My experience at
SPRING FLING 2018
I made a last minute decision to go to Chicago North’s Spring Fling 2018 after I realized they had extended the deadline. I had been tossing around the idea since last year when I saw on the website that Beverly Jenkins would be the keynote speaker. I thought I would be nice to meet a popular and prolific author in the author world. Plus I wanted to meet an African American USA Today bestseller. Last minute didn’t afford me much time to prepare. I was also getting ready for the Interracial Romance Author Expo event in Florida that was just two weeks away.
The Spring Fling event was a public book signing and workshops for writers with inspirational speeches given by the keynote authors. Diversity seemed to be a running and much-appreciated theme. There had a large array of topics in the workshops that were educational and fun. I wished I could’ve taken more of the workshops but it was hard for me to get out of bed. I didn’t have to get a hotel since I live twenty-five minutes from the hotel where the event was being held. The hotel was clean and spacious and seemed to be fairly accommodating. A big plus was the hotel had free parking.
The vast majority of the authors were very nice. Even the big name authors were wonderful. Damon Suede was a treat. Beverly Jenkins was funny, down to earth and very real. Meredith Duran was inspiring. Joey W. Hill was a gem and one of the first people to talk to me when I was sitting at a table alone. I showed up to this event alone. I heard of a few authors but I literally didn’t know anyone. I left with a host of mutual Instagram and Twitter followers. The workshops were on various topics, things like Business Planning For Authors, Mastering the Meet Cute, BDSM Romance, Series Success: Starting an Indie Series with Multiple Authors, Consent is Sexy: Consent In Romance and Beyond and many more.
At the book signing, I sat in between Kathy Lyons/Jade Lee and Ruth Kauffman. Kathy Lyons was the coolest author and so friendly. We talked about the Rita Award. I had a fascinating and heartfelt conversation with Rita winner Clara Kensie during the conference. Actress and Author Ruth Kauffman and I chatted about almost everything you could fit into an hour and a half book signing. I even sold a few books. I didn’t expect to sell anything. My name was even on the website because of my late registration. I met authors Jillian David, Dylann Crush, Diane Wiggs and Miranda Darrow. I went book shopping with author Eliza David. All of these women were all a joy and a pleasure to break bread with. I'm sure I'm forgetting a few names.
Overall I really enjoyed this event and I can’t wait to return next year. I met and chatted with some friendly authors. I learned a lot from the workshops. I got a lot of author swag. I deeply appreciated all the free books that were given away. I only purchased two books. This was a really cool conference.