Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Debuts That Rock & RWA National

Just returned home from RWA National in Washington DC a few days ago and my head is still spinning!

What can I say? It was a GREAT conference! The Literacy Signing on Wednesday night was overwhelming. Even though the room was huge, there were so many people and the noise level was so intense that I suffered from what my best friend's mom used to call "The Big Eye!" I did sell some books, and made a great new friend of the author sitting next to me, Amanda McIntyre. The event raised over $60,000 for literacy charities and I was proud to have been a part of it!

The Sourcebooks signing was a bit like the Literacy Signing on a smaller scale. Ten of us Casablanca authors signed our books and we completely RAN OUT OF BOOKS with about a half-hour left of our allotted time. I'd call that a rousing success!

It was GREAT meeting so many readers and signing so many copies of The Wild Sight! I'll post a piccie below of me and my lovely publicist Danielle Jackson taken at the Sourcebooks signing.

I returned home to the wonderful news that The Romance Junkies voted The Wild Sight one of their "Debuts That Rock!" I am honored and thrilled to be included on their list! (To see the entire list just click on the title of this post.)

I'm afraid I still use an antiquated 35 mm camera, so I don't have any of my pictures back yet, but I will share one more sent to me of 15 Banditas and the Golden Rooster (that's me hiding behind Anna Campbell) taken at the Second Annual Romance Bandit Bash. Needless to say, a great time was had by ALL at that shindig!

Friday, July 10, 2009

See Ya In DC!


In a few short days Aunty will be leaving for the RWA National Conference in Washington DC. I'm really looking forward to some face time with all my writer-buddies, and this year for the first time, I'll be participating as a published author in the Literacy Signing! This is a very big deal with over 500 authors participating and all the proceeds going to literacy programs. Plus, since it is open to the public, I'll get a chance to meet some readers.

Aunty hasn't been in DC in about five years, so I asked my Banditas for some info on the hotel and getting around to the sights. If you are going to be at the conference, maybe some of this will be helpful for you too!

My Banditas Jeanne (Le Duchesse) Adams, Trish Millburn, and (Vrai aka VA) Anna Sugden all recommend using the Metro which is at the bottom of the hill from the Wardman Marriott where the conference is being held. They all praised the Metro as being quick, clean, and safe. The red line which is by the hotel goes down to the National Mall and all the fabulous (and FREE) museums! Not sure about the cost but Trish provided this link:

Speaking of those museums, my personal favorite is the Air & Space, followed closely by the Natural History. At Air & Space you can see Lindberg's "Spirit of St. Louis" overhead as you walk in. There's also a space capsule and you can touch a moon rock. When you walk into the main floor gallery of Natural History, you're greeted by a gigantic, charging elephant! Don't worry, he's stuffed and not going anywhere.

Another good museum to see that is often less crowded is the Hirshorn. This is 'modern' art and has all the iconclastic artists from the 1960s. You can see Andy Warhol's soup cans, Jasper Johns' flags, and Roy Lichtenstein's cartoony portraits. You can't miss the building because of the huge sculpture out front that looks like a ginormous twisted piece of raffia ribbon.

VA also recommends the tour buses that let you get on and off at various stops. Anna said: "You can get day passes...and they take you around the city --the people who do the talk are really good. We got on ours at the Lincoln Memorial and went all around DC. If you want to go to Arlington National Cemetery, you need a separate ticket, but then that will let you go round the cemetery, a great tour."(Aunty highly recommends seeing Arlington!)

And here's what Trish had to say about the Wardman Marriott: "The Wardman is at the top of a hill. At the bottom of the hill, right next to the Metro stop, is a CVS. It and a McDonald's are on that end of a strip of stores, and there's a Chipotle at the other end -- not far. There are also a lot of ethnic restaurants nearby."

I really appreciated all their great information and I can't wait to see everybody there! If you can make it to the Wednesday night Literacy Signing, be sure to stop by and say hi!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Gimme 5 Things About Building Characters

I have a post up on the Casablanca Authors blog today about how I build my characters (just click on the title of this post to go there).

I'm often asked about my characters and love it when readers talk about them as if they are real people (probably because they are real to me)!

A few things you might not know about my writing process...

  1. My characters pretty much name themselves, at least the main characters. I've been known to go through the phone book for names for my minor characters!

  2. There's a wee bit of Yer Olde Aunty in all her characters. Yes, even the villains! Maybe especially the villains. HA!

  3. Sometimes my characters are based on real people, but usually it is only a certain aspect of that person. Might be the name (yes, I named a character in The Treasures of Venice after a friend who had an Italian name I liked), or a facial expression, or some personality trait. Careful, you too could end up in one of Aunty's books someday!

  4. All of my characters have a distinctive 'voice' that I hear inside my head when I'm writing their dialogue. No! Please don't call the men in the white coats. I'm not the only writer who 'hears voices!' Honestly, I'm not.

  5. I am a little in love with all my heroes. If I don't love them, then why should my readers?
Now it's your turn! Do you have a picture of the characters when you read? Do you want to know who the writer had in mind when they created the character? Or would you rather have your own interpretation?