One week and I’ll be heading to the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Orlando, Florida. I don’t even know where to start in describing this convention to those of you who have never had the pleasure of attending. Perhaps this will give you some idea–in my upcoming new release (Unridden, due out this fall) the heroine is a romance author who attends an unnamed romance convention and while there, meets two cowboys who are in town for a bull riding competition. Anyway, based on my two years of attending RT, I describe in full, accurate details a bit of the convention in the book (the costume parties, the crazy sessions held for writers) and I also show what this author receives in her goodie bag (condoms, condom lollipops, penis warmers, playing cards featuring half-nude male models, chocolate flavored lube). Well, I get my Final Line Edits back yesterday and the editor felt that my convention description was a bit over the top. 

Hmmmm, I say to myself as I open my closet and look over the stash of last years goodies I got in my Ellora’s Caveman Party Goody Bag the first night of the con, which included everything I describe above and more. Double Hmmmm, I say to myself as I consider that I didn’t even include the shirt-less male models AND local male strippers Ellora’s Cave and  RT hire to walk around and entertain the thousand plus attendees, or the contest where these men compete to be named Mr. Romance, or how you can pay to have your pic taken with them or attend the exclusive CoverModel Dinner for a $100 bucks each.  In fact, I think I toned down the conference. Hell, I didn’t even mention the author who wears a bustier each year and serves people cherries out of her bosom.

So the question is, do I continue to write the truth in my books and have some people assume I am exaggerating and writing over the top? Or do I tone things down even more until it resembles nothing like the true convention experience but people won’t question my writing? It is quite a dilemma. Meanwhile, I have an entire suitcase packed with just my RT costumes and my mother keeps asking when I’m going to the convention because she is usually the recipient of most of the goodies (not the lube/penis warmer/condom stuff–those usually ship to my deployed military friends, but the Male Model wall calendar, books and playing cards are all Moms).
Anyway, I still don’t have the answer to the question posed in the title of this post. When truth is stranger than fiction, do you lie to retain your credibility? I don’t know, perhaps you just vent on the blog.
Hope to see some of you April 22-26 in Orlando for RT 2009! I’ll be the one carrying the condom lollipop.


  1. That is hilarious (what was in the gift bag, not your editor’s response). I say you politely explain that this is a watered-down version of the truth and you don’t wish to change it.

    If that doesn’t work, tell the editor it’s creative license and the tone of the convention is appropriate for your story – it doesn’t have to be “realistic” to anyone but your character.

    In other words, lie about it being true, if it’s convenient. But don’t change your story because it makes someone uncomfortable. Sometimes that’s the whole point of fiction.

  2. Yeah, I left it as I wrote it.

    With a thousand attendees at that conference, there will be those who back me up on the truth, and those who have never been who will remain doubters and hopefully just get a good laugh out of it!

    In any case, the publication date just got bumped up so look for this book May 26th instead of in the fall!

    Thanks for the comments!