Beyond Her Book’s newest Cub Reporter, Maggie Mae Gallagher is the author of the Cantati Chronicles, a dark, urban fantasy series. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Maggie runs an office, clerks at a local metaphysical store, writes, and is a personal assistant for hire to an expanding list of authors. Maggie is a member of Romance Writers of America, Missouri Romance Writers, Colorado Romance Writers and the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Chapter of RWA.
The Second Annual RomCon, a reader/author event in Denver, started with the Author Social Event where I met many of my favorite authors and even some new ones. RomCon has this spectacular program called the Buddy Meet-up. Many of the attending authors volunteered to “buddy up” with some of their readers for RomCon and met them at the conclusion of the Author Social. The readers seemed to gravitate toward Eileen Dreyer and Delilah Marvelle, but as they discover more authors, I see this changing every year.
Friday morning dawned chilly; the cool rocky mountain air had drifted over the plains, so with my coffee cup in tow I headed to the Historical Author Panel. Deeanne Gist, Delilah Marvelle, Isobel Carr, Julia London, Mary Wine, Pamela Nowak, and Robyn DeHart spearheaded the panel. RomCon attendees asked their favorite authors questions such as, how do the authors create their heroes? To quote Delilah Marvelle, the hero she always writes is her husband. And everyone’s heart melted a bit at her response.
The Bloody Hell Crime Scene Investigation Presentation by author and former CSI Expert Tom Adair had plenty of guts and gore. He showed pictures of murder victims, the splatter patterns their blood made on the carpet, walls and furniture. He went on to explain that through this study CSI Investigators are able to determine how a person was murdered which may lead to uncovering their killer. Not for the faint of heart.
I shifted into work mode and became the videographer for the Historical Panel on Highlanders. Authors Melissa Mayhue, Margaret Mallory, and Kim Killion discussed why they love writing sexy highlanders with a little help from the devilishly handsome cover model Brooks Johnson. (Tell me Maggie Mae, was he wearing a kilt?) Fanning self, it was an exciting and thoroughly entertaining session. One that I’m sure readers will not soon forget. Next up, I moderated an Intimate Chat with Shannon K. Butcher! This event was one of the highlights of the weekend for me as I’m a huge fan of her work.
In the evening, I attended the Wild West Night, where we had the chance to ride a mechanical bull, could learn to rope cattle, have an old time photo in western gear, and learn line dancing. I didn’t ride the bull, but there were some brave souls who did. After a fabulous chuck wagon buffet, readers headed to the Chocolate Mangasm for desert. Readers had their pictures taken with shirtless cover models For Authors and Readers alike this event was wildly entertaining. The authors had us play naughty bachelorette style games for fake cash that we used at the auction which followed. The competition was heated and fierce for the secret prizes. I won a set of Seven Deadly Sins Gumballs for the bargain price of $1300.00.
Saturday morning was the Historical Author’s Fashion Show. Authors strutted their stuff in authentic Victorian garb. This was a fascinating look into the historical novels that gave readers an opportunity to fine tune their imaginations while reading their favorite historicals.
Saturday afternoon, offered Strip a Hero session where a cover model was divested of most his clothing, a couple times. Authors Jennifer Ashley, Jade Lee and Kim Killion had Brooks act out three skits from their books and the crowd went wild. The evening wrapped up with the Supernatural Supper where readers and authors alike were offered the chance to have their palm read, have a psychic or tarot reading.
The Readers’ Crown Awards Brunch was on Sunday. These awards are voted on by the most important people in an author’s world, their readers. For a list of the all winners you can visit RomCon’s website .
The final RomCon Event was the Rumble. Similar to speed date an author, readers spent time with their favorite authors and walked away with signed books, special RomCon only trading cards, and a ton of free goodies. I even scored a free eBook from Samhain Publishing!
One reader, Rachel, said this was her second year attending and it had only gotten better than the year before. Karen Doctor reflected that she so thoroughly enjoyed herself last year that she brought her daughter and one of her best friends with her this year.
There were so many other sessions I wanted to attend like the Quick Draw Game and Murder, Darling, Murder, but alas, until cloning is perfected I can’t manage to be in two places at once. RomCon was interesting for me because I was able to view it from both sides of the aisle. This is one of the first conventions I’ve ever experienced where the reader takes precedence. The intimate settings allowed readers an all access pass to their favorite authors. And all the authors in attendance worked their tails off to ensure their readers had a fabulous time, which we did. I know I had a blast this past weekend. I’m already looking forward to RomCon next year. Even if I have to get out on the runway and hitchhike, I’ll be there! See you in Denver June 22nd -24th, 2012!
Bottom Line: I’ve already added “Save the Date” on my calendar.