I posted this blog yesterday on another blog and thought you all might enjoy it too :)
Well hello all! I’m back from Nationals! Sorry it took me so long to post today…I got back yesterday and spent the day with my kiddies and my hubby who hadn’t seen me in nearly a week, and then this morning had to get up early and get my youngest off to camp.
So I’m finally settling in now to give you the low down on RWA Nationals!!! WOOT! It was such a blast! And a BUSY blast too! I’ve added my new pic in blonde to this post as I thoroughly confused each and every person at Nationals who expected a black haired prego chick.
So here’s the day to day breakdown…
Tuesday night - my hubby drove me to the hotel and helped me haul my bags up to my room. (He got lost–and I don’t blame him as I still have no idea where anything was in the hotel, it was ginormous!–when he left and was flirted with by several women! Made his day!) I met my two wonderfully awesome roommates, Andrea and Corrina who are friends of mine from Celtic Hearts, but who I’d never met before. We stayed up until almost midnight talking. It reminded me of college all over again. So much fun!
Wednesday - the next morning I grudingly got up at around 7am so I could get ready, check in with the conference registration desk and go to my day long Leadership Seminar (since I’m president of Celtic Hearts Romance Writers.) I have to admit that at first I wasn’t so excited about spending my the day with my butt in a chair and listening BUT it actually was fun and informative and I’m very glad I went. I was also extremely pleased during the Leadership Luncheon to be awarded 2nd Place in the National Newsletter contest for the newsletter I used to edit for Hearts Through History. (had to retire with baby #3 coming along.) After lunch I was thrilled to find out my business cards made by fellow fabulous mama, Jeannie Ruesch, had arrived! After the seminar and met up with Jeannie and we chatted, visited the Goody Room which was stocked with TONS of cool promo items. Then it was time for the Literacy Signing. Jeannie looked fabulous at her table signing copies of Something About Her. I bought several books, some of which I already owned, (more than I planned), then headed back to my room to get ready for the get together I was hosting for my RWA Chapter, CHRW. It was so awesome to meet up with people I talk to daily, and finally chat face to face! The food was delish and the company marvelous! My clan, as I like to call it, ROCKS! I didn’t retire to bed until after midnight…
Thursday - Rise and shine at 7am! 8am reported for volunteer duty at the registration desk. At 9am I headed to the Opening Session for the conference featuring Janet Evanovich. After an awe inspiring and funny speech I went to RWA Nationals AGM. I was very pleased to find out that as an e-pubbed author I will now be able to enter into the RITA! WOOT! After the AGM I went to the keynote luncheon which featured the HILARIOUS Linda Howard. I thoroughly ruined my mascara from laughing so much. Following lunch, I rested for about 30 minutes before heading to the PRO retreat (workshops targeted to RWA PRO members) and then to the Avon book signing! It was great to meet all the Avon authors who participated, in person! After dumping my newly aquired books in my bedroom (which my roommates and I all dubbed that we were book-whores) we went to a thoroughly disgusting dinner at Trattoria Italiana on Conn. Ave… DON’T EVER EAT THERE! I was given a $19 FAKE crabmeat crabcake…seriously, it was imitation crab with the red and everything… My roommate Andrea was equally tantalized by her fishy confection and my roommate Corrina had to bring along a butcher knife to first kill the still mooing cow on her plate and then try to cut through rubarized, microwaved steak… YIKES! After vomiting (just kidding!) we went to the moonlight madness bazaar where I bought a cool t-shirt that says, “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. Reveal Your Inner Vixen” from the Maryland Romance Writers group–a chapter I should belong too, but I’ve been too lazy to join, and a chapter who I judge their yearly contest every year. That night we ate junk, chatted and watched television until midnight .
