Anyway, Rosie (She Who Never Blogs Anymore Because She Doesn't Love Me) and I arrived Tuesday evening and we immediately connected with World Famous Author L.B. Gregg, Sybil from TGTBTU and Holly from Book Binge. Tuesday evening is always a chance to meet up and decompress after a day of travels, and we fought our way through the bar filled with men for a fertilizer convention (manure gives way to romance novelists, there's a really bad joke in there somewhere).
While everyone else was probably hanging out and/or sightseeing on Wednesday, I spent the morning in Librarians Day. Once again a very lovely day put together by RWA staff. I enjoyed all the panels, and it's impossible to name a favorite, but here are some quick hit thoughts:
Building a Story: How Authors Go from Rough Idea to Finished Book Speakers: Patty Blount, Kristan Higgins, Jeannie Moon, Carly Phillips, and Sherry Thomas
- I'm always struck by how funny Sherry Thomas is. And it's humor that always strikes me the right way since she can be self-deprecating and Wendy is, herself, self-deprecating. Especially when referring to herself in the third person.
LGBTQ Romance in the Library Moderator: Sarah Frantz Speakers: Vivian Arend, Z.A. Maxfield, Radclyffe, and L.A. Witt
- I'm in love with Radclyffe. Smart. And there was something about her voice, the inflection of it or something. I wanted to have her read my grocery list just so I could listen to her some more. Also, I had no clue (because I've obviously been living under a rock) that she owned Bold Strokes Books. Duh Wendy. And you call yourself a librarian.
Saddle Up and Get Ready to Read Speakers: Librarian John Charles and authors Lori Austin, Carolyn Brown, Laura Drake, Katie Lane, Jane Porter and Lori Wilde
- This would be the panel where Jennifer Lohmann "outted" me as a western fan and told everyone in the room to read my blog. Also, Lori Austin (AKA Lori Handeland) is a massive Maggie Osborne fan.
Love Your Library: Librarians and Authors in a New Publishing Era (Author/Librarian Discussion Session) Speakers: Laura Florand and Jennifer Lohmann
- This was a fun presentation. Laura and Jennifer brought in several authors who sat at every table and we discussed library/author programming - what we can do better, what we're doing "right" etc. I'll admit it, I pilfered a few points for my own workshop which is tomorrow.
The Literacy Signing was massive and while I did buy a few books, I mostly stopped by to chit-chat with authors. It was so lovely to meet Lacy Williams in person and I got the biggest and best hug from Karen Rock. Some readers go to meet Nora Roberts and Jayne Ann Krentz, Wendy goes to meet category romance authors just breaking their way into the business. Because that's how we roll here in the Bat Cave.
Thursday was another early day, meeting Melissa Jolly and Sarah M. Anderson for breakfast to discuss our presentation. I hit a couple of the publisher book signings and saw part of a presentation by Angela Knight and her husband (a cop in real life) on how to write believable police characters. It was a two hour session, and I only could see the first half, but it was really interesting.
The one luncheon this year was a fast moving affair! After the award recipients were honored (Librarian of the Year, Bookseller of the Year etc.), Sylvia Day gave the keynote address and did a lovely job. Keynotes at RWA usually go for "inspiring" and Sylvia did a great job of encouraging while discussing the challenges of the business and how much things have changed over the years.
On that note, every RWA seems to have a theme for me. Last year it was The Year of LGBTQ Authors Asking Wendy About Library Purchasing and Policies. This year it's Indie Authors Asking Wendy About Library Purchasing and Policies. Librarians have been on the front lines for many years with self-publishing, which is why I explain to today's savvy indie authors that librarians tend to be jaded. Believe me, we accept that self-publishing is the new black, but it's hard to let go of the years where we were dealing with the endless kooks who published manifestos in their garages.
In between all this I've had a lot of appointments, mostly connecting with bloggers, publicists, editors and authors. I didn't really even try this year and my dance card still filled up: some of it because of the Day Job and some of it because of the Blogging Thing.
Tonight is a busy schedule for me and tomorrow is Presentation Day. So far my voice has been holding out. Let us all pray it stays that way.