Home from Romancing the Capital

I just had the most wonderful weekend at Romancing the Capital, Eve Langlais’ reader event in Ottawa, Canada. This was the third year for the conference, and it was the third time I’ve attended. The pictures below were taken by Jess Ripley, who photographed the event.

This conference starts with a half-day of panels about writing and publishing. I taught one panel called “I’ve written a book – now what?” which was Eve’s title and a HUGE topic. She had to come and tell me to stop as I was running long. (No matter how carefully I time a workshop by reading it aloud, it always takes longer to deliver in person.) And here I am. πŸ™‚
Deb Cooke's workshop at RTC2017I was on two more panels that day. One was about negotiating with publishers and agents, with Coreene Callahan and Darynda Jones:

Negotiating with Agents panel at RTC2017 with Coreene Callahan, Darynda Jones and Deborah Cooke

And the second was on the choices available to authors, being traditionally published, indie or hybrid, with ‘Nathan Smith, Elle James, myself and Milly Taiden. It was so interesting to hear all the differing perspectives.Publishing Panel at RTC 2017 with 'Nathan Smith, Elle James, Deborah Cooke and Milly Taiden

I was on two fun historical romance panels: the first was with myself (as Claire Delacroix), Sharon Page, Anna Markland and Barbara Devlin.

Historical Romance Panel at RTC 2017 with Claire Delacroix, Sharon Page, Anna Markland and Barbara Devlin

The second was with Anna and Barb again:
Historical Romance panel at RTC2017 with Anna Markland, Claire Delacroix and Barbara DevlinI had help at my Knights vs. Dragons puzzle session, from Sharon Page (who continued to wear her tiara, but it really suited her), Mary Ann Abraham and Amy Ruttan. We put together puzzles in this session of my book covers and there are prizes – for the very first time, one of the puzzles was finished by Sophie and her team. It was the new cover of The Princess and I was blown away that they completed it in just 45 minutes. I loved seeing the cover 24″ high, too.

Knights vs. Dragons at RTC2017 with Sharon Page, Mary Ann Abraham, Deborah Cooke (aka Claire Delacroix) and Amy Ruttan

We also had a panel discussion about Dragons! From the left, Coreene Callahan, Eve Langlais, myself and Milly Taiden. Notice that we’re all wearing beautiful crocheted shawls (oops. Eve must have taken hers off. The room was very warm). The pattern is called Wingspan and the reader who created them for us – along with custom dragon pins – was JosΓ©e. What a treat and a lovely surprise! (Doesn’t Milly look like she’s making trouble?! She is so cute!) I’ll give you a better look at the shawl on Friday.

The panel discussion on dragons at RTC2017 with Coreen Callahan, Eve Langlais, Deborah Cooke and Milly TaidenI was particularly spoiled at this conf this year. Dayna and Sylvie brought me a personalized gift box with goodies inside. Eniko and Mary Ann made me an armband with a dragon on it and a pair of those wonderful ear wires that look like dragon ears. Eniko also made me a dragon egg of my own. I also finally met both Amanda and Mary, who have been big Dragonfire fans for a long time. they were the first readers to tell me that they were getting Dragonfire tattoos and I saw their matching tattoos this weekend. Mary blew me away by dressing as the Wyvern for the costume ball. That’s the first time anyone has dressed as one of my characters and told me about it, so I got a bit sniffly. πŸ™‚

There were so many great moments. I got to hug Felicia, another Dragonfire fan. Haidee and her daughter came to the conf again this year, which meant more hugs. Brigitte realized I was also Claire Cross and brought her Berkley trade copies of the Coxwells from her keeper shelf for me to sign. (More hugs.) Sharon Page and I (as always) ended up having nachos together, drinking wine and talking about publishing. It’s become a tradition. πŸ™‚ I finally met Barb Devlin and Anna Markland, two historical romance authors I’ve known for ages online. I met the president of ORWA and have my fingers crossed that we’ll work out a date for me to teach at the Ottawa chapter soon. I know I’m forgetting people and apologize for that – it was an awesome weekend, filled with fun.

And then there was the booksigning. As always, it was terrific at RTC – so many books and so much fun! I shared a table with Ashlyn Chase, but once the doors were open, we were too busy to chat. The first pic is before the doors were opened and the second is after.Deborah Cooke (aka Claire Delacroix) at the booksigning at RTC2017

Deborah Cooke (aka Claire Delacroix) at the booksigning at RTC2017 As in the past two years, Romancing the Capital 2017 was a completely amazing event. I’m really hoping that Eve Langlais decides to host this reader conference again next year. It’s such fun, and we’re getting used to seeing some familiar faces each year – as well as meeting new attendees! As a complete bonus, I came home with plot bunnies. I’m excited to be planning out a new project.

Now, here’s the wonderful part: to celebrate RTC and so you can live vicariously, I have TWO reader registration bags to give away. They’re jammed full of goodies! Please comment on this post and tell me what you love best about reader conferences. If you haven’t ever been to one, tell me why you’d like to attend one. I’ll pick two winners at the end of August. Because the bags are bulky, this contest is only open to readers in the US and Canada. Good luck!

