Wednesday, March 16, 2011

FAN CONVENTION with Brenda Novak

by Jo Robertson

Please help me welcome NY Times Best-selling Author Brenda Novak back to the Lair. Not only is Brenda a prolific writer and mother of five, but she runs her annual Diabetes Research Auction every May. Check out her website and the current auction information at
www.brendanovak.com.

Brenda's latest book, INSIDE, releases June 28. Here's an advance review:

Ms. Novak has been a favorite of mine for some time, but this has to be The Book for me out of all her work. It’s the one I will remember for many years to come. It’s the one that stands out not only because of the content, but the depth of the romance that is instant and intense. You aren’t going to want to miss this one! FIVE STARS

We Read Romance

Today Brenda is discussing her and Christine Feehan's FAN Conventions.

WHAT IS A FAN CONVENTION? by Brenda Novak

When #1 New York Times Best-selling Author Christine Feehan came to me with the idea for FAN (Feehan And Novak Reader Appreciation Weekend) I was excited and definitely ready to jump in, but because I’d never been to such an event I had no idea what we should plan. That problem was quickly solved when we realized that our only goal was to make our event fun and exciting and a party our loyal readers would want to come back to again and again. We also wanted to make it intimate so that we’d be able to grow close as a group (and keep it manageable), so we capped it at 100.

Our first event last
year was a smashing success. We had so many of our guests tell us they wanted to come back—and they did. We just held FAN 2011, of which 40% were returnees. We also had guests from as far away as London and Calgary join us.

Follow the link for a slideshow experience of last year's event:
http://animoto.com/play/1Tie5jz0hx4RqVQcINL8Mg

So what do we do at FAN? All kinds of things! Our first two events were hel
d aboard a 1920’s riverboat, The Delta King, in Old Sacramento, which means we had a fabulous setting to start things off. Friday we threw a 1920’s Speakeasy, complete with gangster and flapper costumes and cigarette girls (candy), and played poker for prizes. A large key in each gift basket enabled the winner to unlock the treasure chest of bigger prizes, so we had some very excited winners--but everyone got a gift. That’s part of the fun of FAN—the registration bag alone had 10 or more books in it and we gave presents away at almost every function.

Saturday, we had a delicious brunch and played FANGO (basically Bingo) for more prizes. Then we had a chat with the authors, a booksigning (with a palm reader doing free readings in the other room) and the most hilarious Murder Mystery Dinner I’ve ever been to. (My husband killed Christine right in front of her agent and editor. ) There, we gave away more gifts and repeated the tradition at the send-off brunch in the paddlewheel room the following morning. At FAN 2011, we even had a few surprise guests—New York Times Bestselling Authors Cherry Adair and C.L.
Wilson!!

It was really fun to get to know the people who joined us. As with 2010, many claim they want to return, so I’m looking forward to seeing my new friends at the next FAN--only this time we’re changing up the party. We’re not sure of all the changes quite yet, but we’re going to do a Venetian Ball, complete with gowns and masks, in place of the Speakeasy. I’m already on the hunt for the most beautiful period costume ever.

If you’re interested in three days of rubbing elbows with fellow bibliophiles and enjoying one party after another, FAN 2012 is scheduled for March 2 – 4. Visit
http://www.fanconvention.net/ for more details (and pictures of our past events).

And if you think I’m going to sign off without telling you about my NEXT event for THIS year…you don’t know me very well. My seventh annual online auction for diabetes research opens May 1st at
http://brendanovak.auctionanything.com. Go there now to register so that you’re included in all the updates because this is going to be an AMAZING year. Check out some of the items we have up for auction:

