Tuesday, August 17, 2010

RWA Conference 2010: Final Two Days

I ran out of steam on Friday and Saturday. Wowsa! The last days of the conference went by in a blur as well. Friday went well. I left the room early to eat the yummy continental breakfast with other authors. After that I headed down to the Editor/Agents Appointments area where I had the fun job of volunteering! At first I stood around waiting to work, but in the end I got to be the lady who watched the clocks. In my best professional voice, if one could call it that, I announced, "2 Minutes" and then the evil, "Time's Up." It was fun actually. I had a chance to chit-chat with literary agent Donna Bagdasarian (she's a sweetheart) as well as many other agents and editors. One thing I immediately noticed was the inspirational editors from Harlequin didn't get many folks. (So if you're an inspirational author go to RWA Nationals! You have a great chance to pitch your book!)

Yes, I'm missing many photos from Friday and Saturday during the day. Perhaps due to the fact I went zombie those days! The RWA Conference can be an exhausting experience. I highly recommend taking the Monday off after the conference to recharge. I'm also happy I took a later flight on Sunday. I got to spend the morning on Sunday slowly packing and working on edits for my agent. (It's amazing what a quiet hotel room can do!)

I had so much fun at the dinner and on Friday when I went to FF&P chapter's dinner, The Gathering. They had a steampunk themed dinner with a costume contest! So much fun. I kinda wished I would have brought a costume. :)

Overall, I had a blast at RWA. I can't wait to see everyone again in New York! (I think I need to start saving up now since it will be at the Marriott Marquis.)

Ritas and Golden Hearts Awards Dinner (Last year we didn't have a dinner. This year, instead of a lunch we got dinner. I like this format much better.)

Socializing After Dinner (I see a few Romance Divas!)

Megan Kelly and Jennifer Jakes

Amanda Berry, Keri Ford, and Jeannie Lin

Julie Opdyke and Megan Kelly

Jeannie Line, Karen Davidson, and Kate Pearce

Kristi Lea and Amanda Berry

Bria Quinlan, Amanda Berry and Jeannie Lin

Brian Quinlan and Gwen Hayes

Me and Michelle Rowen

Bria Quinlan, Gwen Hayes, and Jeannie Lin

Rachel Jameson, Sabrina Darby, and Jeannie Lin

Jeannie Lin, MG Braden, and Amanda Berry

2010 YA Rita Winner - Simon Elkeles for PERFECT CHEMISTRY

Kimberly Killion and Kristi Lea

Me and C.L. Wilson

YA Authors Jennifer Echols and Rosemary Clement-Moore

I did take a quick video shot of the fountain outside in the Dolphin Hotel where I stayed. So pretty! The MORWA folks were getting ready to have lunch for the last time before got on our flight.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

RWA Conference Day #3: Thrilling Thursday

By Thursday I'd recovered from Disney and could finally enjoy the workshops. I'd only stayed up until 1 or so for Diva Karaoke. (I distinctly remember strolling out singing Like a Virgin... Or was I dancing out to Material Girl...? Eh, either way it was some Madonna song.) I was beat, but I had fun waiting in the Swan hotel: the YARWA Breakfast gathering. I took a moment after I got there to snag a seat and then snap some pictures. I got a chance to talk with so many folks including Tera Lynn Childs, Sophie Jordan (be sure to check out her YA debut of Firelight -- the cover is the BOMB), and the outgoing President of YARWA the fabulous Rosemary Clement-Moore. I made so many friends. I hope to get things going for YARWA and get my plans in place for the website and things.

