Tag Archives: RWA15

RWA15 final thoughts…

So it’s a little less than a week since I got home from RWA15 in New York. My mind and body were depleted and yet strangely energized as well. Last year – as an RWA conference virgin – I was too excited to appreciate the networking going on around me; too excited meeting my favorite authors in the flesh; too excited to realize what an unbelievable opportunity the conference was to enhance my career.

This year was different on so many levels. Oh, I was still excited beyond belief at meeting my favorite authors- and some new ones – but I took the opportunity afforded  me and branched out in several ways to advance my writing career.

Last year the workshops I attended had more to do with seeing the well known authors presenting them. I took no classes on craft, marketing or the business of publishing. This year, those were the only classes I sat in on.

Last year I stood in line for 2 hours to get Nora Roberts’ autograph at the Literacy signing. This year I volunteered at the event and was thrilled to be assigned to one of my favorite authors of all time, Jayne Ann Krentz. I learned more from watching her  interact with her fans for just 2 hours than I could have learned in years in public relations courses. She showed me – up close and personally – what it’s like to be on the other side of the publishing/writing curtain (like that little Wizard of Oz tie-in??!). As a fan I’ve always seen just my own reaction to meeting a writer one time. Ms Krentz had to deal with hundreds of fans all individually  and uniquely excited, and wanting her to know what her writing means to them – and stay up beat, focused, and gracious, which she was to every single one of them. She never refused to have a photograph taken, or listen to a story about a particular book of hers, or even offer some advice to a fledgling author ( moi!), and her beautiful smile never slipped. By observing how she handled herself during those 2 hours I know precisely how to conduct myself during a book signing. Thank you so much, Jayne Ann Krentz!

From my PRO-retreat workshops I learned how invaluable branding, social media, and marketing are to a writer – whether she be multi-published or fledgling. Anna Alexander and Catherine Bybee were deep wells of information regarding these topics and if I came away with anything to remember during this conference it was this: “A person needs to hear your name 7-10 times before it’s recognizable to them.” Thank you, Catherine Bybee, for this gem. My tweets have increased 100-fold, as have my other social media alerts all because of this statement.

I met with my “dream” agent at a pitch session- something that put terror into my little heart. Not because of the agent, but because I was so nervous about “putting myself out there.” I don’t like to talk about myself – a dumb thing to hear from a blogger, eh?! But on paper you don’t have to look at me and I don’t have to look at you. It’s all fairly visually anonymous. I don’t get nervous when it’s on paper ( or the laptop, really). But face to face is another story entirely. Anyway. Despite my nerves, the agent was lovely, gracious and sweet. I’ll let you know in the future if things progress on this front.

One last memory that will live with me for the rest of my career is the workshop I took with Christie Craig. I’ve mentioned in a previous blog how I think she should be the keynote speaker at next year’s conference and here’s why: this woman is an inspiration in  more than just writing. Her personal journey through life and in her writing career could be made into a must-see television movie for the Hallmark Channel. It would win its time slot for the night, week, month and year. I have always put forth my own writing TAO called NGU NGI ( never give up and never give in.) Ms Craig lives this TAO every day and boy, does it show in her success. I think we can all  use her as an example.

RWA16 will be in San Diego – a town I’ve visited before and loved, so I can’t wait to go. Maybe next year I will be an author participant in the literacy signing. If so, I will remember what I learned from Jayne Ann Krentz about how to conduct myself with fans.

Thank you RWA, Jayne Ann Krentz, Christie Craig, Kristan Higgins, Tracy Brogan, Jill Shalvis, and all the other amazing authors who presented workshops, spent a little time with me out of class to answer any questions, and to my wonderful, talented NHRWA chapter-mates who all journeyed south to NYC this year.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women

RWA15, wrap-up…

Well, I’m back in my cozy, cool home. I finished unpacking, did two loads of laundry and went grocery shopping.

And I reflected on an amazing conference. Multi-published and award winning author Nalini Singh was the saturday morning key-note speaker. She had us laughing-and tearing up a bit-when she described her first trek across country on a train to her very first RWA conference. The Perils of Pauline could have been re-written and marketed as the Perils Of Nalini, as she described her experience on a broken down Amtrak train, an unscheduled stopover in Philadelphia, and the first time she was recognized and wished she hadn’t been!

20150725_083439

Saturday the workshops were outstanding, but the one  I want to talk about was Polish Me Pretty: Five Polishing Tips to Take Your Writing to the Next Level by Christie Craig.  If you don’t know about this amazing women – shame on you! I learned more from her about how to evoke emotions and visualizations when writing a scene than from any other human being alive. Ever. And not only is she is wonderful teacher, she is a truly exceptional motivational speaker. She shared the tale of her humble beginnings in life, teenage marriage and motherhood, her dyslexia, and her 100’s – truly!- of rejection letters before getting the call that changed her life. There should be some kind of petition started to ensure she is next year’s RWA16 keynote speaker. There wouldn’t be a dry eye or a belly that wasn’t shaking with laughter in the house.

