It's the last day of the conference and I decided to go by myself because I wanted to go to two signings and my friend on the first day didn't warm up to the idea. Thankfully, I didn't mind going by myself, and if you knew me, you'd know that was such a big step. I dislike crowds and being in public to begin with, but there was something about this conference that really just gave me the courage to go. Besides, I would be networking. When I came to functions as part of work, I usually don't feel as scared.
Anyway, I was about 20 minutes late to the first signing and I'd missed the books, but I was glad to still meet the authors that were still there. I got a lot of free downloads and lovely chats with authors who wrote for LoveSwept. Such sweet people as well!
I was not able to get any photos, but it was a great time! After I left the signing, I made my way to Starbucks to get my Grande Decaf Soy Mocha Frappuccino. I was a bit disappointed when they didn't want to give me my free drink, but what really threw me over was when I got my receipt and it said the drink was almost $8! Well damn. Anyway, I didn't let that dampen my day as I went to search for a comfortable chair to settle and read my current review book.
I didn't end up reading, but scrolling through Twitter instead. That's when I found Alisha Rai's tweet saying she was outside one of the ballrooms still giving away books. I tweeted saying there was a crowd and I was afraid (lol, of course). She said to come over and wave and she'd pull me through. Again, I don't know where the scared Arianne was, because I went searching for Alisha and when I found her, she did pull me through (figuratively) into the group. I ended up taking home one of her books and I can't wait to read it!
After meeting Alisha, I went back to Starbucks because I was to meet another author for lunch. First of all, how cool was that?! I just got there, and apparently, right behind me was my date -- Robin Bielman! We had an hour with each other and she treated me to lunch while I talked her ear off. She also gave me one of her books and one of Kate Willoughby's books. I was over-the-moon excited and happy for the gesture. Honestly, it was a bit surreal to be having lunch with an author I love. I mean, could this conference be any crazier!
Apparently, it could. After my lunch with Robin, I went to the Sourcebooks signing and for once, I was on time, but I wasn't the first 40 people so I missed out on a tote bag, but that's okay. I didn't miss out on the books! Oh my gosh, just look at the first photo in this post. It was insane how many books I picked up! I can't wait to read them all and write about them here.
I also met Mia Hopkins who was hanging around the signing. What a sweet woman! We had a short chat and she gave me some advice about the industry. I love how helpful her information was. Very thankful for that!
When I felt a bit overwhelmed and tired, I stepped out and texted Pam again. She found me and we walked together for a little bit, then we sat down to chat. Sometime during our chat, Cindy Sample walked by and Pam introduced me. She ended taking a stack of my business cards to give to her colleagues. Oh my gosh, mind blown again! After that, I went back to meet a couple more authors in the Sourcebooks signing, and then I decided to head home.
Overall, attending the RWA conference was the best decision I've made and I couldn't even express to you how happy it made me. I hadn't been this happy in a while and this conference made me feel alive! *insert the biggest grin here*
Anyway, if you haven't seen it yet, check out my vlog about the event, and there you can see just how smiley I got!