Sunday, April 26, 2009

RT 2009 - Part 1

Wednesday morning around 8:00 I headed down to the palms foyer to pick up my registration packet for the convention. Registration was very well organized and because it was early there wasn't any line. I received a large tote bag that has 3 books in it, a convention agenda and various bookmarks and paraphernalia. As I am sitting down, checking the contents of my bag, I am just looking around in amazement at the variety of people walking by. One woman wearing a large hat with feathers in it walks by. I must have had a strange look on my face because another woman was watching me and started laughing. She asks me if this is my first RT. I told her it was.

That was one of the things that struck me right away about this convention was just how friendly and nice everyone was. Even though I went by myself, I was never without someone to sit with or talk to at any event. When I continued on to the morning mixer, the author Eden Robbins took me under her wing and introduced me to other readers and made me feel so welcome.

After the morning mixer I was in the hallway and recognized Jane from Dear Author and Sarah from Smart Bitches. I introduced myself to them and they invited me to have breakfast with them and Roxanne St. Claire, who was walking with them. I followed along, shell shocked talking a mile a minute. Again, I just could get over how friendly everyone was. It's like you just instantly connect with everyone because we all share a similar interest, a passion for reading and a love of books. I didn't actually eat breakfast with them, because after I got my wits back I realized how I had crashed their party - although, they assured me I hadn't. But, I did want to attend the first reader session, which was where I was headed when I ran into them. So, off I went to find room Oleander A.

The first reader session I went to that morning was hosted by Karen Rose. There were not many people in attendance. I am estimating about 20 people and I sat by myself. Karen talked a little bit about an upcoming series she is working on and how she came by the idea for it. Then we acted out a little mystery skit she had written using some of the characters from her previous books. After the skit we were able to ask her questions and she gave us all her first book Don't Tell. We all got to sign up if we would like to be killed off in one of her books. So you may be reading one of her books in the future and come across the victim, Jill Dunlop!

The next session took place in the same room and while we were waiting a fellow reader came up to me and asked if I would like to sit with her and her sister. These two ladies were from Rhode Island and this was their third RT. Linda and Mary were so nice to me and I continually kept bumping into them at the other sessions that day and then later that night at the Ellora's Cave Jungle party. I spent most of the convention with them. I felt like they had adopted me into their family. I forgot my camera in all the excitement of packing for the trip and they were wonderful enough to take pictures for me. How nice is that?!! As soon as I get the pictures, I'll be sure to post them.

I will post part two tomorrow!


nath said...

Karen Rose?!? You are soooo lucky Jill!! I am sooo jealous!

I love meeting romance bloggers, because it's true, there is an instant connection between all of us because of the books. It's sooo easy to talk to each other and get along!

Sounds like you had a great time and it was money well-spent! Now, I want to go to a romance conference so badly!! :) Can't wait to read more!

Kwana said...

I've never been to RT It will be fun sharing it with you. Thanks for the recap.

Wendy said...

Yeah, that "instant connection." It's wonderful isn't it? No need to hide. No need to gird your loins when you tell someone you like romance novels. Because everyone there likes romance novels, and there's never any threat of sneering!

Lori said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time. I can't wait to hear more :)

Jill D. said...

Nath, I thought about you when I was in Karen Rose's session. It was so surreal sitting there listening to her talk. She writes so quickly. She was saying she usually sits down and writes her books from start to finish in 60 days. Isn't that crazy and her books are long too!

Kristie (J) said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time. I'll be waiting for future installments. The first (and only) time I went to the RT convention, I didn't know anyone either but was perfectly comfortable. This was long before blogs. I imagine it would be totally different now.
And aren't Jane and Sarah nice? I've met them a few times now - and look forward to seeing them again in DC/

nath said...

60 days?!? Wow, that is really impressive!!

Tracy said...

Oh it sounds so fun and that you had a great time. I love being around other readers because there's always sooo much to talk about. People who don't read just don't get it.

Thank you for sharing your experiences! I can't wait to read more!

Christine said...

Hi Jill!
Sounds like you really had a great time. The reader panel with Karen Rose sounds very cool. What a creative way to engage readers.

Thanks for sharing! :)