Kelly Maher
RWA Recap

Since the year I graduated from college, I’ve enjoyed going to RWA conferences. I haven’t gone every year since then, but they are always worth it. This year was definitely the best to date. Much of that had to do with the people I connected with there. There were a number of people who I’ve known for dogs’ years (and we all look as fabulous as we did when we first met), others who I’ve gotten to know from attending RT and other industry conferences the last few years, people who I’ve known online but not met in person yet, and others who I’d never met prior to the conference. I go to RWA to learn more about the craft and business of writing, but that would be nothing without the fabulous attendees, volunteers, and staff who make it such a great conference.

My roommate this year was a friend from the library world who got into romance writing only relatively recently. This was her first RWA conference, and I really enjoyed being able to answer questions she had and give her advice so she could decide on her approach to it. I know there are photos of us floating around, but I somehow missed taking one!

Other highlights for me included presenting my first workshop at RWA with the fabulous Jennifer Lohmann (I think we rocked), going to my first publisher parties (thanks to being a librarian and a member of WRW), signing books at the Wednesday night literacy signing, and hearing so many great speakers! One of the best perks of the RWA conference is that they record many of the sessions and make them available for purchase. I’ve burned through *a ton* of recordings since I got home.

Picture time!

My signing table at the RWA Literacy Signing:
My signing table at RWA 2014 showing an empty chair, and a table covered in a red tablecloth with a placard with my name on it and a display of copies of Best Erotic Romance 2014.

How can you go to San Antonio and not go see the Alamo? Especially when it’s right around the corner from the conference hotel?
The Alamo mission church in San Antonio, TX

The Passionate Ink party! Salsa instruction and shirtless cowboys!
Attendees of the Passionate Ink party at RWA on the dance floor learning how to salsa. There are shirtless cowboys in the back row wearing jeans, boots and cream cowboy hats.

The wonderful Christine d’Abo signing at the Grand Central Forever signing:
Author Christine d'Abo signing postcards for her book Quicksilver Soul.

Me and SuperWendy:
Selfie of Kelly Maher standing on the left wearing purple-rimmed glasses in a blue-green paisley-print halter style maxi dress, and Wendy Crutcher on right in half-rim glasses wearing a sleeveless blue dress.

Me and HelenKayDimon:
Selfie of Kelly Maher on the left and HelenKay Dimon on the right.

I think this is my favorite picture of the whole conference for the sheer fabulousness on display ;) Shelley Ann Clark and me:
Shelley Ann Clark standing barefoot on the left wearing a sleeveless red dress and Kelly Maher standing on the right in a royal blue dress and wearing 4-inch black leather shoes. Shelley's head is at the level of Kelly's shoulder.

Alive and a couple of reminders

Some very good things happened to me at the RWA conference in San Antonio, one of which has necessitated me putting lots of things on hold until I complete what I need to do to move on the the next step of the process. And while having family visiting for two weeks (okay, youngest bro is in town for training, but we typically hang out together every day when this happens) is a fabulous thing, it’s making my schedule for the next week and a half interesting.

I’m planning on updating the website with the information about The Sexy Librarian’s Big Book of Erotica and my story, “Notes on a Scandal”, this weekend. This book will be releasing next Tuesday, August 12th, so mark your calendars! I will be sending out a newsletter next Tuesday, so if you’d like that as a reminder or want to read a more detailed report of my time at RWA, sign up here.

Finally, I’m reading this Saturday, August 9th from “Closing the Deal” in Best Erotic Romance 2014 as part of the Lady Jane’s Salon-Silver Spring, so come out to La Madeleine in Bethesda, MD from 6 to 8 pm. I may have a couple of copies that I’ll be giving away ;)

Welcome to July!

Yes, I know it’s the 21st of the month when I’m writing this, but I’m finally getting my head in gear :) The first two weeks of July were crazy for me as I was in the middle of writing my latest novel. It’s still in first draft stage, but it is completed and I’ll be starting edits after I finish writing this post. In the middle of writing, we had the holiday weekend which also meant my mom came to town to help me celebrate my birthday as well as deliver a number of items which I’ve had in storage at home. Good times were had by all!

As an update to my appearance schedule (it feels a bit weird that I have one!), I will be signing this Wednesday (tomorrow when this post goes up!) at the RWA “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing in San Antonio, TX. If you’re in the area, I really hope you’ll attend. I will be signing copies of Best Erotic Romance 2014. If you’re attending the conference, I’ll be doing a panel with Jennifer Lohmann at 8:30 am on Thursday titled “Juggling Two Careers” and it will be in Conference Room 12 of the Rivercenter Marriott.

