RT 2014 Recap - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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RT 2014 Recap

I had such an amazing time at the RT Convention in New Orleans this past week. I learned a lot from the panels I attended and had a great time catching up with friends. There were author rock stars every where I turned. It was equal parts overwhelming and exciting. There were too many highlights to mention, but here are some of the things I learned last week…

I love the Chelseas.

Have you met Chelsea M. Cameron and Chelsea Fine? They are both amazing authors and the best kind of people. I spent most of my time with Chelsea M. Cameron, who was teaching me how to be a good Tweeter. It’s an art form, and one I’m clearly not good at yet. If you don’t follow Chelsea yet, you should. Everyone we saw told her how awesome and funny she was on twitter and I had to agree wholeheartedly. Here’s her page! (ps. Don’t you love Abbi’s photo bomb in the first pic?)

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Tiffany King and I are sisters.

Someone mentioned we look like sisters in the pic below, so we decided to go with it! Who wouldn’t want to have this incredibly sweet, talented girl for a sister?! If you haven’t checked out her recent release, Misunderstandings, you should.


I’ve fallen in love with Veronica Roth.

I had the opportunity to attend a Q&A panel with the famously shy author of Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant and was blown away by how cool, beautiful, smart and well-spoken she was. It was really interesting to listen to her talk about how old she was when she submitted her manuscript of Divergent (21 years old!) and her feelings on watching the movie for the first time.



I love reading YA and getting to meet some awesome YA authors and picking up new books was one of my absolute highlights. I met PC Cast – the mother and daughter author duo whom wrote the House of Night series. I read these before I started blogging and loved them. I also met Stephanie Perkins, author of Anna and the French Kiss, which I picked up while I was there. I spent a few minutes chatting with Kiera Cass, author of the Selection series. Her last book, The One, hit #1 New York Times and she found out while she was on a panel at RT. I heard it was a touching moment for everyone in the room.

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All the Feels.

And speaking of YA rock stars, I met Gayle Forman too. She’s the author of If I Stay, which has been adapted into a movie releasing August 22nd. Have you watched the trailer?! I’m reading this book now and LOVING IT. She was so cool and nice and I loved chatting with her. AND… she brought a special guest into a panel… actress Liana Liberato, who plays Mia’s best friend, Kim, in the movie.

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I adore Jennifer L. Armentrout. For reals.

Anyone who follows me knows how much of a fangirl I am of Jennifer Armentrout. I finally confided in her that the first time I met her I thought of conversation topics to cover because I was so damn nervous to meet her. (Yes, I am such a nerd! I fully own my nerdiness!) That was last year and since then, I’m lucky to have gotten to know her so well. Her bestselling book, Wait For You won the New Adult book of the year at the RT Awards ceremony. I devour every book she gives me and I anxiously, anxiously, anxiously await more Seth in The Return… plus Stone Cold Touch … and Opposition… and Stay With Me! (I told you I was a fan.) And on the topic of Stay With Me, which will be out in September, she revealed the super sexy cover at RT! Check it out below. It’s a new adult romance with a little bit of suspense.

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Romantic Suspense is hot.

Speaking of New Adult, there was a lot of discussion in panels on what’s next in the New Adult category. It’s been a digital phenomenon that continues to evolve and the consensus is that it’s not going away. Sub genres in New Adult are growing. By sub genres I mean areas like New Adult Romantic Suspense, Dystopian, Paranormal and others are growing in popularity. The demand is staggering, but readers need to really buy these titles to help fuel the growth. Regardless, Romantic Suspense (NA and otherwise) is a category that is really hot right now. I’ve been saying this is IT space for awhile now, which is why I’m loving covering it in my USA Today column, Love In Suspense. Watch out for new suspenseful titles, I think we’ll be seeing an influx in the coming year.

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Check out Adam Kunz.

I had the opportunity to meet Adam Kunz, who is not only one of my favorite new people, but also someone who writes thrillers and romantic suspense novels. He’s also the A in C.A. Kunz, the bestselling mother and son author duo. While there, I picked up One Tiny Secret and Two Little Lies.


It was surreal meeting Christian Grey’s creator.

