My “Official” #RT15 Fun

June 7, 2015 Blog Fun 24

Murial at RT15

This murial decorated one of the hotel walls in the main lobby. Fun fact: every book on that bookshelf was written by an author at RT15!

So a couple days ago I told you all about the great time I had during the RT Pre-Convention… now it’s time for the “offical” fun – which consisted of lots of fan-girling, lots of learning about the industry, and yes… lots of time at the bar. I will warn you, this is a long post – I just have so much to squee about.

Wednesday – Official Convention Day 1

The first thing I did when I arrived Wednesday morning was run up to Felicia’s (Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog) room to grab #FlatTBN – our friend Jennifer @ The Book Nympho (hence TBN) wasn’t able to make it to RT like she had planned so we (we being Felicia) made a sign that we all took turns taking around to get pictures with authors and bloggers she wanted to meet. Wednesday morning I took responsibility for getting Jennifer out on the RT floor and from there she took off! At one point, I’m fairly certain #FlatTBN was getting more time with authors than I was 😉 Most my pictures from Wednesday are actually someone with #FlatTBN – I’ll share a couple of my highlights, but for more of her adventures, check out this post that Jennifer did on it.

After that I headed down to the line for the Welcome Breakfast – it was long, but thankfully I was able to sneak in with Felicia, Melanie (Hot Listens & Rabid Reads), and Jen (local bookclub friend) – shhh don’t tell 😉 We had yummy crepes and they did some talking on the stage (I don’t really recall what about) and we gradually snuck out. I did a round in the goodie room – you got to pick 3 books for free! – and then headed up for my first panel.

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Felicia, Melanie and #FlatTBN in line for the Welcome Breakfast

I spent pretty much all of Wednesday going to the writer’s panels. Although the reader’s panels looked like fun (and as I learned later, were the place to go for free books) I could see more of the author’s I wanted to see in the writer’s panels and, as an author myself, learn lots of great info about the industry. I saw lots of Jennifer L. Armentrount (though I wouldn’t get my guts up to really talk to her until Friday – she’s so nice!), she had a lot of the good writer panels. The highlight for me, though, was meeting Diana Pharaoh Francis. I love her books and have fan girled like crazy when she tweeted me. So imagine my excitement meeting her! Well, I was so excited I almost fell on her LOL. We won’t talk about that though – let’s just get to the picture and signed book she gave me :)

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I wish the picture had turned out better :( I suck at selfies.

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Squee!!

There was also a great panel moderated by Illona & Gordon Andrews (they were too cute!) and with Kresley Cole, Jennifer Estep, Chloe Neill, and Diana Pharaoh Francis (again!) and I think I’m forgetting some people, but anyway that’s where I finally got to me Loupe (Hot Listens)!

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Loupe and #FlatTBN and the all important drinks 😉 – one is being held up by Felicia!

It was a blast and pretty much the last place I got pictures because at that point I was so tired and hungry (hadn’t had anything to eat since my crepe!) that I went and hung out in the bar with Melanie, Felicia, and Loupe. They had to leave at some point and I ended up finding Brandee, Denise, and Lexxie in the bar too. And at some point Julia joined us. I ended up in the bar from about 3:30 – 8:30!! Oh and I found out that a former coworker and good friend works at the Hyatt Regency, so I got to see him for the first time in probably 4 or 5 years! I skipped out before the final party because it wasn’t starting until 9 and I was too tired. But it was a great day!

Thursday- Official Convention Day 2

I decided that I wanted to get to more of the reader events on Thursday, one because I wanted more books and 2 because I wanted to just hang out a bit more and have fun. So Thursday I spent almost entirely at reader events. I started off with pictionary with Brandee, Denise, and Lexxie. We met a couple fun authors (we were on their team) and some other readers. It was a blast!

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Random dancing during Pictionary- Brandee & Lexxi

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Denise’s turn!

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Denise’s representation of the Alamo! LOL we had a good laugh on that one, especially since someone guessed it!

After that we headed to an Avon party where we made mums and beauty queen sashes. I was NOT good at this! All the Avon Addicts were there cheering us on, so Felicia was making her rounds and she helped me get started because I didn’t have a clue! Denise actually won one of the goodie bags – FILLED with books!

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Felica in her sash making her rounds

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My absolutely horrid creation!

During the lunch hour I ran into a couple parties for free books and chocolate before heading up to the bar to grab a quick lunch with Brandee, Lexxie, and Denise. After lunch I went to author events again, because they had some really good info that I wanted. The highlight for me was the panel where they talked about writing action scenes and actually demonstrated scenarios for us. We could give them scenarios from our books, telling them our characters’ experience level, size, etc and they’d show us believable ways it could go down.

