I just returned home from Washington, D.C. where I attended the Romance Writers of America (RWA) National Conference. It was a surreal experience. I hardly got any sleep the entire five days or so that I was there (though I can blame Jax Cassidy for that).
Even on the first official day (Wednesday) I was overwhelmed. Put 2,000-3,000 women in one hotel all obsessed with the same things and craziness is bound to happen.
I figured I'd give out a couple of conference highlights:
1. Spending every day with about 30 or 40 Romance Divas. These are some awesome ladies and it was great to match names and faces. I even got to pitch Romance Divas to several authors, including Susan Krinard, who was very nice! (Btw, she was writing vampires and werewolves long before they came back into fashion).
2. My friend, Jeannie Lin, won the Golden Heart for Historical Romance!!!!!!! We cheered very loudly for her. She made us all cry with her acceptance speech. I cannot think of anyone who deserved it more. PLUS, she got her first sale to Harlequin Mills & Boon during the middle of our impromptu pilates class two days before the win. Jeannie is all kinds of awesome. And, you can get free excerpts on her blog.
3. Meeting Kresley Cole. She's my favorite paranormal romance author and cute as can be. She's very warm and friendly and I just loved her. One of the divas is as obsessed as I am and went to all of the Kresley signings and generally just found her around the hotel. She said, "I'm stalking Kresley Cole." We were talking about this as we both waited to have Kresley sign books for us and Kresley said, "She's not stalking me. I'm stalking her."
4. Kresley told me that my favorite character in the Immortals After Dark series is getting her own book!!!!!!!! I'd spill the beans, but I don't know if the information is out yet.
5. Seeing Gena Showalter and Kresley Cole together!! I'd stalked--I mean talked--to both of them at the signings, but Jax and I happened to catch them together in the hallway. She knows both of them--lucky Jax. I got so excited and said, "I wish I had a camera to take a picture!" I hope they weren't scared of me. LOL. Though, honestly, I can't see much phazing Kresley.
6. I feel I must say that Gena Showalter is beautiful. I mean gorgeous. Really.
7. Attending the Rogue Digital Conference with Angela James, from Samhain Publishing, Jane from Dear Author, and Sarah from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. I am not entirely sure of the spellings as there are many Ja(y)nes at Dear Author.
8. Anne Stuart's workshop on Writing Dark Love Stories. It was really good. Detailed, informative, funny, and useful.
9. Diva Karaoke, swimming with Divas, Diva pajama party after the Ritas
10. Riding the Elevator with the famous Nora Roberts twice.
11. The Harlequin Party. I now understand why it is the place to be. Even Nora got down. Fun, fun, fun! My friend Amanda Brice even got up and sang Summer Lovin' with the DJ. Much better than when I sang it at karaoke.
12. Rooming with Jax Cassidy & Eden Bradley. Though we missed our good friend Lilli Feisty who had to stay home due to illness. I already miss them and I've only been home for 14 hours.
I made so many good friends and deepened other friendships. It was awesome.
RWA National has been a wonderful surprise. There were a few bumps here and there, but overall it was an incredible experience. I'll never forget meeting the wonderful friends at Divas. I have officially adopted Christina, Sandy, MG (Michelle), Emily R-D, Jax, and I'm already joined at the hip with Eden Bradley. And, of course, I'll never forget my little odd moments with Kresley and meeting Gena.
This post has already gone on long enough, so I'll end it by saying I had a very good time!