Now that I’m finally recovering from the craziness that was the Romantic Times Convention, or RT15, I may be able to reflect a little on my adventures.
Last year I attended RT in New Orleans. It was really overwhelming for me and I did skip out on a lot to hide out with my family, who came with me. I have only been to a couple local reader/author events and was not prepared for the likes of RT. Some RT veterans had mentioned that RT14 was a little more crowded than usual, probably because of the location. I took that to heart, and when it was announced RT15 was in my backyard, I signed right up.
Despite RT being in my backyard, I didn’t want to miss out on any of the events travelling back and forth, so a few friends and I decided to book a room in the convention hotel. I don’t remember ever rooming with anyone since like, Girl Guides, so I was a bit nervous. Turns out I had great friends who didn’t make fun of my snoring or kick me out of the bed! Thanks Annie, Aimee & Stephanie!
We planned. We had our schedules worked out, we had our grocery lists for our room, we were set. We checked in on Tuesday and attended the Book Bloggers day, that ended with a party hosted by Harlequin. It had started and we already had our first handful of books.
Wednesday hit like a whirlwind and my agenda went flying out the window. The Welcome Breakfast line intimidated me from the start. I thought I was early! Ha! The crepes were good, but skipped out pretty early to hit the line for the Goody Room which had been forming even before breakfast started.
I had planned for panel after panel despite seeing there was only 15 minutes between panels. By the time one panel ended and you found the room for the next, there was already a long line. It quickly became apparent that if I wanted a good seat for a certain panel, I needed to get there early. So, I rearranged my agenda until I only had panels every other hour. It meant taking out some panels I did want to go to, but I needed my sanity.
The bigger events and parties were where my slim grip on sanity nearly broke. The lines. OMG, the lines! Also, the mass chaos that happens when readers are let loose in a room full of free books and authors. It was a stampede I tell ya! If you weren’t fast, the book selection dwindled. This meant that once again, you needed to be in line early. Way early. So once again, agenda’s needed to be reorganized. There were a couple of nice, relaxing blogger parties. They were a nice break! After all the chaos of the day, I ended up pretty exhausted pretty early and did end up missing the night time parties.
I’m going to say right now. I suck at pictures. I never remember to take them, and half the time my phone was on the brink of dying. I have to mention here that Amazon Prime Now is the shit! (This is not a paid endorsement) My little charger was just not getting my phone charged the way I needed it to, so I popped on Prime Now, found a stronger one, and BOOM, that baby was delivered two hours later, right to my room! It was amazing! Anyway, yes, I suck at pictures, and about the only time I remembered to take them was when someone reminded me. So, here is the extent of my photo taking (can you see the stress on my face?):
I did remember the Saturday book signing from the year before. So, with my experience with the lines, and the knowledge that the public would also be attending, I pulled my ass out of bed early. Only to find out the line was already forming. We hauled ass downstairs as fast as we could. I will say the line, and the actual signing itself were much better than last year. The check out process was much faster and the lines for the authors weren’t nearly as bad. I had my plan on my little map, I was in and out in time to have lunch before we got in line for the next event!
Saturday’s lines were crazy. By crazy, I mean hours long. Not only did you need good shoes, but a nice cushion to sit on would have been nice too. We ended up getting into parties, do a quick mingle, then run to the next party line. Oh, an extra set of hands to carry the multiple bags of books would have been handy too!
RT15 was a crazy, whirlwind of action, and a week later I’m still recovering. I came out with a lot of new books which is always fun, and I had a really good time with my roommates. My biggest regret was that I did not do the social thing very well. I would have loved to walk up to some of the authors hanging out and said hi, but I couldn’t do much more than stare in awe. I also really wanted to meet the bloggers that were there that I’ve talked to before. I’m really kicking my butt for that one.
This was definitely an experience, one I will never forget. I probably won’t repeat it though. My little introvert self wouldn’t be able to handle it!