Monday, October 12, 2009

Romanticon: Friday Evening

Romanticon Day 1 started on Friday at 5:00 am with a strident alarm from my digital clock. After hiding my head under the pillows for a moment, I shook myself and walked groggily to the shower. I really didn’t want to miss my early flight. I read and napped during the flight, changed planes in Charleston, NC, and arrived around 1:30 pm in Cleveland.

At the baggage claim, I collected my suitcase and donned my heavy jacket, while wondering if I would be able to locate my pre-reserved limousine’s driver. Just then I saw a man in suit walking by with a sign that said Romanticon. Before I could say anything he asked if I was Mona Risk. God bless him. My first worry vanished when he informed me that two friends were waiting for me outside. I hugged Judith Rochelle and recognized Rita Thedford. Big hugs again. Our driver Greg was the perfect gentleman and promised to be on time to pick us up on Monday morning for the return flight.

I checked in and unpacked. My roommate Betty Hanawa hadn’t arrived yet. I went to register and met my wonderful editor Helen Woodall who flew all the way from Melbourne, Australia, for the conference. Helen was as lovely and nice as her emails suggested. Of course, her nails were painted in green and she wore a frog ring. She handed me my Romanticon bag loaded with books from Ellora’s Cave and Cerridwen Press books, and a special gift from The Lotus Club. Martha Punches who was handling the registration with Helen received my special hug.

If you have never attended a workshop by Raelene Gorlinsky you’ve missed the crème de la crème. She had the chairs arranged as a big rectangle so that the attendees could all face each other and actively participate in the workshop. The first one I attended was: Act It Out, where she had volunteers act some weird scenes from rejected manuscripts to show what was wrong with the writing. During another workshop, So You Want to Be An Author? published authors were asked to share their experience and advise aspiring authors. In Tell Us what You Think? Readers told authors what genre they like to read. Another interesting workshop was Promo Items by Marianne Stevens, Anny Cook and Judy Atkin.

A Reviewers Panel, Joysann (Publishers Weekly), Chrissy Dionne (Romance Junkies) Sheila Gallagher (Two Lips Reviews), Mimi Tremont (IMRR), and Moderator EC Editor Helen Woodall. The reviewers told us how they review a book and how the review should be received (never take it personally).

About 200 people, women and a few brave husbands dressed in their best 60 and 70ish outfits for a fun soiree of music and dance with the Cavemen ( Ellors’s Cave models).

Kelly Kirch,
Anny Cook,
Joanna Waugh,
Helen Woodall

Mona Risk,
Betty Hanawa

Marianne Stevens

Stay tune for more on Romanticon: Saturday on tomorrow’s blog.

If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy my international romances. I will take you around the world through stories that simmer with emotion and sizzle with heat.


Mary Ricksen said...

Sure looks like fun. Love the pictures and the update.

Mona Risk said...

It was fun AND productive AND interesting. I wish you were there.

Fran Lee said...

Oh, I sooooo badly wanted to go! Darn! I am saving pennies and nickels for next year!

Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews said...

Glad to hear you had fun!

Love the pics!

Mona Risk said...

Fran, I can't wait to see you next year. I know you'll be the queen of the ball.

Mona Risk said...

Razlover's, there aremore pictures and stories coming tonight and tomorrow.

Molly Daniels said...

Great pics Mona! Keep 'em coming:) And don't leave out any details for those of us who couldn't attend. Looking forward to next year!!

Beth Trissel said...

I really enjoyed reading about your lovely time, Mona. I am living through you. The pics are good too.
Joysann is my friend on myspace and is the reviewer who gave Somewhere My Love such a fabulous review. I'd love to have met her.

Mary Marvella said...

It sounds like you had a blast! Take me with you next time.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mona!

I was at RomantiCon this past weekend, as an aspiring m/m author to attend the workshops.

As a ravonous reader of the genre, I attended the con to support the authors who wrote m/m and my sister authors from Michigan.

Though I knew I would learn something regarding my craft and I would enjoy meeting those with like minds, I DID NOT expect to walk away with so much valuable information, titbits and advice from the author themselves!

I was so inspired, I did my first pitch ever! (I wasn't going to, but was encouraged by a few authors there...and yes, they want to see the two stories I pitched!)

Mona, you are as lovely in person as you are in your blogs!

If anyone has a spark of interest to go to next years convention, may I strongly suggest you do so? Whether you are a wanna be author or a wonderful reader, this con catered to both successfully!

The people at Elloras Cave (and the authors themselves) were actually taking notes when the readers spoke of their wants, dislikes, what draws them in, etc. It was very impressive to see how much they cared!

On the whole, the workshops were great, the goodie bags were full of pleasant surprises, there were tons of raffle gifts to win, the Cavemen were VERY active with the attendies, participating in lots of things (as well as hanging around for moral support and eye candy).

The place they chose to host the convention at was clean, the staff nice, and the varity of food was outstanding!

I don't have other Romance conventions to compare this to (as I was a romance convention virgin) - but compared to the soap opera, comic book, Star Trek and writers conventions I have been to in the past, this was freaking fabulous! I had so much fun and learned oodles of things!

And it was wonderful to rub elbows with both readers and authors.

I am definately returning next year!

George Allwynn

Paris said...

I'm so glad you had fun! Next year for sure;-) Thanks for the lovely pictures!

Mona Risk said...

Molly, I looked for you and asked Kelly K. about you. I was so happy to see her. Next year make sure you go.

Mona Risk said...

Beth, Joysann is as nice in person as she sounds in her reviews. She also gave me a great review on To Love A Hero. See our picture on Publishers Weekly.

Mona Risk said...

Mary I would encourage all our friends from The Pink Fuzzy Slippers to attend Romanticon. I attended many conferences in the past six years. This one was THE best without exageration.

Mona Risk said...

Allwyn, I am so glad you are filling the gaps in my report. It was so lovely to meet you and hear your interesting points. I agree with you. Romanticon was one of the best conferences I ever attended. It would have been even better if I won the eReader. LOL

Mona Risk said...

Paris, next year for sure. I'll hold you to it.

Shelley Munro said...

Wonderful post, Mona. It sounds like such a great conference.

Jane said...

Looks like everyone had a wonderful time. Did you come home with a big box of books?

Mona Risk said...

Shelley, I wish you were there. Maybe next year.

Mona Risk said...

Jane, I put the books in my suitcase and the clothes in a carry-on bag. This way I was able to ship the books in my suitcase. It costs me $20 with Continental but there was no way I could carry it. Too heavy. The clothes proved to be ligher and went with me. A smart reader brought a small cart and dragged it during the book signing.

Shayla Kersten said...

Great blog, Mona! It was lovely meeting you. And I enjoyed the little quiet time chat on the way to the airport on Monday. I hope your flights were as easy as mine!