Filed under: Books and Reading

Reflections on the RT Booklovers Convention

Friday, May 10th, 2013 • No Comments on Reflections on the RT Booklovers Convention

Last week, I was in Kansas City attending the RT Booklovers Convention. Whew! It’s taken almost another week just to get around to writing about it. My brain was full with ideas and inspiration and knowledge gleaned from this massive event. This was my first RT convention and I thought I knew what to expect from the post-con updates from previous years, but there are some things you just can’t know until you experience them. I was only there from Wednesday night until the crack of dawn Sunday, but the three full days I experienced were an amazing amalgam of informative fun. From the writerly camaraderie to the chance to meet booksellers, librarians and readers from all over (as well as go all fangirl over some of my favorite authors), it was a terrific– if exhausting– experience.

Kristina at RT

Ready to sign books at the Giant Book Fair!

I’m sure there are many, many con reports already posted, as well as the official convention news from the RT Booklovers website, but I thought I’d share a few of my favorite moments of the whirlwind:

♥ Moderating my very first writing panel. Sweet and Sexy: Writing for Erotica Anthologies was a big hit with the audience because of the amazing panel. Rachel Kramer BusselChristine d’AboKate Pearce and Michelle M. Pillow shared their experiences, offered advice and told amusing anecdotes.

♥ Spending time with Rachel Kramer Bussel. It was only the third time we’ve been in the same place at the same time and it was lovely to actually be able to take a break from the running from one event to the next and actually talk to her. About writing, editing, life, babies, travel– it was really one of the highlights of RT.

♥ Meeting the incredibly talented, funny, inspiring Tiffany Reisz. She came to my panel on writing for erotica anthologies and I scored one of six spiral bound ARCs of her July release Harlequin MIRA, The Mistress!

♥ Getting to talk with librarians from all over the country. I have a soft spot for libraries (I worked in one for almost five years) and librarians and it was really special to hear them say they ordered my Cleis Press anthologies for their libraries. I also ran into a friend from my local public library!

♥  The Avon Books party. Oh my. So many books, so many authors, so much chocolate! There were multiple chocolate fountains and a array of tidbits to dip, from the familiar strawberries and brownie bites to potato chips and bacon! There was also an abundance of wine and men– several of the famed RT models were mingling with the crowd, doling out little boxes of chocolate truffles. It was quite an event! I know all of the parties at RT are pretty impressive and I enjoyed all the ones I attended, but Avon Books was a particular favorite.

♥ Meeting John Scalzi and telling him that while I don’t read science fiction (Jay does), I am a huge fan of his blog (Whatever) and the humanity he brings to his writing. He laughed, but read his blog post on his experience at the convention and I think you’ll know what I mean. He’s one of the good guys.

♥ Spotting Jude Deveraux across the Giant Book Fair (where I was also signing) on Saturday and following her to get a picture taken with her. She was one of the first romance authors I ever read. Amazing lady.

♥ Running into Lauren Dane when in the elevator after I locked myself out of my room on the last night of the convention. (I seem to do that quite often– go to get ice and forget I don’t have my key card.) I’d met her a couple of other times over the course of the week (and mentioned that I’d love to have her write a foreword for one of my Cleis Press anthologies) and she’s just so nice. I must have seemed very tired and harried, because she whipped out a copy of her new novel Lush and gave it to me. So nice!

♥ Justin, the cute, somewhat overwhelmed guy in a black T-shirt and glasses who asked me about my erotic romance anthology Best Erotic Romance 2013— including what my criteria was for selecting stories. (I said a story needed to be erotica, romantic, contemporary and realistic– real people having real sex.) From what he said, he’d heard about the Giant Book Fair and decided to come by. I don’t know what he was expecting, but clearly it was more than what he imagined. But he did buy a copy of BER 2013 and as he wandered away I kind of wished I had taken his picture with the book. He inspired a story!

Oh, and I did I mention the snow? Yes, thought it was close to 80 when I arrived Wednesday, Thursday brought a steady snowfall– the first in over 100 years, I was told.

