Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Adventures at RomCon - Day 2

First off - it's amazing that sometimes a good nights sleep, along with a copy of the schedule can help one remember what one might have forgot. I forgot to mention the Blogger event hosted by Melissa Mayhue that I attended after dinner. I knew I did something else! Anyway, it was great and everyone attending got a bag full of books. That's always a good thing.

The Not so Good - I mentioned last post that I did a lot of last minute throwing stuff in my suitcase. Well, it seems that while I remembered my toothpaste, I neglected to pack a toothbrush! And I couldn't find any sticks or twigs lying around the room that I could use. *sigh*. I also forgot to bring a brush. What kind of lousy packing job is that! Lesson learned though. I will definitely be packed in time for RWA.

The Good - The first event of the day I went to was breakfast. It was a good breakfast - the only trouble it was so darned early!! 7:00 am is not normally a time I see on days off. But then, the day was busy so I accepted that was the way it was. The first workshop I attended was the Reader Round Table hosted by Jane of Dear Author and Sarah of Smart Bitches. It turned out there was a glitch and it was actually moved to a different room at 10:00, but they went ahead and ended up holding Part 1 anyway. They covered a few different topics. One I found rather interesting - it appears I'm different from some readers. They asked if cover quotes by authors had any affect on book buying and most everyone held up their hand that it did. For me though, an author endorsement holds now sway whatsoever. I've always kind of thought it's a 'I wash your back, you wash mine' amongst some authors. Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with that, but for me, they don't even register. They then asked what kind of books readers would like to see more of so of course I popped up with WESTERNS!! What was nice was a few other readers also agreed they would like to say more. I have to say that Jane is excellent at getting everyone involved in the conversation. I watched in awe and complete envy that she remembered everyone's name and addressed us by name. A little thing, but most impressive.

Part A wrapped up and then they held another Reader Round Table in another room that had presentation capabilities. A few of us went to both. I quite enjoyed their cover presentation. First they would show just the cover and ask if we could tell what kind of book it might be just based on the picture. Then they slowly added more such as cover quotes - from very generic to more interesting and then finally the title and author of the book. They did three of them and I wish there had been time for more as none of the books they did were ones I would have bought by cover alone.

The Good - Lunch with Jessica and Sonomalass. Often it's those unplanned, uneventful times that turn out to be very memorable. I really enjoyed lunching with them and just talking.

After that we headed over to the book fair. As others have mentioned it was kind of set up oddly, with books in one room and authors in the other room. I picked up a few of the books that I'd been wanting, but I didn't get them signed. I'm funny in that way. I'm not much of an autograph kind of person and I'm just not comfortable at signings. But it was real neat when I introduced Jessica to Pamela Clare :-)

I had a choice after that - to go to another workshop or go for a nap. Since I was starting to fade very fast, I went with the nap option.

And then it was on to the next event - a workshop held for bloggers. Sue Grimshaw of Borders told us how she started blogging as did (I think) Elizabeth Boyle and Sarah.

After that it was onto a launch party held by HCI a new publisher who will have line with real life romances. Real life couples tell their story to romance authors who then do a book based on their love story.

And then it was onto dinner. I ended up sitting with Hannah Howell and a table with a small publisher and some of their writers. The dinner was again quite excellent but it was at this point I came to another.......

Not So Good Moment - there were a couple of people at the table who I thought incredibly rude. They texted and talked to each other all through a most excellent speech by key note speaker Jo Beverly, not paying attention to a word she said. They didn't acknowledge anyone else at the table not involved with this small publisher. I was taught manners by my mother but apparently either they weren't or they ignored what they were taught. Since they weren't big name authors, I didn't have to worry about dropping a favoured author, but you can be sure that I was less than impressed by their behaviour and there isn't a chance in hell I would ever buy one of their books. Left a very bad taste in my mouth it did.

But then that was followed by a......

Good Moment - there was another dance that night, but I'm not that much of a party animal on most occasions and wasn't Saturday night so Sonomalass invited me to the room she was sharing with Carolyn Jewel so she, Jessica and I headed up there. That turned out to be another one of those unplanned great times.
I was still tired so I headed to my room around 11:00

Good Moment - Thankfully breakfast the next day was later. It was another great breakfast and I ended up sitting next to Nalini Singh. That was definitely a thrill! Also at the table was Sue Grimshaw and her assistant Kristen. I told Kristen she had to have the best job in the world and she agreed. She's fairly new to romance herself and is a confirmed fan. I love hearing how readers who used to read in other genres have come over to the romance side :-) It turns out that they don't live that far from me - relatively speaking so I said if they ever had any kind of events to let me know and I would drive to it. After driving to Columbus, a two hour drive is child's play *g*.

