I experienced my first Romantic Times Convention about four years ago. My publisher invited me, offering to pay expenses and promising I’d fit in. I thanked them profusely, of course, but had to admit I was baffled. Why a convention meant for romance readers and writers? I wrote supernatural suspense and paranormal thrillers. The most romantic element in any of the books was a character checking out her neighbor’s cute butt as he walked across her lawn. Still, the publisher persisted, stating all would go well, so I went.
And wouldn’t you know it, they were right! Not only did I have a marvelous time, I made a ton of new friends and quickly realized that the thread connecting us all together had little to do with genre. It was love of the written word.
Well, I’m making my second trip to RT next week, only this time without my former publisher’s credit card. My latest release, The Wolven,a paranormal romance, has been nominated for a RT Reviewers Choice Award (still not quite sure what that is, but it sounds cool!), so how can I not go, right?
In prepping for the trip, I thought back to my first RT Convention and remembered all the great promotional items so many authors had offered. Custom key chains, fingernail files, candy treats, whistles, fridge magnets—their creativity—and the swag—was endless. What could I bring to the convention that would be different, fun, cool, and stand out amongst the TON of giveaways?
Believe it or not, the answer came to me while perusing the aisles of a Halloween tradeshow, which I attended two weeks ago. I was chatting with my escort, Mr. Handsome Hanf, and as we cornered one of the aisles I spotted something that brought me to a dead-stop. It was an eight-foot werewolf—or more accurately, a Hollywood-grade werewolf costume that had been placed on a mannequin. The massive fangs, yellow and grunged, were bared, giant hands extended, displaying claws that were longer than my fingers. My mind went into overdrive.
Danyon Stone, the male lead in The Wolven, transforms into a werewolf. What if . . .
The ‘what if’ that got me. It always does. I might have just found that ‘something different!’
Imagine this . . .
A six-foot vinyl poster of The Wolven’s cover, which, as you can see below, beautifully displays the hunky Danyon Stone, standing near the flow of constant foot traffic. . . and beside that poster will be Danyon’s alter ego--a live, eight-foot, black-furred werewolf, only this one sans the grunged teeth. He’ll have pearly whites, be collared, chained, and ready to have his picture taken with anyone daring to get close enough!
Although they’ve never seen it done before, the folks at RT have bravely given me the green light on this little adventure. So fingers crossed. If you catch news bites on CNN about a werewolf on the loose in Los Angeles . . . you’ll know the gig went well. :)