And here we are!!! I promised I’d share my experience at the Romantic Times Convention, but as long-winded as I am we’ve had to move to Part Deux! You’ll forgive me, won’t you???
I believe we’ve made it to Thursday, which ended up being my busiest day! I had a breakfast with some of my fellow Harlequin category authors hosted by the gracious Patience Bloom and Diane Moggy. I got to see some authors I’d met before and meet some new ones, including sitting across from the totally cool Helen Kay Dimon.
I think the thing that struck me about the conversations around this table is how smart and savvy these women are – about business, about books and story, and about readers (because we are all readers, right?). I could have listened all day, but we had to get downstairs to the Harlequin author signing!
There’s nothing like turning that corner and seeing hundreds of readers in line to receive books! They got a free Harlequin tote bag, signed books, and breakfast smoothies! I met so many wonderful readers, as I did at all of my events. And got to share a table with a totally cool, fellow Harlequin Desire author Karen Booth.
So – as an auburn-haired woman, I’ll admit I avoid wearing red like the plague! There are very few people I would wear it for, but one of these people is Angel Payne! She invited me to join her First Base with an Author event and I let her talk me into wearing this:
This was like speed dating 10 people at once. As a set of two others, we went to each table and talked to readers there for a (very) brief five minutes. My partner in crime here was super sexy author Dorothy Shaw. Honestly I was scared to goodness of making a fool of myself, but the readers were wonderfully friendly and we ended up having lots of fun.
Friday morning I got to attend a fun Harlequin series event called Harlequin Confessions, where we played a little game of Have You Ever or Have You Never where our table answered questions about various scenarios like “have you ever skinny-dipped?? Or “have you ever met a celebrity?”. Let’s just say we got to know a lot about each other! LOL. We also got to give away free books and lots of fun prizes.
That night Ella and I got to have dinner with Sandra Owens and talk lots of shop with her and a budding author friend. Sandra’s books are awesome! I swear, if we had not been surrounded by authors and readers, we might have gotten in trouble for brainstorming how to force a hero to care for a baby!
We finished up on Saturday with the big book signing call the Giant Book Fair. I had so much fun reconnecting with the readers and talking to the authors near me.
I was super impressed with young adult author Sarah Dessen. My daughter asked for one of her books while I was there and she was signing. When I went over before the signing to get a book for Book Worm, and found out that Sarah’s books hadn’t come in. She was graciously signing the few advanced reader copies she had with her. As we talked, I was super impressed with her sense of humor as she faced what could be an author’s worst nightmare. She had hundreds of YA readers who would be expecting to get her books and she wouldn’t have any, through no fault of her own. And she said she wished she had brought her balloon animal making kit. Then she could send everyone home with a balloon animal. LOL I was quite impressed with her humor and graciousness.
Ella and I headed home that evening, driving in the dark and super exhausted but in a very good way. It’s always fun to drive along and sing to each other, talk about what we’ve learned and what we enjoyed. And no matter how tired you are after being on the go for five days straight and not sleeping well in your hotel room, there’s always the satisfaction of knowing that you connected with other people who totally get your love of the written word and the Happily Ever After that comes with every romance story.
Until next time…Enjoy!