Ever since I started writing romance and getting to know more of the authors, the annual RT Booklovers Convention has been a distant thought. I wasn’t sure I’d ever attend because it sounded like a pretty scary thing. Thousands of people, lengthy lines to see favorite authors (and the wonder on if I’d have a line if I signed) and too many options of things to do.
My husband and I finally took the plunge this year to go… and we had a great time.
We have Dreamspinner author, and RT’s Convention Coordinator, talked to Will and I at the Dreamspinner Author Workshop in March 2016 and said we should think about doing a panel on podcasting for authors. At the time the Big Gay Fiction Podcast was still very young, only at episode 21 the week of the workshop, but she asked us to submit a proposal if we were interested.
We took the leap and created the idea of offering a workshop for authors about being a good guest on a podcast as well as how to go about starting your own show. It was accepted and we suddenly found ourselves with no way around attending our first RT.
At least initially, going as a presenter seemed like a safe way to make the RT debut. But, as we started assembling our presentation, and actually seeing it scheduled on the RT website, more fear crept in. What if no one showed up? What if no one cared about the topic? What if we didn’t present the right information to engage those who did come?
Luckily, it all worked out fine. We were in a room that had eighty seats and, by our estimate, the room was about half full. It was a very engaged group as well, asking all kinds of smart questions along the way with some staying to talk to us afterwards. We loved that some of our friends—William, Brandilyn, Mary and Jay—took the time out of their con schedule to support us by attending. Plus, a particular incredible moment for me is that Sarina Bowen (author of one of my all-time favorite books, The Understatement of the Year) showed up. She’d told me she wanted to come, but wasn’t sure if her schedule would allow it. Even knowing that, I still got goosebumps when she actually walked into the room.
The thing I loved about RT, which is different than the other cons I go to during the year, was all the education. Will and I took a two day class on plotting, taught by bestselling author Cherry Adair, which I know is going to make our writing better. There were other classes too on marketing, newsletters, advertising, self publishing and more that were valuable, especially being able to talk more with the presenters after the sessions.
Of course, one of the absolutely best things was catching up with friends. So many authors were there. I loved having coffee every morning with K.C. Wells (she’s an early riser like I am). Catching up with Wade Kelly in the middle part of the year was great fun. Along with Kiernan Kelly, Wade and I shared a table playing Apples to Apples with some Dreamspinner readers at an event and that was a great time. Oh, and if you’ve never seen Damon Suede do his Cinema Craptastique, you are missing out! He made Mariah Carey’s Glitter more entertaining than I ever thought possible.
I’m so glad we took the leap to go to RT. And I’m very thankful to Tere for giving us the nudge that made it happen. It’s something I can see doing again, and taking advantage of even more of the opportunities, fun and interaction that going to this particular con provides.
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Jeff Adams loves hockey, musicals, and watching a good dance—so much so he often incorporates those things into his stories. Speaking of stories, he thinks creating new adventures and characters is a blast. What he loves most, though, is his husband of twenty years, Will. You can learn more about Jeff’s writing at JeffAdamsWrites.com and by listening to Jeff & Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast.