Every July the Romance Writers of America, the only writers’ organization I belong to, hold their annual conference. This year it was in San Diego.
It always starts off with a bang on Wednesday night with a huge author signing (over 400 authors took part) to raise money for literacy. I visited loads of people, but here I am with the lovely Sarah Morgan!
As a person doing a solitary job, it is always great to come together with a couple thousand other people who understand what it takes to write day in and day out, to the tune of three books a year for me. Some authors at the conference are prolific writing machines and produce six to eight books a year. Yes, my jaw always drops with that bit of information, too.
Here I am on Thursday meeting with friends at the bar for drinks and appetizers. L-R: Dee J. Adams, Roz Lee, Me, Trish Cerrone and Roben Grant. I’d been running non-stop all day up until this time. Believe it or not, we found time to discuss works in progress and give each other tips for when we get stuck. Somehow I managed to say something that cut loose Roz Lee, the short cut red-haired lady sitting next to me, from her block. It had something to do with starting at the wrong place. See, that’s the beauty of talking the talk with folks who understand.
The point of the conference is to present workshops on craft, career, and self-publishing, plus author panels and chats, as well as publisher spotlights.Here are a bunch of pictures that took place on Friday morning starting at the Harlequin author spotlight and ending with a great lunch hosted by the Medical Romance editors. Left to right – Medical Romance pals Amalie Berlin, double Rita finalist for short contemporary Scarlet Wilson, Amy Ruttan and me! On the right my Harlequin Intrigue pal, Carol Ericson.
Here I am with my July book buddy, Susan Carlisle. We wrote Summer Brides stories and decided to set the books in Savannah, Georgia
Last year’s double RITA finalist, and winner, Caro Carson surprised me and we had a good giggle.
The highlight of my day on Friday was catching up with my favorite Romance author, Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Can’t wait to read her next book – FIRST STAR I SEE TONIGHT – due out August 23rd, and available for preorder now!
Then there were the lunches hosted by the editors from both sides of the pond. Friday was Medical Romance and here is my gorgeous salad. Then, of course Friday night was the Harlequin party. Fun, fun, fun! Here are the medical romance ladies striking a pose:
On Saturday I got to have lunch with the Harlequin Special Edition crew, hosted by Gail Chasan, the Senior Editor for the line. L-R: Caro Carson, Terri Wilson, Gail Chasan, Shirley Jump, Michelle Major, Stacey Connelly, Me, Rachel Johns and Judy Duarte.
Can you say B U S Y?
Eighty percent of this conference involved my publisher, Harlequin. Everything from focus groups to the powers that be giving a general state of the state of Harlequin business in publishing, to fabulous editor/author lunches. Of course the highlight of the weekend is the Harlequin party on Friday night (see above masquerade picture) and the RITA awards on Saturday night.
First I had dinner on Saturday night. Then my roommate for the conference, Dee J. Adams and I enjoyed the fabulous RITA awards.
I don’t go every year, but when I do I have a ball, and it takes a full week to recover once I get home.
But I’m not complaining. In fact, I’m sitting here looking at these fun pictures and smiling all over again.
Do you ever go to work or hobby related conferences? What’s your favorite or least favorite part?
Until next time, make it a great one! Lynne