By Jeffe Kennedy
Today is the opening day of the RT Booklovers Convention, taking place in New Orleans this year.
And yes - I'm there! The question is, why aren't you?
I'm guessing you'll say "because I don't write romance." I've been hearing this a lot lately, on various forums. Usually framed in terms of "While I have romantic elements in my books, I really write more fantasy/science fiction/mystery/suspense/horror, so it's not a good convention for me."
But that's where people have it wrong.
Yes, RT Book Reviews and the reader convention they sponsor, started out life as the Romantic Times Magazine. However, several years ago they rebranded to simply "RT" to convey that they review, spotlight and promote far more than romance. In the magazine's genre index, you can see that they review books in 16 genres - only 4 of them romance.
They reviewed my May fantasy release, The Mark of the Tala, gave it the highest number of stars and a "Top Pick!" (The online listing is delayed several months after the paper magazine comes out, so it's not web-accessible yet.) This is a huge boost for this book, and my new series, as they'll feature and promote it.
The convention itself is huge, attracting enthusiastic readers from all over - including internationally. Booksellers and librarians attend, as do foreign rights buyers. A giant book fair and FAN-tastic day parties on the weekend are thrown open to the public. Publishers sponsor events, too. Among other things, I'll be riding on a float in a parade, helping man a Bananas Foster dessert station at Pat O'Briens during the Pub Crawl, and cavorting at the Harlequin Dance Party.
There are also plenty of editors and agents in attendance, for those writers aspiring to find new opportunities.
All in all, it's a terrific convention for meeting readers, networking with industry professionals and having fun with fellow authors.
Something to think about for next year!
Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author with a writing career that spans decades. Her works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial
Award. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook.
Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, including the newest, Five Golden Rings, which came out as part of the erotic holiday anthology, Season of Seduction, in late November; and a contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera, which released beginning January 2, 2014. A fourth series, the fantasy trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms, will hit the shelves starting in May 2014. A spin-off story from this series, Negotiation, appears in the recently-released Thunder on the Battlefield anthology.
She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, a border collie, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.
Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com, every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog, on Facebook, and pretty much constantly on Twitter @jeffekennedy. She is represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg of Foreword Literary.