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RWA Day 2

First up on the day’s agenda:  the Rogue Digital Publishing panel organized by Angela James, Jane Litte, Sarah Wendell and Kassia Krozer.  I arrived early and got a seat – there were 50 chairs to begin with but they all filled and people were sitting on the floor and standing in the back of the room. Met Kelly Maher/Young Librarian there, and chatted with K.A. Mitchell again.  [Won a door prize from her, must arrange to pick it up!]  I took a lot of notes and people Twittered like crazy (#rd09) but the best source of information is Jane’s summary over at Dear Author.  

During the Annual General Meeting, I checked into my hotel (about 5 blocks away from the conference hotel).  Returned for the Keynote Luncheon, which was packed.  Linda Howard is charming and very funny; she strikes me as somone who would do well roasting others.  The keynote address was entertaining: she told a variety of funny stories about her family and then pointed out that everyone lives with craziness in some ways, so just hunker down and write.  It was unlike any keynote speech I’ve ever heard before, in that it was not a speech that spent a lot of time addressing the theme of the conference (which is what the other keynotes I’ve heard do).  There was a little bit of discontent at my table about this; not that it was poorly delivered but that it wasn’t a "keynote".

Attended the workshop by Mary Jo Putney and Patti Nagle on fantasy, urban fantasy and paranormal romance.  Took a lot of notes, which I’ll try to add here later.  Very good speakers both of them, with different backgrounds (romance vs. fantasy).  MJP: in her mind vampires do NOT sparkle…but Meyer has successfully taken a power fantasy and made it safe.

Goody room and Avon booksigning yielded a bounty of books, chapter excerpts and bookmarks.  Kelley Armstrong, sadly, was not signing because there was a publisher mix up.  She looked a little forlorn, just sitting at an empty table.  Long lines for SEP and Julia Quinn.  Toddled off to the SBTB bootleg signing and caught the tale end of it, meeting Angela James.

Lauren Willig’s workshop on historical research and the tension between historical accuracy and too much history was pretty good.  More notes there to type up.

During the dinner break, I headed down to Dupont Circle and had dinner with L.  Walked back to the hotel with the plan of taking a shower, then going to Moonlight Madness a little late and checking out the Harlequin Pajama Party.  Thought I’d catch a quick nap before heading over…woke up at 1am, having missed both entirely 😦

Note to self:  look up books by Michelle Marcos.

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I forgot

Things I just realized I forgot to pack:
* my copy of Beyond Heaving Bosoms for signature at the Bootleg
* the book I selected as conference reading, Passion’s Fortune – seemed appropriate given the subject and cover art, which is similar to the goody bag design
* a small purse for evening use, to carry cab fare or metro card, etc.

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RWA day 1

Took Metro to Woodley Park and walked around the block to the Marriott. The hotel actually backs up to the Metro stop but I needed to get to registration near the main entrance. Lots of women with the Hqn bags and RWA badges wandering around. Met two nice ladies from NJRWA (one sold but prepubbed and one not), and a Golden Heart finalist in the ladies room, where we were all trying to feel less travel-stained. You’d think I would be used to DC in July, but no.

Okay, the signing. We were sort ot herded into a holding area with a huge serpentine line…which dissolved into a mad rush when the doors opened.

Chatted with a lady from Alexandria whose husband drove her into town for the signing. She went to La Nora’s signing on Saturday, so she was set for big names and was looking for midlists and others.  Which was a good thing, because the big names had big lines, although they appeared to be orderly and smoothly moving. My strategy was to get a few specific books, then try new to me authors. And my rule of thumb was that I did not need to wait in line (am impatient that way).

First: Ann Aguirre, because I loved Blue Diablo and lent my copy out. Niki Burnham because I like her Simon Pulse YA books. K.A. Mitchell because even though my favorite book is not in print yet, I wanted a copy of another book, Diving in Deeper. Then it was all based on random chance and recommendations made (upon request) when I asked authors who they thought I should try.

I got a little carried away. Keep in mind, though, that a few of these are for others readers. That’s my story and I’m stcking to it.

Ran into Wendy the Super Librarian in front of Jeaniene Frost’s display. Stopped by to meet the fabulous Carrie Lofty and also met Barb Ferrer. (If I’d known she was going to be there, I’d have brought my copies of her books for signature.)

Was told several times that I look very familiar, and was asked where I went to college and when. (I get that a lot. In addition to my real twin, I must have a doppleganger. I think I just look approachable, average and unthreatening, which explains the frequency with which I am stopped and asked for directions. Seriously, at least once a week. Even when I’m on vacation and have no idea.)

Sherry Thomas was signing a book I have but haven’t read yet, plus there was a small scrum, so I kept going. Tessa Dare was sold out. Was sent on a mission to get the new book from Lauren Dane (not out yet) or Putney (sold out) but returned unsuccessful.   Sorry, jp.

On my way to check out, K.A. Mitchell told me SarahF was looking for me. Hopped out of line to introduce myself.

Checked out, then regrouped in the lobby. Met Simone Elkes (sp?), author of the YA novel Perfect Chemistry. And an independent bookseller from WV.

Headed in to the first timers’ orientation, which was funny but a bit elementary. Behave professionally. Network. Go to the publisher openhouses and get free books. Be professional.

Headed home for reasons that are entirely due to my own planning failures. Back to DC tomorrow morning and staing for the duration. Screw driving home and hunting for parking each night.

The only negative was the temperature in the signing and orientation: unless you were under a vent, it was hot. Between the heat/humidity outside and the body heat of >2000 inside, I felt pretty sweaty and gross. I should probably apologize to everyone I hugged.

Now, for the books.

From the goody bag:
Joyce Maynard’s Labor Day
Sabrina Jeffries’ Don’t Bargain With the Devil
Barbara Freethy’s Suddenly One Summer
Suzanne Enoch’s Before the Scandal
Terry Spear’s Heart of the Wolf
Kristan Higgins’ Too Good to Be True

From the signing:
Laura Kingery’s Hill Country Christmas
Jeaniene Frost’s At Grave’s End
Christy Reece’s Rescue Me
Meredith Duran’s Bound By Your Touch
Delilah Marvelle’s Lord of Pleasure
Anthea Lawson’s Passionate
Niki Burnham’s Goddess Games
Lauren Dane’s Relentless
K.A. Mitchell’s Diving in Deep
Radclyffe’s Secrets of the Stone
Jeanne Adams’ Dark and Dangerous
Ann Aguirre’s Blue Diablo
Kimberly Killion’s Her One Desire
Carrie Lofty’s What A Scoundrel Wants
Sarah Parr’s Renegade
Eve Silver’s Wicked Sins

 

 

Books included in the goody bag, which is gorgeous and based on the HQN cover art.

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Books from the Lit. Signing.
 

Other observations:

  • I forget how steep the escalators are at Woodley Park since I don’t use that stop often.  It makes me dizzy to look either up or back as I ride upward (can’t walk them, feel too dizzy).
  • There were more men than I expected mixed in among the women at the signing, although most of them were husbands rather than fans.  But two were in the first timers’ orientation.
  • ArtScape is this weekend.  I had forgotten, but I am signed up for a four hour stint at a booth on Sunday.  Which I think I need to get out of, because if this afternoon/evening can be used as a benchmark, I am going to be running on empty when it comes to energy and ability to socialize.
  • Despite having a camera phone, taking photos never occured to me.  Fail.

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