May 19, 2014

Tapped Out

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

I am tapped out this week. Between busy day job shenanigans during the week and BFD—Big Family Drama—on the weekend, I’ve been basically sitting in a chair all Sunday in a stupor, moving only to refill my glass and re-position the cats.

There are a lot of people in Romancelandia tapped out tonight thanks to the RT Booklovers Convention in New Orleans that ran all last week. Despite my best (or perhaps worst considering the host city) intentions, I was unable to attend and instead took solace from my tapped out week in the fantastic tips and treats filtering out from the convention on The Twitter. Also, I now have extreme NOLA envy beyond description. Truly, there is no better social media venue than Twitter for getting the sense of an industry event if not actually attending it. I highly recommend a perusal of the #RT14 hashtag to get a taste of all the buzz, much of which was about erotic romance, interracial couples and diversity in romance and especially in the covers , romantic suspense, and new adult romantic fiction. I nearly wore out my favorite button…

Reading the tweets and quotes and summaries from the convention brought home how broad an umbrella erotic romance extends over a bevy of varying sub genres like the deeply developed dystopian world of Kit Rocha’s Beyond series on one end and the disturbing trend of Dino Porn at the other. As a sidebar, Kit Rocha’s alter egos were giving out O’KANE FOR LIFE flasks at RT this week. I may have offered nefarious services if someone would grab one for me. Jury’s still out.

And finally, because when I’m tapped out, I troll for videos of mellifluous actors reading sensual poetry, a little taste of Tom Hiddleston reading E. E. Cummings’ “May I Feel Said He.” to start your week off right.


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  • Post authorC. Margery Kempe

    Is it sad that the phrase ‘tapped out’ reminds me to catch up on play in my tablet game, Simpsons Tapped Out? I swear there’s been something in the stars lately: every writer I know seems to have been struggling (myself included).

    Reply to C. Margery Kempe
    • Post authorKiersten Hallie Krum

      These past few months, I’ve been really struggling with writing my books. Some of that’s been the new rejections I’ve received, some day job woes leaking over, some more of that BFD seeping all energy and enthusiasm away. But I’ve been in a rut for sure and it was only when I started planning for pitching at the Long Island luncheon earlier in the month and then went to the luncheon and got back into the community that I felt new enthusiasm. But it’s been a tough five months on the writing front for sure. I can say that I have constantly reminded myself over these weeks of all the speeches and stories I’ve heard over the years from now-successful writers on how low they got and how close to quitting they came but they persevered and eventually found the right agent or the right editor who got their work and loved it. Those stories have definitely kept me going.

      Reply to Kiersten Hallie Krum
  • Post authorAlexa Day

    Totally going to check out that hashtag now; the future of my beloved interracials has been on my mind a lot this weekend. Thanks for letting me know!

    Reply to Alexa Day
  • Post authorMadeline Iva

    I too suffered the pangs of RT envy this weekend, and apparently we are not alone — several people on fb joined us.

    And yeah– Alexa and I were going round and round about interracial romance, Harlequin’s Kamani line and where to find interracial romance at Avon. (Hint: Laura Kaye has a romance coming out in Aug/Sept. with a white heroine and a black hero. I saw the cover and it’s fab!)

    Why was erotic romance causing buzz this year? Or is it that the erotic romance people are more twitter savvy and living in the blog-o-sphere while everyone else is running around?

    Reply to Madeline Iva
    • Post authorKiersten Hallie Krum

      I think it was probably just my impression, which is that erotic romance has reached a prominence level equal to Contemporary and Historical. In fact, one attendee blogged mid-week about how Historical Romance, while no less the heavy hitter, had less overt promotional presence than erotic, RS, UF and NA. I think the enormous posters of ripped, bare-chested if headless male models that appear to have been everywhere had a lot to do with that too.

      Reply to Kiersten Hallie Krum
  • Post authorElizabeth Shore

    Just when I thought the RT Booklovers convention was a thing of the past I’ve been reading all week that it was an enormous success. Crowded crowded crowded is what I keep hearing. Next year it’s in Dallas. I’m already thinking that maybe I should go …

    I’ve also been reading about the controversy that RT shoved all the indie authors in a separate room from the traditionally published ones. It’s causing quite the stir. Read more about it here.

    Reply to Elizabeth Shore
    • Post authorKiersten Hallie Krum

      I heard about the overcrowding too and there were also apparently a number of logistical cock ups by the convention planners, but yes, the overall response is it was a resounding success. I do wonder how much of that response is due to the convention and how much due to everyone loving New Orleans.

      I was going to comment on the “controversy” in the post but having read at length about it yesterday, it seemed more a bunch of people stirring up conflict over something that, while problematic for sure, was less “conspiracy against indie” authors and more “bad planning in favor of administrative logistics.” Hugh Hovey’s post was one of the many I read yesterday, but I found Courtney Milan’s response to the situation more informative and, in my opinion, more accurate as she was actually there and seated in the “indie authors” ballroom while Hovey was neither.

      Overall, it seems the separation was new this year as the book signing was confined to one day while, in years past, there was a separate book signing day for digital-based/independent authors. It seems like this is what RT should return to for future conventions.

      Courtney’s response can be found here: http://www.courtneymilan.com/ramblings/

      Reply to Kiersten Hallie Krum
      • Post authorElizabeth Shore

        Funny, I had that thought, too, i.e., I wonder how much of the success was due to folks just wanting to spend some time in the Big Easy.

        Reply to Elizabeth Shore
  • Post authorMadeline Iva

    Still don’t understand why digital first/indie have their own room and aren’t just mixed in with everyone else…

    Meanwhile, how low can you go? I think getting your foot in the door with romance is a lot like surfing. You get your work ready and then you hang out on the surfboard waiting for the wave. You may be waiting quite a while…and when you catch the wave, it could be a big one or medium sized, etc. My friend just got a three book deal and she’s been working it for ten years. So. Everything takes a long time. I can see how people can go mad and just feel compelled to go indie as a result.

    Reply to Madeline Iva
  • Post authorBeauty's Punishment

    I’ve talked with my wife about being published through a publisher VS doing it ourselves. She likes to have control of her written works and not having to answer to a publisher, and the profits are hers and not split up, besides giving Amazon a cut.

    I’ve also read loads of posts of the folks that went to RT and the ones that stayed home. Was I envious of the folks that got to go? Sure. I would’ve like to go to New Orleans to visit with people and go to more antique shops. We had went for a week a couple years ago, and if you want to see things, I feel you need to stay two weeks.

    Reply to Beauty’s Punishment
    • Post authorMadeline Iva

      I think what kills most people is the waiting for how long the trad publishing takes — how long to get an agent, to get a contract, how long it takes from contract to publication, wash, rinse,repeat.

      Two weeks eh? Nice.

      Reply to Madeline Iva

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