Monday, July 16, 2007

RWA Conference: Saturday Happenings

I slept in a little on Saturday morning after a late night with the Harlequin Party and drinks in the lounge with my friends Terri Reed and Melissa Manley afterwards. I don't think I mentioned it, but I had received my revision letter for Stranded by the Bad Boy on Friday and that had been front and center on my mind. I hit the coffee shop for a non-fat vanilla steamer and banana nut muffin. Then it was off to meet my agent Annelise. We hadn't seen each other since Reno so had caught up for a few minutes and then got down to business (i.e. career planning.)

Afterwards I retreated to my room until my friend Alice called me to meet her for lunch. Meals at conferences are these huge events in ballrooms with a seated lunch served for 1900. I had registered for the conference before starting the diet which meant I hadn't signed up for vegetarian meals. I ate a little meat, but found I didn't really like it that much anymore. Amazing how your taste palate can change in just a couple of months!

This is what the ballroom looks like. Imagine table after table. On each chair are free books. At this luncheon we received a paperback by Lisa Jackson, who did my first booksigning with me, and her sister, Nancy Bush. Lisa and I used to live a few miles apart. She has always been the kind of writer to tell it like it is. And her speech was no different. She was at her finest, being frank and funny at the same time.

This is another picture of the ballroom where lunch was served. Imagine sit-down meal service for 1900! As soon as you walk into the ballroom you take a seat. As you can tell, finding someone in there isn't easy. Many people resorted to cellphones to figure out where they were supposed to sit. My first lunch I sat with a group of people I didn't know. The second lunch I met up with Alice while in line. Much easier than trying to find each other inside.

After lunch, I prepped for the workshop I had to give at 4:30, packed a few things in my suitcase and then headed up to the Harlequin Meet and Greet party. This is a new Harlequin author Kathryn Allbright and new Presents author, Jennie Lucas, who looked gorgeous at the Harlequin Party and later Saturday night at the gala.

Here is another picture from the HMB meet and greet. From left to right are editor Meg Sleightholme, Medical author Olivia Gates, Romance author Carol Grace, twice nominated RITA finalist Marion Lennox. Afterwards I went back to my room to finish up getting ready for the workshop and packing. Of course, I was so nervous about the workshop, I forgot to ask someone to take our picture!

My roommate and Avalon author, Shirley Marks made reservations for us at the Reunion tower for dinner. The restaurant revolves giving you a 360 degree view of the Dallas area. I couldn't believe how flat it was. No mountains, very few trees. Totally different from the Pacific Northwest.

I noticed a table of elegantly dresses, beautiful women at the restaurant and realized I knew a couple of them. Never one to miss a Kodak moment, I left my roommate and went to take their pictures. Here are Jane Porter and Marion Lennox.

After a yummy dinner, Shirley and I waited in line to get into the RWA Awards ceremony. Think the romance genres version of the Oscars and you won't be too far off. The attire varies from totally casual to the ultimate in formal wear. You never know what you might see there.

This picture is just to give you an idea of the magnitude of the ceremony. It really is a professional production with big screens, cameramen, teleprompters, etc. Afterwards, they served a dessert buffet. Yummy, but no-so-good for the diet. I came home two pounds heavier!