back & ready to brag

Since I am moderately unpacked & pretty much caught up on everything else (you know, relatively speaking), it’s time to share the blow-by-blow of all the fun I had at NJRW’s “Put Your Heart in a Book” conference.

Number of guys who hit on me while I was wearing Mistress Heidi’s devil horns: 3

I absolutely abhor packing—any time, for anything—but have to admit that it was somewhat easier this time around because A.) I hadn’t really unpacked from my last trip *vbg* & B.) I decided to go with a complete red & black theme in honor of THE BITE BEFORE CHRISTMAS.  (But of course! :dracuulla )  I also made sure to pack all of my vampire jewelry—fangs necklace & earrings, spiders, bats…the whole bit.  I even took my little coffin purse (complete with prerequisite Vampire Blood hand sanitizer & Death Mints).  It was so much fun!  And tres easy to coordinate outfits.

PhotobucketAnd the hitting-on came from just about every male in the vicinity—which, granted, wasn’t many; mostly hotel staff.  But just ask Kathy Garbera about our breakfast adventure.  :goofangel

Number of funny looks I got from non-males while wearing Mistress Heidi’s devil horns: too many to count

PhotobucketThe best thing about conferences is getting a chance to chat with old friends.  In that category, I was able to catch up with Kathy, of course, & also Jessica Andersen, Virginia Kantra, Leanne Banks, Terri Brisbin, Sharon Sala (who gave an absolutely wonderful breakfast keynote speech, by the way!) & many others.

PhotobucketBut the second best thing about conferences is meeting new friends!  This time around, our very own Darling Paula R. introduced me to a handful of authors from her neck of the woods.  I was thrilled to finally meet the delightful Robyn Carr (who gave an equally wonderful luncheon keynote speech, by the way), Colleen Gleason (aka Joss Ware), & Kathryn Smith.  All three ladies were sweet & funny, & I hope we get the chance to hang out again soon.  (You know, if I ever again leave the house. :stalker )

Favorite thing overheard at the conference (albeit on television): “Don’t sit there & act like my hair ain’t luxurious, bitch, cuz you know it is!”

My workshop (“Fear of Failure, Fear of Success”) was Friday afternoon, which means I got to get it out of the way bright & early, then get back to having fun. :chocolate   It went pretty well, I think. At the very least, I had a lot of folks come up to me afterwards & tell me how helpful some bit of information or another that I’d shared had been to them.  (It really was good stuff, if I do say so myself. :Pretty )

There were a couple of other workshops that I actually thought I might sit in on, but you know how that goes…  I got so busy talking & catching up that by the time I realized there was something I was thinking of attending, it was over. :ouch

Most flattering part of the weekend: tie between having Kensington Brava’s Executive Editor, Alicia Condon, mention my name during her presentation…&…the number of readers who came up during the conference & during the booksigning to tell me how much they love my books!

I was lucky enough to run into Alicia Condon (Kensington Brava’s Executive Editor, as well as the editor who bought my very first western historical when she was at Dorchester :biggestgrin ) in the lobby on Saturday.  She was only there for a few hours to give a presentation during the PAN Retreat portion of the conference, but I got to chat with her one-on-one for a few minutes.  I don’t think I’ve seen her since I was writing for Dorchester, either, so it was nice to catch up!

PhotobucketI also got to touch base with Editorial Assistant Holly Blanck of St. Martin’s Press…sat between Brava’s Associate Editor Megan Records & agent Louise Fury during the luncheon (to say that was a fun meal is a huge understatement. :notworthy )…& had drinks with Senior Editor Stacy Boyd & Editorial Assistant Shana Smith of Silhouette Desire before the post-conference Book Fair.

Number of BOGO books given away during after-conference signing: 15+

The booksigning to close the conference was the very best time!  Continuing my theme of all things THE BITE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, I ran back to my room & traded in my red & black outfit & vampire jewelry for my Bite Me shirt & even more vampire jewelry.  And a Santa hat.  And fangs.

Yes, you heard me—actual fangs.

(The photo is a little blurry, but thanks to Darling Paula R. for sending it.  Otherwise there would be no record at all of my corniness.  I mean, dedication to my craft.  Yeah, that’s it…dedication.)

