For some reason I couldn't cut and paste into the blog over the weekend, so I ended up sending both these posts as newsletters. This, however, was the original place for this post and I included the one from earlier...well, just because. :)
Romanticon 2009 is over and, my glory, did I have a WONDERFUL time. This has been a truly relaxing, professional…marvelous weekend. Between the EC staff, the readers, the models and the authors I doubt there were many more than two hundred people here and it was the perfect size.
The Author Mania sessions gave us a great chance to chat with readers…and have entire conversations with them. No one felt rushed and the convention books EC provided with that held the schedules, handouts and places for signatures was a stroke of genius. Everything all together in one book…and more than one reader (and author!) made the attempt to get every single author's autograph.
I presented at two sessions: Using Second Life and the How to Write BDSM panel. The Second Life presentation was Saturday morning and had about fifteen people in attendance, over triple the number that came when I gave a similar presentation at RT a few years back. Several authors downloaded the program right here at the hotel and are inworld already. I can't wait to meet them again in SL. Their questions and enthusiasm is catching!
For the panel discussion, Joey Hill , Tawny Taylor and I all gave tips on how to write good BDSM novels and I have to say, I was truly impressed with the level of discussion between and among those in attendance. There were about 25-30 people who came and the questions and comments were terrific. We only stopped because we were out of time, but several of us continued the discussion out in the hall afterward.
Are you seeing the trend here? The level of professional discussion about writing blew me away. It's the first time I've ever had such wonderful talks with authors (and readers) about the craft of writing. Sometimes we talked about the tools (got a great tip on using the comment feature in Word to keep track of details, but I don't remember who gave me the tip. If you're reading this and it's you…let me know so I can give you credit!), and sometimes we talked about the content.
In fact, I'd have to say that was the best part of the entire weekend: the ability to talk openly about subjects that are often step-children at other conferences. Ebook publishing, erotic love scenes, werewolves, vampires, using online tools to promote – all these topics and more were spoken of seriously and with great passion and knowledge. Definitely the best part of the conference had to be the opportunity for quiet, scholarly discussion.
Because the number of attendees was small, it was possible to see everyone. I know I've been to larger conferences and found out after the fact that someone I knew was there and yet we never crossed paths the entire time. That wasn't the case here. I think I spoke to nearly everyone at least once. Ruby Storm said it felt more like family and she's right. So many of the authors I'd seen before and had brief conversations with…but this time we sat down and really talked. Truly a wonderful opportunity!
And so a huge THANK YOU to the EC staff who made it possible and allowed us to realize that our niche genres have just as much scholarship, just as much craft, just as much planning and thought as books published by bigger houses. THANK YOU for bringing the authors and readers together to renew friendships and forge new ones. We may be the step-children of the romance world, but we are not alone. THANK YOU for showing us that.