After a very well attended 2012 New Orleans romantic authors conference, Authors After Dark (AAD) organizers have selected Georgia as their 2013 destination , with the Savannah Mariott Riverfront, 100 General McIntosh Boulevard. In addition to the customary author panels, the conference is currently slated to feature a YA (Young Adult) day, Elemental Masque, vampire ball, riverboat dinner, BDSM bingo and steampunk tea.
The variety of events and impressive scheduled cast of authors has proven to be quite the draw for this annual convention. In New Orleans, lines were long, company was congenial, costumes were amazing and the perks were well worth the trip to this growing event.
Authors After Dark 2012 master of ceremonies was paranormal romance author Larissa Ione and was co-hosted by Sylvia Day, Melissa Schroeder, Bridget Midway, Cat Johnson, Kristen Painter and Samantha Sommersby. AAD 2011 in Philadelphia reached its registration cap of 300 attendees.
Eighty featured authors were on hand for up-close and personal time with fans. A book signing event on Sunday was free and open to the public. Not surprisingly, the signing event drew crowds lining up through the halls of the Royal Sonesta.
Literary romance genres from historical romance to paranormal romance to young adult and more were varied enough for any taste. Panel authors included Jaye Wells, Diana Rowland, Jeanine Frost, Eliza Gayle, Mark Henry, Nicole Peeler, Kristen Painter, Erin McCarthy, Leanna Renee Hieber, Alexandra Ivy, Allison Pang, Jess Haines, Carolyn Crane, Tilly Greene, Cat Johnson, Stella and Audra Price.
Erotic author Cynthia Arsuaga had some interesting insights on the differences between erotic romance and erotica. “Erotic, drop the ‘a’, technically because I write a story with sex, not lotsa sex with a tiny story. Erotic romance is story driven with sex as part of the love story with a happy ending, normally.”
Cynthia went on to clarify erotica. “The sex drives the story and doesn’t necessarily have a happy ending or maybe a happy for now.”
“The con was great!,” Cynthia stated. “The workshops were good that I attended and we learned a few new things. The socials were okay, but personally, I think we enjoyed the one Secret Cravings Publishing put on the last night. Everyone who attended said it was the best as well.”
When asked her feelings on how the popular culture fascination with Fifty Shades of Grey, Cynthia offered, “I haven’t read and the snippets I have read, I’m not interested. The writing is high schoolish. The only thing I can say is if the success has brought ‘romance’ books back to the forefront and show the different genres available, specifically the erotic ones, then it is a good thing. There are so many great authors who write better and deserve the recognition.”
Award winning, bestselling Gothic Victorian fantasy author for adults and teens Leanna Renee Hieber was a standout. Beyond exquisitely Victorian capture of the little-black bustle dress, it was quite the surprise to be blown away (most platonically and in what I an newly dubbing the non-Spanish ‘heteroliteral’ sense) by Hieber’s subtle domination of author panels.
Royal Sonesta in all her glory, costumes, authors, literature…through it all Hieber stood out. I have great appreciation for mastery of individuality in garb. Magic Most Foul and Strangely Beautiful sagas were penned by this steampunk genre standout.
Public relations representative Carolline Greene shared her first-time impression of the annual event. “Author’s After Dark New Orleans exceeded my preconceptions about reader conventions,” shared Greene. “Mistress of Ceremonies Joey W. Hill set the standards high with her humble attitude and extreme generosity with her time. The warmheartedness of its attendees allowed for a generous donation to the Jasper Animal Rescue Mission. I look forward to seeing old friends again and meeting new individuals at next year’s convention.”
“The charity raffles were a huge success and raised 4k for the animal shelter,” added Greene. “The Jasper Animal Rescue Mission will…be making an appearance at next year’s convention and will be bringing some of its animals to try and find permanent homes for them.”
Registration for Authors After Dark (Aug. 15-18, 2013) in Savannah opened on August 21, 2012. For more information, or to register, go to www.authorsafterdark.org/index.html.