Two Romance Writers Walked into a Bar…
The Misadventures of T & A: Columbia Edition
Get your mind out of the gutter. “T” is for Tonya. “A” is for Abbie. Sheesh.
Author Tonya Brooks is one of my best friends, online and in person. We jokingly refer to each other as “twin”, because the similarities between us are downright eerie, despite the fact that she’s a Southern belle and I’m a NEPa mountain girl: We both write multiple genres of romance. We’re both only children, born in the same year (though I am older by almost a month, so I keep telling her she must defer to my age & experience), and most importantly, we both share a very warped sense of humor*.
*[If you’ve been following either of us for any length of time, then you’ll probably have already heard about our undercover foray into a nudist colony outside of Myrtle Beach (2016) and various escapades in the Great Smoky Mountains that included moonshine, late night bear watches, and the now-infamous forking incident (2017)].
Last weekend, we met up at the Authors Invade Columbia (South Carolina) signing event. To be clear, we don’t need an author event to have a girls’ weekend, but it does provide a nice excuse to tell the hubbies, especially when we don’t invite them to come along.
I’m happy to say, things haven’t changed at all. We’re still a public menace when we get together.
The misadventures began when T picked me up at the airport and proceeded to tell me (with absolute GLEE) that she couldn’t wait to relay what had happened in the airport bathroom. As soon as I claimed my bag, we scurried (yes, scurried) out to the parking lot, giggling like teenagers.
T’s story did not disappoint. I’d like to share it with you, but I can’t. It’s scandalous. What I can tell you is, if either of us had written something like that into one of our books, an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) would have been involved. Seriously.
So… we made it to our hotel (thank you, GPS!) and since we were both starving, decided to go out for a late lunch. Google Maps claimed an Applebee’s was within three miles, so we went with that. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Approximately an hour later, however, we’d crossed the same river 3 times and STILL NO APPLEBEES*. We were alternately laughing and cursing like sailors and almost did a Facebook live video, but ultimately, logic prevailed. If it’s on the internet, it’s there forever, and both of us are of the opinion that “no proof” is not just wise advice, it’s a life motto. (We both also agree that is a VERY good thing we grew up without cell phones & Snapchat).
*[C.E. Black informed us the next day that the Applebee’s had closed a year earlier, which explains why we couldn’t find it (eff you, GPS)]
Fast forward to the next morning. The day of the signing began with a robust, in-room discussion on sex toys, sex tapes, and methods of sexual expression in and out of the bedroom (hey, we’re romance writers, it’s research). Again, I regret that I cannot share this lively tête-à-tête with you (for obvious reasons), but suffice it to say, we may end up putting some of what we talked about into future books, because it was just that funny.
We eventually pulled ourselves together for the event. The organizer of the signing knew enough to put T and I on opposite ends of the room, which, in retrospect, was probably a good thing the way things were going.
After the event, however, we went out to dinner with a few others, and as usual, sh*t just happened (as it always seems to when we’re together). There was a point when my head ended up in T’s lap and my hand around her ankle, followed by an incident in which I was forced to give her a stern lecture on “inappropriate touching in public”. She claims it was an accident. I’m still not convinced.
Overall, though, I think we were pretty well behaved. There were no nude men or hungry bears involved this time, but we both walked away with smiles and good memories to reflect up and laugh about later. I don’t know when or where our paths will cross again, but one thing I do know is that the adventures will continue…