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RWA Wrap-up

Well, the 2010 RWA Nationals Conference is over. Most everyone has returned home, most with blisters on top of blisters, others with more books than they thought they’d leave with, and still others who wish the fun didn’t have to end.

I fall in all three categories. I had so much fun and met so many wonderful people that I was sad to go. I was also damned glad to be home. As nice as the hotel was, I missed my bed and my family and pets. So without further ado…

First off, did you know there’s a secret society within RWA? I’m not talking about a chapter (although it could be one). I’m talking about a secret club. I discovered it quite by accident. I smoke. Yes, I know I’m killing myself, but that’s beside the point. I smoke and when I went out to love on my vice, I stumbled across…Beverly Jenkins, Elizabeth Sinclair, Carol Mortimer, Sable Grace, and host of other writers who came and went like feathers on the wind.

The Secret Smokers Club

I met newbies, like me, whom I “clicked” (to borrow Nora Roberts’ phrase) with. Silvia Arada, Heather Long, Malinda (I can’t remember her last name right now!), and others.

Me with one of my "clickers" Silvia Arada. When we get published we'll sit next to each other at literary signings. It's already planned.

Then there was the group of ladies I’d been wanting to meet for a year: Jillian Chantal, Sayde Grace, Cynthia Eden and their friends, Leah Fields, Rebecca Zanetti, and Brandi Hall.

Left to right: Rebecca Zanetti, Brandi Hall, Sayde Grace, and Jillian Chantal

Then there were the ladies I saw on a regular basis, talked to for hours and can’t remember their names unless I have their cards out. I’m sorry if I’ve forgotten to mention you!!

There were so many people, so many friendly faces, I didn’t have time to feel antisocial.

Tomorrow I’ll give you a list of National Conference do’s and don’ts, but for today I’m concentrating on the people who made the conference wonderful for me.

I didn’t run around like the paparazzi, although it was tempting. I exercised restraint and I believe it made my conference experience that much better.

Me with Christina Dodd at the Literacy Autographing. She ran out of books, but was nice enough to pose with her fans.

Taking a picture with Teresa Medeiros. Do you see the awe on my face?

I’d seen Christina Dodd and Teresa Medeiros in the lobby the day of the Literacy Autographing and was star struck. That night, I managed to see Christina and take a picture with her. I didn’t get to see Teresa because there was so much going on, I couldn’t find her. I fixed that when I went to the Avon book signing.

Friday afternoon, I saw a tweet from Kresley Cole saying she was going to be at the Pocket book signing. I had a workshop planned for that time slot, but every thoughts of being a writer were abandoned as I sprinted to the signing room. And sprinting in flip-flops is damned hard to do.

Kresley Cole was worried about knocking heads with me for the picture. Yeah, I did the fangirl thing and said I wouldn't mind. *dies*

After this mind-blowing event, I went next door to Berkley’s book signing looking for the last gem in my crown of fangirldom. I searched all over the room. It was massive! Then, I spotted her. Nalini Singh! I seriously let out a squeak of joy and dodged other writers to get to her table.

She has the most lovely accent and was gracious in the face of my enthusiasm.

Yes, I met 4 of my favorite authors, the ones whose books I read over and over again. There were some missing from this conference, but since I’m planning to go to New York next year, I’ll add them to my collection. Kind of like collecting heads.

Who are the authors you’d want to meet the most at a conference?

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This Little Piggy Begged for Mercy

Day 2 of RWA Nationals and my feet are ready to go on strike.

It started out well enough. I woke up early yesterday so I could have my normal two hour warm up before I started getting ready to face the day. I made it to and through registration with little or no fanfare. Then I had 4 hours to spare until it was my turn to volunteer to help set up for the Literacy Autographing.

I kind of wandered around…lonely as a cloud. Then people started noticing the little orange ribbon on my badge stating that I’m a newbie. I had so many new friends I didn’t know what to do with myself! Y’all…I sort of had lunch with Maggie Shayne! Well, she had lunch. I kind of stood at the counter waiting for my order to be ready. She and her friends were nice enough to let me jabber at them while they ate.

My feet started hating me around noon, but by the time the book signing was about to start, they were ready to remove themselves from my legs. I forced myself back upstairs to take a bath because there was NO way I was going to try to see my favorite authors smelling like a man. I did a walk-by gawking at Christina Dodd and Teresa Medeiros (who are both beautiful with great hair in person…damn them).

I finally got to meet up with Sayde Grace, and Jillian Chantal and then it was on to the signing. Let me just say…well, it was awesome. I showed great restraint because I only walked out of there with one book. Yes, one. Mostly because there were no more by the time I found my target authors. But that’s okay. I took a picture with Christina Dodd…Not posting it just yet since I don’t have my cables. But she looks fabulous and I look like I’m about to fall on her.

While walking around though, I managed to make contact with the authors I’ve enjoyed with upcoming releases like Christine Warren, Sophie Jordan, Sharon Page, and I got a great big ole hug from Michelle Marcos. *sniff* I felt so special. Then my feet had to hate me again.

It was…wonderful. Really. If you ever get the chance to go to one of these book signings (whether you’re an author or a reader) you HAVE to go. It was so chaotic and crazy, but it was great to see so many avid readers. It made me feel good to be both a reader and a writer.

So the morning’s task? See if my feet will work. My memory foam slippers are wonderful, but they might not be enough to make my poor toes look…well, more like toes and less like Vienna Sausages.

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