The Romantic Times Conference is officially over. Beth and I left Sunday morning at 6:00. I arrived home around 4:00, tired, happy to see my husband and loaded down with more stuff than I went there with. I gave out hundreds of my cards for Riding for Love , so my suitcase had more room for books.
The last day of the conference was not as hectic as the rest. It’s called FAN tas tic Day when the public is invited to come to workshops and the huge, huge book sale. There are special events for teens where they meet their favorite authors. At one time I was walking down a hallway when I noticed about twenty teenage girls sitting around. They weren’t talking to each other or on the phone. Nor were they texting or giggling. They were READING!!!! What an awesome sight. I so wanted to take a picture and post it, but I would have probably gotten in trouble for it.
The author book sale and signing was jammed packed with fans of all ages. The youngest I saw was about five months old. There were about 300 authors sitting at row after row of tables. More tables went around the outside of the huge ballroom. Those were mainly the authors who wrote young adult books and where the teens were lined up, making it easier for the rest of us to get around the room. Authors such as: Brenda Novak, Sabrina Jeffries, Shala Black Joanne Fluke, Robyn Carr, Sylvia Day, Jude Deveraux, Heather Graham, Ann Voss Peterson, Mary Jo Putney and many, many more. I had my picture taken with quite a few of my favorites. What a fun day. I wasn’t planning on buying any books as I had a ton of free ones, but telling an avid reader not to buy books is like telling a coffee drinker they can’t have their morning coffee for two days. I walked out with an armful.
The highlight of the day was attending the roast of Jade Lee (aka Kathy Lyons). I met Jade last year at RT and then when she gave workshops at our Wisconsin Romance Writer’s Conference the following month. We spent quite a lot of time with her, so wanted to attend her 50th birthday roast. It was hilarious. Beth was laughing so hard, she was crying. During the gift-giving portion (Jade gave gifts), Jade called out, “Is anyone in the room named Beth?” Beth frowned and slowly raised her hand and was presented with a large, square box. In the box were all of Jade’s books along with several items of jewelry. We couldn’tfigure out why Jade picked the name Beth. After the presentation, Beth asked Jade about it. It seems Jade had put the items on Brenda Novak’s Auction for Diabetes. A woman named Beth bid and won. So, Jade signed all the books to “Beth.” The woman never paid for nor claimed her box. So, the only thing Jade could do was give it away to someone, anyone named Beth.
The night ended with another party with dancing and drinks. Beth and I did leave “early” because we didn’t want to be tired for the drive home, but still didn’t hit the sack until 12:30. The drive home went fast. Beth and I brainstormed nearly the entire trip and came up with some good ideas for projects. Now I have piles of books to go through. Some will go in my private library. Some will be used for gift baskets for our WisRWA auction at our conference in a few weeks. (The money goes to literacy) Some I will give to friends and others to our local library. So I’d better knuckle down and clear my desk so I can pay the bills that piled up while I was gone.
Until the next blog.