It’s the end of a long day here in Orlando. Sandy and I both traveled here today and met Lynn (in my case, for the first time). This marks the first time all three of AAR’s publishers have met face to face, which was fun for all of us.
After a quick dinner, we went into the literary signing where we mostly went our separate ways; we all had different authors we wanted to meet. This is the first conference in five years for me, so there were some new faces along with a few familiar ones. I had met Adele Ashworth and Julia Justiss when the conference was in Denver, and caught up with them briefly. I really enjoyed meeting Blythe Gifford (surely the only other Blythe here, and probably in romancelandia as a whole). We traded first name war stories.
I avoided most long lines, though I waited my turn to meet Elizabeth Hoyt. I started Wicked Intentions (her newest book, which she wasn’t available yet) on the plane, and am really enjoying it so far (why aren’t more people writing books set in the 1740s?). When I told Sandy I had only read one Hoyt book in the past, she replied, “REALLY? We’ll have to fix that.” Judging from the number of fans jockeying for position, paranormal romances are enjoying widespread popularity with readers. Sherilyn Kenyon and Jeaniene Frost has big lines, as did Kelley Armstrong.
I loved meeting Lauren Willig, who told me about teaching a Romance Novel class at Yale with Cara Elliott. Apparently college kids today and a little less judgmental than my generation about The Flame and the Flower.
Other surprising thing I learned from newly-signed author on the hotel shuttle: Amish Romances are selling like hotcakes. I’ve never read any myself. I would have asked more about the appeal, but then the conversation turned to baseball (I have little to say about baseball). Another shuttle-mate is writing a steampunk western – an idea I found interesting.
After the Literacy Signing we stopped by the Blogger Bash. I got to meet Wendy (of Super Librarian fame, though she does not wear either a mask or cape in real life), Jennifer (Librarian of the year! She was very nice), Aztec Lady, Victoria Janssen, MagdelenB, KristieJ, Jill (aka Romance Rookie…she was raving about Suzanne Brockmann’s newest), and a some other people I am forgetting. Lynn and I also chatted briefly with some Sourcebooks people. They’ve had tremendous success with Heyer reprints and are expanding the program to other classic authors (Lynn was excited about the upcoming Laurie McBain release).
Tomorrow starts the first full day of the conference for me. I’ll start out by hunting down the health club (I’m pretty sure I passed it at some point this afternoon, but this place is a maze) and a decent latte.