I love to travel. I love to experience different cultures, different foods, different people. I’ve traveled to France, London, China, South America, New Zealand, Denmark, and soon I’m going to Scotland and Ireland. But amazingly, when I go to New York City, the differences are almost as great as going to a different country.
I’ve never grabbed an Uber or a taxi in Tomball, Texas. My heart got a workout when I got into a taxi whose driver had road rage and screamed the entire drive as he delivered me to my Grand Central author party. (All I could think of was that I’m glad not everyone had guns like they do in Texas.) I’ve never bumped into so many people on the streets of Tomball. In New York you are shoulder to shoulder. And in Times Square, some of those people are “over-the-top” characters. Like a women wearing nothing but a thong and paint. Like the Mickey Mouse characters with bobbling heads. As crazy as it was, I loved experiencing it all.
And because this was a RWA, Romance Writers of America, conference, attended by writers, it felt like most of those folks were family. And because I’ve spoken at so many writer’s conferences, I know so many faces.
I spent time chatting with Tina Dick, who is a reporter from Germany. I love running into her every year, and it’s not just because she brings me German chocolate. But the chocolate is amazing. I ran into Joss Wood, who lives in South Africa and whose books sound wonderful, and was such a pleasure to chat with. I ran into some folks from New Zealand who were at my workshop I gave there. Then there were the fans who came to the signing. They got C.C. Hunter T-shirts just for showing up, too. I ran into old friends, Arel Jansen, from Maine, and we had some great visits, hugs, and laughs. I hung with Ruth Kenjura, a Houston RWA member.
I shared wine and conversation with Diane Kelly, Lori Wilde, Kerrelyn Sparks, Shala Patel, Pintip Dunn, Dyranda Jones, Miranda Liasson, and Carolyn Brown. Laura Drake, Susan Muller, and I got turned down by two angry Uber drivers, but we finally got to the Lillie’s Victorian Establishment, where great food and laughs were had. Susan and I roomed together again, and you know you need a roomie who agrees that what happens in the hotel room, stays in the hotel room. Oh, the fun! (By the way, all of these are amazing authors, try them!)
I met with editors, my agent, bloggers, librarians, and I may have drunk a little too much wine. But I did not dance on any tables. So don’t believe anyone who says I did. And remember photos can be altered. I went to workshops, heard Alyssa Cole speak at the Librarian breakfast, which was fantastic and met authors Tee O’Fallon and M.A. Taylor, whose books sound amazing and I’m ordering them today.
New York City was amazing. A blend of culture, good food, better friendships, and tons of laughter.
And . . . I got some free books, double copies, and I snagged a few extra RWA tote bags. So today, I’ll give away a bag, and at least one book that I snagged at the conference. So leave a post and tell me about one of your travel adventures or a dream vacation, and one person will win a tote and at least one new book. (Sorry, but this giveaway is for U.S. residents only. And if you’re reading this on Goodreads, you must post your comment on my blog to enter.)