Monday, May 22, 2006

Back from RT

As the title of this post indicates, I'm back from the Romantic Times convention. I probably should have called it "I am a Lazy Cow," because unfortunately for you all, I learned very little about the state of romance publishing today to pass on, I didn't pelt everyone in sight with bookmarks and marketing materials, and I didn't get plastered and throw myself at the cover models just so I'd have a good story to relate (nice guys, but eeeuw). However, I did have a great time.

I only attended for three days, a move intended to save money since I'll be going to the RWA conference in its entirety in July. The first day was the day of our Latina lit panel, which also included Caridad Pineiro (prolific Silhouette Intimate Moments author--now launching the Nocturne paranormal line, as well as the author of the upcoming Sex and the South Beach Chicas for St. Martins), Berta Platas (author of Cinderella Lopez), and Barbara Ferrer (an up-and-coming young adult author for MTV Books).

I'm happy to say that we actually had an audience--not a huge one, like the editor/agent panel, but a respectable one that talked with us and asked interesting questions. We (my fellow panel members, two of which are Encanto survivors) also had drinks and dinner with new Kensington editor Sulay Hernandez, who is not only totally fab, but is also actively looking for Latina lit and has promised not to forcibly make you pepper it with Spanish if you don't want to. (OK, I did learn one publishing thing, but I wasn't trying to....)

The only other workshop I attended was the giant editor/agent panel, but I'm sad to say I have no news from it largely because I am finally being forced to admit that I may have a slight hearing problem. (Thanks, Dad.) There was a ton of background noise seeping out from behind various plastic room dividers where other workshops were located, and to my eternal chagrin, I was actually forced to CUP MY HAND BEHIND MY EAR to hear better. And charming as I'm sure that looked, I still couldn't hear. Sigh.

I tried, I really did, to make myself attend workshops the next day, but the beach was not only calling to me, it was shrieking. So I went to the awards luncheon, recoiled in horror at the ice cream scoop of skeezy tuna salad plopped on top of two wilted lettuce leaves that the hotel staff generously termed "lunch," went to the hotel snack shop and grabbed a barely edible salad instead, and spent the rest of the day sitting on the beach under a rented umbrella, reading Berta's Cinderella Lopez.* It was lovely. So lovely, I almost went postal on the guy with the cart who tried to take my umbrella and chair away at 5 pm. (I managed to refrain from making him play tug-of-war to get his stuff back, but it was hard.)

The next day was the booksigning, where all of us Intrigue authors who attended (at least those I talked to) got our booties collectively kicked by the erotica authors. When they say erotica is selling right now, they're not kidding. Also sat next to a dude in leather pants who was handing out peanut butter cups to women as they passed by, managing to run his fingers lingeringly along their palms as he did so--all the while standing up so everyone could get a good view of said pants. I'm not sure if it was his marketing techniques or the books themselves that did it for him, but his sales seemed quite good.

Moral of the story: If you want to have a wildly successful booksigning at RT, write erotica, hit the NYT list, or wear leather pants.

*Books by Friends Month update: Berta's Cinderella Lopez is, by the way, just what it sounds like--a modern-day retelling of the Cinderella story featuring two evil Latina veejays for a low-budget MTV-like station and their downtrodden stepsister/personal assistant. Berta made the interesting choice of having her Cinderella (aka Cynthia Lopez) be not only downtrodden, but a pushover by nature. How she overcomes this natural tendency and regains control of her life is trip. If you're looking for a fast-paced and fun beach read, you can't get any better than this.


Jen said...

I was haunting your blog for an update. I'm glad you had a good time and a decent audience. Sounds like it was fun for you. I'm glad you're back though.

Tracy Montoya said...

Thanks, Jen! I didn't run into your friend, but I looked for her!

The Queen-a Athena said...

I'm so glad you had such a fun, relaxing time, Tracy - you totally deserve it.

And you hooked me - I just requested Cinderella Lopez from the library. It sounds really fun!!

Tracy Montoya said...

Thanks, Chris! I hope you enjoy Cinderella Lopez--it really sucked me in. Perfect beach read.

Anonymous said...

Tracy, it was so great meeting you at RT. You're an amazing woman. I TRULY enjoyed reading the entire Mission: Family series. Count me as one of your fans!

All the best,

Sulay (Hopefully I'll see you at RWA!)

Tracy Montoya said...

Aw, thanks so much, Sulay. I'm going to leave it at that and refrain from pointing out everything I thought was wrong with the trilogy. : D

And yes, I hope to see you in Atlanta!

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Tracy Montoya writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.

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