I admit it, I love going to conferences. I love the chance to get away from home, and laundry, for a few days and hang out with a big group of people who are all pumped up to get motivated and recharged and who share a commitment to a common field of endeavor. Since my kids arrived on the scene almost exactly a decade ago, I don’t travel for work nearly as much as I used to, but I still make it a point to attend a couple of meetings a year, for the inspiration and connection they yield.
But as a new blogger with no other connection to “the industry” the idea of attending a literary conference is still just a pipe dream. Sort of like my daughters’ active fantasy that when they turn 11 they will receive letters from Professor McGonagle with instructions for Hogwarts matriculation. Or perhaps just slightly more within the realm of possibility – that I will eventually break down about Disney and take them to Orlando for Harry Potter World. It could happen, and we really want it to happen, but no one’s holding her breath. Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure my fantasy book convention trip probably gets more and more wondrous, in my mind, in direct proportion to how much the daily grind of single mom-hood is getting to me in any given week.
But just when I was thinking how I’ll probably never have time to go to a big book convention, due to minor obstacles such as my job and my children, I heard about Armchair BEA — an online version of Book Expo America, which is happening this week in NYC. For bloggers who don’t attend, Armchair BEA is the next best thing; a way to get connected, without leaving home.
Here are my answers to 5 of the Introduce Yourself post questions:
1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
I’ve been blogging here @ Badass Romance for about two months. I do feel as though I’ve arrived rather late to blogging and I’ve also been forcing myself up a pretty steep learning curve with tweeting (which is how I heard about Armchair BEA). I started talking about books online in fan forums back in 2004-2005 when my daughters were babies and I was pretty much trapped at home all the time. I didn’t have time or energy to be in a real life book group, but found a wonderful community of readers to engage with online. Now the girls are about to turn 10, they’re more independent, and I have some scraps of time back. I have been kicking around the blog idea with my friends (both IRL and online) for about a year, and finally decided to jump in with it. We’ll see how it goes — so far, it’s been a lot of fun. The only downside is that the more time I spend reading posts, tweeting, and talking with other book bloggers and authors, the faster the TBR stack grows. I’m starting to accept that it will always be full, and full of promise.
2. Where in the world are you blogging from? Tell a random fact or something special about your current location. Feel free to share pictures.
I’m in New England, near Boston. Revolutionary history is one of my other passions. We love celebrating Patriots Day by attending re-enactments in Lexington and Concord. As a romance reader, for me the ultimate in perfection is a 5-star historical set in 18th-century America.
3. Have you previously participated in Armchair BEA? What brought you back for another year? If you have not previously participated, what drew you to the event?
I never heard of Armchair BEA until this week. After the blog had been up for several weeks, I joined Twitter right around the time of the big Romance Times conference (RT13) in Kansas City, and spent a week watching the tweets and realizing how much I’d love to attend a book convention.
4. Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?
I jumped in to the recent spate of interest in the fate of historical romance and met some amazing reviewers and bloggers via my newbie post: Historical Romance: Lament, or Let it Die? It’s by no means the most eloquent or my last word on this topic, but it was fun and I loved all the wonderful comments.
5. What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2013?
I’m currently reading several books, as usual. Just finished Untamed, by Anna Cowan, and I’m working on my review post (so excited about this one — it’s really different!). I’m also reading Silent in the Sanctuary, by Deanna Raybourn, and Teach Your Children Well, by Madeline Levine.