Imagine traveling to a faraway land where the ladies dance in fairy wings. Men with chiseled cheekbones and rock-hard abs roam the hallways. Romance authors are treated like superstars. Everyone in this magical place shares your passion for the written word. Your idols are delighted to share naughty beverages with you until dawn. Everyone – well, a few people here and there – knows your name and is happy to see you.
Where is this paradise? Well, this year it was in Los Angeles, next year in Chicago, and it’s known throughout the land as the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention.
I’d never been before, and boy, did I get my little introverted mind blown.
I never thought RT would be… So. Much. Fun. It was like one long slumber party punctuated by costume balls and Catherine Coulter sightings. I’ll put romance fans up against any other type of fan as the most fun, most passionate, and all-around loveliest. How about the mother and daughter who flew in from England and filled their journals with author autographs? Or the fan who made corset-tutu vampire zombie costumes for her friends?
In case you’ve never been to RT, it’s all about the parties and the hotel bar. This year the themes were Bollywood, Steampunk, Vampire Zombies and the Venetian Masquerade Fairy Ball. Drink of choice: chocolate martini. The four-day conference is a bit of a blur, so I’ll just pick out some favorite moments.
Cutest moment: a tiny dog in fairy wings winning a prize at the costume ball.
Most scandalous moment: the Samhain author party getting shut down by hotel security (too much loud talking) and everyone getting escorted to the elevator.
Most touching moment. Harlequin author Olivia Gates thanking everyone who helped promote her new release while she was trapped in Egypt during the upheaval.
Most thrilling moment: Signing “Juniper Bell” for the first time, for a fan who’s read all my books and can’t wait for the next one.
Biggest fangirl moment: This one’s tough! There were so many amazing authors there. But meeting Sabrina Jeffries is up there. And breakfast with the astonishingly talented and unbelievably down-to-earth Darynda Jones.
And oh, the books … two huge boxes are in the mail on their way to Homer. I might have overdone it. Then again, when it comes to romance, can you ever really get enough?Juniper Bell