Edited to add – Congrats to ERIN, who is the winner of one of the registration bags. The other one will be chosen from the Facebook comments.

30 thoughts on “Home from Romancing the Capital

  1. It was great to see you again at RTC and everyone had a great time, You rocked and Phoenix was so excited on Saturday night with the swag she got at the dinner as she was at the table that you sponsored. Hope to see you again soon.


  2. Nope, never been but it sure does look fun! I would love meeting my favorite authors. From the emails, Facebook & blogs I feel like we could be best friends.


  3. Ah I would so loved to be able to go to one but probably never happen. To meet such great authors and what great reads. It sounds like it would be a awesome time You all seem to have a lot of fun. Too far for me to go to but if you are ever in the states near Ohio I would love a chance to meet you. Dragons rule!!! Lol. 😘


  4. Hi Deborah – where to start? Wow! I’m not sure because it all looked like so much fun!! I loved seeing pictures of you and fellow authors. BTW – your grey locks are very becoming. I also loved seeing your caplets. Cant’ wait for a close-up picture and more details. I’ve never been to a reader contest. I not likely to get to one either considering where I live and where they’re normally held but who knows?! These are the types of events I would enjoy so an event like this would have to involve an alternate draw for hubby (not a reader, sadly). Thank you for offering a goodie bag but more especially for sharing so much information. I trust you enjoyed every bit of it!


  5. I have never been to a conference,Β  but I would love to go to one, especially one that you were at.Β  I love your books and you looked like you had a really good time.Β Β  I love the shawl you were wearing, purple is definitely your colour.Β  The conference looked liked it was well attended, and your photographer took some very lovely pictures… Β Take care and God bless. Judie


  6. RTC was amazing again this year. I have my own swag bag, so please don’t enter me in the contest. Just wanted to say it was wonderful to see you there! I’m trying to write about my experience on my own blog, but it’s hard, there was so much going on!


  7. I love it when a bunch of romance writers get together – will have to make more plans to another book signing to RTC next year – I have already booked my hotel room for RWA 2018 in Denver, CO for next July, (so hoping it’s not the same weekend!). I meeting new (new to me) writers and of course need to add to my collection of signed books (both paperback and hardcovers). Keep getting out new stories – need more books!! πŸ™‚


  8. Sounds like ya’ll had a blast, I’d love to go to a convention ( or more than one ) some day they look like bunches of fun, and you get to see/ hear meet all sorts of people and get cool stuff and maybe make some new friends.


  9. I have only attended romancing the capital. It’s a great event. I hope to travel to some reader events in the USA. Not sure which ones are the best…


  10. I was lucky enough to have been invited to one a few years ago… it was an amazing event! It was something to actual interact with authors and other romance book lovers… I had a really great time!


  11. I’ve marginally been to one (the autograph portion, only). It was great to meet some of my favorite authors and get them to autograph my books. I would love to have been able to attend the panels and other events, but it was already sold out.


  12. I haven’t been to this one, but I was fortunate enough to attend a different one and I love being able to meet and talk to authors and learn they are “real people”! I also feel like I could be best friends with those whose books I love.


  13. I love attending events like Barbara Vey’s Reader’s Appreciation Weekend here in Wisconsin and Lori Foster’s RAGT in Ohio. The authors are a hoot and getting to meet new and old reader friends makes for plenty of shenanigans! I need to get my passport renewed before I can attend RTC, maybe by 2019 as 2018 is already practically sold out. Thanks for the chance to win a bag of goodies!


  14. Oh My goodness everytime i read about a conference or event like this I get the jitters and full of excitement like I was actually there!!!! Eeeeek!!! Oh my gosh…the pictures are amazing…the authors in attendance are fabulous!!! Just WOW!!! 😁😁 One day I will be lucky ebough to attend a signing somewhere!! Its totally one of the things at the top of my bucket list!! LOL I am just excited to be able to meet and interact online with so many great authors…I would totally fan girl out if i was lucky enough to say hello to some of them in person!!! LOL 😍😍 Thanks so much!!


  15. I have only been to one but I really enjoyed getting to know the authors of books I love and getting to meet and find new authors. I had a blast and can’t wait to attend another soon!


  16. Oh! I would have love to attended! But alas…my nephew came all the way FROM Ottawa to visit me for his birthday! Because, you know….I made his cake for him. LOL! Anyway, one day I’m hoping to make it to Romancing the Capital. Maybe next year! Fingers crossed.


  17. I have never been to a reader conference but I already have my confrence ticket and hotel booked for RTC 2018. Yay!!! I can’t wait. I discovered Eve Langlais’s books last year and love them. I can’t wait to start learning about new authors. I have already downloaded 1 book from a few new authors from the RTC authors attending page 😊 looking forward to it!


  18. Oh my gosh! You got to meet Mary Ann Abraham? I’m so jealous! She’s awesome! I’d love to go to a reader conference just to meet the authors I love.


  19. I went for the first time this year with my sister and her friends. We had a great time doing the activities, playing the games and meeting wonderful peeps. The energy was high and infectious. All the authors were pleasant and super friendly and kind. I’m totally looking forward to next year’s festivities!


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