I attended the annual RT Booklovers Convention in Chicago on April 11-15. I enjoy going to conventions because you get to meet so many folks — readers, authors, bloggers, reviewers, editors, and agents — who are all so passionate about books. Here are some of the events I participated in:
I had breakfast with the very witty Sarah Wendell, who runs the popular book blog Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. We talked about books, social media, and more. Sarah also told me about Bookshare, which helps increase the accessibility of books to people with disabilities. She’s going to be doing a panel about the program at the national RWA conference later this year.
Later that day, I participated in a young adult panel with Kiera Cass, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Kimberly Derting, and Carrie Ryan that was moderated by Melissa Marr. We talked about writing fight scenes, killing off characters, and other issues in YA books. It was a fun panel to be on, and we got some laughs from the crowd, which is always nice.
I also met up with some author friends, including Edie Ramer and Liz Kreger, who are in the Entangled e-anthology. They brought me Beechwood cheese from Wisconsin, and I took them some Moon Pies from down South.
I participated in an urban fantasy panel with Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Nicole Peeler, and Jaye Wells that was moderated by Lucienne Diver. One of the things we talked about was what urban fantasy is. My definition: Kick-ass heroines who kill bad creatures/monsters and make out with hot guys. LOL. Anyway, that was another fun panel to be a part of.
I also attended an author/reader mixer hosted by my YA publisher, Kensington. The cool thing were the cookies that they gave away that had the authors’ book covers on them, including some for Dark Frost.You can see the cookies in the basket above left. I kept one for myself. I think it’s too pretty to eat.
Also, before the mixer, I got to meet Kensington authors Marilyn Brant, Cynthia Eden and Victoria Alexander, along with many other folks. Below left is me with Victoria Alexander, who told me that she’s been reading and enjoying my Mythos Academy series. It’s always nice to hear when other authors like your work, so that was really flattering.
I had to leave the mixer a little early because I had another event happening at the same time, which was a luncheon for YA librarians/booksellers. I talked to several librarians and booksellers (many of whom are also bloggers), and among the folks I met was Casey from Literary Escapism.
I had breakfast with my editor and some other folks from Kensington, and we talked about Crimson Frost, the fourth Mythos Academy book that will be out in January 2013. It was really cool to talk with the Kensington folks about my books and all the other books they have coming up. They really are passionate about getting the word out about their books and authors.
That afternoon, I went to the awards ceremony, where Spider’s Revenge won for Best Urban Fantasy novel. Huzzah! It was an honor just to be nominated with so many other great books and authors, and I was really honored to win. So thank you to everyone RT for the award. I really appreciate it.
Although the winners had to go up on stage and give a short thank-you speech. I started panicking a little about that, especially when I realized who was on stage before me: J.R. Ward. Yes, that’s right. I had to accept my award right after J.R. Ward did hers. LOL. Anyway, I hope my speech was okay and that I thanked everyone I meant to. All I remember is trying not to drop the award. Everything else is a bit of a blur.
The big event on Saturday was the Giant Book Fair, which featured several hundred authors. I signed books in the YA Alley with other young adult authors. This was the busiest I’ve ever been at a book signing. I think I signed books for about 60-90 minutes straight, which was really awesome. It seemed like there was a really good turnout for the book fair.
Later that afternoon, I participated in a Speed Reading event with about 11 other YA authors. Every author read about a three-minute passage from their books. I thought that was a neat way to introduce the authors to the folks in the audience and get a sample of their books/writing style at the same time.
And finally, I attended a YA party that evening. Folks were given scavenger hunt sheets, and they had to go around and find different authors in the crowd and get them to answer questions in order to win some tote bags signed by the authors. I thought that was a fun way to get the teens talking to the authors.
And that was my conference. I’m going to do another post about some trends and other things that I noticed, so be on the lookout for that. And if you ever get the chance to go to RT, even if it’s just for the book fair, consider it. If you love books, you’ll probably have a great time.