In addition to the whole Christmas vampire ensemble, I gave away rubber fangs, bat candy, & a copy of CHRISTMAS IN HIS ROYAL BED to anyone who bought either THE BITE BEFORE CHRISTMAS or KNOCK ME FOR A LOOP.  (See, that’s me, spread out all over the damn place. LOL) It was a blast!  I had a line the entire time & never bothered to sit down.  One reader, when she reached me, even said she knew my table would be the most fun of the whole bunch, & it was!  I got to meet so many people—readers & booksellers & other writers…even a few family members of readers.  I was so much fun to meet everyone & get feedback on my books.  Thankfully, this time, it was all good. :thumbsup

I gave away at least 15 copies of ROYAL BED, had a bunch of folks sign up for the “Fang-tastic Vampire Swag Bag” Giveaway (yes, I had a sign-up sheet & poster of the prizes *g*), & at the end of the signing, even the clerk working the register said I must have sold a lot of books because he’d run up a ton of BITE.  Yippee!

Number of minutes I got to swim in the hotel pool alone, in the dark, before children arrived to ruin it all: 10

After that, I was exhausted.  Never mind the entire conference or booksigning, just getting all my junk packed up & back to my room was an ordeal.  (Have I mentioned that I’m lazy & insisted on carrying it all in one trip?  Yep, that’s me.)  I was too tired to go back out for dinner, so I ordered a pizza, then decided to go down to the hotel pool.  (This hotel has the best pool.  I would spend the entire weekend in it, if I could.)  And I got at least ten blissful moments all to myself before a couple of little kids came running in & started to splash around.  Ah, well, it was fun while it lasted.  And I got dried off & back to the room just in time for my pizza to arrive, so it’s all good.

As much as I love these things, the next morning I packed like the wind & made a beeline straight for home.  The babies were waiting for me, after all, & Mistress Heidi wanted her devil horns back. :devil


19 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Laura J says:

    Sounds like a great weekend! I love the the book signing ensemble :yougogirl and that guest to your booth, well she needs to hang out here at the Dungeon and continue the fun from the conference!

  2. Dee says:

    Laura got the halo. Interesting.

    Glad your conference was so much fun!!!! I wish I could have gone. The devil horns idea is so cute. I need to get a pair!

  3. Alex D says:

    I wish I could have been there! Heidi there is no shame in enjoying your work, even if it means wearing adorable looking Santa hats with sharp fangs!

    Congrats Laura on your halo ^_^

    • Heidi says:

      Thanks, Alex. I’m not ashamed, I actually love it…& readers do, too, I think. :Bigthumbs But I’m sure some folks look at me & think I’m a little weird. Little do they know just *how* weird, huh? :whhhat

    • Laura J says:

      Thanks Alex. I’ll take good care of them for whoever gets them next! Yes. Really (Dee and Hollie—I can too be nice!)

  4. Paula R. says:

    I feel so special. I got mentioned like a gazillion times in your blog…LOL. it really was a blast hanging out with you Heidi. Ladies, she is everything I expected her to be…devil horns and all. Hey Heidi, if we happen to be at another Con together I will intro you to more of my friends. So happy you had fun. This was the first time I had gone to the NJRW Con. Lots of fun!!!

    Peace and love,
    Paula R. :dancing

    • Heidi says:

      That’s because you were the only Dungeon Darling in attendance, Paula. It’s a perk of hanging out at WIPs. :chocolate

      And the conf. was definitely a blast. I’ve always liked that one; it’s big enough that tons of great folks show up, but small enough that it’s not overwhelming. :eeee

      • Paula R. says:

        Thanks, Heidi!!! I think NJRW has to be on my regular rotation of Conferences now. Now I do RWA Nationals, NJRW, and am contemplating RT (not sure about this one yet though.)

        Peace and love,
        Paula R.

  5. Hollie says:

    Hi all….Heidi your trip looks like it was soo much fun!! Hopefully i will get to show up and hang out with you sometime too…Maybe it’ll be a great big Dungeon party! I’ll even wear my devil horns too!!

    our computer is in the last of its death throes……so DH says that this weekend we will be getting a new one…so HOPEFULLY the next time i stop by i will be on a new computeh!!!! WOOHOOOO!!! wish us luck!! ;-D

  6. Mary K says:

    I loved all the pics, it looks like you all had a blast.

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