Lunches with Bestselling Authors Suzanne Brockmann, Karen Rose, Dianna Gabaldon, Barry Eisler, Steve Berry and more!
A Selection of COACH Bags from Bestselling Author Anna DeStefano
Exquisite artwork, quilts, paintings, and jewelry from dozens of donors
Hundreds of autographed books
A Mexican Beach Getaway, A Week-Long Stay in Hawaii, Florida or Tennessee—even an African Safari
A Personal Styling Session/Makeover with Bertrand Pellegrin
A haircut from celebrity hairstylish Alyn Topper
An tanzanite/diamond ring set in 18k white gold from Michael Greene & Co. (valued at $8500)
A pave diamond heart necklace (valued at $3500)
Electronics, including Nooks, Kindles and iPads!
Agent for a Day With Jessica Faust
A Day at Kensington Books
For aspiring writers--Nearly 100 top agents and editors who are donating their time to evaluate your submission
To top it all off, the person who places the highest number of bids, even if that person doesn't wind up winning a single auction item, will receive a fabulous prize package that includes a brand new laptop computer, an autographed advanced reading copy of my new book, INSIDE (due out June 28th), a FAN 2012 Convention Registration and a mystery box filled with goodies!
See you at
brendanovak.com!


A question for today's readers: Have you ever attended a reader appreciation weekend? Is this something you'd like to do in the future? Why or why not?


Be sure to leave a comment to win a copy of Brenda's latest release.

81 comments:

mariska said...

:)

Cath's Chatter said...

If those kind of events were held here in NZ I'd definitely abandon the hubby and kids to attend!!!!!

Best of luck with the auction =]

mariska said...

Hi Brenda,
welcome to the lair :)

I've never attended any reader appreciation before. The economy is not my best friends now. But i would really like to do in future if i live nearby the location.
meeting people who loves books will always fun !

June M. said...

I have never attended any event like this but would like to at some point in the future. It would depend on where it was located and what authors would be attending.

Jane said...

Welcome Brenda,
I've never attended a reader appreciation weekend, but I do hope to so one day. I know Lori Foster does one and people write about their experience.

flchen1 said...

Woot! Enjoy the GR, Mariska!

I haven't yet attended a convention, but hope to some day! Brenda, I do enjoy your auction each year, and thank you for making it so easy and desirable to support the research for diabetes you do!

donnas said...

I have not yet been able to attend a reader appreciation weekend. But I am hoping to one day get the chance!

Congrats on the huge success of your auction every year. Its for a great cause.

jo robertson said...

Whoooo hoooo, Mariska! Congratulations on getting the rooster. Any special plans for him today?

I'm sure the economy is hitting all of us right now. I've had to cancel plans for National, but I've always wanted to go to the RT Convention!

jo robertson said...

Oh, Cath, I'd go in a heartbeat, a reader convention AND New Zealand. Ideal!

jo robertson said...

Me, too, June. I'm lucky enough to live close to Brenda and when she has her book release signings locally I get to attend.

She has the yummiest treats, too!

jo robertson said...

Fedora, the Auction is wonderful, isn't it? I've bid every year since Brenda began and I love playing. So many interesting items and it's such a worthy cause.

jo robertson said...

Hi, Donnas, thanks for stopping by!

This convention looks like loads of fun, especially the Mystery Dinner Theatre and dressing up in speakeasy era costumes!

Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews said...

Hi Brenda,

Welcome and I love your books!

I would definately attend an event but unfortunately where I live there isn't any!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Mariska, you've got the chook!

Brenda, welcome back to the lair. WE love it when you visit.

FAN sounds like SO much fun. I wish I was closer so I could attend. I've been to two reader conventions. The Australian Romance Readers Convention in Melbourne in 09 and RomCon last year in Denver. Both were fabulous fun. There's something really buzzy in the air at a reader convention - perhaps just because everyone's there to have fun! I'm just getting read for ARRC 11 at Bondi Beach in a bit over a week. Can't wait!

Anna Campbell said...

Cath, ARRC is bi-annual - you should save your pennies and fly over for it in 2013 (not sure of the location - I'm guessing Brisbane). You'd have a ball and I'd love to meet you!

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, one day I'd love to go to RT! Haven't made it yet. What a pity you won't be at RWA. Me either. I'm definitely going to be in Anaheim, though. Hopefully you will be too.

