Random Musings about the RWA Conference

I’m home from the RWA conference in Washington, DC, after having a lovely time. I am still so tired from the festivities that all I can do is produce random thoughts.

1. The time started out in a very exciting way! We Riskies (except Janet who was squiring folks around on a Washington DC historic house tour)
were interviewed at XM Radio (more on that in upcoming days!)

2. I danced with Janet (and the Harlequin Historical editors) at the Beau Monde Soiree. But just one dance. We would not wish to set tongues wagging.

3. The Harlequin Party was held at the Ritz Carlton in a ballroom with a great dance floor and the same DJ as in San Francisco (He’s so good!). The theme was Harlquin’s 60 year anniversary, and they set up bars with a theme of the decade. For example, the 1960s bar served Singapore Slings. A video display of old covers was flashed on the wall and on monitors throughout the room. Needless to say, it was a wildly wonderful party.

4. Harlequin was a big presence at the conference and well they should be with the wonderful year they are having, sales-wise. They gave all conference attendees tote bags with a vintage Harlequin cover on them. Keep an eye out for more Vintage cover products, soon to be on sale in Barnes and Noble and Borders and such. Harlequin partnered with a stationary company to produce a bunch of very cool notebooks and things like that. To a few lucky early arrivers at the Harlequin party, I snatched a set of post cards with vintage covers on them. Here is an idea of the covers that will perhaps be featured.

5. The Mills & Boon editors (including Harlquin Historicals) are the BEST!! Not only did Joanne Grant (Historical) and Kim Young (Romance) attend (and dance in spike heels) at the Soiree, they also “made an offer” to aspiring writer and Golden Heart finalist (and later the winner) Jeannie Lin to buy her manuscript Butterfly Swords. Joanne and Kim gave a great workshop on avoiding cliches, a download of which should be available to purchase. (check the RWA site for more on that). I could go on and on about how much fun these two ladies are, but the other editors were equally as friendly. Sheila Hodgson (Medicals) greeted me like an old friend at our Mills & Boon Reception and editorial directo, Karin Stoecker, met me for a friendly drink. (Joanne, Karin, and Sheila also toasted me with champagne in 2006 after my RITA win). Tessa Shapcot (Presents) sat across from me at the Harlequin Historical lunch and was a delight to chat with.

6. Our Riskies get-together did not go as planned. Harry’s Pub was not conducive to such a gathering, but we made do in the Lobby bar and I had a great time chatting with Santa and Keira. Andrea Pickens and Miranda Neville, both past guest authors, also were there. Santa and I even did an impromptu plot-storming session. (Miranda Neville, by the way, helped me solve a sticky plot problem, as well, when we were just chatting at breakfast Sunday). Another Risky interviewee, Pam Rosenthal, won the RITA for BEST HISTORICAL Romance!!!

7. My very favorite part of the conference is running into old friends and making new ones. I love the mystery of why I sometimes see certain people everywhere (either Sandy Coleman and Amy of All About Romance were stalking me or I was stalking them, not sure which, but everywhere I went, they did too.) and others hardly at all. And I also love walking through the halls and greeting old friends.

8. I had great intentions of touring around DC with Keira and Amanda on Sunday, but I was so exhausted that I went home early and barely budged from my spot on the couch. So sorry, Keira and Amanda! I hope you had a good day.

How about you? If you attended the conference, what were your most memorable moments? If you didn’t attend, what else can we tell you about it?

Oh, I also met with Emily Cotler of Waxcreative Design so look for some new stuff at my website real soon. There is a new contest there right now.

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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