I’m home safe and sound after 5 fantastic yet exhausting days at this year’s Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. I don’t even know how to start off my recap post, there were so many memorable moments that I’ve lost count! As a result, I’ve decided to break it down into two posts: my overall experience and my favourite author meet-ups. I’ll also be uploading all of my pics to an album on my Facebook Fan Page later this week.
My trip kicked off on Wednesday morning at the ungodly hour of 2:30 AM when my alarm went off. My guy was kind enough to make the one hour drive to the airport to drop me off even though he was horribly sick with a cold. If that’s not true love then I don’t know what is! I’ve never flown anywhere on my own before, especially internationally so needless to say, I was more than a little nervous! Especially seeing how I’m not known for my navigational skills… LOL! Getting quizzed by the customs people at 4 AM was intimidating enough but when they seemed perplexed by what exactly a book convention is and why someone would even want to go to one I got pretty stressed out. Having to explain the geekiness of it all with no coffee in my system was something else! Luckily I made it through unscathed and boarded my first flight without any other issues.
Both my flights were pretty uneventful (just the way I like ’em!) and I arrived in Kansas City 30 minutes early where I met Amber I from Awesomesauce Book Club and we made our way to the hotel on the airport shuttle. Check-in was chaos, we got lost within 5 minutes but thankfully the Jennifers (The Book Nympho and Red Hot Books) came to our rescue.
Wednesday went by in a blur as I knew it would; being awake for 24 hours will do that but there was no way I was turning in early and missing out on any of the fun. The first panel I went to was disappointing but it was my fault because I made the mistake of going to a writer panel. I’m a reader not an author! Turns out, one of my biggest peeves of the convention ended up being the aspiring authors asking writing advice in the reader panels even though there were plenty of ’em dedicated to exactly that. For me, the highlight of the night was by far Ellora’s Cave Bad Girls of Romance Disco Inferno. Look at the pictures and I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to guess why!
Thursday was a much better day, it’s amazing how a good night’s sleep has that effect! Nicole Peeler and Jeaniene Frost are fabulous moderators and I especially enjoyed the panels that they were in charge of. Getting all dolled up for RT’s 30th Anniversary Formal Ball was great fun. I’d like to thank Jennifer for bringing me a boa all the way from Arkansas! Unfortunately, the ball wasn’t all it was cracked up to be; the speeches were long and boring, and we had some really rude dancers at our table who kept shushing Amber and I so we left early and went to the bar instead.
Friday was by far my favourite (and longest) day at RT. Jennifer Estep met us for coffee at 8 AM and patiently listened to us air our grievances about her character Owen’s behaviour in her last two Elemental Assassin books. Then we attended the two best panels of the convention: Paranormal – The Long Kiss Goodnight and Urban Fantasy – That Old Black Magic. I was so psyched about attending these two panels that I made sure that I got there extra early so that I could score a seat in the front row. LOL I do believe my geekiness is showing again… Luckily, they took place in the same room so I just didn’t move for two full hours! I was in heaven…
Next, we hit up the Harlequin & Carina Press Luncheon that I’d received an exclusive invite to. It was only for book bloggers and authors. I couldn’t help but feel a little special! 🙂 I don’t know how I got roped into this but there was a cover model competition where one person from each table was selected to imitate a book cover and I was the lucky nominee. The other participants attempted to make me look like our given cover and I wasn’t allowed knowing what it was. The pic is a little blurry but I just had to share my moment of fame.
That afternoon we attended the RT Awards Ceremony which was pretty neat and then it was off to the Vampire Social to meet Nina Bangs, Gerry Bartlett, Yasmine Galenorn, Colleen Gleason (aka Joss Ware), Molly Harper, Lynda Hilburn, Lisa Kessler, Angela Knight, Laurie London, Kristen Painter, Pamela Palmer, Kerrelyn Sparks, Jeanne C. Stein and Jaye Wells. This was one of the highlights of my trip, not only because I got to chat with so many fab authors 1-on-1 but because… I WON A KINDLE FIRE!
Avon’s Red Slipper Lounge was another fabulous event and made-up for the slim book haul I’d scored up to this point by having 30 amazing free books to chose from. I made sure to go say hi to fellow Canadian, Kelley Armstrong, and get my copy of Thirteen signed. I got asked all convention long where in Canada I was from and she was the only one who actually knew where Ottawa was! Admittedly, I was a little annoyed that no one had ever heard of the CAPITAL OF CANADA! WTH people? LOL Ooh, and apparently I say “EH” a lot. It’s a Canadian thing…
I wrapped up the night at the bar with the lovely Amanda Carlson and Kristen Painter. Jennifer and I ran into Jennifer Estep while we were waiting and chatted with her a bit too. By the end of the convention I felt like a stalker, I think I saw Estep more often than my roomie Amber I! But she was a good sport about it all and didn’t make me feel like a crazy person.
Saturday was all about the much awaited Giant Book Fair. I made sure to hit up all of the authors whom I hadn’t run into yet and bought tons of books just so I could get them signed. All in all, I only spent $60 which is pretty reasonable I think! Originally, I’d planned to turn-in early in preparation for my long trip home the following day but after giving Amber I the Nook Tablet I won (yes, it was raining eReaders for me at this con!) at the FAN-tastic Reader Appreciation Gathering I think she felt like she owed me so the drinks never stopped coming!
My trip home on Sunday began at noon and was incredibly long and painful. I do not recommend navigating airports with a massive hangover! Fortunately, the worst thing that happened was a 30 minute delay on my final flight. I had so much fun at RT but by the time the fifth day rolled around I was ready to go home and sleep in my own bed. Coming back to a clean house and an ecstatic fiancé definitely helped too!
So there you have it, my RT experience in a nutshell! I don’t know when, if ever, I’ll have the opportunity to attend another convention like this so I’m glad I did because it was all that I’d hoped it would be and more! I got to meet tons of fabulous authors and connect with my book blogging pals whom I’ve been chatting with online for years. If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of these jump on it!
Make sure to check out The Book Nympho and Red Hot Books‘ recap posts too!