Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I'm a bad, bad girl + RomCon

Yikes. I blew it. JUST this moment realized I was to blog today (1:24 pm central). In my defense, I've been home 3 days so far this month, will be home 3 more then I'm off again for the rest of the month. I don't know how I get myself into these things.

Anyway, DH had a Dr. apt this morning to recheck his shoulder post surgery and I guess he just took top priority - as it should be, right?

In any event, I want to tell you a little bit about the 1st ever RomCon conference that was held in Denver, Co last weekend. WHAT A BLAST!! RomCon was the dream of some amazing writers from the Denver area who wanted to create a conference where fans could get up close and personal with their favorite authors and promote authors to new readers. Well, let me tell ya. Mission Accomplished!
in photo:Mary Burton, me, Cool Australian bookseller who gave me TimTams :o), Susan Crandall, Tara Janzen, Pamela Clare

Sue Grimshaw, the Romance buyer for Border Books was there with her crew doing author video interviews (watch for me on Borders True Romance sometime soon), to present the Borders Bestseller awards and head up the huge book signing. There was also tons and tons of book giveaways.

The spotlight authors there were Carly Phillips, Lori Foster, Pamela Clare, Jo Beverley, Anna Campbell (all the way from Australia), Nalini Singh (All the way from New Zeland) Brenda Novak, Elizabeth Hoyt, Jeaniene Frost, Julia Quinn, Susan Mallery, Tara Janzen, Melissa Mayhue, Hanna Howell, Lil ole ME :o) and (fangirl moment here) Christine Feehan who rarely attends conferences. There were many more featured authors (including our Leanne Banks) and many, many fans as well as some industry figures, most notably Randall Toy from Harlequin, plus editors from Harlequin, St Martins Press, Berkley and Grand Central.
(photo: Still not sure why i was holding 2 glasses of champagne :O)

We did 'speed date' an author, intimate chats, invitational teas and breakfasts, many, many panels and in general were 100% accessible to our readers 100% of the time. I loved it and from everything I've heard, a good time was had by all.

Oh - and one night they had a mystic carnival. I had my palm read. Good news. I'm going to live to be 92 and one of my next books is going to be made into a movie :o)

Far right - me, Lovely Leanne and amazing Tara Janzen. Leanne and I look like throw-backs to the 60's love child era in our tie die, don't we? And no, we didn't plan it :o)

So, what do you all think of a 'READER' centric conference? Is it something you'd like to attend and if so, who would you like to see there and in what venue? One on one? Group meets? Speed dates?

30 comments:

lois greiman said...

Looks like great fun, Cindy. Thanks for the update. Will it be in Denver again next year??

Kathleen Eagle said...

Sounds like you had a great time, Cindy. I've got to remember this for next year. I really enjoy meeting readers, and I've been such a hermit lately. The speed dating event sounds like fun, but I think I'd enjoy group meets more. How about something like a musical tables thing, where you combine tea, small groups and switching groups but not too quickly--like maybe 15 minutes.

Cindy Gerard said...

Hey Lois - you would love it and yes it will be in Denver. They are thinking about having the conference in Sept - which I would love to see since July is so packed!

Cindy Gerard said...

Great ideas, Kathy and I just know you would LOVE the conference. The fans were amazing! The sessions innovative and exciting.
Checkout romcon 2010 for this year's conference details so you can get a better idea.

Also, Sue Grimshaw will be hosting the first Annual Reader's Crown winners in a series of blog posts starting August 15th. I got really lucky and won the Romantic Suspense category with Whisper No Lies so I'll be on the blog sometime that week talking about the conference among other things.

Cindy Gerard said...

PS to the Readers Crown contest. All the winning books will get special promo in Borders stores in August. they will be featured in a wall bay or up front or something and advertised as Readers Crown winners. The Readers Crown finalists and winners are all judged by READERS which makes it a great contest, IMO. Guess they had tons of entries this year which is also cool.

Helen Brenna said...

Sound like a ton of fun, Cindy. Can't WAIT for the movie! Makes complete sense to me!

Cindy Gerard said...

LOL, Helen. I'm not holding my breath :o)

Michele Hauf said...

Cindy, you have to explain the speed dating thing to me. I read about that and wondered what the heck?

Anna D said...

