We just returned from the RT BookClub convention in St. Louis. We had such a great time! Thanks to all of our subscribers who stopped out booth by to say hi. Your continued support means a lot to us.
The people we met are the best things about attending an event like this. When you can connect a name or product to a real live person, it opens up your mind to all sorts of new experiences.
First, the authors. While it's great to stop by the book fair and say hi to your faves, it's much more fun to get to know them as people. Our next door neighbors in the hotel were authors Holly Fuhrmann (Jacobs) and Erin McCarthy. We met on the first day outside the elevator which also just happened to be outside our rooms. We had a strategy session on how to sleep without the elevator bell driving us nuts. We ran into them for the rest of the weekend and even ended up giving Holly a ride to the airport. Here's what's so great about this: I don't read the small Silhouette Romance line, but after meeting Holly, who is hilarious, I read one of her books on the flight home and really enjoyed it. Of course, she's an award-winning author (scoring two awards at the convention ... go Holly!), but I can honestly say I would never have tried her books if I hadn't met her in person. For a list of Holly's books at FictionDB click here .
Next, the vendors. We were lucky enough to be set up between two great groups of people. On one side was Nancy who had the most beautiful shawls for sale. She had come in all the way from Oklahoma for the convention. It was fun to hear her talk about her on-the-road life as an exhibitor at trade shows. On our other side was Book Soundtracks. You may have seen their ad on the back cover of the April RT BookClub magazine. Again something I never would have considered if I hadn't seen it. Book Soundtracks are CD's you can play while reading. Sounds simple enough. Why not just turn on the radio? But after listening to their CD's for 4 days, I can tell you they did a magnificent job creating the music to set the mood while you read, just like a movie soundtrack. Trammell, Felicia and Ken are music professionals from Nashville who decided to turn their considerable talents to creating music for romance readers. You can hear clips of their music on their website BookSoundtracks.com. We even have several Romance Soundtracks to give away to subscribers (more details on that in our June newsletter)
Last but certainly not least, readers and booksellers. Since I happen to be both, it was a chance to chat with some kindred spirits. I received all sorts of wonderful ideas for enhancements to FictionDB. I'll be putting all the suggestions to good use in the next couple of months. I was also able to meet people who I had "known" online but never met in person. Plus, I attended several sessions geared to readers and booksellers and really enjoyed the lively discussions.
I also had the chance to sneak away for an afternoon at the St. Louis Book Fair. I stood in line for 4 hours in the freezing cold to get first dibs on some treasures. Saint Art, my husband, manned the booth back at the convention. What a guy!
Overall, a really great trip!!