I just had one fabulous weekend!
That right, readers! I have left the comfort of my couch in search of adventure and autographs as I road tripped from NC back home to Washington DC for the romance writers convention known as Apollycon.
Number one on my list of authors to meet was the great Penny Reid. She. Did. Not. Disappoint. But we’ll get to her.
There were so many authors at the convention. I knew I couldn’t see everybody, so I concentrated on those whose books I really loved. Since I was on a budget (and read mostly on Kindle or listen on Audible), I opted to pick up a signing sheet from the vendor Doodles by Christina, rather than buying a bunch of books to have folks sign.
Isn’t it cute?
My first signature was from one of my favorite narrators, Andi Ardnt. I had one question for her, and I’m sorry if it offends you, but I had to ask: “You say the word cock probably more than any one woman on the planet. How do you always manage to make it sound so classy?”
Clearly Andi was not offended. In fact, she laughed and said that was the best question she’s ever been asked! Then she handed me a cup of tea. I hate that I forgot to get a photo with her; she was absolutely adorable!
Next up I spoke cover model Franggy Yanez. He didn’t like it that I told him he was “pretty.” LOL. Apparently he prefers “handsome.” Whatever; both are true. Not only was he an extremely beautiful person, he was incredibly polite. When my sister asked him if she could borrow one of his chairs while we were waiting in line, he brought it over for her. What a sweetie!
I also had nice conversations with Katie McGarry (I told her she was recommended to my by author Huntley Fitzpatrick so could she start a chain and recommend another author? She told me to check out Nicola Yoon and Trish Doller), Penelope Ward, Jen Frederick and Elle Kennedy (together known as Erin Watt), Kristen Ashley and T. Torrest (we are the same age and had fun talking about the nostalgia in her Remember When trilogy).
I finished the day off with Helena Hunting. I was so ready to talk with her because we are both huge hockey fans and her Pucked series is among my favorites. Within seconds of meeting her I knew that she had based the vivacious, warm, hilarious character of Violet on herself. When asked she confirmed this was true! We had a lovely chat about her series, the sport of hockey and the beauty that is Tyler Seguin. If Penny Reid hadn’t already agreed to be my new best friend, this honor would have been given to Helena. Instead, we’ll just have to agree to be good buddies!
But the purpose of the trip was to meet Penny. And she was definitely the highlight for me. Upon seeing her, I nearly broke into tears, so she immediately jumped up and headed around the table to give me a hug. When I said to her,”I swear this isn’t a Misery thing, but will you please be my best friend?” She agreed (I’m sure it wasn’t because she was scared of me but because we are destined to be besties). I brought her some North Carolina jam. We talked about my excitement over her next book in the Winston brothers series (I love Roscoe!), and she gave me tons of Penny Reid swag. Because you know, besties share gifts like that! I ended the conversation by telling her I would reluctantly share her with the rest of her fans and repeated that I loved her. Her kindness, though not unexpected, has definitely earned her a fan for life.
So that was my Apollycon experience! There were some organization problems, but I still had a great time and would definitely do something like this again! With Colleen Hoover, Rachel Van Dyken and Sawyer Bennett on the lineup for next year, I’m already looking forward to Apollycon 2019!
Which authors do you love enough to travel six hours for?
*Special thank you to my sister, Robin, for playing photographer and sidekick for the day, my dear friends, Nima and Karthik, for putting us up for the weekend (and taking us to fabulous dinners of Indian and Ethiopian food), and to all the Apollycon organizers.