One More AAD Philly Post

A week ago today, I returned home from my first ever con, the Authors After Dark Conference in Philadelphia, PA, also known as AADPhilly.  It’s been a week and I’m STILL on a high from the fun I had! I wanted to go through all of my swag and have a giveaway ready before I did this post but that hasn’t worked out, so we’ll consider this my part one post.  Once I have everything together for my giveaway, I’ll do a part two. Deal?  Cool!
Months ago when registration first opened for AAD, I had no knowledge of the conference and, therefore, no interest in going.  I saw that several of my tweeps were discussing it on Twitter but I wasn’t paying much attention.  There was a frenzy amongst my tweeps when registration opened and I got caught up in it when my friend Adrienne of DrensBSpot urged me to register, informing me that it would be a great opportunity to meet so many of my buddies on Twitter .  I decided to register, for that very reason.  From that point, my main motivation for going to AAD was the opportunity to meet and hang out with my tweeple.  I knew that it was a conference for authors and readers to hang out together and I knew there was going to be a big signing on Saturday and several authors I am familiar with were going to be there so I was also interested in that.  Recently, I found out that there would be some industry folks at the conference, willing to meet with aspiring authors, such as myself, so I also started to look forward to that.  But, first and foremost, I was most excited about the time I would get to spend with some of the folks I speak with on a daily basis on Twitter. As a result, my expectations going in may have been a little different than many other attendees.  I write all of that to say…I had a BALL!  The trip met and far exceeded my expectations and I’m so very glad Dren talked me into it!

I’d originally made plans to take the train up and to stay at a different hotel than the con hotel but circumstance worked out so that I ended up riding with Adrienne and rooming with her in the con hotel.  I’m so glad of both of those things; Adrienne was the BEST. DRIVER. EVER (thanks 5 Hour Energy!) and being in the hotel was extremely beneficial to my all around experience. 

Adrienne and I arrived early on Thursday after having left NC at 12:45am.  Adrienne did all the driving and I did all the sleeping; thanks buddy!  When we arrived, our room wasn’t ready yet so we started meeting people before we’d had a chance to freshen up and get situated.  I considered hiding until I’d had a chance to pull myself together but then I caught sight of my buddy Bells from Hanging with Bells and all thoughts of not meeting my girls right then flew right out the window!  Right before the Welcome event, I met Bells and Marq from Love To Read For Fun, Jen from That’s What I’m Talking About, Pam from Wicked Lil Pixie, Mandy from Smexybooks, Danielle from Lush Book Reviews and Kat from Tigris Eden’s Garden of Books. After that, the meeting and greeting was fast and furious!  I met Felicia aka @FERISHIA and her friend Dina.  I saw Jennifer Estep, whose books I already love and I also met Monica Burns, a new to me author who was a complete riot and whose books I can’t wait to read now!  And all this was before we ever checked in!  We did finally get our room and I was able to hit the afternoon panels and appointments a little more put together.  Big shouts to everyone that was on board with that whole "we're all going to pretend that we DIDN'T see Penny in her road ensemble earlier" plan; love you ladies!  J

From that point forward, the con was a big, happy, fun blur of panels, meals, balls (heh heh; yep…I’m 12!), pictures (more about the LACK of those below), books, swag and laughter! I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I attended as a reader but got so much out of the con as a writer, as well.  I met some of my favorite authors as well as a bunch of new to me authors and came home with bags full of books to add to my TBR shelf.   I had so many fun moments and met so many great folks that I’m afraid to list them all out, for fear I’d miss someone.  What I will do, though, is list just a few of the many highlights for me:

-Meeting and spending time with authors Larissa Ione, Lara Adrian, Nicole Peeler, Jennifer Estep, Carolyn Crane, Monica Burns, Caridad Pineiro, JA Saare, PJ Schnyder, Jessa Slade, Meljean Brook, Dakota Cassidy, Melissa Ecker, Ava Riley, Eliza Gayle, Kris Cook and Karin Harlow/Tabke.  They were all so approachable and down to earth! And so tolerant of so many of us going into full fangirl mode in their presence!  It was awesome!  Some were new to me, some were my tweeps and a couple were already amongst my fave authors but I came away with a new level of love for each of them.

-Meeting so many of my Twitter friends and gaining new tweeps!  I loved all of the Tweep meet ups; usually distinguishable by all the hugging and squeeing!

-The Pin the Penis on the Founding Father game.  Yup….take a minute to soak that in. Imagine Thomas Jefferson littered with paper peens...with smiley faces!  It happened and it was FABULOUS!

-The Guess the Author by the Sex Scene panel.  All of the panelists were fantastic but Nicole Peeler deserves special attention for her fantastic, dramatic sex scene readings!  Loved the twist of using names of attendees and their fave male celebrities instead of the character names in the readings.  And the scenes picked were great; I’m not even a little bit ashamed to say that I knew the J.R. Ward scene two sentences in!  And I was by no means alone; folks all over the room started nodding their heads.  Good times!

