You guys! So the totally awesome Stacie said she was going to RT and I pounced on her and was all “you must do a recap for my blog!” And she was all “*skeered*” and I was like “DO EET!” So here she is! She’s all kinds of fabulous and I totally wouldn’t mind being her when I grow up. (I’d say this if I was older than her as well. Which hell, I might be. 😉 Who knows with all this interwebz craziness.)
2011 RT Booklovers Convention Recap by Stacie (aka @GeishasMom73)
This year, RT 2011 was held in Los Angeles at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel. This was my first ever RT and I didn’t know what to expect. As an RT Virgin (I even wore a button all week stating so) I was pretty disoriented for the first day and a half. There was so much going on that I didn’t know where to start. I was overwhelmed not only by the event but by the amount of SWAG I was given. I believe I shipped approximately 5 pounds of SWAG home. I received t-shirts, tote bags, buttons, pens, bookmarks, excerpt booklets and a few NSFW promo items. *Stick around until the end of the post for a little giveaway.
The reader and writer workshops were fantastic. There was something for everyone. Even though I am a reader, I ended up attending more writer workshops than reader events. Listening to authors like Lauren Dane and Kate Pearce talk about their writing process was fascinating. I even sat in on an author chat with Dean Koontz (he was very funny and self-deprecating btw). The LA ATF conducted a 2 hour workshop that included watching an ATF police dog attack a faux criminal. They also provided 17 different firearms that the audience could handle. To balance out the testosterone heavy ATF event, the next day I attended a reader event where marabou boas and Spank Me rulers were standard issue!
Let’s get to the parties! One of the big draws of the RT Convention has to be the parties. There were awesome reader parties during the day and huge events at night. Many people brought elaborate costumes for these events. I felt the Ellora’s Cave Bollywood party was the best of the bunch. Great entertainment, food, party favors and promo items (albeit usually NSFW). The Avon party was a close second. They had carnival food (corndogs, caramel apples plus a margarita bar) as well as authors signing free books. I believe I received 10 signed books at that event alone.
OMG books! In the four days that preceded the Book Fair I received dozens of free books. Between the registration bag, the goody room and the parties/events I checked off half of the titles on my wish list. By the time the Book Fair arrived I had already filled the two Priority mail boxes that I had brought in my luggage and I still had more books to buy. The Book Fair was awesome and the authors were friendly and gracious. One of the perks of being an RT attendee was being allowed entrance to the Book Fair 15 minutes before the general public. I knew Ann Aguirre was giving away free hardcover copies of Enclave so I made a bee-line to her table to snag my copy.
The Mr. Romance pageant or mangeant was a huge event. I can honestly say that I’ve never been to anything like it. The crowd was rowdy and ready to have a good time. I’m a pretty reserved and shy person (my twitter personality is totally different) so having a male model rip his t-shirt off onstage and throw it into the crowd was shocking. Having that t-shirt fall into my lap rendered me speechless. I was told I turned a lovely shade of rose. LOL *And no, I did not keep the t-shirt 😉
The most fun I had was meeting all of my online friends in person. I met a ton of people that I only knew through Twitter. Everyone was just as cool in person as they are online. I now understand why everyone keeps returning to the RT Convention. It is one of the few times that you can meet up with your online friends from around the country. They try to cram as much fun into that one week as possible. It’s like a big family reunion but fun.
I want to say a special thank you to Megan Hart and Lauren Dane for convincing me to attend this year’s RT. I had a blast. You both went out of your way to make sure I felt welcome and I really appreciate it. I’m already looking forward to RT 2012 in my hometown of Chicago! I encourage everyone to attend if you can. And thank you Limecello for talking me into writing this post for your blog. You can put the brass knuckles away now. 😉
***And now for the giveaway***
I know you skipped reading the post and jumped down to the important stuff. Don’t lie. 😉
I have 3 prize packs of SWAG to give away. Some of these items may be racy so everyone should probably be at least 18 years old.
1st is an Ellora’s Cave 2011 calendar plus various SWAG
2nd is a deck of Ellora’s Cave playing cards (the cards have EC cover art on them) plus SWAG
3rd is a selection of Romance Trading Cards plus SWAG
In the comments tell me the prize you want to win. If you want them all, list your order of preference and leave a way to contact you. I’ll draw 3 names this weekend.
You heard (well, read) it! Them’s the rules and since Stacie and I are both punchy tired, hope it makes sense 😀 (Also, the less said by me the better because RT10… well. Yeah.)
Ohhhh I wanted to go to RT but since I couldn’t go, I’m going to go to AWE in 2012….I know its a year away but my sister lives in Louisiana and ……. well, two birds with one stone!!!
It sounds like you had a great time! I love the board and spank me!!! Too much fun! Enclave for free?!?!?!?! That rocks.
Lime, you read to hit NawLens with me?!?!
I CAN’T PICK, SO LET’S DO THIS….
