Ever since I visited as a child, I’ve been enchanted by the exotic and yet quintessentially Texan beauty of San Antonio. This visit was no exception. I stayed in The Menger Hotel, a historical landmark as well as ideally located within walking distance of the Convention Center. This was next door to the iconic Alamo, which I could see from my window. And only a couple blocks down, I had access to the famous Riverwalk.
The first night in San Antonio, my co-worker and I enjoyed Tex-Mex at Rita’s and a brief stroll along the Riverwalk. I also managed to take my runs every morning on a Riverwalk void of nearly all its human occupants, but brimming with bird-life to serenade me as I ran. (Who knew you could get lost running beside a river? After that first day, I ran on one side.)
And that was just the host city.
My first experience at TLA was amazing. The sheer size and scope of the conference was intimidating, but the facility housed it all easily, even if I did have trouble finding my way around at times. I enjoyed the panels and luncheons I attended, and I definitely learned a lot from both general sessions with Cory Doctorow and Carmen Agra Deedy.
The best part, however, was–you guessed it–the books! The Exhibit Hall was a bibliophile’s crack-house, with librarians hitting up the dealers each day for their latest fix. Walk up to almost any publisher’s booth and you could pick up a free ARC(advanced reading copy) or free swag. Helpful representatives pointed out their contests and giveaways that would happen later during the conference.
Naive little newbie that I was, I ended up so burdened with books my first walk through I had to hunt down a vendor giving away bags (there were many) because I kept dropping everything. At the end of the conference, I had a good five bags stuffed to the brim with books and swag.
Did I mention the authors? Established greats and debut new comers–so many writers attended, not just speaking and signing their books, but most giving them away when you got into their autograph line. It was a back-breaking, arm-straining, feet-aching heaven–if you like books.
The only thing that will make this event even better is getting to attend as an author and meeting the people who read my stories and, I hope, love them as much I love sharing them.
To see more pictures from my trip, visit my Facebook page TLA album. And if you’d like to chat, feel free to send me an email.
Until next time!