-The Mythos Ball.  I don’t do costumes and had considered not attending either of the balls but I’m so glad I did.  It was great to see those that did dress up; everyone looked lovely!  Plus, the music was great and the company was top notch.  It was great seeing all the authors, publishers, editors and readers all getting their collective groove on.

-The impromptu birthday party for Larissa Ione in Bells, Marq and Cat’s room.  We got to spend time with Larissa Ione and Lara Adrian and the Sisterhood of the Werefly was born.  Plus….CAKE!  It was, as Cat would say, THE BIZNAZ! 

-The times I was in the middle of a conversation with a new friend…only to realize that I was actually talking to someone I already knew from a blog or Twitter!!  That’s what happened with @Toriaimeegirl, @Katiebabs, @j_hussein, @iqb2001 and @JeanniePBlair. 

-The Aspiring Authors Mixer.  Great information shared by a bunch of industry professionals.  So glad I attended and glad to have met so many people willing to help newbies like myself.

-Sitting with Jen from Not Now...I’m Reading at the SteamPunk Ball during the Sideshow performance.  She saved my night with a picture of Randy Orton.  Now that’s a good friend right there! 

-This picture.  Thanks to Jen for getting us all together for this pic; I’m so glad we have this memento of our time together!

-The ride there and back with Adrienne.  Lots of laughs and lots of creativity.  Thanks again for everything, Dren!

Unfortunately, what I don’t have to share with you is my own personal pictures.  Don’t ask me why; I have no idea.  I had my camera phone with me everywhere I was but I was too busy smiling and posing for pics to worry about taking them, it would seem.  I did manage to take all of ONE picture while I was in Philly; this is me and Decadent Publishing Executive Editor Heather Bennett sharing a bag of ball cookies.  Make of that what you will.  J

Thankfully, all of my wonderful tweeps took lots of pictures and have posted them, with their own memories and recollections of the conference.  Please click on the links below to for pictures and many more memories from some of my con buddies.

Jen - Authors After Dark 2011 Wrap Up
Tigris Eden - The Good, the Bad and the Sad Ugly of AAD Philly
Bells - My AAD Philly 2011 Experience
Danielle (@iqb2001) - Authors After Dark Recap
Ava Riley - What #AAD Philly Taught Me...
Marq - My AAD Adventure
Spaz P - Spaz Goes to A...NOT ANOTHER AAD POST! Philly 
Jen - Authors After Dark 2011 Part 1 and Part 2
Dren - AAD Philly - A Writer's Perspective - Full of Win!
Dren - AAD Philly - A Blogger's Perspective
Though I had a spectacular time and got everything I wanted out of the con, I know there were those that did not.  There were some unfortunate and, in at least one case, ugly incidents that I became aware of that did mar the experience for several people. I was not personally affected but some of my friends were and I didn't care for it at all.   As a result, I will most likely not attend next year.  I am very glad, however, that I did attend this year.  My first con was everything I wanted it to be and more.  Thanks to everyone I met and spent time with; you were the ones that made the trip so much fun. 

An AAD swag giveaway will be coming soon as well as some reviews for several of the books I received so look for those posts in the near future.  Thanks to all who made my experience so great and thanks, as always, for stopping by!


  1. PENNY!!! It was such a joy to meet you finally and I love you! I'm so glad that we all got the time to spend time together and I can't wait until we are all back together again! Sisterhood of the Traveling Werefly!

  2. ROOMIE-ROADDOG-EXTRAORDINAIRE!! Love your post!! The Ball cookies pic is the BEST.PIC.EVAH! We'll do it again soon!

  3. I am sooooo J, Pen.... not that I had any actual plans of attending(...being, literally, half way around the world at the moment, not withstanding)... but hearing about it after the fact is making me kick myself that I wasn't there!
    Sooo glad you had a good time and my eyeballs are itching to read your first foray.... and best believe I WILL make it when its YOUR turn on the panel!!

  4. Great recap. Glad you had a great time.

  5. Penny! I had a blast meeting you. Loved your post. Thanks for including me in your list. It's funny because going through my pics and everyone else's and I'm barely in any. It seems as if I was the one always holding the camera. TBH, I'm not mad about that at all. I hate taking pics. =)

  6. Awesome post... Loved meeting you so very much! I hope we can get together again SOON!!! I *heart* you!

  7. @Bells - love you too, Sugar!! So glad I got a chance to meet you! Can't wait to do it again...wherever that might be!

    @Dren- can't wait for the next road trip!! Had a ball.....SEVERAL, in fact! LOL

    @Mica- wish you had been here, buddy!! Next time!!

    @LaTessa- thanks, hon!

    @Danielle- Glad to have met you too!! Apparently, you were taking the pics and I was posing! LOL

    @Jen- Loved meeting you too!!! Luv u right back, hon! Can't wait to do it again!!

  8. I am so glad that you had a good time and I totally agree about that wild drive from NC. phew! Me and Lissa Matthews were dog tired when we got back to Charlotte. Maybe over the next year you'll reconsider New Orleans. I think it's going to be even better. ;)

  9. Great recap, Penny!!!!
    I <3 Youuuuuuu


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