After the breakfast I walked with Tera and Sophie to the Goodie Room. From there I hung out until the first workshop I attended: Pansters, Plotter, and Plotsers. OMG, the presenters were so much fun. (By the way, I confirmed I'm a Plotser. And thus a hybrid model.) After that I went to the next workshop which I loved, loved, loved. How to Mend a Broken Scene by Roxanne St. Claire. The room was packed--I mean we had authors sitting on the floor in the back, me included. I managed to snag the coveted handout and boy was this workshop worth it. She broke her scene down and then showed us how she added back in the missing elements. I had my "ah-ha" moment when thinking about my own materials. (The ah-ha resulted in a 50 page edit, but hey, books are made to be edited, right?) After that workshop I had planned to go to the Shitty First Drafts one, but I met up with some Divas and we headed on over the Paranormals workshop with Kelley Armstrong, Jeaniene Frost, Terri Garey, Colleen Gleason, Juliana Stone, and Cheryl Wilson. Not too bad. A few of the questions left me scratching my head but overall a decent workshop.

Thursday is a busy night at the conference. Many chapters have events as well as different publishing houses. On that particular night I had the YARWA general meeting and I was Amanda S. Berry's date for the Finally a Bride awards ceremony. Amanda won first place last year for the Paranormal category (yay Amanda!) I hung out with her for a while. I even had a chance to see Michelle Rowen again as well as a chit chat with Romance Divas Rachel Jameson and Sabrina Darby.

Eventually like Cinderella I had to ditch my date and head to the YARWA meeting. I snapped many photos as you can see and had a blast listening to Tera Lynn Childs and Rosemary Clement-Moore give their talk. I rubbed elbows with the members and afterwards I thought the evening was over. Yeah right! I meet up with some Divas including Jeannie Lin, Gwen Hayes, December Gephart, and Bria Quinlan to head to some room parties. At our first stop we had some wine and donuts. I had a chance to meet Ann Aguire (she even has a YA coming out!) Victoria Dahl and several others.) After that shindig, we bounced to Courtney Milan's suite. She's a really sweet HQN author who writes Regency. By that point I had lost my shoes and had a chance to chill. While there I met Regency Romance author Tessa Dare, YA author Jennifer Echols, and even managed to talk to Lindsey Faber, the Managing Editor at Samhain Publishing. Whoa, what a night. No wonder I'm writing this several days later. I stayed up way too late that week!

YARWA Breakfast Get Together

Another Breakfast shot. (I tried to make sure folks didn't have their mouths open with food.)

YARWA Breakfast (I see Tera Lynn Childs and Laurel Wenrow there...)

YARWA Breakfast

YARWA Breakfast

Our Keynote Luncheon With Nora Roberts - Great Speech. But also the beginning of the chickenfest at the conference.

Post Luncheon Pic with MORWA Authors

YARWA General Meeting

YARWA General Meeting - The new Treasurer Micki Gibsen and President Jennifer Hilt

YARWA General Meeting - Folks lining up for goodies

YARWA General Meeting

YARWA General Meeting

YARWA General Meeting

YARWA General Meeting

YARWA General Meeting - Jennifer Hilt and Rosemary Clement-Moore

Me and YA Author Gwen Hayes

Tera Lynn Childs and Rosemary Clement-Moore give their talk.

Tera Lynn Childs and Rosemary Clement-Moore give their talk. (Another angle!)

Wine and Donuts in a hotel room party. I wish I could remember what made Bria laugh... That's Jeannie Lin and Keri Ford across from her. And then I spy Rachel Jameson as well.

Gwen Hayes and Decemeber Gephart

Ann Aguire and Gwen Hayes

Ann Aguire and I

Why yes, that is Gwen Hayes, Courtney Milan, and Bria Quilan playing Operation at the hotel suite party.

I wonder who will trigger the buzzer first?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

RWA Conference Day #2 - Wayback Wednesday

Yep, the RWA Conference happened 2 weeks ago, but I'm jumping into my wayback machine to recap on those misty memories.

On that Wednesday I woke up stiff and in pain. Serious pain as a result from Day #1 at Disney. Oh yes, Disney, I blame you for my pain and suffering. Most folks don't need to stretch after they wake up from a walk around Disney.

