I attended the RT Booklovers convention in Chicago this past week, along with fellow Quills, Shane Galen and Emily McKay. The five-day convention is hectic and professional with over a hundred workshops and reader events hosted by authors and industry professionals from all genres. Aspiring authors can sign up for private chats and pitches with editors and agents. Plus there are fun gatherings and parties every night for all to attend. Many, like myself and friends, decided to spend quality downtime in the bar at night, giving us time to chat, unwind and regroup.
It was a hectic, fantastic week that thrilled and exhausted me. I started my professional stint with the Western Reader workshop where all the western authors participating gave out totes to everyone attending. We had cover models on hand and line dancing, gave out grand prizes and had a great time overall. I met new readers while reuniting with dear ones, and gave away notepads, pens, trading cards and books. Nothing was left after the event but smiles.
My second big event was the Harlequin Power and Passion series reader event where everyone attending received bags of goodies and books. Games were played with the winners getting bags of books. Authors schmoozed and signed autographs with readers, booksellers and librarians from around the world. Again, I gave away notepads and more books. Harlequin had this poster of my latest book printed for the event and for me to keep. Lovely.
The week ended on Saturday with the Giant Book signing that is also open to the public. Imagine a ballroom filled with tables of authors and thousands of readers and fans streaming by. The noise level is intense while readers scramble to get autographs from favorite authors. Cover models strolled among them for photo opportunities as well.
I came home with tired feet and fond memories. Many readers faithfully attend this convention every year, and we get new readers from every place the convention is held. Next year RT Convention will be at the Sheraton Crown Center in Kansas City.
So what about you? Have you attended this or another writing convention before? Think about coming, even if it’s just to the public book signing. I’ll be there!