Tag Archives: RWA National

On the Advantages of Schlepping Sketchbooks to Conferences

The advantages of taking a sketchbook to a conference are manifold:

A) You can draw the drink one of your friends has ordered to remind you that even though said drink contains alcohol, it’s actually quite yummy (very useful info for people who normally don’t like alcohol!!!.)

 B) You can draw the silly things your friends have talked you into buying at the stores in Disneyland.

 And the bestest, biggest, wonderfullest avantage of bringing a sketchbook to a writer’s conference?

C) You can take note-taking during a research workshop to the next level. 🙂 The following pages from my sketchbook are the notes from Candice Hern’s workshop on Regency fashion accessories at the Beau Monde Conference.

RWA National ’12 in Anaheim, CA

The view from my balcony at the conference hotel

For me, another highlight of 2012 was attending the RWA National Conference. I haven’t been to an RWA conference for several years, and let me tell you, I missed it SOOO much! There is nothing like sitting in a huge ballroom with 2000 other romance writers and listening to a motivational keynote speech from one of the top people in the business.

There’s also nothing like meeting old friends whom you haven’t seen in years and years! And, gosh, being back in the USA! 🙂

After I had arrived at the hotel, I took a nice, long walk in order to stretch my legs, and fell in love with the wide avenues, lined with palm trees, around the Disney parks. (The hotel was a convenient 20-minute walk away from the entrance to Disneyland – wheee!)

During that walk I was once again struck how quickly a street can change in the US: pretty avenues around Disneyland, but a few hundred metres down the road things started to look somewhat shabbier. And here’s another problem: in the US I find very difficult to tell in what kind of neighbourhood I am and when I should start worrying. I figured that the neighbourhood I was walking through wasn’t that bad and besides, I was looking for a supermarket which was supposed to be on that street and – ooops, the sun is beginning to set already?!?!? 😉 (Note to self: The next time you might want to remember that the sun sets at different times in different parts of the world …) In the end, I managed to find a supermarket, buy some fruit and stuff, and drag it back to the hotel before it was getting dark. (I received some very strange looks when I brightly walked across the parking lot and off the parking lot and down the road. *lol*)

The next day I discovered the delights of The Cheesecake Factory (also conveniently located within walking distance to the hotel.) Oh my! That place is like heaven for anyone seriously addicted to cheesecake!

 Of course, I also visited Disneyland: I met up with the lovely Eve Silver and a couple of other romance writers and together we went to “the happiest place in the world”. We had so much fun that I even forgave them that they forced me to take the Space Mountain ride the first thing. I forgave them even though I thought I would die. (Note to self: Never EVER let anybody drag you on any kind of rollercoaster again!!!)

 The conference – or I should say, both conferences because I also attended the Beau Monde mini-conference, were lovely. Delilah Marvelle made us all cry with her luncheon keynote at the Beau Monde; Isobel Carr gave another of her fantastic clothing workshops; and this time around nobody torpedoed my Beau Monde workshop by sitting in the first aisle and saying (quite loudly), “WHAT? What did she say? I don’t understand her! She’s SO hard to understand!” The workshops at the “big” conference were a mixed bag as always, but it was nice that there were so many talks on self-publishing, most of which were enormously helpful. 

Wanna learn about late Georgian loos?

Then come to RWA National this year and attend my workshop! It’s called “Inside the British Country House, 1770-1830,” and yes, it’s going to cover toilets.

And bellpulls.

And bath houses.

And a host of other topics.

In addition, it seems that I got myself another workshop on Twitter last night. This one is for the Beau Monde conference and will deal with early nineteenth-century magazines (no Punch, alas).

Needless to say that I’m so excited and that I’m so looking forward to summer!

I finally did it …

I’ve just cancelled my conference registration for this year’s RWA National. I’ve known for several weeks now that I would have to cancel the trip to Washington, but I guess I was still holding out and hoping for some sort of miracle. Which unfortunately never happened. (Talk about feeling glum.) I so looked forward to the conference, but as none of my workshop proposals have been accepted, I won’t be able to take time off from university. After all, we still have classes in mid-July.


Not Going to RWA Nationals?

Well, neither am I — for the first time since 2004. *boohooo* My RWA roomie is currently having fun in San Fran all by herself. Am I totally jealous? You bet I am! But for all of us who’re not going there’s the Not Going to Conference Conference, hosted by the Romance Divas:

The Romance Divas annual Not Going to Conference Conference will make you feel a bit less deprived! Amazing workshops, a star-studded guest list and awesome giveaways, all on the Diva forum! Don’t miss it!

