#WildCardWednesday: @dochappycamper Reviews Her #RomCon14 and #RomConU Experience #MyWANA

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Welcome to Wild Card Wednesday here at Behind Closed Doors! 

This week I’d like to share my experience in Denver for RomCon University and Rom Con 1014. This is the second year I’ve attended RomCon and the first for the University and I have to say by far, this is the best convention I’ve ever attended. As you all know, I’m a veterinarian when I’m not writing and publishing. I’ve attended hundreds of conferences and conventions…in Las Vegas too…and RomCon beat them all.

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Why? The other attendees (authors and readers) made it extra special for me. Not only did I get to help host four events, I made a heck of a lot of new friends, went all fan girl on a few authors, and was basically put up on a pedestal by my number one fan. My husband schmoozed with everyone and promoted me and my work every single chance he had, even at the hotel bar during the World Cup. That man simply rocks!

 

 

 

Even 10381992_10202419677354385_2247929291651753675_nwhen a gamer convention overlapped ours, my husband didn’t let that stop him. He proceeded to inform anyone who would listen all about romance authors and how today’s books are nothing like those in the 1980’s. For someone who doesn’t read the genre himself, my husband can outsell any PR person out there when it comes to my poetry and erotic romance in general. His proudest moment was when he sat next to Lexi Blake at the hotel bar while she waited for them to set up her cocktail hour event for the readers. He doesn’t know her from Adam or Eve, and yet he chatted with her as if he was her old friend. He in turn ran up to the room to tell me all about it and how he told her how nervous I was to be on the Erotic Author Chat Panel with her. Come to find out, she’s like me…a Nervous Nelly in front of groups. 

It goes to show you, even the authors we admire and look up to, are a bundle of nerves at times and have the same fears we do. All of us get devastated by low rated reviews and boosted by the high rated ones. All of us worry we’re not good enough at times, but we have to simply forge ahead and keep writing. Why? Because it’s in our blood. We HAVE to write and get out tales out for others to read.

 

RomCon University was the portion aimed specifically at authors. So many great lectures available, but I had to keep it tailored to a choice view since I had other events to host/attend. I learned about price points that sell best and not so well. I learned that Ingram Spark will be able to distribute eBooks, paperbacks, and hard covers of any of my future releases AND get them in front of the buyers of brick and mortar bookstores. I confirmed and reinforced many things I already knew about Indie Publishing. I came away refreshed and ready to tackle even more. I’ll definitely attend next year. For a little more of what I learned, check out my article on Writer’s Words of Wisdom HERE.

10462481_751824051505554_7785527827562671333_nThe first author event I was involved in was my very first chat panel. I had the pleasure of being on the Erotic Authors Chat panel this year with Angel Payne, Amelia James, Lexi Blake, Jayne Rylan, and Virginia Cavanaugh. I was a bundle of nerves but everyone made me feel right at home including those in the audience. Jenna Jacob and her husband Sean sat near my end of the table and helped boost my confidence. I could have sat up there all day chatting with everyone but as soon as it was over, I had to make a mad dash to my next event…

 

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Get Crafty with the Authors turned out to be a very busy event. We had tables for knitters, beaders, scrap bookers and sewing. That’s where folks found me. I’m not a big sewing person anymore, but I couldn’t pass up on the quilted mass market sized book cover. The pattern was easy to do and I had all the prep work done ahead of time. With minimal assembly, folks at our table created their own cover. We also had English Paper Piecing. I got to take a few of those kits to try out for myself!

 

 

 

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With a short time for a dinner break and a dress change I was ready for my next event…The Book Signing! Since there wasn’t enough time between the signing and the Dancing with the Decades and Karaoke Party, many of us had to go to the signing in costume. My decade was of course the 70’s. I went as my own version of Elton John. I molted feathers all over the place but no one forgot me!

 

 

 

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I trailed feathers from my room all through the convention center until I got to the room for the book signing. There I set up my books and some swag. On a whim, I put out my Tawny Savage book The Bigfoot Chronicles 1 and 2. That’s the one that literally flew off my table! People love that 7 foot hairy beast and want more. It’s coming I promise! Readers and authors alike stopped by my table and picked up one, two or ALL of my books. Whoohoo!

 

 

 

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I signed books, swag, autograph books, Kindle covers, Nook covers, book bags and RomCon programs. I signed books over to the people asking for them and for other names they gave me *wink wink*. Your secrets are safe with me, gang! LOL!

