RT is always a whirlwind writer-reader, romance-loving, soul-sister community, craft-cram, friend-binge, party-fun fest. And I can already tell this year will be no exception. It’s like a family reunion, writing boot camp, girl’s night (and day-and night…) out, and group therapy session all rolled into one!
My first thought in walking into the Peppermill Resort in Reno was wow. Just wow! The half dozen ginormous LCD screens flashing romance ads, towering video columns, and floor ads hit me in a stunning visual display – everything celebrating romance. I could feel the almost palpable excitement build. Quickly, I registered to get my name badge and goodie bag. Okay! Let the fun begin!
RT has an amazing number of events to attend every hour all day long and then into the evening with parties. During the day you can choose from reader events, writer workshops on craft, marketing, business, including self-publishing, panels featuring top authors on every part of the writer and reader experience. The only sad thing – a huge bummer for me- is that you have to choose, and something always gets left out. No way you can do it all!
Day one started with RT’s Welcome Breakfast to celebrate 37 years of Romantic Times. Founders Kathryn Falk and Ken Rubin welcomed everyone, then hit us with a big announcement that this year, 2018, would be the final RT Booklovers Convention, and the end of May would mark the end of Romantic Times Reviews, RT VIP Salon, and new updates on their website. Just looking around at people’s faces I could tell many were stunned, sad, and confused. The welcome breakfast ended with tributes and toasts to Kathryn Falk, and RT. Fortunately, JoCarol Jones will have a Book Lovers Convention in New Orleans next year which was a relief to many.
I attended back to back Self-Pub / Hybrid Workshops by Smashwords founder, Mark Coker.
My biggest take away, involved the critical importance of the Pre-Orders. Big note to self – Release your book as a Pre-Order. List up to twelve months before release. Pre-Order! Pre-Order! Pre-Order!
My favorite workshop of the day was the craft class: Friends, Sidekicks, and Hooligans. The – panel consisted of authors C.J. Corbin, Cynthia Diamond, Janet Tate, Marie Andreas and Lisa Kessler. They are all authors from San Diego. Their obvious ease and camaraderie was evident throughout, making for a fun, sometimes raucous, and very supportive panel. I came away with fresh new ideas, lessons, bit my big take away was, “Remember your side character is someone’s favorite. Don’t short change them.”
After lots of hugs, laughter, and catching up with friends, the evening ended with two parties;
Garters and Gold Dust and then Peace, Love and Romance Celebration. The first tickled my love of historical romance – I especially loved the fancy historical costumes and gorgeous period hats. And the second party was a fling back to the sixties and early seventies. Great costumes, lights, they even had a psychedelic, tie-dye bus photo op. I’m still grinning, it was so fun. A few fun authors and readers, including fantasy romance, world building master C.L. Wilson taught me some twerking moves. I was practically rolling on the floor with laughter. I cant wait for tomorrow.