At some point in my life, I hope to reach the stage of level-headed maturity where every new experience doesn’t send me into an internal meltdown of “But I won’t know anyone” first-day-of-school jitters. Today is not that day. Neither was any day in May, but I managed to have a good time in spite of myself at the RT Booklovers Convention in New Orleans. If you’ve never been, it’s an easy mix of more parties than you can shake a stick at and workshops for authors, readers, bloggers. It seems like there’s something for everyone who loves books. Here are 5 of my highlights:
Meeting a reader. In person! One of the benefits of this convention is meeting readers. Lots and lots of readers. I anticipated spending most of the Bookfair talking with the authors beside me. I did some of that (increasing my chances of knowing someone at the next convention, see?) But I also sold and signed books. And then I met someone who said, “I just wanted to say hello. I’ve read all your books already.” She named characters and I fell in love right there. The table between us was probably a very good thing. I might have squeezed her too hard without it. What an amazing boost to my stick-to-it-iveness.
Shaking the hands of authors I’ve read and loved for so long. I was star struck, for sure. I spent too much time at a cocktail party peeking at a big name historical author and didn’t seize my chance. I did introduce myself to another, shook her hand, and was glad for the table again. I would have squeezed her too hard too probably.
Spending time with virtual friends in person. I might have also done some squeezing, but I was very careful. I met several bloggers who’ve been very kind to me. I met Twitter friends and people whose Twitter convos I’ve eavesdropped on for entirely too long face to face.
Listening to other writers talk about writing. I always forget how much it means to me to listen to people who are doing what I do talk about it. Their excitement is contagious.
New Orleans. I’ve never been. Now I’ve walked down Bourbon Street (with a hurricane in my hand because when in New Orleans...) and had beignets at Café du Monde while overlooking Jackson Square. I felt very cosmopolitan.
It was a good trip. From there, I drove to the beach, plopped down under an umbrella, and read books for four days, so coming back to the real world has been a struggle! Next year, the convention moves to Dallas. Here’s the link if you’re interested in finding out more: https://www.rtconvention.com/