April 11th, 2011

Charlie the Unicorn

Dial 'R' for Romance

I was in Los Angeles this last week for the much-loved Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. It's one of my favorite conventions, both because it's a great opportunity to hang out with readers and authors and one of the few times people can walk around in fairy wings without fear of (much) judgment.

This year's RT was quiet but still packed with the usual mix of solid business by day and wackiness at night. I'm not feeling particularly witty right now, so rather than expound much on the week, I figured I'd let pictures do most of the talking for me. I give you...


10. Samhain Steampunk Tea Party

Ray guns, wax mustaches, goggle top hats, and finger sandwiches. I really, really wanted to win a hat or ray gun, but alas, luck was not on my side. Probably just as well, seeing as those things would've raised a lot of questions from TSA agents when I returned home.

9. Ellora's Cave Bollywood Party

The EC parties are known for their "male entertainment," but this year they hired professional Bollywood-style dancers to come in and perform. They also gave us finger cymbals on the table and cool coin-fringed veils so that we could be ready in case any impromptu musical numbers broke out on the dance floor. Photo credit: buriedbybooks

8. Heather Osborn

Samhain Publishing editor and longtime pal Heather Osborn (who helped organize the steampunk party) was a constant delight at the con and a life saver at the book fair. For the second year in a row, she jumped in and helped with my signing line by going through and giving out post-it notes with names. Here she is doing the Dance of the Seven Veils, post-Bollywood party.

7. Faery Ball, with Fairy Dog

I've seen many things at the RT Faery Ball. This, however, was the first time I have ever seen a fairy dog there. Astonishingly, this was one of a few other dogs I saw dressed up throughout the con. I hope this means we can expect a pet costume contest next year.

6. Faery Ball, with Andrew Shaffer

Call me old-fashioned, but whenever they can get men on the faery court, it's always a good time. I'm pretty sure Andrew went and filmed a video reboot of "Rock Me Amadeus" after the ball. Photo credit: Victoria Dahl

5. Faery Ball, with Jaye Wells

The Faery Ball had a "Venetian" theme this year, and so masks were used as part of the table centerpieces. Jaye models one of them here, proving she would make an excellent serial killer and/or extra from a Prince video.

4. Mr. Romance Pageant

Yes, no RT is complete without the Mr. Romance Pageant. It never disappoints. This year, contestants had to dress up like Hollywood characters. This Spartan is Len, the winner of the pageant and whose prize includes appearing on a Kensington book cover in the near future. Shadow Heir comes out next year, Kensington. Just sayin. Photo from buriedbybooks

3. Spider-Man in the Bar

No, you read correctly. While heading down to the bar one night, a group of friends and I saw...well, Spider-Man. He was just randomly walking through the hotel. We have no idea why, but hey, this is Los Angeles.

2. Book Fair and Teen Day

The last day of the con is always my favorite because that's when the doors get opened to the public. I signed for 3 hours and got to meet tons of readers, like Jaime here. This year's book fair was followed by an absolutely amazing Teen Day, for fans of YA books. More panels and chances to hang out ensued, and I had a pretty amazing time. Thanks to everyone who came out!

1. Illicit Burger Party

Last but not least! Heather and the Samhain gang tempted us all week with promises of an In-N-Out burger party in their hotel suite on the con's last night. Well, sure enough, when the time came, Heather arrived with 100 burgers, and we descended upon them like the mob of starving animals we were. All was well--until someone called hotel security and complained about the noise from our feasting. A security guard showed up and made all of us leave. He also refused to take any burger bribes. Ah, well. It was good fun while it lasted, and fortunately, the bust didn't come until after we'd all eaten.

Thanks for the fun, RT. See you next year in Chicago.