Hello, New Orleans! My Booklovers Con Agenda/Manifesto: Connecting with people who combine talent with hard work, discipline, ethics, and vision

On Tuesday, I’m getting on a plane to New Orleans and for the next six days, I will be in Romancelandia—the Disneyland for romance readers and writers that is the Booklovers Convention. This year’s BLCon is the first post-Katheryn Falk, post-Romantic Times iteration of the annual celebration of romance novels and the people who love them.

I have high hopes for this first BLCon, and not just because it’s in New Orleans—although, seriously, New Orleans! I finally get to go to New Orleans, and it’s for a book conference and I’m going as an invited author, and oh-my-god, yes!

I hope this first post-RT BLCon marks a new beginning, a reinvention, invigoration, transformation, not just for the conference but for the genre and for the publishing industry in general. We’re due for a shake-up, and I believe it’s coming in 2019-2021.

And I’m not talking about AI and China-Lit auto-typing a book in 20 minutes and flooding Kindle Unlimited and the e-readers of the undiscerning with robo-crap. I don’t like to panic—it takes too much energy that I prefer to send into my work and other, creative elements of my life. Besides, I’ve told you before—for all the ranting we do about the evils of Amazon (let’s not forget, Jeff Bezos went into books because they were flat, easy to store, and non-organic and thus would not rot in warehouses), it democratized literature more than anything since the printing press, and democracy and ACCESS to information and art—both for producers and consumers—is a good, good thing. As I’ve told you before—I will take storytelling democracy and an ocean of crap in which ALL the stories can float over books adjudicated by the literary one per cent for the pretentious 10 per cent.

I don’t know what this new game changer will be precisely, but game changers are good and stasis is bad. Really. And I think the survivors—in the publishing and creative industries—of this 2019-2021 game changer will be the creators who combine talent with hard work, discipline, ethics, and vision.

My personal agenda for BLCon19 is to meet as many of these talented, hard-working, disciplined, ethical, and visionary creators—and the people who value their work—as possible, and as such, the conversations I want to have at the conference centre around these themes:

With authors, publishers, and agents:

  • What are you most excited about for the coming two years?
  • How are you going to positively impact and change our industry?

With readers and bloggers:

  • What sort of work from authors are you most excited about?
  • Who are the authors you’re reading right now who make your heart sing and who you feel are making the world a better place?
    —-> Specifically, tell me, who are you reading who’s changed our life? Really, I’m setting the bar this high.
  • What do you want to see LESS of from your books and authors? (And I don’t mean tropes or plot lines here.)
  • How do you see yourself changing the industry? (Readers have the power here, and they’re only getting MORE power with each game changer. Never forget that: don’t accept what you’re given. DEMAND what you want.)

AGENDA!

I’m still finalizing my BLCon Agenda, but if you’re in New Orleans for the party, you will for sure see me at:

I’m not “working” any other events other than the Saturday Book Bash, but I’ll probably be at these events either as guest, fangirl, stalker or … awkward Canadian baby author trying not to drool on Sylvia Day’s shoes. You know. As myself.

(Also, can I tell you… I know it’s been three and a half years now since my first novel was published, and three more books and an assortment of anthologies and short stories have followed… but still, every time I see “published author” next to my name, I die a little French death, and life is so good.)

Wednesday, May 15

noon to 1 p.m. I’ll be at the Welcome Table in the Hyatt Lobby! Come say hi, and give me your phone number! Seriously. No one from my local crew is attending BLCon this year, so I need friends to eat lunch with.

6:30 p.m. At the JAZZ-FEST KICK OFF, where you will find me stalking Lexi Blake, fangirling over Tina DeSalvo (will she remember me?) and trying to look all cool and chill when I bump into accidentally-on-purpose into Christine Feehan.

I will try to stay awake until 9:30 p.m. to take in Cinema Craptastique, because Damon Suede is hilarious, and I want to thank Cherry Adair again for her help with All In The Cards and Fat Yoginis in Love at last year’s RT, but with the time change and what-not, no promises! I need to pace myself for the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday parties!

Thursday, May 16

10 a.m. I want to clone myself and go to the Author Chat with Christine Feehan, Charlaine Harris, and Karen Marie Morning (I’ve never met Karen Marie Morning before, so, you know, I want to) AND I want to attend the Positioned to Sell workshop by Sourcebooks’ Mary Altman (because Sourcebooks deep-dives into data in a really amazing way) AND also, I want to take in the Booksellers/Librarians/Authors meet-up, so I have no idea what I will do. Cloning technology. I need cloning tech NOW.

