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.
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
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)!
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!
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!
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 😉
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!
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
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?