First, my deepest apologies to Shannon, Jen, Ericka and others with whom we failed to connect. I am so sorry.
In the past when we went to RT, our publishing house, which for us is Berkley (because Ace is a SF/F imprint) didn’t have as robust of a presence. Now they do. Also now we work for two publishing houses, a fact which I logically understood but failed to fully comprehend. Berkley publicist wanted to meet us, because the hardback is coming out, and they are excited about it. Avon publicity team wanted to meet as well, because Burn For Me is getting rave reviews and they are also really excited about it. Our agent wanted to discuss things (we may end up releasing Clean Sweep in languages other than English.) All of this sounds doable, except it wasn’t.
For example, we are having a meet and greet with readers and Gordon is spoilering them, because that’s what my husband does. I get a text from our Avon editor, Erika Tsang. “Where are you? Signing is starting.”
Signing? What signing? “I don’t have anything to sign.”
“Yes, you do. Grab Gordon, we’re in this room…”
We wrap up meet and greet, run over to Avon signing party, and they had printed a ton of Burn For Me samplers. I was shocked.
We went meeting to meeting to meeting. If it wasn’t Berkley, it was Avon, and if it wasn’t either of those or our agent, or our awesome Avon editor, Erika, is was RT programming. I was hoping to go on a ghost tour, but I didn’t get to. I did manage to hold the signing fort up, so Gordon could take Kid 2 who was dying to go. And Shannon was incredibly kind to take us on a trip to French market for a couple of hours and also spend the day with our girls. We wanted to do more, but the RT vortex sucked us in. We actually ended up skipping meals. Saturday we had breakfast, dessert (scheduled meeting) at 4:00 pm, and didn’t eat again until early next morning. It was crazy.
No, seriously, it was crazy. The kids gave up around Saturday afternoon. Here is how Saturday went: breakfast with Rae Carson (we’ve been online friends forever and that’s the only open slot both of us had), then we run over to the Giant Bookfair. Picture a huge room sectioned off by long tables with about 500 authors sitting at even intervals. We land, doors open, boom there is a line and a giant stack of books to sign. Kid 2 scopes out the lines, comes back with her own giant stack of books and then splits.
The Book Fair goes on for three hours, during which we must’ve signed about 200 books, bags, kindles, picture frames, etc. Eventually it ends and Gordon is in line with the books, and I have to run, because we have Penguin Lemonade Special immediately after. I run together with Jill Smith, who works for RT Magazine, get there, and realize I have another huge stack of books to sign. I start signing, Gordon eventually arrives, and we run out of books, because the event is really successful. Next to us Rachel Caine runs out of books and she and her husband are like, we’re out, we’re starving! Gordon and I are also starving, but there is no time. We start signing bookmarks. Then it’s over and we run to the dessert with our agent and editor, which is outside the hotel. Then we run back, crawl into the room, freshen up, go down for FAN-tastic event. We arrive and THERE IS ANOTHER GIANT STACK OF BOOKS TO SIGN. O_o
As an aside, sharpie silver markers are great, because your hand doesn’t cramp as much.
After that it was 8:00pm and Gordon decided that we were leaving. I think he hit a convention overload. Both Jeaniene Frost and Colleen Lindsay tried to talk us out of it – they had a point – but the kids were done as well, so we ended up driving out of NOLA in the middle of Saturday night. I don’t recommend it. I was so tired, I didn’t realize my lights were off (valet parking, oy) until a nice taxi driver dude pointed it out on Poydras Street. It was very fortunate that we both decided to go very light on drinking during this convention. Even during the pub crawl, we only had a single drink each and on Saturday, we were completely sober. It’s an 8+ hour drive for us, so we ended up driving until midnight, checking into hotel, getting up at 6:00 am, and driving more. We got home right around noon. I remember walking into the bedroom, changing clothes, and then I woke up because Sin City was on. Gordon tells me that before I fell asleep I went downstairs and brought up a drink and a sandwich, but I don’t recall that. I slept straight for five hours.
So apologies. I didn’t mean to miss our meetings. I just… I suck.
Things I have learned:
- Ace is excited about MAGIC BREAKS. They are planning a tour that may include several stops on West Coast and perhaps a stop in Atlanta. (I will have to get on a plane, even though I do not like it. In fact, I will have to get on several planes.) Things are tentative right now, but will let you know more when things shake out. It continues to be one of those books which people intensely love (thank you for everyone who told me how awesome it was, I do appreciate it) or intensely don’t love (thank you for letting me know that despite not liking this one as much as the rest, you are excited for the next one), so you’re in for a wild ride. Sales is excited because the book is generating a buzz and Ace is dedicated to supporting it all the way.
- Avon is incredibly supportive of BURN FOR ME. They printed an enormous number of ARCs (when they told me how many, I almost fell off my chair.) They pitched this book to the bookseller and librarians during the convention and at least a dozen people from that meeting talked to us after wanting more information about it. Also, we actually met real life sales reps for Avon. I’ve never had that experience before. Sales reps are a little bit scary.
- You guys really like Clean Sweep. We brought 50 copies and they were gone so fast.
- Bourbon Street is not a good place to be after dark.
- Kid 1 hates New Orleans. It’s a scary place full of people who cat call at her, drunkards, and weirdoes.
- Kid 2 loves New Orleans. It’s a place of adventure, scary magic, and weirdoes.
- Readers are really, really nice and patient. Thank you so much for hugs and telling us about the books you like and your families. Thank you for the awesome gifts of T-shirts and Abita beer and the warm New Orleans hospitality.
- Eloisa James is so nice.
- Charlaine Harris is so nice. I knew this already, but after she signed Kid 2’s arm, she can do no wrong in my book.
- Jeaniene Frost is so nice.
- Nalini Singh is so nice.
- Rae Carson is so nice.
- We got to sit next to Beverly Jenkins, who is so nice.
- We very briefly met Jamie McGuire and Kevin Hearne, who were both very nice.
- Lisa Shearin is so nice…
Okay I will stop.
So that’s where we are. More later, when my brain isn’t mush. Basically, I didn’t realize that professionally a lot of things really changed for us during the last year. Now I get it. Nor sure how I feel about it. I’ll tell you more some time next week.