This year I'm attending the Annual Reader Author Get Together for the first time as a published author. I'm feeling more than a little giddy about this--three years ago I attended as a reader, but I was working on Stone Kissed and knew I wanted to be on the other side of the table at the book signing one day.
I went a little swag-happy: Each attendee gets a great tote bag full of bookmarks, books, pens, candy and tchotchkes from dozens and dozens of authors. My sons and I packaged my "swag" up in envelopes and hand-wrote a little note on each one. Projects like that always take longer than you expect, but having attended five or six conferences now, I know how much fun it is to dig through the swag-bag after a long day of laughing, talking and making new friends.
This event is one of my all-time favorites. Lori Foster, Duffy Brown and Linda Keller keep it low-key and fun, and OH the raffles! We raise a lot of money for charity, and get up to shenanigans. Here's some photographic evidence from the 2009 conference. In 2010, my so-called "friends" hid my camera (though I'm sure they'll deny it).
What about you? Have you ever gone to a romance novel conference, or another specialty event just for the fun of it?