#RWA13 Author Signing!

RWA Literacy Autographing

What better way to revive RtR than by recapping one of the biggest romance reader events of the year! After struggling with my reading mojo for months, when I heard that this year’s Romance Writer’s Convention was being held in Atlanta — and that they were having an event for the public — I knew I had to go! With over 400 authors (and easily double that many attendees!), the #RWA13 “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing was hands down the BEST bookish event I’ve ever been to!

I didn’t know what to expect, but I did do a bit of research the day before by making a list of which authors I had to meet. On the day of the event, in true Georgia summer fashion, the weather was erratic — rolling clouds, sticky, humid temps… it looked like it was going to open up and start pouring at any minute — but I wasn’t going to let that stop me! I made it to the hotel with ten minutes to spare and right before the thunderstorms began (whew!). When I arrived, I stopped dead in my tracks — literally. The line to get into the atrium was insane! Silly me for thinking that I was just going to waltz in, when in fact I should’ve arrived hours before as opposed to mere minutes. Luckily, once they opened the doors the line moved quickly and before I knew it I was in a room filled with people just like me — bookish, rom-loving fans. The air was electric!

Even though there were hundreds of people mingling about and standing in line to meet their favorite authors, I was able to make my way around and meet all the authors on my list! Talk about fangirling — I altered between squeeing my love, tumbling over my words, to being speechless. I can say, though, that there were a lot of “Oh my god!” and “It’s such an honor to meet you!”

The Authors

The best part is, every single author I talked to was SO NICE and genuinely happy to be there, interacting with fans! Then again, why wouldn’t they be? They write happily ever afters for a living! Everyone knows that romance lovers are nicer people ;) In addition to meeting all my favorites, I also scooped up copies of each of their books — complete with personalized autographs!

Book Haul + Autograph

When I finally made my way to the checkout line, my final haul was 8 books, including a reprint of the first romance book I ever read. A respectable amount, I’d say — especially considering how many I could have ended up with. Let’s just say it’s a good thing I hadn’t come prepared with an empty suitcase!

Despite the crappy weather, I’m so glad I went and got a chance to mingle with “my own kind.” Now that I’ve gotten my convention feet wet, I’m already planning how I can attend the next event… RT Con, anyone??

 

Roaming Around the Web

Howdy! Consider this the first edition of Roaming Around the Web, a linkfest for romance and bookish-related happenings. Depending on how much good stuff I come across during the week, R.A.W. posts will range from lengthy to short ‘n sweet. Yikes… One paragraph in and this post is already dripping with double entendre (including this sentence). Shall we begin?

  • One of my fave authors, Carly Phillips, waxed poetic on the Penguin blog on what makes a contemporary romance. It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for small-town romance, and Ms. Phillips does an excellent job at articulating why they’re just so darn charming (and addictive!).
  • What’s better than scoring a new read? Scoring a free new read. Double it and you’ve got yourself a surefire good time. Currently, Ripped Apart (a romantic suspense by Miriam Minger) and At His Mercy (an erotic short story by Alison Kent) are listed as freebies in the Kindle store. If you’re anything like me, you’ve already DL’d them or you’re eagerly clicking the links before you can even finish reading this sentence!
  • Ever wondered what goes on in editors’ minds while wading through the slush pile? Thanks to Carina Press Exec Editor Angela James’ Edit Report, your burning questions can be quelled. Her most recent report answered questions like what percent of submissions are sent R&R (revise and resubmit) letters (A: 5%) and what type of books do editors decide to accept (A: Said of recently acquired book, “I love [its] vivid small town setting, rich secondary romance & how author explores the complex family dynamics.”). Be sure to follow @AngelaJames and/or her #editreport on Twitter for more of her behind-the-scenes POV in the world of editing & books.

ROAMING QUESTION: Have you come across anything interesting (romance/book-related or not) in the World Wide Web? If so, please share! I’m especially keen to links that feature cute animals doing even cuter — and quirkier — things.

Truly, Madly in Love

For my first post, I thought it only appropriate to talk about The Book That Started it All. And by ‘it,’ I mean my love affair with romance books.

I was 15 when I stumbled across Truly, Madly Yours by Rachel Gibson at a yard sale. Though it was nestled in a stack of other 25 cent contemporary romance books, the story between Delaney and Nick caught my attention more than the others. She was a hairdresser, and he was the town’s bad boy, and the chemistry between them set my eyes ablaze! Top it off with a small, quirky town called Truly (still one of the best fictional towns I’ve ever read about) and I had myself a new love — a love for romances.

After Truly, Madly Yours, each time I went to the bookstore, I made a beeline to the ‘G’s in the romance section and bought something by Rachel Gibson. At the time, she was all I knew, and I knew she wrote amazingly. Titles like Simply Irresistible, It Must be Love and Lola Carlyle Reveals All quickly followed.

Then one day, I decided to roam around the romance section to see what else caught my eye. At the time, my knowledge of romances was limited, so I had no choice but to stick with what I knew, which was bright, playful covers. Hand me a book with a curly title and a cutesy drawing of a woman (or her accessories), and chances are I’d be a happy camper — which is how I learned about other contemp authors like Susan Mallery, Carly Phillips and Jennifer Crusie. At the time, I didn’t feel bad for judging books based on their covers because while their covers were cute and colorful, the stories inside them were just as alluring!

Nowadays, my tastes have expanded beyond just cutesy covers (though they still hold much appeal); and with my Kindle, the whole notion of choosing books based on their covers has been thrown to the wind, leaving me free to read whatever I want! So there you have it — the story of how I came to love romances. And to think, it only cost me a quarter.

ROAMING QUESTION: Romance lovers (and other bibliophiles), what was your Book That Started it All? Have you reread it since then?