Last weekend Kat and I grabbed tickets to the FREE Romance Readers and Writers Expo. It was a great opportunity to meet and buy books from Black romance authors.
We drove up to Alexandria, VA and had a quick snack at Fresh Baguette in Old Town. The croissants were delicious! Then we headed to the hotel. The part of Alexandria where the hotel was located has plenty of paid parking decks.
The signing was a free public event that happened in conjunction with the RRAW conference. I thought it was nice they gave expo attendees badges and t-shirts. They also had complimentary cookies and beverages available outside the expo hall. It made the event feel very welcoming. There were also boxed lunches inside the expo hall–but it wasn’t clear if that was just for authors or not.
I only went to this event to get my copy of Captured signed by Beverly Jenkins I was surprised they didn’t have any signage for her, she was a featured speaker ??? I missed her our first go-around because of this.
Vanessa Riley was set up next to Ms. Bev and we got to hear all about her historical fiction— a genre I’ve always wanted to read more of. Riley sold me on her new book Murder in Westminster.
I purchased a copy of Synithia Williams’ Scandoulus Secrets. I adore the cover for this series and have been meaning to read it.
We also met Kelly Farmer, Reese Ryan, Tracey Livesay, Naima Simone and Maisy Yates.
My only other critique is that I felt like event volunteers should have been more visible to welcome attendees and help them find authors.
This is actually my second post-pandemic book event. I liked that it was smaller and more laidback than Apollycon. I spent a very short time at Apollycon and didn’t feel comfortable chatting with the authors in such a crowded hot space.
I hope this event comes back next year. It was wonderful seeing so many Black romance authors in one room!
RRAW, Black Readers Con and The Well Read Black Girl Festival all occurred that same weekend. Ya’ll need to spread it out for Black readers next year, lol.
1/2 of the blogging duo at Books and Sensibility, I have been blogging about and reviewing books since 2011. I read any and every genre, here on the blog I mostly review Fantasy, Adult Fiction, and Young Adult with a focus on audiobooks.