Monday, October 5, 2009

Romanticon approaches and I'm getting nervous

This coming weekend my publisher, Ellora's Cave, is hosting their first ever conference/convention. They've titled it Romanticon and I'm really looking forward to attending. There's a ton of authors who will be attending and I'm one of them. Friday, Saturday and Sunday there will be workshops during the day.

The thing making me real nervous - but in a good way - is the book signing on Saturday. It will be my first organized book signing with readers who aren't my friends. I had an impromptu book signing at a friend's house right after Protect and Defend came out electronically. It was fun and no stress. This time I'm feeling a bit of stress.

I HOPE someone stops to buy my book and have me sign it. They've broken the signings down by alphabet and the G-M crowd signs from 10:30-11:30 am and from 2:30-3:30 pm. It could be very dull if everyone is crowded around other people. So if you attend, please take pity and visit me.
Other than my nerves over the book signing, I'm getting butterflies about meeting some of my favorite authors. Some of them I've been reading since I first discovered EC back in the early 2000's and some are newer.

Have you ever attended conferences or conventions and been nervous about meeting folks? If so, how did you combat that? How do you get over your shyness and just have fun?
NOTE: I had a couple of things wrong. Hint for all of you out there - always CHECK on things before you leave. Saturday is "Authormania" where the authors hang out and meet with readers. We can also sign books that people have brought with them. Then on SUNDAY is the official book fair where they will be selling books and authors will sign.


Anonymous said...

Oh lordy. I've never been to a romance convention (too new to the genre) but I attended my share of SF and comic book conventions back in the day ("the day" being the 1980s) when I was just getting my feet wet as a writer. Sadly, I too was unable to approach those gods and goddesses who'd actually published something, and pretty much stood there like a lump watching other fans interact with them. Time has given me a bit more perspective and, I hope, maturity enough to realize these folks are just like you and me and like to hear good wishes and encouragement as much as the next person. Just do like you would when interacting with any other professional -- look them in the eye and smile, be pleasant, and tell them how much you enjoy their work. If they're not too tired and pressed for time, you might even get a conversation or even an acquaintanceship going.

And if you spot some poor writer all alone at a table, stop by and chat with them; they'll appreciate it. (I got into a great conversation with fellow PA writer Chet Williamson at a really slow bookstore signing one time. He's a funny guy!) Watch how the pros do it. Get people to talk about themselves and you can't go wrong. They'll relax, you'll relax, and first thing you know meeting people won't even be an issue any more.

Of course, if I were to meet Stephen King face to face I'd probably wet myself. I should practice what I preach.

Pat C.

Laurann Dohner said...

I envy you going! Next year if they hold it I'm soooo there but this year.... My first book only came out in Sept so it was already past the buy tickets deadline. LOL. Just have fun. I'd be nervous too and I'm sure since this is an EC event... the fans will know who you are!

Savanna Kougar said...

Francesca, wow, what a fab opportunity.
As far as advice, what Pat said. What I do is focus on the people around me and engage in conversation if they're up for it.
I was once so shy I couldn't stop chilling and heating up in front of my 7th grade class.

Paris said...

I wish I'd been able to go this year and finally get to meet you! I have seven RWA conferences under my belt and my first one was nerve-racking. The best advice I ever got was to smile and wear comfortable shoes, LOL!

I had a great time and people were very friendly so don't stress! Your new mantra is you're going to have a wonderful time and have lots of fun!

Serena Shay said...

Gulp, never been to any conf so I'm not much help, but all of these lady's have given great advice. For me, it's always to just be myself. Lots of smiling - people are drawn to that!

Francesca Hawley said...

Well, I'm here now. I went to the hospitality room last night and had a total blast. I'm still nervous about the book signing, but everyone here is really nice.

Thanks for the advice everyone and Pat thanks for the suggestion about chatting with lone writers - I've started to do that. I guess it's the difference for me from being in my twenties and being in my forties. I'm a little more adventurous now. LOL