Tag Archives: reader event

RomCon 2013

Barbara Vey -- June 26th, 2013

romcon

This was my second year attending RomCon, a reader’s convention, held in Colorado Springs.  While I gushed about last year’s amazingly authentic Titanic Tea, this year the planning committee outdid themselves.  One of the few truly reader events, RomCon manages to have something for everyone.

A full meal plan was offered with guest speakers.  Heather Graham kicked off the event’s breakfast with her career stories (of which she has a million), but I really love when she talks about her time as a dinner theater performer.  She likened that part of her career to the movie Soapdish where Kevin Kline worked dinner theaters and the audience consisted of senior citizens.

 

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Intimate Chat with Bob Mayer

Intimate Chat with Bob Mayer

One of the special things offered is a chance for an intimate chat with authors.  Limited tickets are available, but you have the opportunity to be up close and personal with authors.  There were many I wanted to attend, but so many other things were happening that I tried to get to them all.

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First Kiss panel

First Kiss panel

First Kisses had authors reading scenes from their books and the audience guessing the book.  Mimosa Madness offered Mimosas and muffins along with a game.  You got a paper with squares that had clues about authors.  Readers wandered around the room asking authors to sign on their squares.  Once filled out, you were entered in a drawing for books and an e-reader for the grand prize.  I had a great time because some of the readers thought I was one of the authors, so I signed their papers under the squares that said, “Loves banana splits” and “Favorite movie is Casablanca.”

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Author Paty Jager sponsored lunch in the beautiful garden atrium.  While we ate, we were given papers that featured book covers and were set up like bingo cards.  Candy Smarties were supposed to be used as daubers, but people started eating them, so we just ended up circling the books called.  There were a ton of prizes for the regular bingo and the full card got the grand prize.

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Speed dating with authors

Speed dating with authors

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Readers lined up for the Speed Dating with an Author.  Each reader got 2 minutes to talk to an author and then would move on to the chair to their right and start over.  This was divided into two sessions because of the number of authors.  Readers told me it was one of their favorite parts because some were too shy to otherwise go up to an author and talk to them.  This was the perfect opportunity.

.High Noon at the Cowboy Corral was a western author mixer and the romantic suspense authors offered a Super Sleuth game based on Clue.  Readers had to guess which author Dun-it.  Romance fans attended the Swoonworthy cocktail party and walked away with great swag bags.

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Reader Carol Ricker brought a bag that she has signed by every author

Reader Carol Ricker brought a bag that she has signed by every author

The highlight Friday night was a performance by a comedy improv group.  If you’ve never seen one, put it on your bucket list.  My cheeks still hurt from laughing so much.  It’s all based on suggestions from the audience with activities like skiing, food like avocados, careers like actuaries and nurses.  That’s normal, but this audience had other things on their minds.  Activities like menages and other things you may do on your own.  The improv group got into the spirit and offered great entertainment, while trying to keep to their G-rated image.  Sometimes it even worked, but I hope they offer this next year.

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The evening ended with a Very Virginal Bachelorette Party.  Anyone who has ever been to a bachelorette party knows the kind of games played.  Let me just say that there was one messy one that involved a bowl of whipped cream, a cherry and handcuffs.  I just watched and enjoyed, but I did see Bob Mayer walking around looking kind of dazed.  I asked him if he planned on playing any of the games, but he said he’d pass.  He did say that if men did something like this, it would be looked at differently, but then admitted that men did this all the time by going to strip clubs.  Enough said.

Historical Dice Game

Historical Dice Game

Mad Hatter Tea Party

      Mad Hatter Tea Party

 

 

 

 

A Field Guide to Surviving the Apocalypse had readers working with authors in group to come up with the best way to survive an apocalypse.  It seemed to me that many people have been thinking about this a lot.  Historical Hijinks offered a view of authentic period games and behind the scene info that readers could participate in.  The Naughty Girls Pajama Party lured readers in with chocolate, coffee drinks and naughty games of fun.  Readers were also encouraged to come in their PJs.

Shannon Albright and Donnell Ann Bell at Mimosa Party

Shannon Albright and Donnell Ann Bell at Mimosa Party

Melissa Mayhue was the keynote speaker for lunch on Saturday.  I loved when she admitted that her writing goal was to see her book in a grocery store.  The Mad Hatter Tea Party did indeed feature lots of crazy hats.  I participated in the Slayers Incorporated game.  We were in groups of 10 and given cards that told us if we were a slayer, human, monster, doctor, etc.  Monsters killed someone, slayers could save someone and then everyone had to guess who the monsters were.  Sadly, I was killed more than once, but you can’t imagine how much fun this game was.  Different authors came by for each game with their own characters as the monsters and slayers.  There was even a chance to learn about BDSM 101 in a “light-hearted and fun atmosphere.”  I just stuck my head in for a peak, but there was lots of laughter and several objects I’m going to have to look up online.

