Friday, April 27, 2007

Romantic Times Booklovers Convention
Running Diary
Day 3

8:41 am
So I never made it to the faery (correct spelling!) ball. I showed up about an hour into it, not realizing it was a actually a sit-down dinner (the ball the night before consisted of people either wandering around or dancing to Will Smith's "Miami."). Rather than canvas the enormous ballroom for the 5 people I knew, I went back down to the bar and watched the rest of the Jazz-Rockets game. Had I not done that, I wouldn't have overheard this priceless comment from woman wearing a gigantic winged harness and face paint: "I used to work in the sex industry. If I don't get it four times a day I go crazy."

Stay classy, San Diego.

This morning I'm looking forward to the Murderers Row panel at 10:00. It's actually called "Urban Fantasy," but it features a murderers row of authors including Jim Butcher, Jennifer Armintrout, Keri Arthur, Charlaine Harris, Marjorie Liu, Vicki Pettersson, Jeri Smith-Ready and agent Miriam Kriss. I'm giddy again.

I already got my breakfast bagel and coffee (cost: $936). And who's the very first person I see in the elevator? The cowboy dude/cover model from the opening night ball. He's wearing a tank top that reads "Got Sex?". It's not even 9:00. I don't think many people do.
Anyway, he says, "Hey, name's Mark, remember me??"
I say, "Yeah."
He says, "You gotta kill me and Kimo in your next book."
I say, "I remember."

I don't think I've ever spent so much time trying to draw attention to my wedding ring.

On an important note, my heartiest congratulations to the Edgar Award winners and nominees. I was incredibly disappointed to miss the majority of this year's festivites, but hopefully I'll have many years to make up for it. I'd like to add that Stephen King deserves every single accolade and ovation he receives, times ten. King was one of the first authors who hypnotized my senses growing up, and I'm proud to be one of seemingly thousands who were inspired to write by King's ON WRITING. Throw snobbery out the window, without King we would have legions of fewer readers then we do now. And just like every year, the Edgars make me get off my butt and read many wonderful books I didn't get to for whatever reason.

I wonder if King has ever promised to kill two half-naked cowboys in his books...

Another great panel, the best-attended one I've been to so far (not a shock, considering there were four NYT bestseller authors and two USA Today bestselling authors sitting in). Despite the crowded dais everyone managed to get their shot. Highlights were, of course, Jim Butcher admitting he had 20 books in the Harry Dresden series planned out when he was in college, Charlaine Harris "thanking" fans who point out the errors in her books, literary agent Miriam Kriss advising aspiring urban fiction authors that it's good to have material for your second book ready when submitting the first, the fan who advised Jim Butcher to "eat in the shower" so he could write faster, and Vicki Pettersson assuring the audience that getting pregnant and writing back-to-back books are not dependant on each other.

After the panel I ran into an old editorial colleague, and we're meeting for a drink later. We're both recently married, so in the words of Sherri Ann Ward Cabot from "Best in Show," we have a lot to talk and not talk about. Right now I have a break, so I'm going to work on revisions for THE GUILTY (aka Henry Parker #2). Tonight is the big Heather Graham vampire gala, but there are also a ton of good basketball games on. Choices...

While we're on the topic of urban fantasy, I think some of the covers used in this genre are simply tops in the industry today. I LOVE Jim Butcher's covers (and actually recommended them to my publisher as far as atmosphere). Vicki Pettersson's are also very cool. When it comes to "commercial fiction" many covers seem a little too similar (god help me if I see another blurry guy running). And though I'm not a big fan in general of showing characters' faces on a book cover (I'd rather not get locked into a visage and prefer to let the reader use their imagination), the lighting, mood and detail in many of these covers are simply stunning. Case in point, Sherrilyn Kenyon's DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, Patricia Briggs's BLOOD BOUND, and Carrie Vaughn's KITTY series.


Blogger Amie Stuart said...

I'm squeeing you saw Vicki! I hart her books. In other news, dude, basketball playoffs trumps all =)

3:35 PM  
Blogger Vivien Dean said...

Believe it or not, I'm the one who turned around in her seat this morning before the urban fantasy panel to tell you I'd looked for your blog after your thriller panel yesterday and how funny you were. I've got The Mark on my to buy list when it comes out this summer, and I plan on hanging around a bit here. I like your perspective; it's refreshing. :)

12:31 AM  

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