Thursday, April 2, 2015

Romance Slam Jam 2015!!!

Where to I begin and how do I do justice in writing about the exquisite time I had this past week at the 20th Anniversary Romance Slam Jam Conference??!!

I remember posting about this being a trip of firsts- this was before I even got to Dallas, Texas where this year’s conference was held. It was my first trip to Dallas. I took my son with me and that was another first. Additionally, it was his first plane trip…just firsts all over the place! The trip was a special one before we ever arrived. When we did arrive, oh boy! The hotel Embassy Suites DFW- Amazing! I started the night off with a fabulous dinner courtesy of my dazzling street team. Thanks to Deborah and LaSonde for putting together such a wonderful event. I met readers who became more than readers-they became friends.

That’s the thing about Slam Jam- no one feels like a stranger and they become something more special by the time the event is done. So many awesome experiences.  I returned from my dinner that first evening and ran into more reader friends. The BRAB gang was in the house and we took a few moments to chat- they even let me read the prologue from a new novel. It’s those little impromptu moments like that: new friends chatting over a meal or quick drink, authors getting to mingle with the readers they’ve only conversed with online…that was another amazing experience as well- finally putting names to faces, I’ll never get tired of that.

The conference began with an abundance of enlightening reader’s sessions and informative author panels. I think many would agree that this year’s Town Hall meeting proved to be a very engaging event. Attendees had the chance to voice their opinions on everything from cover woes to the state of the African American alpha male in romance novels. The audience also shared ideas and strategies for making the future of Slam Jam an even brighter one.

The organizers of the event were a creative group if ever there was one. The opening night Pajama Party featured an unforgettable volley ball game combined with a game of Have You Ever? That proved quite revealing bit of fun. HOW revealing, you ask? Well…let’s just say I’m glad my son wasn’t in the room for that! Anyway- what happens at Slam Jam stays at Slam Jam…to an extent. RSJ Luncheon Keynote Speaker Gwendolyn Osborne delivered a rousing speech that informed and elevated. I was proud to have a ringside seat at Deborah Fletcher Mello's lovely table for the event. I also have to speak on the Pep Rally that presented a delicious buffet with a Southwestern flair-no one was counting calories that night you can bet on that! The Pep Rally was combined with a series of fun games-everything from the 3-legged author race to an interesting game played by balancing an egg on a spoon. Hilarious!

Following the book signing on Saturday; which is always a most exciting event, there were the Emma Awards that night. Everyone came decked out and ready for a night of dinner and reflection. Deatri King Bey relinquished her title as top organizer (not sure if that’s her title or not, but she’s the lady who keeps everyone on task!) Those responsibilities will now fall to Ms. Toni Bonita. Deatri put together a wonderful video presentation that was poignant, memorable and funny. Such great memories were shared as many chimed in about memories of their first African American romance novel, there were photos of past RSJ events and a beautiful tribute to the graceful and gifted Gwynne Forster.

The EMMA Winners From The 2015 Romance Slam Jam Conference Are As Follows:

Cover of the year: The Preacher's Promise by Piper G Huguley.
Inspirational Romance of the year :Unbreakable My Heart by Rhonda McKnight
Interracial Romance of the year : All You'll Ever Need by Sharon C. Cooper 
Sequel of the Year: Shifter' s Claim by A.C. Arthur 
Suspense of the year: Truth or Consequences by Sharon C. Cooper.
Steamy Romance: Indulge Me Tonight by AlTonya Washington 
Hero of The Year: Brock Brick Avery; from Brick House by Keith Thomas Walker 
Heroine of the year: Rochelle Delaney "Roc" from The Book of Joshua II by 
Iris Bolling.
Book of The Year: Hero by Deatri King-Bey  
Debut Author of the Year: Piper Huguley.
Spirit Award : Toni Bonita Robinson 
Book Club of the year: Cillia Book Maniacs Priscilla C. Johnson  
Special Award, present to Deatri King-Bey 
Author of the Year : Farrah Rochon 



Another First- My First EMMA Award!!

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed meeting new/newer authors whose books I am looking to reading. I agree that the authors and readers are friendly and it's easy to make new book loving friends. Don't miss next year in Detroit. Congrats on your Emma Award.