Friday - I got up at 6am… rather rolled out of bed, curse myself into the shower and than slept my way to the lobby before going to the Hearts Through History breakfast. I swore to myself that I must start going to be earlier or I would be no good to anyone! As soon as I arrived and had some coffee I brightened up. I love my Hearts Through History chaptermates, they are some of the best and most knowledgable writers out there. I had a lovely breakfast and was super excited to finally meet not only some chapter sisters, but one of my crit partners Wendy! Hi Wendy!!! Then I was given a chapter service award for judging their contest :) Yay! As I sipped the last remaining drops of my delicious coffee, I listened to the biography the HHRW President gave of a member who sounded vaguely familiar, until I realized she was familiar because it was me! I was awarded the President’s award and given a gorgeous hand crafted pin of the HHRW logo. Too COOL! After breakfast I met up with some fellow Wild Rose Press authors and our publisher, Rhonda Penders! That was so great to finally meet everyone! I was extremely excited to put faces to names. After that little gathering I went to another booksigning, rested for 30 minutes and then headed to the Awards Luncheon featuring Eloisa James. What a great speaker! I was once again awed and inspired. I love being a romance author and part of such an amazing group of people. After lunch, Jeannie, Corrina and Andrea all helped me work on my pitch…boy was I nervous!!!! But it went very well, and the agent requested a partial. I called my husband afterward only to realize that at some point coming from the pitch room to the lobby my voice had left me… it’s still not back… Shortly after that I tantalized my brain with Delilah Marvelle’s workshop, Sex Throughout History. Boy does that woman know her stuff!!! And the pics…very nice (in my best Borat impression) lol. Great fun! Dinner was afterwards, and this time it was delicious! We ate so much we couldn’t order the cheesecake we’d been craving since the day before.
Saturday - The last day of the conference… I was sad that it was almost over. While I had missed my family, I was having such an awesome time I wasn’t ready for it to end. Breakfast was early, 7:30. I had a bagel, fruit and some peppermint tea with honey. Yummy and soothing. Book signings were next and then we (my roomies and I) headed to the Hook to Happy Ending workshop. What a great class! Afterwards, we indulged ourselves to cake and coffee for lunch and that was it!!! lol We went to an Erotic workshop, which was interupted by a fire alarm… and then headed to a third workshop before some more book signings. At the 3rd booksigning, a NY Times bestselling author, teased me relentlessly, all in good fun about how I need to stop doing so much and start writing. She even signed that in my book! If anyone ever asks me what the best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten was, I’d say, that was it! Will do! After the signing we ordered room service and prepared for the RITA and Golden Heart awards. What an experience! The Emcee Anne Stuart also ruined my mascara as did the many winners– but she had me laughing, the winners had me crying. After the awards my roomies and I grabbed our money headed to gift shop and loaded up on chocolate. We stuffed our faces and fell asleep…
Sunday - Time to say goodbye. We packed it up and headed home! My sister picked me up and drove me back to my abode. My little girls waited for me on the front porch, hair combed, dresses on, and super excited to see me. Hubby had managed to keep not only my girlies looking beautiful but the house was mostly clean too! We spent the day watching movies, ordered pizza and by the time I crashed, I passed into such a deep sleep my hubby had to wake me at 8am to get my butt moving this morning.
All in all, I had the best time ever at Nationals! It was so much fun to finally meet everyone, hang out, chat, and talk writing non-stop (and other things too of course!) I will definitely go again and again, and I highly recommend that if you get the chance, to go too. Pitching wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. And talk about an inspiring time! I am so ready to get cracking on my work! It renewed my vigor, alleviated my doubts and stroked my writing needs.
PS. I have a novella releasing on Wednesday!!! Love Will Bloom is a Regency romance.
After the death of her parents, Miss Lillian Whitmore travels to London to live with her aunt and uncle, the Duke and Duchess of Suffolk. Sick with grief, guilt and loneliness, and shunned by her aunt and cousins, Lillian is constantly reminded of her ignorance of society customs. Forced to find a husband, she encounters two men who vie for her affections–handsome, poised Lord Dominick Wade and the sensuous rake, Sir Trenton–but the skeletons in Lillian’s closet keep her from making a choice.
Expectations are high for Lord Dominick Wade to marry a woman of social stature, but the American beauty has literally wreaked havoc with his senses. Lillian is everything Dominick wants in a companion, lover and wife. Even more rankling is his competition, Sir Trenton, and the influence he holds over her.
Fate will decide this season which love will wither…and which will bloom.
Eliza Knight is the author of sizzling historical romance and erotic Highlander time travel romance. She is the author of the award winning blog, History Undressed. Wife of one, mommy to almost three and the President of Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. She teaches various workshops on history, research and writing craft. She is also a professional critiquer.