Sunday, July 29, 2012

Blogging from National 2012, Part 2

Thursday and Friday, the RWA Conference gets down to business, with nearly 2,000 authors and other industry professionals crowding the halls and meeting rooms. Marissa and I have been attending workshops, including a great one by Patrick Brown from Goodreads. We’ve also been meeting with our agents and editors, learning how they see our careers going and how we can help each other succeed. Then too, we’ve spent a lot of time networking with other authors, gleaning industry knowledge and catching up with old friends.

Along the way, we’ve been able to squeeze in some extra fun. For example, Marissa had a lovely chat with a nineteenth century lady when we went out to dinner at the nearby Anaheim Garden Walk.

Friday night was the party to end all parties, thrown each year by Harlequin for its many authors and industry professionals. I was not allowed to bring a date, so I had to leave Marissa behind (and she will tell you I was the more upset by that!). But the other ladies who write and work for Love Inspired were very kind to me. One took this picture of me at our table, with the gorgeous centerpiece of red roses on white damask.

Saturday it was back to more workshops, including one on deciding whether to write for the YA market, taught by me, Marissa, and our delightful agent Emily Sylvan Kim.

As I finish this post, we are busy packing for an early flight home tomorrow and eagerly awaiting news of the Golden Heart and RITA® award winners. The Golden Heart recognizes outstanding romance manuscripts and often serves to launch an unpublished author’s career. The RITA is a peer award recognizing outstanding published romance novels and novellas in 12 categories. The winner receives a golden statuette of a lady. Sometimes attendees get a chocolate version afterwards. I plan to keep mine until I earn the real thing.

Or get really, really hungry.

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