I did have a fantastic time at the conference; it’s hard to pick a highlight – or even three dozen – to share.
Meeting the Executive Editor for the Presents Line, Tessa Shapcott, for a cup of tea and a chat was really neat, as was going out for lunch with the other Presents authors (all of whom are funny, fab, and oh-so-nice). Several of the other M&B editors were around – including Jo Grant, Kimberley Young and Sheila Hodgson – and, seriously folks, they’re sooo nice. (Much more than I would be after listening to dozens of pitches all day long.)
I also happened to be at the RWA registration desk when NPR dropped by to check out the conference. I’m a huge NPR geek, so finding Scott Simon in front of me was a fan-girl moment. He was kind enough to pose for a picture with me. The interview he did with Nora Roberts that day is available on the NPR website. (I can't find the cable to download the pictures off my phone at the moment, so you'll just have to trust me that it's a great photo.)
Quality time with my fabu CP is something I never get enough of, so actually sharing a room this year gave us a little more opportunity to chat and hang out. I love her and she always tells me how thin and talented I am… (but that’s not why I love her. It’s just a bonus.)
Meeting up with Barbara Vey from the PW Beyond Her Book Blog is always a special event for me. She’s so awesome, but we really have to rethink the 8-am-after-the-Harlequin-Party-breakfast for next year. I was a bit of a zombie.
I had a great random chat with Blaze author Karen Anders in the hotel lobby. She told me about this great meditation program she used that really upped her creativity and production. If it works half as well for me, it will be well worth the money I spent just hours after arriving home. (Stay tuned to the blog and I’ll keep y’all up to date as I go through the program. We’ll see how it works.)
Honestly, those random chats in the lobby and the bar are some of the best moments of conference – you never know who you’ll bump into and end up having an amazing conversation with. For me, that included Diane Pershing (RWA’s President), Madeline Hunter, several wide-eyed First Timers, and debut author Beverley Kendall (who became my newest BFF when she saw my name tag in the elevator and told me she’d just downloaded my book onto her e-reader).
Sadly, most of my Modern Heat author friends live in either Australia or England so it was up to me and Julie Cohen to represent the group. Which I think we did pretty well until that last glass of wine I really shouldn’t have had. (Julie is a bad influence on me. But she did give me an awesome glow bracelet since she sold out of her new book at the Lit Signing in about twenty seconds.)
Signing at the Literacy Signing was so cool, but I kind of missed being able to walk around and see everyone. Granted, the lack of a Nora-like line to my table probably meant I could have taken a stroll around the room, but I didn’t. Several people came up to say hello, saying they knew me from here or Facebook, which was nice. Boy, that room was crowded though…
I’m giving Honorary Playfriend Barbara a shout-out here in the hopes she’ll de-lurk. SP and I were in the elevator chatting when the other woman with us mentioned how she already had both my books (she’d gotten the UK version of the one that won’t be out until Oct in the US), and then went on to tell us how she came to the blog all the time. SP and I were giddy at meeting her (and she seemed shocked that we were). Just for the record – any blog readers who see us anywhere are welcome to stop us and say hello. It makes our day to meet the folks who make the Playground such a great place to be!
See, so many neat things and I haven’t even mentioned the Harlequin party, the RITA ceremony, the great response to the workshop I was a part of at the Leadership Retreat, the amazing Lebanese restaurant just a short walk away, the free night at the hotel I scored for being flexible, the fan-girl moments of spotting an author I really admire… the list goes on and on.
But the best news of all – the Problem Child made it through another conference without doing permanent damage to herself. No injuries to report (unless blisters count). That’s two in a row. Now, if I can just work having a conference where I don’t stick my foot in my mouth at least once… sigh.