Romantic Times Convention 2014 – New Orleans – Part I

Laissez les bon temps rouler! – let the good times roll – was a phrase I saw and heard over and over again in New Orleans during the past week, and we definitely did!  This year’s RT Convention was bigger than ever before and even more fun!  At least after we ironed out a few initial glitches (which all had to do with airlines and shipping rather than the convention itself, I have to stress) …

Having attended RT last year, I was really looking forward to going back and it was great to know what to expect this time.  I’d booked my spot in ‘promo alley’ and packed a lot of UK goodies for a gift basket to be raffled, plus I’d spent ages putting together some swag – in other words, I came prepared!  Unfortunately our flight from London was delayed and we missed our connection to New Orleans from Washington, and for some reason our bags were sent to Chicago and stayed there for two days.  Not ideal!  Just as we were beginning to despair, though, they all turned up in time with the swag intact – phew!

The Choc Lit author team this year consisted of myself, Sue Moorcroft, Janet Gover, Liz Harris, Beverley Eikli and Kate Johnson.  We had a very British table as our base and took turns to sell books there and chat to attendees, which was lovely!  I don’t suppose anyone can have missed the fact that we were from the UK, with all those flags 🙂 (and some lovely mini koalas and kangaroos to show that we had two Aussie authors as part of the group of course).

Me, Liz, Kate and Beverley

We did a panel talk about heroes & heroines and how to create a spark between them, held a ‘tea party’ for booksellers and librarians plying them with proper English tea and shortbread, and we attended lots of talks, workshops and parties between us.  It was all huge fun!  I particularly enjoyed the ‘Call my Historical Bluff’ session devised by Susanna Kearsley and her friends, which featured some fiendishly difficult words.

In between, we explored the French Quarter of the city, which was just outside the hotel, and it was so beautiful and fascinating, I’ll have to do another post with pics of that tomorrow!

I’ll just leave you with some photos from the Convention and of the view from our room – the mighty Mississippi river in daylight, at night and close up (very muddy!).  I was reminded not to go swimming in it in case I came across an alligator.  The only way I wanted to meet one of those was in a restaurant – deep fried and delicious!

Mississippi - early morning

Mississippi - at night

Muddy water of the Mississippi

Me with the lovely winner of my raffle gift basket

Preparing for the Choc Lit tea party

Saints & Sinners party

Saints & Sinners goodies

Even dogs were allowed to dress up!

Me with a dragon friend!

Gator bites!

Voodoo queen?

17 Comments

  1. I felt for you when your luggage didn’t arrive, so I’m glad it didn’t spoil the event. Lovely to see the photos.

    Comment by Chris Stovell — May 20, 2014 @ 11:51 am

  2. Thank you, glad you like them!

    Comment by Christina Courtenay — May 20, 2014 @ 12:16 pm

  3. Fantastic photos! I almost feel as if I was there with you – well, almost 🙂

    Comment by Henriette Gyland — May 20, 2014 @ 12:23 pm

  4. I would have so loved to have been there too. It looks amazing. So pleased your luggage found you.
    Big cheers for you all flying the Choc Lit flag 🙂

    Comment by Berni Stevens — May 20, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

  5. Glad you like the photos, Henri and Berni 🙂

    Comment by Christina Courtenay — May 20, 2014 @ 3:37 pm

  6. Lovely photos, so glad all went well eventually. And thanks for flying the flag for all of us.

    Love
    MargaretK

    Comment by Margaret Kaine — May 20, 2014 @ 5:03 pm

  7. Thank you, Margaret, we did our best! 🙂

    Comment by Christina Courtenay — May 20, 2014 @ 5:17 pm

  8. Glad you are all back safely, and that the trip was a success. Glad you got your luggage back safely too!

    Comment by Liv — May 20, 2014 @ 8:13 pm

  9. Thanks Liv – yes, we were delighted to see our suitcases after the long wait! Would have been terrible if they had been lost completely.

    Comment by Christina Courtenay — May 20, 2014 @ 9:41 pm

  10. What a lot of adventures we had. It was fun to relive it through your eyes, Christina.

    Comment by Beverley Eikli — May 23, 2014 @ 12:57 am

  11. Thanks Beverley, it was so great to see you again! xx

    Comment by Christina Courtenay — May 25, 2014 @ 11:10 am

  12. What a relief when your luggage arrived! Glad you enjoyed the panel, we’re planning to do it again next year!

    Comment by Lynne Connolly — May 25, 2014 @ 3:45 pm

  13. Lovely photos – I’m sure you flew the Choc Lit flag in style!

    Comment by angela britnell — May 25, 2014 @ 4:23 pm

  14. I love New Orleans. So glad you had a wonderful time. What did the gaytor bites taste like?

    Comment by Linda Chamberlain — May 25, 2014 @ 5:58 pm

  15. Lovely photos, the tea party looks wonderful. What a great idea

    Comment by Jules — May 29, 2014 @ 8:35 pm

  16. oh wow, beautiful photos. Thank you so much! Um…deep fried alligator? No, I don’t think I could!!!!!

    Comment by Angela Verdenius — June 5, 2014 @ 12:52 pm

  17. Thank you, Angela, glad you like them! 🙂

    Comment by Christina Courtenay — June 6, 2014 @ 9:07 pm

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