Beneath their mild-mannered, Dewey loving exteriors, beats some very passionate hearts. I discovered that last week when I made my first trip to the PLA Conference in Minneapolis. (Just in case you aren’t a librarian, the PLA is the Public Library Association). Librarian and romance superhero, John Charles, invited me to open up the PreConference program, Romance 101. Our goal? To educate and hopefully gain enthusiastic support for seeing more romances in public libraries. Luckily for us, it was like singing to the choir, because the folks who came and spent half a day with us were so wonderful and kind and nice, I felt utterly spoiled by the end. HarperCollins had sent books for me to sign and it was so much fun to chat away with these great folks from all around the country–albeit with John, the timekeeper behind me saying “more signing, less talking.” You’d think John, who’s known me for years now would know–me, stop chatting about, well, ME?
Remember all the bags in the box, the one child labor laws may have something to say about? And yes, I do think they should legalize Legos as a form of payment for children. Here they are decorating the table way and ready for the taking. Believe me, there was nothing left. Want to see why? Here’s a peek inside:
Yes, that’s a copy of Laura Lee Guhrke’s And Then He Kissed Her, which she shipped to my hotel room. I think a personal massage and a spa pedicure would have been a nicer thing to find at my hotel room door rather than a beat up box from UPS, but the librarians were really excited by their bounty of free books. (But karma was with LLG that morning–And Then He Kissed Her is a RITA finalist!!)
I had to laugh before I left because I ran into a friend and she asked me if I was daunted about speaking, which I said–no I wasn’t–it was the getting out of town that was usually the big headache–all the arrangements that go into leaving town. That was until I walked into this conference room:
It was like walking into a big college lecture hall. And I couldn’t resist traveling all the way to the top for the birds-eye view from the nose bleed seats. I had one of those “oh, crikey,” moments. This room was big, but once it filled up with friendly faces it didn’t feel quite so big.
But a huge thanks to John Charles, Shelley Mosley, Kristin Ramsdell, and Joanne “Let me Put a Bow on that” Hamilton-Selway for their good humor and great company. These four are passionate about books and romances and reading and always impress me with their sly humor and wit. And yes, I am going to name a pirate in my next book, John Charles, and no, Joanne, I didn’t put the picture of you with your ribbon. I’ll take payment in the form of a Cosmo in SF.
And no, I wasn’t nervous in the least when I stood up to speak. But I might have been a bit stressed in the week beforehand. Might explain why I told my hairdresser to go ahead and lop off my hair. Note to self: When its taken you four years to grow it out, don’t take four seconds to decide to whack it off.
And finally to all the folks in Minneapolis who were tired of snow and winter, and I regaled with tales of Spring in Seattle: I got my due, as your snow followed me home. Yes, snow in Seattle at the end of March. I would have told them that such a thing would happen when pigs fly. And here is one in my garden doing just that: