I haven’t been to this convention for four years, but I was really looking forward to going to Los Angeles this year. This convention is very different from the other conferences I attend. Generally they are writing conferences, where the emphasis is on craft, networking and promotion.
All of these are included in great workshops at the RT (Romantic Times) convention, but there is a sense of fun and playfulness there you won’t find anyplace else. After all, having a costume party every night where the participants are encouraged to dress up sets a tone of fun and games. Add the Mr. Romance competition, which is a sort of beauty pageant for men who want to become romance cover models, and you sense that this is a convention that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
For me, that’s the best part of attending. Even though I was presenting, which always creates some tension and stress, the light atmosphere pervades pretty much everything that happens. There are social events sponsored by the publishers, but they can be cocktail parties, steampunk gatherings or simple meet and greets with authors.
There are also incredible opportunities to talk to other published authors, which I found informative and eye-opening. Of course, the biggest change since I attended a few years ago is the talk about e-book publishing. What was a whisper then is a large, booming shout. There was even a special promotional event for ebook published authors that was very well attended.
Parties are fun, and when you can combine them with a large group of talented authors, great workshops on the craft of writing, opportunities to promote and sell your book to readers, you have a sense of why so many published authors are always a part of RT.