Madison Heights blogger brings writers together at Rust City Book Con

Rachel Moulden for Digital First Media

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Jackie Morgan established the Rust City Book Con, running Friday through Sunday, Aug. 4-6, at Detroit Marriott Troy, 200 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy. Courtesy of Jackie Morgan

Jackie Morgan, a Michigan book blogger at Literary Escapism, comes from a family of readers.

“I’ve read so many types of books over the years,” the Madison Heights resident says. “I initially started reading historical romances in my teenage years and now I read a lot of paranormal fantasy,” especially by authors Jeanine Frost, Chloe Neill, and Kim Harrison.

Morgan’s passion for books has manifested as an event readers will enjoy. She came up with the idea for Rust City Book Con after her experiences attending book conventions for several years. She has been blogging about books for more than 10 years and that, combined with attending conventions, enabled her to make connections with authors and publishers.

While volunteering at other conventions, many of Morgan’s friends suggested she should create one of her own. She decided to take their advice and Rust City was born to promote local and independent authors.

“When Borders closed it had a huge impact on readers and authors, especially the local ones,” Morgan says. “Borders was one of the big bookstores that constantly promoted indie local authors and when they closed it cut off a venue for authors to promote their works.”

In its second year, Rust City is still a “baby con.” Morgan’s goals are to bring more variety next year, especially sci-fi writers, particularly because the area has many sci-fi conventions. Her goal is no more than 300 attendees, allowing more one-on-one time with the authors.

“This year we have about 40 authors in attendance. A lot of the panels center around face-time with authors that you might not get to see at larger conventions,” she says.

Metro Detroit is a great area for conventions, Morgan says, because of its large population and with Canada so close, it’s convenient for Canadian authors, too.

Attendees of the 2017 convention have a lot to look forward to. Lunch and dinner buffets will make it easier for readers and writers to have access to food without leaving. The full schedule includes many activities.

“Every day there are writer’s workshops, author meet-and-greets, games such a bookish edition of the ‘Match Game,’ and even a charity raffle where attendees can win bookish prizes,” Morgan says.

Unlike other cons, she says the registration deadline is not cut off and those interested can still register. Saturday’s book sale and signing is also open to the public. In exchange, everyone is asked to bring a gently used book to help fill a new Little Free Library to be installed in the community after the event.

Attending authors are coming from Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. Some Michigan authors coming include C.K. Brooke, Rue Allyn, John David and Jenny Trout. All weekend there will be an indie bookstore where attendees can purchase the authors’ books.

Rust City Book Con takes place Friday through Sunday, Aug. 4-6, at Detroit Marriott Troy, 200 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy. Registration is $85 and includes all events and activities through the weekend. For more information, visit rustcitybookcon.com/.

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