Wow… just… wow.
Can I just start this post out by saying how much I LOVE authors, and readers, of urban fantasty and paranormal romance. I would imagine other genres have amazing authors, too, but I choose to believe that my little bubble of peeps has the kindest, funniest, most enthusiastic, most imaginative bunch of souls. I saw evidence of that last weekend.
Let’s start this recap at the beginning, shall we?? Some of you know that Olde City, New Blood began as a response to my whining about not having enough cool author events in Florida. Mr. James R Tuck convinced me that I could, in fact, plan a mini-convention that featured local(ish) authors and get local(ish) readers to attend. He had so much more faith in my ability than I did, but I ran with it. Thank you, James, for planting that little seed and helping it grow.
A year later (almost to the day), I stood in a hotel event room in St. Augustine beach, with 46 authors and 140 readers asking ME where to go and what to do!!!!
Thanks, a lot, James, lol!!!!
This was easily the most insane, most stressful, most amazing thing I’d ever put together. It took, oh Lord, I have NO IDEA how many hours of planning. It took some help along the way from some really amazing people. Nancy Haddock was my “sidekick” for many of my excursions into St. Augustine. She lives there, and is familiar with the area and the people. She’s also a fantastic author, and had visited my book club in the past. Those of you who enjoyed the ghost tour through downtown have Nancy to thank for putting that all together. (Her series’ main character is a vampire, and a St. Augustine tour guide, lol… you GOTTA read those books!!) My sister Dolorianne (photographer, blogger, support system) was my sounding board and *is this nuts?* monitor along the way. She was crazy busy with her own life, but managed to find time to help me when I needed it most. I absolutely couldn’t have pulled this off without her. She makes my heart smile.
There were so many other people who helped make Olde City, New Blood happen. My aunt and uncle took on shipping and receiving, and helped fill envelopes and lanyards. The other girls in my book club helped with prep (stuffing bags, folding t-shirts, loading and unloading the trailer)…
Then they, along with some really awesome book bloggers, moderated panels, fielded questions, and generally did an incredible job of keeping things running relatively smoothly during the weekend.
The authors pitched in, too. (Remember, I said before that my peeps were the best!) Authors who came in early on Friday were helping stuff last minute goodies into swag bags, moving chairs & tables, and hanging signage. Someone even brought me Dr. Pepper when I desperately needed it, and for that, I will be eternally grateful, lol.
Once the event “officially” started, things went kind of in a blur for me. Lots of questions to answers, mixed up ghost tour issues to handle, where’s this panel, where’s that reading. So many things went off without a hitch, but of course, there were things that needed tweaking. I really appreciate EVERYONE who had the patience to let this newbie planner fix their issues without freaking out on me. And I’m glad that, in most cases, the issues were small and fairly easily fixed.
I didn’t get to attend many panels (actually, only three, and that’s because I was involved in them!!), but I heard that most went well. Interestingly, the ones I thought were kind of “iffy” ended up being the ones that generated the most buzz!! The Bad Movie Tweet Up was a blast, and people were re-tweeting the comments for days. The dating game got off to a rough start, but ended up hilarious. And the Flash Fiction panel, I heard, was an absolute riot!! I can’t wait for SOMEONE to post a video or a transcript of that one!! (The other panel I did was on starting a book club/book blog. Dianna Love attended that and was very kind. Thanks, Dianna.)
I really love that people got so involved in their panels, readings, and meet & greets. What I imagined as simple chat time, Hilde McQueen, Laura Kaye, and Rosalie Lario turned into a full blown party (complete with decorations, candy, and Pina Coladas!!). Word of Lexi George’s hysterical reading spread quickly, I wish I had been able to see that! And there was other impromptu awesome spread throughout the weekend.
If you attended… authors – you have a feedback form in your inbox – I would love to hear your thoughts on some of the details… and readers – there is a feedback form on the registration page of this website (easy link here) – please let me know what you thought as well. If I’m gonna do this again, I want to fix the things that went wrong, and keep the things that went right. I need to hear from YOU to make that happen.
This was year one of Olde City, New Blood. I absolutely WANT to do it again next year. (Insane, I know, but remember… WOW!) The issue is… can I find a place to hold the event that doesn’t give people the heebie-jeebies, for a reasonable price, and make it at least as fun as this year’s event. I’m working on some ideas now, and plan to make a decision by the end of this month. If we are gonna do this, I know people need to make plans. I’m keeping my fingers crossed I can make it happen.
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! To all the authors, sponsors, and readers who were a part of this. I really cannot possibly thank you enough. I hope you had as much fun as I did!!
I didn’t take many pictures (all those awesome authors, and I have very little proof I was there, lol!!), but the few I have, and a few my uncle took for me, are below (click to enlarge). I’m also including some links to other recaps of the weekend. Many include their own stories, and many include other pictures. I hope you take a few minutes to check them out.
Nice Welcome 🙂 (Fort picture was from an earlier visit with Alyssa Day)
Selling books ahead of the signing, hoping to ease the rush.
Damon Suede, Adam Kunz and Sarah M Ross, so much fun!
Mardi Gras party!!
about halfway through the signing
Me & my Amy (Lane). Yes, she’s mine!! (ok, maybe not, but she makes me smile)
Beautiful kites flying on the beach as things were winding down on Sunday afternoon.
I’ll add links as I find them… some have really great pictures to share!! If you have a recap, I’d love to include it here!!
OldeCity, New Blood was mentioned in these publications!!!
Book Trailer & Showcase magazine… March issue… pages 44-45 http://issuu.com/btsemag/docs/march_emag_2013/1
Huffington Post… Feature on NYT Bestseller Laura Kaye… (ok, it’s a tiny mention in the slideshow, but I love that they called us an “unconventional convention”) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/10/mom-becomes-bestselling-author-after-head-injury-marlo-thomas-it-aint-over_n_3008310.html?utm_hp_ref=marlothomas&ir=Marlo+Thomas
You did an amazing job! I loved attending this event. It was my first book convention and if you are doing another one next year, I’ll definitely attending again. =)
Jennifer, it was so much fun! Thanks so much for letting me be part of it.
Jennifer, you did an amazing job I am so glad I went, feel to blessed to be part of the first Olde City New Blood, because there will be more right? It was a total blast! Thank you for inviting me!!!
Thanks for a great event, Jennifer! The whole team went above and beyond the call of duty to turn out a memorable con. I’m looking forward to next year.
I posted a few pix on my blog. Here’s the direct link:
Thank you so much for such an amazing time, Jennifer! I had a blast, and I am so totally there next year!
I also posted a sunset shot taken over the hotel on Friday night. Some folks might like it for wallpaper.