I'm still gathering photos from various sources, so look for updates over the next few days. But for today, I'm moving on to Saturday, my last full day at RT.
Thanks to constant running, lack of sleep, and waning adrenaline levels, by Saturday, I was ready to slow down. I swear, I've never felt so exhausted in my life, and that's saying something, since I've had five babies. I was able to sleep in a little, since I wasn't scheduled to appear at any breakfast mixers or early morning television feeds. I took my time dressing. Ate some breakfast, and gathered my goodies for the big book signing. I learned something that day--even if you are sitting all day, wear comfortable shoes! Anyway, I dragged my tired butt to the signing, set up my goodies and had a seat.
I had a terrific time signing books, making new friends and talking to readers and booksellers about my books. It was beyond wonderful, a real spirit lifter. And I caught up with my "next door" neighbor, Julia Templeton, who happened to write the VERY first EC book I read, Kieran the Black. Afterward, I had lunch with a handful of fun, intelligent, terrific authors (Jordan Summers, Julia Templeton, Sasha White). Ran up, changed my shoes, and headed down to the Mr. Romance competition.
I have to say, the contest was absolutely fabulous this year. It was classy, the MC's were terrific (FUNNY!), the question and answer sessions were fa riot. I really enjoyed the show! Next, I was off to have dinner with my fabulous agent before dressing for the final party, Dorchester's Immortals.
This past week was one of the most exhausting, grueling, thrilling weeks of my life. I have to say, I made the most of every minute. And yet, I felt like I missed a lot.
I would have loved to spend more time with a lot of people--Sylvia Day, Shelley Bradley (who I tried to sit with at Heather Graham's dinner, but ended up being separated from), the Divas: Christina, RG, Jax, Eden, Kristen, Feisty (sorry, I know I'm missing some Divas!), Sahara Kelly and her talented writing partner, Scott Carpenter. Even my roomie, Ann Jacobs, who I saw very little of, despite the fact that we were tying each other into our costumes every night. The dozens of EC authors that were there--Lise Fuller (whose active-duty military hubby flew in from wherever to be with her), Nathalie Grey (this woman has the BEST clothes--we need to go shopping together!), Mackenzie McCade (who had us rolling at the EC photo shoot), Judy Mays (whose brother came to the conference to cheer for her at the awards luncheon--wasn't that sweet?), Chey McCray (it's impossible catching Chey standing still, lol) and Annie Windsor (too sweet for words), Mandy Roth and Michelle Pillow, JC Wilder, the list goes on and on and on! I'd never survive a two-week RT, but darn it, there just wasn't enough time! Already, I'm making plans for next year.
I can't wait!
Thirteen things I learned at RT
1. Always wear comfortable shoes.
2. Caffeine is a girl's best friend, even at 2:00am.
3. It's good to be flexible and go with the flow--the best "meetings" are often in the bar
4. It's sometimes best not to over-book yourself, sign up for too many panels/workshops if you're a newly published author or looking for opportunities to network.
5. If you're on a tight budget, make sure you know where the nearest inexpensive eating establishments are. Hotel restaurants are always expensive.
6. There is no such thing as over-the-top costumes at RT. The more feathers, the better.
7. Rolling totes are a MUST HAVE.
8. Readers and booksellers LOVE excerpt booklets.
9. Taking a half hour or so to rest in the middle of the day can give you the second wind you need to make it through the night.
10. It's tough, but a newbie published author needs to find a way to stick out from the crowd to be noticed in that enormous .
11. Friendships are made on the dance floor, the elevator, the bathroom, hallway, shuttle/cab, bar. Be open and approachable wherever you are.
12. RT attendees like free stuff, but they love good free stuff. Spend your money on quality promotional items for the biggest impact, and make sure to have a free-standing, mounted poster of your most eyecatching cover (the most recent is always a good choice) on display.
13. Murphy's law dictates that the book that's NOT available yet is the one everyone will want. So make sure you have lots of promo goodies, excerpts and postcards for upcoming releases.
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