What happens in Vegas . . .travels home
Last week I was in Vegas for the last 20Books Vegas show. It’s the last because the inventor of the show, Craig Martelle, transitioned it over to a new company and its new name is Author Nation. Craig is a former marine, attorney, and successful author and sometime in his marine career he was exposed to something that damaged his lungs. Then last year he spent a few days in the ICU with RSV. He decided then that he no longer needed the stress of the show even though the venue was contracted for 3 more years. I’m not sure about the new guy, we’ll see.
I was there with 1800 Indie authors from around the world including E.L. James (50 Shades of Grey trilogy), though I didn’t go to her talk. It was for steamy romance authors, so I’ll watch it later on video. I hosted two events myself. Some people were uneasy with walking alone in Vegas on the strip. It’s never bothered me as I can produce a death glare that stops unfriendlies or toddlers from making a fuss. So I led a group of twelve people on a “cake walk” to Carlo’s Bakery at the Venetian Resort. If you’ve ever watched the Cake Boss, then you know who I’m talking about. Here’s a picture with me and Buddy (or at least his cutout).
Then I led a volunteer session later that same day called Junior Mastermind where I wanted to group Indie authors by the number of books they published so they work together on improving their careers. To my surprise over seventy people turned up. Who knew? Only time will tell if the groups are able to help careers.
Finally, on the last day of the convention we had a large author event with over 300 authors selling and signing books. I coordinated 51 authors reading passages from their books and they each had five minutes. Here’s a picture of my “ball gown costume” for the event. Unfortunately, when you’re in the desert of Las Vegas it’s hard to know when you’re sick as the air is so dry. I was always thirsty and my hair was standing on end as though I rubbed a balloon over it—the static electricity was that bad. While I may have looked like Princess Alec, this is actually a picture of Typhoid Mary. I had covid at that moment and didn’t know it. As I was at the airport later that night, I was starting to sniffle and I was tired and I thought I was coming down with one of my numerous sinus infections. My brother picked me up at the airport and I had a KN95 mask on as I always carry one with me (I just didn’t wear it at the conference). The next morning I randomly tested for Covid and the results came back positive. So I went to Walgreens (wearing a mask) and bought another test kit and it was positive too. Can you sense my disbelief?
Later that afternoon my provider gave me Paxlovid and this is the fastest I have ever recovered from an upper respiratory tract infection. That stuff is magic. My brother is in the clear, but there are at least 20 other cases of covid from my conference. I had the latest covid vaccine about a month before I attended so perhaps that is why I’m recovering so fast. This is my first covid infection, and hopefully my last, as I’ve learned my lesson and I’ll wear a mask at my next large indoor gathering. Even though this was a big nothing for me, it is inconvenient to quarantine when you feel good, but I think of the 1.1 million Americans that lost their lives to this infection and recognize it’s no laughing matter.
Finally, on a lighter note, I got some great ideas for my work in progress and I’ll get back to writing soon. As a reminder, Red Rock Island and now Willow Glen Heist are out on audio. Vials, the first book in the Jill Quint series will be out on Audio by the time of my December newsletter. Hurray!