home from RT...

and it’s nice to be here, too. As much as I had a blast, it’s great to be home with my family again. Especially after over 24 hours of flying. I tell you, I’m seriously considering the whole business-class option next year–particularly after being stuck in the plane on the run way for over 40 minutes at Houston airport, thanks to the storm that hit just as we were getting shunted away from the terminal, and then being shoved next to a space invader on the Auckland–Melbourne leg of the jaunt. I mean, not only did this idiot spread his legs as wide as he could (not sure why–his packaging didn’t look anything to be so proud of ;D), but he kept jiggling his legs up and down. And kept poking me in the ribs when wriggling about. There was no point saying anything–he didn’t understand english (I was stuck in the middle of a Japanese tourist party) and he certainly didn’t understand the many evil looks I sent his way. Mind you, the guy next to him was really nice, so I think I got the bad penny of the group.

Any way, seeing I didn’t get to blog much about RT, I thought I’d make a list of the good points and the bad :)

Good Points:

Eating, drinking, gossiping and generally having a good time with Jenna Black, Miriam Kriss, Vicki Petterson and Rachel Vincent (now known as Miriam’s gang, because super agent represents us all). Miriam obviously has fantastic taste in clients (after all, she had the good taste to pick me up! lol), and we all got along like old friends. Can’t wait for RWA in July for the repeat!

The Mr. Romance contest. As corny as hell, but also hysterically funny. Especially when you’re sitting next to Anne Groell, Miriam Kriss, Jenna Black and Rachel Vincent. The snarky, funny comments were flying thick and fast, and it was just brill. I hope they get the same MC back next year, but I think he might have done his dash with his whole marriage and divorce run of jokes. Sections of the room (the sections taking it all way, way too seriously) did not appreciate it.

Meeting and chatting to fans. It was great to be able to finally meet many of the people I’ve chatted to via email!

Workshops. I know RWAmerica has the rep for catering for writers needs, but RT had some fantastic workshops and panels this year. And there were plenty of editors and agents to talk to, as well.

Being stuck at the bottom of an escalator, with my agent on one side, and my editor on the other, both of them loudly saying (to a packed line of people waiting behind us to get into the party) that I was a New York Times bestseller, that they could vouch for me, and that I really wasnt trying to sneak into the party unpaid. It didn’t work–the stickler guarding the gateway still made me go upstairs to get my name tag so I could get into the party, but hey, it was worth it :)

Meeting and chatting to authors like Sunny (such a lovely lady!) and DN Simmons (who I’ve chatted to via forums but never actually met)

The book fair. Hundreds of authors, thousands of books, all in one room. What a buzz :)

Free books! There’s tons of them at RT–just about every party had free books on offer (and there were a ton of parties). Plus, there was a goody-bag room as well, where you could have six books, and as many of the Ellora’s Cave and Red Sage novels as you wanted. There were people walking out of there with thirty or so books!

Being finally able to buy hot tea that wasn’t herbal at American restaurants! Okay, this may not seem such a big deal to some, but the first time I went to America (ten years ago now) restaurants used to give me the look that suggested I had three heads when I asked for regular hot black tea. I lived on that lipton iced tea stuff in bottles on that trip, and that stuff is revolting.

Bad Points:

Waiting up to 25 minutes to get a lift in the morning. Not RT’s fault, I know.

Lack of information when it comes to what is required of authors when authors are giving book packs etc away at club RT. Authors need to know they have to provide the entry forms and the entry box for these giveaways. I wasn’t the only one running around like a headless chook trying to come up with these items at the last moment.

Organisers need to leave at least a five minute leeway in the starting times between all the sessions. Many authors and attendees were late for workshops or panels because it was simply impossible to get from one session to another on time (especially if they were on different floors)

Hardly any shops or restaurants being open on the weekend. I know there’s nothing RT organisers could have done about that, but hey, what is with that? Walk through the middle of Melbourne any time you please, and you’ll find a ton of shops and restaurants open!

Having my case smashed and rendered unusable by the baggage handlers. Though I guess I should be grateful that the lining of the case prevent my dirty laundry leaving a scattered trail from Houston to here.

Pittsburgh 2008, here I come!!