After I recovered enough to move, I went down to volunteer for the literacy signing. I worked from eight to noon opening boxes and labeling them for the signing. It was so nice to meet fellow YARWA authors like Micki Gibson (new YARWA treasurer) and Jennifer Hilt (new YARWA president). I had a chance to chit chat briefly with Smart Bitches Blogger Sarah Wendell (Boy can that chick haul books in a dress, you go girl!) My reward for hauling books: two free ones. Woo hoo!

I spent the rest of the afternoon chilling and reconnecting with friends. Somehow I managed to spend to some time editing (very, very little that day).

The fun jumped off that evening when the Literacy Signing started at 5. I had a chance to take pictures of MORWA members, fellow Romance Divas, as well as pictures of favorite authors and friends. I had a blast!

After the Literacy Signing wrapped up, I joined a few authors, including Amanda Berry and Ella Drake, to head over to Kimonos. The Diva karaoke would take place there so we decided to snag a seat. We had a wait a while, but while we waited we got a chance to snag our Diva badges! (I'm Camping with Cheesecake Diva by the way.)

Then Romance Divas Karaoke started! So much fun! Okay, except for the server who brought my check real fast. Hey, can't a girl have more than one soda?

While I was there I saw so many authors from last year! I got to watch Amanda Berry, Melissa Francis and another Diva sing Baby Got Back. There is a video floating around Youtube, but I will be kind and not post that puppy. I also got to watch Angie Fox, her agent Jessica Faust, and two other BookEnds authors sing It's Raining Men! Bravo, Angie!

I got to sing Love Shack as well as some other classics where I got to gyrate and sing on the tiny stage. There's nothing like coming back to my hotel room after bonding with the Divas.

Two romantic suspense authors: AJ Brower and a new friend I ate lunch with. :)

Authors and Romance Divas: Gwen Hayes and Jeannie Lin

Gwen Hayes and Cambria Dillion have a kodak moment when they meet. *grins*

Romance Divas reconnecting and meeting for the first time

Literacy Signing Pictures:

Sci-Fi Romance Author and Romance Diva Jess Granger

Paranormal Author and Romance Diva Teresa D'Amario

Harlequin Author and Romance Diva Amanda S. Berry - Her First RWA Signing Yay!

MORWA Authors waiting for Amanda to sign

Romance Divas Jeannie Lin (The Blinker) and Bria Quinlan (I still love the pic though.)

Historical Author and Romance Diva Sabrina Darby

Erotic Romance Author and Romance Diva Robin L. Rotham

The Fabulous Michelle Rowen. She's an agencymate of mine. We're both repped by Jim McCarthy with D & G Lit Management. I got a signed copy of Demon Princess!

Harlequin Author and Romance Diva Liz Talley. (Love her clothes!)

Paranormal, Urban Fantasy & Young Adult Romance Author and Romance Diva Extraordinaire Kristen Painter

YA Author and Romance Diva Melissa Francis (As well as Baby Got Back All Star)

Romance Author and Romance Diva Louisa Edwards

One of my many writing sprints partners in crime: C.L. Wilson. I heart Cheryl. We got a chance to reconnect and talk more during this conference!

Dark Paranormal, Futuristic, and Science Fiction Romance Author and Romance Diva Ella Drake. She was a finalist for the PRISM award this year from the FF&P chapter of RWA.

Historical Authors Jeannie Lin and Jennifer Jakes. Jennifer was a finalist for the Golden Heart's Historical Category.

Author and Romance Diva Karen Erickson

Historical Author and MORWA President Kimberly Killion

Historical Author and Romance Diva Victoria Janssen - I love her covers--so good.

Me and Brenda Jackson - Her writing is spectacular!

Paranormal Author Angie Fox (all my other pictures of Angie are too serious to post. Yeah. *cough* Too serious.)

Authors Angie Fox and Cathryn Fox. (Can I call them the foxy ladies?)

Romance Divas Karaoke: