Romantic Times Convention 2011

April 12, 2011

 Friday was an exciting day for me. My first Romantic Times Convention here in Los Angeles. It was a weeklong event, but I went for one day. I’m too chicken to drive downtown (Believe it or not I’m a native of Los Angeles!) so I took the bus. Faster and cheaper than driving, as gas in my neighborhood is $4.19 a gallon for regular, and parking at the convention was $45 for the day, $37 if you parked in the lot across the street.

I didn’t want to miss anything, so I arrived much too early. I was standing near the empty registration table waiting for someone to arrive, when GiGi, another convention attendee showed up and sent me down the hallway to collect all of the goodies that authors had put out for their fans. Much of the event was geared toward readers, and without a doubt there were more readers than writers in attendance. Not that that was a problem for me, since I’m both a writer and voracious reader–as I suspect most writers are.

Anyway, GiGi sent me down the goodie hallway. At first, I thought that I’d only pick up a couple of souvenirs from my favorite authors, because I didn’t want to collect a lot of little things to clutter up a drawer in my house. But after I’d picked out a couple of things, I realized this was research, and I should pick up a good variety to look over later and see which promotional items I might want to give to readers WHEN my book is published. Of course, I’m still going through a collection of bookmarkers, postcards, excerpts from books with cute book covers, ink pens, calendars, magnets, post-it pads, temporary tattoos (these were particularly fun) and so much more that my shoulder hurt from carrying that bag for the rest of the day!

I hooked up with GiGi again, and we were sent up to the Kensington Books Mixer. I grabbed a glass of orange juice from a tray, only to discover it was really a Mimosa, and although I don’t usually have a drink until after dark on Friday or Saturday night, started my morning with champagne–champagne, and all of the young hunks of the Mr. Romance contest. The room was filled with authors, and Kensington gave each guest a gift bag with novels. (Thank you, Kensington. I’ll enjoy them!) Several times, I found myself making casual conversation with someone only to find out she was a published author, such as Mary Wine, who is also a local author.

After sugary pastries, champagne and hunky young men, there was a break between the Kensington Mixer and our workshops. I went downstairs to get my badge and ended up running into Jan, president of the Orange County chapter of Romance Writer’s of America. It was nice to see a familiar face, and she gave me some wonderful news, next summer, the Romance Writer’s 2012 Convention will be in Anaheim….very convenient for me, and I’m not afraid to drive to Anaheim. I’m saving my pennies to attend the entire convention.

I had registered for three workshops, one with Elora’s Cave, one with editors of Harlequin Books, and one with literary agent Jim McCarthy on writing a synopsis. I learned something in each workshop, and I’ll be sharing more here in my next few entries.

So here I am, still enjoying the afterglow, surrounded by convention loot, name badge hanging on the wall, waiting for future convention badges to join it there. And I have to ask, what about you? Have you attended any conventions, workshops or other events that inspired your writing? Informed you about the industry? Or just got you excited about what you love to do?


3 Responses to “Romantic Times Convention 2011”

  1. I tweeted that I had convention envy as RT was starting. I’ve never had it before, but this year, will stick out in my mind as the year I actually put myself out into the writing community, offered support and received support back. I imagine that had something to do with my longing to be a part of RT. Interacting with other fiction writers is a beautiful thing, and something I didn’t put much value on when I was writing fiction on the side while meeting one non-ficiton deadline after another.

    I don’t like to travel–part of why I quit my non-fiction writing job–but I’m keeping my eyes open for conventions closer to me. Maybe we can meet up at something, Tari. 🙂

  2. taristhread Says:

    I’d love to….I actually avoid travel as well, but lucked out with this one. However, I grew up in Ohio, and have never been back since, I’d love to plan to go back when there’s a convention in the area!

  3. […] special workshops for writers, and I was excited to attend even one day. In fact, I wrote about it here at From Fact to Fiction, and in a post titled Shoes, Underwear, Beard Stubble and Marcia Brady over at my blog, Tari’s […]

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