Monday, July 16, 2007

Doing Dallas - Hunting Linda Howard

There's so much to tell about the week, I'll be rambling adnauseum I think. I planned to be methodical and do a daily report, but by now the days and events are all jumbled together in my head so it's almost impossible to itemize them by day. So this will be all a jumble up, mixed up series of fortunate events.

One of the things I wanted to do while I was there and after I had checked the author roster was at least say high to Linda Howard. I mentioned before that I rode up in the elevator with Ms. Howard. It was quite amusing though. There were a number of us in the elevator and one person asked Ms. Howard if she was Lisa Kleypas. Having already lunched with author Lisa, I knew it wasn't and was kind of scratching my head at the question. I mean Linda Howard is blond and author Lisa has dark hair. Someone else in the elevator knew it wasn't and when they recognized who she really was, said it was an honour to ride in the elevator with Linda Howard. I blurted out 'ditto' and then the elevator doors opened and I went down the hall mentally smacking my head.
"Ditto? You idiot." I thought. "You were in the same space with Linda Howard and all you could come up with was ditto?"
So after that I was determined to say something more rational if an opportunity arose. I was at the literacy signing when I walked by her but she was talking to too other people and I didn't want to interrupt. Another opportunity blown.
The next day or two days later - they are all blended - I was at one of the publisher signings when she walked by me. I was so tempted to turn around and follow her like a puppy dog and say something. By the time I went back and forth on what to do, I couldn't find her anymore. Nuts!
Finally though, I had my opportunity! I was sitting in a chair in the lounge area on the second floor when none other than Elizabeth Hoyt and Kalen Hughes came and asked if they could sit down with me. Does the sun come up in the morning??? There was also an agent or editor and my deepest apologies for not remember who or exactly what she did.
I had an opportunity to remind Elizabeth that I was the dufus who made a fool of myself in the elevator days earlier and she laughed. I then told Kalen how somehow I had managed to buy two of her latest books - so while I was thrilled to pieces to meet her, I didn't think I would pick up a third *g*. We then had a great discussion on the time period, the clothes, the fashions, reenactments which apparently Kalen participates in. My parents took us all to a fort when we were young - we live in an area where they have a number of preserved historical forts from the American Indian wars and when the States tried to attack Canada (they lost/we won, I'm over it now) and those were some of my favourite trips. That's why Colonial romance is one of my very favourite time periods and settings. That and Last of the Mohican's with DDL. (and another plug for Pamela Clare, one of the few authors publishing books in that time and setting)
It was a fascinating discussion and one I contributed too.
Another thing I loved about it was Elizabeth told me in more detail about her next series after The Serpent Prince comes out.
Well, as we were there who should come by but Linda Howard.
I told her, in a good non-gushing way I hope, how much I enjoyed her books and how very much I loved Blair Mallory. She smiled and said most readers either loved her or hated her. I replied I was in the 'love her' group. I then told her about my hardware visit where I asked the rather puzzled clerk if they had any pink hammers.
She laughed and said she does have a pink hammer.
So there you have it! Patience paid off and I talked to Linda Howard. I even made her laugh.

'til later


nath said...

soooo jealous, Kristie! Wow... I don't know if I'd have the guts to talk to them :D question, how is the atmosphere over there? relax and casual?

Kristie (J) said...

Nath: it was a combination of relaxed and business like. There was a lot of networking going on, unpubbed authors meeting with agents and editors and stuff so a lot of them were dressed professionally. Yet it was also relaxed in the lounges and the bar. It wasn't raunchy at all - except for, from what Sarah of the SB was telling me, quite the conversations with them at their little get together. She has a great story of the meeting with the SB's and friends at the bar. I missed that one.
And the evening of the RITA's it was very elegant. A lot of authors were dressed to the nines and looked very very nice.