Can you introduce yourself to my readers a little?
Yup, two of us will there this year! Casey and I will be roaming the halls for this year’s RT Booklovers Convention!
Jackie: For those who may not know, I’m a 30something stay at home mom of two boys – a seven year old and a three year old – both of which have kept me pretty busy. I also have a fabulous husband who humors my obsession with books, and not only puts up with all the business of keeping LE running, but actually manages all the techy stuff involved. And he’ll be in New Orleans with me!
What people are probably not aware of is that I’m one of they shyest people around. Seriously. I’m usually the one in a crowded room, hanging out by the wall, people watching. I have a hard time going up to people and striking up conversations out of the blue. So if you see me, don’t hesitate to approach me. BUT…if I hear you talking about one of my favorite series, or urban fantasy/paranormal romance in genre, I will probably butt in. *grin* When it comes to talking about books, my shyness tends to go away a little.
Casey: Hi! *waves* I’m Casey, and I’ve been with LE for almost 4 years now. I’m assuming most of you should know me by now.*grin* But for those of you who don’t know me, I’m a 22 year old college student, who spends more time with fictional characters than real people. I’m addicted to books, cheese, shoes and chocolate. I’m one of the cool kids.
Can you introduce us to the site that you review at?
Jackie: Yeah, I’m not sure if I should answer this question or not. I mean, you’re here already and I hope you’re a repeat visitor. If you’re not, LE focuses on fantasy and paranormal literature with a few others thrown in. Honestly, when I started LE, the whole purpose was just to give me a place to talk about books since most of my friends couldn’t cared less. LE is going into it’s seventh year, and while last year was a bit off for most of us here, I’m not planning on going anywhere soon. In fact, I have plans to expand LE with four additional people (details coming soon) as well as bringing the news posts back to 3x a week. I admit, I have a few lofty goals and they may not happen right away, but I’m brainstorming ways to make LE even better. *grin*
Casey: I have this world in my head that’s full of lickable men, pizza and awkward Star Wars jokes. I’ll let you know when I finally get it all out on paper.
In the mean time you can read The Struggle, an anthology that I contributed and edited! Whee! (Dreams really do come true! I got paid to read! *grin*) My story, Italicized Lies, a young woman decides to stalk her boyfriend because she doesn’t believe that they romantic letters he’s sending are really from him.
Here’s some basic info re LE in case you’re new to the site: Some of the regular things you can see on LE are semi-weekly news posts (well, they’re suppose to be semi-weekly, but I’m working on bringing them back), Sunday Surprise! which showcases random books I’ve come across (which will be returning soon), the New Author Reading Challenge, the brand new Story Time with Literary Escapism where Nikki and I showcase various children books that are F/SF/UF as well as books we’re enjoying with our children. I have also tried to make LE a resource for any reader who’s looking for something new or specific, which is why you can also find a series listing by genre, over 300+ author website links (although I haven’t counted them up, so that’s a rough estimate), a ton of SF/F/H reviewer links (thanks to Grasping for the Wind) and as many new release dates as I can find (currently over 900 for 2014 alone).
Will this be your first RT or are you a veteran? Any advice for those who are going for the first time?
Jackie: I wouldn’t call myself a veteran, but I’m not a virgin either. I was in Columbus for RT 2010 for two days, but I did make it for the whole week when it was in Chicago (2012). From my experience, I would say don’t go with a set plan. Know what you want to do, but be flexible. You never know what may turn up, and if you try to keep to a predetermined schedule, you may miss out on some really great opportunities. The biggest thing is try not to get overwhelmed. And starting with not having a plan would be a great start to this. The schedule can be a bit overwhelming, especially if this is your first time.
If you really want to find a certain author, either stalk the bar or their twitter feed. Honestly, in Chicago, I spent more time in the bar than at any panel, and I don’t feel like I missed out on anything. And I have to say that you will be amazed at how many authors you can chat with during the Massive Book Fair. Granted, this year may be a bit different since there are so many more participating, but it should still be possible to get to see most, if not all, of the big names while you’re there. Oh! The first thing you want to do when you get to the book fair is get a line number for the big names. You don’t have to wait there, they’ll call out the numbers as they come up, so you can wait by going to see other authors. I really like that system (assuming they haven’t changed it).
Casey: This will be my second time at RT. My advice to all the first timers: DON’T MAKE A PLAN. By that, I mean pick out only a couple of panels that you absolutely want to go to, then spend the rest of the time wandering around, hanging out with authors and fellow readers. You’ll have more personalized stories to brag about later. *grin*
Are you speaking on any panels during RT? Are there any you are looking forward to or are planning on attending?
Jackie: Not this time. I’m only registered for Friday and Saturday, so I’m not going to make it to many, but I’m okay with that. The main reason I go to RT is to talk with the various authors and it is hard to do that during panels. I’m taking my own advice and not making a plan, but I know I will be at the Blogger & Reviewer Conference and Symposium on Tuesday and Book Reviewing, Blogging, and Blog Design 101 on Friday.
Casey: No, thank god. Public speaking and I don’t mix. There are a few panels that I might go to, but I don’t have a schedule, so who knows where I’ll end up. (At the bar. I’ll definitely be at the bar.)
Is there anything in particular you’re looking forward to or experiencing while in New Orleans?
Jackie: Spending time with the hubby. Jesse and I celebrated 10 years last October and we’ve never had a honeymoon, so we’re taking this opportunity to get away for a bit. This will not only be the first time both of us have been away from the boys for any length of time, but it’s also our first vacation, by ourselves, in over 10 years. I’m really excited, even though he will be telecommuting to work for some of the time we’re down there. *grin*
As for New Orleans itself, I can’t wait to explore the French Quarter, the Garden District, Jackson Square, and more importantly, Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1. What can I say, I love wandering around a good graveyard.
Casey: I’M DOING A LIVE INTERVIEW WITH LARISSA IONE! *ahem* I mean, I’m really looking forward to doing an interview with Larissa Ione. I’m also looking forward to meeting so many authors. And, finally being of the drinking age. (Last time I was in New Orleans, I wasn’t. Now I can legally drink at all the bars!)
If someone were wanting to meet up with you at RT, who should they look for?
Jackie: Look for the eye! I will be sporting at least one bag with the LE eye on it. I will definitely have buttons with my fabulous eye, so if you want one, just ask! Other than that, my curly hair will more than likely be pulled back and up, I’ll be wearing sandals and tanks, my nose will be in my kindle or phone, and I’ll be hanging out in the bar. Don’t be shy, come say hi if you see me, even if I’m reading. And if you see this guy – that’s Jesse – I won’t be far away or he’ll know where I’m at. *grin*
Casey: The girl running around screaming, “OHMYGOD I LOVE YOU, [insert author’s name]!” Oh wait, most people will be doing that, right? You’ll just have to guess. *grin*
The 2014 RT Booklovers Convention will be held in New Orleans on May 13th – 18th at the Marriott hotel on Canal Street in the historic French Quarter. For the full list of attending authors, who will be signing at the Giant Book Fair on May 17th, here they are: All Authors, Young Adult Authors, and New Adult Authors.