Monday, May 30, 2016

Where I Found My Peeps! [Guest Post: Kayleigh Malcolm]

I’ve been fortunate enough to have attended a few book conventions over the years and at the risk of sounding completely bias…Romancing the Capital in Ottawa, Ontario hosted by Eve Langlais is by far my favourite.

Part of it might be because I’m much more involved the second time around. This year was a whirlwind of activity for me, which is awesome but the downside is I didn’t get a chance to sit in on events as much as I would have liked to. If I tried to write about everything that happened this year, we’d be here for hours. So this recap will be limited to my own direct experience.  

Officially RTC was on a Friday and Saturday, but this year Eve decided to kick start the festivities a bit on Thursday for the early birds. I worked with Kali Willows, Kacey Hammell and Stephanie Julian and we created Erotic Jeopardy. Answering questions in the form of a question is trickier than it sounds. Add in categories like “Toys”, “Positions”, “Sexy in Uniform”…. and everything got very funny very fast.  I didn’t have a voice by the end of it and my cheeks were sore from smiling and laughing, proof that the weekend had gotten off to a great start.  

The next morning kicked off with the many shades of LGBT romance panel with 'Nathan Burgoine, Elizabeth Lister, Kristine Cayne, Angela Stone and me. We aren’t an overly formal group so we let the almost full room lead the discussion. There were lots of questions revolving around genres, publishers, and tropes. We laughed a lot and had a couple serious moments around the realities of gay relationships. Shoulder checking before kissing your partner is still a reality, even in Canada. (That made me sad.)

Next, I helped out at Deb Cook/Claire Delicroix’s Dragons vs Knights event. She had five puzzles dumped out on tables and the participants had to put them together as a group. Deb handed out tickets for various accomplishments, finding a red piece, finding an eye, 15 tickets for a completed face. My duty was to hand out Lindt truffles. All that hard mental prowess needed to be rewarded….and I swear I handed out more than I ate. (I do admit to popping a couple myself) LoL

I escaped to my room after that and decompressed somewhat. The next couple hours, I spent stressing over my upcoming event. I’d decided to do a Wine and Chocolate tasting because that’s what I’m used to talking about. Of course getting in front of 40 people had me freaking out over everything. To be honest I didn’t sleep well for the three nights leading up to Friday as my brain replayed everything I needed to do and what might go wrong. (the curse of a creative imagination) Thankfully, my brain kicked into Product Consultant mode quickly as I moved everyone through each of the wines and chocolates. (More details here HERE) “Yeah Me” I didn’t spill any wine on anyone.

I am very much a natural introvert, so I was due for some more quiet time after that one. Dinner that night had a western theme. The food…oh my god, the cornbread… there was BBQ’ed yumminess. Music and dancing in one room and the second dining room was quieter and allowed for more conversations. It was a great balance. I’m not a big costume person myself but I love checking out everyone else.

Saturday dawned bright and early, there were events starting first thing but I was focused on the speed dating an author event hosted by Kali Willows and Kacey Hammell .  2 hours of non-stop conversations, meeting a new person every 2 minutes. It’s loud, hot, and crazy fun all rolled together for a fantastic event. It’s a complete blur in my mind now, but I still really enjoyed it.

After that there was time for a quick lunch and then we were off to set up for the Book signing. This part of RTC is free and open to the public and the people streamed in the moment the doors were opened.  As much fun as speed dating is, the book signing allows me more time to talk to people. I remember a lot more faces and conversations from that afternoon. 

Saturday night was the 80’s themed dinner. Everyone dressed up in their finest neon, lace,…and tin foil hats. You’d think that would be a strange combination but there is something I feel like I’ve forgotten about that evening…something important. Funny thing when I read Eve Langlais’ Reader Abduction there was a scene from Saturday night’s dinner that I don’t remember at all. But, then it couldn’t possibly have happened… it’s romantic fiction, right? I guess we’ll have to wait and see next year if anyone goes missing again. ;)

I’m already signed up for 2017 and I can’t wait. It’s already looking like it was be even better than this year! Registration is open and it looks like it’s going to sell out quickly.

 Thanks so much, Kayleigh! We're so lucky to live vicariously through you. Make sure to visit Kayleigh's Website, Like her on FB, and follow her on Twitter to keep up with her books, and all her conference adventures.  

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