There was so much more packed into those few days that this post would be triple the length if I wrote about all of the events, panels and people. There were intimate chats in the hotel bar, informative panels on writing and promoting, writers from all backgrounds from NYT bestselling authors to first-time novelists. And then there was the swag! Totebags filled with books and every manner of promotional item you can imagine, from lip balm to pocket mirrors. My suitcase was about 25 lbs. heavier on the return trip and I’m giving away at least half of the books I brought back– mostly to the crew at Starbucks, where I spend my writing days.

RT book swag

My haul at the RT Booklovers Convention– about 25 lbs of books and swag!

It was a chaotic, memorable experience and I’m very much looking forward to RT Booklovers Convention 2014– in New Orleans!







Posted by Kristina in Books and Reading, Uncategorized, Writing

My Books at Nerve!

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011 • 1 Comment on My Books at Nerve!

This is a desk (I think?) in the office. Do you see what I see? Steamlust and Best Erotic Romance! (Along with books by Alison Tyler and Hanne Blank—two of my favorite authors/editors!)


Wheee!! (I’m hoping this means Nerve will be reviewing or writing about my books. That would be fun!)

The picture is from a really fun photo essay called Awesome Stacks of Books Found in Offices. Check it out—my fellow book geeks will love seeing what books are in some of the best known media companies in the world. (My favorite picture is probably the Mashable office. What’s yours?)


Posted by Kristina in Books and Reading

Full Plate, Spinning Plates, Something Like That

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 • 2 Comments on Full Plate, Spinning Plates, Something Like That

Hello, again. Good grief, I’m losing days and weeks at a stretch lately. That’s what pregnancy does—it makes time speed up until it feels like I’m running just to catch up with my own thoughts. Madness.

I was going to say I have a full plate these days, but the better metaphor seems to be that I’m spinning a lot of plates right now. Of course, plates make me think of food and because I’m pregnant and therefore always hungry, so I get distracted from what else I might say. Food… fooooood… hungry…

Ahem. See what I mean?

In any case, I’m nearly 26 weeks pregnant and coming up on the third trimester (and depending on which chart you follow, the third trimester begins at 27 or 28 weeks) when the real exhaustion creeps in. That kind of scares me, because I’m pretty tired these days. Being pregnant with a toddler is far cry from being pregnant and only having myself to take care of. Likewise, being pregnant with a toddler and having three or four books in various stages of development as well as some other writing projects is a different world from the last time I was pregnant and napped whenever the need struck (which was often) and only had one book, the usual writing deadlines and one blog to worry about.

I thought things were supposed to slow down as you got older?? This has not been my experience…

image  So, what’s new with me? In addition to the expanding waistline (and yes, I know, I have not posted one single baby belly picture. I should work on that.), I’m finalizing Best Erotic Romance 2012.  Isn’t that a pretty cover? This will be my fourth (!!) anthology for Cleis Press and I’m having so much fun editing anthologies for them!

Once this anthology is put to bed (so to speak), I’ll be working on Lustfully Ever After: Fairy Tale Erotic Romance.  I’ll be accepting submissions for this new collection of erotic fairy tales until June 20. It’s unlikely I will be granting extensions this time because I have to get this book turned in before this baby is born. I need erotic, romantic, intense stories based on fairy tales, so if you are so inclined, please, please submit! Best Erotic Romance will be hitting the shelves in December, just in time for the holidays!

image Of course, I can’t forget about my other upcoming release this year—Steamlust! I’m so excited about this book and doing a collection of steampunk erotic romance. I will have the TOC posted soon, but I will tell you there are fourteen delicious steampunk stories in this collection, along with a fabulous introduction by steampunk romance author Meljean Brook. This is the first anthology in which I haven’t included a story of my own and it feels a little weird, to be honest. But between the time crunch of other deadlines and the fantastic stories I received and the fact that the longer stories made for fewer opportunities for authors to be included, I felt it was for the best.