 

 

 

10434198_10202419683394536_5360182293463765623_nOne of the folks who befriended my husband and me was Jai C and her daughter Gina. They sought us out every day at meal times, and at the events. I made a special gift to Jai C of copies of all of my books. Some of it is new to her, but I do know she’s really looking forward to reading the menage a quatre in Sweet, Sulty, and Oh So Taboo!

 

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Now on to the Decades party and set up of my games. I had Hungry, Hungry Hippos and Kerplunk for people to enjoy and earn tickets for the raffle of tons of prizes donated by all of the participating authors.

I don’t have a lot of pictures of this event since I was a tad busy playing the games and then enjoying the music. Let’s just say I did get groped/mauled on stage during the costume contest—and enjoyed every minute of it! LOL!

At the end of the night, my hubby and I made it back to our room in one piece and collapsed into bed.

 

The next day I got to participate more as a fan. I had a lot of fun in the Build A Villain event and I sat in the audience for a few other chat panels. All in all it was a relaxing day. Good thing too since I had one last event…

Chocolate Mangasm!!

10364164_10202405672364269_2727031760367795335_nI was in charge of the Naughty Bingo games this year. Instead of using regular bingo markers, I printed off tiny covers of the books of all the participating authors. I gave the players a list of Naughty Words to choose from and they filled their cards in as they saw fit. It was a hell of a lot of fun yelling out those words. Some folks blushed, while others made me repeat them over and over again just to see if I would blush. LOL! 

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While the color in my cheeks wasn’t from any embarrassing moments, I did get a few others to blush with the words in the game and the prizes I handed out. I got the biggest kick out of people asking me what the hell a whip tickler was. LOL!  I gave one out as a prize to BDSM newbie. She’s so inspired by my game and that of the other authors, she’s planning on trying out a few of the new toys when she goes back home. That’s what it’s all about. Having fun and learning about new things to put a little more spice and kink in the bedroom. 😉

All in all, I had a wonderful time and will definitely be back again next year to hook up with our new friends and make even more fabulous memories. Of course, I’ll be there with my famous rainbow hair! Thank you RomCon for making it all possible! 

~Tammy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REBLOG: Are You a “Real” Writer? #amwriting #MyWANA

Another of my author friends shared a post from another blog today about what it means to be called a real writer. If you’re like me, you’ve had this conversation with your fair share of people when you tell them what genre(s) you write. People feel romance authors…specifically erotic romance authors aren’t real writers. If they haven’t seen us on Oprah’s book of the month club or on the NY Times best sellers list we aren’t real writers. If they have never heard of us before, we aren’t real writers. See where I’m doing with this? 

There are no fast and hard rules about what is a real writer. If you write, you are one. Period. People confuse being a writer with being famous. Fame has nothing to do with it although it would be nice! LOL! We write because we have to do it. It’s in our blood. We hope others enjoy our stories, but even if they don’t, we still continue to write. So the next time someone tells you they’re a writer, ask them about their latest works and their writing process. Get to know the person before you turn your nose up at them because they don’t write the kind of stories you would be interested in. 

Christine Ashworth posted a wonderful blog about “real” writers. You have to read it. She put into words what many of us try to explain to others every single day. Click HERE to find the article. Leave a comment on her blog to let her know what you think of it.

 

Released December 29, 2013
Released December 29, 2013

I’ve been busy working on the prequel to The Surrender of Julia (Now and Forever 3). It’s a short novella called “Bound in Paradise” and will be one of the three pieces in Sassy Vixen Publishing’s Season of Sun and Sin anthology. While working on that, it dawned on me that I have nine books out now between all of my pen names. The anthology will be the tenth and will include TWO of my stories. My 11th and 12th books will be out this summer too. I’m not yet up there on the charts like some people are, but I do have my fan base and it’s growing. These folks make me want to keep putting stories out there, but honestly even if they weren’t there, I’d still be writing. I may not put them out for others to read, but I’d write the stories just the same. My characters don’t ever keep quiet. LOL! 

To celebrate and to thank those who have supported me on this journey, Sassy Vixen Publishing has agreed to offer The Surrender of Julia for only 99 cents for a very limited time on All Romance ebooks and Amazon. If you haven’t picked up you copy yet, please do so. If you have time, I’d love to hear what you think about the book. Reviews on Amazon and Goodreads help me continue to improve as a writer and storyteller.  

