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Tuesday, 05 July 2011 19:40

My RWA 2011 Experience

Written by Jennifer Porter
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literacy_crowdLast week, I went to New York City for the 2011 Romance Writers of America conference – ok, not so much for the conference itself, but for the literacy signing and some of the publisher parties. So, I took the bus to NYC to stay with Carolyn in Brooklyn. Early on Tuesday afternoon (6/28), I made the trek from Brooklyn to Times Square. While the signing started at 5:30PM, it was a beautiful day, and I thought I would play tourist for a couple of hours. However, when I finally found the Marriott Marquis, there was a HUGE line for the signing. I decided to just suck it up and get in line.

 

 

The wait wasn’t all that bad. People kept coming, and I admit that people watching is fascinating. I also had my copy of Nalini Singh’s Branded by Fire (I’m re-reading the Psy/Changeling series). About an hour before the signing was set to begin, RWA people came by with stickers (for personal books), coupons for books, raffle tickets, etc. It was difficult to pay attention to what was going on. I bought some raffle tickets, but never heard what I was supposed to do with them.

 

lydia_dareEventually, 5:30 rolled around. I thought this meant it was time for the signing. But instead, it was time for a convoluted series of legs involving lots of escalators to make it to a line outside of the grand ballroom (where the signing was being held). Never having been to such an event before, I admit I was often befuddled – not knowing what was happening. I have no idea of where I was in line, but I didn’t make it into the signing until at least 6PM. (Lydia Dare pictured to left)

 

Then, I finally did make it to the signing, and I was immediately overwhelmed. I had a plan of attack because there were several authors that I did not want to miss. That plan lasted about 5 minutes. I was fortunate enough to head to the back of the room and see Nalini Singh at one of the end caps with no one waiting to see her. It was awesome to meet her – and I can’t wait until I can read my signed copy of the most recent Psy/Changeling book, “Kiss of Snow.”

 

I followed the back of the room and stopped by to meet Stephanie Laurens and Eloisa James – two of my absolute favorite historical authors. Then, I made a bee-line to meet Thea Harrison (who so graciously gave me an ARC of “Storm’s Heart” – which is as fabulous as “Dragon Bound”). I ran into Thea several times on Tuesday and felt like a bit of stalker.

 

At this point, I tried to figure out who I wanted to meet in the area that I was in (H’s). Even though the authors were seated alphabetically, my knowledge of the alphabet seemed to evaporate. I felt like I was walking around aimlessly trying to read the authors’ names.

 

karina_cooperBut eventually, I figured everything out and started finding authors in earnest. I met Ashley March, Stefanie Sloane, Susan Sey, Jaci Burton, Karina Cooper, Laura Bickle/Alayna Williams, Katie Lane, Julianne MacLean, Sarah Maclean, Sara Lindsey, Caroline Linden, Elizabeth Hoyt, Leah Braemel, Nina Bruhns, Lara Adrian, Julia Quinn, Tessa Dare, Katharine Ashe, Lecia Cornwall, Lydia Dare, and Lorraine Heath. (Karina Cooper & I pictured to the left)

 

I was also thrilled to be walking by and see Carole Mortimer. I got into reading romance by stealing my Mom’s category romances. I was always a big Harlequin Presents’ fan. I think that Charlotte Lamb, Penny Jordan and Carole were the mainstays of my early reading years.

 

It was awesome to meet so many authors. I was in heaven. I spent way too much money on books (I haven’t admitted how much to anyone) and as a result, had to carry around a very heavy bag. But, it was worth waiting in line, waiting some more, braving the heat, dealing with the crowds and standing forever. Carolyn & I then met Sarah M. Anderson (who has written some reviews for RNN and has her first book coming out from Harlequin Desire later this year/early next year) for dinner at Juniors.

 

Due to some last minutes conflicts, I didn’t make it to any parties on Wednesday night. I did get to the St. Martins’ party on Thursday night which was held in the Macmillan offices in the Flatiron building. The CEO has an incredible view from his office balcony. It was nice to talk to some of the St. Martins’ publicists and to meet several more authors: Tiffany Clare (who looked stunning), Darynda Jones, Celeste Bradley, Cherry Adair (who is hysterical) and Manda Collins (whose February 2012 debut book sounds like a winner). From a distance, I saw Suzanne Enoch, Christina Brooke and Lisa Kleypas. I would have loved to accost Suzanne Enoch and/or Lisa Kleypas, but I restrained myself.

 

While I only did a couple of things last week, I had a fabulous time. I definitely need to think about actually attending more of the conference in the future if I can swing it. I need to unpack all of my books and goodies – and actually see what I have.

Last modified on Wednesday, 20 July 2011 18:50
Jennifer Porter

Jennifer Porter

Romance Novel News

Twitter: @JenniferRNN

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