It’s March, and with this last month of winter comes not only the hint of spring, but the promise of the convention season, fast approaching.
Usually at this time every year, I’m eagerly counting down the days until it’s time to attend RT, making my lists, and finalizing my travel plans.
If you’ve read my essays over the years, you know how much I enjoy this particular convention. How could I not? It was at RT in Daytona Beach in 2006 that I met and pitched to the publisher of Siren, now Siren-Bookstrand Publishing.
Others characterize the RT Convention as party time, and while I don’t completely disagree with that assessment, for me it has always been the time when I get to meet my readers. Each year, I’ve come away from that wonderful convention renewed and re-energized. I’ve made so many friends at RT, and some of them I know will last a lifetime.
So many of you who have attended RT, whether the convention was in Houston or Pittsburgh, Orlando or Columbus, have taken the time to stop by and say hello to me. I have been privileged to be asked to sign books and bags and even t-shirts! Some of you have even asked to have your pictures taken with me.
All of that has simply thrilled me. Just imagine, here I sit alone in my little house in a small town in Southern Ontario, Canada. Each day I “go to work”, in my pyjamas, sitting at my keyboard, letting my imagination take me where it will, and then you, yes you, seek me out and say, “I love reading your books”!
Bottom line, no matter what anyone who writes may say, and regardless of what other motivations make us do this crazy thing, we write books so that others will read them.
Your reading my work validates me, and gives me a satisfaction nothing else ever has, or ever will.
So it is with great disappointment that I must tell you that I have to miss this year’s Romantic Times Booklovers’ Convention.
I’d been very excited when I learned it was to be held in Los Angeles; we’ve only been to California once, and going to LA was a dream for the both of us.
Some of my favorite authors whom I have never met will be there, and I had been anticipating lining up to meet them. As well, some good friends were going to be there, people I only see once a year. On top of that, this year, a member of my writing group – D. B. Reynolds – has been nominated for a Reviewer’s Choice award.
Unfortunately, I’m going to have to give this gathering a miss this year. The main reason is timing. It’s being held a bit earlier than usual, which I didn’t think, last year, was going to be a problem.
I forgot to take into consideration the vagaries of middle age.
My beloved and I are both facing some minor health challenges that come with the territory of getting older. Rest assured, it’s nothing serious, but these challenges must be met, which involves the inevitable tests and appointments with doctors. Not activities we want to choose over the excitement of attending the convention, but ones we must see to, nonetheless.
It’s going to be very strange for me, not partaking of the hustle and bustle and fun. But since I’m in this career for keeps, I can always look forward to next year.
I don’t even have to know where it will be held. God Lord willing, and the river don’t rise, I’ll be there!