So I figured that if I do one post per Friday night on my experience at RT, I won't overload my non-romance reading followers. If you want to see pictures of my time at the convention, check out my Instagram feed (https://www.instagram.com/tearainbook/). This post is for my first day at the convention.
I made it to Atlanta late Monday night (May 1st) and took the airport shuttle to the subway platform. Luckily, the hotel was about 50 feet from a stop. By the time I was checked into the hotel (Hyatt Regency Downtown) and in my room, I had been awake for almost 24 hours (going off British time zone). Overall, the hotel quality was a little run-down and shabby and the customer service was inconsistent, mostly unimpressive and at times just plain rude. The hotel had another convention overlapping the start of RT, so there was no decorations or set ups until late Tuesday afternoon/night. I don't think the hotel knew just how many people they were serving during RT, because the service was slow and lines formed pretty quickly.
Tuesday morning (May 2nd) I went for breakfast across the street from the hotel, then set off to do some sight-seeing....there wasn't much to see (CNN, the fenced off Olympic park, and the giant Ferris wheel) in the little time I had before registration. Registration started at noon and it was broken down into different lines by last names, so things moved quickly. Smashwords donated thumb drives with 100 ebooks pre-loaded (found in tote bag that comes with registration - the amount of tote bags I came away from the convention with has to be counted on both hands). I will be honest - I haven't even looked at any of the books on the thumb drive yet (I placed the drive in my swag bag that I then shipped home), so I couldn't even tell you what books/what authors are on the drive.
I went to my hotel room to chill and figure out what I wanted to see or do at the first night of the convention. I did the RT Virgins panel, which I highly suggest all first timers go to. I skipped the craft panel (scrapbooking isn't my thing) and went to dinner, then stood in the first of MANY lines for the Naughty & Nice social event. It was pressed to all us RT virgins to make time for meals, and pack some snacks and water for in-between times.
The Naughty & Nice event was crowded; 150-200 people trying to fit into a meeting/training room would be a recurring theme throughout the convention. Basically, you had to stay in line and walk in front of the author's table, talk to the author and wait until the line moved to talk to the author at the next table....for 90 minutes. No authentic chatting with fellow readers or with the authors, and don't try to skip tables/books that don't interest you. It was crowded and overheated, no matter how high the AC was running.
There was one author I felt I connected with and am looking at her books to add to my TBR. The author is Liv Morris and the books I am most interested in is her sports-themed contemporary romantic comedies (Tough Luck and Hard Luck, both of which I attached to the post, but without covers Update: someone was kind enough to add the covers. To that someone - Thank You!).
The authors were lovely, but I wasn't impressed with how much I felt like just a number in a herd of readers and how regimented the process of meeting the authors were. I couldn't wait to leave. I stopped at the hotel coffee shop for a chai tea before heading back to my room to read and get ready for Wednesday (the official start of the convention).
Next Friday's post: Day Two of the convention - when I meet a fellow BL'er!