Okay, I am jumping in here to write the post I have put off for — ahhhh, according to my calendar it is over two weeks now, crap.
I had good intentions, I swear, I just have a pair of deadlines hovering over my head and a vast sense of impossibility looming under my feet. It’s fine. It’s fine! I won’t die. Send fudgy brownies and a nice red wine.
So I got to go to the RTBooklovers Convention, holy cow. What an event! A seriously fun, amazing, informative, crazy full of people event. And I am often not so very good with the people, as everyone who has ever met me for five minutes knows, but a lot of people from Interlude were coming in for it, and this year it was held right in my back yard, and I thought, well, sure, okay.
And wow, wow, wow, was it ever fun. I know I sound like a teenager here, forgive me, it was a lot to take in.
I attended as a published author (oh mercy, two months to go, it’s so close), along with the rest of my IP tribe. First, I got to meet my editor, Annie Harper, and our head of publicity, CL Miller. They’ve been wonderful, supportive voices on the phone for over a year now, and I was delighted to meet them in person. Marvelous, awe-inspiring ladies, and they corral the lot of us authors, it’s impressive. They’re impressive.
Some of my fellow authors I had known online for years, others were new to me, but as a tribe I think we all had a lot of fun together. I am definitely looking forward to future hanging-out occasions whenever possible.
As for the convention…
I attended several panels, both as an author and as a reader. I didn’t get to attend as many panels as I would have liked – information overload is a very real thing! – but I learned so much from the ones I did attend as an author, and I had a lot of fun at the ones I attended as a reader. I got Sandra Brown to sign my very beloved copy of French Silk for me, which was not something I had anticipated happening at all, since I didn’t know until I registered that she would be there! French Silk was one of the first romance-suspense thrillers I ever read, and my Grandma confiscated it from me as a teenager (very ironic, given the major plot of the book), but it made such an impression on me that I bought it again as an adult. Naturally I told this story, and Sandra chuckled and graciously signed my book, which is now carefully tucked away on a high bookshelf. I also got to tell her she was one of my early writing influences, and she was very nice about the fact that I got a bit weepy despite my best efforts.
I also met some authors who were new to me – Jayde Brooks, Laura Castoro, and Sonali Dev, amazing lady authors of color who were part of a panel I attended on how to write characters that fall into groups you yourself may not. I was very interested in this panel, given that one of my lead characters and several secondary ones are persons of color. I ratcheted up my nerve to talk to each of them after the panel and I am so glad I did. During the panel they were so clever and intelligent, and it was a privilege to hear the very important things they had to say. And afterward they were quite kind and delightful. Laura in fact is local like me, something we were both happy to find out, so I hope to run into her again soon.
Another panel I attended was on tax prep for authors, and I feel better having attended that one. I usually file my own taxes using an easy-prep site, and maybe that’s all I’ll need to do in the future, but it’s good information to have in your back pocket as a just in case, I think.
And there were panels on marketing and diverse books (I’m so here for diversity in literature!) and writing small towns and just…so much fun and information. And in between all of that, hang time with the IP folks.
Also? Books. It turns out when you go to a booklovers convention, you end up with a lot of books. My to-read stack is nearly as tall as I am. Which is wonderful but also hazardous, as after a week of toting a backpack of books around, my back went out. I nearly hit the floor during the Giant Book Fair on the last day and had to spend two days resting after that. No bueno. I am back to doing yoga and ballet every night as a result.
I got to test-drive one of the recipes I’ll be launching here in early August to celebrate the book – chocolate butterscotch cookies. I handed them out to anyone who wanted a cookie, and I think they went over well. But I’ll let you all be the judge of that when you get your hands on the recipe and make your own batch!
The point of all this rambling is: I met people, book people, amazing wonderful people (so many people that if I told you about each and every one of them we would be here for a month), and I did not die, and I want to meet them all again and again and again, although maybe I would get fewer books, because ow, and I learned many very cool and useful and informative things from some very intelligent and awesome women.
And it was the best time I’ve had in a long, long time.
Out now, but I hope to pop back in here a few more times before it’s time to get serious about The Book Launch. Keep safe, don’t carry a million books around unless you have good back support, and eat all your vegetables.