It’s hard to believe that the Dreams Convention 2015 is over. Kris, Morgan, and I, along with our stalwart committees spend so much time before it even begins, planning and organizing, and then seemingly in a blink of an eye, it’s done and we’re saying goodbye to friends we won’t see in person for another year. Stacie Jandik-Stopen said it perfectly the other day. “This isn’t just a writer’s convention or a reader’s convention. It’s a FRIEND convention.”
When we completed our first event and returned for our second, that sentiment had already been etched in stone. I’ve always said, at our event, people make friends for life, and we’ve learned that lives have been changed for the better as a result of people meeting up and forming strong connections. So it’s always a heartbreak to say goodbye at the end. It’s my least favorite Sunday of the year!
So, rather than get all sad and weepy again, I am going to share some photos from the five-day event that encapsulates what the Dreams Convention is all about. Enjoy!
First, my partners in crime… Kris Tualla and Morgan Kearns, co-founders of the event for which I am co-chair of the Arizona Dreamin’ part. In order for these events to be a success, these women gave up precious writing and publishing time. So, we decided to go back to our original mission statement and only hold the Dreams Convention on odd-numbered years, opposite Desert Rose’s Desert Dreams Conference held on even-numbered years.
Next, here are most of the authors that were featured this year. We’ve since learned that Camelia Miron Skiba was having a romance with the elevator at the time! James Magnussen’s girlfriend, Ashley Darling, jazzed up the collective photo that David took of all of us. Take a real good look! It’s pretty hilarious! These women were terrific to work with and presented fabulous book clubs to our readers. Some taught writers during Buildin’ the Dream, too!
The whole event began on WEDNESDAY night with a BOOK SIGNING…
This is me, of course, and my favoritest new bud, Aaron Michael Ritchey *snap, snap*. We met at TFoB and it’s been a blast ever since. That man’s going places, I tell ya! Fabulous YA author. We had a crowd of 30 authors and plenty of readers to purchase our books. And with Melanie and Tom, our fearless book sellers, HOW could we go wrong???
Then we had the Dreams Awards Thursday night, where fabulous authors, who’d been nominated by readers, were then judged and awarded a Dreams Award! It was FABULOUS!!!
Congratulations to this year’s Dream Awards Winning Childrens Author, Juli Caldwell!
Congratulations to this year’s Dream Awards Winning Historical Romance Author, Rose Gordon!
Congratulations to this year’s Dream Awards winning Young Adult Author, Aaron Michael Ritchey!
Congratulations to this year’s Dream Awards winning Contemporary Romance Author, Sharon Hamilton!
Congratulations to this year’s Dream Awards winning Paranormal Romance author, Siobhan Muir!
Congratulations to this year’s Dream Awards winning General Fiction author, LynnPeters!
Friday, during the day, we taught classes on craft and business, and then switched gears by evening for some Arizona Dreamin’ fun! An Author Speed Meet and comedy with Brian Kohatsu kicked off the weekend in stellar style. We also met our Men of Our Dreams contestants. What an AMAZING group of men! Stellar personalities and they don’t look to shabby either! *wink, wink*
Book Clubs, lunch, dinner, auction, and even PITCH PERFECT 2, all happened in ONE DAY, folks! It was insane! It was awesome! It was over too soon!
Sunday morning came, and with it, a chance for attendees to learn how to make SMART goals. Don’t know what that is? I can teach you! Then, a tearful goodbye to all the wonderful people that make the Dreams Convention the unique convention that it is and shall always be… See you in 2017! There are a TON more pictures, but you’ll just have to attend one of these conventions to see and experience the fun for yourself.