Diamond State Romance Authors

The First Time at RT with Sandra Jones

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Swag from RT 2014

I’ve only ever dreamed about going to a big writing conference or convention until this past month. Let’s face it, attending Nationals or the RT Booklovers’ Convention is a big investment, especially for new or pre-published authors. I’ve been waiting for years for one of these events to come close enough to home so that I could drive instead of flying. Finally, I got my chance when RT came to New Orleans last week. It was a nine hour drive for me, but relatively easy and traffic-free.

My best friend came down from Tennessee, and we shared a room at a hotel just a block down from the convention hotel–another big savings. The great thing about New Orleans is how almost everything in the French Quarter is an easy walking distance. I’d visited NOLA before, so I was able to concentrate the majority of my time on the scheduled events.

I met romance icons, editors, authors, my critique partners, bloggers, and readers. There are extremely long lines for all the events, but I found these are excellent times to get to know other people. With three books coming out this year, I have a lot of networking to do, and RT was the perfect place for it.

Someone had suggested I bring an extra suitcase for swag. Wish I’d heeded the advice. I brought home sooo much!

I also brought home many fun memories. It really is worthwhile, and although it’s expensive, a convention is like nothing you’ll experience at home on a computer.

Do you remember your first time? Or are you still waiting?

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