05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Reader Conventions: Boobs, Booze & Books!

at Romantic Times Booklover's Convention (RT)

Yes, reader conventions are exactly as much fun as this headline implies! The boobs are on gleeful and gorgeous display behind the stunning corsetry that is so popular these days. And even if you are a teetotaler, your head will definitely be spinning at the end of every night. But mostly, for authors and readers both, reader-focused conventions are a chance to indulge wholeheartedly in the thing we so love: books!

There are romance reader conventions of various sizes and specificities. Smaller events like Lori Foster’s Reader and Author Get Together ( or Arizona Dreaming ( offer a more intimate experience while subgenre-oriented gatherings like the paranormal-themed Authors After Dark ( cater to specific reader tastes. Then there is the biggest event of the year, the RT Booklovers Convention (, which has grown beyond romance and brings in thousands of authors, writers, and readers. Truly, there’s a con for everyone.

Whichever con you attend, you’ll probably find similarities. Romance folk are some of the sweetest, silliest people you’ll find in this world. I think it’s because romance novels are so often disparaged when we know darned well the true power of hope, hard work, and hot sex which lie at the heart of romance. [Note: The hot sex might be only implied in some subgenres of romance, but I’m pretty sure it’s still happening, just behind closed doors.] Cons are the place where we romance readers are free to be ourselves.

Toward that end, here are a few tips for your next (or first!) reader con:

From Author Linnea Sinclair's
Intergalactic Bar & Grille party at the
RT Booklovers Convention
Bring the fun: 

Even if you attend by yourself, you will be among friends at a reader con, lots of friends. Feeling shy? Here’s your secret handshake to insta-besties: “So, what do you like to read?” You can fill your time from morning bagel to late-night cocktail with people who wants to share their favorite stories and hear about yours.

Bring the fab:

Many reader cons have parties in the evening: dinner parties, costume parties, dancing parties, all of those at once. If there’s anyone/thing you’ve wanted to be, now is the time. Whether with simple finery or flashy fairy wings (the aforementioned corsets are always particularly fabulous) at reader cons, you are encouraged to shine as brightly as your favorite romance heroine.

Author Delilah Marvelle
bustin' moves at RT
 Bring the fascination:

For authors and readers both, reader cons are a wonderful place to meet new people and learn new things. Try all the gatherings, workshops, readings, and other entertainments the cons offer.

Bring an empty box!
Maxing out the baggage weight limits
You will find great books and lots of giveaway goodies at cons, but empty boxes can be hard to come by. Bring along a prepaid USPS box that you can mail home directly from the hotel’s business office. Even if you end up with space in your suitcase, a cardboard box will keep the corners of your books from getting bent by disgruntled baggage handlers who can’t believe you squeezed 49.999999 pounds into your little black bag.

Reading and writing are both often solitary pleasures, but one weekend of reader con excitement and exhaustion balances the other 360 days of alone-time. And don’t we all need more balance in our lives? Just don’t get too tipsy, and make sure you balance those bosoms with plenty of books in your bag! 

~ Jessa Slade 
  Love Conquers All...Which Explains the Scars


Jessa Slade writes paranormal romance for Harlequin Nocturne Cravings, urban fantasy romance for NAL Signet Eclipse, and science fiction romance for herself. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with a musician and a dog and is not-so-slowly working her way through every dark chocolate dessert known to woman.

Find Jessa online: Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  BN

Jessa Slade

Convicted of treason, Adelyn has been banished to the sunlit realm of humans—a fate worse than death for a musetta who exists only to inspire other phae. To reverse her exile, she must find a pair of lovers who have fled the court and return them to face the Queen's wrath. But once in the mortal realm, she meets a man who unveils her hidden desires…

When Josh Reimer discovers an ethereal beauty at a cabin near his ranch, he decides the neighborly thing to do is take her in. Adelyn inspires a passion unlike anything he's ever known and he vows not to lose the magic they've found together—even if that means she must choose between her home and their love.


Sarah Raplee said...

Thanks for the Book Fan Con tips, Jessa! I can't wait to attend one!

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSE has an intriguing premise.What's not to love about Cowboys and Fairy folk?

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for sharing your insights on Book Fan Cons, Jessa. If my memory serves, our own Genre-ista, Kris Tualla, started Arizona Dreaming so I gave a little 'yippee!' when I saw you mentioned it.

Diana Mcc. said...

Thanks for the tips on visiting cons! Love your red and black dress. Is it vintage?

Paty Jager said...

I attended the Lori Foster con last year and had a great time. I'm off to the RomCon this year in Colorado and maybe next year I'll finally become brave enough to try RT.

Thanks for all the great advice!

KC said...

Great blog, Jessa. I'll be at AZ Dreamin so glad you mentioned it. :)