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Last month I lost my writer’s conference virginity and I did it in a big way—the Romantic Times Convention in New Orleans. What can I say? I don’t do anything in half measures 😉 I think I heard there were over two thousand authors and readers in attendance. It was big!

Having never attended a conference before, I didn’t really know what to expect. But at least I wasn’t there alone—I brought my mom. Yeah, I know. But my mom is awesome and it was nice to have someone to fly across the country with and someone to hang out with during the down times. I know it was a real eye opening experience for my mom as well but we’ll get to that in a minute.

The first day was intimidating. The number of people running around was insane and it took me awhile to hook up with some of my writerly friends. Which was a first for me. All my writing life, I’ve lived in the boonies, far from any real civilization or metropolitan area that would feed an artistic community. So to date all my writing relationships have been online. When it came time for the conference and meeting writerly friends that I’ve known for years but never met in person, I was worried that we wouldn’t click. But all the worrying was pointless. We clicked and had so much fun.

RT14 Gilli's Friends

from left: Annie Nichols, Sasha Devlin, Hailey Edwards, me and Dee Carney on the bottom

I have to say now that I’ve done a conference, I’m kinda hooked. The electric atmosphere of being around so many authors was pretty awesome. Although having a few of them referring to tentacle sex in front of my mom was less than awesome—it was pretty awkward.

But the rest of the conference was so much fun. I sat in on tons of informative panels, ate some amazing food, and can’t wait to do it again!

Kristen Ashley  & Smashwords exec Mark Coker

Kristen Ashley & Smashwords exec Mark Coker

Beignets at Cafe Du Monde

Beignets at Cafe Du Monde

RT14 Gilli Eating