Thursday, July 23, 2015

Live from RWA National 2015, Part 1

Dateline: Times Square, New York

At the risk of deeply offending some of our readers, I must confess that Times Square is not my favorite place on the map. Too much light, too much noise, too much too much. But you know what? I’m pretty happy nonetheless, because I get to hang out here with one of the nicest people I know.

Regina and I made it into our hotel for the RWA National Conference on Tuesday, with poor Regina enduring a slightly more hectic journey than mine. It’s amazing and wonderful and a cause for great happiness that though we hadn’t seen each other in person for almost two years, nothing had changed—we hugged and were right there, as if we’d just seen each other last week. I hope all of you reading this are fortunate enough to have at least one such friend in your life. After a pleasant dinner at a charming (and deliciously authentic) Italian restaurant a short walk away (and after a lot of talking!!) we turned in, because Wednesday would be a busy day.

The Beau Monde Conference First up was the annual one-day conference held by the Regency chapter of RWA, The Beau Monde. The workshops were all uniformly excellent, presenters including Jackie Horne, who has blogged with us before, presenting on the material culture (a.k.a. “Stuff”) of 18th and 19th century childhood. And there was clotted cream and scones in the breakfast buffet—perfect for a room full of Anglophiles!

In the afternoon, Regina and I both participated in the big booksigning held every year at the National Conference, the proceeds of which are donated to literacy projects in the host city. Picture a room full of over 450 romance writers autographing books for romance readers...yes, I felt like I needed a nap afterward, too!

But no nap was forthcoming, because we had the Beau Monde Soiree to attend. I was most delighted that Regina’s slightly disreputable cousin, Sir Reginald, was in attendance this year, flirting outrageously and on the lookout for heiresses with more hair than wit...not that he found one (author Susan Gee Heino definitely doesn't meet that definition!)! There was early 19th century dancing, and a Silent Auction (Marissa happily bidding on more research materials!) and a very pleasant time had by all.

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