I also got to meet Charlaine Harris (who also is obviously used to crazy fans stumbling up to her and babbling in excitement). Also gracious and charming. She told me a little about her new, post-Sookie series, which will be written in multiple POVs, and how she's looking forward to writing from male POVs. It was thrilling to hear the writerly excitement in her voice.
For the non-superstar authors, it was a long book signing, 11 AM - 2 PM. I sat to Laura Kaye (also absolutely charming), who is with Entangled Publishing, and has several books to her name, including North of Need. As a debut author, I'm always surprised when anyone tells me they've read my book and so it was quite gratifying to have people come up to tell me how much they enjoyed The Taker. At the RT book fair, the convention bookseller sets up a little pile of books at your table for you to sign. People come over either to check you out, and there's a chance to engage with readers and tell them about your book, or perhaps they heard you at a panel and have already decided to get your book. I was very pleasantly surprised to sell out quickly. Of course, as a debut author I only had one pile of books to sell whereas the veteran authors had their last three books.
The second half of the big book fair day consisted of two tracks for readers. The most popular part of the con, it appears, is the Teen Day on Saturday. I grabbed one YA craft panel before heading to the airport. It was completely mobbed, easily 200 adults and teens in attendance to hear Melissa Marr, Kelly Armstrong, Nancy Holder, Veronica Roth, Margaret Stohl, Beth Revis and one other wonderful author whose name I didn't catch talk about their writing process, their inspirations and to give advice to aspiring YA authors. Since Melissa had talked me into thinking about writing YA two days earlier, I now count myself among the "aspiring".
Nancy Holder with her latest YA novel Damned and her beau, Edgar Allan PoeFor aspiring authors, networking with other writers is an essential part of the process and I have to say RT excels in this area. I met so many folks that my head is spinning. I not only met other writers who are published by Simon and Schuster like Molly Harper and Jennifer Estep (see previous blog post), but many whose names I knew from other conferences and book events but whom I'd never had a chance to see in person. So I can now say from experience that Julie Kramer of the "Stalking Susan" series is as generous as she is gifted, feeding this newbie author advice. I also got to meet mystery writers Rosemary Harris, Rick Mofina, thriller writers F. Paul Wilson, Andrew Peterson, Bob Mayer, and Patrick Lee, and paranormal writers Nancy Holder and Angela James, who are friends of Rebecca York. I got to spend time with Rachel Caine and her assistant Sarah Weiss, and my friend, talented jewelry designer Janet Cadsawan. All in all, a great convention to attend as both a writer and reader.