Monday, May 29, 2006

RT report, the sequel

Part 2 of the Romantic Times Report

We continue with Thursday, May 18….

Like a bum, I exercise and lounge for the first part of the day. I also skip lunch, based on the Rubber Turkey we were served the day before. But I do stir to life in time to appear for the 3:00 Series Romance panel. I’d been invited to participate by Debra Webb, and you should see who else is on the list: Anna DeStefano, Cara Summers, Rita Heron, Julie Miller, Susan Stephens, and Randall Toye. Good company. Basically, we all give updates on what is happening with certain lines within the Harlequin/Silhouette family. I take up the cause of Special Edition, which isn’t going to change very much in the near future because it’s already a successful line. (For a while, some of us were a little concerned due to the major changes we’ve seen in the Desire line; we thought SSE was going to get an overhaul next, but our fears have gone unfounded.) However, I also have the task of talking about Bombshell. As you can imagine, I use most of my allotted time not only discussing what Natashya Wilson, Bombshell’s senior editor, had revealed to me, but I cheerlead, too, wanting to whip up enthusiasm for a line that could and should be doing so much better. (Read my last blog for details.) In a nutshell, Natashya had told me that Bombshell is looking to publish the same heroine-centered action/adventure editorial, but there’s a key change: instead of allowing the romance to be a subplot, they’re now asking for the love elements to be tightly woven into the story. That’s not to say Bombshell is becoming another Intimate Moments line (name change there: IM is now Silhouette Romantic Suspense), but the romance should play an absolutely vital part now. I also talk about some upcoming Bombshell releases; really exciting stuff like the Madonna Key series, which has DA VINCI CODE overtones, and more Athena Force books. Tashya had also wanted me to mention my October release BAITED, which is what they’re calling an “atmospheric thriller.” I’m totally into that.

I am also particularly interested in what Cara Summers has to say about Blaze, the third line I write for (Blaze and Desire are her topics—a pretty heavy load.). As a reader, I’m really looking forward to what Brenda Chin, Blaze senior editor, and company have in store for us. What particularly flips my skirt is a certain Blaze series: “Extreme.” These books will be written by different authors but will be connected in tone because all “Extreme”s boast of premises you wouldn’t expect to find in a Blaze. For instance, an upcoming Julie Elizabeth Leto story features an assassin heroine who falls for the man she might have to kill. There are also time travel books in this series, as well as tales with paranormal elements. (Note: In fact, I just got the green light from Brenda to write a vampire Blaze. Sqeee! I don’t know if it’ll be an “Extreme” yet, but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility….)

After that panel, I do some networking (No, this does not mean that I hang out at the bar—I do actual business work that you wouldn’t be interested in at all, LOL.). Then I drop by Laurell K. Hamilton Hour. Do you know she has a bodyguard? I don’t want to perpetuate rumors about the reason, but it’s tragic that a bodyguard is a requirement for her now. Wow. But for any Anita Blake fans out there, I will tell you something real interesting straight from the mouth of Ms. Hamilton herself. Sure, you’ve probably already read this on the Internet, but my slow butt is just getting around to revealing it. Here goes: In the work-in-progress Anita Blake book, there’s going to be a surprising foursome scene (If you don’t want to know more, stop reading until the next paragraph!)…. Anita, Jean-Claude, Micah, and…Nathaniel. Huh, wha…? YES. When Hamilton told the audience, the news was met by blissful cheers.

After that, I hobnob with Deidre Knight in her suite. She’s invited friends, paranormal writers, and clients to pig out from an arrangement of food plates and wines. Excellent grub and company. Karmela Johnson and I chat about the future of Bombshell (obviously this is uppermost on our minds) and the ending hours of ALIAS. Stellar writers like Judy Duarte and Susan Stephens join us, but soon, it grows dark. The vampire hour is approaching.

Time for Heather Graham’s Vampires of the Caribbean Ball.

This is dorky, but I have no idea they’d planned to serve dinner. Judy and I have already eaten, so I skip the pork chops and dive directly into the carrot cake. Actually, I eat just the frosting because I’m strange, but it is very good and nutritious. Then Heather Graham and her cohorts put on a pirate-vampire skit and the festivities kick into gear with a treasure hunt and dancing. Unfortunately, my body kicks out of gear at this point, and we head back up to the room.

I know—I suck. But, folks, I am working off the champagne from the Ellora’s Cave party, okay?

Next blog: Friday and Saturday at RT….

No comments: