19 May Casinos, Pecan Pie and Seevae Kosokoso

I’m here in Reno, Nevada at the Romantic Times Book Convention and it’s been a fabulous three days getting reacquainted with the romance writing and publishing world. It’s been 3 years since my last book came out, since I decided to ‘take a break’ from being an author.

 

The funny thing is – that in those years, I wrote more words than I ever did as an official author. That’s what happens when you switch to being a journalist and an editor, you have to write a ton load of words every day that you just can’t procrastinate or over-think. Those words won me some accolades and took me to a few places that I’d never been to before, which has been cool. And I’m definitely a better writer today than I was 3 years ago, thanks to my Samoa Planet experiences thus far!

 

But I’m ready to be an author again and coming to RT is part of that. So what have I been doing here? A list, in no particular order…

 

  1. I got reprimanded by my mother (back in Samoa) who publicly called me out on Facebook for wearing jandals/seevae kosokoso to the convention. When I was a RT newbie back in Kansas City in 2013, I made the mistake of wearing fancy shoes that hurt like hell after 5 hours of conferencing. So this time, I was smart and wore super comfy shoes. Except my mother the Vogue fashionista of Samoa did not approve! This is how you know Im Samoan. Im old, a mum with 5 semi-grown ‘kids’, I have a job and a house – but my mother still loudly critiques my fashion choices. Facebook just amplifies it all aaaargh.
  2. I discovered the awesome wonder that is a casino buffet. Oh. My. Goodness. The abundance was overwhelming. This year’s convention is being held at the Peppermill Casino Resort. American casinos really know how to do a buffet. It blew my mind. I have to go back tomorrow. For the pecan pie alone.
  3. I listened to fab authors talk about their craft, and I managed not to fall on the ground in a Harlequin Historical romance faint. Sylvia Day, Shayla Black, Christine Feehan, JKenner, Elizath Hoyt and more. The big hype for me was Anne Bishop. Her Others series is brilliant worldbuilding and gripping storytelling so I enjoyed her author chat.
  4. I learned how to list books for pre-order. Something I’ve never done and now thanks to Mark Coker of Smashwords, I’m putting my next two books up on pre-order ASAP. Check back again for the links and more info about WHAT these books are and when they’re releasing.
  5. I danced for two hours in a pretty much empty nightclub, and had the bestest dance time. I came to RT with the #HotMan and when he found out there was a nightclub in the resort, he was determined we would go dancing. Even though I didn’t bring any clubbing clothes. (Ummm do I even own any deliciously skanky revealing slinky clothes?? Or better question – do I FIT any slinky delicious clothes?? No.) And even though the club has a dress code that requires men wear dress shoes, and he didn’t bring any. I thought HA WE CANT GO TOO BAD! But while I was at the conference, he went and bought a pair of dress shoes. And proceeded to pester me about going dancing. Yes, there may have been some guilt tripping along the lines of ‘But daahling I came all this way from Samoa to be with you at your conference and we never go dancing and is it too much to ask that we please go siva??’ So I went. And HAD A GREAT TIME! The club was empty, the music was good, and nobody knows us here so I felt 100% fine with dancing all the moves in my repertoire from back in the 1990’s…because so what if I looked silly? I highly recommend everyone go nightclub dancing in a strange city, in a strange country a few thousand miles away from your hometown. Good time guaranteed.
  6. I got reminded about how much work is involved in being an indie author. How much commitment. The organisation and discipline needed to put out 1…2…3… books a year. Listened to authors talk about their 20+ years careers, with more than 100 books on the shelf with their name on it. I’m inspired. Motivated. A bit freaked out as I wonder whether I can do this. And excited for the road ahead!

 

We start heading home tomorrow and I’m going with lots of helpful info and resources, as well as a generous shot of #LetsGetThisPartyStarted. My readers have been patient and supportive over the last 3 years as I did lots of other things besides write novels. I come back into fiction with a world of new experiences and insights gathered from all those #otherThings, and my novels in progress are all the more richer and better for it. I cant wait to share them with you!

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