I know there is all kinds of stuff I'm forgetting and readers and authors I haven't mentioned. It's hard to remember everything and everyone - but I will remember in quieter moments.

And some final thoughts if they hold another one.

  • I will go!
  • I would like to see more reader held workshops. I love meeting authors. I love getting a chance to tell them how their books have given me hours of enjoyment and how much time I spend immersed in their worlds. But I really like connecting with other readers and even more other bloggers a tad more. I loved the workshops I went to where Sarah and Jane were moderating. As fellow bloggers/readers, I connected with on a more day to day level.
  • It was a different kind of experience not having a room mate. Because it was kind of last minute that I decided to go for sure and by that time it was too late to find one. The room price was very reasonable and it was only for two nights so I decided to go with a room by myself. While it was nice, I think it's better with a room mate. While I'm quite comfortable hanging with just me, still, it's even nicer to know who you will be sitting with at meals in advance. I ate one lunch alone and while I was fine, someone else would have been nice too. So I'm so glad I'll have Wendy in a couple of weeks!
  • Because it was shorter; only a weekend, I didn't get a chance to connect with a lot of people I would have over a longer time frame like RT or RWA. I missed that.
  • I think considering this was the first year, RomCon was very well done. The hotel and the staff were wonderful. I did get a tad annoyed at dinner on Saturday night that some people were getting dessert while I was still waiting for my dinner. But that kind of thing can happen anytime, anywhere.
Finally, I would highly recommend that fellow readers try to attend some kind of conference at some time if possible. Whether it's a week long event like RT or an author sponsored event like the one Lori Foster holds every year, or the new RomCon, it's hard to describe what an empowering thing it is to see such a group of fellow readers who just want to share the love of romance with others!


orannia said...

Great review of the day Kristie - thank you! And OMG you got to sit next to Nalini? *happy dance*

From what both you and KB have said it sounds like more reader-oriented events are required. (The DA/SB event sounds fascinating.) But hopefully the organizers take that on board for next year :)

Oh, and I think you need to take a trip to Luv a la Mode (KMont's blog). She has been watching something close to your heart :)

Kristie (J) said...

Orannia: I haven't been able to get onto her blog for a while now. And I bet I can guess what it is too.
And I hope they do have more panels that include readers. I think it would go over well. Hopefully next time :-)

vi said...

So, don't leave us in suspense, where did you find a toothbrush and hairbrush?

Also, did you find someone to help you with your Kobo?

Rosie said...

I'm so jealous you got to hang out with Carolyn Jewel. Sounds like you had fun. Hope you saved some energy for us in just 10 days!

azteclady said...

less than two weeks from now! *happy dancing*

Kim in Hawaii said...

Loved meeting you at RomCon! Your posts are funny and accurate to the description of our madcap fun! Looking forward to more gab time at RWA (when the authors are busy with editors and agents).

Wendy said...

Talking/texting during a Jo Beverly speech? ::headdesk:: I've heard her speak at past events and she tends to be wonderful. ::double headdesk::

Kristie (J) said...

Wendy: I KNOW!!! Not only did I find it disrespectful, it was plain stoopid. Ms. Beverly gave a great speech. But the two twinkies didn't hear a word of it.

Kim: It was great meeting you too and I look forward to seeing you again soon.

AL: Trust me - I am doin' the happy dance too!! What a month this is!

Rosie: Not only that, but she HUGGED me when she left! I was sitting outside when her shuttle bus left and she came over and gave me a hug. That was wonderful :-)

Vi: ROTFL!!! Nope - didn't find a toothbrush. Instead I kind of 'um' washed my teeth. You can be sure that at least one brush will be packed in my suitcase well in advance next trip. And I didn't really find anyone, but when I got home, there was an email from Kobo telling me how to fix what's been bugging me about it.

Rosie said...

I will be standing next to you at all times. ALL TIMES! In this way I can take shameless advantage of your close and personal relationship with Carolyn Jewel.

nath said...

Sounds like you had a great time, Kristie :) and people can be so rude, ugh. I hate that.

I would have loved to attend the RomCon, but I feel it's too short. Only a week-end and all the way on the other coast... the cost is a bit too deep :(

Hopefully, next time, it'll be closer to the East coast :D