Day 1: Arrival, orientation, literacy book signing event! Everything went really well. I got checked into my room early, picked up my registration packet (and my "first timer" ribbon!...PS: WEAR THIS IF YOU GO! You only get it once, and it really does help. People are super nice to you and help you navigate the craziness that is your first time to the conference.), and went to the first-timer's orientation. If you plan on going to your first RWA event, definitely go to this session. You are introduced to a lot of terms (some you know and others you may not), and you also learn the important "dos and don'ts of the conference...including conference etiquette). As soon as I got out of the orientation, I went to get in line for the literacy signing. Honestly, I wish I had just waited and walked in after the line went through. (Of course, I only had a couple of people I wanted to meet first thing. If you want a book signed by one of the most famous authors, it might be a good idea to get in line.) At the literacy signing, I finally got to meet Vicky Dreiling, and I had the chance to meet Linda Howard! Roll Damn Tide, Ms. Howard! (Linda Howard is an Alabama bestselling author, so I was super excited to meet her!)
Day 2: I went to lots of workshops, met the amazing Barb Han (a new writer with Harelquin), and attended the Keynote lunch. AMAZING. Cathy Maxwell gave the keynote address, and it was so inspiring! Also, the fabulous Lisa Gardner and her mom sat at our table! More workshops in the afternoon, and then I collapsed that night! I really enjoyed all of the workshops this day. I think my favorite was Susan Elizabeth Phillip's workshop on characterization. She is so much fun, and I really learned a lot! I also went to a couple of publisher signings. One of the afternoon sessions was with Jayne Ann Krentz and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. So fun! And Lisa Gardner was sitting right behind me. At some point in the session, some woman answered her cell phone...and continued talking on it. NOTE: DON'T DO THIS. I mean, seriously??? It was horribly rude.
Day 3: VERY helpful self-publishing workshop by Liliana Hart started off my day. Wow. She is an excellent presenter. Then, I attended more workshops and signings, and I also went to the awards luncheon. So fun! And Kristan Higgins gave the speech...she is super funny and inspiring, too! We were all crying by the end. More workshops in the afernoon, etc. I also had a chance to briefly catch up with Beth Albright, a native of Alabama who is publishing the "Sassy Belles" trilogy with MIRA. I love her! I also met Sylvia Day, the president of RWA and the author of the "Crossfire" series. I am not big into erotic romance, but I have to say that Sylvia completely amazed me. I admire her so much.
Day 4: I had to leave early today, so I only attended one workshop (one with Vicky Dreiling...it was really for writers already advanced in their career, and it was about having an assistant...still, I took a lot out of it, because I have assistants who work for me at the magazine. So, good stuff!). I got home fairly early, and that was that!
Anyway, LOVED RWA 2013!!!! I really hope I get to go next year!! Here are some photos....
|Cathy Maxwell giving the Keynote speech. Sorry...I was too far back to take a picture of her on the stage! So, the big screen will have to do!|
|Jayne Ann Krentz and I! I adore her!|
|Lisa Gardner signing books. My mom loves Lisa's books!|
|Sylvia Day and I.|
|Jayne Ann Krentz and Susan Elizabeth Phillips before their session"Secrets of the Best-Selling Sisterhood."|
|The fabulous Linda Howard!|
|Finally! Vicky Dreiling and I get to meet!|