Ok, finally I am trying to recap my experience at the Romantic Times Book Convention in Chicago. I have been home for 2 weeks and should have written this a week ago while it was fresher (is that a word?) in my mind! Lol but my mind was NOT fresh- it was exhausted and it’s taken me this long to get my groove back-ish. Cause now I’m suffering from allergies and getting in a funk AGAIN! :p Alrighty- enough with the excuses, just write this thing.
My girl, Lisa, and I met up in Chicago on Monday afternoon, April 9th. I was so excited to see her! We live in different states and though we talk on the phone, it’s amazing to actually be together. We spent Tuesday doing a quick touristy trip through a bit of Chicago. We went on the Blue Line. I’m originally from Montana, and now live in Colorado, so I’m not used to the public transit system and got a kick out of the shuttle and was all big eyed and impressed waiting in the terminal and listening to an acapella group singing. They would pause while the shuttle went by and then start again. I loved it! We shopped at the Water Tower Mall and got pics with cute mannequins. Lisa puts up with my camera addiction! Lol I adore photos. Grrr! WordPress won’t let me add the manequin photos right now… I will try later.
Next we grabbed a taxi and went to The Lincoln Park Zoo and had a great time wandering around admiring the big cats and giraffes and meerkats. Then we went to downtown Chicago and ate a delicious dinner at Mia Francesca’s and had to pop into a few stores looking for sweatshirts, cause we were FREEZING! It was 50 degrees and windy and getting colder and we weren’t dressed appropriately lol We finally found Wrigley sweatshirts and wore those to the Cubs game and we still FROZE. It was fun though and the field is absolutely magical. Then it was time to gear up for the convention!
We have attended the Romantic Times Convention since 2005. We LOVE this con. And this year was its highest attended yet, over 1500 readers, writers, and industry professionals. We adore RT because it’s a group of people who share the same passion, we love to read, we love romance… When you meet people at the con you can become instant friends. And you get to interact with the authors who bring us their wonderful stories. I am a huge fan girl and squeal when I meet my favs. I would guess it’s 98% women, I really have no clue on the breakdown, but the majority of the attendees are women. And that is so fun! Being in hotel with a bunch of women who are excited about reading and meeting authors and chocolate, yes, there is a lot of chocolate at the convention. Lol We don’t have much time to eat, we run, run, run to all the workshops and panels and sometimes live on chocolate. This year we tried to be better prepared and had healthy options in our room, but still, I ate a bunch of chocolate!
We hit the ground running on Wednesday morning. I was a stressed out mess! The Book Tart site had just gone live approximately 12 hours before the convention started and I was planning on promoting it and passing out swag and doing a giveaway and the site was and is still just a baby, crawling not running, yet. So, I was a bit of a disaster. But Lisa and our roomie Dawn tried to keep me calm and my head on. It has a tendency to pop off, like a Barbie :p We registered and got our goodie bags, went through the goodie room. It’s a room where you get to pick wander through and pick out approx 10 free books! It’s like a candy shop for readers. Then we went to the Welcome Party and afterwards I went to a marketing class, which had a lot of good info and I took notes, but most of it is for future me, when the site isn’t in its infancy. Oh, and I also set up my spot in promo alley with The Book Tart swag. I bought cute pens and book marks and rub on tattoos and chocolate kisses. I learned a lot on what works and what I should do next time. My book marks are super cute, but they don’t advertise what this site does and the New Fiction Release database. Sooo, for future cons I will be better prepared.
We absolutely HAD to go to the Intergalactic Bar and Grill reader party. We’ve never missed it. Linnea Sinclair and her crew host a fun game and give away great glowy gifts (say that five times) I got to be the designated extrovert, hence the headband with tinsel lol and both Lisa and I were holding the Hunk Card (ours was a picture of Ben Bowder from Stargate- yumm! Remember him in Farscape? I loved that show) when our table answered the Jeopardy style question correctly, so we got to pick a prize. We both picked books by the SAME author, accidently! The covers and blurb got our attention. I grabbed the first one and Lisa picked out the second book in a series by Alayna Williams. We didn’t realize until we sat back at the table and compared them! Lol we will keep you posted in the review section (when it’s working!) on these books, they look really good.
Wednesday night was the Ellora’s Cave Hip Hop party. Lisa and I love the night parties cause we like to dress up. But for this party, I couldn’t think of what to wear so I was not costumed and a bit bummed. Many people didn’t have that problem and there was a mix of 80s costumes and hip hop. But my favorite was Lila Dubois and her friends in track suits. And Yes, I have pictures :p Ellora’s Cave gave out amazing swag! Everyone had track pants and t-shirts on the back of their chairs. They are very comfy- Lisa and I actually wore our pants with our Wrigley sweatshirts on our flight home.
After the party, Lisa, Dawn (our most excellent roomie) and me got into our pjs and wandered the hotel at midnight looking for the YA Slumber Party. We were late cause we couldn’t find it :p Honestly! I could swear we checked the room we finally found it in first and it was empty- some sort of time continuum shift caused it to not be there when we looked the first time and when we tried again 15 minutes later- it was there! But we had a giggling good time wandering around a quite hotel in our pajamas (Dawn and Lisa had on socks and slid on the marble floors!) and then we found the party and ate junk food and watched a slipper fashion show .
Thursday morning we got up early and went to the Mystery Chix and Private Dix morning mixer. Free books and pastries, yummy for me. Side note- if you are an author who sponsors these mixers please consider providing a gluten free option. Lisa couldn’t find anything to eat at most of the events.
Ack! I’ve only made it to Thursday morning and I written 1200 words. I’m sure I need an editior :p but I’m going to call it quits and finish this recap tomorrow night.
Goodnight and (((hugs))) The Queen Of Tarts