In my previous blog posted on 27 June, I wrote about my GCLS firsts from attending the 2015 conference in New Orleans.
I can now report back on my experience at the 2016 Con in Washington DC. From start to finish I can truthfully say I had a wonderful time. It was lovely to touch base with old friends and meet new ones.
Arriving late afternoon on Tuesday, 5 July, I had plenty of time to settle into my room, shower and then make my way down to the bar area to see who was around. Ali Spooner and I had arranged to meet there and it was already filling up with lots of familiar faces.
Wednesday morning was set up time in the Vendor Room and it didn’t take the four of us long to get our book displays ready. Annette Mori and Renee McKenzie had been late arriving the night before so this was the first time we’d met up since the previous year. The morning passed very quickly with sorting out our table, registering and just generally finding out where everything was.
My first session was an Author Spotlight reading on Wednesday afternoon. As there were only four of us, we were given an extra minute to read, so I felt more relaxed than I had the year before. I was joined by Jane DiLucchio, MB Panichi, and Chris Parsons with moderator, Catherine Maiorisi.
From a book selling point of view, the conference was a resounding success. Of the 25 books I had available, only one has returned home with me. Many thanks to everyone who bought books and to all who stopped by for a chat and a laugh.
For the Author signing session we were supposed to be seated alphabetically to make it easier for signees to find us. It was a bit of a scrum and I somehow ended up between Kenna White and Caren Werlinger. But no one seemed to mind. We had a nice time chatting anyway. I was pleased to find out that Caren also plays golf and has dabbled in archery.
I wasn’t sure I would survive the Politics in Poetry panel as the only non-poet. But I managed to say a few things and not much could really go wrong with such an awesome line-up.
The awards evening came around all too quickly. The group photo was taken before the start and I think that is Annette’s ‘trying not to panic’ face. She managed not to trip on the way up to the podium on her high heels and did a lovely acceptance speech when accepting the Traditional Contemporary Romance Award for her book, Locked Inside. Although she did say the word ‘crap’ a few times and forgot to thank the readers – for which she has apologised profusely on Facebook.
So, it was an incredibly busy and fast moving four and a half days. As a group we also hosted an Affinity dinner on Thursday evening.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show karaoke was another highlight. I’ve never seen the film so hadn’t brought a costume. These characters more than made up for my lack of foresight though.
Many thanks to the organisers of the event and the many volunteers who helped with the preparations and the intricacies of managing such a packed programme.
The planning for the 2017 conference is already well underway. Will I make it to Chicago next year? I certainly hope I can. Watching everyone have so much fun from afar would be painful.
Where to buy my books:
The Starling Hill Trilogy: