Oh, yes? My turn to blog, you say? But I'm having so much fun!
Thursday saw the start of the workshops for the conference, and Marissa and I eagerly soaked up information on the industry, from better ways to blog (I'm obviously still working on that) to understanding market trends. But a highlight of the day was a very refined tea with a marvelous group of librarians, publicists, and authors (thank you so much, John! You are my hero!). We talked about literature, our lives, the influence our teachers had on us, and the way odd things can point us to our true calling.
That evening, Marissa invited me to attend a networking party for published authors. I walked into the room, and there was a spunky little lady, talking with great charm and animation. That should have been enough to win me over, but I took one look at her nametag and nearly swooned.
Deeanne Gist is one of the shining lights of historical romance. The self-styled "bad girl" of the inspirational subgenre, she pushes the boundaries and expands the market for all who dare to follow behind. She spent the evening with me and Marissa (and a host of other folks who were drawn to her warm laugh and clever wit), and we talked about favorite books, our families, and the messages we send our readers (obviously still working on that one too!).
Many publishers host their own signings at the conference, giving away thousands of copies of free books to attendees. I was one of the Love Inspired authors signing this year on Friday morning, along with award-winning author Renee Ryan, who somehow writes great Westerns, serves on the Romance Writers of America board, and still looks like a movie star every time I see her.
Ever since I started writing for Love Inspired, I look forward to Friday nights at conference, because that's when my publisher throws a party for all its authors. This year the Black and White Ball was held at the Waldorf-Astoria and featured black-and-white decore and even food! I joined nearly 200 of my sister authors on the dance floor, celebrating another year in the greatest profession on earth.
But you know what? I wouldn't have met Marissa, come to New York, or had a wonderful career so far without you reading my books. So, thank you. It's been a blast, and I know the best is yet to come.