I know there are dozens of recaps out there already, but I'm still gonna add to the pile anyway. Except that my recap won't feature pictures (beyond a couple I downloaded before tragedy struck). It seems as if my camera cord, the one I finally remembered to actually take to a conference so I could upload pictures there, is still in Orlando. Joining the cord are a pair of Spanx. Both decided not to get into the suitcase for the trip home. Perhaps they knew we'd be stuck in the Orlando airport for 4 hours longer than we were supposed to be. Perhaps they were miffed I didn't feel the urge to tour Disney and stayed behind to do it for me. Who knows, but both are gone.
The cord is a surprisingly cheap replacement. The Spanx, OTOH, aren't cheap at all. 👿
As I promised, I didn't leave the hotel unless I had to. I did not tour the Disney boardwalk, I never went to the Swan, and I did not go to any other hotels unless I had an event there, at which point I traveled in an air-conditioned taxi. 🙂
Tuesday, my flight was delayed and I arrived with only an hour to spare before dinner with the Presents authors. I raced up to my room, did a quick freshen and change, and then we were all off to the Polynesian where there's a restaurant called Ohana's that serves up TONS of food. The food just keeps coming.
The best part was meeting the Presents authors I didn't yet know — Susan Stephens, Carole Mortimer, Caitlin Crews, and Maisey Yates — and catching up with those I haven't seen in forever — Jane Porter, Sandra Marton, Janette Kenny, Kate Hewitt, Jennie Lucas — as well as spending time with Michelle Willingham, who arranged the whole evening (Michelle is a Harlequin Historical author).
After, it was back to the Dolphin and down to the Blue Zoo restaurant, where we had a drink in the bar. The evening ended at a fairly reasonable hour and I did not stay up all night talking to my roomie, the wonderful Janette Kenny (though we stayed up late talking on other nights).
On Wednesday, I had a focus group at 10. We talked about reader expectations of Harlequin books, got a wonderful cake server shaped like a high heel, and I met the delightful Molly O'Keefe, who would go on to win a RITA on Saturday night. After, I went to lunch with Kimberly Lang. We hadn't planned it, but it worked out to be a mojo lunch (which is when we go together and nobody can join us). And the mojo totally worked, because Kim won the National Reader's Choice Award for Best First Book on the following night. Yay!
Later, I met with my agent and had a lovely chat with her in the bar. Then it was time to change for the Literacy Signing. The signing was a mad house, as usual, and I met Molly Harper and Meagan Hatfield, who sat on either side of me. I also got to meet some great people who came to say hello. I can't remember everyone, but Rebecca Lynn is one I definitely remember. She is so bubbly. I also met Gibb and Sabrina, who both comment here on a regular basis. It was great meeting them all, but I never ran into them again. That's conference for you!
I also saw fellow 2008 GH finalists (the Pixie Chicks!) Anne Barton and Keli Gwyn, who was nominated for a Golden Heart this year. The editors from Mills & Boon made the rounds, stopping by all their authors' tables, which is so nice of them. Jo Grant took my picture — I only hope I didn't look like a dork. She seemed to think I didn't, but who knows. 😉
Once the literacy signing was over, I went up and changed before heading to Sandra Marton's famous pizza party, which was held in Jane Porter's suite this year. Susan Stephens shocked us all when Sandra asked what kind of toppings she should order. Sue said, “Tuna,” which made our jaws gape. Apparently, in the UK, canned tuna on one's pizza is all the rage.
Never fear, we got the usual — supreme, cheese, and pepperoni — and then waited forever for the guy to arrive. When we went down to the lobby to find him, we couldn't. Eventually we realized he was outside and retrieved the pizzas. The evening ended reasonably early, and I got to bed at a decent hour — the last night I would, sigh.
The pictures below feature me and Rebecca Lynn, me and Janette Kenny, and me alone at my signing table.
And now the best part for you, the reader. I brought home tons of books and swag from the conference. Leave a comment, and I'll pick a winner to send some goodies to. You can just say “I want books” if you can't think of anything else. 🙂
UPDATE: The winner is Marcy! Marcy, email me at lynn AT lynnrayeharris DOT com, and I'll get the goodies in the mail to you! Everyone else, stay tuned for more fun….