Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Conference by Numbers


Following in the tradition set by Lindsey Faber of the Romance Vagabonds, here's my conference experience as a meme.

Number of books I brought with me to the conference: Zero, since I thought I'd be loading up.

Best Traveling Companion: My laptop on Virgin Airlines, which has a power socket. Score! Yano flying Virgin for a historical writer has got to be a surreal experience.

Moment being at conference really sank in: When I met my roommate Cassondra Murray and immediately got immersed in the Romance Bandits party happenings. The party was the next day. In my room. Oops, surprise. Fifty people. I was like cool!! Par-tay!

Best Roommates: Cassondra was fabulous. I'd room with her again in a heartbeat.

Best Reason to Get Out of Bed: Fun people to renew aquaintances with and make new friends with.

Best Nametag Flair: Goddess of the Hunt pins, not to mention, pins from: Candice Hern's Bluestockings, Risky Regencies, Romance Bandits, and Squawk Radio.

First Nora Sighting: Wed, Jul 30, 7:30am at registration.

Second Nora Sighting: Book signing, Wed, 7/30, 7:30pm

Number of books I bought at the literacy signing: Four, including two I already owned (Joanna Bourne and Connie Brockway), Teresa Medeiros, and Susan Crandall.

Best Dinner: Beau Monde Soirée

Best Goody Room Find: Books, mais oui, pens and bookmarks. I also snagged a Marian Keyes title.

Most Star-struck Moment: Meeting the Harlequin executive editor. I babbled. Every time. I met her five times. Ugh!

Best Lunch Table Companions: Fog City Divas and Christie Ridgway

Best Celebration: The Awards Ceremony always causes me to choke up and cheer, and go home and write, write, write.

Fun Event Outside the Marriott: Cupcakes and Champagne party by the Fog City Divas at Citizen Cupcake. Everybody who's who was there. Spotted Jayne Anne Krentz walking outside, and she was so nice, she didn't mind my gushing all over her.

Number of time I tried to have breakfast with Anna Campbell: Thrice, but I did meet her in brief snatches. Something is far better than nothing.

Best Workshop: Eric Maisel on Creativity and Life. It was simply WOW!!

Dinners I expected to have: Five

Dinners I had: Two, by myself at the Terrace Restaurant and at the Beau Monde soirée.

Coolest Moment: When Mary Jo Putney met me and asked, "Are you THE Keira Soleore"? Yeah, totally made my day.

Funniest Moment: Megan Crane and I were talking about her taking pole dancing lessons for the recent launch party. She said that she has bruises up and down her legs. So she hoiked her leg up and rolled up her pant leg to show me, and some fan snapped a picture. Yikes!

Tastiest Moment: Kalen Hughes's Kickshaws class, with authentically prepared snack food and wines.

Number of booksignings I attended: Two, main and Grand Central Publishing.

Number of books I shipped home: 20

Best RITA Dates: Romance Banditas

Best RITA Entertainment: Emcee Suzanne Brockman

Number of RITA statues I touched: One, belonging to JQ

Number of days it has taken me to recover: I’m not sure I’m there yet! I'm still unpacking, but I've been reading, reading, reading.

Number of authors I blogged about meeting: Many. All mentioned in my photo captions.

Number of authors who blogged about meeting me: ?Don't Know?

Romance Bandit Golden RoosterNumber of people I owe thanks for an awesome conference: Everyone I met, and so many unsung tireless volunteers. For the History conference, Kalen Hughes, I love you. For the touring, caring, and general awesomness, Diane Gaston, I love you. Ammanda McCabe, for your fashion sense and friendship, and Anna Campbell, for your delight and kindness, you both have my love. Candice Hern, as always, love you for everything. And to the Golden Rooster, Chook of the Romance Bandit Lair, hugs and kisses and grapes.


16 comments:

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, it can't have been thrice!!! I made it once and I only missed out on you once? Or do I have that wrong too (I was extremely stressed when I put my conference program together and any mistakes were completely mine!)? Aren't the Banditas just the coolest? It's always an utter delight to see you, my dear! Can't wait till next year! And no, I'm not back to normal yet either!

Keira Soleore said...

Heyyy, don't you apologize again. I'm just bummed over not meeting one of my best friends there. That's teach me to make a better schedule for DC.

You better hurry up and become normal. You have a major presentation and another busy conference coming up.

