Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Romantic Times by Diane Perkins

I'm just back from the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention, which is always an over-the-top, overwhelming experience. The absolute highlight was getting to spend time with friends, especially the Warner Women! The worst part was, not having enough time with them! I shared a room with Karen Rose, had a lovely long dinner with Karen and Susan Crandall, palled around with Kathy Caskie, sat next to Megan Crane and Liza Palmer at the Warner dinner, had time to chat with Robin Popp. Alas, I had only fleeting contact with Michelle Rowen, one of my regrets, but hopefully I'll make up for that at another conference.

Here is a photo from the hotel

RT is mainly for fans and I love that. It is a treat to meet the people who enjoy reading your books and who make a special effort to tell you so. I met several such folks, including several reviewers who have been enthusiastic about my books.

But RT is something more. I think it is an opportunity to live the fantasy for a few days. At night there is always a party with a theme and attendees dress up according to the theme. There was a fairy ball this year and the fairy costumes were just terrific! This chance to be someone else for a little while is part of the appeal, part of why we read in the first place. I also love the fact that RT is somewhere you can dance, sometimes even with a handsome, shirtless man! How often in our ordinary lives does such an opportunity come about?

Another thing I like is the Awards ceremony. It is always way too long, but RT's Reviewers Choice Awards cover all the variety of Romance and other novels that are out there. For example, my The Marriage Bargain was nominated for Best Regency set Historical (it did not win, alas!) but Kathryn Caskie's Lady in Waiting won for Best Historical Love & Laughter. It is like a celebration of all the wonderful books that are written. You can see all the variety here:

The booksigning is on Saturday, filling a huge room with authors signing their books. Here is Kathy Caskie signing, giving you an idea of what the signing is like.

This "Book Fair" is open to the public and what particularly touched me were those readers who brought in copies of my book to sign. This meant they had read the book and enjoyed it enough to come looking for me. I had the pleasure to sit next to Liza Palmer, author of Conversations with the Fat Girl, the book that launched the 5 Spot line at Warner.

Here we are:

Just one more photo, a display that Warner provided, showing off the recent and upcoming books.

Thanks, Readers, and Thanks, Romantic Times!


Michelle said...

Great post, Diane! It was wonderful seeing you, if only for a short time. :-) And thanks for the picture of the Warner display... I never even saw it! Was it in Club RT?

Diane Perkins said...

It was right near Club RT, across from Promotion Alley. Probably you couldn't take your eyes off my display, directly across from it, of the cover of The Marriage Bargain (huge)and my Gaston books including a photo of a shirtless cover model (Richard Cerqueira-not an RT attendee) who posed for the hand on The Wagering Widow!

Michelle said...

Googling cover model's name for more pics as we speak. ;-)

Diana Holquist said...

Thanks for the report, Diane. Maybe I'll try to make it next year. Except that those models frighten me...

Mallory M Pickerloy said...

The event sounded fun, wish I had been there! I enjoyed the photos. I like the idea of dancing with shirtless men, and the beauty of costumes, and you know that sort of reminds me of a scene in reputable rake, where the characters went to Vauxhall. A part from the book comes to mind:'nothing was as it seemed here, illusion was it's only reality.'

Diane Perkins said...

You are going to endear me forever if you quote from my books! (I'll even name a heroine after you!)

You know, that is how I imagine Vauxhall to have been. A place to live out fantasies for a little while.

Alas, I was a mere spectator, typical of a writer, I guess. No costume for me. No dance with a shirtless man....
I did dance a little, though, in my Elaine Benis kind of way.