Today, as you read this, I'm going to be winging to the Romantic Times conference in Orlando, Florida. As exciting as it is to escape the Missouri cold and go somewhere warm, what I'm really looking forward to this week is spending time with 1,200 others who love books as much as I do.
I was always the kid who enjoyed books just a little too much. Back in third grade, our teacher had a "reading time" where we were allowed to read any book we liked, for the pure enjoyment of it. At the time, I thought it was an excuse to have fun. Now, I realize the brilliance of it. Mrs. B was showing every kid in the class - especially those who didn't read at home - just how much fun it can be to read for the pure pleasure of it.
Of course one day, things did get out of hand. I looked up from this particularly great Encyclopedia Brown book to see that we were in the middle of Math class. I'd read through half of the next period. Everyone laughed. Mrs. B did not. I'll never forget this - she said, "I wish the rest of you were like Angie and could get lost in a book so completely." The way she said it and the way the kids reacted made me feel great. So great that I remember it clearly almost thirty years later. Someday, I'm going to have to dedicate a book to her.
So as much as I'm going to love Florida, and seeing my author friends and - you're not going to believe this - my publisher hired a model to be Dimitri and follow me around. Can you say YUM? But anyhow, despite all of the fun and male yumminess, my favorite thing about RT will be the sheer pleasure that comes with being around so many people who can't live without their books, either.
See you soon. :)