Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Naughty Nine... up close and personal

If you follow our blog, you know us.  You've listened to us go on and on about... pretty much everything at this point!  We love to hear ourselves-- and each other-- talk!  

But what is it really like to be around us?  We think it's probably hilarious (we're some of the funniest people we know!).  We also think it's probably pretty damned enlightening (we're some of the most fascinating people we know too!).  And we're sure that it's unforgettable! (yes, in a good way... )

Well, now you can hear about it from someone who took a deep breath, got on a plane and headed to a big romance convention just to meet us!  How cool is that?!  Here's how it happened for Kim-the-Amazing (that's what we call her anyway ;))

Until April of 2012, I had never been on a trip by myself.  I’ve always had friends or family with me on any trip beyond 250 miles. Last winter when I was reading all the posts from authors and readers, who were going to Chicago for RT, I was jealous.  I wished I could go.  Then I realized nothing was stopping me from going except my own fear.  I have only flown twice in my life and even though it wasn’t a horrible experience, the last time I was on a plane was August 2001 (yes, less than a month before 9/11).  I was a little nervous about getting on a plane to say the least. 

Then there was the issue of going to Chicago and not really knowing anyone.  What if I got lost? What would I do?  I initially planned on not telling anyone that I was going to RT.  I was just going to show up, introduce myself and hope that no one thought I was a stalker.  The “not knowing anyone” really worried me, so I decided to tell someone. I was just going to tell Erin and PG and still try to be a little bit of a surprise to Kelly and Kinsey (at that point, my NNN knowledge was pretty much limited to those four and Kate).  

Well, of course, I couldn’t keep it secret. I wanted to join in on all the tweets about the excitement and who was going and who was rooming with whom. 

I planned my trip perfectly. I think.  I decided one way to save money was to fly in early Thursday morning.  If everything went as planned, I would make it in time for karaoke and see the NNN.  I didn’t know how these things worked.  That might be my only chance.  I might only see them at that moment and just wander the rest of the weekend.  There were a couple of other authors I wanted to see, so it might be okay.

I arrived at the hotel, checked my bags, and headed to the sign-in area.  I was early but they checked me in anyway and one lady said “Go to the Goodie Room NOW, don’t wait!” So I went.  As I was coming out I saw Mari Carr and Jayne Rylon.  I didn’t say anything to these people. Don’t ask me why. I didn’t know what to say, so I didn’t.  I had my map and everything planned out.  I knew where the karaoke room was and there was something going on across the hall so I wandered in there to wait.  There was Mari Carr again. Shoving that awkward feeling aside, I approached her.  The next thing I know I am getting hugs, trading phone numbers and surrounded by International Heat.  But what about the NNN?  Are they going to be happy to see me, or are they going to be like, “Oh, no. It’s that crazy one. Don’t make eye contact and maybe she’ll leave”.

I debated on whether or not I should just walk into the karaoke room like I owned the place (while people were waiting in line) and thought better of it. What if one of these RT people asked what the hell I thought I was doing?  So, I waited in line.  When we were let in, once again, I thought this might be my only shot at seeing the NNN.  I walked up to the NNN singing away and held up my name badge.  They all looked at me with this blank expression of who the hell is this? Seriously. They really did. I was like oh shit this is bad.  It only took a second, but I think Erin was the first to realize who the hell I was, and Erin, Kelly, PG, and Kinsey all stopped and gave me a hug. Meg was still wondering who the hell is this? J  It was great! I got to meet them. How wonderful!  And after the karaoke was over they had another panel immediately following. I, with my memorized map, helped to get them there.  Erin soon had to leave to meet with Lindsey. I still wasn’t sure I would see her anymore and I had a “Mac” gift for her.  I chased her down as she was walking away with Lindsey to give it to her. Keep in mind, at this point I had no idea who Lindsey was, so I am sure that was like mad props that a fan gave this to her in front of her newly promoted editor. J

Much of the day was a blur.  I was working on about three hours of sleep – if that.  But I remember having lunch with PG, Kelly, Kinsey, and Meg. I also remember getting a really expensive club sandwich and talking to Kinsey about menopause.  This led to the subject of the NNN’s next serial. I said they should do one about menopause and call it The Menopause Games or Fifty Shades of Menopause. (I still think this is a very good idea)

You know what I now realize? They took care of me. I wandered around some and met new authors and fellow readers, but the NNN were watching out for me.  I remember coming into the lobby at one point and seeing Kinsey sitting there. She smiled and said “There you are.” How awesome is that?!

I guess you could say I was the NNN’s entourage.  One or all of them made sure I wasn’t sitting around alone, all the time. They didn’t know, but I carried my bag around with me with my camera and kindle cover everywhere I went. Even though I was there to meet them, there were TONS of authors there. I wanted to be prepared for the photo ops. J (If you haven’t been, you wouldn’t believe it. There is someone there handing you signed books and swag around every corner.  Some of the swag was super cool and I would always carry that back and share with the NNN.)

