I’d planned on this being a blog about my local Romance Writers of America chapter’s event-an 150 reader luncheon where authors and readers mingle, have fun, and eat good food. I assisted this year by making raffle baskets that are auctioned off to readers (and us authors buy our fair share of tickets too…).
It’s just a fun way of celebrating our mutual love of reading romance.
But this year we had some unexpected interruptions-the fire alarms went off during lunch! Now, this venue is upstairs (luckily only the first floor), but you may be aware that elevators are a no-no during fire events (and it was an actual fire-in the parking garage 2 buildings over, but all the hotel alarms were connected). And we had several ladies with walkers and wheelchairs-and just the sheer volume of 150 people plus staff.
That’s when I got to see authors and readers work together! Everyone made sure their tables emptied and I saw many authors chatting with readers as they made their way downstairs and out the nearest door. We had many in the audience who were nurses or caregivers who sprang into action to assist those who needed it in the gentlest way possible. Several staff members even carried a lady who was wheelchair-bound down the back stairs. We got everyone settled in the shade (it’s over 90 degrees in Alabama right now and it was midday). A nearby restaurant opened their patio and served water. When we were finally able to go back inside, our guest speaker Kristan Higgins went right on with her interrupted speech to make us laugh, cry, and appreciate our shared love of reading.
To me, that’s the romance community in action! Not only do we read stories about tragedy and triumph, but we support and encourage each other when the same happens close to home. What’s been your favorite experience with fellow romance readers or authors?