Monday, April 28, 2008


Just returned from Richmond after a five-day stint in that fair city. I had a hectic schedule which is probably why my brains are AWOL today. I flew up on Wednesday and settled into our hotel suite. I had two other roomies this trip: Jean Marie Ward and Jeri Smith-Ready. I've roomed with both of them before and since neither of them felt the need to place a pillow on my face and hold it down, I figured things were good. And they were. All three of us played nicely with each other. It's heaven to have considerate roomies. We understood our individual idiosyncrasies and respected each others.

Jean Marie is a Certified Night Owl (she's got the papers and everything) and Jeri usually goes to bed roughly when I do (11- midnight). Jean Marie does not rise at o'dark thirty in the morning, though she was up at eight a couple mornings in a row. (No, she was not happy about that). Both of the ladies are so quiet you'd never know they were in the room. They probably didn't think the same of me.

Wednesday evening Jean Marie and I headed into downtown Richmond and to Croaker's, a soul food kinda place with excellent fish. Since neither of us had eaten much, we had a feast. That area of Richmond is really cool. The next day I paid for the fact I didn't ask for a feather pillow when I checked in. Massive headache courtesy of the foam pillow. Happens every time. I ate Advil like candy. Didn't do a thing. So I powered through the day as we shopped for booze, munchies, ordered a custom-decorated cake for Jeri's launch party, etc. It was supposed to be a surprise, but when we had to prove that the WVMP logo was not copyrighted or that if it was that we had permission to use it, we had no option but to contact Jeri. Bah... Then we went downtown to the Poe Museum and to dinner at a fine Italian restaurant called Zuppa. Alas, I hurt so much it was hard to enjoy the food. Once I'd completed a particular project (that just had to be out Thurs noc) I drugged myself down and went to sleep about 11:30.

Up at 4 a.m. Yuck. Couldn't sleep any longer. Since I had to get up at 5 a.m. I just took my shower, checked my emails and vegged until I met a number of other zombies in the hotel lobby at 6 a.m. Jean Marie was not one of these. She was sensible. She slept in and did the canal tour of Richmond. I (and many others) went to Monacon High School to talk to the students courtesy of Tee Morris, a Monacon alumni. I did this last year and had a blast. This year was no different. I did a presentation (for two classes) on Jack the Ripper Fiction. The kids were cool and so were the teachers. I wish more conventions arranged this sort of foray into the high schools.

Then it was RavenCon - Friday afternoon I got back to the hotel at 2 p.m., got my con badge, a fifteen minute nap and then moderated a panel on Alternate History. It took full octane Mountain Dew to get through it as I was so toasted. Another panel at 4, opening ceremonies at 8, another panel at nine. I fell into bed at about midnight. We were on the Party Floor. Noise happens on a Party Floor. At least it stopped at one in the morning.

Saturday was full of things to do and Jeri's launch party for Wicked Games (see book cover above). It was also a launch party for Madman's Dance, but my book isn't out until October. So we celebrated Jeri's latest book (an Urban Fantasy with vampires as DJ's at a radio station). I started reading it on the plane to Atlanta and love it. Go buy a copy. We also had promo literature out for Jean Marie's book, With Nine You Get Vanyr.
The party was a blast. Jeri put together a track of classic rock 'n' roll, we had drinkables, munchables and cake. Gotta have cake. It had the WVMP "The Lifeblood of Rock 'n' Roll" logo on it. Really cool. Even better -- Chocolate cake. White frosting. YUM. No one got excessively drunk so the conversation was intelligent and entertaining. The suite was packed.

9 a.m. Sunday -- a panel on Urban Fantasy. How appropriate. Though we didn't get to bed until late, we were amazingly bright. Since Jana failed to get a late checkout time (dumb) we had to hustle to vacate the premises at 11. We did it.

Jeri continues her whirlwind promotion of the new book. Jean Marie is back to work on her latest project and I'm due to hand in the first half of Madman's Dance on Thursday. Thursday, like THIS Thursday. Humm.... Time to go. Thanks for checking in. Put RavenCon on your list of cons to do next April. It's an incredible convention.


Jean Marie Ward said...

Always great rooming with you {{{{Jana}}}}. You're the quietest morning person I know.
But you neglected to mention the funniest aspect of the party. Davey lost the "Livers for Boobies" competition because he kept leaving his party to come to ours. Hugs and grins, Jean Marie

Jana Oliver said...

Yes folks, there was a party entitled "Livers for Boobies". It was a charity gig for the Susan G. Komen Foundation that involved two crazy souls going head-to-head, or actually drink-for-drink to raise money for breast cancer research. One of the participants kept floating into our party. As JMW mentions, he lost the competition. But at least he was at the coolest party at RavenCon.