Woke up on Friday morning thinking this convention is too long. I think if I go in the future I will just do the weekend pass and not the full convention because boy howdy was I tired. Not jet-lagged, just tired from being around so many people. I did breakfast but skipped the early morning author signing. First panel I went to was completely chosen at random - Path of Responsible Representation hosted by YA authors Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra (they write as a team the YA series Tiny Pretty Things). I liked this panel because the writers gave concrete examples of what to look for and what to avoid in works with diverse characters.
The next panel was The Worlds of Regency and Georgian Romance with authors Valerie Bowman, Anna Bradley, Eileen Dryer, Elizabeth Hoyt, and Julia Quinn. I was not impressed this panel or the questions. The panel kept going off on different tangents that had nothing to do with the topic. I left a little early to get in line for the next author signing event, but I don't think I missed anything worthwhile. A quote from Julia Quinn sums this panel up - "Who wouldn't want to marry a duke?" Real deep there (sarcasm font).
I then went to the 1001 Dark Nights Sparkler. I had one goal going into this event - meet Lara Adrian and get her to sign my personal copy of The Midnight Breeds Series Companion. She did and was lovely - and surprised to see someone having a companion book. I got a pic with her too. Day made 10x over. The organizers wanted the attendees to talk with each author there and ask them an "either/or" question, then fill out a card for a chance to win something. I didn't care about winning whatever prize because, once again, the room was too small for the amount of people inside. I left soon after meeting Lara and went for lunch.
Next author panel I went to was Seasoned Romance, Vintage Love with Karen Booth and Morgan Malone. Another diversity panel, but this one was about older characters and ageism. This trend of having older characters is making a small, but noticeable comeback thanks to self-publishing. The idea of older characters also work with other diverse characterizations such as race, sexuality, and religion (for example, a m/m featuring 40 year old men). There is a FB group called Seasoned Romance that connects authors with readers. Also, the FB group made a GR List of romances with older characters (heads up: there is a lot of Kristen Ashley's books on this list). They were giving away free books from authors in the FB group; I picked out Killer Countdown (Man on a Mission #6) by Amelia Autin and Midnight in Legend, TN (The McClains of Legend, Tennessee #1/ Ladies of Legend #1.2) by Magdalena Scott. I really enjoyed the conversation.
Last author panel for me was Shifters Between the Sheets with authors Molly Harper, Paige Tyler, Robyn Peterman, and Eve Langlais. I wanted to go to at least one paranormal panel, and this one was fun and funny; the ladies are not only fans of the subgenre but of each other's works. The questions were basic, but the answers were varied and experiences were talked about; each author came to writing books and paranormal genre from very different backgrounds. It was a great way to end the last day of panels.
I started to go to the Avon signing event, took one look at a line that was snaked five times around the door to the event, and said to myself "hell no" and went up to my room to relax. Soon I went out for dinner and when I came back, Twitter and the RT app were lit up with many unhappy attendees. Turns out the Avon event started 35-40 minutes late and some people were in line for a hour or more before the scheduled time. Again, there were also complaints of overcrowding and someone almost fainted. I'm so glad I skipped the event.
I went to the late night party, Magnolias and Moonshine, but didn't stay long. There was just nothing there to hold my interest. I did a quick turn about the room and then left. If you ever go to RT, feel free to skip the evening parties - they are more work than reward.