All righty! I have returned from Washington DC where Romance Writers of America held its annual national conference. As a west coaster, this means jet lag and I am such a sleep wimp. But it wasn’t bad and I took naps when possible. I won’t be able to remember things in order so bear with me.
In previous posts, I mentioned that the Risky Regencies members were interviewed on XM radio. I hope to have a link for you soon. The interview was Wednesday. I met up with fellow Grand Central Publishing authors for breakfast one day. It’s always so nice to talk about the business with people who are in the writing business.
A couple of times I was lucky enough to hang out with the wonderful historical author Joanna Bourne. She also won a RITA for My Lord and Spymaster. Joanna must be about the nicest person on the planet. I told a couple of fellow local chapter members that we need to lure her out to SF to talk to us. She’d be an awesome speaker.
Other writers I got to hang out and talk with include Bella Andre (hot firefighters!!), Amy Lau, Victoria Wolff, Ammanda McCabe, Andea Pickens, Diana Gaston and many many many more I’ll name in other contexts in a bit.
I also attended Ann Aquirre’s pajama party and someone was talking too loud or something because at midnight, hotel security called and asked that we pipe down. I believe that’s a sign that a good time was had by all. The party was well attended by bloggers, readers, reviewers and writers, including KatieBabs, Katie Garrabrant, Victoria Dahl, reviewers for Dear Author, oh, just gobs of great people who told funny stories etc. There were, as well, some fairly awesome pajamas.
My roommate, Megan Frampton got the doughnuts for our doughnut party and we sat around with writers etc in our room eating and watching the interesting bits of True Blood Season One, and reading bits from I don my wizard cap and cape. Google it. Not Safe For Work.
I had meetings, too. Lots of meetings. I meet with editor Amy Pierpont of GCP since my editor wasn’t there. We solidified the schedule for my next two paranormals for them and brainstormed about what marketing we’d do during 2010 since the two books will likely be back-to-back in June and July 2011. My meeting with my agent was also very helpful. It was great to talk about a big plan that covered my writing for both houses. I met with my Berkley editor, Kate Seaver, who edits my historicals. We talked about future projects.
There was unanticipated excitement, too. For example, the arrival of the Italian soccer team. OMG!! Some gentlemen associated with the team expressed wonderment at arriving at the hotel (by the way, the Wardman Marriott is a gorgeous hotel!) to find that all the guests appeared to women, many of them quite attractive.
Then there was the fire alarm, which required an evacuation. I stood outside with Jade Lee (Dragons) and Jessica Anderson (Mayan hotties) and we talked about books and stuff and I managed to get a couple of pics of the firefighters arriving. I think they were a bit startled by all the women taking pics of them. They had no idea. But come on! Firefighters at a Romance Writers convention? Then, after we were allowed back in Jade and I were in a hallway talking while interrupted talks were resuming and she was waiting for editor Chris Keeslar of Dorchester Publishing and I was waiting for the Ballantine spotlight to start when three more firefighters appeared! They were cuties, too and also looked at bit disconcerted by all the women. I didn’t get my phone out fast enough to get a close up shot.
I’m afraid my biggest reqret is missing the Marines. But that was post RITA’s and I had to go finish drying my jeans with an iron after someone’s glass of wine accidentally broke and splashed yours truly well and good. I was mentally worthless anyway but *sob* Marines! They too, as I hear it, expressed wonderment and awe at 2000 (well, 1999) women in party dresses.
The RITA awards were very nice. They did a great job keeping things moving along. The biggest excitement for me was Pam Rosenthal’s win for Edge of Impropriety and Joanna Bourne’s RITA win as noted above. Fellow Twitterer Karen Templeton won a RITA, too, which was also very exciting. There were a lot of very classy and touching acceptance speeches for the Golden Heart and the RITAs. My understanding is that all the RITA winners in the historical categories are Beau Monde members. If you write historicals, you might want to think of joining.
I got to meet many of my twitter followers/followees in person. And may I say that Victorial Dahl is as hilarious in person as she is on Twitter?
I didn’t pick up as many books as I did at the San Francisco conference because I’d have had to ship them back. One disappointment about the hotel was they didn’t do USPS, but I just shipped by UPS which was essentially the same price. I also wasn’t able to attend as many of the signings due to meetings or other engagements or to the fact that I was signing myself.
As is often the case, even though RWA members put on some awesome workshops, sometimes the best thing is sitting around talking to people — editors, agents, fellow writers, bloggers, booksellers, librarians, etc. I did find that the conference schedule was poorly laid out in the booklet and it was hard to figure out what was going on when and I think I missed out on a lot because of that.
Anne Stuart’s workshop on Alpha Heroes was interesting, as was Jennifer Crusie’s presentation on plot structure (I so need that!) Some workshops I wanted to attend were SRO only by the time I found them so I didn’t attend those. I believe I have mentioned before that I am directionally impaired. I spent a lot of time lost. I’m used to it.
I think that’s it for now.