Hello world, Toni here for another episode of Stuff We Like. This week I thought I would talk about conventions.
Before I became an author I never really knew conventions for readers and authors were a thing. Of course I'd heard of comic-con and such, but for readers of romance / gay fiction? Nope.
It took me becoming an author to attend my first one. Now, I must admit the first one I ever attended was down in Sydney and was very small, probably only forty people or so. That being said I met some amazing people who I'm still friends with to this day.
Attending GRL in Chicago in 2014 was an eye opening experience for me. I was not prepared in the least for so many people. I'm always humbled every time someone comes up to me and tells me they love my books. They spend their hard earned money on something I created and they enjoyed it!
I must also admit to having my own fan girl moments. (and there were quite a few of them)
Since then I've attended another small convention in Australia last year and had a large one in the US cancelled on me after I'd purchased the plane tickets.
On Monday I returned home from my first large author convention here in Australia. I attended Readers and Writers Down Under which was held on the beautiful Gold Coast.
This was the third year for the event and I really hope the organisers decided to do it again as I would sign up in a heart beat.
Even though MM is still taking off here in Australia and the majority of authors at the event all wrote MF I had a wonderful time. I was lucky enough to meet several of my readers and chat with them, some even over a meal. I met up with old friends and made new ones.
RWDU only went for two days, but with registration on Thursday, panels all day Friday, a full day author signing on Saturday followed up with a masked ball, come Sunday morning I was exhausted. Luckily I like to leave a day or so free at the end of conventions to be able to wind down. How did I do this you ask? I hung out with a new friend all day with our laptops and wrote and chatted.
If you're a reader or author looking at attending your first convention but are a little unsure, my advice to you is to give it a go. Find a friend who enjoys the same things you do and maybe go together. That way you'll always have someone there you can talk to if things get a little overwhelming.
If you're shy and just smile at your favourite author as you walk past or scream at them and ask for hugs, they wont bite you. Chances are they're probably just as nervous or excited as you.
Would love to hear about your convention experiences.