Here’s a bit of a schedule update for the Q&As and Workshops…

Wednesday, July 30

Paula Guran, Editor, Juno Books
Q&A on Creating Kick a** Heroines

Laurie Rauch, Editor, Samhain Publishing
Workshop on What Happens After the Contract (aka Editors are People Too!)*

Thursday July 31

Joyce Hart, Hartline Literary
Q&A on Inspirational Romance Stories and the Inspy Market

Sandra Schwab, Historical Romance Author
Workshop on Historical Accuracy and Anachronisms

Friday, August 1

Yolanda Sfetsos, Author of Guarded by Stone
Q&A on Paranormal and Urban Fantasy World Building

Katie MacIver, KatieDidDesign
Workshop on Website Design and Color Selection

Saturday, August 2

Joey W. Hill, Erotica Author
Workshop on Plotting Erotica and Erotic Romance

Rhonda Stapleton, Editor and Author
Workshop on Style and Voice

2008 Romance Divas Not Going to Conference Conference

Excited yet?

How about if I list some door prizes?

  • What Gwen said” mug donated by Gwen Hayes
  • 3-chapter critique of a YA by Simon Pulse author Rhonda Stapleton
  • 3-chapter critique of a YA, chick lit, or rom com by Golden Heart Finalist Amanda Brice
  • An ebook of your choice from Nell Dixon’s backlist
  • An ebook of either Second Sight (paranormal romance) or Dragons’ Choice (fantasy romance – dragon-shifters) from Debbie Mumford
  • Ten dollar Amazon gift certificate from Jodi Henley
  • Lush stuff from Seeley deBorn
  • e-book copy of Chasing Shadows from Erin Richards
  • Paperback copy of Iron Horse Rider OR Smiling Eyes from Adelle Laudan
  • Book thongs from Angeleque Ford
  • 3 chapter critique from Sela Carsen
  • winner’s choice of ebook copy of “Not Quite Dead” or “Heart of the Sea” by Sela Carsen
  • e-book copy of HEATWAVE by Eden Bradley
  • e-book copy of BREAKING SKYE by Eden Bradley
  • a box of goodies, trade and paperbacks, bath products candles, etc… All for a fun and relaxing home spa day treat. courtesy of The Midnight Moon Cafe
  • 1 download each of Natasha Moore’s Samhain books, The Ride of Her LIfe and The Passion-Minded Professor
  • a copy of “Painted Soul” by Mary Quast
  • e-book copy of HER CINDERELLA COMPLEX by Jenna Bayley-Burke – Samhain
  • e-book copy of PAR FOR THE COURSE by Jenna Bayley-Burke – Samhain
  • e-book copy of FOUND by Jenna Bayley-Burke – Wild Rose Press
  • e-book copy of NIGHT OF INSPIRATION by Jenna Allen – Phaze
  • e-book copy of ON AGAIN by Jenna Allen – Phaze
  • $10 gc to Amazon from Kendal Corbitt
  • ebook Vampire Oracle: Harmony by MG Braden
  • Ebook ARC, Art of Sensuality by Jax Cassidy

Plus a lovely bar of wonderful Chagrin Valley hand made soap, Caramel Pralines jar candle, handmade jewelry, Tarot readings, a Lush box for European Divas/Dudes, a $10 fictionwise gc and much more!

A Piece of the Black Forest in Dallas*

On Tuesday, the day before the RWA conference started, I dragged Kris Alice to a nearby mall (and a very lovely mall it was!) (even though most shops were somewhat above our budget). OF COURSE I had checked there was a bookstore in the mall or nearby, thus we ended up in a huge Barnes&Noble. And OF COURSE we had to march to the romance section and check whether they had CASTLE.

“Ooooh!” I wailed, standing in front of the shelf with the Ss. “They don’t have it!” (Accompanied by sad-little-puppy face.)

Kris gave a grunt, reached up, and — “Don’t they?”

“Oh,” I said. Then beamed at her, “Look! They’ve got TWO copies! TWO!!!”

A this point Kris started to do some reorganization on the shelf (which was easily do-able since the books weren’t tightly packed at all), while I searched for my camera in my handbag.

“I need to take a picture!”


“And another one!”


“And another one!”


