Romance authors typically spend most of their lives communing with computers and cats—before I left for Dallas, in fact, I explained to my cat that it was nothing personal, but I had to go practice talking to people now—so when it comes to socializing en masse at the conference, we're a little bit like the Tin Man before the oil can was applied to him. You kind of have to lubricate us, in other words. And then you can't shut us up. For instance, check out that big bowl of wine in Toni Blake's hand in the second photo. Wine = author lubricant. :) That's the dazzling Gayle Callen, then me (holding something orange and alcoholic -- I think it might have been from the Mimosa family, but I'm not sure, and at the time its family tree certainly didn't matter) and Toni at the Avon dinner, and me and Toni up in the left corner in our cocktail finery. I had to sew the keyhole of my dress ever-so-slightly more modestly shut before the dinner, as one breast kept attempting to make a break for the exits. Wearing dresses requiring complicated underwear to numerous events is something else romance authors need to get accustomed to, given that we (OK, I) usually wear the same pair of jeans for days, weeks, eons on end.
And in the photo at the bottom (these are all from the Avon dinner, and all courtesy of Toni) is me, Terri Garey, and Kathy Caskie, and we had a fabulous time at the dinner. If Terri's smile looks a little long-suffering, it's because I apparently kept kicking her under the table. Not on purpose, or anything—she certainly didn't do anything to warrant the kicking—but I'd had a big bowl of wine by then, too, and her shins and the table legs all felt the same to me. She kicked me a good one later on, though, to make up for it. Just kidding!! Conversation at the table was far ranging and informative and involved dogs, cats, men, food, and covers featuring enormous boobs. You know—current events. And we authors were in Bookseller heaven, because at our table were the wonderful Sue Grimshaw and Kathy Baker of Borders and Mike Spradlin the Uber SalesGuy (who's also an author) from HarperCollins, who told a story involving chickens and smoke bombs. Oh, and he also talked about selling books, too. And in case you were wondering, I had the salmon, because it keeps my coat shiney.
All in all, we were gloriously entertained, and I had a wonderful time. And as more pictures crop up (some might even be from my camera!) I'll post 'em.