I’m also excited about Steamlust because it will be the first anthology for which there will be a book trailer!! The fabulously talented Nikki Magennis is busily working to create a magnificent film to showcase the anthology.  She’s also created a blog to detail the entire process.  If you’re interested in film making, animation, book trailers, steampunk or the creative process, stop by Steam * Lust * Animation. I am absolutely fascinated by this entire process and find myself ooohhing and ahhhing at the little details Nikki is revealing. I cannot wait to see the final film!! (We are shooting for an August release date to precede the September publication date, so stay tuned!)

image And while I’m excited about my October and December releases, I’m so, so thrilled with this month’s release, Dream Lover: Paranormal Tales of Erotic Romance. This was such a fun book to put together and there are so many wonderful stories (along with a terrific foreword by erotic romance goddess Megan Hart). I just adore this book and the stories so much! I truly hope it finds the wide audience it deserves.

I’ll be speaking at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond in a couple of weeks, talking about “trends in the paranormal fiction business, the market for erotic romance and balancing writing, editing, teaching, and motherhood. ”  (Eep! What do I know about balance??) Should be fun! Because of the new baby who is currently kicking me in the stomach,I don’t know what readings/events I’ll be able to do for Steamlust and Best Erotic Romance, but I’m already thinking ahead. I definitely want to go back to Sugar to visit Jacq and her fabulous staff in the spring and we’ve already discussed rescheduling my Breathe Books date (which was cancelled due to a conflict with a street festival the weekend I was supposed to be there).

I’m also trying to get in some writing, too. I’m determined to submit something for Rachel Kramer Bussel’s Curvy Girls anthology. I have a story in mind to write, I just have to find the time to write it! There are some other fabulous calls for submissions coming up this summer, as well. I’m particularly excited about Delilah Devlin’s Beastly Babes anthology.  Lesbian shapeshifters!  Fun!! So I need to carve out some more time from somewhere (which usually translates in taking it from my sleep, the only place left!) to do some writing before I’m inundated with newborn-sized diapers and 2-3 hour feeding schedules…

In the midst of the editing and writing and pregnancy, there is also the adorable almost 18 month old toddler who keeps me running. Patrick gives me hope when I despair being able to handle two babies under two—he’s so independent and cheerful and curious about everything, I (usually) think that this having two babies so close together will turn out to be an excellent thing. Of course, he also climbs on the kitchen table faster than I can say, “What are you doing?” and can now outrun and outmaneuver me (not difficult, since I’m pretty slow these days). So… it’s exhausting sometimes. I’m looking ahead to when this baby is out in the world and sleeping through the night and my body has bounced back to some semblance of its former self and my energy level returns. It will return, right?? Goodness, I hope so. I have a lot to do!

Oh, and I’m doing my weekly post over at Oh Get A Grip! and having such a fun time with it! Last week’s theme was about last words and what makes a memorable conclusion to a story. I wrote about how I tend to be long-winded (as evidenced by this blog post) and how difficult it is for me to have closure—in a story or in real life. Tough topic.  This week’s was even more of a challenge: Gilbert and Sullivan! What I know about Gilbert and Sullivan can be summed up in a paragraph, but I finished my post last night (which will appear tomorrow) and did find something to write about.

And I can’t believe it’s been a year since I started moderating the twice monthly book club discussions for the Naked Reader Book Club sponsored by EdenFantasys SexIs Magazine and Cleis Press. The book club now has their own fabulous website and the group has grown so much in a year! Do stop by if you have a chance—discussions are every other Tuesday, 8-10 PM EST. If you join the book club, you not only get free books, but you also have the chance to win additional prizes during the discussions. Plus, you get to talk about erotica and sex. What’s not to love?

I know this summer is going to fly by in a blur of deadlines and activities and doctor’s appointments and baby preparations, but I’m also looking forward to finding some quiet moments to sip lemonade out on the deck and watch the baby splash in his pool (what will I call him when there’s another baby in the house??), and spend time with friends and see all those summer movies in cool, dark movie theaters… Plus, Sheri (my dearest friend for over 20 years) just sent me her flight itinerary for her June trip, which will coincide with my talk at Fountain Bookstore. So I’m also looking forward to a girls’ weekend and maybe some spa treatments… Oh, summer!  It will be autumn before I know it and there will be a new little baby to love, but I’m going to make the most of these next weeks… and try to keep you updated a little more often!


I'm a writer, editor, blogger, mama, wife and coffee lover.