“And –“


And thus I was cruelly dragged away from the two copies of my book. Just imagine how much fun it would have been to spend the rest of the day in front of that shelf and be on the look-out for potential readers!! I’m sure the two books felt totally and horribly lonely when I was forced to leave. They probably even cried…

* This is a somewhat embellished account of the events of Tuesday, 10 July 2007.

Sandy’s RWA 2007 Adventures

Neck and shoulders are fine again, and yesterday I had my last class for this semester. The furry baby is still ill, but he’s also still eating so we hope we will see some improvement soon. As things aren’t too bad right now, I’ve finally, finally got time to share some of my RWA pics with you. Enjoy!

The hotel: BIIIIIIIIIG and shiny.

For some reason or other, all Dorchester books were sent to the goody room this year instead of to the Literacy for Life signing. Thus none of the Dorch authors had books to sign Wednesday evening. Ah well. You can enjoy yourself even without having books to sign. 🙂

The ballroom is filling up with authors.

It was a really nice surprise to find out how many blogger-reviewers had come to Dallas. Here I am with Jane from Dear Author and Sybil from The Good, the Bad, the Unread.

Here’s a glimpse of Sammy, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s (now infamous) swan hat. (And I still don’t get the infamous part. I mean, from the brouhaha this caused in blogland the week after RWA, you could’ve thought Sherri had come to the signing stark naked!) (Hmmm, now here’s a thought for the next RWA conference. Body paint anybody? Hehe.)

Shomi authors Eve Kenin, Marianne Mancusi and Liz Maverick (what you don’t see on this pic are Marianne’s and Liz’s also infamous skirts. Together with Sammy the skirts apparently brought Civilization As We Know It to an end.) (That big, black thingie on the right side of the picture? That’s the Crack of Doom. Already. Yes, I know. It’s tragic.) (If I ever start worrying about what other people might wear or not wear at a conference and how their clothes might or might not reflect on me, will somebody please hit me over the head?)

And even more bloggers: Jane, Sarah from the Smart Bitches …

…. Sybil, Wendy, the Superlibrarian …

… and KristieJ.

Rumour had it, there was also a certain editor from a certain German romance magazine present at RWA National. However, she proved to be elusive, always slipping away quietly, cleverly avoiding the flashlight of the cameras. Sill, I managed to bring back this exclusive picture that proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that she was indeed attending this year’s conference. (I’ll probably earn millions with this picture!) (Millions, I’m telling ya!) (Or she might kill me….)

And here’s Ruth Kaufmann, whom I first met at the last conference in Dallas. (We frequented the same coffee shop in the mornings.)

People queuing for one of the publisher signings.

As a result of these signings, the piles of books in my room grew and grew and grew …

And thus I brought home those 65 books:

Now all I need for the next RWA conference is a skirt that ends just above the knee and a bright pink tee-shirt that says, “I love swans”.

Or …

… body paint! 🙂

Back Home

I hate that last day in a foreign country, when all you do is sitting around waiting. Waiting for the airport shuttle, waiting for the plane, then sitting in the stupid plane for hours on end. Departure days are really endlessly depressing; in fact, I nearly started to bawl in the waiting lounge at the airport. (Okay, so maybe I was a tat tired, too.) (But it is sad: I won’t see all my writing friends and the lovely people at Dorchester for at least a year, if not two, because I’m not so sure I’ll attend next year’s RWA National. San Francisco? Talk about a horror flight!)

After a nine-hour-something flight I’m finally back home, have petted all the furry babies, will shortly take a shower and then start to unpack.

And count books. *g*

Pictures will follow soon.

Live from Dallas: Beau Monde & Big Booksigning

Went shopping on Tuesday, spent 150 $ in Bath & Bodyworks, was hit hard by jetlag in the afternoon.

On Wednesday I went to the Beau Monde Conference, and I”m happy to say that this year my workshop went absolutely fine! 🙂 When I browsed the RWA goody room I wondered why Dorchester had sent books to the goody room when they’ve never done it before. Wellll, it turned out that those books in the goody room where the books intended for the Literacy for Life signing in the late afternoon. As a result of that, I didn’t have any books to sign. Luckily I had brought CDs and coverflaps, and people still stopped by to chat. The highlight of the signing was certainly meeting John Charles, who had reviewed CASTLE for the Chicago Tribune.

Due to the amount of books in the goody room, I’ve already got, like, 20 books. My suitcases are going to be sooooo-hooo heavy!