At the end of day 1 of the Romance Writers of Australia conference, I was really looking forward to the booksigning event organised by the Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA). I was so excited that I lined up straight away and I wasn’t even the first! There were already a number of eager readers like myself and we were joined by more readers and writers.
I must say that I was exceptionally impressed by the organisation by the ARRA members for the signing – in my opinion, things went really smoothly – we were ticked off, given our souvenir booklet if we had bought one, got our own books labelled, given a raffle ticket and there was an entrance and exit. Well done – getting 56 authors in the same place at the same time is not an easy feat! The souvenir booklet also contained information about the authors including latest book published, next book on the TBR pile and highly important Coke or Pepsi.
The queue was really chatty and lovely – I met some great people there – and then we could start meeting the authors, who were organised alphabetically. First up for me was the lovely Elise K Ackers (have I mentioned I love her books?) then I met the awesome Kate Belle, who I completely fangirled over The Yearning (I still can’t stop raving about it). By this time, Julia Quinn’s table was surrounded by happy readers. I also met the lovely Nicole Flockton (author of Rescuing Dawn), who gave me a little present – highlighters, a blue pen and a thing to stop me from burning myself when I buy coffee and lug it back to work (I can’t remember what it’s called)! Both have already been highly useful, thanks Nicole! I then had a chat with Rachael Johns and met Bronwyn Jameson, who signed a rural romance 3 books in 1 for me. I also had a discussion with Nikki Logan about ‘mum friendly’ and ‘nanna friendly’ Mills and Boon and had a book signed by her (which is mum-friendly, she assures me!). Harlequin had kindly given copies of Mills & Boon books by Aussie and New Zealand authors for readers to take away. It was a great way to discover new authors!
I’ve always wanted to read more medical romance (‘cos it just doesn’t happen all that much in real life – or maybe that’s just me) and Fiona McArthur kindly signed a book for me. I met the lovely Ebony McKenna and shook hands with the incredibly nice Margareta Osborn. I had strict instructions to meet Fiona Palmer, Brownyn Parry and Helene Young from my mother (who was in south west Queensland at the time) as they rate amongst her favourite authors. All were delightful. I then lined up for Julia Quinn who was just as lovely as she was in the plenary, who told me which of her ebooks were going on sale.
By this time, I was getting tired, but still wanted to meet Elisabeth Rose (I’d just finished E for England) and Jennifer Scoullar (Currawong Creek). Jennifer told me that there will be brolgas in her next book (happy dance). I chatted with Jennifer St George about The Love Deception (she explained how they paced the scenes during the hurricane and after – very smart, I thought) and met Eden Summers. I also got to fangirl Sarah Wendell (of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books) – your ‘you go girl!’ had me very happy!
I didn’t meet everyone, but that was okay with me. Some I had met before and others I still have the pleasure of reading. So thoroughly tired out, I drove home very happy!