Romantic Times Conference Chicago!

Note: Rox had internet issues today so I’m posting her blog for her – we apologize for the delay!


Kylie Brant, Cindy Gerard, my daughter Emily and I just got home Sunday night after a fun and memorable convention experience at the RT Book Reviews Magazine’s annual convention in Chicago, and I’ve just got to share!


I heard there were 1,500 readers, authors, and aspiring authors at the convention, along with many agents and editors. RTP1060018 The event has sure grown since the last time I was able to attend.


The hotel was beautiful and there were nonstop events to choose from—-dozens of workshops, many events at which readers could mingle with their favorite authors, parties every night, and a huge book signing.

RT P1060017

There was an awards ceremony as well–and riders from this blog came away with several: Michele Hauf won the 2011 Reviewers Choice Award for her Harlequin Nocture, Fallen, and I was fortunate enough to win one for my Love Inspired Suspense, Murder at Granite Falls. But Cindy Gerard received greater recognition with a beautiful trophy for being a Pioneer of Genre Fiction. Way to go, Cindy!

Regional and national conferences are a great way for writers to stay connected with each other. Armed with a smart phone with an ap for a handy restaurant review guide, plus we found wonderful places to eat. At Bob Chin’s, (a recommendation from Cindy’s trusty Tropical Fish Man)  a group of us


met for a wonderful dinner including the best crab legs ever, and a charming Asian waitress who proved to be a devoted romance reader. Do you recognize any of the writers in the group photo? Starting in the back: Gennita Low, me, Kylie Brant, and my daughter Emily. Front row: Sylvia Day(RWA President elect), Cindy Gerard, and Karen Tabke.

RTP1060070 You just can’t go to Chicago without heading into the city, so we braved the Blue Line train and explored—lots of walking, more eating, and a river architectural tour.


This hotel RTP1060067  was built on land composed solely of landfill from the Great Chicago Fire.

If the convention sounds interesting, you can mark your calendar for 2013! The convention will be in the Sheraton Crown Center (formerly Hyatt Crown Center) in St. Louis. Dates are May 1st-May 5th, 2013.

Sooo….have you ever been to a writers or readers conference? Book signing events? What were the best ones you can remember?


About cindygerard

Cindy Gerard is a New York Times best-selling author of action packed romantic suspense novels. Learn more about Cindy at
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7 Responses to Romantic Times Conference Chicago!

  1. Leanne says:

    Oh, wow, Rox! It looks like all of you had a GREAT time! Thanks for sharing the pics. And HUGE CONGRATS ON YOUR AWARD! YAYAYAY!:)

  2. Congratulations to our winning Riders! Rider writers rock.
    I used to attend RWA annually without fail. Enjoyed many an RT confab as well and lots of wonderful chapter conferences. I miss those days. The best part is seeing friends.

  3. Kylie Brant says:

    Kathy’s right, friends are the best part of any conference and we never fail to have a fabulous time when Rox, Emily, Cindy and I room together. I remember my very first conference. It was NYC in 1993 and my first book was coming out. I didn’t know anyone so my husband came along. But it was a solitary and sort of lonely experience being in that mob of people and not knowing a soul. Sooo much more fun these days, creating crazy memories to hold dear forever. Oh, and going to a few workshops, too 🙂

  4. Back online. Thanks so much, Cindy, for putting my post up! I so loved this convention—it was fun to see the evolution of the programming from waaaaay back when Lois and I were roomies back at one of the long-ago Houston RT conventions–that was my first RT. The hotel was perfect, the workshop line up was great, and this year RT chose to moe away from the cover model contest, which I think was a wise move. It gave the convention a more professional atmosphere to the media, I think. Still, there was a fun party atmosphere for the readers each evening. Hats off to Kathryn Falk, Carol Stacy, Jo Carrol, and Patricia Simmons (and probably too many RT team members to count!) for doing such a great job!

  5. lindina2 says:

    I so glad the RT was a huge, fun experience. St. Louis is a LOT smaller than St. Louis – and a lot cheaper, so maybe I can come next year. Cherry Adair paid for 2 or 3 rooms (shared) for her group of readers, and I retired from AA, so I could have gone. I dearly love you all, but I took Cindy’s book (which I just bought full price but had aleady read, damn it!) and Suz Brockmann’s Afterglow with me to Los Angeles (along with my 23-1/2 mo grandson by myself and never again) for the Castle wrap party. I have pix of me with Nathan Fillion, Det. Ryan and the super-hot Aussie who recently guested. Not sure any are as hot as last year’s Gilles Marini. I grew up in St. Louis.
    It’s a fun city that I couldn’t wait to get away from. I go to Puerto Vallarta every May, but I’d love to do an RT just once! The baby slept 2 min on the way and not at all on the way home. Maybe I’ll go with him again when he’s 5.

  6. cindygerard says:

    Had a blast! If any of you ever decide you want to go to a conference, you can’t go wrong with RT and RomCon is a lot of fun too. Both are Fan generated events set up for authors and fans to mingle. It’s a lot of fun.
    As usual, great times with my roomies Rox and Kylie and Emily :o)

  7. librarypat says:

    I was set to go when it was scheduled for Nashville. Had reservations and everything. Then it flooded and got changed to Florida. We had just returned from Orlando the week before and I couldn’t go back. Maybe it will be close by again.
    Looks like you had a good time.

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