Saturday, May 27, 2006

Haven't tried this before, but here goes! I'm trying to include a picture of Rodney Chatman...Mr. Romance 2006! I do wish I'd gotten a pic of him without his hat. He looked dashing in it, but this picture doesn't do him justice. And I should've let my hair down...ah well...there's always next year!

Play safe!

Diana Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 22, 2006

Reading back through my RT posts, I realized I never talked about the food at the Hilton. I've told you their service was great, even if they couldn't figure out the Internet problem. And the beds! Holy moley...wish I could take one of those beds home with me!

But their food? What we had wasn't awful, but it was rather plain. And not nearly enough of it. At the convention we're given one large luncheon a day and the rest is made up of mixers where food and drink is readily available. At the nighttime parties there are usually nosh-type food. The breakfast mixers weren't bad, with plenty of coffee for those who drink it, but rarely juice. And usually only one type of danish. I know that's partly the decision of the sponsor so let me tell you now...the 10 of us who are members of the Fantasy Club are planning to sponsor a breakfast next year...and we'll have juice and muffins and cinnamon rolls...and lots and lots of coffee!

So I get to the airport yesterday, go through security (the security guard got a good chuckle over my shirt. Yes, I was wearing my "Got Sex?" T-shirt. On the back it says "We do. Ellora's Cave Publishing"), and make my way to my gate. I'm taking what I expect will be a puddle jumper from Daytona to Atlanta and then home from there.

Cheyenne McCray is already waiting at the gate. So is Jory Strong. Shortly Lynn La Fleur joins us as well as Cricket Starr, Mardi Ballou and Mackenzie McKade. I think there were more, but I can't remember (I was working on only about 4 hrs sleep). If you were there, let me know and I'll add you in! And if I have you as being on that plane and you weren't...well, it's amazing what a little sleep deprivation will do to you!

A few minutes later, the EC staff shows up...Cindy and Brian and Jeania and Kelly. And all the cover models...CJ and Rodney and all the rest. All on one plane to Atlanta! As we started to board someone said, "This plane better not go down! Erotic romance will never be the same!" LOL

Now, you would think a plane filled with these party animals would be lively and loud. Had it been 8:00 at night that probably would be true. But I think every one of us fell asleep as the plane flew us to our next destination. We parted ways in Atlanta, each going off to different gates and different parts of the country. Next year -- Houston!

I had over two hours till my next flight, so decided to walk the tunnel rather than take the subway. Besides, I only had to go from Gate E to C this time. C24 -- which is down in a hole, and looks it. The seats were all cracked, boards were over the video terminals that told what flights were coming and going. There was one toilet shared by men and women. I took some comfort from the sign that said the entire C wing was undergoing an upgrade.

It gets close to the time I know we should begin boarding and the announcement comes over the loudspeaker, "We are now boarding for Ottawa, Canada. Please have your passports ready."

One problem: I'm not going to Ottawa. I have a passport, but not with me. Because I'm going to Rochester, NY, not Canada.

So I go up to the desk and inquire politely if the gate for my flight has been changed (it hadn't when I went down into the hole two hours earlier, but there was no working video monitor down there). I was supposed to be at Gate 36 now.

I hauled it down to the other gate and got there just two minutes before they began boarding. Talk about a close call! The flight home was fine until just before landing. There was a storm over Rochester, with 20-30 mile an hour winds. We came in over the Lilac Festival and it was very cool to see Highland Park from the air with all the lilacs in bloom. Looked like a Monet painting with dollops of purple and white and lavender on the hillside.

So the landing was a bit bumpy, but certainly not anything to worry about. My family took me out to Friday's for supper (love that Jack Daniel's shrimp!) and then home. And bed!

Now it's back to writing for a living...need to put my feet back on the ground, both literally and figuratively...and get those stories done!

Play safe,

Sunday, May 21, 2006

It’s hard to believe the RT convention is over. Well, over for me. It’s 12:08 am on Sunday morning and I have to be up at 5:30 to catch my flight home. Yes, 5:30 in the morning.

I’d like to send a very big hello to Robin! She’s been reading my books and is my biggest fan. Tonight we got out on the dance floor and cut the rug some, let me tell you! Robin, you are the greatest!

I’ve met so many wonderful people that to list them would create a post longer than my arm! But special hellos must also be given to Sunny, Deborah and Kendra…it was so much fun meeting each one of you!

And a special congratulations to our own Rodney Chatman…the new Mr. Romance! I’m so proud of him!! If you’ve never had the opportunity to meet him, let me tell you…he’s the nicest, politest, sweetest man you’ll ever meet. And, of course, he’s gorgeous. And I can say, “I knew him when!” Congratulations, Rodney!

