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19/05/2014: Romantic Times Convention 2014, New Orleans - Part 1

Laissez les bon temps rouler! - let the good times roll - was a phrase I saw and heard over and over again in New Orleans during the past week, and we definitely did! This year's RT Convention was bigger than ever before and even more fun! At least after we ironed out a few initial glitches (which all had to do with airlines and shipping rather than the convention itself, I have to stress)…

Having attended RT last year, I was really looking forward to going back and it was great to know what to expect this time. I'd booked my spot in 'promo alley' and packed a lot of UK goodies for a gift basket to be raffled, plus I'd spent ages putting together some swag - in other words, I came prepared! Unfortunately our flight from London was delayed and we missed our connection to New Orleans from Washington, and for some reason our bags were sent to Chicago and stayed there for two days. Not ideal! Just as we were beginning to despair, though, they all turned up in time with the swag intact - phew!

The Choc Lit author team this year consisted of myself, Sue Moorcroft, Janet Gover, Liz Harris, Beverley Eikli and Kate Johnson. We had a very British table as our base and took turns to sell books there and chat to attendees, which was lovely! I don't suppose anyone can have missed the fact that we were from the UK, with all those flags 🙂 (and some lovely mini koalas and kangaroos to show that we had two Aussie authors as part of the group of course).

We did a panel talk about heroes & heroines and how to create a spark between them, held a 'tea party' for booksellers and librarians plying them with proper English tea and shortbread, and we attended lots of talks, workshops and parties between us. It was all huge fun! I particularly enjoyed the 'Call my Historical Bluff' session devised by Susanna Kearsley and her friends, which featured some fiendishly difficult words.

In between, we explored the French Quarter of the city, which was just outside the hotel, and it was so beautiful and fascinating, I'll have to do another post with pics of that tomorrow!

I'll just leave you with some photos from the Convention and of the view from our room - the mighty Mississippi river in daylight, at night and close up (very muddy!). I was reminded not to go swimming in it in case I came across an alligator. The only way I wanted to meet one of those was in a restaurant - deep fried and delicious!

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