Tuesday, August 05, 2008

RWA, San Francisco, and Hot Guys, by Allyson James

First, thanks Hussies for inviting me to post on your blog. I’m honored to be here.

I’ll start by mentioning a couple of my new releases from Ellora’s Cave: Catch a Falling Star (ebook) and Double Shot (print), a collection of two Tales of the Shareem stories.

Double Shot cover

However, what’s in the forefront of my brain is Romance Writers of America National Convention, from which I just returned. RWA this year was filled with enthusiastic readers and a nice buzz of energy. I came home ready to write!

crowd at RWA
The conference was in San Francisco, home of alternative lifestyles. My husband and I didn’t stay in the conference hotel, so I had much opportunity to wander the streets (I have a series set there, so it was fun to walk the paths of my characters).

Streets of SF

Admittedly I mostly saw tourists (often with children in tow) snapping photographs of cable cars.

Cable Car

I did see the occasional m/m couple and f/f couple, and we saw a movie crew filming something or other.

We saw the film crew twice—I think it was a suspense film, because the actors looked tougher than anyone else on the street. The crew looked just as tough. In fact, they were the scariest people I saw the entire trip.

As for the conference: I found it upbeat because readers weren’t talking about the downturn in the economy or how they were buying fewer books. I actually heard people saying they were reading more romance now than ever.

I signed at two big signings. None of the readers who came to my table said “I’m watching my pennies,” or “I can’t afford to ship books or pay for the extra bags on the plane.”

What they said was, “Give me everything you’ve got!!!”

I heard through the grapevine that romance sales had actually grown this year while other genres have declined.

Why? The power of the happy ending? The joy of watching people find their perfect match?

Or the hot guys??

I vote for the hot guys.

(It’s probably all three, but the hot guys do it for me.)

Confession: When I conceive of a novel, it’s the hot alpha man I think of first. Heroine comes later. In fact, I have to make sure my heroine doesn’t get lost, because I’m so in love with that guy! But it is fun to come up with a lady [and second guy in some of my books] who will be his match.

Hence why I came up with the Shareem (Tales of the Shareem, Ellora’s Cave). Men created to be ultimate sex slaves? I’m so there!

Hot guy

Which leads me to a question for readers: What is more important to you—a hero to drool over, or a heroine you can relate to? Which one more influences your decision when picking out a book?

Here’s to hot men!

Take care, and thanks again, Hussies!

Allyson James


Maggie said...

Hi Allyson,How are you? Love your books.The economy doesn't bother me cause I will always buy a book. Maggie

Sally Painter said...

Hey Allyson! So glad to have you blogging with us today. What a great post. I agree about readers buying MORE books during economic difficulties. Every business article I've ever read about recessions and books shows book sales thrive because people need the escape more than ever.

Glad you had such a great time. I have relatives around San Fran and I LOVE that city, almost moved there a few years ago.

Hussy Hugs and thanks again for sharing your day with us!

Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James / Ashley Gardner said...

Maggie: Good to hear! I still buy tons of books, too. I had to mail two boxes to myself from SF. I was shameless. :-) I think it's true that people turn to books in times of stress. It's fairly inexpensive and takes your mind off your troubles. Thanks again for having me Sally, et al.


Ciana Stone said...

Howdy there Allyson!! And thanks for blogging with us. I had to laugh at you saying the film crew you saw looked tough. Having worked with crews I never saw them that way. Tired, dirty and ready to go home? You bet'cha. Maybe you caught them at the end of a 14 hour day? Enjoyed reading your post. Thanks so much for sharing your adventure with us!!


Nicole Austin said...

I'll give up a lot of other things just to get my book fix! Heck, I'll even give up my fancy coffee for book. Especially if they feature yummy heroes. *sigh*

Thanks for blogging with us, Allyson. Sounds like you had a great time.

Janet H said...

Hi Allyson,

I think my book purchases have increased this year also. Not really the economy, just I work only one job now and have way more time to read.

Loved Rees - Tales of the Shareem.

Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James / Ashley Gardner said...

Ciana: Yes, tired and dirty, plus they were filming something about gangs. They stood out on a street full of yuppies. :-)

Nicole: I'm the same way--I find myself not buying other things so I can buy more books. The boxes of books I sent home from RWA were disgraceful, but I get to do some fun reading!

Janet: Thanks re Rees. I love those Shareem guys. I envy you more time to read, though! Yesterday I decided to stop everything, make popcorn, and read the last 100 pages of a novel. I'm glad I did.

Thanks again, Hussies, for inviting me to the blog. It was fun!