Between February and the opening July 30 session, Kandle and Stevens pulled together a tightly dedicated crew of helpers that included their pre-teen and teen-aged children to organize authors,speakers and activities, as well as the nuts and bolts of a three-day event at the upscale Caribe Royale Resort Hotel and Convention Center about two miles from Disney World.
"We really had to scramble," Tawdra said. I saw proof of that in Mandie and her during the three days. They were on the move, and seemed to have skills at
"Organizing an event like this while also being a prolific romance writer, attending other events and releasing books was a challenge, said Tawdra, who released three titles during the build up to the convention. "I didn’t sleep much."
Beyond that, they found that those who were used to past IBF conventions were a hard sell. Most of them were skeptical of the newcomers. As might be expected, comments such as, “But we’ve always done it this way,” were tossed. Others wanted to know why Kandle and Stevens made certain decisions. "Mandie and I tried to explain our rationale at every step," she said. "Eventually, everyone seemed to understand!"
As she gave further explanation I began to understand that the optimism was warranted. Tawdra said the target audience - authors, bloggers and readers - were "genuinely excited," was a surprise. In her words, "The enthusiasm was contagious."
- How much physical work went into tasks on July 31, the first full day of the gathering. "My body is one big hurt today," she wrote.
- How accommodating everyone was at the Caribe Royale Resort.
- The awesomeness of Jana Oliver. "She is so much fun," Tawdra said.
As for next year, Tawdra said, "YES!! We already have tentative dates, likely in the fall. We have authors eager to sign up. We have readers making plans! And we’ve made a list of what we want to change in our process. 2016 will ROCK!"
Interested? Here is a link to sign up for IBF2016 information.