If you love books as much as I do, there’s no better place to be than at RT Booklovers Convention.

I’ve heard about it for years, and I have a friend who always attends, but it’s never been in the cards for me, because the convention isn’t cheap. When you add in hotel, plane tickets, food, and more it’s on the pricier end.  This year, I got to attend it in Dallas, and I can assure you, it is worth every single dollar.

For four days, the “who’s who” of the book world flocked to the Hyatt Regency Tower in the downtown Big D and put in a show that would have made any bibliophile swoon. When I arrived on Friday, I found the convention in full swing, and it overwhelmed me at first. I couldn’t decide where to go or who to see first. Did I want to attend a seminar about how to improve my craft? Did I want to network with my friends and fellow writers? Did I want to sneak into the goodie room and swipe some exclusive swag? How about attending one of the many parties put on by major names in publishing?

I settled on a few of the seminars first, and attended one on mainstream fiction, then one on young adult novel trends. After that, I sat in on a few Q&A sessions with publishers, one of which featured a massive book giveaway (more on that next month–stay tuned).  All in all, I learned so much!

Saturday featured the Giant Book Fair, a event like no other. My dear friend Sara and I waited in line for almost an hour to get into the signing, which featured hundreds of authors from every genre. I knew it would be big, but I underestimated that event for sure. It felt like being at ComiCon.

Sunday, it was my turn. I signed books at a smaller event, and also had a chance to chat with aspiring and debut authors about some of the things I’ve learned since my first book published. For me, this was the best part. I loved meeting readers and sharing conversations with them. That made RT an over the top experience for me.

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Take my advice. If you love books at much as I do, try to take the time to attend this event. You won’t be sorry. And, next year’s event is in Las Vegas. Sounds fun, right?