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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Meeting My Rockstars

I am such an avid romance fan. I have been reading romance since around 11 years old and I never, ever tire of it. I have always viewed authors as my rockstars! Can you imagine my delight when I found out, admittedly at a late stage, that I could meet them and have them sign my books!?! Even more delight when I got to go for the first time to a luncheon where you could actually sit at the table with them and have conversation over a meal, instead of just that few seconds in line at the signing! How fantastic.

My first time was in Huntsville, Alabama. I went over and met a friend, Tangela, at the hotel where the luncheon was being held. She and I stood in line and were so pleased when we got to sit with Linda Howard - OMG! LINDA HOWARD!! (See, I told ya, she ranks up there with Jon Bon Jovi for me. Not that I want to shag her, but you get the point!) It was so wonderful. She was nice and friendly. I met Stephanie Bond, who was the guest speaker, and several other fantastic ladies. There were gift baskets to be given away and door prizes of having your name in a book. I did not win, but in my mind, I had the best prize of being able to chat with one of my favorite authors. Tan won, she got a tote with a set of Stephaine Bond books, a Voo Doo Doll (from a new series of Stephanie's) and a vintage scarf tied to the handle. How cool was that! I ahd an absolutely fabulous time!

So now I am addicted, as you can imagine! In July, Romance Writer's of America is having their annual convention in Atlanta. Along with the convention, there was a huge author signing on one of the first days. Of course, I live near Atlanta, so I had to go. I planned on this for quite some time! My friend Lori and I trudge through downtown Hotlanta to get to our hotel and walk over to the site of the signing. We were so excited, but I do not think we could have anticipated just how much fun we were going to have. There were so many authors there that we had a hard time deciding where to go first. We met some fantastic ladies and even met a few we had never read that are now on our list of authors that we just have to read. I saw Stephanie and Linda again, and they both remembered me from Alabama, so that was nice. Just to name a few we met: Robin T. Popp, Kimberly Raye, Jane Porter (who is phenominal, btw, she is soooo funny and sweet!), Cindy Dees, Lora Leigh, J.R. Ward (who is a big favorite! Oh, those Brothers!), and the piece de resistance for us - Sherrilyn Kenyon. Sherri was fun! We found out she had connections in our area and we knew some of the smae places. She was the big draw for us and it was so fun to finally meet one of our absolutely favorite people. We left that event with briar-eating grins and hearts warmed with the good times we had.

So, when the chance came in September to attend a Dark Hunter party and attend another reader's luncheon in Atlanta, we jumped at the chance. Lori and I packed up the car and headed for Hotlanta one more time. We stayed at the hotel where the event was held, a very nice Hilton! We get to the Dark Hunter party ready for fun! Fans were dressed in everything from vamp/goth style clothes to everyday street clothes. The overall theme was black and red. We danced the night away and had so much fun.

The next day (yesterday) there was a reader's luncheon. There were about 20 authors that were in attendance, some who were new to us and some that were old favorites. I think Ms. Bond may be beginning to think I am a stalker! Here, in 6 months time, I get to meet her again for the 3rd time. We sat at her table for the lunch. She asked us all to suggest book recommendations and we talked about what we like in books, how we pick which types of books to buy, and all sorts of fun reader type stuff. After the lunch, we went into the booksigning. It was good to see all the author's again. Sherri remembered us and was so very sweet and gratious. We met some new ladies that were fun and had great stories we plan to read. Again, we left with our bags full of goodies and our hearts warmed by all the nice people we had met.

So now, I find myself anticipating the next author event. I find it so exciting and am pleased to know they are regular Janes, like the rest of us. Just amazing! They are still my rockstars and I think they always will be. The best part is that they are so appreciative of us readers and how we feel! They put these gifts together with that in mind. The baskets were awesome and show a real thoughtfulness on their part. It feels great to be a romance reader and I am so proud I could shout it from the rooftops!