My first RT Convention Experience

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So, I’m back. Technically I’ve been back for almost a week but I sort of needed a little R&R after the convention. I knew it was going to be hectic and chaotic, I just had no idea how bad it truly was. First off, I want to give a huge shout out to my roommates Jen (Not Now, I’m Reading) and Brandy. They took me under their wing and helped me survive the craziness. If it weren’t for them, I’d have probably been in the fetal position in my hotel room after the first day. It took me a day to realize that what they said was true. That I couldn’t do everything I wanted and that I’d have to take “time off” from events in order to recharge and eat. It also helped that I ran into D.T. Dyllin on the first night and she took one look at me and dragged me out to eat. I was running on fumes at that point trying to chug along through my first day. >.< Big mistake. Needless to say, I felt like a helpless kitten living on the streets for the first time. I was so lost and overwhelmed. I had this idea that it would be easy and fun–like all the pictures you see on Twitter and blogs after the event–I had no idea that it wasn’t as easy as it looked. There were lines…

 

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Lots and lots of lines…P1050987

 

I kid you not, a lot of the time was spent exactly like this…

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So, my grand idea of going from one event to the next within the 15 minute break between them didn’t happen. I quickly learned that unless I wanted to wait in line for the socials (the events where you get all the free books), I had to come up with another game plan. That’s where my roommates came in. They showed me the wonderful world of panels. I had no idea that as a reader I could attend the author panels. Let me tell you, if you go to RT, go to the panels. Not only are there no lines but you get up close and personal with your favorite authors, get to ask them questions, and even meet them! It was by far the least stressful and more enjoyable between the two. Those panels saved my sanity. Especially the one about writing comedy in your books. That was a riot!

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Jennifer Probst , Emma Chase, Alice Clayton, & Christina Lauren

I think I may have sat in the same amount of panels as I did party events. My favorite panel was the YA diversity one. I mean, c’mon, it had Richelle Mead in it! My all time favorite author. I was ecstatic! I totally had a fangirl moment and just stood in the back taking pictures.

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Kami Garcia, Natalie C. Parker, Dana Elmendorf, Richelle Mead, Cindy Pon, Dhonielle Clayton, Adi Alsaid, Julie Murphy, & Kody Keplinger,

 

Once I realized that I couldn’t do everything and that panels were more rewarding (for me at least), I started to have more fun. I was able to go to some of the long-lined social events while balancing them out with the more quieter panels. That doesn’t mean that the days weren’t hectic though. Between events (that 15 minute layover time I was talking about earlier) RT decided to have pop-up signings. For those 15 minutes between events, a few authors would “pop up” out of nowhere and sign books before the next set of events kicked off. Needless to say, it was insane. Imagine hundreds of people standing around idle, flicking away on their iPhones, refreshing their Twitter page… when all of a sudden they start taking off into different directions to get to one of the pop-ups in time. It was INSANE! I won’t lie to you though, I was one of those people. Albeit, I didn’t do them all. I only chose the authors who I really wanted to meet/read.

The convention wasn’t all madness though. They did have some pretty fun parties where I got to meet some amazing people. My favorite event was by far the Steampunk one. There were performers on stage doing amazing acrobats, magicians walking the tables, and tarot card readers. Not to mention that there were a lot of people fully decked out in their steampunk costumes. It was awesome!

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D.T. Dyllin, Neomi (BookishNeo), and myself

 

I did get to meet some authors that I’ve been dying to meet. Richelle Mead comes to mind 😛 but there were also others as well. I will admit that I was too much of a chicken to approach them outside of signings. It just felt really weird interrupting them at the convention to fangirl all over them and ask for photos/autographs. I know, I know. That’s why they were at the convention, but still. I mean, they are people too, and I’d hate to be interrupted when on my way to the bathroom, to get something to eat, or chatting with a friend.

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Richelle Mead, Alice Clayton, Christina Lauren, & Darynda Jones

 

Aside from the convention happenings, I had a lot more fun just meeting people and hanging out with them. I met some amazing ladies while in Vegas and I hope to keep in touch with them. You ladies were what made RT awesome!

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Brina Berry, Jen Crane, Abbie Roads, Kathleen Groger, DT Dyllin, Jen D, Brandy, & Megan Mitcham

 

RT16 was a lot of fun and I think I’ll go again when it comes my way but I don’t know how everyone does it year after year. Not only is it hella expensive but I needed a handful of days to myself just to recuperate from it all when I got back. Thankfully the Mr. was understanding and didn’t comment on the fact that I’d been in pajamas for three days straight, that I was slightly moody, and that my idea for dinner was making a ton of beans and calling it bean burritos… in which we would have the following two nights via leftovers. Needless to say, I love the people I met while at RT, getting to meet some of my favorite authors, and the experience as a whole. I mean, if I didn’t go to RT16, I wouldn’t have seen Coolio in the casino! RT was definitely an experience and something I will remember for years to come.

12 Thoughts on “My first RT Convention Experience

  1. Oh man, that does look tiring but a ton of fun! 😀

  2. So so fun and I love that you brought your green haired sassiness on! I’ll keep the panels in mind, those lines are ridiculous too! They should have fast passes lol

    • LoL I definitely did! Between the green wig and the wine, I was definitely a lil miss sassy pants. LoL And yes… if you go to RT look at the panels! By far the best part of the whole thing.

  3. Sounds and looks fun but exhausting.

  4. How fun! Glad you had a good time. I could see why you’d need to recoup. Haha – and yay for meeting Coolio. 😀

    • Definitely needed a week off. LoL I didn’t get to meet Coolio. I wanted to snap a picture but he was booking it through the casino and didn’t look like he wanted to be disturbed. :\

  5. Thanks for sharing your first bookish convention experience. I haven’t ever attended a bookish convention, but they sound a lot fo fun, although also a bit hectic. That’s nice your roommates helped you out. Those panels sounds like an awesome way to meet your favourite authors. And wow those lines, i never had expected there to be so much waiting in lines. Sounds like you had a great time and it’s awesome you got to meet so many bloggers and author!

    • Yeah. I was not expecting it to be so chaotic. All the tweets I’d see in previous years made it sound like a more intimate setting. I thought it would be an awesome way to mix and mingle with my favorite authors but a lot of times it was just standing in line, to stand in more lines to have them sign a piece of paper for a raffle prize or goody bag. It wasn’t the experience that I thought it’d be but I still had fun.

  6. I’m going to venture a guess, because of your need for R&R upon return, that you may be a little bit of an introvert…I remember my first RT (13 in Kansas City) and I was so completely overwhelmed. The second morning I was sitting in the lobby crying and tell hubs I wanted to come home. Yep. But you’re right. The panels were totally worth it AND meeting people to help get you through the day made it fun. RT 15 was a much more rewarding experience for me since I had one under my belt, knew what to expect, etc. And now I’m looking forward to RT 17! Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Kristin! Ooh! And yay for meeting and fangirling over Richelle Mead! I was the same way!!!!

    • Oh my goodness. I probably would have been in your shoes if I didn’t have such amazing roommates. Although, when I came home I did tell the Mister that I don’t know why people go to it year after year. It was expensive, I was an emotional and physical wreck both during and after I got home, and I didn’t feel like I accomplished anything. You know? Then after the dust settled down I look back at it all and think, “That was AMAZING!” I will probably go again if it comes my way.

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