 

Heat is in the Eye of the Beholder

I just realized today it’s been six months since I became a published author. The time seemed to fly by and now I’m working on the next three books in my Now and Forever series, writing another book of poetry to self publish, and plotting out two more series called The Kayne Legacy and Songs of Fate. I keep pushing myself to get through the next book, but maybe I need to slow down and enjoy it for a bit. Hell, it’s not like I can write full time…yet. I still have so many other responsibilities and there is only so much time in the day. I’ve been putting too much pressure on myself and because of that, I’m running into a bit of writer’s block. It’s not a full obstruction, but more like clogging of the arteries. There is still words flowing out, but oh so slowly.

When I can’t get the words to flow, I’ve picked up my Kindle and immersed myself into the worlds created by my fellow authors. It’s been an eye-opening and entertaining experience to say the least. First of all, several of these authors have become friends of mine and reading their words gives me more of an insight into how their minds work. It makes the stories richer for me somehow. It’s like I can hear the author’s voice telling me these stories, giving me more of a personal connection to their characters. Secondly, many of these women have been guests on one or both of my blogs. Not only did I learn more about them personally and as authors, I got a few sneak peaks at their works in progress. All of it made me excited to delve into their novels and become huge fans. Being involved in several social network groups, I can chat with these authors about their works, my own writings, our day jobs, family shenanigans and overall the crazy stuff life throws at us.

These networks have been wonderful sources for me to find more authors new to me and I’ve added new books to my Kindle just about every day now. Unfortunately, with the good, there comes the not so good. I’m not talking about anyone’s writing, but the bits of snobbery for lack of a better term, toward the writers of erotica and erotic romance. I expected resistance from my family and friends who look at what I write as porn. No matter how I try to explain it to them, that is the way they see it and there is no changing their minds. It’s cut and dry. What I didn’t expect was other romance authors to basically label erotic romance authors as “not real writers.” I also didn’t expect the slamming of self published authors.

If you’re not a so called star of a reality show, good luck finding an in with a big named publisher or agent. They are going for the fast bucks because these people are the hot commodity. Never mind they can’t speak proper English let alone write it. There will be editors and ghost writers to handle all that. I have to admit, I was very lucky that I was accepted by the very first publisher I had on my list. I thought they would be a good fit for me and had several established authors willing to answer any questions posed by a “newbie.” There are so many more writers who are still searching for that fit, and it’s some of these folks who are the biggest snobs.

I’m not sure if it’s a case of not being accepted right off the bat by one of the “big guns” out of New York, or the fact that someone else got that publishing contract. Why else would these people rip apart fellow authors, refer to them as “not real writers” or smut peddlers? There is a huge arena out there and a following for everyone. We all just have to find our niche. Just because it’s not the same as yours, doesn’t mean that it’s drivel. Maybe these folks learn by example. There was a recent controversy surrounding Romance Writers of America. One of their local chapters had decided not to accept submissions containing same sex relationships in one of their contests. When they were asked why, the answer floored me. Apparently depicting gay and lesbian sex was a “just too much.” Hmmmmm.
I loved the retorts concerning that answer. Hell, sex between shapeshifters, vampires, werewolves and humans is more than acceptable, but real life situations are “just too much.”

That’s the same thing my mother said to me today after she told me she finished For the Love of Quinn. She loved the overall story, but some of the sex scenes were “just too much.” She didn’t understand how a couple could just keep going and going. I had to laugh. She knew that the scene she was referring to was actually something that had happened to me with a former lover. She still insisted that she liked it better in parts where I just gave the reader a hint at what was going to happen instead of being so explicit. Hmmmmm. I TOLD her the book was explicit and that I didn’t use flowery language or pretend the sex was behind closed doors(pun intended!). If I wrote it the “sweet” way she wanted it to be, I would have submitted it for a different line with my publisher. This book was rated SCORCHING. What did she think that meant?

The funniest review I had was from another relative. She said overall she liked the book but didn’t like my heroine, Quinn. She didn’t understand why the two heroes were interested in her. She couldn’t get around the idea that Quinn hit the sheets with a guy she just met.  Hmmmmm.  Well, it’s an erotic romance novel. My heroine doesn’t have time to date for a few months before she thinks about having sex. She is 43 years old for pete’s sake and had been around the block a few times and most definitely not a virgin.  One of my other relatives pointed out that a lot of Quinn’s story was my own and do you know what she said to that? “Well, I like Tammy, just not Quinn.”  LMAO  I love my family! Even when they don’t agree with me, they still support me. That’s what makes it all worthwhile.