Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New York & Columbus in the Rear-View Mirror

by Sophie

I know I'm supposed to be writing about writing, but my head is still spinning from my recent travels and a bumpy re-entry so I'm going wayyyy off topic...so far off topic that I think I'll just post my trip pictures and share my very brief impressions.

First, Edgar Week in New York. I think one of my favorite moments was when I was standing outside Grand Central on a balmy spring evening, hailing a taxi, and my son called wondering why the hell I hadn't picked him up from lacrosse practice yet. Uh....yeah.

But it was pretty wonderful after that. Coffee and lunch and drinks with book-type people, and manicures and over-the-top celebrating and more drinks with my favorite publishing professional, and hanging out with my brother, and being a big goobery fan-girl when all these crazy-good authors i've admired forever happened to come within a few feet of me.

And the big night - yeah! Thoroughly fantastically fun. The first book winner wasn't me, but it WAS the sparkly Stephanie Pintoff who is a fellow Minotaur author, as was Best Book author John Hart, who sat *two seats away* from me at dinner. LOTS of screaming and carrying on, and I did not trip on those insanely high heels once.

Me and my brother Mike at the Mysterious Bookstore launch party of the latest MWA anthology (which features Mike's story "The Insider")

The Flatiron...where St. Martin's offices are

Lunch with my editor Toni Plummer and my agent Barbara Poelle

No one can tell me the city isn't beautiful!!! Breathtaking, even

Best First Book Nominees: Me, Bryan Gruley, Stephanie Pintoff, Heather Gudenkauf, and Attica Locke

Me and my wonderful publicist, Sarah Melnyk, and Toni

Me and Hilary Davidson, friend and noir author

(Wanna see what my agent thought of the evening? It's here and way way funnier than I'll ever be!)

And then Friday I flew to the Romantic Times conference in Columbus.

Hands down the best part was the first fifteen minutes, when my roommates greeted my arrival with hugs and screaming and welcoming me into our room which they had trashed like a rock band entourage had been partying there, which for all I know it had, given the lingering post-party scent and the clothes strewn hither and yon and the linens crumpled on the floor. Eight kinds of awesome.

Then we met and instantly adored this one famous author and dragged her back to our lair where we did, uh, makeovers and drank beer. Okay, we were all totally fourteen years old. But I'd just been behaving and practicing good posture for seventy-two hours and I was *seriously* in need of a break.

So we sort of soaked up the whole RT vibe, including the bar and other-people's-rooms-late-at-night parts, and then Sunday we were partied out and Julie and I sat down and wrote. Hard. Like, I'm 10K into my new book, and a darn good thing it is after I reviewed the calendar my agent tucked into my suitcase, which has original art in the margins to complement the shocking deadlines she wrote IN INK.

Me with my roommates and dear dear friends Rachael Herron and Juliet Blackwell. Whaatt - it's RT; that's how they dress! And yeah, I wore the Edgar dress again. It was handy.

Okay, this one's a leeeetle harder to explain. You had to be there. That's Rachael again, and Lori Armstrong. And, uh, me.

What I woulda wore if I'd had the nerve

The massive RT book signing. If you squint you can see my friend and fellow San Fran RWA member Monica McCarty

OMG, Barbara Vey is reading my book!!!

Carrie Lofty and Jade Lee, the "L" gals between whom I was seated

This is the AMAZING Carla Buckley. The thing that brought us together for the first time might have been our love of potato chips. This was on our way back from a book event with Brad Parks. No lie, Carla made him pull over for...yeah. Chips.

Did I mention I love chips? This was dinner that night. In a bar. With my friends. Some of whom I had just met.

But Sunday, we were back at work. Me and Juliet. It *might* have been a bar, but look how productive she was! This is, like, a whole *book* she's got mapped out!

...and I was no slacker either. I started the new book the night before we came back to California. And I just rounded 10K. And I'm thinking it might not suck too much. :)


Jen Forbus said...