Let me tell you about the NNN I met…

Meg – She is a very interesting lady. She dresses like she just stepped out of a magazine.  She has a quick wit and she can hit you with some sarcasm with such a straight face that you find yourself saying, “Hey, wait a minute. Meg, that was freaking funny as shit!” several minutes later.

Kinsey – To be completely honest, I was a little nervous about meeting Kinsey.  I am not completely sure why.  It might have been her “tell ya like it is” tweets.  But let me tell you, Kinsey Holley is about the sweetest person I have ever met. 

Kelly – Kelly is a wonderful and popular author yet so down to earth. It was cool that we could be “fan girls” together with other authors. On the day we left, we sat together in the airport until I had to board. We just chatted and yawned – these are the things I will always remember.

PG – I love PG. She is a special lady. I wish I would have kept track of the number of times someone said, “Where’s PG?” We lost her a lot. Wonder where she was? And if there is anything I need to know, PG will have the answer. I have never met someone with such a broad knowledge base as PG.

Erin – My reason for going to RT. Several years ago I read my first romance novel (I had been a mystery and suspense girl). Because of Just Right I boarded a plane, flew to Chicago, and made some wonderful friends. Something I never would have done if I hadn’t read that book. Erin’s sense of humor is a match to her books and I felt as though I was hanging with one of the Bradford gang. Her smile is infectious and she does everything she can to make everyone feel special (while making sure everyone knows she’s the princess). She is freaking awesome!

Kate – Kate was not there, but she sent me a book. These ladies know how to make someone feel special. J

I am VERY excited and nervous about RT this year. There will be more Naughties at RT this year! I am 
hoping they won’t think I am the crazy stalker fan (I am good with crazy fan though). I am rooming with Skylar and horrified that I might snore. Seriously. But I am completely prepared to stand guard in front of the bathrooms for any and all of the NNN. And I will be back to tell you all about the new NNN I meet this year. 

~ Kim (-the-Amazing)  

If you're going to be at the Romantic Times Convention this year, please come find us and say hi!  We're... okay, maybe a little loud

:), but we're very friendly (and don't forget hilarious and fascinating!)  We'll be all over and generally where you find one of us you'll find at least one more! 


Meg Benjamin said...

Kim, sweetie, it wouldn't be the same without you! Of course, keep in mind, I never know what's going on (find PG).

Erin Nicholas said...

WHY does Blogger insist on changing the font on me? Every. Time. Argh!

Anyway, I love this post! Kim, you're the best. Thanks for letting us put this up ;) Can't wait to hear what you think after this year now that you know us better! bwahahaha!


Skylar Kade said...

Kim, don't you worry--I snore, so I've been told. We're going to be awesome roomies :D and I can't wait to meet you soon!

PG Forte said...

I don't know where I was either. Did you check the bar???

Seriously though, this is such a fun post--thank you! Only two more weeks--can't wait!!

Juniper Bell said...

Great post, Kim! I was so bummed that I missed all the fun last year, but I plan to make up for it this year. Can't wait to meet you, Kim-the-Amazing!

Kelly Jamieson said...

YES! We have an *entourage*!! Okay so what if it's only one person - it's KIM! Can't wait to see you again!!!

Kelly Jamieson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kinsey Holley said...

Oh sweetie - this post must've triggered my allergies cuz I got all sniffly and my eyes are itchy.

I either didn't know, or didn't remember, that last year was your first solo trip - that took a lot of guts. I'm so glad you found Erin's book and then the courage to go hundreds of miles away to hang with people you've never met. I'm not sure I could've done it. I've traveled by myself, and God knows I'm not shy, but still - a fan convention on your own seems kind of daunting.

We are gonna have SO MUCH FUN. I'm going to remember to take all my allergy meds so I don't cough like a late-stage consumption patient and keep PG awake. And since we're rooming together, I volunteer to keep tabs on her.

I can't wait! But can I drop 15 pounds in two weeks?

PG Forte said...

well, I have no plans to get tattooed this time around, so that should make things easier...maybe. And Kinsey, you didn't keep me awake last year either.

Kelly Jamieson said...

Also, love the pee-gate reference.

Kate Davies said...

Aww, I wish I could be there with you! I'm so looking forward to meeting Kim someday. And believe me when I say that if there's more than four of us in one place at a time, hilarity ensues!

Kim, you're awesome. Enjoy RT, and be sure to bring back plenty of blackmai... erm, stories to share!

Kim B said...

I am so nervous and I just read Kinsey's post and think I should have started packing last week. I have no idea what I am wearing or if anything fits. I have a date with Skylar and have no idea what I am wearing for that! :D Then there are the other nights. Formal night? I was going to get something all wenchy, then chickened out. I just want to make sure if I happen to win an iPad, I don't do it in my pajamas - again. PG: "It doesn't matter what you wear, just go." (Carina didn't put me in their photo scrapbook of that night like the other winner. LMAO!) I am also feeling left out in the promo prep. I told Skylar I am going to making me some promo for the promo. ;)