Cath's Chatter said...

Hey Anna, that sounds like an awesome plan!!!
and I'd LOVE to meet you too ♥♥♥

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Brenda -

I'm writing from Columbus, Ohio where I understand you'll be in October of this year (grin).

I've gone to Lori Foster & Dianne Castell's Reader Appreciation Day for something like the last eight years or so. It's been a blast. i even pitched my book to Cindy Hwang of Berkley there one year - she bought it a couple of months later. It's been a real delight to attend now as a published author. Fans are the best!

barb said...

have a good day Mariska

I am going to ARRC and will see Anna there....this is the first one I will have been to although I did go to the Australian Romances Reader Awards last year and had a good time.

Helen said...

Well done Mariska have fun with him

Hi Brenda and Jo

WOW would I love to go to the next one if only I ould get to America.

I went to The Australian Romance Readers Convention that was held in Melbourne in 2009 and had such a blast meeting authors and other romance readers it truly was an awesome weekend Sherrilyn Kenyon, Diana Love Susan Grant Liz Maverick were there and Australian authors Anna Campbell Stephanie Laurens Annie West just to name a few.
I loved it so much that I joined ARRA and am now a committee member and have been really busy organizing the next convention that will be held this month at Bondi Beach here in Sydney our key note speakers this time are Cindy Gerard, Anna Campbell and Nalini Singh and Anne Gracie Annie West and so many Australian authors will be with us again.

I am really looking forward to all the fun again listening to authors speak and meeting everyone catching up with friends that I met at ARRC09.

We are having a silent auction to raise funds for the Queensland flood victims and the donations have been fantastic

Have Fun
Helen

Helen said...

Cath

It is not too late to join us here in Oz at the end of the month and yes as Anna says save your pennies for 2013 and Brisbane should be home to that convention

Have Fun
Helen

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I have never attended an event quite like that but I did get to have dinner with some of the Bandits and the GR, that was the thrill of my life. Worked for me, ever walk into a restaurant and have them ask if you are there with the "Golden Rooser"?

Jenn3128 said...

I've never attended any, but would be open to it.

Anna Sugden said...

Welcome back, Brenda - great to see you. Love your 'Heat' series and eagerly awaiting your next book.

I haven't been to a reader appreciation event, but I went to RT in the old days (before it became a parody of itself) - the one in Baton Rouge - and had a fab time.

I still love going to the big signing at the RWA conference and being a fan girl *g*. I hope those of you in the NY area will drop by - they're fab events.

I'm really looking forward to going to the RWAustralia conference this year.

jo robertson said...

Hi, Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews! Thanks for stopping by today. I was noticing the blogs you follow. Quite a few LOL!

jo robertson said...

Ah, Anna, I'm so jealous of your attending these reader conventions. I'll bet there's nothing more satisfying to a writer and more enjoyable to a devoted reader. Lucky you!

Where is Bondi Beach located?

jo robertson said...

Yes, Anna, I'll definitely be at RWA Anaheim. It's just a short plane ride from me (or a long auto drive, ha ha)!

jo robertson said...

Cath, you'll love Anna. Her delightful accent alone is worth the trip LOL.

jo robertson said...

I forgot to say good morning to everyone! It's a drizzly, overcast day in northern California. I'm not planning on stepping outside at all! And I can stop praying for rain because we've had our share for the season.

jo robertson said...

Ooooh, fun, Donna. Is Brenda speaking this year?

jo robertson said...

Lucky you, Barb! I hear the ARRC is loads of fun!

jo robertson said...

Wow, Helen, I'm impressed! I know you're working hard on the ARRC, but it's very rewarding, isn't it?

That's an impressive lineup you have for this year's convention.

jo robertson said...

Oh, Helen, I also meant to say I don't know how you find time with work and all your grandbabies!

Okay, you're my new hero!

jo robertson said...

LOL, Dianna. Sometimes I think dinner with the rooster is more important than the Banditas! He's a wily one.

jo robertson said...

