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Romance Times BadgeA week in Las Vegas with writers, readers, and publishing industry folks. Let’s be honest…that’s the basis for some amazing stories. Authors have been posting their recaps since we all arrived back in our home states (probably exhausted and reeking of cigarette smoke). It’s my turn. Here are the top ten things I learned at the Romance Times Booklovers Convention.

1

Sometimes all it takes to understand a concept you’ve never quite grasped is the story of a small child who may or may not grow up to be a serial killer.

2

The Rio is a pit that is in desperate need of a better air cleaning system. And the food is not good. And flavortown is a lie.

3

Kobo isn’t just some small sales platform based in Canada. There’s serious growth potential there and ways to move the needle I’d never thought of.

4

People who like paper planners and pens are pretty farking amazing. I owe Angela James major kudos for setting up our little illegal evening of Hobonichis, bullet journals, wine, and stickers. Can’t say I’ve ever been kicked out of a Starbucks before.

Edward5

If you ever get the chance to see Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books speak, go listen. Trust me.

6

Having your editor work on your book while sitting right beside you is distracting. Don’t try it while attempting to write your next book. Drink wine instead.

7

Eating gluten free in Las Vegas is hard, but the staff at Gordon Ramsey’s steakhouse in the Paris hotel are amazingly knowledgable about their menu. Also, deconstructed cheesecake is DELICIOUS.

8

Whenever someone says they don’t need to take classes on craft or some phrase that basically means they think they’re an expert and therefore above listening to another author speak, a muse dies. If I had an employee who was arrogant enough to tell me they didn’t need to further their skills, they wouldn’t be my employee for long. We can all learn. We can all improve. And when you stop trying, you start dying. Or perhaps your career does.

9

If you ever feel like remembering the cess pool that was the stereotypical collegiate frat party, walk into a bar that allows patrons to play beer pong. Such a bar is O’Shea’s. Head up, brisk walk, and mind your weakest links. Fair warning.

10

CrewMy friends are amazing, awesome, talented, awe inspiring, and some of the kindest people I’ve ever met. From my friend (and editor) bringing me tamarind sauce in case we went for sushi to my RT16 crew eating gluten-free focaccia bread with me when they could have had the regular (and free) bread basket instead. From fandom memories shared over drinks and #GetOffMyFic T-shirts to being given one of the most humbling compliments I could imagine. To meeting new friends, revisiting old friends, and bringing relationships out from behind the screen. It’s the people who make these events so worthwhile. Thank you to my fandom peeps, my Romance Divas, my paper planning and publishing ladies, my chapter mates, and all the fun new people I met along the way.

Can’t wait to see you all in Atlanta!

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