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My Evening with Legends at #RT16

I'm feeling incredibly fortunate tonight. Not only was I able to come to this amazing convention, but I have added some names to the coolest people ever list today.

It started off this morning with a fantastic panel on Romantic Suspense, a genre I dream of writing someday...when I grow up or something. Since I haven't read much in the past year as I tried to get my own work polished and published, I really haven't read very much, and I'm definitely not as widely read as most other authors I run into (yet another reason I'm insisting I'm a bit of a fraud!). Heather Graham and James Rollins really stood out to me because of their personalities and the humorous stories they told. The advice given by Laura Kaye, Laurelin Paige, and Donna Grant was also very helpful and they kind of dispelled the myth to me that becoming traditionally published means you lose control of your author voice.

One story Heather told that really intrigued with me was about some creepy guy in Key West who married a corpse and lived with her for seven years (I still intend to look this story up as I'm fascinated) and she proceeded to talk about how she's drawn to creepy stories like that and that she spends time thinking about them, which in turn fuels her work (I'm paraphrasing badly... It's late and I am working with one eye open). I thought about my novel Fated and the fact that I chose a real haunted house story to throw into the mix; the Los Feliz Murder Mansion. Since my character Mage is also very enchanted by stories of ghosts and the occult, I wanted to find the perfect place for Maggie's Bones to be recording their album in Hollywood. I had fun researching haunted mansions there. So when a hugely accomplished author like Heather Graham shares stories of seeing a person lying on the interstate and being compelled to find out the story behind it, I feel like maybe I'm not the only one who thinks about crazy shit like that!

Fast forward to late this evening. After a hilarious night at the Vintage Casino party, wherein we chased down chips and free stuffs and I got to take a picture with Elvis, in my Elvis t-shirt, I was ready for some gut medicine and a little carton of milk from the snack shop. As I'm grabbing a bottle of water, I see Ms. Graham and her compadres buying some late-night goodies as well. Now, I'm not the kind of person who likes to approach people. I figure, especially on a night like tonight, she's really tired and probably just wants to go to her room. But I just wanted to tell her how much I appreciated her panel. So I step over to tell her thank you, and we get to talking about creepy stories. I tell her I'm going to grab her books because I figure if she thinks the same creepy way I do, of course I'm going to dig her books. Her assistant then pulls out one of her hardbacks, hands Heather a pen, and BOOM! I've got a signed copy.

Here's where my creepy side really kicks in. She says to me, "I bet you like going to graveyards, too." "Absolutely," I say... Wait for it... "Perhaps I'll run into you in one someday." HOW FRICKIN' MORBID AND WEIRD IS THAT? My only hope is that she knew I was referring to being kindred spirits, and not like I'm some maniacal stalker who will put her in a cemetery. Disaster. I just shouldn't be allowed out, I swear.

To wrap up my first full day here in RT, I also met some inspiring Bad Girls who write submersive, I mean submissive, dammit it's SUBVERSIVE Romance and I loved what they had to say. They were talking about the stories I love to write and I felt inspired to keep pushing myself to write what I want to write. David Corbett also gave an invigorating talk about Good vs. Evil and the Moral Argument in stories and damn if I wasn't sitting there, wheels churning, planning how to continue my El Corazón Sabe series as well as working out some fixes to plot points in other stories and revisions on my very first series I started to write (that I promise to publish someday!) Throw in a couple more panels that I could barely hear or tolerate due to a splitting headache, dinner with my awesome SFARWA pals, and a ton of fun with my partners in crime, Ellay Branton and Kimberlie L. Faye, I am ready to call it a night so I'll have some juice for tomorrow!

Stay Tuned for more Rock 'n' Romance!!!

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