Friday, May 23, 2014

Small Town Canadian Girl Survived New Orleans

One of my fave locales in NOLa -- Jackson Square. The cathedral was gorgeous!!

Last week was intense, amazing, tiring and an adrenaline rush all in one. I'm a small town girl who runs a cattle farm with her family, so for me to head out alone into the U.S. was not something I do often. I spend most of my time at home. I've been major lucky in the fact that I can be at home with my kids every night after school, my husband makes it possible for me to be a stay-at-home Mom, and to be an author! I don't deal well with crowds, never have really, and there was a lot of nervousness and fear at the thought of the crowds I was about to pushed into.

New Orleans, Louisiana is huge, and I know I only saw maybe a quarter of it while I attended the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention last week. It was my fifth one, but this one I went on my own. Getting up at midnight to be on the road at 1 a.m. to drive across the border and take a flight out of Syracuse, NY., is definitely something I'll cherish. I'm not a world traveler so to do that on my own, I give myself an A+. LOL Sure I've done past Cons to Chicago, Daytona Beach, and a couple others, but NOLA ... a whole different place all together!!

Of course I ended up with a connecting flight in Chicago, and hauled ass from one gate to another, AND THEN I realized that time was behind an hour so my workout through the airport was appreciated. *snark*
And my flight to NOLA was delayed nearly an hour, but I met some nice people who were also traveling to NOLA and we discussed books -- what else does an author talk about really?? -- and the ladies all asked for business cards. So I was happy that I was not sitting in a corner, head down, fearing anyone wanting to talk to me. I needed to be brave, converse and get over the nerves of being around so many people.

I arrived in NOLA finally, found my friend and roomie, JoAnne Kenrick. And I instantly relaxed. Her vibe was also one of nerves because it was her First RT Con. This put me at ease because I became the "expert" who would do anything to see her through the week. But there was still one HUGE swarm of butterflies in my tummy -- the chance to meet my writing Idol (one of many), Suzanne Brockmann. And meet her I did! With tears, hands shaking, and pretty sure I heard my own voice crack once or twice in the ten minute conversation. Meeting her someday was #10 on my bucket list. And I LOVED crossing that off. Suzanne is a gracious and sweet lady. I met her husband, Ed, and daughter, Melanie, too. Suzanne & Melanie are writing a YA series together as well! Am looking forward to that. 

The whole week ended up being one of the most fabulous trips I have ever been on. The scenery is amazing. Bourbon St. -- fun and frantic -- but still loved its charm. The food was plentiful no matter where I ate, and oh so good! People were very friendly too -- from the hotel staff to the people on the streets. Again, Bourbon St. is a world all its own and people were extra friendly LOL but everyone was super. 

Here's some pix with captions of some of the highlights. I could go on for pages and pages, but I'll only post a few.

Here I am with Suzanne! Inside I was still shaking and felt as though I was in a dream. Highlight of my year right here *g*

I knew the temptation to buy a lot of books at the bookfair would be hard to resist, I brought a CDN flag from home to have some fave authors sign it. It will hang in my office once renovated. Wonderful peeps who signed -- Jaci Burton, Cherry Adair, Tess Gerritsen, Suzanne Brockmann, Sylvia Day and more.

And of course, an Author never stops working -- I found a hottie to help me with inspiration...

And me again, this time in front of the Mississippi River! Wow. Such a great trip.

See you again soon.


  1. I'm so glad you had such a great time and so cool to meet an idol too. Thank you for sharing the pics and your experience.
    My hubs works in Chicago all the time and I'm always forgetting about the hour difference. Ugh, lol.

  2. Goodness! You make me wish I could have gone too! It sounds so exciting. I am thrilled you had a great time. And I too don't do good with crowds so I am very proud of you. :-)