Updates from an RT Virgin

So, today is the first full day of the Romantic Times Booklovers’ Convention here at the Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. But I’m going to back up to yesterday.

I attended a BookCamp event that went from 1:30pm to 8pm, so I got to the hotel early in the hopes I wouldn’t be dragging my luggage, my pens, bookmarks, ballgown, faery wings, and venetian mask around.

Luckily, I got in with no problems and by 12:30 was anxiously waiting for my luggage to appear in my room. Which it did about 20 minutes later. GORGEOUS ROOM. Must remember to sneak hubby in at least a couple of nights. Ahem.

So, BookCamp. First off, the people – Angela James was there, as was Miss Smart Bitches herself (but I didn’t get a chance to talk to her – what a hoot! I love her!), and Patrick, the man behind Good Reads – plus lots of readers and authors. The purpose behind it is kind of a non-structured convention – we all came up with ideas to break into small sessions for, and we came up with 16 different topics – everything from “what about libraries?” to contracts, to audio books, to reading groups…we had three 40 minute blocks of time, spread across four different classrooms – and we shared information. No one person stood at the front to talk – we sat in a circle and talked. Shared ideas. And no matter what topic we talked about, everyone was gracious and respectful of each other. Polite discourse. Fascinating!

After it was over, we moved to Borders Grill across the street from the hotel and had a cocktail party, which was part of the event. Lovely drinks and appetizers. Of course, it was very loud in there, and quite disorienting for me, so I bugged out kind of early and wandered the food court in the hotel before going up to my room. A woman in front of me was desperate for a can of coke – when I saw her name tag, I did obeisance. BJ Daniels is  all over the Harlequin romance world, and I always love reading her work. So to meet her in person was a thrill! And she said she’d buy my book! Gasp! I’m so excited!

So…what I learned yesterday was go NOWHERE without my bookmarks and pass them out to EVERYONE.  (Side note: this Starbucks gets the most eclectic bunch of folks in it that I’ve ever seen…and most of them are wearing some sort of intoxicating colognes or perfumes of some sort.)

ANYway – I am about to put the computer away, and go look for Promo Alley. I’d like to set my stuff up with the SAVVY and the CMP Peeps…we shall see! (Or maybe Promo Alley is in Club RT…hmmm….)

I don’t know why – but it seems easier to talk to other writers here than it does at RWA. Maybe because there are fewer of us here? I just don’t know. But I’m looking forward to today!