Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Spring Fling 2014: Part Two

Random disclaimer: The Internet messes with your head. Specifically, social media. At this moment I follow 764 people on Twitter, mostly other authors and industry professionals, so at conferences I see a lot of names and faces that I recognize but can't figure out how I know them. I pretty much suck at remembering names to begin with, so my apologies if I met you/missed you at the Spring Fling and didn't realize it.

Saturday, or DO ALL THE THINGS!

I am not a morning person. Or a social person (some days I feel like the Internet was invented so I never have to call anyone on the phone ever again, and I'm fine with that). The idea of attending a book signing at 9:30 in the morning terrified me. Before the signing I armed myself with a venti white chocolate mocha and had a bit of social time with Sasha Devlin and Cora Cade. But then it was book signing time.

As you may have noticed, I am more than a little socially awkward. I have anxiety problems. The "diagnosed by a doctor and undergoing treatment for" kind of anxiety, so meeting readers is a big thing for me. Hell, meeting anyone is a big thing. My inner anxiety demons live in constant fear that other people see me as an awkward, over-excited goofball. Sort of like this:

I had the good fortune to share a table with the awesome Sarah M. Anderson. She and I stood in front of our table and handed out promo to passers-by. I leapt on unsuspecting readers like a land shark--a land shark distributing goody bags filled with free chocolate, so I think it worked out all right.

My Very Proud of Me parents arrived, and after hugs were exchanged I realized that they were going to need an activity, so I asked BFF Diana to take them on a field trip to meet Sarah Wendell. She was a good sport about it (thank you SB Sarah!), and she also signed my copy of Everything I Know about Love I Learned from Romance Novels. And BFF Diana exposed her to Dack's Awesome Mantitty on the cover of Nightfall.

After the signing I had my pitch appointment. I was too drained from the signing to be over nervous about the appointment, or at least I was until I got to the place. The holding room where everyone waited for their appointment was a dark, silent pit of tension. Good lord. Way to heighten the stress, people.

I generally fail at trying to explain myself and my writing to other people. It's all,
"Umm, hi! I write books. About stuff..."

But I survived. I must say, having the copy of my query letter was SUPER HELPFUL, because it saved me from stuttering and I got a ton of helpful feedback. So that was definitely a win.

Then there was lunch featuring Mary Balogh. I think everyone agrees that we could listen to her talk all day, because her accent is cool and her speech was inspiring. After that Diana and I headed to the "Many Eggs, Many Baskets: Hybrid Career Options" workshop by Sarah M. Anderson and Hanna Martine. I think this SF wins at having the best workshops. Each one was very informative and well put together. I did miss a few minutes of this one because I had to duck out for my author portrait. (And though I HATE having my picture taken, I was very impressed with the photographer and her magic ability to make me look good.)

After that we went to "From the Dungeon to I Love You" by Katie Porter (and Diana later cracked me up by referring to the combination of Katie Porter authors forming the Voltron of erotic romance). Then there was "Using it All: Writing Sex that Not Only Steams up the Pages but Uses the Emotional Magnitude of Intimacy to Drive the Heart of Your Novel" with Lauren Dane and Megan Hart. I think it's safe to say that Lauren Dane is our new author crush. I wanted to go to this workshop just to hear her speak words, and then they were awesome words, with the added bonus of Megan Hart. You guys, they are so good. I swear it was like, "Gather round, kids. Auntie Megan is about to drink some wine and drop some knowledge on you." WIN!

Before dinner we spotted Sarah Wendell and pounced on her, which resulted in her tweeting Diana's chest. Seriously. We grabbed Sasha and were chatting with her, Courtney Milan and Sarah Wendell, and then everything went downhill. Because the comic spotted us.

I did not like the comic. My first impression of him was him thrusting tiny clip boards at Sasha, Diana and me, and I honestly thought he was about to sell us something. Then he explained he wanted us to write down our favorite romance euphemisms. I paused, wondering if he had arrived in a time machine from the 90s, and then informed him that I don't use euphemisms. I call a cock a cock. He seemed surprised by this. It did not bode well.

I felt increasingly uncomfortable through the course of his routine, and an innocent dinner roll was stabbed to death by an author sitting near me. There is more about my negative feelings, but there is too much. I will sum up: I go to the Spring Fling to be inspired and to interact with other authors. I really would have preferred to have that time to talk to my table mates.

The nopetopus will now sum up my feelings on his grand finale:

Moving on! The speech by Kristan Higgins was AMAZING. Seriously. Not a dry eye in the room. And congrats to the winners of the Fire and Ice contest!

We escaped to the bar before the dancing started. (I assume there was dancing. I was enjoying a lovely local beer.) Overall, it was another lovely time at the Spring Fling, and I look forward to the next one. Just please, no more comedians.

1 comment:

Cora Cade said...

Robyn, your parents are adorable! Thank you for sending your mom over to my table (at my very first painful and awkward book signing). She was gracious and lovely and it made the signing for me.