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Saturday, November 2, 2013


I arrived back in Orlando from New Orleans late Sunday night, the 27th of October, from a week of good food, good fun, and great conversations! My husband, Mike, and I attended the Undead Con and Anne Rice Vampire Lestat Fan Club (ARVLFC) 25th annual vampire masquerade ball. This was our third year attending and Anne Rice and her son, Christopher, attended this year. What a thrill! 

Christopher is also an author and he served on a panel discussing his writing, his first paranormal book recently released and general questions about being an author. The first night for the Meet and Greet was held at St. Alphonsus Church. A large crowd gathered for food, drink and a chance to meet with Ms. Rice and Christopher. I had the honor of meeting her without a large crowd and shaking her hand. She’s such a sweet woman, so gracious. 

The church isn’t an active one and is in need of restoration.
Recently it received historical registry status and the long and costly process to return it to its former beauty is underway. The picture is in the office space with some of the work being done where I first met Ms. Rice.

The next day was spent attending an author panel discussing paranormal books. After lunch, Mike and I took off and explored the French Quarter. We walked, a mile from the hotel, and visited a voodoo shop (I’m doing research for a work in progress) and went into a neighboring boutique with vintage items. For all those who love frilly things or steampunk, the shop owner was gracious to allow me to photograph these hats to show everyone. There were vintage Victorian carriage hats too which I took for Mike to use in a steampunk book about to be released in a few weeks. He had the final galley (worked on it in-between all our activities) and later that night he changed a short passage to fit one of the hats into his story. Kind of cool.

The masquerade ball took place Friday night. Over a thousand people were in attendance, but the highlight for me--allowed into the VIP area behind the “velvet rope” and to sit down and actually talk with Anne Rice! Her assistant took a picture, but we’re still waiting to get the copy. I did get this one of my husband speaking with Ms. Rice though. His mother's side of the family grew up in the same neighborhood as Ms. Rice and she told him she remembered some of his cousins. Talk about a small world.
Also, for any of you Young and Restless soap opera fans, Christian LeBlanc who plays Michael Baldwin, he was there too. The costumes were fantastic, the people were enjoyable and the party went until three in the morning.

The next day we did more panels, more eating of great food and phenomenal conversations with authors and a film producer. Mike and I pitched our screenplay we wrote from one of our co-authored books. He’s looking at it. Couldn’t ask for a better day than our last one.

Can’t wait for next year. Anne Rice will be there again, she said. Oh and CBS Morning Show crew was there and video-taped the event. You can go here to see the interview and some of the footage from the masquerade ball. Here's the link:

So many more pictures to share, the cemetaries, French Quarter architecture, the ball, you get the idea, but don't have enough room. I got enough inspiration to put into my work in progress and a few more! Hope you enjoy and maybe next year, some of you might take a trip to the Big Easy and get your own inspirations!

Until next month . . .

Cynthia Arsuaga
Erotic Romance Author


Gemma Juliana said...

What a fine time you had, Cynthia! New Orleans is a city full of inspiration for writers. Thanks for sharing your journey.

Tina Donahue said...

Wow, sounds like you had a great time. Wish I could've been there. :)

Sandy said...

Cynthia, what a great post? In her interview, Ann Rice appeared like a very approachable person.

I'm glad Ann found her faith in God again.

Cara Marsi said...

The conference sounds so cool. I've been to New Orleans once. It's a great city. I love Rice's Mayfair Witches series. I couldn't read her vampire books because vamps scare me. Rice was on the Craig Ferguson show the other night. She seems like a really nice, approachable person. Glad you had such a good time.

Melissa Keir said...

Sounded like a wonderful trip! You had so many fascinating opportunities. I've never been to New Orleans. What are some places to stay that are perfect for a first timer?

Paris said...

I really enjoyed your post! The photos were awesome and the conference sounded very interesting. Good luck with the screenplay!

Nicole Morgan said...

What a great trip! I've always wanted to visit there. Thanks for sharing! :)

Cynthia Arsuaga said...

Thanks everyone! Yes, it was great and since hubby was born and raised in New Orleans, it's always fun for him to return and show and tell me places he knew as a child. This time, we even went by the house he came home to when he was born. If any of you get the chance with a conference (there are several) in NOLA, go for it!

jean hart stewart said...

Fantastic! My last book took place mostly in New Orleans. Lots of voodoo and gris-gris and I thoroughly enjoyed the research. What an inspiring city!

Suzanne Rock said...

Sounds like you had a blast! What great opportunities. I'm sure the plot bunnies and going crazy right now, lol. I went here years ago with my husband and loved it. I'd love to visit again some day. Great post! :)

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