I was at the event as well. I just checked Politics and Prose’s youtube channel and I don’t see the video uploaded yet. Will keep an eye open for it.
I was also happy to hear that P&P is starting (or has started) a romance book group. The book they’re doing this month on August 27 is Brenda Jackson’s Forged in Desire, which I don’t own. The next meeting after that is September 10. They’ll be discussing Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh. I just got that book at RT, so I think I’m going to try and read it and go to the September group.
I actually hadn’t intended to buy any books while at this panel, but did anyway. ;-) As a result, I was in line to speak to Sarah MacLean. I wanted to ask her why there hadn’t been another romance panel (or series of romance authors) at the National Book Festival after there had been one two years ago. She said they told her that it wasn’t well enough attended, which I was surprised to hear since I was there and thought there was a sizeable audience. Since she was moderating the panel at the time, Sarah said she felt like it was her fault but then she also mentioned that they didn’t make it easy since the panel was at 7:00 p.m. on a Saturday night, one of the few events late that day — after a full day of events that started in the morning. I have to agree. I’m a huge romance fan, of course, and I was pretty much dragging by that point, and half inclined to go home before the panel. Most of the events of the day ended at about 5:30 or 6:00, having started at about 10:00 a.m.. So, the only things left were the romance panel, a poetry slam — which attracts a lot of local teens — and a panel discussing books adapted to movies/TV. So, many attendees had already headed home at that point.
In contrast, a few years earlier when the festival was still on the National Mall, they had romance authors like Eloisa James, Sandra Brown (who was listed under suspense) and Diana Gabaldon, who many romance readers love, and their events were packed. But, these events were also held during the height of the festival and not in the evening. So, that runs contrary to the argument that romance authors couldn’t fill a room … if the event is held when most of the others are. Of course, it depends on the author and how big the room is.