RomCon 2013

Had a lot of fun and met a lot of great people at RomCon, the readers’ convention held in Colorado Springs last weekend. Even the shuttle rides to and from the hotel were fun: talking books and writing with serious readers is a blast.

First Kiss event, RomCon 2013My first event was “First Kisses After Breakfast,” where 10 authors of all genres read first-kiss scenes by one another; the reader who guessed first whose scene it was won a prize  (usually a copy of the book, signed by the author). During my reading of Jennifer Zane’s Gnome On The Range, hands were fluttering to cool some overheated ladies in the front row, it was so hot. Very fun! This  photo is from Barbara Vey’s post on her “Beyond the Book” blog; that’s me on the left.

In the afternoon, I had my first “speed-dating” session: Authors sit behind tables (like at a book signing) and readers sit in the chair in front of them. Then they chat—but only for 2 minutes! Then they’re gone and a new reader takes their place. I found this much more fun than the standard expo.

Fans, cropped like a romance-novel cover. RomCon 2013, historical hijinks game, Nicky Penttila

Fans, cropped like a romance-novel cover.

Next day, it was just us historical authors for the event “Historical Hijinks”: Five stations where readers could learn what manner of games people played throughout history. Elizabeth Essex and Denise Patrick taught us how to throw dice; Donna Dalton showed us how to “throw the smile”; Melissa Mayhue shared a little medieval embroidery-making; and Pamela Clare and Jenn LeBlanc led a merry game of quoits (and was that a man in a kilt over there?). In our circle, I demonstrated the language of the fan with an able assist from  Rachel Van Dyken, who also took all these fan photos.  Here’s a list of fan-language (PDF).(There’s also a photo of the dice game on Barbara Vey’s blog.)

RomCon historical hijinks, fan game, RomCon 2013, Nicky Penttila

Showing the sign for “No” as we warm up for some fluttering-fan chatter.

RomCon historical hijinks, RomCon 2013

People left with a fan and a handout so they could remember what we’d done.

Other highlights: Heather Graham regaling us with stories from her youth, Bob Mayer shouting us awake at the start of his keynote, the poor improv group who might not have expected to gets cues of “masturbation” or “ménage” as part of their performance but did a great job of it.

And, my A Note of Scandal was named a 2013 Readers’ Crown finalist! These awards are decided by readers, not judges. I was grateful and humbled and wore my “finalist” badge proudly on my name-tag.

2013 RomCon Readers' Choice Award Finalist

2013 RomCon Readers’ Choice Award Finalist

Elizabeth Essex’s Almost a Scandal won the top honor; I’m a third of the way through it now and I have to say, it deserved to win, with its great portrayal of life on a military vessel and a heroine as smart as her smoking-hot hero.

Despite my resolution to take only historical and SFF, I still ended up with more than 30 books to take home (6 via eReader, though). So if you need me I’ll be on the front porch, reading.

My regency costume wasn't ready, so I had to make do with this T-shirt. RomCon 2013

My regency costume wasn’t ready, so I had to make do with this T-shirt.

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