Monday, May 6, 2013

I Lurked On The #RT13 Twitter Feed

#Bittercon is real, it’s here, and it’s fueled by fond, good-natured jealously for all the romance (and other genre) writers and readers who attended the RT Conference last week in Kansas City, MO. RT stands for the RT Book Reviews magazine (formerly Romantic Times). I was a constant presence (real or imagined) at #Bittercon  as I was not able to attend “RT” this year. To avoid wallowing completely in freakish misery, I avidly followed the nonstop nearly 24-hour Twitter feed for hashtag #RT13. I lurked, I admit it, I have no shame. Here are but a few of the not-entirely-surprising revelations my lurking uncovered about #RT13.

Romance writers love their funky shoes (I APPROVE) and are not shy about posing in them, which is good because Angela James, Editorial Director for Carina Press, was there to take their pictures. That’s probably how I know that Karina Cooper has the most fantastic shoes on the planet (though I hear Smart Bitch Sarah Wendell runs a close second). Karina's peacock shoes especially turned me several shades of blue green with envy. (UPDATED at 8 PM with a link to the peacock shoes!! Thanks Karina!!)

The costume parties make me glad for the time I spent on a theatre’s run crew that made me a whiz with the quick change (usually when there’s a man involved). (I’m kidding.) (Maybe.) They also brought home the fact that I don’t have nearly the sufficient budget or creativity required for the costumes for all the parties at this conference. Imelda Marcos wouldn’t have the budget for the costumes for all the parties at this conference. Though she would have the shoes.

I’m gonna need some tats applied before I attend RT14 in New Orleans or lose any and all cred with these tricked out, bad-assed writers. They will be fake because I am a wimp. Also, I have a hard time deciding on  a lipstick color, I’m hardly going to be able to choose an image with which to be painted for eternity without years of planning first – and likely therapy.

Author E L James of Fifty Shades infamy attended incognito (I had “came” as the verb there first, but then this is an RT list, so…) She declared herself in a panel but without rancor or fisticuffs, revealed she was only there to support a friend, re-registered under her real fake (i.e. pen) name, lost her badge in the men’s room, and has had an identity crisis ever since.

Larry Kirshbaum, publishing legend and current head of Amazon Publishing, does a mean striptease. On a dais. In front of hundreds of women. As you do.

The craft workshops never end. Even late in the evening at the hotel bar, you can still find erotic romance authors who are all to willing to demonstrate...techniques.

Holy crap, TEENAGERS READ!!! Brace yourselves: they can be so keen to see a favorite writer that they will bypass the escalator and RUN UP THE STAIRS to be sure to get the signature of their Fearless Leader. Then, overcome with the sauce that is awesome, they will comp squat right there on a hotel lobby floor (no, it’s not a misdemeanor) and START READING. FROM A BOOK EVEN.

The RT Book Fair is MASSIVE. Authors are trapped at their tables for hours, signing books and meeting lovely fans. Fortunately, some people are happy to resupply the belabored authors gamely battling hand cramps with coffee, water, penis-shaped candy, and, if you’re author Cara McKenna, a bottle of Smirnoff Ice.

Andrew Shaffer is everywhere - sometimes trotting around with Jill Shalvis' skull (she was mobbed at the book fair and thus stripped of her skin) and occasionally wearing a horse's head though thankfully not in the Corleone style. Seriously, the guy is like the inadvertent mascot of the RT twitter feed, which would offer one explanation for the horse's head...

In her acceptance speech for winning the RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice for Best Steampunk Novel of 2012 for Tarnished, Karina Cooper revealed that her husband had sold his Magic cards to help pay for her trip to RT13. Tiffany Reisz tweeted in response that her father paid for her first RWA National Conference, and Olivia Kelly added that her dad paid for her trip to RWA Nationals in 2012 and reads all her stuff. Conclusion: our heroes do not only exist between the pages of our romance novels. We dig the good (live) men. They are real and amazing.

Everyone fangrrls over Jude Devereux and Julie Garwood. Everyone.

Given that I was a far-off observer of said goings-on, below are but a few of the more memorable tweets from #RT13. WARNING: Don't be drinking anything when you read them or it'll come out of your nose for sure.

One last thing for those who still inexplicably doubt or poo poo the impact of Twitter. If there could be anything to solidify my certain attendance at RT14, it would be the RT13 Twitter feed. That's grassroots, first-person, hand to hand, free marketing and publicity generated there for anyone and everyone to see for both RT Book Reviews and every single person mentioned and/or tweeting. Turn your nose up at that unbelievers. I dare you.