Wow! How do you come back down from that high, Sophie? Was so, so happy to see you in the midst of all that. :-)

Juliet Blackwell said...

I was nowhere near the place. That's all I'm saying without a lawyer present ;-)
YOU'RE the rock star, babe. Such fun! Great post.

Steve Weddle said...

That sounds like amazing stuff. Thanks for sharing.

Sophie Littlefield said...

Hey Jen,
Well, I'll share my little secret for returning to reality after a week of partying one's ass off and being told how spectacular you are every five seconds: T-E-E-N-A-G-E-R-S

Sophie Littlefield said...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Juliet......yeah, wiping tears from my eyes. your middle name is "ringleader"....

Sophie Littlefield said...

thanks steve...it was amazing, I think if there were some sort of polygon representing the whole of the genre fiction universe, I managed to carom off every single edge over those six days. Um...wow, a math analogy :)

Naomi Johnson said...

I don't think I could handle the whirlwind. Not like anyone's gonna ask me to, but I'm having to catch my breath just reading about all this.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

What a fun post, Sophie! Sounds like a blast, and you were productive too. I never get any writing done during conferences, so I am totally in awe.

That Edgar dress looks awesome, BTW. And Hilary Davidson looks gorgeous in that blue too.

Next year I want to go to RT! This year it wasn't in the budget.

Pop Culture Nerd said...

What is Carla doing with my big bag of chips? That's exactly the brand, flavor and size I buy. In fact, I always buy two bags because one ain't gonna cut it.

You all look like you had too much fun. I want to see more incriminating photos, though, especially of Julie. I think that nice, sweet exterior is just a front for her freaky side.

Graham Brown said...

Great post - Sophie - I'm having flashbacks. Good thing you put those work photos in there or the IRS might have a little prolem with letting you write off so much fun.

Shane Gericke said...

Fun stuff, Sophie. RT's a hoot. Pity your poor agent, though, being forced to party with you against her will :-)

And, your editor looks kinda sassy and tough like she could be a character in your books.

Sophie Littlefield said...

oh Naomi, you get this weird kind of adrenaline thing. Plus, my little secret, I slept GREAT on the road. Like eight hours every night. Which was great....the damn teenagers have been giving me fits at home and I haven't slept in a month.

Sophie Littlefield said...

hey Becky, you HAVE to go to RT next year 'cause it's in L.A.! If you want, we can have mandatory work sessions. I think our problem in Indy was that we were trying to work in a coffee shop. This time we were in a bar and it was MAGIC.

Sophie Littlefield said...

hey PCN, who do you think I was thinking of when Carla reached for the bag? After a LOT of deliberation, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that my current favorite is the plain old Sea Salt. The regional favorites were a disappointment, a trifle...spongey.

Ahem, I think you have Julie figured out :)

Sophie Littlefield said...

Graham, you are a freaking GENIUS. from now on, i'm going to get a photo of my netbook in a bar everywhere I go.

Sophie Littlefield said...

Shane, you BET my editor is tough. I am afraid of her. She may be petite and drop-dead hot but don't let that smile fool you, she's a demon. :)

Terry Stonecrop said...

Sounds like a wild time! Thanks for sharing. Oh and the Mysterious Bookstore. Love that place.

Sophie Littlefield said...

hey terry - yeah, I love the MBS!! Although my cab driver told me there was absolutely NOT a bookstore anywhere in the area...

Gabi said...

I feel like I just had a great time with you in person. Thanks for letting me tag along -- without charging me for checked luggage.

Meredith Cole said...

What fun! I'm still not sure how you managed to get eight hours a night on the road, though... I'm still recovering from my trip to Malice last weekend.

Congrats again on the nomination!

Hilary Davidson said...

Sophie, it was fantastic just to have you in New York, even for a brief visit. Damn, but I wish we'd taken some photos of our dinner with Mike and Paul and Tony and that other guy whose name I still can't remember... that was a fun night! You are a superstar, and wherever you are, that where the party is. Can't wait for Thrillerfest!