Folks, I ain’t gonna lie: I totally have conference hangover. It was a fabulous, wonderful, delightful week at the RWA National convention, but lord have mercy am I tired! So I’m going to boil the whole thing down to one sentence:
The romance community is full of awesome :-)
There was this:
|On the plane with Deb Marlowe, Olivia Kelly, Sabrina Jeffries, and her assistant Becky. And yes - shenanigans ensured.|
|My first Literacy of Life signing AND my first publisher signing! Just LOOK at the names on that board!|
|Me and Lydia Dare (the Tammy half)|
And of course this:
|Olivia Kelly, Beatriz Williams, me, and Karen White. Oh, and those are CHOCOLATE Martinis!|
|Look at all the glorious free books - and that's not even HALF what I took home!|
And OMG – this!
|The one, the only Nora Roberts. And JD Robb (and me) - but mostly Nora, lol!|
But most of all, the joy was in the connecting with people.
The writers, the readers, the publishing professional – the overwhelming majority are just darn great people. Honestly, I can’t think of a more supportive and warm community. This year I was able to see this on every level, and even had the pleasure of paying forward some of the support and help that has been given to me in these last two years since I finished my first book and joined the community.
First of all, the readers just plain rock. My very first signing at the Literacy for Life charity even was a big success, and I had the pleasure of not only meeting new readers who bought my book, but meeting several face to face who had already read it and enjoyed it. I tell you, my friends, there are few things more wonderful on earth than the kind of warm fuzzy that experience provides. I just loved chatting with everyone, talking about our favorite authors and who we had fan-girl moments over (I managed NOT to embarrass myself around Julia Quinn this year - that's a first!) :-)
Secondly, as a published author, I got a different perspective of the agents and editors attending the event. I teased one about how these sort of conventions must be a big boost to the ego, but she immediately shook her head in earnest. “Not at all. I want these aspiring writers to have a good experience. I want them to feel good about themselves and their product.” It truly made me realize that they really are just people, too, and they are more sensitive to the writer’s plight than I ever realized. I didn’t meet a single person who wasn’t kind, or gracious, or funny.
And lastly, I was able to meet more authors than ever, be they aspiring, published, or topping-the-chart legends. Nearly every single writer I met this week was delightful, and I enjoyed many lovely conversations. I held my breath with those nervous about pitching (lots of success stories!), squee'd with newly pubbed authors like myself, and soaked in the wisdom and humor of those authors who have been in the business for years.
Yes, there were awesome workshops, and exciting awards, and inspiring speeches, but it will always be the people that bring me back year after year :-)
So tell me, what author would you most like to meet in person? I have DOZENS of signed books that I'll be giving away in the ensuing months, and one lucky commenter here will get the first pick! Winner chosen Thursday at 9pm CT.
|One lucky winner will get to pick one - or you can choose my own debut, MORE THAN A STRANGER!|