What can I say? We had so much fun the first time, we just had to do it again. To be honest, I don’t see us skipping this one anytime soon. Taira Wilds does an incredible job keeping things fun and organized that we never have to worry about what’s going on or whether it will happen or not. One of the reasons I enjoy Book Obsessed Babes is because it’s laid back and relaxed. You’re not hustling everywhere and the schedule is not so crammed that you worry about getting it all in before collapsing each night. The girls and I enjoy those little down times in-between events to regroup, breathe, or just do a lazy quick change of outfits. Taira’s is the perfect event for that.
We arrived Friday around noon with a room that was already prepared for us, so we could check in and unpack as soon as we got there. Then it was over to the Landings to meet with some of the ladies attending the event along with us for lunch and an adult beverage. It was a great time of stories, memories of last year, and the shared expectations of what was to come. We were ready.
After an ussie––our word for a selfie with more than one person––with the water as the background, it was back to the room for the first quick change of the day and getting ready for the Meet and Greet by the pool. This is always one of our favorite times as we meet new friends and catch up with those friends we made last year. It’s a gathering to help break the ice and make introductions. Huddled around tables with drinks in hand and hors d’oeuvres in front of us, everyone shared stories, took pictures, and became reacquainted with each other. The weather was great, not too windy and definitely not as cold as it was last year. It’s a relaxing environment that helps open doors for further connection.
Of course, like last year, once the party ended upstairs, everyone found their way to the hotel bar, where the bartender remembered us as it turned out. We gathered around tables, piled the chairs together, and kept the laughter going. Of course, most of us couldn’t remained seated and wandered from table to table or cluster of people to new cluster. These are the times I enjoy the most at these events, the informal gathering of people with like interests and goals, sharing stories, but also helping each other with what’s worked for them and what hasn’t. And this is the real benefit to these events––networking with others and learning some of the tricks of the trade. So many think it’s about selling books, but that’s only a bonus if it happens. The takeaway from any author event is the relationships you make, the connections you can carry away with you that will help you in the days, months, and years ahead of you. Treasure those and don’t discount them.
Saturday morning there was a Fangirl Brunch where readers could have breakfast with the authors and everyone could continue the mingling from the night before. The food was good and the company great. Yet, there was still much to do. We had set our table up the night before, so that part was done, but we had some last minute preparations before the signing.
At one o’clock the doors opened and the readers rushed in to a room full of around fifty authors, eager to shake hands, sign books, and take pictures. I always enjoy this part, not for the chance to sell books, but for the opportunity to meet people who have or had not heard of my books. The girls were an awesome help as readers came by the table, interacting with those who were waiting for me to finish up with someone else. They collected swag that we are giving away as well as books from other authors. I would not be able to accomplish half of what I do without these three ladies. I am luckier than most to have such people in my life.
And the readers were awesome! We met the winners of the giveaway basket that we donated to BOBase, which was great. We also met Shannon Fowler who won our newsletter giveaway. What a great time to see the excitement on these ladies’ faces. We met some other fantastic people as we passed out swag, signed books, and made some sales. We even had some who purchased the books online as they stood in front of us, preferring digital over paperbacks. It always amazes me when I see how much the readers love these events as they show up with suitcases or totes full of books to be signed or waiting to be filled with new purchases. It keeps the writers pumped up, ready to get back to their keyboards to produce more stories.
There was a short break between the book signing and the farewell gathering. After another quick change, the girls and I hit the hotel bar for an appetizer and another adult beverage to take the edge off the hunger and just relax. From there, we called for an Uber––our first time doing it, by the way––and headed to Hamburger Mary’s for dinner and our first Drag Queen show. There was between 50 and 60 authors and readers who joined in the fun and “fun” is a weak word for what we had that night. Music, food, drinks, and the entertainment was a blast. While it wasn’t what I was expecting––truth is, I didn’t know what to expect––it was a lot of fun and I laughed watching some of the antics between performers and those around me, especially Doug, but you can ask him about that.
After another Uber ride home, the girls and I went to the Landings to have a drink by the water, where we recapped all of the exciting things that happened over the last two days and started brainstorming what we needed to do next. A text came through asking where we were and so we made our way to the hotel bar again for some more mingling and laughter. It’s a great plus to these events that everyone loves being around everyone else and the party never really ends.
Yet, for this man about to turn fifty, it had to end and grudgingly the girls and I returned to our room and the beds that awaited us. The next morning saw us lazily getting packed and taking our time getting out of there. We never really want the events to end and would prefer to linger in the afterglow of everything that transpired. If you’ve never been to an author event, then I highly suggest you make the time to attend, even if it’s just the book signing aspect. Everyone has a great time and you learn so much that it’s almost hard to take it all in without losing something. Luckily for me the girls take great notes. We’re looking forward to next year’s event and hope to see you there. Taira, thanks again for another awesome job. Well done!
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Until then, keep chasing your fantasies!