Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hit The Ground Running

Wednesday at RWA turned out to be my busiest day so far.  The morning started with meeting Harlequin Historical author, Christine Merrill, for breakfast.  I actually won lunch with Christine back in March, during Operation Auction, which was held for Fatin and her daughters in the wake of her husband's death.  We opted instead for breakfast, because between her schedule and mine, it was pretty much the only time we could squeeze in.  It's always nice to chat with a fellow librarian, even if these days that entails a lot of crying in our beer (or tea and Diet Coke as the case may be).

After that, I hit the Goodie Room, where I snagged some more Romance Trading Cards for one of the So. Cal. Bloggers, and even a few books for myself.  Of course upon arrival back to my room I discovered that I already had a box to ship home.  People, I'm not even really trying this year and I already have a box to ship home!  This does not bode well for the rest of the conference.

I lazed about a bit, killing time before the Keynote Luncheon. The food was....well, conference food. Honestly, as long as it's edible I'm pretty happy. Madeline Hunter gave the keynote this year, and what I heard of her speech was very good. There were technically difficulties with the speaker system on my side of the ballroom. But luckily they got it working, so I was able to at least hear the meat of the speech.

After lunch I attended the Avon Spotlight. These publisher spotlights are very good to attend for those of us who are "non-writers" because often times upcoming books are discussed. Also, any trends or specific sub genres the agents may be actively looking for.  Well folks, the end of the world as we know it just might be here.  For the first time, in a very long time, the Avon editors said "Sure!" to historical westerns.  I know, try not to fall over from the shock.  I honestly think a large part of this might be the start of their new digital Avon Impulse line, but this was a welcome step in the right direction if you ask me.  So if you're a writer, and you've written a good, solid western romance - don't automatically dismiss submitting to Avon!

There were more workshops after this, including a spotlight for Carina Press - but I had to get back to my room and put on my party duds.  After slapping on a dress (and even some make-up ::shock::), I headed down to the Harlequin Blogger Tea.  Refreshments were served, and fascinators made by the Harlequin folks were distributed.  It was a good chance to meet the Digital Team in person, and for bloggers to pass around business cards.  This was also where I finally was able to connect with Megan Frampton, who I have met in previous years past, but it was lovely to see her again, in the flesh.

I cut out of that early because RWA was hosting a VIP reception for their award-winners and board members (past and current).  Yeah, since I AM the Librarian Of The Year (maybe you've heard?), I figured it might be a good idea to go to that.  So I headed up to a very high floor of the hotel room and introduced myself in person to many of the board members.

When I come to RWA, I'll be honest, my dance card is usually fairly manageable.  This year, with the award, a few invitations happened.  I had a couple for last night, and had the best of intentions, but I only managed to make it to the cocktail party hosted by Harpercollins/Avon.  It was at the Central Park Boathouse with its lovely view.  I ran into the All About Romance contingent, we chatted quite a bit, mostly about books (of course!), I met several agents and a bookseller, and was briefly introduced to Loretta Chase (lovely woman!).  On the way back to the hotel I sat with Rose Fox, from Publishers Weekly, and we had a wonderful conversation about our work, books and New York City.

After that, I went back to the hotel where I, of course, hit the bar.  I chatted with KristieJ, Rosie, SarahT, Nath, and the world famous authors, L.B. Gregg and K.A. Mitchell for longer than I probably should have, since today is a rather big to-do for me.  Yep, it's Awards Luncheon time, where they'll slap me upside the head with my plaque for Librarian Of The Year.  But hell, I was having too much fun last night.  Who needs sleep?

Pictures: The lovely Nath and KristieJ wearing their fascinators at the Harlequin Blogger tea.  Yes, that's my ugly mug next to Fabio's ugly mug at the Avon Cocktail Party.  How could I not want a picture with such an iconic, bodice-rippin', clinch cover?


Anonymous said...

i would have cheerfully pushed you aside and stolen that Gentle Rogue cut out!!!! serious that is my. favorite. romance. novel. of. ALL TIIMMMMEEEE! my version sadly was missing the clinch cover, but a trade on PaperBackSwap just came in the mail with the old skool version. i am SO jealous of you in that picture, and im not kidding in the slightest *dreamy sigh about Mallory clan*

Wendy said...

Lusty: LOL! They had other cut-outs there, all of fairly recent titles - but I could NOT resist Gentle Rogue. I mean, how could I? Those Fabio Avon covers (love 'em or loathe 'em) are so iconic!