RT Convention Part 2

Barbara Vey -- April 16th, 2012

Everyday at a convention you get up and think, “What day is it?”  I was lucky enough to run into Virna DePaul in the breakfast line and she asked me to do a video for the HEA USA Today blog.  Virna writes paranormal and romantic suspense.

 

 

Leora Jenkins, Joan Schulhafer, Tina DeSalvo Callais, Linda Greene

Leora Jenkins, Joan Schulhafer, Tina DeSalvo Callais, Linda Greene

 

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Beth Ciotta and Mary Stella hosted Romance Scattegories and being the competitive person I am, I needed to get in on the action.  Even though my team was brilliant, the judging committee didn’t always agree with our reasoning.  We lost at the game, but had a riot playing it.

 

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The Cow in the Sourcebooks offices

The Cow in the Sourcebooks offices

Located in nearby Naperville, IL, Joysann and I were invited with the Sourcebooks authors to tour Sourcebooks offices.  They had a couple of party buses to take us over.  I’ve never been in a party bus, but it kind of reminds me of a moving strip club with black lights, neon, sparkly stuff and a stripper pole.  Yes, I did say stripper pole and even without having any alcohol, it didn’t take much encouragement for me to try it.  I would have never made any money at it.  It’s always interesting for me to see the inner workings of any publishing company but Sourcebooks is real homey and has a waterfall in it.  We got to vote on book titles and book covers.  It’s amazing how many different views people take of these things.  They even have a cow in their office.  (Look for my Sourcebook announcement in tomorrow’s blog.)

 

Now I really need a waxing

Now I really need a waxing

Stopped in at Club RT where authors sit at tables and readers can just come up for an intimate chat.  They also give away a ton of door prizes all day long and vendors line the walls selling everything from jewelry to clothes to book covers.  I discovered Frank from OnSeeker was selling author apps that could be downloaded to mobile devices.  I have to admit that it was pretty cool.  It’s almost like a mini website with tabs for books, appearances, news, links to blogs and almost anything else you can imagine.  You can check out how this works by searching for “Desiree Holt” iOS app store.

 

The always delightful Nancy Naigle had a display that featured her and other authors.  You got to spin a wheel for prizes and never being one to pass up a chance to win something, I got lucky number 7 which gave me a fake mustache.  Of course, I put it on, but I’m happy I don’t have to wear one all the time.

 

In one of the several Author Chats, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jodi Thomas and Francine Pascal answered talked about their backgrounds and books, and answered questions about building creating the places in which their characters reside. When asked about maintaining continuety as they right their connected books, Susan Elizabeth Phillips she uses Facebook and Twitter. If she has a question about what character in which book, she just asks her followers who come right back with the answer, as her readers are the experts.

 

Michele Haul winning her award

Michele Hauf winning her award

 

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RT gives awards for just about everything under the sun, but it doesn’t matter because these authors deserve all the recognition they can get.  I was told you can find the winners online at the RT site, but I couldn’t find them, so if anyone has the link, please post it in the comments section.

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Zoe Archer and Nico Rosso

Zoe Archer and Nico Rosso

Avon’s Indigo Lounge was advertized as “a cool, bluesy Chicago evening.”  And it was.  A large room with lots of appetizers and waiters passing out champagne while readers raced to their favorite author’s table to receive a free signed book.  I talked to Zoe Archer and she and her husband, Nico Rosso have an interesting publishing arrangement.  In their new series, she will write the first book (Skies of Fire) based in Europe and he will write the next one which will be a steampunk western.  They will take turns, back and forth, on the series.  I can’t wait.  No one went away from this event disappointed.

 

The Giant Book Signing is always a premiere event.  It’s also Teen Day when teens can sit in on workshops and meet all their favorite authors at the book signing.  Big names at the signing were Anne Rice, Sue Grafton, J.R. Ward, Nalini Singh and Susan Elizabeth Phillips among many others.  The checkout line was so long it rivaled some of the lines at Disney World.  No one was complaining though as they clutched their signed treasures.

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After the booksigning, joysann encountered a girl about 15 years old carrying a huge backpack that was obviously loaded and heavy, and asked her who her favorite author was that she saw this day. She said “Oh, no, I can’t… Everyone was so nice. This is the best day of my life!”

 

Some authors at the signing:

Anne Rice

Anne Rice

Tessa Dare

Tessa Dare

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sue Grafton

Sue Grafton

Anne Elizabeth

Anne Elizabeth

 

 

 

 

 

 

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RT and Heather Graham’s Night of the Stars Gangster Café Talent Quest began with a buffet dinner that had amazing selections of pasta and sauces, and other fixings. The sketch was fun and crazy and chaotic, and the costumes, as always, were stunning. With molls and murders and music from Chicago, attendees were given a chance to figure out who the killer was and win trip expenses and attendance at Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans in December.

 

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Carina Press held a Cocktail party to celebrate their first anniversary, with champagne, hors d’oeuvres, and lovely cheese cake. To enter the drawing to some fabulous prizes, including e-readers, participants were given clues to match books to authors, and there was very enthusiastic participation.

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Harlequin Party (Photo by Emma J. Schulte)

Harlequin Party (Photo by Emma J. Schulte)

 

After was the huge Harlequin Dance Party with a DJ and a packed dance floor, and, of course, several door prizes that had everyone trying to read their ticket numbers in the dark.  They had giant screens that displayed the Harlequin Logo, but I wondered why they weren’t flashing book covers from their many attending authors.

 

All in all, RT put on a pretty darned good event.  Way more activities than any one person could do in a day.  You really had to pick and choose what you wanted because of the terrific variety.

 

Bottom Line:  Too much to do, too many to see, too little time…will try harder next year.

 

Giveaways

 

From GET LOST IN A STORY -  Tues—Wayne Jordan: 2 copies of TO LOVE YOU MORE, Wed, Thurs, Fri—Jillian Stone’s debut giveaway of THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK

 

From Mia Marlowe:  Mia Marlowe’s HOW TO DISTRACT A DUCHESS is a free Kindle download! You can get it here.

 

From Dianna Love and Mary Buckham:  Free download of Break into FictionYou can get it here.

 

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