I had to cut out early Thursday because my brother had his graduation! Bad timing, but no way I would have missed that for anything! I’m so proud of him and hey, I skipped books and author time for him, so I think it’s pretty clear how much I love him 😉

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Not a great picture of me, but so proud of him!

Friday- Official Convention Day 3

Friday was like THE day for me. I had so many amazing author interactions, if it had been my only day of the conference I would have been thrilled still.

I started off with breakfast with a bunch of bloggers & readers – I forget exactly who was there :/ – and Jennifer Estep! Jennifer (The Book Nympho) set this up for us, so it was a bummer she wasn’t able to come. But it was so great sitting down to breakfast with someone you admire so much and she’s just so darn sweet! What a great time!

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Me and Jennifer Estep! Again, not the best picture, but that’s okay because it happened :)

As we were leaving breakfast I found out that Pattricia Briggs and her husband Mike were hanging out in one of the meeting rooms signing books because they wouldn’t be at the big book fair signing the next day. I was so bummed because I hadn’t realized that and wanted to get books signed, but I went in to chat anyway. It was so fun chatting with them and I started telling her husband how bummed I was that I didn’t have my books because Mercy was my FIRST EVER UF and you’ll never believe what he told me… “I’ll give you my number and you can catch up with us later if you want.” Did Mike really just give an uber fan his number? Yes, yes he did. I won’t say whether I saved that peice of paper or not…

So anyway, I ran home admist rain and accidents (because Texans suck in the rain) and then had a crisis. I own every book Patricia Briggs has written. How many should I bring? I finally decided to bring them all and let her sign whatever she felt like signing. More on that later, since I’m doing this chronologically…

When I got back to the hotel it was just in time to go to this panel I really wanted to about making the perfect pitch. The panel consisted of an author’s assistant, an author, an agent, a publisher, and an editor. This panel was SO INFORMATIVE! So informative, in fact, that I decided I was 100% NOT ready to go to the Pitch-a-palooza that afternoon. From all the panels I went to, in fact, I’m thinking I want to go indie.

After that panel, I texted Mike. SQUEE! They were having lunch and he asked if I could meet them after the Urban Fantasy panel Patty was going to be talking at. Which of course, yes! I was going to that panel anyway. What an amazeballs panel by the way – would you look at this line up?

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(right to left) Chloe Neill, Diana Rowland, Richelle Mead, Patricia Briggs, Diana Pharaoh Francis, and two authors I don’t know… sorry:(

So I of course got pictures with everyone on the amazing panel and signatures for my scrapbook. It was a great panel about the future of Urban Fantasy too, I enjoyed the discussion. And AFTER… I sat down with Patty and Mike and their good friend Diana Pharaoh Francis! Really, could my day get any better?!?! Patty signed all my books – ALL of them! – and we talked about Anna and Mercy and Sam and just SQUEE! It was amazing. I already knew I’d buy all her books, but now – it’s just so cool to find out that she and her husband are such amazing people on top of it.

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Me with Patricia Briggs, photo bombed by Diana Pharaoh Francis!

The amazingness of my day didn’t stop there though because shortly after that I joined Brandee, Denise, and Lexxie in line for the Avon massive book giveaway. This thing was huge – the exhibit hall was filled with authors setup to sign and giveaway their books. I easily left with two bags of books, plus ebooks! And, while waiting in line with the ladies, I found out that they were having dinner with J.A. Huss right after. And they let me crash!

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Me with J.A. Huss!

After dinner, Lexxie and I rushed off to a Blogger party, which was just okay honestly. But we got lots of free books, which was cool. I’m just awkward trying to talk to industry professionals. After that I went by myself to the awards presentation. A lot of people weren’t going because it sounded boring to them – but I actually really enjoyed it. I didn’t know of most of the authors winning awards, but hearing their stories almost put me in tears a couple times. It was really inspiring as an author – and seeing those I do know win awards was super cool.

I hung around the award reception for a bit, met up with Loupe and Felicia, had some drinks, and finally headed home. It was a long day, but what a good one!

Saturday – The Book Fair

After the long week I’d had, I planned to head up to the book fair around 9am – because doors weren’t opening until 10:30 for RT attendees and 11 for locals. Imagine my surprise when I got a text from Melanie just after rolling out of bed at 7:30 that people were already lining up! I was so thankful for that text, because I rushed around and got there by 8:15, before the line got crazy. Bandee, Lexxie, and Denise came down shortly after and joined me in line. We took turns keeping our place while we went to the restroom and grabbed coffee, bagels, etc.

