Thursday, April 17, 2008

Romantic Times Convention - Day 1

by Christie Kelley

Since I'm at the RT conference I thought today's blog would be about all that happened yest

I have arrived in Pittsburgh! After checking in, I was ready to see what was happening. It's only 12pm right now and lots to do so I can blog about it later. I have my camera charging so I can snap a few photos and hopefully get them up here.

There are a few workshops but a lot more tomorrow. I'll let you know if I attend any of interest.

Okay, it's the 10:30pm update after two glasses of wine (please excuse the typos, it's the wine, really). I attended the booksigning for independent publishers and e-publishers. There I met up with a few friends of mine.

Here is one of my critique partners, Kate Poole at the signing.

Next is another critique partner, Kathy Love with Erin McCarthy.

I met with several of the Banditas, including KJ, Trish and Donna. In the picture there is Trish on the left, then Donna, me and KJ (at the bar, of course).

We had a great time at the bar and then went to dinner at an Italian restaurant near the hotel. I met several people from the American Title contest at dinner. After which, we all went back to the conference for the Ellora's Cave party. As I was standing around looking for people, two lovely women from Maryland introduced themselves as readers.

It's now way past my bedtime so I'll sum this up with questions. For the writers among us, tell me about the best time you've had at conferences. For the readers, have you ever attended a reader's or writer's conference? If not, what are you waiting for?


Trish Milburn said...

I think I might have the Golden Rooster.

Trish Milburn said...

Hey, I do. It pays to stay downstairs partying until midnight. :)

It was fun hanging out with the Banditas earlier tonight. My feet hate me now from the dancing at the party, and there is much more dancing to go! I believe some of that dancing will be done in tennis shoes since I think my heels made it about one dance tonight before I kicked them off.

I met a couple of the cover models in the Mr. Romance competition who were nice. I think my buddy Anna DeStefano knows them all. :)

Christine Wells said...

Hi Christie! Thanks for the update on the RT conference. Great to see you gals together. Hope you're all having a fab time.

I've been pregnant or sick for almost every RWAus conference I've been to, so I'm still waiting to have a great one;) Actually, the best conference I had was the year I sold Scandal's Daughter. It was such a great feeling getting my first sale ribbon and celebrating with friends.

Congrats, Trish! Sounds like the GR is going to the right place--you being such a party animal and all:) Have fun!

Anna Campbell said...

I think you might, Ms Milburn! Huzzah! Does that mean he gets to go to RT and I don't??!!! Whaaaaahhh!

Christie, thanks for the update. Sounds like you gals are having a wonderful time! Bet it only gets better too.

I think my favorite conference was Dallas last year. I met such a lot of wonderful people and I got to hang out with my bandita pals in a big way. And I got to put so many faces to people I only knew over email. And I sorta knew the ropes after being totally at sea at my first RWA conference in Atlanta the year before.

flchen1 said...

Woohoo! Congrats, Trish! And thanks, Christie, for the update! It sounds delightful! I admit that I've never attended any of the romance conferences--I don't think I knew anything about them before this year! It took finding the Lair to open my eyes to whole world of wonders ;) Can't wait to hear more about it!

Jane said...

Wish I was there. I've never been to one of these conventions. Like Fedora, I didn't know much about them until recently. I know we're missing out on meeting our favorite authors, meeting hot cover models and picking up swag.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

BIG THANX for the update, Christie!

And WTG, Trish on snagging the GR!

Hope you gals aren't having TOO MUCH FUN without us!! Can't wait to see more piccies and hear all about the AT4 ceremony! I know our Trish will look like the princess she is. :-)

Fedora, you're in California aren't you? HIE THEE to San Francisco the night of the RWA Literacy signing!!! ALL THOSE AUTHORS and ALL those READERS crowded together in a huge room is an experience not to be missed. Plus, I've heard rumblings of an invitation only bash afterward...

Atlanta has definitely been my stand out conference, what with being a GH finalist and all. But I have a feeling SF will eclipse it. I'd LOVE to go to RT. Maybe next year...

off to watch Leno as usual

Denise Rossetti said...

Colour me a delicate shade of pea green Down Under. Oooh, I'd LOVE to go to an RT convention. Maybe next year. *crosses fingers*

My best conference? I think last year at the RWAus conference in Sydney. Every year they're great, the support and camaraderie is incredible, but last year I was a PUBLISHED AUTHOR. Wow! People asked me to sign copies of my books and everything. It was wonderful.

