Here I am, once more on site for the Romantic Times Booklovers’ Convention. This year, the convention is being held at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, just outside of Chicago.
This gathering has a soft spot in my heart. It was at RT 2006, in Daytona Beach, that I, a middle aged, unpublished author, pitched to the publisher of the then Siren Publishing, Amanda Hilton.
The lady said yes, and from that moment on, my life was new again. I should point out that I was the 12th author signed to this wonderful company. Now, Siren-Bookstrand has more than 300 authors!
Not everyone is gifted with a second chance in life. It could be argued that my second chance actually occurred in December of 2002 when I underwent emergency open heart surgery. Regardless of when it actually took place, I have been given one, and I’ve done my best to do my best with the blessings I’ve received.
I’m honored to once more be one of the authors representing my publisher here at RT. If you’re going to be here, too, please come and see me at Club RT. I truly enjoy meeting new people.
You’ll all be pleased to know, I’m sure, that our TomTom performed flawlessly and got us here without a single wrong turn. It did want to take us across the border at Windsor, Ontario/Detroit, Michigan, while we instead wanted to cross at Sarnia-Port Huron, which we did—but the device took our human rebellion in stride, recalculating the remaining route for us without a word of complaint.
The entire journey entails about 8 hours of driving time, but we wanted to arrive unstressed, so we left a day early, and had a stopover outside of Lansing, Michigan. Leaving next Sunday, we’ll make the drive home in one day.
The hotel here is both beautiful—Hyatt hotels generally are—and huge. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I called ahead and booked a scooter for the week. It’s certainly isn’t an expensive proposition (much less of an expense than the valet parking is), and most definitely worth every penny to be able to move about freely.
My beloved is shaking his head and chuckling silently, no doubt recalling recent history and my reluctance to use any mobility assistance of any kind, except for my cane.
Everyone we’ve met here has been welcoming and eager to assist. We’ve been taking our time, getting to know the layout of the hotel, and getting to know the area of Rosemont just a little. We’ve been decompressing, and that is always a blessing.
On Monday we took a brief drive around, and found a Target Store and an IHOP. Tuesday was a quiet day for the both of us. My beloved had planned to tour some of the area museums, but found the muscle he’d pulled in his back just a couple of days before our vacation began kept him instead here at the hotel.
He never really minds this, though. He brought a few books with him, and is already planning what books he intends to buy at the upcoming book fairs. This convention features two such events—an e-book and graphic fair this Thursday, and a giant book fair on Saturday.
I was also blessed to spend the morning on Tuesday with New York Times Bestselling author Kelley Armstrong. Tuesday was release day for Kelley’s new book, The Calling. She’s not only an exceptionally talented author, she’s a very nice person, too. I feel blessed to call her friend.
Today, Wednesday, is the day the convention begins in earnest. The writers are here, the registration area is about to open, and the next few days of madness are about to unfold.
I’ll be very busy, of course, but I never mind that. I’m sure there’ll be time to squeeze in at least one dinner with friends.
Like many who come to RT annually, it’s my one chance in the year to touch base with my friends and grab a little renewal for myself.