Friday, July 1, 2011

Limp Noodle

Thursday at conference signified two things for me 1) the start of the publisher book signings and 2) the Awards Luncheon.  Now, I want to be clear - I'm actually OK with public speaking.  Especially when it's a topic (oh, let's say romance novels for example) that I'm really comfortable with.  But public speaking in a room full of 2000+ people?  Um, yeah.  But before I got to that small panic attack, I hit the Avon and Harlequin sponsored signings.

Harlequin is the only publisher signing where I still pick-up random books I know nothing about, and that's because I tend to impulse read/buy category romances.  I just do.  I figure if the book ain't my bag baby, I'm not out much time or money.  So I wandered around the room and picked up every single category they had.  For single titles?  I was way more selective.  I think maybe I picked up one?  Lots of paranormals (which I'm not really reading right now) and single title contemporaries (which I'm not really reading right now). 

The Avon signing was where I got books for everybody other than me.  I cleaned up for two coworkers and my Lil' Sis.  There is a very healthy contingent of YA authors at conference.  Of course I think all the YA titles I've picked up so far have been paranormal woo-woo, but Lil' Sis ain't choosey.

After that, it was up to the room to get ready for the Awards Luncheon.  It went....well, it went.  I wrote out my speech because I was afraid of forgetting people, rambling and going on too long.  At any rate, I didn't forget people.  I was sitting at my table, and I literally had just hit send on a text to Rosie (which word for word was "I want my Mommy") when Dorien Kelly launched into the first introduction.....which was mine.

Gentle blog readers, I'll be totally honest.  My first reaction to learning that I was first on the hit parade was "Holy #&*! they're making me go first?!?!?!"  But I got up there, read my speech, and didn't pass out.  I consider this a success for all parties involved.  Once I got back to my seat, I felt like my bones were melting.  I think that's what is called relief.  The adrenaline just poured out of me.

After lunch, there were two more publisher signings: Sourcebooks and St. Martin's.  I wandered around St. Martin's first, and got yet more YA for Lil' Sis.  I also picked up one or two historicals for myself.  Sourcebooks I think I walked away empty-handed.  Mostly because what was available that looked interesting to me?  I already own. 

I had one invitation last night, and that was for a party hosted by St. Martin's.  I really wanted to see the Flat Iron Building, plus I knew that I could probably connect with people there I kept missing around the hotel.  I ran into Michelle Willingham there, who writes for Harlequin, and was chatting with her agent.  Here we are at a romance conference and what do we talk about?  Her son pitching in Little League and my nephew, The Flash, playing T-ball.  I also got to meet the lovely Lisa Kleypas, and spied Mary Kay Andrews and Lisa Lillien, the Hungry Girl. 

As I had hoped, I ran into Megan Frampton and Heather Waters, who were both there representing Heroes & Heartbreakers (which is part of Macmillan, just like St. Martin's).  Megan invited me back up to her room for the now-annual Donut Party she hosts with Carolyn Jewel.  I finally was able to connect with Kwana (from Kwana Writes, H&H and Twitter-dom) and Limecello.  I also had a carrot cake donut which was fantastic! 

Then it was off to the bar for a few minutes, where I found Kristie, Nath, SarahT and Kim from Hawaii chatting up new historical author, Ashley March.  I treated myself to a virgin strawberry daiquiri because by this point my voice was slipping, and the last thing I needed was another glass of wine.  We hung out for a few minutes before my brain and feet started screaming at me to Go To Bed Stupid.  So I did.

Friday is the last day of conference, which caps off with the RITA ceremony tonight.  I hope to get one last blog post in before I board the plane home on Saturday.  Let's see how successful I am.


Victoria Janssen said...

It's been great to see you, even in passing between your many events!

Kristie (J) said...

HA!!! And you said you were going straight to bed. I KNEW you would blog *g*

Wendy said...

Kristie: Ha! Ms. Smarty Pants, I wrote this blog post Friday morning. I did stay up too late talking to My Man though. He wanted to hear all about my big day yesterday.

Victoria: It's been great to see you too!

Christine said...

ENJOY your last day at RWA and NYC!!!! :D

little alys said...

Have tons of fun! Will be waiting for you back in So Cal to party some more! :D

Kwana said...

I was so happy to see you walk through the door of the donut party and get to finally meet you in person and it was fantastic to see you get your well deserved award this year. Big cheers to you!

nath said...

Seriously, you did absolutely great, Wendy!! I loved your award speech :)

but LOL, I was surprised as well that you were first! :) It was a good thing though, because otherwise, I'm sure you'd have re-thought about your acceptance speech!