OMG, it's good to be home! Too bad we had a bit of frost while I was gone and some of the plants got a bit nipped. My roses look okay, though, so all is not lost. I've got one that's about to bloom.
Driving home from Chicago made me appreciate just how beautiful it is around here. Granted, spring is further along here than it is up north, but flat land and empty cornfields aren't very pretty, aside from the fact that the outskirts of Gary and Chicago aren't exactly what you'd call verdant, even in summer. It was nice to get home to green grass and my rhododendrons that are just starting to bloom. I'm so glad I didn't miss them!
I don't know if I'll go to RT next year (it's in Kansas City and I'd have to fly) but I certainly had a great time in Chicago. It's wonderful to meet readers and the newer authors, as well as getting to see some old friends. I remember the first RWA conference I attended in Washington. I'd never taken a cab from an airport before, much less flown anywhere by myself. It was fun, but very stressful, and the only people I knew were other authors that I had met via email.
Now I find that conferences aren't so much stressful as they are tiring. Plus, by the time you've eaten three meals a day at a buffet (the buffet at the hotel was 20% off for us conventioneers) you start to feel a bit bloated. Add that to the fact that I hadn't even attempted to wear pantyhose in at least 10 years, and you'll understand what I'm getting at. Putting my arm around skinny little Ivan was like holding onto a rather shapely lamp post. I'm sure he didn't feel the same way with his arm around me. He was probably thinking I needed his expertise in nutrition and fitness training. But that's another story.
Like other conferences I've attended, I learned a lot, and I keep hearing that self publishing is the way to go. There's just one problem with that. The ebook and indie publisher expo wasn't anywhere near as well-attended as the book fair for more traditionally published books. I didn't sell much at the ebook signing, but at the book fair, I signed everything from Kindles to jackets to stickers to put in books in a bookstore--and yes, I signed several books, too!
I guess what I'm getting at is that while you can make a lot of money in self publishing (if you do it right), there is something about signing a book for a reader, be they a fan of long-standing, or someone buying one of your books for the first time. One lady told me that my books had helped her make it through cancer therapy, and that she was thanking all of the authors whose books had made such a difference in her life. If I'd self-published the cats, she might have emailed me, but to see her in person and hug her was something I'll remember for a very long time. Then there was a lady who told me in passing that stopping by my blog starts her day off right. Again, she could have commented on the blog or sent me an email, but to actually see the twinkle in her eye was priceless.
In many ways, this was the most successful signing I've ever done, and I really hate to give that up. Unfortunately, if I don't come up with an idea for a new series soon, my time at Sourcebooks is probably going to come to an end. I mentioned a tenth Cat Star book to the sales guy, Sean, and he didn't exactly turn handsprings over the idea. I had a bookseller tell me that she wanted to carry all of my books, but her distributor keeps telling her they're on backorder. I suggested she buy them directly from Sourcebooks, but if I don't keep writing for SB, they'll probably go out of print.
Most authors seem to be keeping their hands in a lot of pies these days. The question is, which book do you put in which pie? How many pies, and which ones? These and other question plaguing my brain must be put on hold for a bit while I scour my files in search of the perfect buns...
I think these say it all. Do you climb that wall, or do you stand there peering over it until someone smacks you on the butt to get you to hop over to the other side? I wish I knew.
And, no. I don't have a picture, or firsthand knowledge of the contours of Ivan's buns.
Wish I knew that, too.