Trauma Llama – Karen Booth and the backstage pass out

This week’s Trauma Llama comes from kick ass author Karen Booth. When she agreed to write a post for me this week, all I could think was “I get to host her book cover!” (seriously, its a beautiful cover). Even better, she wrote about Duran Duran (she’s live tweeted from DD concert. Be jealous.) You can follow her other live tweeting efforts (ball squats!) on Twitter or check out her author site.
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But first, check out the blurb for her brand new novel, For Keeps!

By day, Allie Flynn runs her ad agency with singular determination. By night, she retreats to her empty apartment, longing for another hallway encounter with Cooper, the absurdly hot guy in 3B.
Software entrepreneur Cooper Hale doesn’t have time to stock his fridge but he’ll sure as hell stop to smell the roses—he takes every eyeful he can get of criminally sexy Allie from downstairs.
During a neighborly dinner, Cooper decides to finally make a move on Allie, setting off sparks in the kitchen that ignite a wildfire in the bedroom. Allie’s grateful the twenty-eight-year-old hunk has the guts to seduce a woman twelve years his senior, but she’s stunned when he suggests they get tangled in the sheets again and again.
Casual becomes complicated as Cooper grapples with powerful feelings for Allie and she worries that he will eventually want someone younger. When he pulls a jealous stunt, she sees the inevitable end, but she’s about to learn that love, not age, changes the game when you’re playing for keeps.

Get more info and links to buy it here.

Here’s Karen’s Trauma Llama tale:

Anyone who knows me is aware that I have a serious love for Duran Duran, including great devotion for John Taylor. Although it has waxed and waned over the years, it’s been there since 1983. So, I was excited when the band put out a new record in the spring of 2011 and went on tour. When they announced a show in Washington, DC for October of last year, I called my BFF Sara. We squealed, we planned, we plotted, we jockeyed for the best tickets. All systems go.

Backing up the truck a decade or so, I once worked in the music industry. One could make a correlation between my teenage love of DD and my general obsession with music, which eventually turned into a career and often inspires my books. Through a friend still working in the industry, I was able to finagle passes for the meet-and-greet in Washington, DC. I won’t lie. I’ve been backstage many times, for very famous acts. I’ve met music legends. Still, there I was, screaming at the top of my lungs in my office at the thought of getting to go backstage for Duran Duran.

Sara and I made the five-hour drive to Washington, DC on a beautiful, sunny fall day. We sang Duran Duran songs at the top of our lungs, partly for fun, partly because I needed an outlet for my overabundance of nervous anticipation. I literally couldn’t think about meeting the band after twenty-seven years of fandom without some sort of squeaking noise leaving my mouth.

Sara and I checked into our hotel, which was fabulous. We discussed wardrobe options and got dolled up. We had an incredible meal at a restaurant I’d researched online. A few cocktails later, we strolled down to historic Constitution Hall and got our wristbands and a set of explicit directions about where we were to be and at what time we were to be there.

Sara and I got in line to go backstage. At this point, my heart was beating a million miles a second. I kept talking but it was entirely out of nervousness. I’m sure that nothing intelligent came out of my mouth. The security guy poked his head out from behind a curtain and said they’d be taking us back in a minute or two. Resume panic mode.

That’s when everything went wrong. Sara told me she was thirsty and needed to get a bottle of water. My immediate reaction was, “Are you kidding?” No, she wasn’t kidding. I told her to hurry. She took off down the hall. The security guy pulled back the curtain and told us it was time. I sent Sara several texts—“Hurry up!” “It’s time!” “Run!”


My phone rang. The caller ID said it was Sara, but when I answered and started babbling about how she needed to move her cute little butt, there was some woman yelling at me to stop talking. Then I heard my name behind me and a security guy said that I needed to come with him.

“Your friend passed out,” he said.

“Oh. She does that.” (Sara had, in fact, passed out on my at a funeral mere weeks earlier.)

By the time they got me to Sara, she was awake with paramedics tending to her. Sara wasn’t calm or dazed though, she was yelling at anyone she could yell at.

“Don’t worry about me. I’m fine. Take my friend backstage. She’s been waiting twenty-seven years for this.”

Security guy said, “Don’t you worry about that. I’m in charge of backstage. Everything will be fine.”

“Reggie,” said Sara, who had apparently read his nametag, “I think you’re full of shit. I don’t think you’re in charge of anything.” (Keep in mind, Sara is 5’ tall and 100 pounds soaking wet. Reggie could have easily taken the field on the defensive line of any NFL team.)

Reggie laughed.

While the paramedics took Sara’s blood, looked in her eyes with a flashlight, took her blood pressure and a whole bunch of other stuff, Sara was still yelling. “Reggie, so help me God, if you don’t get my friend backstage right now, I’m going to freak out.”

“Your friend needs to be here for you.”

“Stop arguing with me. I’m fine. Take her now.”

Then the paramedics had a bunch of forms for me to fill out, even though they had determined that Sara was fine. The clock was ticking and I was still so dumbfounded by everything happening around me that I didn’t do anything other than what I was told to do.

Reggie’s walkie-talkie buzzed. “The band is done. We gotta go now.” Reggie and I ran down the hall and I stumbled into the room where the band was waiting after Reggie nearly pushed me through the door.

What happened next seemed to transpire in slow motion, although it only took a few seconds. I threw my purse on the ground. I handed a guy my phone. He complained that I didn’t have it on camera mode. I said, “sorry, my friend just passed out,” realizing how dumb it sounded the instant it left my mouth. I looked around. I had no idea where to stand. I had no idea what to do. I stepped closer to them. Oh my god, I’m in the same room with John Taylor. The only thing I could think to say was, “Hi, guys.” I know. Poetic. I turned and had my picture taken. While standing directly in front of Simon LeBon. Picture was taken. Simon asked, “Are we done?” Photo guy said, “Yes.” And then they walked away.

Now, I have to admit that was the worst of it. After that, Sara was feeling better and we went to our seats. I showed her the photos and the girls behind me, who were very nosy, grabbed my phone and were SO jealous. Then they passed my phone around our whole section and the whole section was jealous. Then I posted the photo on Facebook and got about 50 likes in two minutes. I tweeted the photo and my timeline blew up. My slightly bruised feelings were already a bit better and most importantly, Sara was okay and not about to assault a 300-lb. security guy. The show was a ton of fun, our seats were amazing and we danced our butts off, slinking back to our hotel in exhausted bliss.

If you’re looking for a moral to this story, I’m afraid to say that I don’t think there is one.

Epilogue: I got to see the band again in August and was able to have a do-over on the meet-and-greet. Sara wasn’t able to go, which was too bad because I know she wanted to be able to prove that she could do it without passing out. It was very calm and devoid of paramedics. I was able to introduce myself to them all, say hello, and have a lovely photo taken. Doesn’t make a very good story, but it was a hell of a lot less traumatic.


LOL Sara sounds hilarious. So glad you got your 2nd chance!

Do you have a Trauma Llama story you’d like to share? Prod me on Twitter or e-mail me anya at 🙂

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