This has been the best RT ever…okay, the best of the three I’ve gone to. So many good things have happened this week. From the people I’ve met, to the awards won by authors and my very own cover model (Rodney’s on the cover of Tales from the Temple III, just in case you aren’t sure which one he is) to getting my hand slapped at the bookfair today by a woman who told me, “Secret Submission is the dirtiest book I’ve ever read.” Slap. “And I’ve read it several times.”

Things like that make my day. As a author, I tend to stay in my own little world, writing stories that haunt my thoughts. Sometimes I forget that people are actually out there reading them. Days like these past few make me realize my books touch people in ways I have never imagined. Thank you to all of you for sharing your experiences with me. You give me reason to keep writing.

Play safe,


Friday, May 19, 2006

EC has the Tales from the Oasis series...I have my Tales from RT!

Let's see...there was no hotel shuttle on Wednesday (despite my standing in front of an ad that said there was, the hotel denied having any such service and told me to take a taxi. I did.). Ruby and I were going to meet, but hadn't set up a time or place. We figured we'd just find each other once we were here. That was before we knew the RT convention space was spread all over the hotel and that it was a quarter mile hike between the two main venues.

But we found each other at fact, yesterday (Thursday) Ruby, Lynn LaFleur, Nikki Soarde and I walked down the boardwalk to get pizza. We were joined by Ruby's sister, mother and daughter (these women are a kick!) and later by two reviewers from FAR! But again, I'm jumping ahead...

Back to Rodney. He's so sweet. If you've forgotten, Rodney is the cover model on the Tales From the Temple III that I have a short story in. Did you know he's competing for the Mr. Romance title this year? He has MY vote, that's for sure!

EC decided to offer pictures with the cover models at the party this year with the proceeds going to the Montel Williams MS Foundation. I went over to get my pic taken with Rodney and found poor Kelly and Cindy going crazy. The line got long VERY fast and they hadn't expected the volume of sales, so they were short-staffed. I volunteered to run the printer so they could do the selling and photography, respectively. LOL That was at 9: 30. At 11:30 I was still at the printer, getting pics out to people. Amazng response!

So no dancing for me Wednesday night. Missed the cover models, who did a solo performance in the middle of the evening. But then again, I sat and watched all the pics being taken of them and saw all the prints. Terrible job, to have to look at them all night long...but then again...I don't mind sacrificing myself.

But yes, I got my pic with Rodney!

Yesterday (Thursday) was a busy day as well...and finally got to dance last night some. OH!!! There will be some REALLY, REALLY good news coming soon! Only telling you it's coming right going to wait until it's official to actually announce. But it's WONDERFUL! (tease, tease!).

Am off to lunch now...will write more later!
Play safe,

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Internet access! Finally!!!

A special thanks to the staff at the Hilton, Daytona Beach Ocean Walk Village! I had troubles all day with getting onto the Internet (proved to be an easy fix...which I accidently found tonight...after the hotel tech spent much time and effort trying to deal with this afternoon. And it isn't his fault he couldn't find it...but I discovered the hotel's system just wouldn't deal with more than one day at a time. Wait...let me tell this right...)

I tried to log in this morning (costs $10.00/day for access...same as several other hotels I've been in), and it would go through the entire process, but then tell me I didn't exist and therefore, couldn't have access. Drove all of us crazy till the tech finally threw in the towel and gave me free breakfast coupons as compensation for his not being able to fix the problem.

But I miss the internet...and knew my mail was piling up. So when I got back from "dinner" (more on that in a bit), I decided to give it one more go. This time, however, instead of trying to get access for my entire stay, I tried just for tonight. Voila! I'm here! Will I be here tomorrow? Who knows? Maybe tomorrow their system will decide I don't exist again! LOL

But I'm here now...and finally taking a breath. Talk about an exciting two days!

Yesterday I was up for 22 hours. Rose at 3:00 AM and left the house at 3:30 to go to the airport. May I say I have the most wonderful husband on earth? He never complained once about the awful hour, but got up with me and drove the two-hour round trip to drop me at the airport, then came home, got the kids up (I have may know what fun it is to get that age up and out the door in the morning) and off to school before heading off for his own classes (he's a college professor).

Flight took off on time; we were three minutes early landing in Atlanta. Good thing. We disembarked at gate A3. My connecting flight left from gate E31. Now I've been in a few airports before...that's not a long haul.

Except in Atlanta. I swear the airport must be laid out in one mile-long building. And no, I'm not exaggerating. You walk underground to get from gate to gate and beside the walkway (parts of which are moving sidewalks...thank the Good Lord above for those! You'll see why in a minute)...but beside the walkway is a gul-derned TRAIN! I'm not kidding. It's a self-contained subway system that simply runs from one end of the airport to the other and back again. And how long is the rail line? One mile!!!

