Yes, that’s right—New Orleans! The home of the Saints, beignets, crawdads, creole and Cajun scrumptious food, Who Dat, and the “birth” of the vampire Lestat by Anne Rice!
Mike, my hubby, and I were guests at the Undead Con 2 as authors serving on a panel with other great paranormal authors and film producers and screenwriters. What a great experience for relatively new authors such as Mike and I. We were honored by the invite. The main topic for our discussion revolved around our working/writing as a husband and wife on our collaborative novel, My Life as a Dog. We plugged our other works and even sold a few while we were there. Of course, we made lots of new friends during the non-stop events!
This was our first time at the weekend-long event and didn’t know what to expect, but we settled in and had a blast. The first full day, Thursday, we toured the French Quarter, ate the famous Café du Monde beignets with coffee, took a carriage ride seeing some of the sights in the Quarter and picked up a few souvenirs. Before the evening’s event, Mike and I were interviewed by a professor from Stockholm, Sweden, visiting New Orleans with a production company doing a documentary on the culture of vampires in our society. How exciting is that? We spent an hour and half in front of a camera talking about each of our books, our opinions of vampires and our attendance of the week’s events. All I can say is WOW and Holy Cow! We, along with Laurell K. Hamilton, the special guest for the Undead Con, and author of the Anita Blake Series fame, are the only authors interviewed! We again were so honored.
The first official event occurred that Thursday night at a local bistro in the Quarter and the theme was Renaissance, á la The Borgias, with a Wine and Vodka Tasting Cocktail Party. Mike and I dressed up in costume—wigs, long skirt with corset, boots, tunics, the whole shebang. The next day, we attended the first of several author panels and mini film festival. The day ended early so we could prepare for the ARVLFC Coven Ball.
The 2011 ARVLFC Coven Ball brought to us the theatre of Louis and Claudia’s discovery as heretic vampires, and of Lestat’s inspiration through Armand a century before. The Theatre of the Vampires Ball took place at Republic Nightclub. Taken from the pages of Interview with the Vampire, the Theatre of the Vampires is a theme that brings with it the colorful finery of 1890's Paris, the bawdiness of live cabaret and burlesque, the simple ambience of night music, and the horror of vampires feeding on stage in front of an unsuspecting audience. Well we survived the night without falling prey to the charms of the little troupe that performed. We also met and had our picture taken with Ms. Hamilton. Can I hear a WOW again?
On Saturday, the author panels continued and Mike and I were in the afternoon session. We were in the company of experienced authors of graphic novels, comic books, new authors and the audience of readers and authors asked great questions. I think we did well for our first time. That night we finished with another cocktail party/auction for charity and the theme was the Flapper/Gangster Era. Another costume change!
We left late Sunday, but not before we walked through the French Quarter again and had lunch at a restaurant, on a balcony, overlooking Royal Street, eating some of the best Shrimp Creole and Muffuletta sandwich we’ve ever had. Are we going back next year? Hell yeah! The opportunity to make new friends and have great fun had us planning for next year. If anyone has the chance to go, I’d recommend you do so.
" Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez"