Today we’re talking with RomCon® founder Michele Callahan about the upcoming fan convention for romance readers. We asked a few questions to find out what’s new this year.
Q: What is RomCon? And when?
A: RomCon is JUNE 20-22 in DENVER. It’s a fun weekend for romance readers, authors, and fans. Unlike other huge conferences, we are small and personal. Fans sit at a table and play a game with their favorite authors, or meet some new ones. We laugh a lot and get crazy. We have shows, games and intimate chats. You won’t get this much real face-time with the authors at any other convention or conference – anywhere.
Q: What kind of romance is represented at RomCon®?
A: We keep everything balanced as much as possible. We try to schedule an equal number of events in the main genres of romance – Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal/Sci-Fi, Erotic, and Romantic Suspense. If you look, you’ll see a pretty equal mix of events in each genre. We felt it was important to represent all of them. Most readers don’t just read one kind of book. I know I don’t. And this is a convention all about authors building relationships with readers. Readers read a lot of different stuff.
Q: If I were a first time RomCon® attendee, what would you say are the absolute musts?
A: You need to get into an intimate chat. There is nothing like sitting in a small, quiet room with a group of like-minded people and having an author you adore at your mercy for an hour. My first year, I sat in with Christine Feehan and got some insider scoop on her Dark series. I’ll never forget it. And a total bonus? She was awesome. Nice. Funny. A normal person. I adore her more now, after I met her. I’ll buy her books until she stops writing.
Q: So, if I decided to attend, last minute, what’s the last day to sign up?
A: You can register until Friday, June 14. Don’t wait! The convention is June 20-22 this year.
Q: I heard that RomCon® was starting a new program this year, for aspiring authors? Can you tell us about it?
A: Yes. With the rise in Indie publishing, we have been scrambling for answers and resources ourselves. We decided to run a special 2 day course for people who are interested in honing their craft, but especially in taking the leap into self-publishing. RomCon® University has 15 classes designed to get anyone ready to self-publish. We found all the answers we needed ourselves and put it into a comprehensive program. It’s less than the half-price of the other writing cons, including the one here in Denver. Totally worth it if you are an author who wants to take control of your own destiny.
Q: What kind of authors come to RomCon?
A: We have a fair mix of traditionally published authors and Indie or self-publsihed. At RomCon® they are all treated the same. No separate rooms for the signing, or other things like that. We know that readers are loyal to the authors and the stories, not the company imprint on the book’s spine. I think the rest of the publishing world is also coming to this realization, if a bit slowly.
Q: Michele, what are you most looking forward to this year?
A: I am actually the event chair for a fun game we’re calling “Hot Heroes From Other Worlds.” We ‘re going to play a Headbandz® style game where we are all a hot hero, be it an alien, vampire, trans-dimensional being, etc…a non-Earthling. We are going to have a blast trying to figure out who we are, and we’re going to look ridiculous with cards on our foreheads. It’s going to be fun. I love feeling like a kid again. RomCon® gives me the perfect excuse.
Q: What are you hearing from past attendees? What was their favorite thing, or what are they looking forward to?
A: We found a local improve comedy troupe called Stick Horses In Pants. They do a family friendly show that they modify for us. Nothing is off limits, and it got a bit wild last year as the readers and authors yelled out suggestions for them. I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe and my face hurt for hours afterward. They’re coming back this year, and I can’t wait to see what kind of hilarity ensues.
Q: Thanks for sharing with us. Anything else you want to share?
A: Yes. Thank you! I am excited to say the you will be able to meet over 90 exciting romance authors at RomCon® this year, including 2 of the authors in the Alphas Unleashed anthology coming out next weekend. S.E. Smith and Mina Khan are joining me at RomCon®. It’s going to be a ton of fun, so I hope you all can make it.