Adventures at #RT13…

With Ozarks Romance Author friends Lisa Medley (center) and Amanda Buxton

This year I attended my first Romantic Times Booklovers Convention, or as I’ll forever think of it – SWAGfest 2013. It was the 30th annual conference, which brought together readers, authors, publishers, reviewers, librarians, and bloggers – booklovers. I’d been to other writing conferences, but it had been a while, and this was my first time as published author (My tenth book comes out this month).

For me, the best part was meeting authors I’d known only by name and Facebook/Twitter/email interaction. It was interested to place not only faces with names, but personalities. Some people were exactly as they sounded online, while others were quite different.

With authors Rebecca Royce and Cassandra Carr

I met some of my fellow Loose Id authors – and LI publisher Treva Harte, as well as a contingent from Blushing Books, known for its spanking fiction. And I met readers, and bloggers. Like a

With Starla Kaye, one of my co-authors of the Spanked! anthology.

fangirl, I stood in line at the massive Book Fair to get autographs from erotic romance authors Shayla Black and Lora Leigh. Both of them influenced my career. I’d been reading erotic romance, some of it not well written, when I read Shayla’s Wicked Ties. My first thought was, “This is how it should be done.”  And Lora Leigh’s Forbidden Pleasure contained two things I’d never read until then: a ménage and a spanking scene. You see the connection, don’t you?

A fangirl moment: With author Shayla Black

In the interest of self-improvement, I attended craft and business workshops, and picked up some good tips. I especially want to thank author Cassandra Carr for a personal tutoring session on Street Teams. Her information will be immensely helpful.

Another fangirl moment: With Author Lora Leigh

I expected an inundation of SWAG (promo items, aka Stuff We All Get), but to see it on display was quite a sight to behold. I actually took very little SWAG because I only wanted to see what other authors did rather than because I wanted a button or a bookmark. Even so, I accumulated quite a haul, which included:

  • 20 books
  • 1 Cosmo magazine
  • 1 DVD movie
  • 6 pens
  • 5 tote bags
  • 1 T-shirt
  • 1 hat
  • 1 water bottle
  • 2 drink cozies
  • 4 key chains – including a glass dildo and a “pecker checker” (a tape measure)

I also acquired another item, which I discarded before I came home. This was the conversation with my husband:

Me: “Oh, and I also got a condom, but I threw it away. I was afraid I’d forget about it and you’d find it in my purse three months from now.”

DH: “That was very smart.”

At the start of the conference I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, but by six days later, my tail was noticeably dragging. But to quote an overheard snippet:

“All you need at the conference is two meals a day and three hours of sleep.”

The loot

SWAG - what would we do without it?


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8 Responses to Adventures at #RT13…

  1. S. J. Maylee says:

    Sounds like you had a great time. I’m not sure how this fan girl would react in front of writers like Shayla and Lora… I’m hoping I’d be able to talk, lol. I’m loving seeing all the pictures and I’m so glad you’ve included some of yourself. I almost asked Angela James to find you when she was asking for picture requests on Twitter. Love your husband’s response, lol. Street Team! Yes, you need one and I’ll probably be one of the first to sign up. 🙂

  2. Cara Bristol says:

    Thanks, SJ! It was a fun conference. I do need to get on the Street Team task. Got some good ideas, both from Cassandra and the session I attended.

  3. Renee Rose says:

    Ooh, thanks for the full report, and cracking up about the condom!!

  4. Sue Lyndon says:

    Looks like you had a great time! I see what you mean about swagfest! I’m going to RNC in August and I am feeling overwhelmed by the swag options, and I feel like most of it is stuff regular people will toss or just let sit around, so I’m leaning toward no swag, unless I think of something really cool and useful that won’t break the bank. Loved the pictures! Now tell the truth…you did put the pecker checker on your key ring, right? 🙂

    • Cara Bristol says:

      It is overwhelming. Even if SWAG is stuff people might use, with so many people giving it away, yours gets lost in the pile. Though I dislike refrigerator magnets (and don’t use them generally), the only thing I did pick up and amusing is a clip style magnet. It’s on my fridge right now. But here’s the kicker…I have no idea whose name is on it. I didn’t even look. Ditto for the pens I pens I picked up. My books are available in ebook format only. What’s would be the point of a bookmark? So someone can use it in another author’s book? Don’t need a bookmark for a Kindle.

      I carry a small tape measure in my purse anyway, so I’m not using the pecker checker, but I think a tape measure is useful.

      BTW, I got the dildo from an Ellora’s Cave editor panel for asking a question. They tossed it to me, but I failed to catch it and it hit the woman sitting behind me in the head.

  5. Jade Cary says:

    Alrighty then. Looking forward to next year.

  6. Karla Doyle says:

    Love your round-up post and the pics of you! Wish I could have been there to meet you in person. One of these years. 🙂

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