RT17 in Atlanta

Right now I’m on my way home from RT17 in Atlanta, GA, sitting at my gate in quite possibly the tiniest airport I’ve ever been to inside the U.S. (hello, Kansas City)–mainlining coffee while getting some words–and this blog post–in while my brain is still in post-con processing mode. Although I am not a straight-up romance writer (my books are probably a solid 60 to 40 in the genre and explosions to smooching and sexy times ratio), RT was a great con for me. I can say that especially as a queer writer who loves to connect with other queer writers (Thank you to everyone I met for being amazing!) but also as a writer who constantly aims to stretch herself and learn more about the industry.

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RT not only was a great time, full of workshops, parties, and publisher spotlights–it was a great opportunity to network and connect with new people. I finally met part of my awesome agency (special shout-outs to Amanda Jain for Most Epic Book Pile and C.M. McCoy for Best Crazy Extrovert Skills, including tap-dancing in the bathroom!), I connected with fabulous new authors and met part of the amazing Queership team in person (Yay, Erica Cameron and Julia Ember who also have amazing books!), and I got to hone my pitching skills by talking to A LOT of authors and editors about my books. The latter is something everyone dreads and honestly, my best piece of advice is to get as much practice as you can, because the more you do it, the more those nerves and freaked-out butterflies in your stomach will calm down. Cons like RT are a great space to practice, gain exposure, and work on your confidence.

Incidentally, the chances of you ending up in an elevator full of romance cover models is also pretty high.

It definitely was a con that cost me ALL the extrovert points and I kind of want to be a hermit for a month (joke’s on me since I’m right back to teaching tomorrow, so get over it, introvert self) but my favorite part was having dinner, drinks, and great conversation with great friends. Thanks to my amazing friends David R. Slayton and Helen Corcoran who have mad skills when it comes to talking this here crazy person off one ledge or another. Here’s to fruity cocktails and bad YouTube to keep our brains from getting fried. Here’s to making words over drinks at the bar and not getting lost on the way to sushi restaurants. Also, bourbon, there’s always bourbon.

Anyway, RT was a fun experience. I learned a lot, met fantastic people, and am hauling home a giant stack of books because I have ridiculously low impulse control when it comes to the matter of Giant Book Fairs and amazing writers I want to read and support. So, RT was my new con for this year. Hoping to do RWA next year in Denver.

Sleep first. And coffee. Realistically, mostly coffee.

Cheers and happy writing!

Alex

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