Back in May, while we partied it up at the 2014 RT Booklovers Convention, we sat down with bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann and her daughter, Melanie Brockmann, for an interview in which the Brockmann's discussed their upcoming YA novel, Night Sky. This series opener is set in the same futuristic world as Suzanne's Born to Darkness. Watch the video below to hear Suzanne and Melanie talk about what it's like writing together, their creative processes and what readers can expect to see in the new series. Take a look:
One of the best things about RT Con is all the photos and videos that pop up after convention is over. It feels like we're doing it all over again — kind of. It actually just makes us want to fast-forward to next year, to be honest. Below are some videos posted on Lee Child's official YouTube account of Lee Child and Charlaine Harris' fantastic author chat from convention. If you watch these while sipping a hurricane it almost feels like you're back in NOLA. Enjoy!
Last year was the first time the RT Convention hosted Pitch-A-Palooza and it was a stellar success! So, naturally, we brought it back when we hit New Orleans for the 2014 convention. The room was buzzing with excitement and positive energy, making for a welcoming environment for the aspiring authors pitching to the participating editors and agents on a one-on-one basis. It was great to see so many aspiring authors gathered in one place and watch them take charge of their future careers as published authors.
Aspiring authors anxiously wait to pitch their novels!
And what did some of the editors participating in the Palooza think of the event? Annie Stone, an Associate Editor at HarlequinTEEN said, “...I was very impressed with the quality of the pitches I received. Everyone I met had done their research and knew that I was only looking for Young Adult fiction.” Stone also loved that many of the aspiring writers conversed with her rather than reciting their pitch word for word. “I ended up requesting partial [manuscripts] from nearly everyone I saw because for me, the voice is often the most important piece of the puzzle.”
Cover Model Karaoke is one of the most popular reader events at RT Con. It's exactly what you think it is — singing karaoke with cover models. And boy, do they get into it! If you missed this year's Cover Model Karaoke, author R.G. Alexander posted some videos. Take a look, and make sure you're not drinking anything while watching these!
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If there was one single panel I wasn't sure about attending, it was the Sex and God: Not-So-Strange Bedfellows panel that took place at RT Booklovers' Con on Thursday afternoon.
Those who follow my Twitter may be aware that I have a long and involved history with religion, including 16 years of Catholic school (yes, even college). But as I've reached adulthood and tried to come to grips with the issues plaguing the Catholic Church, I've drifted farther and farther from any sort of spirituality. The idea of listening to four authors talking about why God should be present in romance novels worried me a bit.
Wow, was I wrong.
It was actually Tiffany Reisz's involvement that led me to the panel; I've often had very frank conversations with her (most on Twitter) about religion, especially as it's applied to her books. But it was the moderation and input of authors Amber Belldene and Alice Gaines and editor Christa Soule that got me hooked.
There's always room in your brain for more knowledge, especially when attending an event like the RT Booklovers Convention where authors and other publishing professionals engage attendees in smart conversations about the world of books. Author Christi Barth learned a thing or two while in NOLA for this year's RT Con, and today she's sharing the top five things she learned. Take a look:
My friends mock me, because I never sleep in at a conference or take time to sightsee. I go to every hour of panels possible, and proudly sport the dark undereye circles to prove it.
Jon Fine, Amazon’s Director of Author & Publishing Relations, said that “the most sophisticated, nurturing and intelligent writers in the country are romance writers.” Sure, I like starting this article on a high note, but I also agree. RT is a place where you get to rub elbows and talk shop with so many different people. Authors and agents and publishers who are scarily smart and sharp and witty and warm and welcoming and lovely. Here's what I learned this year:
Christi Barth (right) "toasting (alligator) balls" with authors Lea Nolan and Eliza Knight
“I’m an inner 13-year-old at an ‘N Sync concert!” confessed Smart Bitches, Trashy Books’ Sarah Wendell as she settled in for a 10AM chat with beloved historical and contemporary romance author Lisa Kleypas at the RT Convention in NOLA. And she wasn’t the only one squeeing over Kleypas: Those attending on that bright and busy Thursday morning were just as excited to hear from their favorite scribe!
Lisa Kleypas chatting with a fan
A reader brought two vintage Kleypas books to be signed!
Photo credit: The above images are courtesy of Sarah Wendell
Lisa told us that the first romance she read was The Flame and the Flower, and the thrill of Kathleen Woodiwiss’ dark hero Brandon was not so much his meanness but how he grew to love his heroine, Heather. “Here’s this mean guy doing nice things for her — that’s hot!” she said. Unsurprisingly, the first novel she wrote, at the age of 21, was “very imitative of Kathleen Woodiwiss.”
The audience of the Up Close With Sylvia Day chat at the 2014 RT Convention was a rapt one. As attendees waited for the event to begin, all eyes were on the empty red chair at the front of the room.
Photo credit: Ian Spanier Photography 2014
The energy skyrocketed when Sylvia Day entered with a loud hoot and a question for her fans: "How is everyone doing?"
Immediately everyone started shouting out their questions. One of the first topics that came up was the TV adaptation of the Crossfire erotic romance series from Lionsgate.
“It’s quiet on that front,” Day told the audience. The last update she heard was in January when she learned that the first season of the show will follow the plot of Bared to You.
“I’m an inner 13-year-old at an ‘N Sync concert!” confessed Smart Bitches, Trashy Books’ Sarah Wendell as she settled in for a chat with beloved historical and contemporary romance author Lisa Kleypas at the RT Convention in NOLA. And she wasn’t the only one squeeing over Kleypas: Those attending on that bright and busy Thursday morning were just as excited to hear from their favorite scribe!
Sarah squeeing as Lisa laughs
Lisa told us that the first romance she read was The Flame and the Flower, and the thrill of Kathleen Woodiwiss’s dark hero Brandon was not so much his meanness but how he grew to love his heroine, Heather.
“Here’s this mean guy doing nice things for her — that’s hot!” she said. Unsurprisingly, the first novel she wrote, at the age of 21, was “very imitative of Kathleen Woodiwiss.” But, to many — including romance pioneer Jude Deveraux — it’s Kleypas who’s worth imitating. Her handling of love scenes is legendary across Romancelandia.
So what’s her secret?
Last week at the RT Book Lovers Convention in New Orleans, paranormal romance fans were treated to panels, socials and nighttime parties featuring creatures that go bump in the night. And one of the favorite monsters of the moment? Why, shapeshifters, of course! To create a memorable shifter, authors must convincingly combine human habits with the character's 'animal' side, which takes a lot of research and attention to detail. Yet despite the time that goes into crafting these hybrid characters, authors rarely stick to writing about just one animal. We went to the masters of shapeshifting, Thea Harrison, Terry Spear, Sara Humphreys and Nalini Singh — with bonus Jeaniene Frost cameo! — for the scoop.