So you may have been seeing a lot of people talking on Twitter or Facebook about #RAGT — which stands for the Lori Foster Reader and Author Get Together. I’ve gone for the last three years, and each year it has gotten bigger. And better. Which explains why it filled up this year within a matter of days rather than months. If you ever get the chance to attend, jump at it. For my money, it is the best conference for readers to get together with authors in a reasonably informal setting and actually just talk. In the lobby, in the bar, or in the ballroom where readers sit at the same table as authors.
So much happened that I’ll have to divide this into multiple posts…As happened at RT I got so involved with talking with people I often forgot to get a picture with them. Darn it all. So I’m hoping I’ll be able to grab some off of their Facebook or webpage posts as mementos. Even though I bet my better quality camera, I ended up taking most of my photos with my phone as it was just easier to hand to someone. Unfortunately sometimes the quality didn’t turn out as good.
For me, this year was the best of what I’ve attended so far, not only because I got to meet and mingle with some of my favorite authors but today I’m just going to focus on some of my fave authors/people I met.
I went all fangirl over Lorelei James–if you haven’t read any of her books, you should! Both her westerns with Samhain or her mysteries written under her other pen name of Lori Armstrong.) I had a huge smile on my face late Saturday night when I ran into Lorelei and she recognized me and gave me a hug. Yes I may have actually ‘squeed’ though thankfully I held off until I was alone in the elevator.
I got to hang out with the Book Obsessed Chicks. A more enthusiastic group of readers I’ve yet to meet. (I downloaded a photo head BOC member Kimberley Rocha posted to Facebook. Hope she doesn’t mind.) I’m in the back row with the cowboy hat on — we were supposed to wear tiaras, but mine got broken when I packed it in my suitcase 🙁 They were gracious enough to say cowboy hats were acceptable. You may recognize a few other authors in there, like Dana Marie Bell and Cat Johnson.
It always surprises me when I meet an author for the first time–I have a visual in my head of what they will look like based partly upon their avatar and partly upon their presence on the web or what they write. I’d always thought Cat would be as tall as me and able to haul twice my weight, but she’s a little wee thing. In this picture I’m sitting but Cat’s standing. But I still think she could whoop my ass if it came to a knock-down-drag-out. (I think the same of Kelly Jamieson whom I met at RT. Talk about them both making me feel like a giant.)
I also met up again with Shannon, whom some of you over on Twitter might know as @PBRCowgirl — Shannon made the most delicious cupcakes–including one she called the “cowboy cocksucker” (yes, I said it. It’s my blog!) Anyway the CC cupcake was made with butterscotch schnapps and tasted delicious. Unfortunately I can’t find any pictures of me with Shannon this year.
I also met up with fellow Carina Press author Rita Henuber. I’ve met Rita several times before and she is such a lovely, witty and incredibly intelligent woman. I love hanging out with her at conferences.
I’m normally a rather quiet person who finds having to make small talk equal to a trip to the dentist. For a root canal. But RAGT is such a laid back event, and there is so much enthusiasm that I felt very comfortable sitting at tables of strangers. Who often turned out to be friends with me on Facebook or Twitter. Like meeting Virginia Nelson who sat down for dinner at the same table. We chatted away and then later that night I found she’d posted status messages on Facebook … including another taunting her friend about how her purse was now classier than her friends because of my signature.
Or the next night when the Queen of Erotic Romance Desiree Holt sat beside me and complimented me on my cowboy hat. Another huge fangirl squee (though I managed to contain it. Just.)