736364

The conference ended with annual Rita and GoldenHeart awards ceremony. The fabulous Lisa Kleypas was the host and I can attest she is as beautiful in person as she is on her book jackets. I won’t name all the winners, but I will tell you my favorite of the night. Jill Shalvis – after 13 nominations – won for One in a Million in the mid length contemporary romance category. She is truly a fan favorite and one of my absolute must reads whenever she has something new out. hbrqqwtt

zsvbyqfz

I’ll need a few days to wind down and reflect some more on my experiences this year at the conference, so you’ll have to suffer through one more posting from me next week! Until then….here’s the last picture I took of the book giveaways. Add 25 more to this picture and you see why my arm is so sore from tugging my suitcase along on the road back home!

20150724_161812

10 Comments

Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA

My mind is numb, but my motivation is turned on high!

RWA15 has turned into one of the best conferences I have ever attended. Ever. The diversity of the workshops is truly amazing,  today no exception.

This morning, during breakfast, I attended  a doctoral focus group gaining information on what romance novels mean to writers and  readers. The panel I was with were a widespread group of traditonally published and self-pubbed authors who brought a wide array of ideas and thoughts to the table. After that, a heartwarming speech by author Julia Quinn didn’t leave a dry eye in the house (or ballroom, if we’re being literal!)

My morning session included  workshops on how to tweak my prose, and how to zing more emotion into my writing. It seems my writing does indeed need zing after hearing these authors speak! After lunch, I pitched myself ( not literally, folks) to my dream Literary Agent. I’m keeping her name mum, but she is fabulous! Fingers, toes, and whatever else my arthritic body will let me cross, crossed. More to come on that to be sure at a later date.

The afternoon workshops had me laughing with Susan Ann Phillips as she taught a packed house how to give our characters more depth and dimension, and then on to another packed conference room where the amazing Kristan Higgins schooled us all in the care, keeping and use of  secondary characters. It seems she has a secret boyfriend named Tom Hiddleston  aka Loki, and she enjoys using images of him in her lectures. Thank you for doing so, Kristan! Both of these talented ladies had the rooms rolling with laughter.

Dinner tonight is a treat for me because I get to see my baby girl and spend some quality time with her, so I’ll sign off for now to go get ready.

Here are some pictures taken today to ponder over.

20150724_161812

today’s book haul – how the heck am I gonna get all these home…and there will be more tomorrow!!!

20150724_114541

 

Just hanging out in the hotel lobby, all decked out and waiting for someone to dance with.

And then there was this guy…I just can’t explain him.

 

20150724_111438

2 Comments

Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA

RWA15, continued

Day 2. The Goodie room is now open and can I just say YEAH! Free stuff and SWAG!!

20150722_085331

heres my contribution:

20150722_085421

Hey! Who doesn’t like  candy??!!

So I’m sitting in the hotel bar/restuarant area watching all the famous, infamous, and want to be both ( or either!) walk by. Every time someone looks at me and they are wearing an RWA lanyard I smile because you never know who it is smiling back. Could be my dream agent…could be the author I love most in the world ( Are you listening Nora Roberts??!) Could be my new best friend. Okay, those last two sound a little creepy, but you know what I mean…

The Nora Roberts Foundation for literacy is sponsoring the author signing this afternoon that unfortunately I couldn’t get into…next year for sure!!!.. but I’m volunteering at it so I will let you all know who I see and everything about the event.

BTW here are some random New Yorkers just walking around on a sunny day.

20150722_103349 20150722_103139

 

2 Comments

Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, NHRWA, RWA, Uncategorized

RWA15!!

Well after a longlonglong drive from home, that included traffic stopped dead in Connecticut and then a truck not fitting under an overpass in NYC, I MADE IT! It is unbelievably hot here. 92  today and NYC humid. I will be staying in the hotel, folks, for most of the visit, that is for sure.

20150721_134802 (1)

 

Here’s the Swag Bag for this year and the host of books included it in. Yes – even hard cover books are given for free!

20150721_174705Here are a few random pix of NYC I took today while I walked around and sweated! Things go into full swing tomorrow and I will be sure to blog if I see any of my fav authors. I’ve already had two fan-girl moments so far: saw Nora Roberts AND Jayne Anne Krentz in the hotel tonight. Hyperventilating is the least of what I did!

20150721_153001Minions everywhere!

 

20150721_150759

The Famous FlatIron building

 

20150721_133430

The view from my room of 42nd st

Leave a comment

Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA