9/11/09

RWA Nationals Recap, Part II

I slept in on Thursday morning and managed to get downstairs in time to meet Barb Ferrer and sit with her during the RWA Annual General Meeting. It was one big snafu, as always. Then my second roommate, Lorelie Brown, finally arrived. It was so good to see her, as there was some doubt as to whether she would be able to attend at all. She got cleaned up and we met Ann, Lauren Dane and Laura Bradford for the luncheon. Linda Howard was the guest speaker, and although some people said she was reusing materials from previous speeches, I thought she was hilarious.

After lunch, Lorelie and I took the metro into town and visited Ford's Theater. This was another historical attraction that had been closed when Keven and I last visited, and it had only reopened the day before Lorelie and I were there. Lucky timing! As with my discussion about seeing the Coliseum, I was again struck by my difficulty in coming to grips with history. I was sitting in the same room where Abraham Lincoln was shot. Apparently places have a very strong grip on my imagination.

When we returned, I got dressed to attend the Kensington cocktail party. I had to duck out after only an hour in order to attend the Chicago North reception. Both of these functions entailed meeting a great number of people that I had previously known only online, which is always a hoot. My friend Joelle decided that I needed to come to another function later that evening in order to talk with an agent or two, so after another brief reprieve in my room, I headed back down into the fray. If I wasn't going to make the effort at Nationals, why even attend? Turns out it was worth the effort because I met the people I had hoped to meet. All good!

Friday I attended a few workshops, sat with Joanna Bourne and Lorelie for lunch, and generally took it easy by comparison. We went to a cocktail party hosted by Samhain, but damn it was crowded. For dinner, Lorelie and I went out to a Lebanese restaurant with Katiebabs and about 20 other bloggers. Fantastic food, great fun, and very useful contacts. Win! Unfortunately, dinner took so long that I was unable to attend the Berkeley party with Ann. We spent the rest of the evening consuming what was left of our slumber party booze and lampooned a great many novels. Dr. Sarah came by sometime after one o'clock, so it was another late night for us.

My work day was Saturday. After breakfast and a few publisher signings--more free books!--I headed down to help present our workshop "The Billionaire Tycoon's Secret Promotional Baby" with Barb, Ann, Jane Litte and SB Sarah. It was all going well until the fire alarm bell. Confusion! Ann wound up offering part of her talk down on the street, while Sarah was cut off almost entirely. Very upsetting!

Just after that, I met Wendy in order to give my interview. The day was lovely, so the cameraman and producer set us up outside. You'll be able to see the full result come January, as RT is going to save the footage until the release of Scoundrel's Kiss, but suffice it to say that we rocked. The producer was practically gushing over how well we handled ourselves. Good to know! By that time, I hadn't eaten since early, early morning, so Wendy and I met Lorelie for a late lunch/early dinner.

And then it was off to take part in my second workshop, "High-Octane Kisses" with Ann, Laura Bradford, and Cynthia Eden. Cynthia was a last-minute replacement for Elisabeth Naughton. Because of that, we were particularly happy with how well the workshop went. All of our points reinforced one another, and we had a very nice turnout--especially for a craft workshop in the last possible time slot of the conference.

After a quick change of outfits, Ann, Lorelie and I headed down to the RITA ceremony. Anne Stuart was very funny, and the whole thing clocked in just under two hours--brilliant! The hors d'oeuvres and dessert reception afterward was very nice, much better than last year, and we quite pigged out. I didn't have my name tag on, so I was surprised when the woman asked if I was Carrie Lofty. She had recognized me from one of my workshops and wanted to tell me how much she had enjoyed my debut. What a great way to end the conference!

I was up and out of the hotel by 7 AM, actually the last of us three to leave. I met KristieJ by chance at the airport; she was returning to Canada on the same flight to Detroit. My flight back was entirely smooth. Keven had picked up the girls from my parents' house and then stopped by the airport in South Bend to pick me up too. We were home by early evening, happy to be back.

But Nashville 2010--I'll be there!

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