If any of you overseas Banditas can come, we promise to show you a good time. Especially now that Christine isn't expecting. ;-)

And I'll be at San Francisco ready to paaaarty, with about a squillion Aussies, including Anna and Christine. Can't wait - I'm bringing the do-me red heels. Yay! *grin*

Amy Andrews said...

Hey Denise, I'm bringing my do-me red heels too. Whew, there's gonna be a lot of doin goin on ;-)

I'd have to agree. My first RWOz conference as a published author was the best. And all the ones since.
SF is going to be very hard to top methinks....

Keira Soleore said...

Trish, no fair. You were right there at the station next to Christie, waiting for her to post, so you could steal the GR. Hm. Grrr.

Trish is that a new look for you? Somehow I remember your hair cut/color differently last July.

Christie, thanks for keeping us up-to-date. I was going to come up here and go through a major pout. Now I can't. :)

For the writers among us, tell me about the best time you've had at conferences

Catching up with friends at the bar, chit-chating with a group that I only partially know, and then discover that there are some famous people hidden in that group. That's how I met the Smart Bitches last year. Or Caryn Johnson.

Keira Soleore said...

Plus, I've heard rumblings of an invitation only bash afterward...

Ah well, there are only so many parties I can horn in. The Harlequin is the one I want to crash.

BTW, when were you guys thinking of doing a Bandita dinner?

Helen said...

Congrats Trish

Looks like everyone is having fun wish I was there with you. I have never been to one before but if there is another one in Sydney I plan on going if readers are allowed. I would love to meet up with a lot of the authors I might be a bit shy but I sure have a lot of books that I would love to have signed.

Have fun

Kelly Krysten said...

I've never been to a convention, but I definitely want to after you painted such a delightful picture.

Amy Andrews said...

Helen the next Sydney conference will be in 2010. Readers are most defintely welcome. We'd love to see you there.

Buffie said...

Woohoo Christie! Sounds like the party is already in full swing. And you say you got meet a couple of the candidates for Mr. Romance 2008 . . . so WHERE are the pictures???? Did you get to meet Chris Howell? He is in the running for the cyper choice award. Thanks for keeping us updated!

Denise Rossetti said...

Helen, if you go here -
you'll find info on the first Aussie Romance Readers Convention. It's in Melbourne in Feb of next year.

Everyone's sooo excited and a heap of local writers are going, including Christine, Anne Gracie and me. Keynote speakers include Stephanie Laurens, MaryJanice Davidson and Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Not too shabby! *g*

Christie Kelley said...

Trish, way to go. You must have watched me leave the dancefloor and head to my room.

Christie Kelley said...

I won't be able to be on the pc much today. There are a lot of good sounding workshops that I want to attend. So everyone have fun, I'll stop by when I can and give updates.

PJ said...

Congrats on nabbing the rooster, Trish!

Christie, thanks for the update. Sounds like y'all are having a great time. Wish we could all be there to join you!

I haven't attended a full conference yet but I was in Atlanta for the literacy signing. It was fabulous! Eloisa James spent a couple hours with a group of us from her bb and we had such fun. We laughed and chatted like we had known one another for years. There were lots of squeals and hugs shared with Squawkers Teresa Medeiros, Christina Dodd, Elizabeth Bevarly and Connie Brockway. (Lisa hadn't arrived yet) The signing itself is a fantasy experience, not to be missed if you're anywhere in the vicinity. The authors were all so funny, warm, gracious and very welcoming.

Helen said...

Thanks Denise I have hopefully been added to the mailing list and if I can be there I will be with bells on.

Have Fun

terrio said...

The NJ RWA conference last year was my first and I had a blast. I met some of my friends I'd only known online and got to dance the night away with Eloisa. What could be better?!

I cannot wait for San Fran. Though now I'm thinking I won't be getting much sleep. LOL! Ah, I can sleep on the long plane ride home.

Keira - I'm with you on that Harlequin party. I've heard stories...LOL!

I'll be at the RT signing on Saturday morning so I can't wait to meet you all!

Trish Milburn said...

Yes, I think I'll take the GR dancing tonight. :)

Dallas last year was awesome, particularly after winning the GH for that YA book that I LOVE.

