Posts Tagged ‘Kate Johnson’

The RNA at Blists Hill Victorian Town

Jenny Barden and Janet Gover at Wellington Library

I have just returned from the RNA conference, which was held at Newport near Telford this year, and I’ve had a lovely time!  The weekend began with a series of reader events, first at Wellington Library where many of our authors took part in talks and activities, and then at Blists Hill Victorian Town in Ironbridge Gorge where we put on a ‘Meet-the-Author’ and book signing/selling event.  And what a fab time we had!

There were authors of historical romance, Regency romance, sagas, steampunk and alternative history, and the displays were as diverse as they were wonderful!  Visitors to the Goods Shed (where the event was being held courtesy of the lovely team at Blists Hill) could come and look at exquisite Regency fans and prints, medical instruments from the 1940’s, a model of the Roman Coliseum, Titanic and suffragettee memorabilia, Elizabethan musket balls, Georgian scents and alternative history books of the UK.  Our authors had gone to great lengths to make it all as authentic as possible, which was much appreciated.

Many of us had dressed up in costume and I loved every one of them – see photos below – although I have to say that my favourites were the steampunk ones.  But everyone looked just right for their chosen period and the attention to detail was brilliant!  I really enjoyed the day and I hope all the visitors did too.  A huge thank you to Blists Hill for hosting us!

Carol McGrath as a 12th century lady

Freda Lightfoot in her lovely outfit

Suffragette Juliet Greenwoood

Kate Johnson in her gorgeous steampunk outfit

The seriously cool Liesel Schwarz

The lovely Mary Nichols

Regency ladies Romy Gemmell and Annie Burrows

Regency authors Nicola Cornick and Anne Stenhouse

Nurse Jean Fullerton in very authentic costume

Alison Morton and the Roman Coliseum

A buzzing Goods Shed

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?