Friday, August 4, 2017

What We Did on Our Summer Vacation, Part 2

Marissa and I so look forward to the Romance Writers of AmericaTM annual conference because, as she noted on Tuesday, we get to spend almost a week visiting, learning, visiting, meeting with editors and agents, winning awards (okay, only one of us won an award, and you know who that was!), celebrating these crazy careers of ours, and visiting some more. This year there were some changes to the cherished conference schedule, but one thing did not change. The first event, and in many ways the premiere event for us, is the Beau Monde mini-conference and soiree on Wednesday.

As we’ve mention, the Beau Monde is the Regency special interest chapter, for authors who write about the early nineteenth century. Most stories are set in England, but some are set in France or Italy, and the daring Darlene Marshall writes Regency stories set in Florida and the Caribbean. (What’s not to love about Regency pirates!) The mini-conference generally features fascinating workshops, a keynote address (this year by one of my personal favorites, Kate Pearce, who writes the marvelous Kurland St. Mary mysteries as Catherine Lloyd), a silent auction of Regency-related goodies with the proceeds going to a literacy charity (Marissa took home a sugar bowl and creamer in the Regent’s own pattern), a soiree with music and dancing in the evening, and the Royal Ascot Awards.

The Royal Ascot is the only writers’ contest specifically for Regency-set manuscripts. Once upon a time, I entered and learned a great deal. But I wasn’t nearly good enough to reach the final stage at that point in my writing journey. This year’s contest, organized by Kalinya Parker-Pryce (an author to watch, ladies!), featured a chance for readers to weigh in on their favorite manuscript as well as judging by established Regency authors. The winner was the charming Louisa Cornell, who was also inducted as the Beau Monde’s next president. (Her published novel came out after she entered the contest.) Here’s to you, my dear!

Of course, one of the reasons I love the soiree is the clothing. Many ladies come in Regency or faux-Regency garb. Here’s the lovely Elizabeth Baron in a coral-colored gown made from antique sari material. Fabulous! 

My picture of the marvelous Cora Lee did not turn out, but she was kind enough to send me an alternative. Isn’t the embroidery gorgeous? The blue matched her eyes!

As always, I was sad to see the week end. I learn so much at the conference that I often feel as if I’ve grown a few sizes (maybe it’s the wonderful food!), and the world seems far too tight when I come home. But my mind’s teeming with new ideas for my next self-published series and projects to pitch to my editor and other publishing houses. So, you know what I’ll be doing the next few weeks.

By the way, a certain young man of my acquaintance will be heading to his final year of graduate school next week, and I will be helping send him off, so I will rejoin you on August 18 with news of the publication sort. Until then, happy reading!


QNPoohBear said...

It sounds like an amazing time! I love the sari print Regency gown and the embroidered one. I love the Kurland St. Mary mysteries. I recommend them to bluestockings older teen to adult. The other authors mentioned are new to me.

Congratulations to a certain young man! It's a huge accomplishment to make it to that final year.

Evelyn Hill said...

Thank you for sharing this! I am setting my sights on Denver next year, and I would love to make it to the Beau Monde soiree. It looks like great fun :)

Regina Scott said...

Thanks, QNPoohBear! And I will pass along your congratulations. It's hard for me to believe he's been going to college for 6 years now!

Regina Scott said...

You're welcome, Evelyn! Marissa and I are hoping to make Denver. Perhaps we'll see you there!