Through the magic of the internet, I know that Alex is going to be posting a great comprehensive description of RT next Saturday, and I’ll just ditto her excellent description ahead of time. I am currently at the convention, down in the lobby because the internet doesn’t work on several floors of the hotel since it’s under construction, but other than that hiccup, the convention has been wild and a lot of fun.
I always wonder ahead of time whether a convention is going to be a good thing to have done. Let’s face it — they’re expensive. There’s the flights, the hotel, the registration fees, and then eating and drinks and any extras (like books). But I have to say, RT has been a blast. I’m not entirely sure if it’s the way that it’s been organized that’s been so terrific, the variety of events, or the welcoming atmosphere. I mean, seriously, you cannot feel stuffy and outside of the box when you see a guy dressed as a construction worker walking past you with pink wings strapped to his back. There’s an absolute sense of playfulness here, of anything goes and everyone’s accepted and, more important, every genre is welcome. The mystery and thriller events were extremely well attended.
Booksellers and librarians are everywhere. Loads and loads of readers.
I was exceptionally fortunate to be in a group of Mystery Chix and Dix and we had an absolutely terrific turnout at Mystery Lovers Bookshop where Kathy Sweeny interviewed each of us and many readers milled around, buying stacks of books. It’s pretty phenomenal to see people lug over twenty or so books to the check out counter, and then come back for more. We had a full (very large) room for our mixer Saturday morning and I had tons of books get snapped up and then sold out early at the large book signing–a big every-author-at-the-same-time event that takes place on Saturday.
I met so many people — like booksellers Maureen and Jenn and friends Debby and Laura and librarians Kim and Val (who just completely made my entire weekend) and Lipstick Chronicle friends and on and on and I’m going to leave out so many and it’s just because my computer is dying (almost right now) and there’s no outlet near here… but seriously, the friends were amazing. Barbara Vey from the fantastic PW blog was there and really wanted to make a point to reach out to the mystery and thriller communities, to have news of what’s going on with us so she can blog about it. (A truly, amazing reader. That’s the best compliment I know to give someone.) I got to get to know a lot of new people and reconnect with old friends and I’m amazed at how energized I feel about writing.
But mostly, I’m impressed with the readers and how many genres they embrace. If RT educated me about anything, it was this–and I’m truly glad I came.
Oh. And it doesn’t hurt to have a "shuck me, suck me, eat me raw" button to wear. (And I am afraid a few people got photos of me in the t-shirt.) I got mobbed for those things. Of course, people also had on a lot of leather and rubber and I’m not even entirely sure what one woman had on, but I tell you what–these people know how to have fun. I don’t think I have laughed so hard in… welll… I’m not sure I remember the last time I laughed so hard.
I’ve learned a lot, also, watching some of these women. Dakota Cassidy was utterly brilliant with her fans (we sat next to each other in the author signing), and then when she sold out, she turned around and started promoting my book. On top of that, she was just so funny and kind and generous.
Which, I think, sums up the con for me — generosity of spirit.
So, what convention have you gone to which you enjoyed, and what have you learned?