Jenn, I'm a convention virgin, too, but when I sell I'll be all over those. I'd really love to go to the one is Australia. Maybe in 2013, Brisbane, is the economy revives a bit.

I do enjoy wandering through the literary book signings at National and meeting the authors.

jo robertson said...

Hi, Anna S. Brenda's June release INSIDE involves Pelican Bay State Prison, about 350 miles northeast of me. I can't wait to read that one!

Anna Campbell said...

Dianna, the booking was under the chook's name? What fun!

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, Bondi Beach is our most iconic beach (although as a Queenslander, I have to say I think WE have better beaches up here,LOL!). It's only a few miles from the Sydney CBD.

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, thank you for the comment on the accent. I'm guessing Cath has an accent that's fairly similar - she's a NZer!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Jo, love the idea of you coming to Australia. You must come and stay. We've got Anna Sugden coming to our conference this year to present a workshop. I can't wait to catch up with her and her delightful husband. Especially as I'll miss seeing everyone at RWA this year. Sigh. Sob. Sniffle.

Brenda said...

Thanks for the warm welcome. Obviously, I did NOT get the rooster! LOL So sorry I'm late. Was up early but dealing with a crazy morning.

Brenda said...

Cath--Would LOVE to visit NZ. Maybe someday I'll hold a reader even there!

Brenda said...

Christine and I have done what we can to keep costs low. We definitely subsidize the event as much as possible simply because we know the economy's tough right now. Our visitors get their money back in gifts and books alone. LOL

Brenda said...

Jane, I'd like to go to Lori's event someday myself. I've heard great things about it.

Brenda said...

flchen1--Thanks for mentioning the auction. I'm so thrilled and grateful to all who have participated. I've been amazed by the generosity I've encountered.

Definitely put it on your list for this year. It's going to be better than ever!

jo robertson said...

Ah, Anna, you're wicked to tempt me, but I'd love to visit Australia and the con would be the perfect excuse!

The two Annas together in one place! Delightful.

jo robertson said...

That's what I like about your FAN, Brenda. It's reasonably priced and the fans get so much book bling!

jo robertson said...

Each year the Diabetes Research Auction gets better and better! Lots of lovely things to bid on. Last year I bid on and won a lovely brooch, circa 1920's, which would be perfect for the Speakeasy affair LOL.

Brenda said...

Donnas--Have you registered for the auction? We're going to offer a huge prize package to the person who places the highest number of bids, even if that person doesn't end up winning any of the items. This year it's a laptop and some other goodies. The secret to that is to get in early when all the bids are at $2!

Brenda said...

Hi Jo--Going to miss you at RWA this year. I was toying with not going myself, but can't miss NYC. LOL

Brenda said...

This year's launch party is going to be at La-Z-Boy, Jo, on June 28th, so mark your calendar. Anyone else who'd like to come (and lives close enough) is invited, too. We're going to have all kinds of raffle baskets and the first 100 people get a goody bag when they arrive. We're working out the exact time, but it should be around 6:00 p.m.

Brenda said...

Paranormal and Suspense Reviews--Thanks for saying you love my books. I'm so glad to hear it! :-) Thanks for dropping by.

Brenda said...

Anna, I loved RomCon last year. It was fun to see you there. I, too, like the excitement of a good convention. Wish i could come to the Australia one. Some day!

Brenda said...

Hey, I'll get to see you at RT, Anna. I'm going, too!

Brenda said...

Hey, I'll get to see you at RT, Anna. I'm going, too!

Brenda said...

Donna, what a great story about selling your book! How cool is that!! At a reader appreciation day? LOL Wow!!

Yes, I'm coming to Ohio for the first time. Can't wait!!

Brenda said...

Barb, have fun at ARRC. I'm jealous!

Brenda said...

Helen, Cindy told me she was going to be attending. How fun! I'm not sure if I was asked to contribute to the auction or not, but I'd be happy to if you need more people.

Brenda said...

