The 2019 Book Lovers Conference Takes on New Orleans!
For years, I’d wanted to attend the Romantic Times Readers Conference, but never had the time or money to make the trip. When I heard the people who ran the conference (and the magazine) had retired and was shutting them both down, I was heartbroken.
Then… I heard someone had taken over the conference and was going to keep it going but under the name “BookLoversCon.” Color me thrilled! And I was NOT going to miss the opportunity again. So, I talked my friend, Brenda, into joining me for this adventure and we packed up the car. Road trip!
The festivities had already begun for many who had arrived early to tour New Orleans. Of course, we had to join in.
I have to hand it to the people who took this on. They did an amazing job. The decorations were incredible!
The conference bags were filled with tons of cool items from many new-to-me authors and a very detailed agenda booklet. Also included was an autograph book with pictures of the attending authors. OMG!
There was so much going on during those four days, I had to break it down in to the following main highlights:
Heather Graham’s Vampire Voodoo Club
There were so many different options for workshops that catered to readers, authors, industry professionals, and bloggers. It was definitely hard to choose just one option to attend when there were always multiple workshops that captured my interest.
One example: I was fortunate to win a lottery drawing to have a Champagne Candy Brunch with the Starfish Writers Group that consisted of some of my favorite authors; Christine Feehan, Brian Feehan, Sheila English, C.L. Wilson, and Karen Rose. :) :) :)
After this brunch, I attended another workshop this group presented where we sat down and ask questions about how they managed 17 years of writing and critiquing together. It was an enlightening discussion and I plan to incorporate many of their suggestions within my own writing group.
2) Book Signings:
Even better than the workshops was the opportunity to receive free autographed books throughout the four-day event from several of my favorite and new-to-me authors. I did the fan-girl thing and got pictures with (and of) a few of them.
I LOVE Hildie McQueen. http://www.hildiemcqueen.com/
I’ve attended several workshops with her and she is generous with sharing her knowledge and the ins and outs of the writing world.
Donna Kaufman was one of the romance authors that swayed me towards writing romance novels. I love the feel and depth of her books and was thrilled to meet her (note how thrilled with the shaking photo. I was worried about being that creepy stalker and didn’t want to seem toooo weird. I’m sure I did not pull it off…). https://donnakauffman.com/
Sally Kilpatrick is another author who’s workshops have shaped me as a writer and entrepreneur. I also love the southern feel of her books. https://sallykilpatrick.com/
Another great author is Madeline Hunter! https://madelinehunter.com/
Her line was quite long, but I made it to the front before she ran out of books. :)
Sadly, I did not make it through Christine Feehan’s line to get one of her books. But as I mentioned above, I did get to hear her speak personally in a small group setting and that was perfect! https://www.christinefeehan.com/
There were so many other incredible authors in attendance. I just can’t add all the pictures in one post.
3) Jazz Festival:
Along with the many workshops offered, we had the opportunity to attend some evening festivities that included a Jazz Festival the first night where we danced and tried some incredible New Orleans Food Truck cuisine.
There were tons of authors at this energizing festival; including one of my favorites, Tonya Kappes!!! Love her Cozy Camper Mystery Series!!! https://www.tonyakappes.com/#!
4) Fairy Ball:
The next evening we attended a Fairy Ball where we were encouraged to dress up.
Brenda and I both wish we had brought more fairy makeup, but I think we hit it out of the park with our sparkling wings.
5) Heather Graham’s Vampire Voodoo Club:
The final dress-up party was Heather Graham’s Vampire Voodoo Party. This was AWESOME! Heather Graham and company put on an incredible skit between the vampires and the werewolves. I love, love, love her books. https://www.theoriginalheathergraham.com/
I didn’t get to hear a lot of the skit because I was, again, fortunate enough to win a lottery event. This time I selected to sit with an author during the party - Brian Feehan! https://www.brianfeehanauthor.com/
Brian was great and, yes, this is one of Christine Feehan’s sons. He had a lot of insight that he shared of the writing world and the experiences he had growing up with an author. This dinner was one of my very favorite parts of the trip. I honestly cannot wait for Brian’s book to come out. And not just because he had presents for us… ;)
6) Wrap up:
Trust me when I say the conference was NOT a disappointment. We had a blast and met so many cool authors and readers. I will be going through bookmarks and business cards for the coming year just to see who all they are. And I have no idea how I will read all the free e-books we received before the next conference comes around.
Oh yeah, did I mention they’re doing this again? March 2020 will be held in Nashville Tennessee!!! And I already have my conference ticket and hotel room reserved.
I hope I see you there!
For more of my adventures in New Orleans, check out the following posts.