Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My Week at the RWA Conference Part 1

For those of you who don’t know the Romance Writers of America named me the Librarian of the Year.  I was able to attend the RWA conference in July.  All I have to say it that it was an absolutely amazing time. 

First I was just excited to be picked up at the airport by a car. Then the driver said that he had to also pick up another attendee.  He could not locate her at the airport and asked if I had Mary Jo Putney’s number, I had to tell him “No, I don’t happen to know her number”.  Also my excitement was lost on my husband.  For those of you, who don’t happen to know Mary Jo Putney, was honored this year with RWA’s Lifetime Achievement award. 

Wednesday was Librarian’s day at the conference.  Right off the bat I got to meet two of the former Librarians of the Year, Wendy Cructher and Jennifer Lohmann.  I found out that there is a new category in fiction. This new genre is called “New Adult”, which is basically fiction that has the main character is between the ages of 18 and 25.  While this may technically be a new genre, some of my favorite writes such as Diana Peterfruend, Meg Cabot and Megan McCafferty.  

This was also the day for RWA’s Literacy signing. Hundreds of romance writers sign copies of their books with all of the proceeds going to literacy organizations.  This year the “Readers for Life” event raised $52,000 in just two hours.  Here I was able to get a book signed by Nora Roberts and Jayne Ann Krentz.  

I was also lucky enough to attend a dinner organized by Nancy Berland.  This was a wonderful opportunity to talk about the trends in Romance publishing.  I was seated next to Carla Neggers and Gwen Reyes from Fresh Fiction.  The whole evening was filled with great insight into the romance genre. The only bad part was that the twenty minute ride to the restaurant turned into an hour because the shuttle driver was new and got lost.  I am so not used to eating dinner at ten o’clock at night.

The conference gets in full swing on Thursday with a day packed with wonderful workshops. Since I am not a writer and don’t plan on being one, many of the workshops did not interest me. I did attend some of the research based workshops.    This was also the day for the Keynote speech, given by Cathy Maxwell.   She gave a truly inspiring speech.  It almost made me want to become a writer.  I really think that RWA needs to give out tissues at the door because you certainly need them.  Here is the link to the entire speech.    

I was lucky enough to have nothing planned for Thursday evening; so I was able to go out to eat with Jan and my husband.  Jan’s hairdresser had suggested a restaurant called Einstein’s in Buckhead.  Einstein’s had a great bistro feel, wonderful food, and a very relaxed atmosphere.  This was in stark contrast to the cab ride home.  There a couple of things that made this cab ride memorable.  First there was a very unique smell to the cab, and by unique I mean funky. Secondly, the seat that my husband & I sat in rocked back and forth.  And thirdly, there were no seat-belts, which really were needed due to the speed of the cab and how quickly he changed lanes.  At least because of the speed it was a short ride, taking about half of the time it took to get there.  It reminded me of that video game from the early 2000’s called Crazy Taxi.

There are still two days left to tell you about but I think that this is enough for now.  The next installment will be posted next week.  

1 comment:

  1. Can you hear me laughing? There was a funky smell in that cab! BUT Einstein's was awesome, with a live jazz band playing on the veranda!

    I had so much fun at RWA this year, and I think a lot of it was due to watching Sarah get wined and dined. The hotel had glass elevators, and almost every ride down I spotted Sarah at some publisher's soirée. So very cool!

    Watching her accept the award in front of a thousand authors (give or take a few hundred) was pretty awesome as well!

    Now I can’t wait for next year! :)