I'm so jealous! Although I am terribly shy most of the time I would love to attend a readers conference. Hopefully next year I can make it to Denver.

Leanne said...

Great blog Cindy! Congrats on your award!!!! Still love it that you and I both went tie-dye!:) The speed dating thing was a lot of fun. It was a bunch of authors and readers in a room and each reader and author chatted for about 4 minutes. Not long enough for awkward silences. In my case, if they said they loved paranormal, I referred them to Michele.:) I actually spent time ASKING the readers about their tastes and preferences.

Cindy Gerard said...

Michele - Leanne pretty much covered the speed dating thing. It was fun. Really intense and fast. I handed out LOTS of Topdown cards at that event in particular.

Cindy Gerard said...

Anna, you would love it. And the atmosphere was one of the most relaxed and friendly of any conference I've ever been too. Hope to see you there next year as it's a "MUST DO AGAIN" for me.

Cindy Gerard said...

LOL Leanne - the tie dye thing was too funny. It was so much fun seeing you!

Paula R said...

Cindy, I think a READERCENTRIC CONFERENCE is an absolutely wonderful idea. I was slated to go to this event, but had to back out in the last minute. I regreted that decision throughout the entire weekend. I am so glad that it went well. I have heard nothing but good things about it on my journey throughout the blogosphere. I can't wait to go next year. It must have been reader heaven. As an author, do you think it was more work for you? Did you feel you had to be on all the time or could you relax and just enjoy yourself?

Peace and love,
Paula R.

krisgils33 said...

Sounds like alot of fun. If I didn't have so many other things on my plate, I definitely would have gone.

krisgils33 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cindy Gerard said...

Paula - too bad you couldn't come. But next year, okay?
As for me, I was a very busy girl :o) My day started at 9:00 and went on until everything wound down. But, even having said that, I'd do it that way again in a heartbeat. All the contacts I had with readers were so uplifting and fun! The time flew by. Yes, I got tired, but not as much as I do at RWA nationals or at RT because the pace - while fast - didn't seem as hectic, if that makes any sense. it was just lots of feel good vibes all the time. I LOVED all the interaction I had with readers and met so many new friends.

Cindy Gerard said...

Maybe next year, Kris. Elaine and Michelle did an excellent job.

Debra Webb said...

I can't wait to go next year!!!!

Cindy Gerard said...

Yay Deb! It will be so much fun to see you there!

Terry Odell said...

SO glad I got to meet and talk to you (probably more than you wanted). Looks like I'll be adding this conference to my budget for next year, now that I live within driving distance.

Cindy Gerard said...

Hey, Terry. Great meeting you in person as well. See you in Orlando?

Paula R said...

Cindy, it is definitely on my list of things to do next year. Hopefully the change to September won't mess with my chances to go. I am a teacher at a boarding school, so that might cause some problems.

I am glad you had such a great time, and it was relaxing. I can only imagine what it would be like as an author. I know how crazy things can get at Nationals from a readers perspective. I have stayed in the hotel and I see how hectic things can be for you guys. I hope to see you at Nationals this year. I can't believe it is almost here. Can't wait.

Peace and love,
Paula R.

GunDiva said...

I'm so kicking myself for not going! I live less than an hour from where the conference was held. What was I thinking by not going?

Cindy Gerard said...

Hope to see you too, Paula!

Cindy Gerard said...

gundiva - so sad :o( You should have been there to see the skit Glenna (aka Tara Janzen) and I did Saturday night at dinner. Do you friend Annmarie Taylor? If so, she has posted photos. Oh boy :o)

Debra Dixon said...

Oh, this sounds like a rockin' good time!

I love the "speed date an author" feature. That was faboo!

And I'm going to Australia next month. Should I try to get you some Tim Tams?

Cindy Gerard said...

LOL Deb. Alas, the tim tams are gone. I think I'd be better off without more although, they sure were tasty. You get some for yourself and enjoy but thanks anyway!

Cindy Gerard said...

LOL Deb. Alas, the tim tams are gone. I think I'd be better off without more although, they sure were tasty. You get some for yourself and enjoy but thanks anyway!

Tasha said...

I WILL be there next year. :) I told my sister and my mom about it and they were so excited we're already making plans. I'm getting my plane ticket ready!