On Saturday, August 9th, I’ll be doing a reading at the Lady Jane’s Salon-Silver Spring which will be in Bethesda, MD. My co-readers will be Mary Behre, Mackenzie Lucas, and Janet Mullany. The admission is either $5 or a gently used romance novel.

Last on the appearance front, please join me and many more fabulous authors at the WRW Readers and Bloggers Luncheon on Saturday, October 11th (this is Columbus Day weekend if you’ve got that day off). Admission is $25 and lunch is included.

I do have some book news! The Sexy Librarian’s Big Book of Erotica anthology which includes my short story, “Notes on a Scandal”, will be out next month! I’ll have the page for it up on my website by the end of this month.

I think that’s it for now! I hope you’re all having a fabulous July!

RT 2014 recap!

My oh-so-belated recap is finally here! I squarely place the blame on alter ego as she had day job stuff she had to deal with right after coming back and then was off to Book Expo America last week.

RT 2014 was so much fun! A lot of it was because it was in New Orleans, and there is certainly something to be said about the atmosphere. Also, the food. I had to try the beignets at Cafe du Monde at least once:

Beignets and orange juice from Cafe du Monde

The other part of the vibe was being there as Kelly for the first time. Alter ego had her chance to go the last three years, so letting this ego fly free was an interesting experience. The viewpoint of the author is very different from that of librarian, and it was sometimes hard to remember which hat to wear. While out exploring New Orleans with friends, I did pick up a hat to help remind me:

Kelly is modeling her green straw hat in a cloche style with brown ribbon piping around the brim and a taupe ribbon around the crown.

I spent a lot of time running into Jennifer Lohmann, which was good as we’re presenting a panel at RWA in San Antonio later this summer. One of the killer things for me was the day where we were wearing almost the exact same style of shoe:

Picture of shoes that Jennifer Lohmann and Kelly Maher were wearing at RT 2014. Both are Mary Jane style heels where Kelly's are wine patent leather with a thin leather cord tying off the arch strap, and Jennifer's are multi-colored spectators of taupe, yellow, and green with a taupe ribbon tying off the arch strap.

At the signing, we were almost back-to-back, too! (Ignore my hat hair!)

Jennifer Lohmann and Kelly Maher at the 2014 RT Booklovers Convention book signing. Jennifer is wearing a purple short-sleeved top with a blue skirt with a white floral print, and Kelly is wearing a pink wrap shirt with capri jeans.

The fabulous Ann Lorz, who has known me since before I was Kelly, was the first person to buy a book of mine at the signing on Saturday:

Ann Lorz buying a copy of Duty and Desire from Kelly at the 2014 RT Booklovers Convention.

On Sunday, I took a day of rest and rode on a New Orleans streetcar with my roommate. They were so much fun!

Interior view of a New Orleans street car featuring a concave white aluminum ceiling and wooden seats for passengers.

Roomie left *very* early Monday morning, and my flight wasn’t until the early evening, so I spent the morning doing even more touristy things.

Marie Laveau's tomb in St. Louis Cemetery Number 1 in New Orleans. It is whitewashed and covered in graffiti, mainly groups of three x's, to invoke her assistance.

Marie Laveau’s tomb

Buildings in the French Quarter of New Orleans, featuring the typical style of four stories with wrought iron balconies on the streetside facade.

A street in the French Quarter of New Orleans

Exterior shot of St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. It is white with three spires, the tallest one in the center, with the other two symmetrically flanking it.

St. Louis Cathedral

I had such a fabulous time meeting fellow romance readers, and having the opportunity to speak with you about my work. I hope everyone who attended had a wonderful time!

Giveaway winners!

For the goody bag (and then some!) of RT books and swag, the winner is:

Lysette L.!

For the $25 gift certificate to your bookstore of choice that will allow me to send you a gift certificate because you signed up for my newsletter, the winner is:

Marie W.!

Thanks everyone who entered the giveaway for the bag o’ swag, or signed up for the newsletter! I might be doing another giveaway for RWA, so watch this space!

