RT 2012 has come and gone. Like many attendees, I've mostly tweeted and Facebooked about it "live" through the five days I was in Chicago, but this year, I thought I'd gather some of my thoughts and impressions in one place because RT has undergone some changes.
This is my 12th RT. Yeah, I'm that old. I started going as a reader, a romance fan either to be among romance readers and authors. I was very lucky. My first roommate was the incomparable Cherry Adair, who remains a friend today.
Today, I have many more author friends and we get together at conventions, especially RT and RWA (Romance Writers of America). I attend as an author now, but at RT, I'm also a fan of romance and all its trappings, be it meeting the authors, cavorting in costumes, enjoying the male cover models, talking about books, and admiring cover art. There's always laughter and fun at RT and 12 years haven't changed that.
My plane trip to Chicago--no problems! No delays, no lost IDs, no big agents staring down at me...I knew it was going to be a good convention after that :).
The only mistake I made was the lack of a coat. I don't know what I was thinking. Maybe it was all that trying to cramp 50lbs of books and promo stuff into my main luggage that caused me to forget that Chicago isn't called the Windy City for nothing! I arrived to 45 degrees Fahr. and the wind chill laughed at my goosebumps. I headed outside five feet, then headed back into the airport to buy a $20 sweater. It was a horrid pink but I couldn't afford the $70 Chicago Bulls sweater that I liked.
Once in the shuttle to the hotel, though, everything was okay again. We were staying at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare. Fellow attendees on board told me the hotel was in the middle of nowhere and that going into town for anything would mean $$$. This made me a tad sad because I had limited funds for this trip and taxi rides could eat up my budget. Which meant I probably couldn't catch a live Cubs game, dammit. The nice thing about the hotel was they checked us in right in the shuttle and gave us keys! Hey, no lines! And straight to the room with no hassle! I love this system.
When we reached the hotel, I bumped into some booksellers who had driven to the convention. I've met them on my very first convention 12 years ago, how about that for serendipity? This is how long reader-fan-friendships last in our little community. We chatted for a good hour before I excused myself because I really needed to clean up before my dinner engagement. But it was lovely bumping into my pals.
The first order of business was attending a dinner with a group of Australian readers. These women awe me. They fly 13+ hours to LAX and then drive on the WRONG SIDE of the road and attend RT almost every year. They love books and they love partying. My kind of people!
They held a party for some of their favorite authors and I'm honored to be one of them. I sat with my buddies Sylvia Day, Karen Tabke, Shayla Black, and Jill Smith (RT reviewer). Other authors with us: Nalini Singh (squee!), Jade Lee, The woman on the right of the pic below is Megan, our fabulous Aussie hostess.
We drank. We laughed. The food was great. And our hostess gave us opals and various gifts!
And oh, umm, yeah. That night, I discovered my downfall for the rest of the convention.
They tasted like Gerard Butler kisses. Seriously. If I ever kiss Gerard Butler, my future husband, he'd would taste like butterscotch martinis. And you can bet that I'd taste him a LOT.
As you can see, my first night in Chicago is off to a great start!
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