Oak Lawn Library patrons were able to talk to local authors at the library's second annual RomCon. (Photos by Kelly White)

Oak Lawn Library patrons were able to talk to local authors at the library's second annual RomCon. (Photos by Kelly White)

Love is in the air at RomCon 2024

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The library partnered with Tinley Park’s independent romance bookstore Love’s Sweet Arrow: A Romance Bookstore located at 17024 Oak Park Ave., for the free festival.

By Kelly White

Love made an appearance at the local library this past weekend.

Back by popular demand again this year, the Oak Lawn Public Library, 9427 Raymond Ave., Oak Lawn, held RomCon 2024, celebrating the romance genre on February 17.

“RomCon is a time for fellow romance readers to get together to meet romance authors,” Emily Bettcher, Fiction Librarian at the Oak Lawn Public Library, said.

The library partnered with Tinley Park’s independent romance bookstore Love’s Sweet Arrow: A Romance Bookstore located at 17024 Oak Park Ave., for the free festival. Rosanne Backlin, owner of Love’s Sweet Arrow recruited the amazing authors that were all from the surrounding Chicago-land area.

RomCon was unique because it combines the expertise of librarians and book sellers. Events that feature so many authors are not usually free to attend. Love’s Sweet Arrow is committed to RomCon because it helps them reach new readers.

reporter 2 20 24 rom con3 2024“I am always looking forward to interacting with all of the readers who love romance like I do,” Backlin said.

RomCon featured author panels, book signings, romance books for sale, a romance trivia contest with prizes, raffle giveaways and light refreshments.

“I love meeting all the authors and getting to talk about the books they have written,” Bettcher said.

The local authors said the library was the perfect setting for the event, including romance novelist, Kelly Farmer.

“Libraries are the backbones of our communities,” Farmer said. “They are where many people discover a love for books and can get recommendations from the fantastic staff to grow and nurture that love. It’s so great to have the Oak Lawn Public Library celebrate the best-selling fiction genre with the most wonderful, and voracious, readership. A whole afternoon dedicated to Romance? Yes, please!”.

Farmer has been writing romance novels since junior high. Since then, her stories have evolved and range from historical and contemporary male/female romances to light women’s fiction to LGBTQ+ romance, with a time travel series thrown into the mix. One theme, however, remains consistent: everyone deserves to have a happy ending.

Her new romance titled, ‘It’s a Fabulous Life’ was based on the classic movie, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.

In addition to Farmer, the diverse group of established authors, included: Danielle Jackson, Tamara Jeree, Rien Gray, Sara Fujimara, Hanna Earnest and Tinia Montford. Author, Olivia Dade, a rising star in the romance genre, and author of Avon bestsellers “Ship Wrecked” (2022) and “Spoiler Alert” (2020), visited virtually from Sweden. new novel coming out, “At First Spite” will be out later this calendar year.

“RomCon was day full of fun celebrating romance with fellow authors and readers,” Danielle Jackson, romance novelist and avid reader, said. “Libraries are such an important part of the romance community and the book business overall”.

Oak Lawn Public Library has more than 7,500 romance novels in its entire collection, in addition to the jaw-dropping 100,000 romance e-books and e-audiobooks offered digitally through Libby and Hoopla.

reporter 2 20 24 rom con1 2024

Oak Lawn Library patrons were able to talk to local authors on Saturday afternoon at the library’s second annual RomCon.

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