Last week I was in San Diego for the annual Romance Writers of America conference where a couple thousand women converge to learn the craft of writing, make business connections and consume copious amounts of coffee and chocolate. (And the bar gets a fair bit of action, too.) Parties and power lunches abound and the diet gets thrown out the window.
It's a treat to see all my favorite people in the business - writing pals such as Nancy Naigle, Lisa Hendrix, Pam Binder, Brenda Novak, and Shirley Marks, and my buddy Susan Wiggs, to name a few, the great team at my publishing house, Harlequin, my wonderful publicist Nancy Berland, and my lifelong friend and agent Paige Wheeler. And I so enjoyed making new friends like the gorgeous Carla Neggers. Most of these people I only get to see in person once a year so this conference is always a treat. The frosting on the cake this year was getting to visit with readers and even a member of my street team at the Literacy for Life book signing event.
Lots of brainstorming goes on at these conferences, where authors come to learn new ways to grow their readership and improve their books. In between, we have some fun sight-seeing and partying. But in the end, the purpose of the conference is business, and as writers we take our business seriously.
We all want to write the best story we can, hopefully one that will encourage and entertain you, our readers. Because, after all, you're the most important part of this business. What would we do without you?!
... has the cops called on them. No, just kidding. Although Gerhardt's family reunion did get pretty wild and crazy with karaoke performances loud enough to scare the wildlife (oh, wait, that was us), crazy luau costumes, and strange nighttime prowlers. (Glad I was happily and ignorantly asleep when that one happened.)
These days it seems we're all busy and going a million directions. It can be hard to stay connected, especially from one generation to the next. A yearly getaway can be a good answer to that problem. All trapped together in a mountain cabin we were forced to spend time together. (Not that it was a hardship. I enjoy my husband's family.) This year we had a special treat with Gerhardt's half-sister from Australia joining us. Great fun. Of course we had to sing "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport" for her. It was recorded by... somebody. Not us because by that time I'd used up all my iPad memory recording many other memorable performances. So I guess you'll just have to take my word for it that I was fabulous. :)
And so another family reunion is a memory and we're all looking forward to gathering at Christmas, when there will be much pandemonium again as we fight over gift gags and tacky presents.
I guess on that note I'll bring this blog to a close. Time for bed. Tomorrow I fly out to San Diego for the Romance Writers of America conference. Hoping to see many of my buddies there. And who knows, maybe a reader or two will join us at the Marriott Marquis hotel on Wednesday from 5:30 - 7:30 for the big book signing party. If you're in San Diego this Wed be sure and come by. Probably all your favorite romance authors will be there signing books!