I spent most of last week following the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention [#RT16] activities via Twitter and Facebook.
Did I regret not going? YES!
Did I follow Tweets and FB posts avidly? You betcha.
Did I pout a bit? Well...maybe.
Truth is, without new material out yet this year, it just didn't make financial sense for me to attend this reader-centered convention. So even though I greatly missed the atmosphere of high energy and excitement, seeing peers and colleagues, and experiencing RT Vegas Style, I had to settle for the virtual experience.
That said, I should note that Spacefreighter Donna S. Frelick was actually THERE--Live! in Las Vegas!--but this will in no way steal her thunder on the up close and personal magic that was #RT16. I'm sure she'll be here on Friday to spill all the pretty beans, so be sure to stop back! (Psst! I think Donna may even have the scoop on Linnea Sinclair's big SFR-centric Intergalactic Bar and Grille event!)
So...watching the "signals" bounced out of the event on social media provided me with some feedback on trends and who and what were the hot topics this year. I thought I'd share a few of my insights.
Here's what I gleaned from the digital coverage (some serious but mostly tongue-in-cheek).
The TOP FIVE #RT16 Trends in Social Media
#1. Nalini Singh was absolutely everywhere! She popped up in countless Twitter pics and seemed to be two and sometimes three places at once!
Here’s the whole world of @NaliniSingh from a very short persons perspective #RT16 pic.twitter.com/Y59XlcMCq4— Veronica Scott (@vscotttheauthor) April 13, 2016
Falling into @NaliniSingh With Nalini and @SarahHegger She is such a super star! pic.twitter.com/TKdebd6cHl— Sabine Priestley (@SabinePriestley) April 13, 2016
Bagels breakfast w/ @NaliniSingh @ChristinaLauren @SabrinaJeffries at #RT16 I'm the one with coffee. #priorities pic.twitter.com/MhZfD5kTwf— Jaci Burton (@jaciburton) April 14, 2016
Things that happen at #RT16: Your clothes spontaneously coordinate with @NepheleTempest @Meljean and @NaliniSingh pic.twitter.com/DIj1v5Uucd— Susanna Kearsley (@SusannaKearsley) April 16, 2016
Finally met the fabulous @NaliniSingh in Club RT at Jeweled Legacy! Nalini, I hope you bought that red necklace. ; ) pic.twitter.com/hj4qGCk8g8— Lisa Shearin (@LisaShearin) April 15, 2016
One of my all-time faves, @nalinisingh! Love her as much as I love her books! #rt16 pic.twitter.com/2cJ44P17hj— Sylvia Day • Author (@SylDay) April 17, 2016
.@NaliniSingh ROCK HARD. Winner, Indie Contemp Romance. 🍾🎉 #RTAWARDS #RT16 pic.twitter.com/TmTYnt1WdN— WOCInRomance (@WOCInRomance) April 16, 2016
How did she do it? Okay, I had a hypothesis.
#RT16 (from afar) While cruising the Twitter feed, @NaliniSingh is popping up everywhere. Did someone clone her?— Laurie A. Green (@SFRLaurie) April 14, 2016
She promptly corrected me. LOL
#2. Diversity was the focus
LGBT panels were hot commodities this year, and probably the most tweeted overall theme. Not marginalizing ethnic groups with stereotypical or flat characters was also buzzing. Another was body image and body diversity. We don't all look like runway models. Maybe our characters shouldn't either?
@MKSchiller @AlizaMannAuthor @isabelledrake Thanks for a great #RT16 panel on diversity! You gave me courage to write the book of my heart!— Michelle Hazen (@michellehazen) April 15, 2016
Dynamic authors in Diversity in New Adult panel at #rt16 #Vegas @wanderwheel https://t.co/egPYuyaqL4 pic.twitter.com/OIBkvJMp4R— Amy Plum (@AmyPlumOhLaLa) April 13, 2016
Also...dude I lost count of how many rainbow flags I saw flying at #RT16 book fair. How excellent is that!— Cherie Nicholls (@CherieNicholls) April 16, 2016
Inclusive Historical Romance panel #RT16@GenTurner5 @AlyssaColeLit @LenaHartWrites @courtneymilan @suleikhasnyder pic.twitter.com/oJO6qTPNdK— Rebekah Weatherspoon (@rebekahwsm) April 13, 2016
.@AlishaRai talking about mistaken marketing idea that diverse romance needs to be marketed to specific audience instead of everyone. #RT16— Alyssa Cole (@AlyssaColeLit) April 15, 2016
#3. Who is Christopher Rice and why haven't I heard of him before?
My 2 crushes on the same panel. I may not survive! #RT16 (@chrisricewriter @KristenAshley68) pic.twitter.com/YNnXWl4khR— Susan Lee (@SusanNYLee) April 14, 2016
The face you make when u find out ABC News is covering the @RT_Convention and the cover model contest your hosting pic.twitter.com/iSG9m15IHA— Christopher Rice (@chrisricewriter) April 10, 2016
A great time was had by all, but the audience was the star! #RT16Swoon #RT16 pic.twitter.com/v2KsMzlQRf— Christopher Rice (@chrisricewriter) April 13, 2016
Clearly, I wasn't paying attention!
(For starters, he has SIX NY Times best sellers....aaaand his mom is Anne Rice!)
#4. Cherry Adair's many-faceted shoes were a megahit.
Am leaving this morning. Had so much fun! I think @CherryAdair's fb. shoes sums up the glam and fun #RT16! pic.twitter.com/EAZHBo6F3I— Asa Maria Bradley (@AsaMariaBradley) April 17, 2016
If you've been wondering what amazingness #romance authors wear, check out @CherryAdair's killer heels at #RT16 pic.twitter.com/ELieOBavkR— Gallery Books (@GalleryBooks) April 13, 2016
Da shoes! Da shoes!
#5. The HashHouse served enormous pancakes and other dishes that featured miniature tree look-alikes.
Things that only happen at #RT16: At breakfast with @ElizBoyle the pancakes are so big they have their own time zone pic.twitter.com/DkRZTnCUlo— Susanna Kearsley (@SusannaKearsley) April 16, 2016
Hash House a Go Go. Round 2. Fight!— Travis Bach (@TravBach) April 14, 2016
(This time we are splitting one of these monsters) #RT16 @Rachel_Aaron pic.twitter.com/OtDVdLmj9t
(WTH Hash House a Go Go? Is this how you brand? LOL)
So there's my take. Anyone else have a #RT16 trend or quirky tale they'd like to share in comments?
Have a great week!