Yes, Jo, that brooch would be perfect--except next year we're doing a Venetian Ball (will probably still work!). It would be wonderful to have you there!

BJ said...

Oh wow how I would love to attend one....They look like so much fun...I just wish I won the Lotto already....LOL
I always find something else more important to spend the money on. On day though...I have the change jar collecting money.... :0)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Morning Brenda and Jo!

Brenda, your events are always so much fun! I've attended a couple of your launch parties and the goodies (both edible and non-edible) are GREAT!

I'm looking forward to the Diabetes Research Auction this year. As you know, it is a cause very near and dear to my heart. I'm thinking the Banditas will donate some items, same as in years past.

AC

Brenda said...

Thanks so much for your support, Cindy. It's always great to have you out at an event! And I'm really excited to see what the banditas might donate this year.

Brenda said...

Speaking of local events, have you heard about my local tie-in event to the online fundraiser? I'm hosting THE PERFECT BRUNCH, and it's going to be so fun. I can't believe all the fabulous businesses and people who are coming together to make this happen. Check it out at brendanovak.com (there's a link right below my books on the front page).

Brenda said...

BJ--That change will add up. I'll look for you at a future event! LOL

Jeanne M said...

I would love to be able to attend a Readers Appreciation event.

Unfortuantely there are two things holding me back - my husband and my boss. You'll notice there is a common denominator here - they both males.

I wonder what their problem is to have me gone. Would d they miss me, my cooking or that I show up for work everyday?

Nas Dean said...

If ever a event like that is held somewhere near, I'd definitely attend! It would be so awesome to connect with readers and writers!

nas_dean@ymail.com

Danielle Gorman said...

Wow, that looks like so much fun! The only thing I've gone to is the RWA book signing last year in Orlando. Not sure if that is considered a reader appreciation event or not.

Brenda said...

Jeanne--Hmm...it's nice to be needed, but... LOL

Brenda said...

Nas, I think they're not that uncommon. Maybe one will be close to you soon. Where do you live?

Brenda said...

Danielle, the booksigning is really fun, but not quite the party this is. I hope you can attend some day.

catslady said...

I would love to go to a convention for a chance to meet my favorite authors. I almost made it to one and the person going with me bailed at the last minute (sigh).

jo robertson said...

Catslady, I'm so sorry your friend bailed on you.

I got to meet one of my fave romance writers -- Mary Balogh -- at National one year, and all I could do was stutter and stammer about how I adored her books. She's probably got a restraining order out on me now, or maybe she's used to it LOL.

jo robertson said...

Danielle, clearly the reader appreciation conventions have lots more stuff aimed at the reader than just book signings. That's why Brenda's is so much fun.

jo robertson said...

Nas Dean, I agree -- your favorite kind of people all in one spot!

jo robertson said...

Hmmmm, Jeanne M, I sympathize with that. I do love a man who's not afraid to pick up a book with a sexy cover (and I DON'T mean Playboy LOL). Unfortunately, I don't live with any of those.

jo robertson said...

Brenda, THE PERFECT BRUNCH sounds delightful.

jo robertson said...

BJ, I think I have the same change jar LOL!

Hi, Cindy, I know diabetes research is very important to you.

jo robertson said...

Yeah, Brenda, I think I missed the boat on that 1920's brooch. Maybe there'll be something very Venetian in the way of jewelry at the May Auction!

jo robertson said...

Cool Brenda! Is the June 28 launch at the Lazy Boy in Roseville? I've already marked my calendar. Sounds great!

jo robertson said...

Thanks for visiting with us today, Brenda! It's always good to have you and we loved hearing about the FAN conventions!

LilMissMolly said...

I've been to only one day reader-writer event when RT was near where I live. I had the best time! I'd go again but RT is in LA this year, which is over 2600 miles.

I was planing on going to RWA last year for the whole week-end when it was in Tennessee (which I can drive to in 6 hours), but when it was changed to Disney in Florida after the floods it was just too far away (a 2-day drive). This year RWA is in NYC but that is just too expensive for me. :(