kisscon went great, I think everyone had a lovely time, and we wish we had more opportunities to hang out with you.
The Kisscon itself was held in Mohegan Sun Casino. It was my first time in a casino. It was crowded, loud, and there were a ton of lights everywhere. Also smoke. Because if you leave the casino to smoke outside, you might have some second thoughts about spending more money. At some point we were wandering through it and saw a procession of older people carrying crockpots. We finally stopped someone and asked about it. Apparently, the casino has a loyalty program and if you spend enough money to qualify for it, they will periodically give you free things, like crockpots.
We got to catch up with other authors. Johanna Shupe is just as cool in person as I thought she would be. Tessa Dare still loves goats. Oh and if Sarah MacLean is in a scary cemetery at night and she happens to see a mysterious blue light shining through the dark trees, apparently she goes toward it. The beginning of every scary folk story ever. If you run into her on social media, ask her about the circus in the cemetery.
Thursday was a bit stressful.
My husband prefers to be at the airport 2 hours before the plane takes off. The Thursday flight to Philadelphia left at 7:00 am, which meant he wanted to be up at 3:00 am and leave at 4:00 am. I refused.
Usually I just gripe and go along with it, but I was really tired. So we got up at 4:00 am and left a little after 5:00 am. We hadn’t counted on Austin remodeling the airport. What used to be a five minute walk is now a fifteen minute torture of elevators and badly marked pathways through the two parking garages. At some point we reached a long bridge with an art installation in the middle, which consisted of differently shaped rectangles of rough concrete, lit from inside.
Gordon: What the hell is this?
Me: It’s a city.
Me: Look, shorter rectangles, then taller rectangles, then tall rectangles on wires. Suburbs, high rises, skyscrapers.
Gordon: You know, the probably paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for this.
We get to the terminal. I check in my bag. No problem. Gordon tries to check in his – nope, denied. We go to the counter.
AA representative: We have a 1 hour cut off time for the bag check in.
Me: I have never heard of this. This wasn’t on the ticket anywhere.
AA rep: There is nothing I can do. I can book you on the next flight.
So we are bumped to standby, which leaves in 5 hours. It was pointed out to me that had I just agreed to leave an hour earlier, we would be on the plane except waiting for 5 hours. Gordon wasn’t mad. He was just very disappointed.
The standby flight is boarding and suddenly there is only one seat. Someone has to take that seat, because if one of us doesn’t, nobody will be at the signing at 7:00 pm in Delaware.
Me: You take it. I already feel bad. It’s my fault.
Gordon: It is your fault, which is why you’re going to get on that damn plane. We have never not shown up to an event, and we are not starting now.
So I got on the plane. He would be flying 90 minutes behind me.
I’m a writer, which means I have a vivid imagination. The flight to Philadelphia was 3 hours and 20 minutes, and for most of it I contemplated the fact that if my husband’s plane crashed, I would have killed Gordon and he would be horribly dead.
Finally the plane lands and I find the chauffeur. We grab our bags – mine and Gordon’s had made it – and the poor chauffeur stuffs me into the car. We had called corporate to advise them of the travelling mess I had created and they must’ve given him strict instructions to “Get the idiot author to the event at all costs.” We have 90 minutes until the signing. He looks at me and says, “We are going directly to BN.” I don’t know how far the store is so I just nod.
He got me to the store in 20 minutes. I walk into BN at Christiana Mall in Newark. My hair is in full Merida mode. I’m wearing my travelling get up, which is boots, jeans, a cardigan, and a giant black T-shirt that says “Easily Distracted by Dogs.” I have no makeup. I am carrying a backpack. I am frumpy.
I walk to the counter and three nicely put together employees look at me.
Me: Um, hi, I’m the author, all this happened…
The manager: Oh, that’s perfectly alright.
The other employee: Yes, you know, the author signings are so relaxed now.
The manager: Yes, very casual. You’re perfect, relaxed, like a rock star.
The staff at BN was amazing. They wouldn’t let me pay for my tea, even. Also, they have 11 fiction clubs, among which is a very active romance book club, so if you live nearby, I envy you, because I want to live next to BN at the Christiana Mall.
I did my best. I can’t tell you what I blabbered on about during the Q&A because I’d been awake since 4:00 am and very eaten up by guilt. Miraculously, Gordon appeared just before we started to sign. Apparently he landed and his chauffeur tried to take him to the hotel.
Chauffeur: We have to go to the hotel.
Gordon: No, you will take me to BN.
Chauffeur: I don’t know if I can do that.
Gordon: You can and you will.
My husband can be very insistent when occasion calls for it.
So we hope you had fun. I took yesterday off. I went to the gym, made stew, I cleaned, and I fixed Kid 2’s hair for her coffee photoshoot.
Kid 2, texting: So I went to Starbucks because I wanted real coffee after the shoot, and this lady stopped me and told me I should be the next bachelorette.
Me: It’s the hair. She’s wearing the prom queen hair updo.
Today I’m in a full “rock star” mode, wearing a T-shirt that says “But Baby It’s Cold Outside” and sweatpants. Hoping to jump right in and make some words happen.