In which I rant about the time all my dreams came true
First of all, I want to apologize because I haven’t ranted since March. (Eeek!) But right after RT I had a bunch of papers to write, finals to study for, two unexpected deaths in the family, two other family members being diagnosed with cancer (one of which was terminal) and another who doesn’t have cancer but is sick so often that I honestly don’t think she’ll live through to see if the Mayan Calendar Prophecy will come true or not. Needless to say, life has been kicking my ass. But I’m back! Maybe not better than ever, but I am back!
Even though it happened two months ago and everyone has pretty much moved on, I’m still going to rant about RT. HOLY CRAP YOU GUYS! RT WAS EPIC! And I went a bit insane. Okay, so it was way more than a bit. Someone probably should have put me in a straight jacket. Luckily for me, no nice men with a pretty white jacket ever showed up and I was free to roam the hotel, acting like the psycho fangirl I am. Best of all, no one threatened to get a restraining order put out on me! Ha! Not that I, you know, want a restraining order. It’s just further proof that I am not completely psychotic. (Which may be doubtful to many of you after you finish reading this.)
Before I start, I want to say that I am mentioned in Jeaniene Frost, Ilona Andrews AND Jennifer Estep’s RT recaps!!!! Okay, so I’m only mentioned by name by Jennifer, but both Jeaniene and Ilona mentioned Jackie “and her friend” which was ME! You better believe that that caused some major fangirl screaming from me. I may not be famous yet, but I am well on my way.
One of the very first things I did when I got to the hotel (after signing in and all that crapola) was to try and find the 22nd floor. Assuming that any elevator would lead to it, I hopped onto the first elevator I saw, went to push the button and quickly realized it that that particular elevator only went as high as floor 8. Umm yeah, so NOT hiking up 14 floors. I was about to march off the elevator when Larissa Ione walked in. I jumped to the back of the elevator, making room for her. Honestly, I was a bit nervous about fangirling, since she was my first and all, but she was so freaking nice to me. I really wish I could be as nice as she is. Seriously. Whenever a stranger talks to me in an elevator, I kind of mumble and look away. (Stranger danger!) Though I suppose, being an author at a book convection, you’re going to met a TON of strangers who all claim they love you. You either have to accept it or hibernate.
Anyway, that was my best whoops-I-got-in-the-wrong-elevator moment EVER. (Much later I found out that the 22nd floor was in a different wing and there weren’t any stairs for me to hike up and I felt a pretty stupid. I wouldn’t even tell that story if it wasn’t for the Larissa Ione part. )
A couple hours later, after aimlessly walking around and much gawking on my part, Jackie and I were walking through the hotel, I don’t remember where/why, when all of a sudden I saw Kimberly Derting and I screamed. It wasn’t an oh-my-god-giant-nasty-spider-someone-save-me scream or even a help-someone-is-trying-to-murder-me-in-a-dark-and-creepy-alley scream. But it was a scream nonetheless. I guess it could be described as an holy-bananas-batman-that’s-Kimberly-freaking-Derting-walking-directly-towards-me-what-do-I-do-oh-my-god-I-don’t-know-what-to-say-I-need-to-say-something-oh-crap-how-do-I-speak-words-I-don’t-know-anymore scream. Yeah, I screamed that when I saw Kimberly Derting for the first time. And Jackie just stood there and laughed at me.
Thank goodness Kimberly Derting is a really freaking amazing woman and wasn’t at all scared/fazed by my epic scream. She was Beyond Freaking Nice. She hugged me, signed a bunch of things and even gave me her name plate thingamabob from her one and only panel. Yeah, I love this woman. And her books.
After all that excitement of meeting Kimberly freaking Derting (can you tell I’m still kind of freaked out/awed about it two months later?), I had to sit down. While I was sitting in a chair, minding my own business, a tall woman with crazy blue hair walked past me, spinning on her heel to do a double take. She stared at me, her eyes saying, “I know I know you. But where do I know you from?” So I stared back, my eyes saying, “Nope, never seen you before in my life. But I’ll return this stare until you say something.” Seeing that in my eyes, she said, “I swear I know you from somewhere.” I was responding with, “Nope, I don’t know you,” when I noticed her name tag said she was Karina Cooper. As in, the Karina Cooper. Heh.
See, the funny thing about that is, I kind of stalk Karina on Twitter. How she recognized me and not vice verse is…well, it’s inconceivable! But the good thing is, she promised to stalk me on twitter, and now we have this mutual stalking-on-twitter thing going on. It’s pretty awesome.