The Banditas are the coolest. Thanks to Cassondra's amazing efficiency and organization, the party set-up and tear-down were almost instantaneous.

Check out the picture of the chook. Proof that he visited the Bandita party and sampled the treats.

Joan said...

Hey, at least you got the opportunity weather it was met or not!

I only got to WAVE at Anna at breakfast twice! (Don't you love that sourdough toast?)though she was the first of my fellow Banditas I ran into...in the business center...catching up on emails :-)

Kiera, it was a pleasure to meet you and an honor to sit on your bed :-)

Megan Crane said...

Yeah, I'm still waiting to see that picture pop up somewhere online... You know it will!

Diane Gaston said...

Keira, our day of WALKING through San Francisco was one of my highlights. I loved seeing the Cathedral and our strange beverages at the restaurant in Chinatown (fruit drinks with little rubbery balls of tapioca,I think, in them). Mostly I just enjoyed being together on such a beautiful day. It was a good thing, too, because I hardly saw you once the conference started!

Lindsey said...

Hey! I've started a meme! ;) Too cool. I did have fun with this format, mostly because I was too lazy to write up a full report.

It's so fun to read this and see how - though we were at the same conference and even some of the same events - different our experiences could be. Both amazing, though, jut moving in different groups. Too cool on MJP! It was awesome meeting you, Keira - can't wait for DC!

jo robertson said...

Great run-down of the "moments" at conference, Keirs.

So, did La Nora think you were stalking her and call house security :-D?

Loooooove the pic of the Chook with the grapes. What's that story? Glad you had a great time at National. I've heard so many people say it was the best conference ever! I have to agree.

Candice Hern said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed our Fog City Divas cupcake party. It was so crowded I barely saw you! And I had wanted to catch up with you after the RITAs cuz I thouht I remembered you were getting your tattoo that day and I wanted to see it. Once again, however, the crowds overwhelmed me. I came out of the auditorium and saw this great teeming sea of people, and decided to head to the bar instead. I never even saw the desserts!

Anyway, I'm glad the conference went so well for everyone. As a proud San Franciscan, I must say it was the BEST location for a conference. :-)

It was great seeing you again, Keira. And Anna Campbell, I had wanted to meet you but never got the opportunity. I'm a huge fan and just wanted to tell you so.

Carol said...

Keira, that is a great photo of the Chook with the grapes...
I tracked you over to this blog to ask you what are the html codes for a link... i've looked and found lots of posts about how to do them...but honestly I don't understand the lingo used!

Could you just post the code to put in front and behind the web address or whatever!!!
I would really appreciate your help... Cheers Carol

Anna Campbell said...

Candice??!!! In Keira speak - THUNK! Wow, thank you so much. I would have LOVED to have met you too. I adored San Francisco and had a wonderful time at the conference - have you been to Sydney, I think you'd like it, there are definite similarities. I hope we manage to get together in Washington - I might even stalk you ahead of time and book a coffee, if you can fit me in! Well, a coffee or a margarita!

Kelly Krysten said...

I'm glad to hear you had such a great time! I'm hoping for conference next year.
PS: The pics below were excellent.

Tracy Grant said...

It was great to meet you, Keira! The conference can be so chaotic--I'm really grateful to Candice for organizing her bluestockings getting together or there are a lot of people I'd have missed. I was lucky to get to meet Anna at the Avon dinner---Anna, it was lovely to meet you in person. And I agree with Candice--as a Bay area-ite, it was great to see so many people enjoy San Francisco!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Tracy, I really enjoyed meeting you too! I thought I would but it's wonderful when expectations are met with bells on, isn't it? ;-)

Did you guys catch Keira in her fantastic Indian bride costume for the Beau Monde soiree? It was spiffing!

terrio said...

I read this once and could have sworn I commented. I must be losing it. As you can tell, I'm not quite recovered either.

Keira - I loved getting to meet you and our lovely Anna and all the other Banditas who were so great. I even had lunch with Ms. Hern though didn't get a chance to speak to her. LOL! But we were at the same table!

Can't wait for DC!

PJ said...

Keira, I've loved the photos and your lovely memories of the conference. You've brought it all to life for those of us who weren't able to attend this year. I'm looking forward to seeing you again next year in DC ~ or sooner if you plan another trip to Charlotte! :)

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

It was nice meeting you Keira and sharing the experience at Mom's Body Shop of getting our tattoos.