Five Things I learned at RT Con

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I left last Tuesday and drove west to attend RT Con, for those of you who may be unfamiliar, it is the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. This year’s event brought writers and readers to Kansas City, a place where I lived for twelve years before moving to Atlanta. Next year it will be in New Orleans. Yes, I can’t wait!

I paid my registration fee earlier this year with a dose of trepidation. Would I disappear in a sea of noted authors? I figured that at least my friends would come to see me at the book signing. Sure enough, they did.

What’s unique about RT? It’s a reader’s fan conference with educational sessions for writers. Writers are fans, too. I met several of my favorites, like Jude Deveraux and Sharon Sala. Saw many more!

Readers are engaging, so happy to meet authors, including debut authors like me. At one point, I was trotting along in heels trying to make it to an appointment on time. Two women were at the door ahead of me. They held the door open. “You’re the author,” one said. “You’re important. Please go ahead.”

I thanked the lady profusely. I’m sure she thought it was for her door holding. It was, but also because for a moment, I felt recognized and validated.

Here are five things I learned at RT.

1) A smile is free and when you give it away, it comes back to you ten-fold.

2) Romance, no matter the genre, unites readers in a magical way.

3) *Squeeeeee* as often as you like. (I did some forms of this every time I saw someone I know, and upon meeting up with friends I’ve only known on social media.) The sound produces a “feel-good” vibe and it’s contagious for those around you.

4) The business of writing is like a complex dish on a Food Network cooking show where the aspects of flavor profiles meld together. The business of writing is also complex. No one can know everything about writing by reading a single book or attending only one workshop or conference.

5) I am not alone. (Nor are you.) There are readers excited to read books and meet new authors, as well, as visit with their long-time favorites.

What are you reading right now? What author would you love to meet? Me? I’m still stalking Pat Conroy.

Happy Reading!

Linda Joyce
http://www.linda-joyce.com

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About Linda Joyce

Writing is a curious journey. You don't pick it, it picks you. See my website at www.Linda-Joyce.com to learn more about me.
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18 Responses to Five Things I learned at RT Con

  1. We definitely missed you at OWFI!

  2. O.M.G. if I could sit down with Stephen King, or Dr. Angelou, I’d consider myself as having been blessed by the writing Gods and Goddesses.

    • Linda Joyce says:

      Miss Diva,

      I’m afraid if I ever meet Pat Conroy, I’ll blubber and fall at his feet…when what I want is an intelligent conversation. I sooo kno what you mean.

      Smiles,

      LJ

  3. That was really helpful for me to read that Linda as hopefully next year I will be in your shoes! Guess I should plan to go. 😉

    • Linda Joyce says:

      Liberty Ann,

      I wish I had gone to more before now…and gone as a Reader before going as a writer. If you’re seriously considering going, let me know. I talked to several who’d been before, however, many of the writers I know were RT virgins like me. They staff does a good job of helping you prep before hand, but they can’t be all things to all people, so I’ll be happy to share my experience more indepth if you’d like.

      Smiles,

      LJ

  4. Sounds like a fun convention, I really want to go to one at some point!

  5. Linda, I so agree about the smiles part. It turned out to be the easiest way to participate and probably brought the most return. Not sure I sold many books, but as a debut author myself, the validation that what I’ve been spending so much of my time and energy on was valued meant as much as sales. Most of all, I particularly treasure meeting fellow authors like you, with whom I have so many things in common and looking forward to a continuing friendship.

    Barbara Barrett

    • Linda Joyce says:

      Barbara,

      It was great to meet you also. And, we shared our first book signing events together. 🙂 I look forward to seeing you again. Would you consider coming to the Moonlight and Magnolia conference here in ATL?

      And to All, Barbara and I will be doing a radio chat in June together, along with my friend, author Claire Croxton. Hope you’ll listen in.

      Smiles,

      LJ

  6. Renee Regent says:

    So jealous! Wanted to go, will definitely go next year. it’s in NOLA, right? Thanks for letting me live vicariously through your experience!

    • Linda Joyce says:

      Renee,

      We’re going to have to look into a caravan of attendees from ATL for next years RT! Yes, it’s in NOLA! I think, sadly, that it starts After Jazzfest ends.

      Smiles,

      LJ

  7. Jill James says:

    I got my picture taken with Jude Deveraux. I’m a happy camper!!

    • Linda Joyce says:

      Jill,

      How wonderful! I spoke with her, but didn’t ask for a picture- darn it! It was so great to meet you, though if we ever meet in KC again, let’s avoide the burger place with the trains.

      Smiles,

      LJ

  8. Jackie Rod says:

    Linda,
    Thanks for sharing your experience at RT. I know it was awesome. So many of my friends went and have flooded my screen with pics. We were on vacation, but next year I plan to attend. Each time I gather with readers and writers, I’m so inspired.

  9. Donald Clements says:

    It was quite the experience for me as the hubby of the author… I was the man in the business suit in the elevator going to work at my firm’s local office. I have never encountered so many friendly women in my life. And, they all seemed to be having a blast!

    • Linda Joyce says:

      Don,

      I couldn’t have made it without your help. Thank you! And, I did it again, I was driving and missed a major interstate…I’ll never live that down. 🙂

      Smiles,

      Linda

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