That way, if I win, it will be a super surprise….if I don’t….you made my mind up about Authors After Dark next year!
Thanks for stopping by! I had a great time at RT. I ended up bringing back 58 books. Everyone there said it was their best experience yet!
OOOOh!!! I’m hoping AAD 2012 has at least half of the great parties and seminars as RT11 did — wth was in my first post AWE??? Stupid Auto correct — I was on my phone I believe! Dangit! Anyway, 58 books???? HOLY MOLY! I’d be on the bed rolling in them — like money. I just LOVE the smell of new books!!
Glad you had a great time — and got rid of the “stripped evidence”….lol
Wow, Stacie! And Lime, thanks for having Stacie! I was so sad to miss RT, but feel like I got a little taste through your recap! It sounded like an incredible time! Glad you were able to enjoy hanging out with authors and readers alike, enjoy the parties, and of course… BOOKS! Thanks for sharing!
As for order of preference, let’s go with 3, 1, 2…
Oh, and you had to return the t-shirt? 😉 What an experience though, Stacie!
I didn’t HAVE to return the shirt. It was more like getting rid of evidence. LOL. I’m married and don’t think my husband would appreciate my keeping it.
LOL! OK, that does make sense 🙂 Hmm… wonder how my husband would feel about such a happening… hope I’ll have the chance to find out in the future 😉
i totally jumped down to the giveaway! I LOOOOOOVE swag so any would be great but if i had to choose i guess number three? then two then one 🙂 mostly just the swag stuff, i collect it.
Glad I’m not the only swag lover. Thanks for commenting!
Sounds like it was a great time. I hope to make it to RT12, I love the city of Chicago!
Did you at least smell the shirt that was thrown you way? Teehee!
Please consider me for 1, 3 or 2.
Did I smell the shirt?! I’ll never tell *angel face*
It sounds like you had a blast there, what a fun trip!
Who doesn’t love swag?!? To pick an order I’d say 3, 1, 2
Thanks for the contest. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by! I never went to bed before midnight LA time. I’m from Chicago so it felt like 2 am for me. I was so bleary-eyed that I wore my glasses all week instead of my contacts. LOL
Stacie gave ME the t-shirt, YES I SMELLED IT (it smelled like soap or something, not like sweat. Is that good? Or bad?) — but I also did not keep it, as cute as the dude was who’d worn it.
I was so glad to meet you, Stacie, hooray! I’m so glad you made it to RT. And so glad you had a good time!
I had a great time! Thank you for taking it off my hands. Of course the shirt lands in the lap of the person least capable of handling it with poise or grace! LOL
I hope I can make it to a RT one of these years. Maybe next year I can do the Chicago one. I’d love to go that’s for sure.
Now for the prizes I’d say 3, 1 then 2 in my order of preference. I would never be able to just pick one 😉
If you can go you really should. Registration was almost $500 but I made up the cost with the swag, free food and free BOOKS!
Aloha, Stacie! Loved your RT Recap! I had a similiar experience as you when I attended my first RT in Daytona/2006 – I attended the authors’ panels as I enjoyed hearing my favorites talk about how they write.
Since then, I have attended RT in Houston, Pittsburgh, Orlando and LA (sadly I missed Columbus). I am sorry that our paths did not cross in LA as there is a mountain of people to meet! Perhaps we can have a “blogger” meet and greet next year!
I’m sorry I missed meeting you Kim! Wow I imagine you have some great stories to tell after attending so many RTs! 🙂
I love your recap! The RT conference is very far away for me (I’m in Europe), so I take every chance I can get to “feel a bit closer” to it! Weird, I know. All the swag sounds great, but I would go for 3, 1 and 2.
Thank you so much for the post and giveaway!
Thank you for stopping by. I didn’t know what I had been missing until I arrived last week. It really feels like a family reunion of sorts. Good luck in the giveaway!
sounds like you had a blast. wish I could have gone 🙁 stupid work, distance, etc 😉 perhaps another year when it’s a little closer to home. sounds like you were able to gets lots of goodies to go with the good fun. thanks for being willing to share with us. my preference would be first the trading cards then the playing cards (I never use calendars other than what’s on the computer anymore).
Thanks for stopping by Donna Ann!
The trading cards seem very popular. I have to wonder if they might be the solution for us not being able to have pretty covers when we buy eBooks.
I used an online number generator and the following people were winners.
Brae won the Romance Trading Cards
Take 2 – damn iPhone accidentally published my comment before I was finished.
Aemelia won the EC Calendar
Kimberly F won the EC playing cards
Winners please email your mailing address and put the prize you won in the subject line. Remember that some of these SWAG items are pretty racy. Thanks for playing everyone!
User1123 AT comcast DOT net
Congrats, Brae, Aemelia, and Kimberly! Stacie, thanks for sharing!
Thank you so much! This is awesome! I really appreciate it!
This was a super fun Post — Thank you Lime for having some awesome guest posters on!
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