I’m sure this is a subject that we’ve covered before, but I’ve been thinking about it because I have one coming up. Conferences. Do you go? Why do you go? What do you get out of it? Which ones do you go to?
Okay, we’ll start with me.
I’ve only ever been to one national conference. It was in Chicago in 1998 or 1999–whichever year my first book was out. I went with friends and had so much fun that even now I love remembering it. I remember seeing long-time favorite authors in person. In person! I remember going to workshops but not what any of those workshops were. I learned firsthand the meanings of terms like sensory overload and schmoozing and self-promotion. I learned a few new things about drinking. I learned that this country girl is uncomfortable and alone in crowds the size of ones at National. I’m envious every year of people who go–I’m also relieved not to be among them.
I’ve been to numerous regional conferences. In May, I’m making my second trip to Chicago’s Spring Fling. I love the intimacy of small conferences, the schmoozing (remember, I learned about that at National), and the camaraderie between authors. Regardless of that sense of sorority, my friend and I laugh because she feels like a second-class citizen due to her indie status and I feel the same way because even though I have a few indie projects, my publishing heart is still traditional. Sometimes it seems as if the two factions are trying to convince the others that they’re wrong when they’re not–they’re only different. Conferences are good places to embrace differences, although I’m not sure it actually works out that way.
I like the workshops and am appreciative of the authors who develop and present them. I love listening to the speakers. Two years ago, I got to hear both Kristan Higgins and Mary Balogh–I was starstruck for…well, I’m still starstruck. Beyond writing fabulous books, they were funny and generous. One thing that I will never forget, that made me happy to be a part of the sisterhood of romance writers was when many of us were in the common area downstairs in the hotel, the one filled with tables and chairs with Starbuck’s lurking in one corner, Kristan Higgins was working on her laptop. And no one bothered her!
I have meandered long enough, but those questions remain. Do you? Why? What do you gain? Which ones do you go to?
THE GINGERBREAD HEART is being released tomorrow as part of A HEARTWARMING CHRISTMAS boxed set. I am annoyingly excited. Here’s an excerpt: He came into the kitchen the same time as she did, dressed only in faded jeans. It had … Continue reading →
Crushes. Frank Sinatra sang about them. Everybody has them. I grew up on the Crush in the picture. There is a sweetness (not counting the sugar in the soda) that goes along with the word. I’ve read Betty Neels since … Continue reading →
Much like its romantic counterpart, there’s a bittersweet quality to falling for an author. I think Jim Baker said it best in the classic John Hughes film Sixteen Candles: “That’s why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they’d … Continue reading →
The blogger I invited for the first of the month didn’t show up, so it seemed like a good time to talk about what we’re reading. It must be said here that book reviews I write are almost as awful … Continue reading →
I heard long ago that there are only seven original plots in the world. Well, Rudyard Kipling claimed 69, someone else claims 20, 36, and one guy boils it down to three. But the saying most of us know (I … Continue reading →
Usually we start the month off with some contemporary romance recommendations from book bloggers and reviewers. This month we decided to something a little different. I sent a last-minute call out to the Cafe authors to see what books they’d … Continue reading →
Hey, everyone! Thanks to Contemporary Romance Café for hosting me today. Coming up with a topic for this post was hard, but after lengthy deliberation fueled by a plate of cookies, I thought it might be fun to chat about … Continue reading →
Writers I admire, huh? How much time do I have? I tend to hyperventilate when I think that sometime in my life I will meet Kristan Higgins and laugh (and cry) so hard that my life is changed by it. … Continue reading →