Here follows a random linking together of sentences…

I want to name check everyone I met in Atlanta, but I can’t. I have moments that I remember with great clarity and names that I will remember perfectly but if I begin to name check everything I swear I will leave someone out. All I know is that every single person I talked to made me feel like a million pounds, sorry, dollars…

As soon as we landed in Atlanta we were faced with something very different from what we were used to. The Brits have a reputation of unfailing posh politeness, but actually a lot of that is classic Brit reserve. When faced with four people at the bottom of the escalator welcoming us to Atlanta and asking us how we were, I was a little blown away. ROFL. I immediately thought we had done something wrong and this was security asking us to go home. Instead we had smiles, and yes ma’ams, and happy welcomes. Blimey.

This didn’t stop when we got to the hotel. The people we had met and the staff at the Melia were just a whole different breed of people to what we're used to. They talked to us as we walked past, they started conversations with us and my Brit reserve was severely tested. Not so much Mr RJ who made friends with everyone when he was outside in the *smokers corner*. Including disappearing for nearly one whole night with Devon and Jared in which time they fixed the world and ate Cody’s Cheetos.

I didn't really go to the evening events, I'm not a great fan of crowds and loud noise… I know, kinda pathetic really. But Mr RJ did his bit and apparently had a lot of fun up there in my place. He has said that next year he is dressing up…

Being overwhelmed doesn’t cover it. I had a few fans approach me and we hugged and they said lovely things, and I thanked them, then there was silence. I don’t do silence so well. I think in my fevered imagination the fan was looking for something that I hadn’t prepared for… intelligent conversation. It was only when a few fans explained they just wanted to talk books that I thought, *I can do that*. Of course asking them which of my books was their favourite was the wrong thing to do. Every single person I asked looked aghast that I should make them choose. That was such a lovely thing to hear. Although when pushed, the usual suspects rose to the top, Throwaway and Texas.

Then it happened.

Someone said their favourite book was Oracle and it’s sequel. NO ONE has ever said that to me. I nearly cried (Yes, I was an emotional basket case for nearly the entire convention!).

Amber and I joined TA Chase on the first night for early registration. Oh. My. God. It was sooooooo busy and so much fun! I am so going to volunteer for that again!

I met people that I spoke to online and I loved every minute of it. We were one of the first groups up in the convention rooms. I was with Amber Kell and Stephani Hecht talking about werewolves and paranormal. We were up against Klarvin, and
I expected maybe three people to attend ours, but we were so happy when we had a nicely filled set of rows and some really enthusiastic fans.

The highlight of the panel was Devon asking Mr RJ, Mr Kell, and Steph’s son Cody, what they felt about our writing. Mr Rj’s reply made me all teary-eyed when he talked about being proud, and how the first chapter of Throwaway makes him emotional. When Mr Kell and Cody added to the support it was a shining moment in our panel. We also managed to get a lot of laughter, which apparently they heard in the Klarvin panel… YAY us!

Ps… congrats to TJ and Eric on the engagement!

Mr RJ & me at The Aquarium, report to follow…

I collected a billionty-and-one pens from the swag table and most of my stuff disappeared. Hubby and I learned that transporting sweets on the plane was not a good idea as they all melted but the pens and postcards went well. Clare London had some awesome little wish jars and we talked beads for a while, which gave me ideas for swag another year.

I fangirled Rowan Speedwell, and tried my hardest not to jump Marie Sexton again. I had the most amazing meeting with Jordan Castillo Price *fangirls again* in which we talked self-publishing and she was incredibly gracious to give me her time and talk – I think I made a new friend there.

A yellow cab… yes, I was
THAT English tourist taking
photos of cabs.

As to LC Chase, well hell, I couldn’t find her anywhere. BUT… I managed to find her at the author signing and we HUGGED SO MUCH. I got a book from her and she signed it and I was a little lost for words, I just kept saying, I love your writing, I love your writing. ROFL. Yes, I probably scared her a little.

I saw some of Carol Lynne and the other organisers. They seemed to be constantly on the go, *pets Carol’s poor legs*. There were other volunteers that made life easier for us all. A big thank you to all of them.

Portia, I love you. Is all. This woman, Portia de Moncour, from FB and MM Good Book Reviews, simply blew me away. How much energy does one woman have AND how clever she was with the way she talked. I could listen to her for hours. Mr RJ was smitten.

Amber, Steph and I found a quiet space on the BR floor and ignored the noise of the escalator to come up with new projects. More details to follow…

The dine with an author event was a little strained. The tables were too big and the noise too much and I think everyone thought the same. BUT, I had fun talking books to the people I could speak to. As usual Mr RJ plonked himself in between readers and told them trade secrets about RJ Scott… harrumph… I tried my best to ignore him… LMAO

Stabby,,, stabby,,,

The author signing was intense. Utterly consuming, full concentration was needed at all times. I signed and hugged and talked and I cannot believe that those three hours went so damn fast. I loved every single tiny minute of it, alternating between the usual disbelief that people wanted my autograph and to talk to me, and pride that somehow I had achieved something bigger than me.

I met Sandrine Gasq-Dion and the Kindle Alexanders… and as much as I wanted them to move their books out of the way of Texas Family on Amazon, I actually liked them a lot… ROFL… guys I didn't really mean to say I wanted to hire a hitman. *sniggers*.

What I enjoyed most about GRL was the way I could meet someone in the elevator, or in the lobby and talk informally. I learned an awful lot from everyone.

I plan on trying to get a ticket for Chicago next year and will be sat at my computer waiting for the time the tickets go live.

Thank you to all the organisers who worked so hard to make sure this event happened. GRL rocked. 

What have I learned from GRL

  • That I have a super sexy and wholly cute accent and that just saying *bloody hell* made me very popular. (I actually think I had no accent – it was all the Americans that had the accent… nods)
  • That I can handle being told nice things without immediately running away and hiding or thinking the speaker had the wrong person.
  • That I rely too much on the Internet (Internet was bad in the hotel!)
  • That I really like bacon.
  • That three hours can sometimes seem like ten minutes, until the cramp from signing kicks in.
  • I love you…. Tea… I love you so much