Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Conference Stories

Hanging with Nora Roberts this morning!

I've hung with her before…not that she'd remember, but I do!

My 1st Harlequin party (1st RWA Conference) she walked into the hotel at the same time as me. She said, "Do you know where the Harlequin party's at?" I squeaked out, "No," in awe that one of my icons had spoken to me. Then she said, "Well, follow me." She found it and I walked into my first party with…Nora Roberts!

Fast forward a few years. I'm on an escalator with my suitcase…a not-moving escalator. So I'm walking down that is in essence a staircase. My bad leg had been wonky for a few weeks and it buckled. Now, I'm used to it and I caught myself, but not before Nora Roberts saw the buckle and positioned herself at the bottom of the stairs, her arms out, ready to catch me if I fell. Uh, between me and the suitcase, we'd have smooshed her, but she didn't seem worried.

It's nice when the women you admire are just as nice as you'd want, ushering a newbie into a party and trying to save a wonky-legged woman from a fall. That's the great thing about going to #RWA14, I'll get to see friends I don't see near enough, and I'll get to see/meet the women who inspired me to try my hands at writing!

I'm a big fan of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and at one conference, as I was sitting drinking coffee (I know, you're thinking…What, Holly drinking coffee?) she came over with her drink and asked if the seat next
to me was taken. I said no, please sit down.

(Note, even if one of my best friends had been sitting there and just got up for a moment, I was have asked SEP to sit down!)

I said, "Do you mind if I babble at you for just a minute?" She laughed and told me feel free. So I gushed about how much I loved her books…but I limited it to a minute or two gush. Of course, I spoke with the speed of an auctioneer to get it all in. When I finished my word-vomit praise, I said with very business like seriousness, "Now that the fan-gushing is over, I'll be Holly-your-fellow-writer and ask, How's your conference going?" She waited a pregnant pause and then burst out laughing. I of course joined her.

It's nice when your icons are not only nice, but have a great sense of humor and don't take their icon status (and themselves) too seriously!


I am not above bribing people. As a new, very unknown author (as opposed to my current status of older, known-to-a-select-few author), I wasn't above using humor to my advantage. I occasionally asked friends and readers I knew, or had just gotten to know, to come to my book signings and shout, "Oh, my god, it's Holly Jacobs," as if I was someone everyone should know. This worked well until I was out to lunch with a bunch of much better published and well know authors. Two particular "fans" shouted, from the back of the restaurant (I was in the front) "Oh, my god, is that Holly Jacobs?" with the appropriate fan-girl shriek. I looked at the bestselling authors I was with and said, "I can't control my fans," with a deadpan expression.

Moral, Be careful what you ask for. Or maybe it should be, Be careful WHO you ask! Okay, the real moral is, every stranger is a potential friend…and fake fan-girl shrieker!


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