1:30 p.m. I’m going to crash the Money Makers and Time Savers: Tips & Tools for Blog Administration workshop by Sarah Wendell and Joyfully Jay, even though my blogs are labours of love rather than money making tools, because I think Sarah Wendell is brilliant, and… well, game changers. I’m looking for game changers and visionaries, and I think she’s one of them. And I’ve never met Joyfully Jay, so I’m looking forward to that as well.

3:30 p.m. I’m going to miss Around The World in 80 Minutes, although it features some authors I adore (including Pintip Dunn and Sienna Snow) because I want to take in the BookBub Q&A with Carlyn Robertson. Her presentation at RT last year was amazing, and everything I know about writing blurb copy I’ve learned from reading BookBub newsletter copy. So from a professional development point of view, I think this is going to be THE session to attend.

7:30 Faery and Fantasy Gathering Party and Dinner! Very excited for this. 🙂

Friday, May 17

8:30 a.m. If I drag myself out of bed early enough, I’ll be at Morning Start with Muffins, cause Lexi Blake, Tina DeSalvo and Rebecca Zanetti. Also, muffins.

10 a.m. I’m going to the Craft Pitfalls to Avoid in Submissions hosted by Dreamspinner Press’s Lynn West, because I think Dreamspinner is one of the smartest publishers out there right now. So even though I don’t write what they sell—I’m gonna go learn.

1:30 p.m. This is my big event—really, the only one I’m “working” at BLCon: The Left, Right or Slightly Left of Center Contemporary Signing Event! I’m looking forward to meeting some new-to-me authors:

and lots of new-to-me readers! I need to learn how to play the game still, but it looks like so much fun, and the organizers have kindly provided us all with this link https://www.wikihow.com/Play-LCR so I’ll totally know what to do by Friday.

And if I make it out of there alive:

3:30 p.m. Let’s Talk About Sex, with Laquette. This is an intro level class about writing sex scenes, but I really admire Laquette and I really want to meet her finally, and what better way than to go her sizzling workshop?

7:30 p.m. Heather Graham’s Voodoo Vampire Club! What a way to end the night. Really looking forward to this party too.

Saturday, May 18

10:30 a.m. Book Bash! I have books, candy, and prizes. And so do 200 other authors, LOL. Less crazy than the 500+ RT and RWA author signings, but I think it will be all the better for that.

3:30 p.m. If I have energy post the Book Bash Signings, I’m gonna take in Berkley/Penguin Presents: Geek Geek Revolution: Romance Edition, hosted by Damon Suede, because, well, he’s hilarious and an energizer bunny. Then I’m gonna veg for a while because…

8:30 p.m. Book Bash Dance Party (YES!)

Sunday, May 19

10 a.m. Brunch and Bubbly: I fly back to yyc that afternoon, but I should have just enough time to take in the farewell Brunch and Bubbly before I hop on to my airport shuttle.

Well, I’m kinda exhausted from just writing all that down.

At some point in there, I also want to leave the hotel and explore New Orleans a bit. Wish me luck.

And remember… when you bump into me… these are the conversations I want to have:

With authors, publishers, and agents:

  • What are you most excited about for the coming two years?
  • How are you going to positively impact and change our industry?

With readers and bloggers:

  • What sort of work from authors are you most excited about?
  • Who are the authors you’re reading right now who make your heart sing and who you feel are making the world a better place?
    —-> Specifically, tell me, who are you reading who’s changed our life? Really, I’m setting the bar this high.
  • What do you want to see LESS of from your books and authors? (And I don’t mean tropes or plot lines here.)
  • How do you see yourself changing the industry? (Readers have the power here, and they’re only getting MORE power with each game changer. Never forget that: don’t accept what you’re given. DEMAND what you want.)

Let’s change the world, kittens.

mjanecolette
TellMe@mjanecolette.com

WANT LOVE LETTERS?

 💕 SIGN UP FOR LOVE LETTERS & GET A FREE BOOK! 💕

HOT NEW RELEASE: TEXT ME, CUPID

 

About mjanecolette

Writer. Reader. Angster. Reformed Bohemian (not). Author of the erotic romance TELL ME, the erotic tragedy (with a happy ending) CONSEQUENCES (of defensive adultery), the award-winning rom-com (she's versatile) CHERRY PIE CURE, and the just released TEXT ME, CUPID--a (slightly dirty) love story for 21st century adults who don't believe in love... but want it anyway. A sought-after speaker and presenter, Colette is also the author of the non-fiction collection of essays ROUGH DRAFT CONFESSIONS: not a guide to writing and selling erotica and romance but full of inside inside anyway, and the curator of the fab YYC Queer Writers anthologies Queer Christmas in Cowtown and Screw Chocolate. Coming in 2019: Once Upon A Queer Summer Night's in Cowtown.

One comment

  1. Pingback: Community, synchronicity, gratitude and all the good things: from When Words Collide to Writing Better Fiction to finding your people | m jane colette

Tell me...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s