Or, in this case, the hotel. The hotel bar to be exact. At every conference I've attended there always seems to be that one place where people gather. At romance conferences, that place is typically in the bar. At the Marriott hotels that usually host RWA, the bar is located in an open lobby-like area, an area through which people pass to reach restaurants, meeting rooms, hotel rooms, etc. One of the most important parts of a conference is networking; meeting new people, catching up with old friends, meeting with agents, editors, other writers, conducting interviews or just hanging out and having fun. Here's the view from Pulse, the place to see and be seen at RWA National in Atlanta!
Kati Rodriguez and Katharine Ashe. Katharine has an Avon Digital Impulse book, HOW TO MARRY A HIGHLANDER coming out next Tuesday!
PJ catches up with contemporary author, Julie James. Julie's latest book in her FBI/U.S. Attorney series, LOVE IRRESISTIBLY was released in April.
Talented authors, fashion icons (they are stunning) and good friends Juliana Gray/Beatriz Williams, Karen White and Wendy Wax take advantage of a quiet moment to catch up.
PJ catches up with Romance Bandit, Kate Carlisle, NYT bestselling author of the Bibliophile Mystery series.
Kati Rodriguez and Jenn LeBlanc. I see mischief brewing in those eyes!
Now this was a fun group! PJ with Heather Snow (Have you read her books? Sweet Madness is one of my favorite books of 2013.) , Kati Rodriguez and Brenna Aubrey.
Terri Osburn and Tessa Dare. Good times with two lovely women who happen to be terrific writers!
PJ, Lisa Lin and Katharine Ashe celebrating the Ballroom Blogs!
Double RITA winner, Simone St. James, RITA finalists Kristina McMorris and Tracy Brogan and Maureen McGowan celebrate!
We love our Romance Bandits! Here are Anna Sugden (Her debut book comes out Sept. 1st!), Tawny Weber (Have you met her Navy SEALS?), Beth Andrews (The next book in her Shady Grove series will be out August 1st) and Suzanne Ferrell (Her new romantic suspense, Seized is getting great reviews).
Another great place to see authors is at the many publisher signings held for paid conference participants. These are popular events so the lines start early and grow long. It's the perfect time to meet new people as well as catch up with friends waiting in line.
One of the people I met while waiting for a signing to begin was Australian author Kylie Griffin. It took her 28 hours to get here! Kylie's on the right. On the left is Georgia writer, Tami Brothers.
One of my roomies, talented Young Adult author Marni Bates.
Andrea poses with our good friend and rising star of historical romance, Manda Collins. Manda's new book, Why Dukes Say I Do (a RT Book Reviews Top Pick) will be released next Tuesday, July 30th.
RITA finalist Lori Austin who also writes as Lori Handeland.
Fans of Carey Baldwin's medical thriller, First Do No Evil will be happy to hear that there are more books in the works for this talented author!
Meg Benjamin (Janga raves about her books) offers a copy of Fearless Love.
I'm looking forward to The Trouble with Christmas, a holiday romance from Debbie Mason (who also writes as Debbie Mazzuca) that releases September 24th.
One of my favorite people, Juliana Stone, shows off the first book in her Bad Boys of Crystal Lake contemporary series. Book two, The Christmas He Loved Her comes out September 24th. I"m counting the days until this one!
I'm so excited for this new book from Lily Everett (who also writes as Louisa Edwards). Sanctuary Island is another July 30th release.
Vicki Lewis Thompson is a favorite author and one classy lady.
After meeting Sheila Roberts, I've moved her books up my tbr list. What a sparkling personality this lady has!
I've been a fan of Susan Mallery's books for years. What fun to finally meet her in person!
Where are your favorite places to network? School? Work? The local coffee shop? Somewhere else?
Do you find it easy to strike up conversations with strangers?
I have a friend who "networks" with other readers in the book aisles of stores by recommending her favorite romances. Have you ever done that?
Which books coming out over the next month are you most looking forward to reading?
Three randomly chosen people leaving a comment on the blog will each receive a book and swag from our conference stash.