Now I can walk a mile. Do it in 15 minutes on a good day and barely work up a sweat. Except there are only 25 minutes between the time I land and the time boarding begins for the next flight. I know what you're thinking. "Okay, Diana...that gives you a buffer of 10 minutes...what's the big deal?"

Remember I said "good day." I was so excited Tuesday night, I didn't get to sleep until 1:00AM. We got up at three to go to the airport, so I'm working on two hours of sleep in a 30-hour period. Add to that the fact that I'm carrying 40 pounds of luggage in one suitcase (filled with promo items, of course...the airline can lose my clothes and I'll just buy new ones. But my promo comes with ME!), and another 20 pounds (including this laptop) in my backpack. AND the fact that I had no idea the walk was that long until I was about halfway to my gate and I'd been walking for ten minutes already, so I wasn't rushing. That ten-minute buffer? Shot!

Thank goodness I got to the gate and found out that, while I was treking the bowels of the Atlanta airport, my flight was delayed fifteen minutes. Thank you, Lord! I sat down, took three breaths and then was up and getting on board.

And of course, hit the ground running! Will write more later tonight with stories about getting to the hotel (nothing could be easy, could it?) finding Ruby Storm (Ruby! Where are you?), and getting my picture taken with Rodney Chatman (could any man be sweeter?).

Until then, Play safe!


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I've been a little quiet here, of may be asking why. I do have reasons!

In the past two weeks, I've managed to complete and send to my editor not one, not two, but THREE stories...two novellas and a Quickie. Yes, I know, I haven't had a new release since October, 2005 (that was seven months ago -- an eternity in reader's minds), but I really have been working!

Two of the three are now in edits (one novella and the Quickie). It's my hope that I can get the Quickie turned around quickly and out by the end of July-ish. Don't quote me on my little world, however, everything goes smoothly and there are no glitches or emergencies that take me away from writing.

Not that the Romantic Times conference that starts today (I'll arrive there tomorrow afternoon) is a glitch or an emergency! It will take me away from writing, but to be honest, I'll welcome the chance to recharge my batteries and meet friendly faces. I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones...and getting my picture with a model or two!

No, I'm not releasing titles just yet. :) Not trying to be a tease, but I want these babies done before I celebrate. I will tell you one of the novellas definitely comes out in November and is a part of the Winter Studs stories that Ruth Kerce, Ruby Storm and I have put together for you. But the other two? I'll announce those in a few weeks...after I've finished edits. And I'll include excerpts then, too!

(Yes, I know that those of you who are determined will do a little detective work and figure out which stories are forthcoming...solving a little mystery is a good way to keep the mind young! Go ahead and post your guesses here. First one to get either story's title correct will win a small prize. Chocolate is always good. LOL)

If I can get a good Internet connection at the hotel in Daytona Beach, you can count on posts to keep you up-to-date on all the doings. My plane leaves home at 6:05 AM (yes, that means I need to be to the airport between 4-4:30 in the morning) with a layover in Atlanta. I should get to Daytona around 11:00 am and to the hotel shortly after that.

For those who are already there...make room at the bar!
For those who are coming...see you soon!
For those who will not be there...I'll send reports as often as I can!

Play safe,

Friday, May 05, 2006

There has been some discussion in the blogsphere lately concerning the honesty of reviewers. Sybil, at Romancing the Blog posed the question: Would an author prefer 5 glowing reviews or 15 honest ones that were all over the board? I answered there, but then had some more thoughts.

First off, my personal preference is 15 honest reviews all over the board. ego loves the glowing reviews. They make me think I'm the hottest writer since F. Scott Fitzgerald. They make me feel good and encourage me to keep writing.

But I also know that my particular kink in the sexual portions of my romances, tends not to be everyone's cup of tea. BDSM isn't for everyone. In fact, I have to admit a sort of perverse satisfaction to writing out of the mainstream. I like being different and on the edge (or is that fringe?). When I started at Ellora's Cave three years ago, there were only three BDSM books. Although BDSM is becoming much more popular as a separate genre (a fact that will push me in a different direction at some point), it still isn't for everyone.

Now, if a reviewer hasn't read much (or any!) romances with a BDSM twist and they pick up one of mine as their first attempt...then I deserve whatever they give me. THAT's an honest review. Either they'll love it or hate it. I'm afraid I've seen very little in the middle.

But if a reviewer has a pre-formed prejudice against BDSM? Then please, please, please! Don't bother reading (and trashing) my book! If you've formed an opinion before you've even cracked the spine of the book, then what's the point? Just to be mean? Just to lash out at a kink you don't like? THAT ticks me off. Those are the only reviews I ignore. If you don't like the genre, don't read it.

Of course, this begs the question: what's the difference between a review and a critique? Which would readers rather read?

Play safe,