My apologies (I always seem to be apologizing, don't I?) for missing July altogether, but I wanted to be able to do my annual swag bag give-away, and it's taken me this long to get my bags unpacked and the laundry done. Not to mention writing like a madwoman because I've still not finished AWAKENED. I'm really glad I packed an extra suitcase, because it took every empty spot I had to get all the stuff home this time. I've got lots of books, some swag and the usual goodies from the "Goody Room."
I flew into JFK around 3:30 on July 21, but it was almost six before I got to the hotel. President Obama was in town to film Jon Stewart's Daily Show, and traffic was a mess. It gets a bit crazy when the boss is in town! I got into my room, unpacked and then met the wonderful Stella Cameron for dinner. It was so good to see her and we had a lot of catching up to do. Jayne Ann Krentz joined us in time for a glass of really wonderful port--I'm a huge port fan. Almost as big as I am a JAK fan! I definitely still suffer from a serious case of "fangirl-itis" when I get around Jayne and Stella. They both occupy a large section of my keeper shelves, and they've been wonderful about helping me maneuver my way through this author business. I try really hard not to get all giggly...
Of course, I didn't manage to get decent pictures of either Jayne or Stella. Typical! I did, however, get this one of the buildings surrounding the 9/11 Memorial. The pool is in the foreground, but the reflections on the building across from it are just as amazing.
We had decided in advance not to go inside the museum. I don't know that I could have handled that without falling apart. As it was, I saw a young man standing in front of the wall that surrounds one of the pools. The names of those who died are carved into the stone, and he had his hand on one of the names and stood there quietly with tears on his face. I had to look away because I had such a powerful need to go up to this perfect stranger and give him a hug. It might have been welcome, just as it might not have, and it was obviously a very personal moment for him. It's a tough place to visit, but I'm so glad we did. I've needed to see where it happened ever since watching the buildings come down.
We left the memorial and walked south to the Staten Island Ferry and took that across to Staten Island. it was a beautiful day and a perfect segue from the memorial to the rest of the conference.
This was the first time I've ever seen the Statue of Liberty. It's so beautiful standing out there in the harbor, and the view from the ferry is perfect. It was time for lunch when we got to Staten Island, so we had a quick lunch and then headed back to the conference hotel. The Literacy Signing was at 5:30, but I was hoping to meet up with a couple of readers who live in NY. I only had time for a short visit, but it
Many thanks to Lori for getting this photo! I was horrible at this conference--so busy talking I forgot to take pictures...
The week was busy--I did a panel with author Shiloh Walker, who is an absolute hoot--damn but she's got a sense of humor! There was a pizza party with the BookEnds Literary Agency where my agent, Jessica Faust, sat me across from James, the new intern. I may have scarred the poor young man forever.
On Thursday night I had two cocktail
parties to attend at opposite ends of
Each of the publishers holds separate signings for their authors, open only to those who attend the conference. All the books are free (hence the need for the extra suitcase...) and I signed for both Kensington and St. Martin's Press. I also attended a couple of signings and did manage to see some of my favorites. Again, though, I got very few pictures. I really blew it this year!
This will give you an idea of what Jess was dragging me through! It was nuts.
That's me with author Jessica Scott at the Ritas. And that really cool crocheted scarf I'm wearing was a gift to me from reader Courtney Watts--It was perfect with my outfit for the evening. (You'll notice I wear a hat even with the grownup clothes...at least it was my fancy one!)
I've rambled enough. Please use the contest entry form that's to the right on your computer screen, and down at the bottom on your mobile device. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR INFORMATION in the comments section. I will delete it--it's too dangerous to post addresses online in public comments. The contest entry form SAYS "Contest Entry Form." I'm giving
Take care, be well and don't forget to find time to read a good book! There are so many out there.