The Duke Event went beautifully. It was bitterly cold, but a ton of people braved the wind to come and see Eloisa James, Alisha Rai, Katharine Ashe, and us. Sarah MacClean was, unfortunately, stranded in New York due to the snow storm.
We had a wonderful time. Now for the bad part. You guys have to stop bringing us presents. I mean it. A very nice lady handed me a small bag and there was $40 worth of Madelinetosh in there. That is an expensive gift. I love yarn and it is spectacular, but $40. And there is no graceful way to refuse the gift without hurting feelings. We also were given delicious chocolate and a pretty bracelet. If you want to give us something, please keep the price tag low, because we don’t want you to go without on our account. Having you come up and tell us that you love our books is gift enough. Honestly. 🙂
Thank you once again for the yarn. Gordon had asked me for a knitted hat, and I made him one while on the plane. He really likes it.
The pattern is Huddle Hat by Kitterly. Here is the Ravelry link and the direct link. It’s a very simple pattern, a rib followed by waffle stitch. The Madelinetosh was Tosh Vintage, worsted weight, Esoteric and is completely gorgeous. I went with #4 size needle because I tend to knit loose and nobody wants a hat that flops. Unless you’re going for a floppy hat. One skein was plenty.
Okay, back to Duke. Julie Andersen, Ph.D, hosted the conference itself, which took place in a Pink Parlor room at Duke. It was standing room only and the six of us spoke for roughly 3 hours, with Sarah joining us via Skype.
Julie has some beautiful pictures of the event facilities and a case the librarians created displaying everyone’s work. She also has showcased some of Duke’s extensive collection, which is fascinating. You can see all of the images right here, at her blog, but I stole the library picture for you. Hopefully, she won’t mind.
We talked about the role of romance genre, what it means to its readers, and women in particular, how the industry overall treats us, and so on. You have to understand the situation. Eloisa james is a Shakespearean scholar and professor, Alisha Rai is a lawyer, Sarah McClean is also a lawyer. So I’m literally sitting sandwiched between a lawyer, a historian (my husband), a professor of Shakespeare, with another lawyer above me on the big screen. I’m a college dropout. Most of my time was spent trying not to say something stupid. At one point I thought about jumping up and running away with my hands in the air, but decided against it. 😛
It was really nice to hear the questions from the audience. Everyone was smart and insightful, and I really enjoyed the conversation.
Then there was a reception, where they served cucumber sandwiches, which were delicious. We went to dinner with Kristi and Robyn. Kristi is the person we torture with proofreading our work, which is why she is thanked in the acknowledgments,and Robyn is the person I go to when I need to know horse related things. At dinner I met a real life Aunt B. I kid you not. Wonderful woman, rides horses and has been “a bride three and a half times.” The last time she said she wisened up and decided not to go through with it.
Then we collapsed in our hotel room and were back up at 4:00 am to fly back to our house, with all the dogs and cats and children. We would definitely come back to Duke for another round, if they would have us. Thank you to everyone who attended. 🙂
Update: Kristi found a recording of the event. Click here to view. Click on the left screen to play.