It has been a month since the 2016 RT Booklovers Convention and in some ways I’m still recovering from it. Weird Confession: My brain has failed me somewhat on remembering all of the details of this week long adventure. I will blame this haziness on a combination of spirits (booze) and the inherent magic that allows things to “stay in Vegas”. Super spooky, right? Now on to the adventure!
I am capable of packing light, but if left to my own devices, especially if a trip is a week or longer, I will over-pack. Despite my awareness of my own shortcomings, I was surprised to see that I had more luggage than anyone else in my general vicinity at the Las Vegas Airport. Just two suitcases…okay, okay, each are large enough to contain an average sized human and some shoes. Is it any wonder that I receive one of the below on just about every trip I take?
At The Rio I met up with my lovely roommate Eileen Sheffield and crashed her Meet and Greet dinner for the pre-con boot camp she attended. There I met several lovely people and proceeded to gorge myself on a French Dip and Fries (the first of many delicious meals). Eileen and I had met the previous year in Dallas and made a pretty good roomie duo, if I do say so myself. We both enjoy, naps, vodka, food, but wanted to attend as many things as possible without being utterly exhausted. Exhausted is fine, but no utterly is not allowed. The entire week we managed to have only one photo taken, courtesy of the lovely Fran (a librarian we met at the conference). Follow her.
The next morning both Eileen and I went off to our respective pre-con classes. I opted for Cherry Adair’s Master Plotting Class, Eileen took the more comprehensive boot camp. Cherry’s Master Plotting class was excellent. I learned her intricate plotting methods which involve Post Its in every color of the rainbow, poster board, and an appreciation for a visual story boarding.
I found this method to be very helpful especially as a way to see the increasing tension and spot where your story may have grown stagnant. I plan on ordering a laminated poster from an office store in the near future, mainly because Leeloo Dallas Multipass (the kitten) enjoys eating paper and has taken a few healthy bites out of the butcher paper board I received in the class. If you’re interested in Cherry’s system you can order her book Cherry Adair Writers’ Bible.
As I already confessed, I do not remember all of the workshops I attended over the week. It was numerous and I can tell you they ranged. I really attempted to diversify my portfolio…sorry I may or may not work in the alternative investment industry (I do, I totally do). I learned about the pros of small publishers, the art of negotiation, and why we need more diversity in our books.
Eileen and I also managed to attend every late night party whether it was Vintage Vegas or a Race Through the Shadows with Christine Feehan. When I read this the title of Ms. Feehan’s event I never suspected race cars would be involved, well played Ms. Feehan. Eileen and I also got a little fortune telling done at Heather Graham’s Bat Pack party.
As a result of these late evening I also took to purchasing a seven dollar hangover remedy from the gift shop on a nightly basis. I’m not sure that it worked one hundred percent, but the placebo effect was strong if not.
RT16 was my favorite convention thus far. You might think this is due to the location but it’s not. Originally hailing from Phoenix, Vegas is only a five hour drive, so if anything I’m pretty over Vegas. The more sought after location however, led to a larger variety of events and people. It was obvious that publishing professionals and writers alike attended in larger numbers to get the Vegas experience. That translated to more editors and agents available for those coveted appointments and more people ready to have fun. Five weeks later the hangover is long gone but the fire under my rear from being surrounded by so many enthusiastic writers, readers, bloggers, publishing professionals, is still lit. Happy writing ya’ll. Whoops, that was Dallas, sooooo 2015. Thank yuh, very much!