RWA was– well, it was a really big pond and I was a little tiny fish struggling desperately to grow, mostly. It was lovely–and a little terrifying, and I’d even say it was humbling, except I went expecting to be humbled, and then was a little surprised to see how much I actually knew and had actually accomplished.
Mary and I both agree that I failed “Southern Dressing 101” in spite of a decent showing on the final. On Thursday I wore jeans and a DSP T-shirt. When I stood up to speak, people looked angry and pissed off, and it took me a while to figure out that it was because I didn’t look the part of the serious writer.
The next day, I wore a very nice tank top and a pair of khaki capris. Now in California, this would have been business casual– hell, in California, this would have been overdressed business casual.
At RWA, I was slumming, and once again, when I spoke, yup, it was the cold shoulder. (Of course, I was pretty tired by this time– it could have been the cold shoulder because I sounded like an idiot–but I’m not necessarily sure that was it, because as far as I know, I always sound like an idiot, and this has been one of the few venues which has ever actually responded to me as though I were an idiot, so I’m going to keep thinking it was the clothes.)
On Friday night, the lovely Sarah Frantz told me that I had an interview the next day, on camera, for RT magazine, and, well…
I was thrilled. And a little worried. And nervous and…
Well, I went out to dinner with Ariel and Nessa that night (do you see the pretty drink we had? It was nummy too!) and apparently, I had finally managed to take dressing notes, because they told me the thing I wore for dinner would make a nice outfit for the interview, and hopefully I managed to make a not complete ass out of myself.
The interview was fun, actually– Morgan Doremus from RT book reviews was lovely, funny, dynamic, and she put me right at ease. I’m not sure how long the actual interview lasted, but I do know that between the pre-interview chat and the
actual interview, I was on the hot seat for over an hour.
I got to talk about some nitty-gritty stuff– my old job, my writing, why it’s not erotica and what the difference between erotica and m/m romance really is. I enjoyed myself immensely, and the opportunity was amazing– seriously. It will be out closer to December, because I also talk about my upcoming release, Christmas Kitsch which, of course, comes out in December. I’m excited for it to come out–although I’m pretty sure I don’t make great camera fodder, I’ll get feedback from you all on whether or not my voice REALLY sounds like Minnie Mouse!
After that, we went out to dinner with T.A. Webb, J.p. Barnaby, Shae Connor, Nessa Warin, and Mary my Mary and no one else shall have her. We went to Mary Macs, which was soul food and awesome, and we laughed and talked and went back to the hotel room and laughed and talked (and, uhm, J.p. took some incriminating video of me and llamas that I’m afraid to see on the internet someday) and in general (until Nessa strained her back :-/) we had a very good time.
This morning, Mary and I left for Kentucky– and I probably bored her to tears but I loved every minute of the drive. Including the moment between the first two landscape photos– the ones of unrelenting green? Where she said, “See? You can tell the topography changed from Georgia to Tennessee.” At which point I said, “Uhm…” Because to a girl from the unrelenting brown of Sacramento, it was all green to me.
Of course there was a scary moment when the heaven’s opened up and the roadway became the gods’ toilet, and we were just under it with our wipers on hoping to eventually see through the pissing rain, but when we were pretty sure we would live, it all got better after that.
We arrived in Kentucky, went out to dinner with the family (and dropped off Mary’s rental car) and in general? It was so worth the drive to spend more time with people I love dearly.
I can’t wait to go home– I can’t. I miss Mate and the kids, and I so want to be in my comfort zone again. But it was an interesting trip–and I think an important one. I’m not sure if I should go again– if unlike RT where I felt like I had something to give–I’ll have anything to offer RWA. But for this year, it was definitely time well spent.