Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The 2010 Romance Writers of America Conference, or ..... "Why Are All These Women Smiling?"

This time last week I was packing for the biggest annual event in the romance writing industry, the 30th Romance Writers of America conference. Over 2000 women in attendance, members of a thriving organization of over 11,000 strong, talented women who write, or aspire to write, novels about true love and other disasters. :)

This year, the conference was held at the Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, FL. People complained about hot, painful reality of Florida in July, but the heat didn't bother me a bit; I never set foot outside until after dark! 

I really enjoyed laughing with old friends (the picture above is of some of my oldest and dearest pals from Writers At Play) and making new ones, like the uber-cool Juliana Stone (far left) and the amazingly awesome and energetic Joss Ware (far right).  Jules, Joss, Pam Palmer, Jocelynn Drake and I have joined collective paranormal/urban fantasy forces with like-minded authors from Avon, HarperTeen, William Morris and Eos, and formed a group blog and Facebook page called "The Supernatural Underground: Books That Go Bump In the Night".  If you like romantic reading material that includes vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, dragons, faeries, or the occasional post-apocalyptic hook-up, you should totally check us out.  :-) I'll be giving away a variety of hot and steamy paranormal reads autographed personally by these cool chicks in the week ahead!

At 5:30, we headed for the RWA Literacy booksigning, which was HUGE.  (Imagine a big, noisy room full of a thousand booklovers--readers, booksellers, fans, tourists--and over 500 authors, all talking at once.)  The proceeds from the book sales during that event are donated to literacy programs all over the country, designed to introduce others to the joy of reading. Over $55,000 was raised over the next two hours: a lot of books were signed, a lot of pictures were taken and a lot of friends were made!

The next day few days went by in a blur: a meeting with my agent, the lovely Christina Hogrebe; co-presenting a panel on the writing and cross-genre marketing of Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy/Science Fiction Fantasy novels; discussing career plans and market trends with my writing friends; a publisher Open House signing where I literally signed and gave away 200 books; a publisher cocktail party at Epcot's Living Seas (which was awesome!); attended workshops on Bookseller Buying Habits with head buyers from Borders, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, as well as a Career Planning workshop headed by three of the industry's top literary agents.

To wrap it all up, I got to enjoy the incredible achievement of dear friend Beth Andrews, who walked away from the RITA award ceremony with her very own golden lady in the Series Contemporary category for her novel, A NOT-SO-PERFECT PAST, and the stellar achievements of Angi Morgan, who won a Golden Heart award for her soon to be published, SEE JANE RUN.  My friends and I celebrated into the night, taking pictures of us all glammed up, and knowing that as soon as we went to bed, our jam-packed fun would all be over.  We made sure to get our annual "leg shot", which pretty much guarantees writing success in the year to come (Hey, don't knock the tradition - it really seems to be paying off for me and my friends!).

I miss them already, and after a few good, solid nights worth of sleep, I'd be ready to do it all again!

1 comment:

Sharon S. said...

2000!? wow, that's a lot of romance loving . see you at the Underground!