Thursday, June 18, 2015
Throwback Thursday - - RWA National
In 2006, the Romance Writers of America national conference was held in Atlanta, Georgia and I was going to the Literacy Autographing that is traditionally held the night before the conference begins and is open to the public. Though I'd been reading romance for many years by that time, this was my first opportunity to meet the people from whose imaginations some of my favorite characters and stories had sprung. Living an easy two hours drive away, how could I pass on the chance to thank them for all the years of reading pleasure they had given me? On Wednesday morning, I headed into Atlanta, not really knowing what to expect but filled with excitement for the day to come. Here are a few of my photographic memories from that first - but not last - RWA experience.
I had discovered Eloisa James through the Squawk Radio blog and was an active member of her bulletin board so, of course, when she offered to meet privately with some of her BB members Wednesday afternoon, I jumped at the chance. She was witty, gracious, down to earth and treated all of us as if we were old friends.
Christie Ridgway, Barbara Freethy and Elizabeth Bevarly have personalities that light up the room. These three contemporary authors are fun to read and fun to be around!
How can you not smile around Jacquie D'Alessandro? She charmed me with her warm and friendly personality and entertained me with tales of her parents. I walked away determined to buy every book she had written.
The line was long but I was determined to meet Nora Roberts. A superstar she may be, but she was warm, gracious and showed her appreciation for each reader who took the time to stand in her line.
A word of advice before meeting Connie Brockway: visit the restroom. Yes, she really will have you laughing that hard!
One of the authors I was most looking forward to meeting. She ran out of books before I got to the front of the line but it actually worked in my favor as she had more time to chat. Christina Dodd is one of my favorite authors and people. If she writes it, I buy it. It's as easy as that.
Speaking of people who make me laugh, here's Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer. Crusie's books are keepers and include some of my all-time favorites.
One of the sweetest and kindest people on the planet who also has a wonderful sense of humor and just happens to be a fantastic author (and now, publisher)! When I introduced myself to Teresa Medeiros she jumped up, gave me a big ole hug and treated me like we'd known each other forever. That's just the kind of person she is. A side note: this photo was taken by the person (then a stranger) standing in front of me in line, a lovely lady who is now one of my dearest friends. You never know who you'll meet while standing in line at a romance book signing. Thank you, Teresa for introducing me to the wonderful J Perry Stone!
Another long line but I was in love with the Bridgertons and wasn't about to leave without meeting Julia Quinn. What a beautiful smile and infectious personality this lovely lady has! She signed a copy of The Viscount Who Loved Me for my niece and wrote in it, "You have a wonderful aunt." Endeared me to her forever. *grin*
I don't think Susan Elizabeth Phillips has aged a day since this first meeting in 2006. She's a lovely, gracious lady with a zest for life and a wicked sense of humor that's awesome. Oh yeah, she's a pretty amazing author too!
I haven't been able to verify it yet but I'm convinced that somewhere, somehow, Karen Hawkins and I are related. Her family stories are so much like my own that we have to be cousins somewhere along the line! Love her humor, in her books and in real life. Simply put, she makes me smile.
Cathie Linz succumbed to colon cancer earlier this year. She was a talented author and delightful woman who generously gave of herself to both the romance writing and reading communities. She was instrumental in creating the Librarian's Day at the RWA national conference. In recognition of her many contributions, RWA announced that, beginning this year, the annual Librarian of the Year award would be re-named the Cathie Linz Librarian of the Year. I had the opportunity to meet her a few times. She was so nice, friendly and deeply appreciative of all the readers who enjoyed her books. Library Journal called her books "hilarious and heartwarming." I couldn't agree more.
Those are a few of my special memories from the 2006 RWA Literacy Autographing. Hope you enjoyed the walk down memory lane.
Have you ever attended a book signing?
What authors would you most like to meet?
Will you be at the 2015 RWA conference or book signing in New York City next month?
I'm clearing out my book stash before refilling it at this summer's conference. Two of you who leave comments on this post will receive a package of books from my stash. (U.S. only)