Squawk Radio

Friday, May 19, 2006


Michelle Buonfiglio here, reporting “live” from this week’s Romantic Times Readers Convention in Daytona, Florida. RT, as it’s generally known, is a week of events designed to bring readers and writers of romance together to talk shop, show mutual appreciation, and dress in lots of black leather and renaissance recreation garb.

It’s professionally satisfying to know the Squawkers trust me to bring you a story this big; in-depth reportage of this nature usually falls to my hero and mentor Kitty Kuttlestone. But I understand a small act of indiscretion at last year’s RT – something about a bottle of Mateus, a fishnet stocking, and three Ellora’s Cave cover models -- won our girl, Kitty, a year’s reprieve from RT reporting duties.

And so it falls to me, Kitty’s much, much younger colleague, to bring you the cold, hard truth about just what goes on at this yearly gathering of romance lovers.

Myth: The Romantic Times Readers Convention is just a bunch of lust-crazed romance-reading women chasing after half-nekked Mr. Romance contest entrants competing for a chance to be the next Fabio. Who wouldn't run after these gorgeous guys? Well, from left to right you have Travis Greiman, a Mr. Romance contestant and his MOM, author Lois Greiman. She probably did enough running after him when he was three. Then there's me and Andrei Claude, Mr. Romance 2005/cover model.

Fact: Sometimes the women are half-nekked, too. But their leather bustiers are always kept tightly laced. That goes doubly for their thigh-high boots. Especially if they happen to be Heather Graham, alias a swash-buckling pirate!

Myth: The parties at RT Convention are hedonistic, decadent, and thoroughly devoid of those things which promote the finer sensibilities.

Fact: In the previous sentence, the word “thoroughly” is superfluous.

Myth: One can find more loyal romance readers -- and more appreciative authors -- just about anywhere else on Earth.

Fact: Bar none, the readers who attend Romantic Times Readers Convention are some of the most steadfast, loyal, and encouraging fans a writer could ask for. Well, except for the readers who hang here at Squawk Radio.

From Daytona, I’m Michelle Buonfiglio of Romance: B(u)y the Book. Gotta run. The seams of my fishnets are a little off-center, and a nice, young Mr. Romance contestant has just offered to help straighten them. Mateus, anyone?

What’s the best party you’ve ever been to? What have you done at a party that you’d rather forget? What’s the thing your friends told you you did at a party, but you still don’t remember?
Eloisa James, 12:52 PM