Just in time for lunch, I pulled into my driveway yesterday after spending almost a week in Kansas City where I was scandalized, scandalized others, was insulted to my face (again!), was flattered beyond belief, thought I was going to die of heat, shivered in the cold as the snow fell on the second day of May, hauled 50 books across a giant hotel, was nearly crushed with elevator doors, greeted readers while wearing a Regency style dress, had a near wardrobe malfunction, ate a few bites of fake haggis and burned my nose sniffing some real Scottish whisky. Altogether I had a ball and have a few pictures to show and dozens of stories.
Here are a few pictures and quick stories.
On Thursday, I donned a Regency costume and signed books for a few hours. Last year when I did this, I swear not a single person knew who I was. This year, however, I think at least six came up and knew my name/books! Two of my favorites was this lady who startled me when she literally jumped right in front of my table, and asked me to sign a copy of each of the books I was selling (and the copies she’d picked up in the book room), then went on about how she’d been so excited to see my name on the list of attending authors. Grinning like an idiot after she left, I was caught totally off guard when someone else walked up out of nowhere, pointed at me, and said, “Liberty!” I was so shocked all I could do was stare at her for a few seconds (like a total idiot), then I did it…the “Alex Banks blink”. Yes, I blinked at this poor woman, then stumbled over my words as I confessed that yes, I am the unusual soul who wrote that very unique character. She went on to talk about how much she liked Liberty (at this point you could have knocked me over with a feather), then spoke about the others in the trilogy: Brooke and Madison.
While at the signing, I got to meet Ruth Ann Nordin, a good friend I made nearly two years ago. (We actually met for the first time the day before, but mindless me, I neglected to snap a photo the day before.)
As I mentioned, while we were there, it snowed…
While the snow was coming down, it actually looked like a blizzard. Ironically, just two days earlier when I’d arrived, it was SO hot in my hotel room (even with the air conditioner set at 58) that I thought I was in a slow cooker. Strangely enough, and this falls under the umbrella of TMI, the weather and temperature kept changing so drastically even just between rooms–one workshop was warm, the next cool, the book signing was hotter than hades, the ballroom left me feeling like the tops of my partially exposed bosoms had become chilled melons, and all the while this hot-cold phenomenon left me with crustaceans CONSTANTLY in my nose. You know the ones that you can feel that they’re hard and pointy and you fear it’ll hurt when it comes time to use the tissue.
Here are some other photos I snapped, some of which might actually make my previous statement not seem so bad.
Here’s the real haggis:
The “fake” haggis:
Scandalous behavior… (consider this your warning)
Along the sides of the hallways are tables covered with promo items: bookmarks, pens, stress balls, emory boards, bottle openers, etc. While combing through the items on one table, I found a little green square that I immediately recognized as a tape measure. I’m ALWAYS measuring things, namely sizes of boxes that I’ll ship to different places. Anyway, I snapped it right up and handed one to a friend of mine (I’ll be nice and not name her, though she does read this blog…). A few minutes later, we went into a conference room and while we were waiting for the next workshop to start, she asks if I read what was on the tape measurer and before I could reply, she turned hers toward me…
After the two of us dissolved into a fit of giggles, my friend managed to give hers off to yet another person who follows this blog and I decided to keep mine. Hey, it’s still a tape measurer and it’s still useful. I did whisper a dozen prayers on my drive home that I wouldn’t get into an accident and have to rely on a paramedic to search my purse in an attempt to learn my identity and stumble upon that. It kind of falls in line with always wear clean underwear lest you get into an accident.
Now, for as scandalous as it was for ME to tote this about and show it to anyone who I knew I’d get a rise out of for showing them (no pun intended), I, too, was scandalized when I was at dinner in a fancy restaurant with two bloggers who enjoy wholesome books (who I’d just showed the previous to) when one of them whips out the following:
If you don’t know what that is, here’s a picture of the back:
While this would not be an ideal way for me to promote my name/books, it works for these authors and what they write, so in my opinion I think they did a great job of marketing with an item that is certainly catchy and memorable.
The last picture is probably only comical to me, but I just thought I’d share. Sometimes for different games played the prizes are feather boas. There are also escalators that connect the floors…