This is actually from Wednesday night at the conference, but it makes a nice segue from yesterday's post.
At any rate, here's me and Allison toasting her fabulous, supportive and oh-so-sweet editor at Pocket, Danielle Poiesz. Danielle might have been just the teensiest bit disappointed not to attend the conference, but she was with us in spirit. And on Twitter! And here's one more from Wednesday night: the delightful Leanna Renee Hieber and Lindsey Faber, managing editor at Samhain Books. (If you don't know, Samhain is one of the best e-publishers out there right now.)
So, Thursday morning was recovery time. Sadly I was coming down with a respiratory something. I met up with some fabulous FFP'rs to stuff goodie bags. (Which ended up being abortive, but alas...)
Then we were off to the keynote lecture from La Nora, the amazing Nora Roberts. I was too far back to snap any good photos of her. The woman has written 190 books, 164 of them bestsellers. Her message? For everyone out there who says the writing/publishing business is hard, she says, yes it is. That's what makes it great. She called "bullshit" on anyone who says it used to be easier for writers. She cited typewriters, white-out, carbon paper, no email and research at, of all things, the library. Nora is a down-to-earth, hard-working gal. It was wonderful to hear someone say that if you work hard and stay in the swimming pool, you will make the money. She was also in the bar with a friend later and totally gave my outfit a nod and smile. From a multi-millionaire writer who spends most of it on shoes, that means a great deal!
The PRO retreat started after lunch. "PRO" is RWA's category for writers who are still unpubbed in romance, but have provided documentation of a completed manuscript and interactions with agents and editors showing active querying for publication. One of the best parts of the PRO retreat was the big slide showing our membership loss: all the people who'd gone to being PAN, part of the Published Author Network. Allison, at the PAN retreat next door, complained about the wild cheering, but this was why.
Donald Maas, of the Donald Maas Agency, spoke. My favorite line from him? "The most important thing to know about our changing industry is that nothing has changed. It's still about story and the contract between the author and the reader."
I truly believe this.
I ducked out of the retreat to hear a workshop on writing in multiple genres (my personal curse) by Cynthia Eden, Ann Aguirre and Julianna Stone, along with a couple of other authors I've forgotten. (I threw my conference program away in the hopes of making weight with my suitcase despite the added books. I came out at 51.5 and the Southwest lady didn't even blink. I'm just loving Southwest these days!)
All this while, one of my favorite twitter people and new author-finds, Victoria Dahl, kept tweeting about being out at the pool. (My favorite tweet? "Thunder! If I die, tell my kids I was doing something I loved." I went to find her and she bought me a wine spritzer. We had a great conversation. (Did I babble? I might have babbled.) But she's even more fun in person. I loved her "Talk Me Down," which finaled for a Rita.
Victoria had to rush off to a Readers Choice party - and this is my public confession that I made her late; it's all my fault - so I sat by the pool for a bit and enjoyed the oh-so-warm evening. I was supposed to meet people for karaoke, but the respiratory crud overwhelmed me and I crashed, bringing Thursday to a close.