2200 people, mostly women, all of whom either write, read, publish or agent romance! That was Romance Writers of America’s national conference in Dallas this past week. Predictably, the bar almost immediately ran out of the pomegranate syrup for their special martinis! OK, no, I didn’t spend the whole conference in the bar - though I do thank fellow Aphro P.J. Mellor for the bellini she bought me, at the top of the rotating dome.
Aphros were all over the place. Kate Douglas has posted a ton of pictures, which I haven’t had a chance to look at yet, because I just got home and haven’t even unpacked yet. Check them out at http://www.katedouglas.com. Not only were we Aphro gals visible in the bar, our members presented workshops, attended the bookseller tea, and won awards. I had trouble keeping track of everything, so I’m hoping other authors will chime in here and blow their own and each other’s horns. I believe Sharon Page won a National Reader’s Choice Award for “Sin.” Kate D. came second in the paranormal category of the Booksellers Best Awards for “Wolf Tales” (I think it was her first WT book) and third in the PRISM. And I think Vivi Anna got a second in the Passionate Plume contest. Forgive me if I’ve messed up on the details!
My own “Champagne Rules” won two Booksellers Best Awards, one for mainstream romance and one for best first book. Woo-hoo! When they announced my name twice, I couldn’t believe it. Then I had one of those Sally Field “you like me, you really like me” moments, because it’s so thrilling for an erotic romance to achieve that kind of credibility. (By the way, that was the night I discovered those pomegranate martinis . Thanks to the gals from Oregon who helped me celebrate.)
What else was great about RWA National? (1) The amazing sense of camaraderie and support, and all the positive energy buzzing through the air. Seriously, it was even stronger than the meat-locker air-conditioning. (2) The news from bookbuyers and booksellers that romance is not only by far the biggest genre in fiction sales, but it’s steadily growing. Yay, us! (3) Terrific sessions put on by RWA’s Published Author Network, with bookbuyers, booksellers, multi-published authors and more - and the other great workshops on the regular conference program. (4) The parties, like Kensington’s cocktail party for their authors, and a fun dinner with the ladies from Romance Divas. (5) The special events, like the Kiss of Death Chapter’s pre-conference tour - featuring three search and rescue dog + handler teams. (6) The inspirational luncheon speeches by Lisa Kleypas and Lisa Jackson, the great RITA and Golden Heart awards ceremony, and the literacy signing. Imagine 2000 people in one room, all passionate lovers of romance novels. What a wonderful celebration and validation of what we read and write. (7) Having Kris, the editor of LoveLetter (the German romance magazine) bring me copies of the June issue with my story on Awesome Vancouver. Of course I couldn’t read a word, but it was so exciting to see my name, and the pix were fabulous . (8) And, as always, hanging out with old friends and meeting new ones.
Those are my off-the-cuff fond memories of conference highlights. How about the rest of you who attended? What was special for you?
Posted by Susan Lyons ::
10:09 AM ::