Monday, April 15, 2019

KissCon 2019: AKA I had too much fun

Wow, I am both tired and buzzing. KissCon was a blast!

So. I haven't been having the best luck with YA titles so for the past six months or so (maybe longer, what is time), I've been diving more and more into romance (16-year-old Amber would be proud that I'm turning to my roots). After a few weeks of deliberations, I decided to attend the first ever KissCon: Weekend Affair just outside of Chicago. Mostly I was seduced by the possibility of meeting Alyssa Cole (spoiler: I met her and she is lovely). 

I decided to only attend on Saturday out of the three days (because money) and I had such a blast in just 8 hours. Saturday consisted of four panels in the morning, a signing in the afternoon, and then a fun dance/dessert party with a live band at night. 

I attended the worldbuilding panel, deconstructing romance panel, author fandoms panels, and the taste of romance (foood) panel. They were all great with wonderful questions and big laughs Here some fun things I learned from the panels: 

  • Eva Leigh's husband is a romance author and her critique partner
  • Joanna Shupe had to research carriage sex (and found video!)
  • Julie Kagawa's least favorite fairytale is Sleeping Beauty (sewing is evil)
  • Alyssa Cole wanted to write the story where the princesses saved the day
  • Cat Sebastian hates the royal family and doesn't understand the fascination
  • Alyssa Cole is working on a spinoff called the Runaway Royals and the first book will be about Anastasia
  • Nisha Sharma wrote her thesis on Mr. Darcy
  • Julie Kagawa would write a Kaz/Inej fan fic
  • Alisha Rai googled "sexy grilled cheese" and doesn't recommend that others try it

That was just a small taste of the amazing conversations the authors and moderators had. One of my favorite moments was from the Author Fandoms panel because Beverly Jenkins was on the panel and repeatedly told the audience that she didn't understand why she was on it. The questions were about cosplay, fanfiction, and Jenkins just got more and more confused. There was a moment where Cat Sebastian was talking about the Bucky/Steve (Marvel) fanfiction she's read (tentacle porn, houses, etc) and it came to a point where Beverly Jenkins said, "I'm going to have a coffee and cigarette" and left.

The signings were in the afternoon and I was worried that it was going to be nothing but long lines, but it was actually very casual and intimate. I was bummed because the bookseller ran out of Alyssa Cole and Alisha Rai books (ALL OF THEM). I met Julie Kagawa, Jennifer Estep, Julia Quinn, Mia Sosa, Cat Sebastian, Beverly Jenkins, Alyssa Cole, and Alisha Rai. I rambled to Julia Quinn about how I used to carry around a big bag of her books and shove onto friends 15 years ago and she was very confused about my age. It's alright Julia, people think I'm 12 daily. One of my best interactions was with Mia Sosa who was just soo sweet and had so many goodies to give to readers. I rambled at Alyssa Cole about loving her books and finding myself reflected in them. I was so surprised when she recognized me from the internet and she had fun buttons like "My HEA Slays Fascists."

After that, I had three hours to kill and talked about everything under the sun with Zee at I Heart Romance and YA. Sorry to keep you from your nap, Ezrah!

Lastly, KissCon threw a dance that was themed Vintage and Vino. A lot of people had super cute dresses and some readers dressed in period outfits (flapper outfits and regency gowns). 

Like all of these events, I met some pretty great people and loved being able to chat while in line or hanging out before a panel, and reuniting with some old friends. I wish I had spoken up a bit more, but my introvertedness won. 

Honestly, this was the most fun I had at an event since BEA 2016 in Chicago. Major kudos to the Avon team for putting together such an amazing event, I've heard nothing but positive things. Everything went without a hitch and their team was super fun and excellent moderators. I really hope this is an annual event (and I wouldn't mind if it were in Chicago again). 

What's your favorite book event to attend? 
Would you go to KissCon (the answer is yes)?
Have you read anything from the authors I met? 


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