Lexxie, Me, Denise, and Brandee waiting in line for the book fair

Lexxie, Me, Denise, and Brandee waiting in line for the book fair

Finally a little after 10:45 we made it into the book fair. My plan was to hit the YA authors I wanted signatures from first – because I knew that most the locals were teens coming in for the teen day and that area was going to get insane. We could only bring 10 books from home at a time, so I filled that bag with my YA books. After I got those signatures I went through and bought the books from the adult side I wanted to buy and then I went and grabbed my other bag.

I left for my second bag aound 11am when they were opening the doors – when I came back the easy to traverse floor had gone insane! I’m just so thankful I planned right, because there was a marked difference between YA and the rest. It was impossible to move in the YA area! So I got my final few signatures and headed out. Some highlights: Jennifer L. Armentrout, Keira Cass, Erica O’Rourke, Keri Arthur (from Australia!), Tara Laine and Rachel Vincent. It was too cazy, so I only got a picture with Erica O’Rourke during the fair.

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Me and Erica O’Rourke

I ran into Julia on my way out and we went up to the bar for drinks and food – we hung out there for several hours talking independent author stuff (I picked her brain hard core!) and were eventually joined by Lexxie, Brandee, and Denise. We did some author spotting while hanging out in the bar – and thanks to Lexxie I got some pictures I hadn’t managed to get yet.

Me and Rachel Vincent. Lexxie saw her and went running - so I went in tow for a picture!

Me and Rachel Vincent. Lexxie saw her and went running – so I went in tow for a picture!

Lexxie and I chased Molly Harper down the escalators to get this picture! Lexxie called out "Molly!" for me, because I was to shy!

Lexxie and I chased Molly Harper down the escalators to get this picture! Lexxie called out “Molly!” for me, because I was to shy!

I had to leave around 2pm because I was called with a family emergency – which turned out to be nothing more than a costume concern for a play the following week. *sigh* Boys! I’m kinda glad it was a shorter day though, because I was exhausted at this point. It was also the start of goodbyes, though, and that made me sad. I said goodbye to Melanie and got the package she’d put together for Jennifer before heading out – the start of the mass departure and my collection of things to ship :)

Sunday – Post Convention

I wasn’t sure if I was going to go to Sunday initially, but I’m glad I did. When I arrived I immediately saw Lexxie and Jennifer L. Armentrout – they were outside smoking together. Poor Jennifer’s flight had been cancelled (Dallas was having bad weather) and she was going through hell to try to get home. I felt so bad for her, but it was awesome being able to chat. Lexxie’s flight was on scheudle, so I made her promise to get me before she left for goodbyes. Then I ran off to have breakfast with Julia. We’d planned ahead of time to meet because we were going to this indie author panel that was from like 10am – 2pm.

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Me and Julia after the panel

Things were a little crazy at the panel, but I learned a lot – some info I didn’t need becuse they were talking about the right way to engage reviewers and bloggers (aka, all the stuff I deal with regularly) – and overall I’m really glad I attended.

I had to cut out during the panel for a bit because it was time for Lexxie to leave :( She gave me a bunch of swag she couldn’t bring home, so you’ll be seeing some of that in your COYER packages – thanks Lexxie! And I started getting teary. I almost cried and started hugging Brandee and Denise even though they weren’t leaving yet. I just hated to see it come to an end.

I went back and finished the panel and Julia asked if I could ship some stuff for her instead of using the hotel’s VERY expensive shipping, which I of course was happy to do. She also had some left over items, which you’ll also be seeing this COYER!

After saying goodbye to Julia and promising to keep in touch, I went up to Brandee and Denise’s room, where they were figuing out how to pack all their goodies. It was hilarious from my end as Brandee kept discovering more things she’d forgetten to pack and Denise kept track of the suitcase weights (they took them down to the hotel FedEx to have them weighed). By some miracle they fit all the books they wanted and didn’t need me to ship anything! I did inherit some books and swag for COYER though :)

And then it was time for the final goodbye :( I had an amazing time and really hope to see everyone again in the future!

