As this was my first time attending the RWA conference I didn’t even know regular readers and fans such as myself could attend the romance publishing industry workshops, panels, and luncheons during the day. Nor that regular readers would even want to! But apparently you can, and people do, and it’s interesting! All for a low fee of $500… But you know what comes WITH that fee? Over 100 free books from all the events!!! (Yes you read that right)
In my ignorance, I only showed up for the free events: the literacy signing and a romancelandia blogger get together.
Some of the meetings and speeches about finding an editor and/or agent, working on your craft, how to write a good “query letter,” and whether to try digital versus print publishing wouldn’t have interested me anyways, but after reading so many of the other wrap up posts on Blogging National and Dear Author and finding out about all the free bibliophile swag I might just be a little bit tempted to actually register for RWA sometime in the future. Maybe during a more lucrative period in my life.
ANY WHOOSITS. Friday night KatieBabs and KatiD so graciously organized a blogger dinner, and whoa was I intimidated when I found out a few authors would be joining us as well! We went to Lebanese Taverna right by the convention’s hotel, and hubby and I have also been known to order out from there when we don’t feel like cooking a need a little Middle Eastern flair.
On one side of me sat the fascinating and talented author Meredith Duran. Her life is a whirlwind of anthropological, educational, and romantic adventures, from the Midwest to the East Coast to India all in one year! I can’t wait to read her newest book Bound by Your Touch but I have NO idea how she finds the time to write!
On my other side was one of the sweetest new people I met, Amy of Aymless. Her laugh was infectious, and she was always quick to introduce me and involve me in conversation. PLUS she gave me some of her free books.
You own my soul now Amy, you know that right?
But seriously, she picked up 93 FREE BOOKS from all the official RWA events. She knew she had 93 exactly because she had logged them all into a spreadsheet! And guess how many books she has in her To Be Read pile?!? THREE HUNDRED (300!)! No wonder she needs a spreadsheet to keep track!
I didn’t bring my camera with me, but when I went up to Amy’s room I did snap a cell phone pic of all of the books she got in just 3 days:
She said I was doing her a favor by taking the ones she didn’t want. See, didn’t I tell you she was super sweet?
Overall it was a common theme with so many of the wonderful women I met that they all owned much much much more books than I and had much much larger TBR mountains. As many of my regular readers know, I am a library whore, and my wallet has been happy in that regard. But since I’ve starting blogging the itch to buy buy buy, collect collect collect has been growing stronger. Hanging out with these bibliophiles certainly didn’t help!
KatieBabs continued her gracious streak by sharing her swag with me too. So besides the 9 I bought at Wednesday’s autographing event, I got these TEN new ones:
- Start Me Up, Victoria Dahl
- Practice Makes Perfect, Julie James
- Duchess by Night, Eloisa James
- McAlistair’s Fortune, Alissa Johnson
- Outcast, Joan Johnston
- To Beguile a Beast, Elizabeth Hoyt
- To Seduce a Sinner, Elizabeth Hoyt
- To Taste Temptation, Elizabeth Hoyt
- An Affair Before Christmas, Eloisa James
- Laced with Magic, Barbara Bretton
At dinner I also finally met Katie of Katidom, she also lives in the DC area and works just a few blocks from my house! I’m betting we’ve probably walked by each other and not even realized it. The whole meal was so so so much fun, talking about new paranormals, secret affinities for old skool romances, and lots of “well if you like her, then you will LOVE this new author” recommendations. Every now and then the conversation would be punctuated with a “squeeee!!!” as we found more and more in common with each other and shared our fond reading experiences together.
Even though I told hubby I would come home after dinner, I was having too much a good time to leave after just an hour or so with my new romance novel loving friends. Some I knew from blogging, some were new to me bloggers, and even a few were authors as I mentioned, but everyone was so welcoming and the chatter was never ending.
We moved from the restaurant back to the bar at the convention’s hotel. Again, since I stupidly forgot my camera I don’t have any pictures to show our group but here is a rundown:
- Barbara of Happily Ever After, has a great group shot on her newest post, loved chatting with her about our weddings and families
- KB, gracious co-hostess also has a great group pic from the night up
- KatiD super fun co-hostess and DC neighbor
- Amy from Aymless of lusty book-sharing fame
- Rosie of Nobody Asked Me, we had a great convo on reading influences and good vs bad libraries
- Kristie(J) travelling all the way from Cananada and boy am I glad she did!
- Lisabea of m/m romance fame who had a “jinx” moment with me when we remembered the exact same Jude Deveraux book at the same time
- Wendy Super Librarian in the flesh! After reading her blog everydayforever it was so awesome to meet her!
- AnimeJune of Gossamer Obsessions, I just started reading her blog and LOVE her detailed reviews
We were joined by authors:
Y’all, I NEVER EVER WANTED TO LEAVE. But 2 things finally made me head home
- A lonely hubby waiting for me
- I ripped the back of my skirt open. I think I hid it well, but halfway through our time at the bar I ripped the slit on the back of my skirt up to my butt cheeks. Even though it was allllll women in the bar I knew it was time to go!
With that TMI, I am signing off for now. But don’t forget to enter my contest before Monday for a Harlequin tote, 3 books, or a Border’s gift card!