I was a book convention virgin. I always wanted to go but never found one that called my name . . . Then I discovered the RT Booklovers Convention, a place where romance authors can meet fans, aspiring authors, attend 150 workshops, and even pitch their books. Bloggers can meet their favorite authors and attend the workshops, too. Oh, and there’s free stuff. Lots of free stuff.
This year the convention was in the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, and I went alone. I was excited and nervous after registering; I wouldn’t know a single person, but I was certain I would be able to make friends easily. Lovers of romance novels are said to be some of the nicest people (or so the blog posts about the convention said). They weren’t mistaken.
I was able to start discussions with everyone I stood in line with, sat next to, or met at a convention party. Plus, it was exciting to meet new people; I even met J. Kenner’s executive assistant at Starbucks! My advice is this: TALK TO EVERYONE. Even though I’m introverted, I put myself out there and got a positive response.
My favorite part (apart from the free stuff that I got from every panel and party) was getting to interact with the authors. I was SO excited to meet Shayla Black, Sylvia Day, Sabrina Jeffries, and Ann Marie Walker . . . They all have books I love, and I was able to tell every single one of them how much I love their work.
I paid a little extra for a pre-convention meet up with Sabrina Jeffries at the High Roller, which is a huge Ferris wheel that has a beautiful view of Vegas. We got into our own private pod and enjoyed cocktails during our thirty-minute ride. It was amazing! I loved being able to have a conversation with one of my favorite authors and get to know her better. It was a great way to kick off my RT Booklovers Convention experience, and I’d definitely do it again.
Another unique thing about the convention is that cover models also attend. That’s right, the people you see on those sexy romance covers come to mingle with authors and fans, and let’s face it: you can pick them out pretty easily in the crowds. I didn’t really know many of them, but throughout the days I found one that I thought had nice eyes. I didn’t know his name, so I just called him “Sweet Eyes.” Then, one night at a party, I bumped into him and told him I liked his eyes. This made him smile and he thanked me for the compliment. I assume most of the models don’t get compliments about their, um, FACIAL features. He, of course, is a personal trainer, which explains the hot bod I didn’t have to mention. And instead of “Sweet Eyes,” his name is Justin Edwards.
Overall I loved this convention! I loved going to all the panels to listen to my favorite authors talk about different topics. I loved going to the parties and mingling with fans, authors, and bloggers. I’ve discovered new books to read and can’t wait to dig into them. So in other words, I’m ready to go next year in Atlanta!