The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy changed everything for me. I wouldn’t be reading Indie and wouldn’t be blogging if it weren’t for those books. I had always read, but mostly it was YA and commercial fiction. Once I read the Fifty books, however, I became a lover of the Amazon carousel, discovering Indie books by Jamie McGuire, Tammara Webber and Colleen Hoover. Although obviously very different, it opened my eyes to a whole new set of authors that refueled my love of reading.  E L James was incredibly kind and cool and I instantly loved her. She posed for a gazillion pictures with anyone who asked (always with a smile) and signed another gazillion books.

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Don’t ever leave your phone next to Colleen Hoover.

Before you know it, you’ll have 100 pictures of her saved for your viewing pleasure. Both E L James and I know that first hand.

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That being said, I do love me some Colleen Hoover. I’ve yet to read something from her I don’t crazy adore. (I mean really… I think it’s impossible for her to write badly.)

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Have you met Fred?

Fred knows everyone in this book community. He’s an avid reader and all-around nice guy. It was so fabulous to meet him and talk books!


The Wilders… are really wild.

I spent some time with the fabulous Jasinda and Jack Wilder. And I’m thinking they have these special powers that make me act ridiculously stupid. Otherwise, how in the world would a nerdy girl like me ever do something like this? *shakes head at self*

I did get a chance to spend some quality time with Pamela Carrion too, however, who is just awesome.

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K.P. Simmon is the best roommate.

I love talented publicist KP Simmon. She’s a close friend and together, we can talk marketing and publicity forevAHHHH… I love that she cares so much about people and so much about her clients. She rocks and she wasn’t too bad of a roommate either 😉


Kristen Ashley is the queen of cool.

She rocks my world with every kickass book she puts out there. I will never stop fangirling her. She’s exceptionally nice (as is her sister) and I look forward to seeing her again soon. I may be a tiny bit “intimidation-red” in my picture.


Do you know Kresley Cole? You should.

Kresley Cole is another one of my new favorite people! I met her at the Belles on Wheels tour on May 11th and saw her again at RT. She remembered who I was (which was awesome) and she is incredibly nice and cool too. I’m reading Poison Princess, book 1 of the Arcana Chronicles (paranormal) and LOVING it! I can already tell you it will be a favorite of mine this year! You can read the first 17 chapters for free here.


I have the best job/hobby/whatever EVER.

Yes, I stay up until the wee hours every night. Yes, I work my ass off. Yes, there are days where I am juggling so much that I can barely remember my name. But who wouldn’t love it when you get to know so many talented people who make you feel loved and appreciated? These are people who are fun and lovely and kind.  My life is overflowing with goodness. Good friends – bloggers, readers and authors – make it all worthwhile. I had the best time ever at RT and I look forward to next year. I need to take more pics however, because there are so many other people I forgot to take a photo with (Raine Miller, Katie Ashley, Kristen Proby, Lauren Blakely, Tammara Webber, Monica Murphy, Tracey Garvis Graves, Christina and Lo, SL Scott, as always, and so so so many others). I laughed lots. I learned lots. I fangirled lots. Can’t wait until Dallas 2015!

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  1. SassyCat's Reviews (@KatN21) said:

    WOW!!!! You met so many great authors! I can’t wait to meet JLA, Tiffany King, KP Simmon Adam Kunz & Carol Kunz, plus so many more at UtopYA in Nashville which is a few shy weeks away!


    1. VBB Post author said:

      You were a central part of my RT experience! 😉


  2. KP Simmon said:

    Oh my goodness, I made it in this list?? I love you, Vilma. That is all.


    1. VBB Post author said:

      Love ya roomie!!!!


  3. Livia said:

    Great recap and fun pictures! It was especially cool to see your video with Jasinda Wilder (go Vilma, go Vilma!) and your pictures with JLA and Stephanie Perkins. I missed Stephanie Perkins when she came to LA recently which was a real bummer since I had just finished reading Anna & The French Kiss and Lola & The Boy Next Door. Thanks for letting me fangirl vicariously through you, Vilma! 🙂


  4. flybrariman said:

    What a wonderful write up, Vilma, and I’m so impressed that you accomplished it while I’m still over here in the “trying to find my shoes,” recovery room! Thanks so much for including me, too, it was really special to have some actual chatting time with you at dinner, and to discover and discuss the books we mutually adore!


  5. SLJennings said:

    So much fun! I love how I have Kyla & Chelsea smashed against my boobs. I look like a domme & you 3 could be my subs. *pervy eyes*


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