The Aftermath

I will be listing everything I got and kept for me in my Piniching Pennies post due sometime this week – but I got well over 100 books (some I’ll be giving away) and lots of swag. Here’s some pictures of the organizing process:

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My book closet before RT15

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My bookcloset Sunday after RT15

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Organization process: Books on couch to left – keep pile; books on floor to left- giveaway pile; books in bags – owned before and brought to have signed; cards on table – ebooks to download; computer – inputing everything into goodreads and COYER giveaway spreadsheet; box of bags to right on floor – swag all organized; bags on couch – bags to giveaway (empty); dog on couch – Buffy going WTF?!

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Closet all back in shape :)

If you made it all the way through, kuddos and thanks for reading! I had a great time and plan to make it to future conventions, though most likely not RT16 in Vegas.

Have you been to conferences? How did they compare to RT?

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Berls

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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

24 Responses to “My “Official” #RT15 Fun”

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Ohhh! I have tentative plans to do BEACH next year :) It depends on $ and being able to get off work – but if I can I’m hoping to go and hopefully meet Michelle finally! And maybe you too then!

  1. Lola
    Twitter:

    That’s ncie you got to visit some author panels and learn more about the industry, that must have been very usefull. I especially like the sound of that actione panel where they actually showed how they can play out. I love Jennifer Estep her books, I am jealous you got to meet her. And ah Rahcel Vincent as well!
    And that’s so awesome you got all your Patricia Briggs book signed! I have only read one of her books, but I want to read her Mercy series eventually.

    And there are so many pictures of FaltTBN, did you share them with her after the convention? I am sure she appreciated it! Those reader panels sound fun!

    And wow 100 books! I think your shelves were very happy with all the new books.

    Thanks for sharing al your pictures Berls! It’s so fun to see what these conventions are like!
    Lola recently posted…Review: Nemesis by Emma L. AdamsMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      The author panels were so useful! I’ve been writing so much more since RT because I feel like I know my path better. The action panel was amazing – probably the most useful one in terms of my writing.

      Jennifer Estep was so sweet! I went to several of her panels, plus the breakfast and really enjoyed chatting with her. I was so excited that I managed to get a picture with Rachel Vincent – and I got a special ticket for the menagerie raffles :) omg – you have to read the rest of the Mercy and the Alpha & Omega series – so good!

      We shared all the #FlatTBN pictures on twitter as we took them, then we sent her a little care package home with some books, swag and her sign :)

      My shelves didn’t know what to do with all those books – it took me nearly a day to get it all organized – I’ll be giving quite a few away for COYER and some will be for international :)

      I hope you get to make a con someday – it would be so great to meet you! I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures :)

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Hehe that’s VERY kind of you – it was really rough. But lots of fun, and that’s what matters! It was a blast – you’re going to have to make it out to one sometime so we can meet too!

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Lol yes, I really could use a selfie stick! It’s just so awkward trying to hold the camera out and hit the button. But most the time I had someone to take the picture for me, thank goodness! It was so great taking pictures with all the authors :)

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Lol my sash was definitely one of the ugly ducklings, but it was so much fun to make :) It was a blast doing the #FlatTBN pictures, though it would have been so much better if she could have been there. I hope we make it to one together sometime that would be so great!

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      It was a pleasure to share – almost like reliving it :) Getting that closet organized took hours – pretty much all day – but it’s so great to have all my pretties organized :)

  2. Lexxie
    Twitter:

    Oh Berls, now I feel all sad because it’s over! It was such an amazing week, and it was truly great to meet you, my other blogger buddies, and all those authors! LOL, of course I’d run down the escalator and call out for Molly Harper to take a pic with you 😉
    Your newly organized book closet looks amazing! My books are still in my tote bags, because I’m bringing them all with me to Spain this summer! It’s not a real house before there are books on the shelves 😉
    Have a fantastic week, my dear. *hugs*
    Lexxie recently posted…Review: Kodiak’s Claim – Eve LanglaisMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Oh I agree, every house needs books! I know, I felt all sad when I was done writing the post too. I really hope I get to go to another con before too long and one that a bunch of y’all will be at! Hope you’re having fun grading :)

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      It was so cool because I was JUST telling them that I was bummed I missed her at the book fair and then Lexxie saw her walking to the escalators. I asked Lexxie if she would PLEASE come with me and take a pic. So we ran after her and Lexxie called out “Molly!” to stop her! Oh and she’s starting a new series under a different name this summer – I think it’s going to be erotica if I remember right. I need to look that up.

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! Lol yeah, I got way more than I expected to get – plenty that were on my tbr too, as a bonus. Such a good time, I hope I get to do it again :)

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I know, typing everything up was a little exhausting! But such a good time! I’m starting on my scrapbook next :) See you Tuesday!

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