Oh my goodness!
Now I understand what the big deal is about this gathering. Books. Free books. And then free loot. And then more books. And informative panels. Oh, and some more free books.
Romance, like fantasy, is a genre that does not mind slipping into another genre’s bed. So we have romantic fantasy, romantic historical, psychic romance, cowboy romance, vampire romance, SF romance . . . for all I know, there may be a subgenre of NFL romance. At this point and after today, I would not be surprised.
The convention is largely a female gathering of hugely voracious readers, writers, editors and reviewers. I received my badge at 9 AM, and a large flower pin to denote that I am a writer. From there, I went downstairs and turned in a chit to receive a large and sturdyconvention bag stuffed full of goodies. Books. Coupons for free e-books. Postcard ads for books with candy attached to it. Bookmarks with attached key chains, or flashlights, or more chocolate. Then, in the next room, I turned in my chit and was told, “The outer tables are YA books. You can only select ten free books from those. The inner tables, take as many as you please.” Women were staggering out of the room with armloads of free books.
Now in the next magical chamber, there were many tables, each laden with a variety of large and wondrous baskets (I might as well write this like a fantasy, as it was truly a book lover’s fantasy.) Each of these baskets were full to overflowing with marvelous gifts. Bath salts and tea cups. Chocolates and jewelry. Wine and biscuits. And more books. And each of these baskets was to be raffled off, for free, to any convention attendee who cared to fill out an entry.
Then I went to the welcoming party. We were given luscious soup choices, with crackers or biscuits, and coffee, tea and as many desserts as we cared to ferry back to our tables. We were welcomed with speeches and then turned back out to the convention.
There are multiple tracks of programming and many workshops, with the difficulty being choosing which one to attend.
At 3:30, I went down to help set up Linnea Sinclair’s Intergalactic Space Bar and Grille. We filled over 200 goodie bags. and then filled a large table with bigger prizes. Including books. And book bags, and T-shirts, and coffee mugs. Then the doors were opened and we filled that room with readers, giving each one a big goodie bag, and then enjoying games and conversations until the prize table of big prizes had been emptied.
And then I wandered off to eat dinner with fellow writers.
Tonight, there are parties and a dance going on. And in the halls, there are tables, many of which are offering free loot of all sorts and discounts on books and coupoons for free or discounted e-books. And the opportunity to meet many writers. Or, if you are an aspiring writer, there are workshops and the chance to pitch to agents and editors.
So. This is the RT Booklovers Convention. Did I mention that it goes until Sunday, and Saturday is a special YA day for teen readers?
And this is only Wednesday.