Sunday, July 26, 2015

At RWA 2015 in NYC

I'm sorry I haven't been around much, but I have a good excuse. First I was madly prepping to go to the Romance Writers of America (RWA) National Convention. This means writing like a crazy person to make up for the fact that I was going to lose five days of writing time (I normally write almost every day). And trying to figure out what the heck to wear, and then packing, and then (gulp) five and half hours on the bus to NYC.

Then, of course, I was actually AT the convention, and too busy to do much more than occasionally post a picture of my breakfasts on Facebook. (No, really, they were very good breakfasts. Lots of bacon.)

There are a number of reasons I go to the Nationals every few years. There are good workshops, and it is a great opportunity for networking. For me, though, the best part is the people I get to see that I don't have the opportunity to meet up with anywhere else. This was my third time attending, and in many ways it was very different from previous conventions. The first one I went to, in Washington, DC, I was just starting out in the fiction field, still looking for an agent. The second one, four years ago in NYC, I had my agent (the wonderful Elaine Spencer), but we hadn't sold a book yet. This year was my first time attending as a published author. This meant I got to take part in both the Literacy Signing Wednesday night (an insane mob scene also open to the public) and the Berkley signing on Friday for conference-goers only.

At the Literacy Signing

I love having piles of my books! And they all disappeared in the first hour!
Of course, it was a crazy hectic manic rush from the minute I got there. But I did get to see agent/author pal Lucienne Diver after the signing on Wednesday, where she convinced me to go to the Coastal Magic convention next February in Florida.

On Thursday, I had breakfast with some Betty friends, including roommate Megan Coakley. If you're a Betty, raise your hand in the comments :-)

Stephanie, Karen (who wasn't even at the convention and just drove in to see the rest of us), and Megan
 Then I had lunch with Elaine and we took part in a panel that featured agents and authors from The Knight Agency...and didn't manage to remember to get a picture of either. Sigh.

Hung out with brilliant author pal Mindy Klasky and hatched some possible plans...

 And then the highlight of my trip, finally meeting my amazing Berkley editor, Leis Pederson. We had such a great time together! (It's a funny looking picture because we convinced the security guard at the desk to take it.)
Me and Leis Pederson
She took me to a yummy Mediterranean restaurant called Kellari Taverna and we shared a bunch of appetizers including lamb riblets, and the most delicious flaming cheese. No, really. They soaked it in something like brandy and set it on fire. It was delish!

That's the cheese in the cast iron pan, no longer flaming.

On Friday, I got to go to two different workshops given by my favorite author, Jennifer Crusie. Jenny is not only a terrific author, she is a great teacher, and I credit her "Turning Points" workshop (that I went to at my first RWA, and then again this time) with improving my writing to the point where I finally got an agent. I started a standing tradition at that first Nationals of stalking her throughout the conference and giving her chocolate. (If you're going to stalk someone, you should at least make it worth her while.) This time I brought her handcrafted chocolates made by a local chocolatier. Yum.

The stupendous, amazing, inspirational Jennifer Crusie

Megan, Jenny, Stephanie and me
I also got to finally meet the lovely Patience Bloom, who is both an editor for Harlequin and the author of a funny, sweet, and poignant memoir called Romance is My Day Job (all about her real life love story), which I recently read and loved.

Patience Bloom, who made me wish I had red hair
 And of course, there was New York City. I'm not a city girl, myself, but you have to admit it is pretty splendid.

Bryant Park, where people were watching Shakespeare in the Park
I had a lot of fun, ate some wonderful food, and met up with a whole bunch of terrific people. But I was still really glad to get home to the kitties and you people.

I suspect we'll celebrate with a giveaway sometime this week. Just because.

Where is the last interesting place you traveled to? Are you a journeyer or a homebody like me?


  1. What a fun conference experience you had! I love hearing and seeing what you did! I'm definitely more of a homebody, but seemingly on the go a lot doing errands. The last interesting place that I traveled to was Washington DC in 2009 for the RWA conference. I focused my sightseeing on art museums and mansions and had a fabulous time!

    1. I was in DC for that one too! (And spent all my time at the hotel.)

      I definitely don't enjoy traveling, although I like being other places. I'm doing a lot of it this year, though.

  2. I went to RWA National Conference two years ago when it was in Atlanta and my mom went last year to is such a great resource for writers. I'm so sad I couldn't go this year...and even sadder now that I know you were there!

    Be sure to rest up now that you're home. I'm always a zombie when I get back from those big conferences. I love them! But they can be draining lol

    1. You bet--I'm still exhausted. Sadly, also still have deadlines :-)