Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Lowdown on Romance Slam Jam 2012

Hi, ya'll,
I've been back from Little Rock for about three days now, and I'm finally coming out of my exhausted, jet lag induced fog. So, I figured it would be the perfect time to tell you about this year's RSJ conference.
Romance in the Rock was a spectacular event. Hosted by the Sistahs of Color Reading Group and author Laura Parker Castoro, RSJ 2012 will go down in the history annals as one of the best. Fantastic workshops, great food, great service from the book club and the hotel staff- this was truly a phenomenal event. On top of that, there was the wonderful sense of camaraderie I've felt at every Slam I've attended. When die hard readers and authors get together to talk about the books they love, the good vibes really get to flowing!
There were workshops on various topics, from e-publishing and self-publishing, to book clubs, to social media, and more. There was truly something for everyone in attendance. I myself facilitated a panel on the use of pen names, along with Celeste O. Norfleet, Shelia Goss, and Altonya Washington.
Rubbing elbows with your favorite authors in a casual, friendly setting is part of the magic of Slam. Everyone who knows me will tell you I am a total fan-girl for Beverly Jenkins. Over the course of three Slams of following her around (wink, wink) I have become good friends with my idol. She has mentored me and pushed me when I needed it, and being able to see her at Slam is always one of the best parts of it for me. And it's not just Beverly. Farrah Rochon, Gwyneth Bolton, Wayne Jordan, Evelyn Palfrey, Monique Lamont, Denise Jeffries, Iris Bolling,... the list of down to earth, helpful authors I've met at Slam goes on and on.
Then there are the readers. I get such a confidence boost from being at Slam. When you live in sweatpants and spend your days cleaning up spilled milk, refereeing pint sized wrestling matches, and doing endless loads of laundry, you get a really big kick out of being asked for your autograph. Meeting awesome readers like Christian Hines, Erica George, Donnie Robinson, and Judy Jordan keeps me motivated to write. (Well, that and Beverly giving me the side eye and saying, "Eboni, no quitting. I need a vacation.")
There are so many great pictures I took, they wont all fit here. If you find me on Facebook, you can see them. I also took some pictures of Little Rock landmarks, like the statues of the Little Rock Nine, LR Central High School, and the Harriet Tubman statue. And, I was pretty giddy to get a photo of the house used for the exterior shots of Sugarbaker Design Firm in the 80's TV show Designing Women. Yep, that was my geek moment.
I'm so excited already about next year, when the Lovely Ladies Book Club invites us to "Melt in Milwaukee." Hope to see some new faces there!

Until Next time,

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