Good morning all. Kacey here once again early on a Saturday morning.
As promised, I’m back with my 2nd part of “Book Signings & Conferences”, first post here on April 30. Visiting the capital was amazing last week. We had reasonable weather, on the last day there was a bit of snow/hail mix, but it’s forgivable since the rest of the conference weather was awesome.
I arrived on Wed, the day before all the actual events began. My “driver”, Kali Willows and I traveled together last year for this event and found arriving a day early was a key piece to frame of mind. We never make up giveaway baskets/bags until late evening after getting settled in (makes traveling with the goodies easier), so it becomes a crazy amount of hustle and bustle, with lots of giggles and wine. We also get some down time with other early arrivals as well, which is a super bonus.
I was extremely excited to meet a few authors whom I had talked to online/read for years. To finally meet them in person was awesome. The readers really make this event as well. And this year, after meeting so many in the 2015 a lot became members of my street team/reader group “Hammell’s Heroines”, so it was a lot more fun this year. I was more relaxed and outgoing – I’d promised myself that I’d be present for a lot of pictures (which I dislike my photo taken immensely), and I fulfilled that promise!! There are many, many photos and I have looked at them repeatedly since getting home and grinning over the memories.
My first co-hosting event was with the uber talented Kayleigh Malcolm, Kali Willows & Stephanie Julian (I restrained myself from fan girling over Stephanie very well…I think!). We did an event called Erotic Jeopardy, our own spin of the hit game show, with a lot of naughty categories and questions! There was so much laughter and fun, I didn’t want our 2 hours to end. It was criminal that there were other events going on at the same time, we just had too much fun and people missed out! LOL
Friday was another co-hosting event, this time with two long-time author pals, Layna
Pimentel & Jessica E. Subject. We all go back a long way and it made sense for us to do something together. We did a snack event with a “mix and mingle” type feel. There were quite a few questions asked of each of us – I blushed aplenty when asked about the hottest sex scene I’d written!! LOL – but made sure my two co-hosts didn’t forget to share theirs as well. It was my first event that I did a lot of talking, and the focus was on myself/my work. Very different from Erotic Jeopardy the day before since there was no focus on me and was an event of fun and laughter. The event with Jessica & Layna had a different feel with the questions and interest in me. It was amazeballs I tell ya, but I was nervous as heck. Once the Q&A started the mantra in my head was “don’t hurl, don’t hurl”. LOL BUT I made it through, it was fricking fantastic, and I hated to see it end. So fabulous. And I confess, I downed a glass of wine quickly as soon as I was back in our room and it was over. LOL Nerves and hands shaking, I needed that drink.
Later Friday evening was the Western night dinner and dance. I donned my cowboy hat,
lusted after Jensen Ackles – the cardboard cutout unfortunately – and enjoyed a few tunes. It was a lot of fun. I didn’t get to take Jensen back to my room in the end but I did enjoy an awesome Bellini Fish Bowl, courtesy of Milestones Bar & Restaurant. OMG, those things are delicious, addicting and should be served with every meal!! *g*
Saturday was CRAZY!!! I was up at the butt crack of dawn I believe, eager for the day to get underway. It was my 3rd co-host gig, this time for the highly popular Reader-Author Speed Dating event that Kali started last year. To make it bigger and better this year, we booked 2 hours for it (which brought me in as co-host), and the two of us had way too much fun with the event this year. Reader-Author Speed Dating is like regular couple dating, you sti at a table and have one to two minutes of conversation before moving on to the next person. In our event it is readers and authors getting that few minutes of conversation about each authors’ works, what genres the readers’ like, and more. It’s loud, crazy and so much fun. Each author usually brings a little something, bookmarks, pens, whatever for each person that sits across from them, but there are also plenty of giveaways as well. It is something we hope to tackle again next year if the conference happens again.
Then it was time for the fabulous book signing Saturday afternoon. I wasn’t as nervous about it this year, not like I was about all my co-hosting gigs, but I found myself quite calm and relaxed. I was extremely happy to share my new banner, which sat behind me. I’ve branded that Guarding Midnight image as my own for everything these days – I love it so very much. (Thanks Jay Aheer!!)
I took copies of Guarding Midnight & Club Splendor Volume 1 with me. I had about 20 copies total and came home with 6 !!! WOOT WOOT!!! I originally had 40 total but I did pre-orders through the last month for readers who didn’t want to miss out on any, and sold nearly 20 in those. (I used some for giveaways). So all in all, I done good!! LOL I was pleased with that number and my wallet isn’t complaining any! I loved the interaction with readers, who had read my work and those new ones who stopped by and were intrigued about the covers, who I was, what I wrote and ended up buying! My ‘thank you for buying’ gifts were much appreciated and were all gone. The luggage home was much lighter!!
Saturday night was one of my favorite events, the 80s Prom Night. I originally was going to dress up as my fave 80s singer, Cyndi Lauper (not caring about the “prom” usage), but once Prince died I changed my mind. I didn’t go Crazy – pun intended lol – but had a shirt made with his Purple Rain image on it, donned some bracelets and gloves from the 80s and settled in to listen to some amazing music. The most fun and awesome dressed that night was… OPTIMUS PRIME! I’m a huge Optimus Prime fan and a reader’s boyfriend made this 8 foot costume in about 8 months (all year basically since the last conference!!), and I squealed like a little girl once I saw him. Fabulous idea!
I met so many wonderful people. Eve Langlais, the coordinator and main sponsor of the event is fabulous. She is like a one woman powerhouse who does so much of the conference herself. She’s pretty great, and is already planning it all again in 2017! August 4th & 5th — more info to come!
Sunday, Kali and I made slow work of packing up and having breakfast. We weren’t in a hurry to leave the capital, and took the time to enjoy the quiet time together before our hectic Mommy lives reconvened.
Here’s some memorable photos from the event. Including two fellow Evernight Publishing Authors! (click on pix for names)
As I said in Part 1 a couple weeks ago, if you get the chance – as an author or a reader – to attend small and fairly intimate conferences like RTC, do so! RTC is capped at approximately 50 authors, with about 200 readers. It’s great networking of course, but the memories and friendships that are made are priceless. There’s nothing like it. The few days were amazing and so special. They are also rejuvenating for the Muse and characters as well. I’ve been ill with a cold since returning but many words have been hand-written in my notebook as there’s so much exciting conversations going on in my head thanks to my characters. They’re eager to be set free and find their way to these readers!
More #RTC2016 photos — here.
Until next week,