A couple hours and much more fangirling after that, Nalini Singh, the New York Times Best Selling author of the Psy/Changeling series and the Guild Hunter series, took my interviewing-New-York-Times-bestselling-author/favorite-author-of-all-time virginity. She was so freaking nice about it even when my mind went completely blank when I was supposed to start asking her questions. (Couldn’t my brain pick any other freaking time to just blank out?!) At least I was able to form complete sentences. Forget sentences, I’m seriously glad I didn’t melt into a puddle of fangirl goop that can only make weird noises rather than use real words. (Kind of like the way I screamed at Kimberly Derting.) The interview may not have changed world history or even made any kind of impact in the Book World, but it most certainly changed my life. If I made a career out of interviewing authors then maybe one day (you know, a few years into that dream job) I would finally be able to sit there and not make a fool out of myself.
A whole bunch of semi-unimportant things happened after that. (Mostly, it was me pointing and squeeing over authors while Jackie just laughed at me. She did that a lot. I mean, ALL THE FREAKING TIME. It’s a good thing I love her too. Otherwise I might have been offended.) (Jackie here, it was so hilarious watching her. I didn’t laugh all the time, but I was definitely amused. hehe)
Then it was time for Jackie’s panel. I got to sit with Angie Fox, Shawntelle Madison, Kasey MacKenzie and Rosemary Clement-Moore. I was mentally squeeing the whole time. AND! Sue Grimshaw was sitting a couple rows ahead of us. I so wanted to go up to her and hope that some of her epic-ness would rub off on me, but I never got a chance.
The panel itself was pretty cool. I learned that sometimes publishers send chocolate with ARCs to reviewers. My question is, where the heck is my chocolate?! I slave away writing reviews for LE and no one ever gives me chocolate. Sigh. Not that I’m biased or anything, but I thought that Jackie was the coolest person on the panel. I’m not the only one who thought so, either. Several people came up to her throughout the rest of the week and told her they thought she was great on the panel. Go Jackie! (Some reviewers have been receiving chocolate? Casey isn’t the only one who hasn’t been receiving any. *grin*)
That night, this really crazy thing happened and Melissa Marr, Jennifer Lynn Barnes and Rachel Vincent won’t ever forget me. Though I won’t tell the story I will say it involves a silly waiter, sex on the beach and Jackie’s big mouth. I can guarantee it is not what you think it is, but I won’t say anymore. A girl has to have at least one good story to keep to herself…and at least four others. (Jackie again…wait what?)
Shortly after that, Jackie and I were on the escalator when she suddenly started fangirling. As you can tell, I am an expert at fangirling. But I could not understand Jackie. At all. I told her so when I said something along the lines of, “Jackie, I know you’re speaking fangirl but you’re speaking in a dialect that I do not understand! Use the common Fangirl Speak or English. Just let me in on who I should be fangirl screaming over!” Of course, she didn’t let me in on that little secret. Instead she ran to the bar and immediately started talking to some random man. It took me approximately thirty seconds to realize it was none other than Gordon Andrews (of the writing duo Ilona Andrews)! But by that then, it was past the Acceptable Time to Fangirl Scream and I was forced to stand there and hold it in while Jackie and Gordon chatted like old friends. (If I hadn’t been using all my energy to withhold my fangirling, I would have been SO FREAKING JEALOUS!) (Jackie yet again…I didn’t think I was that bad. Although this wasn’t the first time during the week I fangirled over Ilona Andrews. *grin*)
Ahem. Anyway, right around that point, something feather light and freezing cold brushed my shoulder. Certain it was the Grim Reaper there to tell me there was no reason for me to keep living because all my dreams had come true, I slowly turned around. Standing directly behind me was a mundane looking middle-aged woman wearing pastel colored clothes. No black robes, no glinting scythe, no exposed skeleton and her hair was this dirty dishwater blond color. Clearly I was safe. Unless she was an axe murderer. I hoped that, if she was a murderer, then she would have enough sense not to kill me in front of so many witnesses. That hope was the reason why I walked several feet away from Jackie and Gordon, when Non Grim Reaper Woman beckoned me away.
“Is that THE Ilona Andrews?” she stage whispered to me, her eyes darting feverishly over to Ilona and conveniently ignoring Gordon.
“Yeah, tha-” was all that came out of my mouth before she flew over to Ilona. She started going on and on about how she only reads romance books, and therefore refuses to read any of Kate’s books but she has read Andrea and Raphael and absolutely loves them but then she found out that they broke up and that is FREAKING HORRIBLE THEY MUST GET THEIR HAPPILY EVER AFTER! She then demanded that Ilona tell her that Andrea and Raphael get their happily ever after right then, otherwise she would never read Gunmetal Magic. Gordon, Jackie and I just stood there and stared at her while Ilona laughed. We, as in Jackie and Gordon, went back to our conversation while Ilona dealt with Non Grim Reaper Woman. (You can read Ilona’s side of the story in her RT recap, but remember that when she says Jackie’s friend, she really means Non Grim Reaper Woman, and I am Jackie’s friend who was standing right there. Like I just said in my version of this crazy story.)
