I returned from the RT Booklovers Convention on Sunday, and I had a great time. My voice was a little thrashed from all of the talking and laughing I did, and I spent long hours catching up with other writers, many of whom I’d only met online. Here’s a little peek at what went down.

Wednesday

I roomed with Tamara Ireland Stone and Lenore Appelhans the first night. My roomies had driven from a signing in St. Louis and were crashed out when I arrived, but they only yelled a little when I woke them. Seriously, both of these ladies are awesome. After checking email, I ran down to the Kensington event, SPOOKY SOIREE: LOVING THE THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT. The room was separated into groups of 10-12 people, and authors were placed with each group. We were given a worksheet, chocolate for fuel, and tasked with coming up with our group’s idea of the perfect paranormal hero. I got to lead an imaginative group and loved who we came up with, including the very important detail that our hero have “nice teeth.” Sadly, we lost to another team when it came time for the judging, but I doubt any of us really minded when the judge was a former Mr. Romance. Lucky me, Kensington had made little signs for each of our books, and I happily stole this sign for PUSHED. LOVE.

cookie

PUSHED Sign and Cookie

After the event, I was off to my room to edit (yes, I had edits due while at RT) and order room service. Then it was an early night for me since I hadn’t slept a wink the night before.

Thursday

The next morning I woke up to do more edits before heading off to the Kensington social where I shared a table with Jennifer Estep. I signed copies of TOUCHED and there were these awesome cookies with the cover of PUSHED on them. Yes, you guessed it. I stole one of those too.

kensington signing

Kensington Party Signing Table

After the signing, I headed back to the room to – wait for it – do more edits! Our newest roomie, CJ Omololu, arrived. Then, a huge group of YA authors gathered for dinner. Sadly, there is no pictorial evidence, but I did keep track of who attended because (a) I was so excited to meet everyone and (b) hello, this list blows my mind.

Natalie Parker
Suzanne Lazear
Tessa Gratton
CJ Omololu
Zoraida Cordova
Tamara Ireland Stone
Liz Czukas
Jessica Souders
Anne Greenwood Brown
Josephine Angelini
Amy Plum
Victoria Scott
Brodi Ashton
Kiera Cass
Tara Hudson
Colleen Houck
Caitlin Kittredge
Beth Revis
Gennifer Albin
Rachel Vincent
Jeri Smith-Ready
Cynthia Hand
Gretchen McNeil
Leigh Bardugo
Aprilynne Pike
Justina Ireland
Anna Carey

After dinner, we headed back to our room to get ready for the RT Formal Ball.

CJ and Tamara

My roomies all dressed up for the ball. CJ Omololu and Tamara Ireland Stone

dressed for the ball

Dressed for the RT Formal Ball

At the ball, I turned into a total fangirl, geeking out as my favorite romance authors were recognized for their achievements. Jude Deveraux, Laura Kinsale, and Karen Robards were my particular favorites, and I wanted to gush my gratitude at them for the wonderful books they’d written.

at the ball

At the RT Ball with CJ Omololu, Zoraida Cordova, Victoria Scott, Brodi Aston, Me, and Tamara Ireland Stone. (Source: Tamara Ireland Stone)

ballroom

The RT Formal Ball

gretchen selfie

YA Rebels Reunion (Sarah was also at the convention, but I missed getting her pic)

After a very late night (early morning), I headed back to the room to edit some more. My roommates didn’t think I would, but I showed them. Or rather, I would have if they’d been awake.

Friday

Tamara Ireland Stone and I spent the day editing in our room until we couldn’t stand it anymore. We finally headed off to the cafe to work there. I was less than productive once I realized that JUDE FREAKING DEVERAUX was having lunch at the table next to ours. I did not interrupt her meal, but I so, so wanted to. I’m still sad that I didn’t meet her. I managed to make it to the Avon party, where they gave away lots of free books. Then it was back to work. I was still editing (and missing all the panels – sadface) when I got a call asking me to join a panel. I had three minutes to get there, and found out that I was a late addition, filling in for one of my favorite authors, Sara Zarr.

As if that wasn’t enough to blow my mind, the panel was on “issues” books, and my fellow panelists included CJ Omololu, Jennifer Brown, Jackie Kessler, and Gayle Forman. Melissa Marr moderated. It was such a huge opportunity, and the response from the audience was great. I’m still on Cloud 9 that I got to do that panel.

issues panel

Issues Panel. Pictured here: Me, Jennifer Brown, and Gayle Forman (Source: Erica M. Chapman)

Then I went back to the room where I FINALLY finished my edits. Another group of authors went off to dinner and then it was time for bed. Here’s half the group cramming into an elevator.

elevator

How many YA Authors can you fit in an elevator? With CJ Omololu, Tamara Ireland Stone, SR Johannes, Rachel Carter, Debra Driza, and Cynthia Hand

Saturday:

Saturday was the giant book fair with a signing in YA Alley. I spent a few hours doing one of my favorite things – talking to readers – and I got to sign a Kindle cover.

teen day signing

Teen Day Signing

After the signing, I went to a panel (yay!), and then I was part of the Author Speed Reading. Then, everyone gathered for the Teen Day Party, where scads of teens ran around getting books signed by their favorite authors. There were cake pops, lots of people dancing, and a good time had by all. After that, we had one final dinner.

satyadinner

YA Dinner After the Teen Day Party (Source: Beth Revis)

Here’s a list of the people who were at the dinner. MIND BLOWN.

SR Johannes
Kimberly Derting
Beth Revis
CJ Omololu
Victoria Scott
Jill Hathaway
Cole Gibson
Kate Hart
Justina Ireland
Lydia Kang
Lea Nolan
Jeri Smith-Ready
Rachel Carter
Erin Brambilla
Kiera Cass
Veronica Roth
Gretchen McNeil
Tara Hudson
Gayle Forman
Debra Driza
Liz Czukas
Josephine Angelini
Amy Plum
Zoraida Cordova
Anna Carey
Gennifer Albin
Bethany Hagen
Brodi Ashton
Myra McEntire
Natalie Parker
Suzanne Lazear
Dawn Rae Miller

Sunday

I was up early to fly home. Of course, my flights were delayed due to San Francisco fog, but I was glad to finally return home and unpack all of the lovely books I scored. Plus, I spent the waiting time starting another contemporary.