Cindy, thanks for the sweet princess comment, but I have to laugh a little at that. :)

Keira, LOL! I actually was surprised no one else had posted. Christie left the party before I did, and I magically got an Internet connection in my room for about five seconds last night so I posted.

Buffie, I met Chris Howell last night. He was really nice.

Denise, I went to a panel yesterday with MaryJanice Davidson on it, and she's an absolute hoot! I'd not read her books, but just because of that panel I'm going to get some at the book signing.

doglady said...

Yay, Trish! The Wotten Wooster Napper of the Day! The RT conference sounds like so much fun! Especially the Mister Romance models part! Photos please!

I've been to a couple of conferences, but I think the nicest so far was the one in Birmingham when I met Teresa Medeiros. She had given my story on the Avon FanLit event her "rose" as her pick and I had printed out her comments and got her to sign it for me. She was so sweet and told everyone what I good writer I was, etc. Made it a very special conference for me!

I am REALLY looking forward to my first National in San Francisco and can't wait to meet all the Banditas!

jo robertson said...

Christie, I'm so jealous that you and Banditas Donna, Trish and KJ get to attend RT. Sounds like you guys are having a blast!

Ooooh, Trish, cover models? Lucky you!

Even though the Atlanta conference was where I won my Golden Heart, and Dallas where I won the Daphne, I have to say that Reno was my favorite because it was my first RWA Conference and I was so impressed and overwhelmed with the workshops, commaraderie, and festivities.

You never forget your first, right?

Buffie said...

Buffie, I met Chris Howell last night. He was really nice.

Trish -- is that all you can say about the man??? Come on, there's got to be more. So, does he look as good in person as he does in his photo?

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Plus, I've heard rumblings of an invitation only bash afterward...

Hmmm, I never thought I'd ever be TOO SUBTLE! Yes, that was a reference to a Bandita bash that is in the planning stages. Stay tuned here for MORE DETAILS.

And Trish, AHEM, NOWHERE did I call you sweet, just a princess. You are not fooling yer ole Aunty. Not with that wicked Bandita gleam in your eye! :-)

Denise, Amy and all others from DownUnder, can't WAIT for you all to arrive in SF. However, remember this IS San Francisco, so don't expect too much from the do-me shoes, except envy... Am I being too subtle again???

My BFF is talking retirement in the next couple of years and she has already told me she plans for the two of us (sans DHs) to journey to Oz. Is the RWAus always in Feb? Maybe we can make our travel plans accordingly.


Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Christie!! Waiving madly towards PA at you, KJ, Trish and Donna!!

Sounds like y'all are having a grand time.

I've been to numerous conferences. Reno was great fun, except that was where "the incedent" happened, so I'd have to say Atlanta where we all met was the best conference. But then, last year's Dallas conference was way cool too!

Anna Campbell said...

Cindy, ROMAUS is always on about a month after the US conference - so this year, it's around the 24th August. Most years, it's about a fortnight earlier than that. What Denise is talking about is a reader conference modeled, from what I can gather, on RT. That's on in Feb. So clearly, you and your BFF will either have to come twice or stay six months! Goes without saying that we'd love to see you!

Helen said...

Amy thanks for the heads up for 2010 I will be there

Have Fun

MsHellion said...

I'm going to the Chicago Spring Fling next week. I'm excited and yet scared to death. I've been to one other, but it was MUCH smaller, like a one-day workshop conference thingie...and this one has editor/agent pitches and stuff.

Amy Andrews said...

LOL Aunty Cindy, I'll keep that in my mind about my do-me shoes. I'm sure my hubby will appreciate them and rise to the occasion..... >:-0

Is this a bad time to mention I'll be attending the Harlequin bash....
bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha...

Amy Andrews said...

Oooh, another great thing about SF is that my ed is coming from London too so I'll finally get to meet her.
Yep, I reckon SF will go straight to the top of my "incredible experiences" list.

Christie Kelley said...

Day 2 update. Thanks for having fun without me today, everyone! I attended a couple of workshops and met up with Donna. We sat together for lunch. Sorry, didn't see much of the cover models today.

I had a Kensington cocktail party this evening so I met a bunch of authors over there.

Tonight is the fairy ball.

Trish Milburn said...

Okay, this post is several days old so I don't know if anyone will see this new response. Buffie, yes, Chris isn't too bad on the eyes either. :) I met him, James Gaskin (also very nice), and Luke Walsh. They were all fun to talk to and nice in addition to being good looking.