The Authors After Dark conference in Philly was absolutely amazing! I had so much fun with the usual crew - Brynn Paulin, Jen Armintrout, Mia Watts, Simone Anderson, Carol Lynne and the lovely Jill Welch. We all caravaned to Philadelphia from Michigan. It was a looonnnnnngggg drive - 13 hours one way, but we had fun listening to books on tape. But more on that, later.
I finally got to meet my friends Jess Jarman and Gwendolyn Cease! We've been internet and phone buds for years, but this was the first time I got to meet them in person and it was fantastic - as was Gwen's delightful sister, Jude.
Stella Price was jaw-droppingly amazing as always. I have no idea how this woman does what she does as stays sane. I adore her. I can't imagine not attending this conference. It's, by far, my fave!
So Brynn, Jen, Mia, Jess, Gwen and I decided to host a party and give away an iPad 2 along with 12 e-books to one lucky reader. It turned out to be a hilarious karaoke party. It was total madness that turned into a sing-a-long with a guest dancer/party crasher from an MBA conference - we were clearly having more fun at our con than he was at his.
We sang. Our guests sang. Carol Lynne requested that the hostesses sing Kung-Fu Fighting. (Because she's pure evil.) It isn't everyday you can make an ass out of yourself in front of a room full of readers, fellow authors and your bosses. But yeah. We did it. I didn't think I'd say this, but I'd totally do it again. As long as Jen MCs - she was nothing short of brilliant.
The panels were fun. I was a little nervous about answering questions, but I think I did okay. I hope so, anyway.
One of my favorite parts was meeting authors I've been chatting with like Eliza Gayle and Elise Hepner. And also new to me authors like Ethan Day, Kris Cook, Crymsyn Hart and Melissa Schroeder.
I also got to see lots of awesome blogger and readers which is always a blast. There's something magical about being around other people who love books as much as you do.
I didn't get to see as much of the city as I would have liked, but I loved what I saw.
One of the best things happened on the way home. Brynn bought some audio books to listen to. I won't name names, but one of them couldn't decide if it wanted to be a sweet romance, an erotic romance or a nursing home book. The writing was horrid, not to mention cliche. But we had a riot laughing at the story and acting out passages. It was several hours well spent!
All in all, it was a fabulous conference and I can't wait until next year!