Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Convention Phenomenon - by Vijaya Schartz

If you write popular fiction, you are probably familiar with RT BOOK REVIEWS MAGAZINE, and with their annual BOOKLOVERS CONVENTION. This year it will take place in LAS VEGAS, at the RIO HOTEL AND CASINO, and promises to be lots of fun. It always is.This type of event gathering authors and readers is becoming more and more popular among readers, because it's so much fun. They flock to take selfies with their favorite authors, for the lavish parties, for the food, and for the free stuff (prizes galore).

I've been attending RT off and on since the turn of this millennium. The sumptuous dinners involve themes and costumes. This year, Vintage and Steampunk promise fantastic photos, with a CIRQUE DU PUNK costume contest. With food and drink flowing, and authors and readers cutting loose, there is never a dull moment. For authors, it's an opportunity to meet with readers of their particular genre, since so many are represented.
Beautiful Evening gowns at RT 2009 with authors from Arizona: From left to right: Christine Jones, Eden Robins, Vijaya Schartz, and Beverly Petrone (Chris and Bev write for BWL as a team as Tia Dani)
 Although RT Book Reviews (initially Romantic Times Magazine) started reviewing only Romance, it has now grown to encompass all genres of popular fiction. Yours truly will be co-hosting an event called THE INTERGALACTIC BAR AND GRILLE, with the queen of sci-fi romance, Linnea Sinclair, and a dozen dynamic authors of the subgenre. We will have games, prizes, food, drink, and will forge a friendly bond with the 300+ readers of this particular genre attending the convention.
There are also panels with publishers, editors and authors, writing workshops, pitch sessions, and an award ceremony for the best books of the year in different categories, selected by the team of RT reviewers... It's also an opportunity to meet the most famous cover models, and take pictures, of course. They look even better up close, although they are all so tall, they make me feel like a dwarf.
I'll also be promoting my April release, DAMSEL OF THE HAWK, Book 7 in the Curse of the Lost Isle medieval fantasy romance series, already in pre-order if you don't want to miss it. Get it in kindle: 1204 AD - Meliora, immortal Fae and legendary damsel of Hawk Castle, grants gold and wishes on Mount Ararat, but must forever remain chaste. When Spartak, a Kipchak warrior gravely wounded in Constantinople, requests sanctuary, she breaks the rule to save his life. The fierce, warrior prince stirs in her forbidden passions. Captivated, Spartak will not bow to superstition. Despite tribal opposition, he wants her as his queen. Should Meliora renounce true love, or  embrace it and trigger a sinister curse... and the wrath of the Goddess? Meanwhile, a thwarted knight and his greedy band of Crusaders have vowed to steal her Pagan gold and burn her at the stake...

What a 300 author book signing looks like and this is only a small portion of the room (RT 2014 in New Orleans)
The giant book signing on Saturday will gather over three hundred authors, including the greatest, and many new, small press, and self-published authors. No point in naming names, I would make too many enemies. The list is on the site HERE

The registration fee and the hotel are not cheap, but you can share your room. And if you must fly, it can be an expensive experience, but if you've never done it, you owe it to yourself as an author to try it at least once. Since this year it's in Vegas, and I live in Arizona, I'll be driving and lugging my promotion material and givaway books, which cuts the cost by skipping airfare and shipping.
I'm sure this year's convention is sold out, but registration for next year will start in September. Here is the website for future reference:
I'll let you know how it went when I return.
Vijaya Schartz
 Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
 Amazon - Barnes & Noble - All Romance eBooks - Smashwords - iBooks - Kobo