Saturday, May 24, 2014

After Action Report on Attending a Con in the Big Easy

I'd never been to an RT Booklovers Convention before and thought this year's in New Orleans might be a great opportunity to sample the event, with not too many expectations, and decide if it was a good event for me as an author. Then, in a cascading set of decisions, if I thought RT was an effective place to be, what promo and other opportunities might I want to try next year, what would I do differently, etc. Did people really wear costumes to the events???? (They do indeed.) I also had people I was hoping to meet or meet again, and I wanted to connect with READERS. Oh, and see some of NOLA!

I've done RWA and enjoyed the experience, including the book signing. (And no, this post isn't going to be about my experience in the Indie Book Signing Room at RT - other people have told that tale very well, from all angles and I can't add much. I went, I sat, I signed, it was crowded and the lines were horrendous, I met wonderful Readers.)

I've attended NASA conferences over the years, mostly the ones about project management and let me tell you, they were fascinating if you enjoy science and the business of working in teams to accomplish great things for humankind (and meeting astronauts), all of which I do...but, not at all like a writers' conference!

I'm a people person. For me, sitting through a panel is mostly about the people, hearing my favorite authors talk about their books, their characters, lessons learned, you know by now, I'm very superstitious about my Muse and how she works and so I'm not particularly looking for advice on The Craft. I'm open to pearls of wisdom that make sense to me though.

OK, so on to my conclusions. I did feel the hotel and RT itself made valiant efforts but weren't as organized as they could have been for the size of crowd they got. Everyone told me this year's crowd was bigger than ever before. Still, despite the lines and the occasional very long wait for the snazzy elevators, I had fun and got to most of the events I wanted to attend. I saw Mardi Gras floats.I heard zydeco music played live. I had fabulous desserts at the Harlequin party. I reconnected with all my wonderful Carina Press friends at the CP lunch...

I met Nalini Singh! And got her new book - signed!!! So that was the highest priority goal, achieved LOL. My fangirl moment.

I did catch up with a lot of people I'd hoped to see, although there were a few people I just never did manage to find.

I danced the twist in a purple satin poodle skirt with a big black crinoline slip and had my photo taken with charming, hunky cover models... (my one foray into a costume event).

I got crocodile mardi gras beads and wore them everywhere. Also my blingy NOLA earrings. Great conversation starters!

I walked down Bourbon Street all by myself at night and attended a wonderful party in what they tell me was a renovated 1800's bordello. Coolest house EVER..... Thank you, Jeffe, for the invite!

I now have a new goal in life, to be a panelist on a Linnea Sinclair science fiction romance panel! The ones she "captained" at RT were wonderful fun...

I realized I have got to prioritize working on my novels first and let all the other stuff come a distant second.

I do need to write a sequential series next year, not "just" connected-stye series books. Mulling over plot ideas, either SFR or ancient Egypt, which are my two niches.

I have to be more organized for myself at my next RT (oh yes, I'll be going again) and get where I need to be when I need to be there. Allow more time for the lines.

So all in all, I did enjoy RT and think it was worth repeating the experience. I met so many Readers, Book Sellers, Book Bloggers, Industry People, Authors.....FUN. I have a better handle on what swag worked and what didn't. (Cute mummy-shaped suckers=GOOD. Heiroglyphic pencils=Meh) I know I want to have a huge elevator poster for my books but not one of a guy's naked six pack that hasn't been airbrushed (so we could see every hair follicle and mole at ten times life-size, NOT sexy IMHO). I want to be in Club RT.

Although tired and jet lagged and back at the day job right away this past Monday, I came home re-energized about my writing and determined to achieve full-time author status, the sooner the better. Easier said than done, but if I  really pay attention to getting the words on the paper before I dive into the social media, or doing anything else, I can get there.

This is your reporter, Veronica Scott, over and out!


  1. But, but... Hieroglyphic pencils sound awesome! Who wouldn't want those?

  2. Well apparently not everybody LOL! The other swag got scooped up much more rapidly...