Two of the funnest people that we met last year was Carly Phillips and Janelle Denison. They were always having so much fun and I even managed to sit next them for dessert and Janelle is very serious about her chocolate, at least I think it was her that tried to steal my chocolate cake. As we are heading into the final days of our author highlights we knew that we wanted them to be one of our last highlights as they are coming back this year are a riot to be around. So without further ado we turn the site over Carly and Janelle…
A Look at RomCon 2010
By Carly Phillips and Janelle Denison
Why would I fly across the country (I live in New York) to Denver to attend a conference that’s never been done before? I suppose the enthusiasm of the RomCon coordinators was infectious. They were determined to put on the best reader conference ever. Flying west also meant I could spend time with my best friend and fellow writer, Janelle Denison. Combined, the two reasons had me packing and heading west!
After I made the decision to attend, my book LUCKY BREAK was a Reader’s Crown Award finalist. Since the contest was judged by readers, this made things twice as exciting for me.
I wasn’t sure what I’d find in Denver. There was a chance to catch up with authors I hadn’t seen in awhile but once I arrived, I realized RomCon was so much more. This conference was all about readers. It was small and intimate and you could sit down anywhere with anyone in the lobby and end up having a long conversation, from readers who wanted to talk books, to the one and only Christine Feehan!
The conference also tuned me in to the value of Twitter. Yes, I was already tweeting but one day, I looked there to find someone had taken a photo of me – Carly Phillips eating breakfast. I didn’t recognize the poster, we joked about me having a stalker, but when we finally met in person at the booksigning, I ended up with someone I still talk to over Twitter to this day and who I recently saw at the Romance Writer’s of America conference in NYC. Thanks to RomCon, I connected with real romance readers who love books as much as I do!
I did an intimate chat and was able to find out what it is readers love about my books as well as what other genres and authors they like to read. I sat on a panel with other authors, the pre-set subject being “How Can Readers Help their Favorite Author” and it was interesting for us to have a chance to talk and explain how important readers are to the success of a book, how much influence they have due to word of mouth, especially in this day and age of social media. It’s a give and take relationship that authors and readers have, and RomCon helps foster that back and forth!
The weekend ended with me giving the Contemporary Author Closing Speech on Sunday which was such a huge honor. I can honestly say that RomCon made a huge impact on me as an author. So much so that I’m attending again this year (with Janelle Denison, of course!). Both of my books KISS ME IF YOU CAN and LOVE ME IF YOU DARE finaled in the Reader’s Crown again (though this year the gorgeous trophy goes to the beautiful and talented Julie James), that’s okay. Because did I mention I won the Reader’s Crown Award in Contemporary Romance last year?
I can’t wait for the end of the month to attend RomCon again this year!
When I decided to attend RomCon last year, I was initially excited about one thing . . . spending time with my best friend,and NYT Bestselling author, Carly Phillips. We only see each other a few times a year, and it’s usually at a conference. I had no idea what to expect of RomCon, being that it was the first year, so I went into the new experience with my mind open to all possibilities. I knew I’d have a good time, but wasn’t sure what to expect on an author level. I have to say, by the end of the week, I was a HUGE RomCon fan!
Unfortunately, when I’d attended last year I hadn’t had a book out in two years. I wasn’t sure that readers would even remember who I was. But as soon as I had my name badge on, readers DID recognize me, and most often would mention my “Wilde” books and asked when they could expect the next book. That convinced me right then and there that romance readers are dedicated people when it comes to authors they love to read. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed between books – they don’t forget and will wait for years to read a new book by that author.
RomCon, unlike writer’s conferences, focuses solely on the readers that attend. The events and workshops are geared toward benefiting readers, to educate them on different genres, to get their opinions and input on the romance industry, to find out what they love about romance novels, and what they’d like to see changed. As an author, I really enjoyed hearing the reader’s perspective on the industry, and it helped me, as an author, to really think about the ways I could improve my own stories.
One of the things I loved the most about the conference was that it felt “intimate”. I wasn’t overwhelmed by the sheer number of attendees – and that allowed me to meet new readers, and interact with friends I’d made online, but hadn’t yet met in person until RomCon. The hotel wasn’t overly-huge, and it was so nice to see so many friendly faces on a daily basis.
Undoubtedly, RomCon has set the industry standard for reader focused conferences, and they offer something for every romance reader out there. If you love reading romance novels, (no matter the genre), you will find authors you love, enjoy fun and informative workshops, chats, and events, and be surrounded by people (readers and authors alike) who “get” why romance novels are so awesome!
This year, I’m attending RomCon with a new series on the shelf, and I’m looking forward to seeing old friends, and meeting new ones.
From Carly and Janelle
If you’re thinking about attending RomCon, DO IT – you’ll be so glad you did and we can’t wait to see you there!
Carly Phillips is the New York Times Bestselling author of over 30 romance novels with contemporary characters and plotlines that today’s readers identify with and enjoy. Carly is a stay at home mom of 2 daughters (now almost old enough to read her books!), one soft coated wheaten terrier and a brand new Havanese puppy. She’s a Twitter and Internet junkie and is always around to interact with her readers. More information on Carly can be found at www.carlyphillips.com. Around the web you can also find Carly at:
Blog: www.plotmonkeys.com (along with Janelle Denison!)
Upcoming Release: SERENDIPITY 9/2010
Janelle Denison is a USA Today bestselling author of over fifty sensual contemporary romance novels who has written for Harlequin Blaze, Kensington Brava, Berkley and St. Martin’s Press. She is a two-time recipient of the National Reader’s Choice award, and has also been nominated for the prestigious RITA award. Originally a California native, she now calls Oregon home. She resides in the Portland area with her husband and daughters and can’t imagine a more beautiful place to live. When not writing, she can be found exploring the great Northwest, from the gorgeous beaches to the amazing waterfalls and lush mountains.
To learn more about Janelle and her upcoming releases, you can visit her at janelledenison.com, friend her at Facebook at facebook.com/janelledenisonfanpage, or chat with her at her blog at plotmonkeys.com.
RECENT AND UPCOMING RELEASES:
INTO THE NIGHT (Book 1 of The Reliance Group Series) April 2011
NIGHT AFTER NIGHT (Book 2 of The Reliance Group Series) October 2011