Down and dirty pitching

Alter ego is back from Book Expo America, and later today I’ll finally be posting my round up of RT 2014, along with announcing the winners of the giveaways. In cleaning off my desk to help clear my mind, and provide space for the many books alter ego came home with, I came across a post-it note titled “Pitch points” and included the following items:

  1. Premise
  2. Character conflict
  3. Ready to turn it into a lightly linked trilogy

Now, this was specifically for a novella I pitched to an agent at RT, but I think this is a good list for any project you’re pitching. The third point is obviously dependent on your project, but you should be ready to answer if you see this expanding into a series or not, especially if you’re writing genre fiction.

New newsletter & giveaways!

As part of my RT experience, my first time there as an author, I’ll be running two giveaways.

Giveaway, the first: RT 2014 Swag Bag

I will gather a Swag Bag of things given out at RT 2014 in New Orleans to send to one lucky resident of the United States who is 18 or older. To enter, you must complete the sign up form. Comments here will not be accepted as entries. But feel free to ask questions! The entry form must be completed by Saturday, May 31, 2014 11:59:59 pm EDT. Void where prohibited, and no purchase necessary! I will do another post to show the total haul once I get back from RT.

Giveaway, the second: Newsletter Sign Up

Everyone who registers for the Newsletter of Irregularity by May 31, 2014, will be tossed in a hat and a name drawn on June 1st for a $25 gift certificate to their favorite online book retailer if the book retailer allows for gift certificates. This contest is open internationally where allowed. I will be gathering emails of those who want to sign up at RT, but if you won’t be at RT, you can go to my Contact page and fill out the form there. If you want to sign up for the newsletter, but don’t want your name included in the drawing, drop me a note at kellymaher{at}gmail.com

The highs and lows of the DMV

If nothing else, the last twenty-four hours has given me fodder for any contemporaries I write. Last night, I received notice that a ticket I had contested had been adjudicated in my favor. Yay not having to pay $100 ticket and therefore having drinking money for RT! Then, this morning, I went to the DMV to do a change of address. Now, I had done this online in the past, but due to implementation of new driver’s license requirements, all changes to IDs had to be made in person if you didn’t already have the new ID format, *AND* you had to bring even more information to prove you are who you say you are. Thankfully, I had all of the identity supporting paperwork easily at hand, but while I thought I had the address support, the DMV decreed that a notice from the USPS acknowledging my change of address was not sufficient in addition to my lease, so did I have any paper bills? :headdesk: I ended up running downtown to the closest office for my internet provider to get a copy of my bill as my cell phone provider has my work address as my billing address (which I found out after the very nice gentleman at the Sprint store across from the DMV office printed out my last bill). Again, :headdesk:. And then, when I got back to the DMV, the line to just get a ticket number was out the door. Thankfully because I had my previous ticket number still in hand, they let me bop to the front of the line and get a new ticket number. I should be getting my new driver’s license in the mail in a couple of weeks. And I was probably the best prepared person there, as today was the first day of implementing these new requirements.

But, hey! I’ve got RT drinking money now!

Sucked into Scooby

I’m a total Scooby-phile. Yes, I’ve seen both live action movie versions. Scrappy can be consigned to cartoon purgatory. Due to my cable-less state for years now, I missed the original airing of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. Missed, no more. I discovered it on Netflix last week, and have been gorging myself on it ever since. I probably would have finished it on Saturday, except for a party I spent most of the day at. My verdict? I wish there were more seasons because the writers arced out the overarching story so well. Truly, it’s a great example of episodic storytelling within a broader structure. I may need to watch it all over again with my notebook and pen in hand to take notes. Or Scooby snacks. As you do.

Counting the days to RT

Today is T-18 days until RT. I’ve attended the last three conventions, but I attended as alter ego. This will be my first time as Kelly. I’m really very excited about this, especially as I’ll be participating in the mega book signing on Saturday, May 17th. I *should* have copies of Duty and Desire and Best Erotic Romance 2014 there. You’ll also be able to get Duty and Desire signed by Christine d’Abo and Cat Johnson who wrote the foreword. For Best Erotic Romance 2014, Lauren Dane who contributed the foreword and D.R. Slaten are scheduled to attend.

I’m not scheduled to be on any panels, and will probably most likely be hanging out in the bar or lobby or going to a few of the parties which friends are hosting. I’ll definitely be at the Pub Crawl, and there’s talk of a craft happy hour or the like on Tuesday evening. I’ll be knitting something :D Through the course of the conference, I plan on giving away homemade baked goods and will be announcing on Twitter the code word to acquire the deliciousness. If you’ll be there, I hope you’ll come up and say hi as I’d love to talk books with you!