[Side note, since that night, I have read Gunmetal Magic and it is FREAKING AMAZING! GO FORTH AND PRE-ORDER!]
After we left, random unimportant things happened until Jackie and I went to the YA Slumber Party. It was epic. Well, what I remember of it was epic. Yeah, by that point I had been awake for 24 hours, and had only slept about two hours the night before so I was just a wee bit delirious. But that’s where I met Laura Kreitzer and we instantly became BFFs. The rest of the YA party was awesome, but by that point I was too tired to fangirl scream.
Not much really happened in the morning. I mean, apart from me screaming and squeeing and pointing and running after and stalking and basically just being a fangirl. Jackie and I met up with Nicola from Alpha Heroes. She’s a pretty cool person; I give her my stamp of approval. Everyone should go check out her blog. I ditched Jackie and Nicola at some point to go to this awesome YA panel where I met so many awesome YA authors.
I met Jennifer Estep for the first time and did some serious fangirl screaming at her. I was a little nervous about meeting her. I mean, how much of her Elemental Assassin series is based on true life? Hmm? Gin’s world is just so bloody realistic that it can only come from real life. I think we can all safely agree that Jennifer Estep is a secret assassin. But she’s the nicest assassin ever. She let me jump all over her and fangirl scream. I love her so much. I DEVOUR all of her books and daydream about Owen and Logan all the time.
Beth Revis and I had this totally amazing, emotional, life-altering moment. I was blinking back tears at one point, she was blinking back tears, the universe stopped and chocolate rained down from the sky. Okay, so not so much on the last two. But it was life -altering. And no, I won’t tell you guys what it was about but she’s never going to forget me. Never.
I also met Melissa de la Cruz, Rachel Caine, Margaret Stohl, David Macinnis Gill, Aprilynne Pike, Amy Plum, Alyson Noel, Rosemary Clements-Moore, Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Vincent and Jennifer Lynn Barnes (again). I even got to tell Carrie Ryan how much I love and really, really freaking hate her books. Because my favorite characters ALWAYS die in her books! ALWAYS! I have to sit there and cry and scream at the book and it’s not freaking fair.
After that, I went around and fangirl screamed over more authors. I ran into authors I had already fangirl screamed over and promptly fangirl screamed over them again. I ran into Rosemary Clements-Moore umpteen times. She called me out on my dastardly plan of being a fangirl stalker. But I told her, clearly she was the one stalking me. Not that I minded, at all.
I fangirl screamed continuously during the signing that evening. So many amazing authors were there, and they were all really freaking nice. For instance, Cynthia Eden just gave me an ARC of Angel Betrayed because her hometown is about five or so hours from my hometown. How amazing is she?! Really freaking amazing! I met tons of other really awesome authors but the one who stopped me in my tracks was Christina Skye.
I. Freaked. The. Fuzznuff. Out! Christina Skye is THE reason why I survived sophomore year of high school. Well, her books. Same difference, right? I just…I don’t even know what happened. Honestly. I don’t know if I screamed. Maybe I fainted. Perhaps I just stood there, drooling and moaning not unlike a zombie. Or, there’s always a chance that Crazy Fangirl Casey came out and just went ballistic. I don’t know. But I can say I MET CHRISTINA SKYE! I MET CHRISTINA SKYE! HOLY CHEEZITS I MET CHRISTINA FREAKING SKYE!!!!!!!!!
What better way to end the day, then with shirtless men wearing kilts. Yeah, Jackie and I went to the Scottish party and it was fun. I was personally introduced to Jus Accardo by one of Entangled’s publicists, Danielle. (Of course, I freaked out. Do you even need to ask?) The party only got better when I got to be in a cover model sandwich. Twice. Yes, it was as delicious as it sounds. Both times. Except one of the models was married. And his wife was beautiful. Sigh. C’est la vie.
But the absolute highlight of the night was when Jackie, Nicola and I spent hours hanging out in the bar with the one and only Chloe Neill. She was seriously one of the nicest people I have ever met. We sat around and talked about Merit and a whole bunch of other awesome things. Then, we took pictures and posted them on facebook and twitter so other people could glare and grumble jealousy. It was like I was back in high school, except this time I was actually sitting at the cool kids’ table. Take that all you popular kids!
That’s the end of Part 1. It’s a lot to take in, I know. And there are stories I’m not even mentioning! RT was just pure epic-ness. You guys should probably start preparing yourself for next week, when I post Part 2. I go even more crazy then. Don’t believe that’s possible? Just wait and see.