Monday, July 16, 2007

From Dallas With Love

How do you recap most of an entire week that was non-stop? You don't. You try to hit the highlights. So I'll do that instead of "On Friday my breakfast was..." Actually, I don't remember many of meals. I might not have had them. No, the bathroom scale says otherwise. Oops.

I remember --
Going out for a scrumptious Italian dinner Wednesday night with my publicists (Sherry & Kristen), and with Jeri Smith-Ready (my roomie) and dear friend P.C. Cast. I can't remember the name of the restaurant, but I had a great meal and was on Cloud Nine. I'd won both the Booksellers' Best Award and the Prism that night. Ever since I'd held P.C.'s first Prism Award in 2002, I'd been jonesing for one of these beauties. Now I have one.

I'd not had anything to eat before the ceremonies, foolishly believing I'd reach The Gathering (as the second event is called) in time to nosh on the food. What was left was a basket of rolls. So I had one of those. And a beer. So when I was called up to the podium to get the award that I had DREAMED of for five years, I was way giddy. Sherry assured me that my impromptu speech wasn't stupid. I hope she wasn't just being kind. I had a speech all prepared, but I was too wired to give it.

Thursday was equally fun. In between trying to get some work done on the current book, I met lots of new folks and attended the National Readers' Choice and Daphne awards ceremonies. I didn't win the NRCA Award. Was I bummed? No. That means I have a chance at this award next year. As there were 400 entrants in this contest (an average of 40 per category) to final is an Act of Deity(TM) . Next year I'm aiming for that award big time. I did win the Daphne Du Maurier Award for Paranormal and that was the closest I came to crying.

Why? I've won an Honorable Mention in the Daphnes twice before for my self-pubbed work. Not all contests would allow me to enter when I was self-pubbed. The Daphnes did not care who published the book. Those early wins told me I had a future in this business. Taking First Place in the Paranormal category was a big moment for me.

Friday was a bit more laid back -- two agent meetings and a she-bang of a Harlequin Party. The meetings went well and the party... hey, if you've never been to a Harlequin party you've missed out. My roommate (Jeri) invited me to be her guest and I had a blast. The music was good, the munchies quite edible and the alcohol was free. I did bail out at ten p.m. rather than staying late as a I had a book signing the next morning in Frisco, TX.

Which went well. After the signing I met with some good friends (Lee Martindale and her delightful hubby, George), Melanie Miller Fletcher (aka Hoosier Red) and Heidi B. We went to the Cheesecake Factory, dined on excellent food and "to die for" cheesecake. George helped me pick up a pipe for those times when I like to break out a bit of fine tobacco to augment my single malt scotch. He used to be a tobacconist and his expertise was welcomed.

Saturday evening was the Rita Awards. I had a lot of friends in the running, including Jeri (who was up for TWO), Maria Snyder and Kelly Riley. Alas, none of them won. Still, it was great evening and I learned that a bit of dark chocolate married with some fine port is a very (nearly) sexual experience. (You heard it here first!)

I sincerely enjoyed this years RWA convention. I think it's a matter that I'm more "plugged in" this time and knew a lot more people. Okay, and the awards didn't hurt (grin).

Now I'm back to reality with a book due in a VERY short period of time. Cindarella is home, that's for sure.


credito852 said...

Congrats on all the awards for Sojurn. I'll have to pick up a copy.

Miss your talk show.

Are you planning to do some more recordings when your schedule slows down?

Jana Oliver said...

It is my intent to "restart" the Fancy Dress Albert Public House after my trip to England. I'll be around so many intriguing Victorian experts I know I'll find lots of things to talk about.

For the time being, The Curious Mind will remain on hiatus. The number of hours required to prep for/record/edit the show just isn't feasible right now, sad to say.

Thanks for asking!