Okay, this is unforgiveably late. This is supposed to be my summing up post for the Romantic Times Booklovers convention. It’s also supposed to have pictures of the Mr. Romance competition.
The problem is, the iPhone failed me. I hadn’t brought a separate camera, but I thought with my new little zoom-and-flash app (yes, there’s an app for that), I’d be all set. But I wasn’t, and the pictures all came out more or less like this:
Fortunately, there are people who had better cameras, so photos and video of the male beauty pageant are out there.
But this was not really the big event of the day. The big event of the day was the Romantic Times Book Expo
The first thing to know is the Romantic Times Book Expo is big. Really big. Well over a hundred authors seated in alphabetical order with piles of books and swag around them waiting for the crowds to stroll by. The convention attendees are let in first for an hour or so, and then the doors are opened to the public. For. Four. Hours.
I prepped for this. Laptop charged, coupons and cards ready, water bottle and banana nut muffin in the tote bag. I found myself stationed at the end of the last row with Rebecca York and Mingmei Yip, both of whom are terrific ladies. Here’s me:
Here’s the room (before the big crowds got there):
Here’s why events like this are healthy for your ego, because I had a front row seat for the line for Charlaine Harris:
It was a great time, and I had more traffic at my little corner than I expected. I sold a decent number of books and had people with older books come by for autographs. Many coupons and cards for Book View Cafe were distributed. The fair closed at 2:00. I all but shot outside for a breath of fresh air and a late lunch of curried chick peas from the North Market.
Then came time to hang out in the bar and catch up on the blogging, then came the aforementioned Mr. Romance Competition.
Then came my personal highlight of the day. Rebecca York very kindly invited me to dinner at L’Antibes with her and her husband Norman, Angela Knight and her husband Mike, and thriller writer Robert Gregory Browne. The result was a fabulous meal in excellent company. I had the roasted beet salad with goat cheese, the duck breast with black truffle cream, and the meyer lemon tartlet with strawberry coulis for desert. Conversation ranged from fifteenth century necromancy manuals, modern hostage negotiation techniques, cookbook writing, food, food poisoning, publishing, genre writing, politics and travel. It was the perfect topper to the conference.
Next year’s RT is going to be in LA, a trip that probably is not possible for me. But the year after is in New Orleans, and I’ll have the Vampire Chef books out. Definitely have to start planning for this trip now…