Saturday, August 2, 2008

Oh The People You'll Meet

I thought it might be fun to talk about some of the awesome people I've had contact with while at RWA. When I come to this conference, it's basically the one time of year I reach deep inside myself and find that tiny little extroverted woman that I normally keep locked in a closet. This year the poor gal must have been so refreshed to be out of her cage, as evident by my still throaty, non-existent voice.

Every conference I go to (not just RWA), there seems to be this phenomenon where it doesn't matter how many hundreds of people are in attendence, I always see the same five people. This year, one of those people is Joanna Bourne. I have seen this woman e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. In line at the registration desk. Walking through the lobby. At publisher signings. She probably thinks I'm stalking her. Nice, funny, smart, and she used to work at the Library of Congress as a researcher! How cool is that?

I also finally got to meet the fabulous Megan Frampton, and her cohort in crime, the equally as fabulous Carolyn Jewel. Megan and I have the shared belief that it ain't a party until the DJ plays the Jackson 5. Seriously, it's like in the offical DJ-ing handbook or something. Carolyn has a new paranormal out now, but I made sure to tell her that I know scads of people who read one of her early historicals, Lord Ruin.

I met the delightful Kassia Krozser (from the Booksquare), and Stephanie Feagan. It was a big squee-ing fangirl moment all around. I also saw HelenKay Dimon again (who I first met at RWA Dallas 2007).

Big shout-outs to Harlequin Historical authors, Michelle Willingham and Deb Marlowe - who are just the nicest women you'll ever meet.

In news that will likely impress the hell out of my mother, I met Shari Shattuck today. For those of you not addicted to soap operas, she used to play Ashley Abbott on The Young And The Restless. She told me that she knows when she's recognized as Ashley, the person is a diehard Y&R watcher. She left the show when she had her second daughter, who is now nine!

But by far, the big treat for me this year was meeting the famous, totally kick-ass Gwen Osborne. Gwen is the expert on African-American romance novels, and I swear she just about knows every author in the universe. I've "known" Gwen online since 1999, when I started reviewing for The Romance Reader. We're both Michigan gals, and hey - the Gwens and Wendys of the world just need to stick together. Seriously. I had no clue she was coming, and she was standing in line behind me at a booksigning. I turned around and that's when I saw her name tag. I practically tackled her, but she seemed to recover from her shock quite well.

It's also great fun to watch other conference attendees meet their favorite writers. When I met Lisa Kleypas it was probably the biggest letdown in the world for her because the young woman who came before me had a total out-of-body-fan-girl moment (but in a cute way, not a creepy stalker way).

On top of all that, there were the reader/bloggers that attended this year and all the people I talked to in the course of doing "networking" for my library gig. (Lots and lots of that this year).

Tonight it's the RITA/Golden Heart ceremony and tomorrow it's off for home. So I have a long night ahead of me, followed by a long drive....oh, and no voice. It should be a grand adventure!


Lil Sis said...

Damn - you are now mom's favorite daughter - first you meet Drucilla and now Ashley! I'll never forget how excited mom was when you met Dru! :)

Michelle Willingham said...

It was a total blast! And hopefully I'll remember more names next year. :)

little alys said...

It was sooooooooooooooooo fun!!! I can't believe it's already over! And I'm sure Lisa Kleypas was happy to have a breather moment after the overly happy fan girl.
P.S. My voice is also still an octave lower. Heh.

Kati said...

And I'm sure Lisa Kleypas was happy to have a breather moment after the overly happy fan girl.

That's so funny! I actually thought when I read this, "I wonder if she's talking about Alice."


Glad you had fun, Wendy! Thanks for the good reports! I hope you're coming to DC next year so we can meet.

Ciara said...

I saw Joanna everywhere too! I'm positive she thought I was stalking her, especially after I squeeed all over her. (I adore her!) It was lovely to meet you at the conference!