So as if you've seen any of my twitter feed you'll know that I am very shortly heading to the RT Booklover's Convention in sunny Las Vegas!!! The most exciting part is that not only am I going to absorb the infinite wisdom from the author hivemind, I am also going to be hosting at some of the events. Yep, me, in public, talking to actual people. It's intense!
I will be at the Teen Day Party on April 16, 2016 but I will be starting out the week as part of the fabulous list of authors in the YA Spooky Sleepover Event.
I mean look at that line-up!! Epic good times guaranteed. Plus I have donated an aptly name "Take a Gamble on Canadian YA" basket that will feature novels from Canadian authors. 21 books. 1 lucky winner.
Now since this isn't my first rodeo (especially since RT was in Dallas last year), I picked up a few bits of wisdom for convention attendees, so if there are any first timers out there or those who want to make sure they are on their convention going game keep reading.
1. Comfy Shoes - Yes, you hear this everywhere, but remember it's not enough to bring comfy shoes, you need to break those puppies in. I bought new flats last year. Pretty and glittery and ripped my feet to shreds before the end of the first night. I had to rock booties with everything I brought, which although gave me a slightly edgier appearance, they were definitely not part of the plan.
2. Make a Hydration/Caffination Plan - Line ups for coffee and other items (including snacks) will be longer than you think. If you want to make sure that you getting your morning cuppa or anything else you need to keep you from crashing before happy hour you need to make sure you plan enough time between events or bring your own to avoid the lines. It is also super important to make sure you drink enough water. You will be more rundown than you think after a couple of days, especially in airconditioned spaces, so stay hydrated my friends!
3. Make a Schedule (but plan to ignore it) - It's great to get the basics of what you want to see and do, but remember to go with the flow. You might find a new author you love that you want to follow to their next panel. You might go into writing business overload and just want a break after a day or two. Some events you plan might not be great. Some events that didn't sound appealling might turn out to be awesome. Maybe you just want to sit back and chill for an hour. If you want to get the most out of the convention, pick your must-dos then let your gut be your guide.
4. Chat People Up - Some people come to these conferences alone, some bring an entourage. No matter how you travel make sure to talk to people you don't know - in lines, in the elevators, beside you in a panel, whereever. Most authors welcome good conversation and a little (non-crazy) fangirling. You might meet your next year's roommate in the shuttle from the airport if you're willing to talk to them (wait - I totally did that - Shout out to you C). You can get great sketchy stories from the RT veterans, and maybe you might pick up a new fan or blogger connection if you're a writer. Most people are super friendly, but if you get lost look for me, I'll talk to anyone.
5. Use the Swap Room - RT has this great place called the swap room. It's a great way to reduce your luggage weight if you get books that don't pique your interest, but it's an even better place to pick up great finds. I know I found at least four books that I desperately wanted cast aside in there. I do like to stress that it is a SWAP room, so I try to at least give up a title or two if I'm taking, but I recommend checking early and checking often. Best part, anything leftover is donated to local libraries (or at least it was last year).
Hopefully no matter what you do you'll have a great time. Anyone coming to RT this year? Got any additional tips?