Authors of Wild Rose Press

Authors of Wild Rose Press

Wild Rose Press sponsored Casino Night and Dinner.  Their authors walked the dining room helping readers answer questions about the authors that were passed out.  Lots of giveaways for turning in your sheet.  Casino night featured all the games you’d find at a casino with lessons for all.  There was a DJ and I saw the craps table had everyone dancing to the tunes.  Every table was full and play money used.  I got roped into a poker table and while I’ve seen it played on tv, this was the first time I played it live.  It was a riot because most of us didn’t have a clue as to the rules.  Thank goodness our dealer was so patient.

The evening ended with a Karaoke Challenge.  Everyone who had guts enough to go on stage and sing won something.

Sunday’s brunch was the final event with Sylvia Day as the keynote.  She asked the group how many were first timers and more than half raised their hands.  When she asked how many would return, it was 100%.  I think that kind of says it all about how well the event was received.

Bottom Line:  I already have my calendar marked for next year.

9th Annual Reader & Author Get Together

Barbara Vey -- June 11th, 2013
joysann

joysann

Lori Foster with a quilt displaying her book covers

Lori Foster with a quilt displaying her book covers (photo by Kathy Andrico)

joysann here, reporting on RAGT 2013. When best-selling author Lori Foster announced that the Reader & Author Get-Together registration website would open on March 4th, no one imagined that 3 or 4 days later they’d be announcing there were literally only a few spots left available. That’s about 500 people. By the 14th of March, Lori announced that registration was filled, and the hotel had maxed out. This shows the popularity of this wonderful annual event. Lori Foster, Duffy Brown, and Linda Keller have been hosting this casual, fun filled weekend these 9 years, and the $50 Reader Registration Fee is incomparable. A function staffed by volunteers, they’ve put on an irresistible event every time. Just north of Cincinnati, it easy for attendees to access from all directions.

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Kim Jacobs of Turquoise Morning Press

Kim Jacobs of Turquoise Morning Press

Things were done a little differently this year with programming geared more toward entertaining Readers and giving them the opportunity to meet with the people who write for them their favorite books. Different publishers and authors hosted gatherings, interviews and parties in various meeting rooms, providing treats, games and lots and lots of prizes. It was a winning situation for everyone. For the rest of it, there were buffet meals and music and dancing and many, many giveaways and prizes.

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Because in recent years so many attendees have arrived on Thursday night ahead of the event, the authors of this year’s anthology benefiting animal rescue hosted a “Meet and Greet” with fun and food for everyone. Animal Attraction is written by Lori Foster, Jules Bennett, Heidi Betts and Maisy Yates, with all the proceeds going to the Animal Adoption Foundation of Hamilton, OH, a charitable organization.

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Author Darynda Jones and joysann

Author Darynda Jones and joysann

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There were two book signings, one on Friday night for independent authors, and one on Saturday for those that are traditionally published. It was interesting to see that many authors showed up in both places, available to meet their readers.

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Aspiring author Natasha Mitchell

Aspiring author Natasha Mitchell

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I got to meet with so many wonderful people, both readers, and authors, and aspiring authors, several of whom I’ve had the privilege of meeting before. One young aspiring author I met is 13 year old Natasha Mitchell, who seemed very enthusiastic with everything going on. She’s working on a YA Sci-Fi Romance with interesting aspects. Go, Girl, and much success!

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Authors Nancy Naigle, Duffy Brown, and Tonya Kappes

Authors Nancy Naigle, Duffy Brown, and Tonya Kappes

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On Sunday morning I got to do a fun thing, and that was join authors Duffy Brown, Nancy Naigle and Tonya Kappes for Tea with Three, held at Duffy’s home. Quiche and pastries and coffee and, of course, tea were served in a lovely garden on a beautiful morning. It was a charming ending to a very busy weekend.

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Outside of all the wonderful people one meets at these RAGT weekends, the biggest entertainment is the huge charity raffle at which everyone keeps hoping “Pick Me! Pick Me!” About 250 raffle baskets were donated by authors, publishers, publicists, reviewers, the Marriott Hotel, and some enthusiastic readers. The baskets and bags were gorgeous, and attendees happily opened their hearts and their wallets to buy raffle tickets. ALL proceeds from the raffle go to One Way Farm Children’s Home. And the final count on raffle tickets sold: an amazing $13,000.

Another $1400 was raised just by simple donations from generous people to an effort to Support Our Troops.

Bottom Line: I’m thinking Romance Readers and Authors have big hearts

RomCon

Barbara Vey -- August 12th, 2011
Maggie Mae Gallagher

Maggie Mae Gallagher

 

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.

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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.

Jessa Slade and Shannon Butcher

Jessa Slade and Shannon Butcher

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.

Brooks Johnson and Mary Wine

Brooks Johnson and Mary Wine

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 .

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Readers meeting up with their favorite authors

Readers meeting up with their favorite authors

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.