Had a wonderful time and mostly stayed inside due to the heat – but it was July in Florida. Plus with so many incredible presentations to attend no time to go out. My only problem was in deciding which of the presentations to see.
Wednesday through Saturday was full. Just some of the sessions I attended included Mark Dawson on Savvy Marketing, Kristen Painter and Roxanne St. Clarie on Self-Publishing in an Ever Changing Market. The PAN Keynote was Faith Salie on the Approval Junkie, a panel on the secrets of self-publishing, and a high energy session on Burnout Prevention with Emily Foster and Amelia Nagoski.
The Golden Hearts luncheon was separated from the Ritas this year which I found to be very enjoyable. A full list of the winners is here – Golden Hearts and Ritas.
Linnea Sinclair, Cindy Holbby and Stacey Kade led Boldly Going: Writing Science Fiction Romance. Got to attend Writing Great Sex Scenes with Patience Bloom, Flo Nicoll and Kathleen Scheibling, but missed Cattle Ranching for Dummies, Unsucky Blurb Writing (need this one!), Indiana Jones in the Ballroom, and How a Lady Does it: Sex in Historical Romance. Need to clone myself for the next conference.
Also got to see so many authors I admire and follow. Fangirled on Suzanne Brockman and Virginia Kantra. Got to talk a little with Heather Graham – told her that I’d been compared to her on a review of Wraith’s Heart and thanked her for the boost in sales. Saw Katharine Ashe, Samantha Chase, Elizabeth Langston, Sabrina Jefferies, Cyn Haydn, my incredible editor from Soul Mate Publishing, Char Chaffin, and of course roomed with Nancy Lee Badger.
Beverly Jenkins won the Nora Robert Lifetime Achievement Award and gave the greatest speech.
Lots of Hearts of the Carolina were there as well – Kate Parker, Davida Samenski, Laurel McMacken, Jennifer Delamere. There weren’t enough hours in the day.
Attended the Leadership Breakfast with Nancy on Saturday and learned a lot more than I had even considered about what RWA does behind the scenes for authors and chapters. Gave me a new appreciation of the work of the organization.
If you haven’t been to a conference yet, put it on your schedule – Denver in 2018. If possible, it’s an incredible experience.