Saturday, July 25, 2009

RWA 2009 Wrap Up

For the past seven years I've devoted a week in July to learning, networking, and just enjoying everything there is to love about the Romance Writers of America. This year was no different. RWA gathered in our Nation's Capitol at the beautiful Wardman Marriott in Washington D.C.'s Woodley Park neighborhood.

As it does every year, the conference kicked off with a bang on Wednesday night. Nearly 500+ authors signed books donated by their publishers with 100% of the proceeds going to organizations that help in the fight against illiteracy. This was the third year I signed, and I had a marvelous time.

This year, I decided to give back to the many fans who spend tons of money at the book signing by giving away super cute reusable tote bags. Here are two of my friends, April and Gabby, posing with their bags.

Readers were very appreciative. Several came to my table to thank me personally, and two got me to sign their bags. They'd also had their bags signed by Suzanne Brockmann and Nora Roberts. I so hope they put the bags on eBay so I can bid on them.

Even though I didn't get a pink bag signed by two powerhouse authors, I did get a chance to sign many books and meet a bunch of great fans. I had tons of fun, as you can tell by the smile on my face.

After the book signing, the real work starts. Thursday and Friday were filled with fabulous workshops. I learned about promotion, how to put fire into my fiction, and so much more. Now I just have to try to apply them.

On Friday night, I had the absolute pleasure of attending my very first Harlequin Party. Not only does the publisher rule in putting out consistently fabulous romance novels, but those folks at Harlequin throw one heck of a party.

Here's my fellow Austin RWA member, Emily McKay, fresh from the dance floor.

People danced all night long, and I have to admit to joining in way more than I usually do at such functions. One of my favorite memories of the night was watching half the room dance to Michael Jackson's Thriller. It was fabulous!

Saturday was another day of workshops and networking. Here I am with fellow Kimani authors, Kimberly Kaye Terry and Celeste Norfleet.

The night ended with the RWA Awards Gala where the coveted RITA and Golden Heart awards were handed out to the best of published and unpublished romances.

This year's conference lived up to all of my expectations, as usual. I am already anticipating a great time in Nashville next year.