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. 

~PJ

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)

52 comments:

  1. If RWA ever comes back to Atlanta, I want to try to go to the book signing. I would love to meet Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Nora Roberts, Julie James, Jill Shalvis, Kristan Higgins, and YOU! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks, Cheryl. I'd love to meet you too! :)

      Delete
    2. I already feel like I know you even though we have only met online.

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I almost got to go to one but the person I was relying on backed out at the last moment :( I've always enjoyed hearing about the person behind the story and it's so nice to know they are down to earth and really nice people. There are so many authors I would love to meet so I'll just name 3 - Grace Burrows, Sue-Ellen Welfonder and Karen Ranney (I could name another 300 lol).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, that stinks! So sorry you weren't able to go, catslady. I've met Grace Burrowes. She's such a nice lady! Welfonder and Ranney are on my wish list too.

      Delete
  4. I haven't attended a book signing but would love to. Authors I would enjoy meeting would be many. SEP, Jacqueline Winspear, Grace Burrowes, Mary Balogh.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a great conference that was! The authors you met--what a fabulous group! I have attended a few book signings, but none recently. Thanks for the post and giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The most recent book-signing was with Julia Quinn and I loved meeting her! She is absolutely charming in person and rolled her eyes at me when I asked if she'll ever do a Christmas book. I guess everyone asks .....

    I'll also pick three authors I would love to meet: Grace Burrowes, Mary Balogh, and Theresa Romain. There are many more and I watch my local bookstores that host signings in hopes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laura, I'm so happy you got to meet JQ. Isn't she a doll?

      I hope you have the chance to meet Theresa Romain one of these days. She's a total sweetheart!

      Delete
    2. I am a fan of Theresa Romain on Facebook and enjoy her posts. JQ is a doll ... I had so much fun that afternoon!

      Delete
  7. There was a local readers and writers luncheon some years back and booksigning. It was wonderful and I enjoyed myself very much. Have been on a paranormal kick lately so authors that I would most like to meet are CL Wilson, Patricia Briggs, Kim Harrison, Joey W. Hill, Marie Harte. I would love to go to RWA or a large booksiging someday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great paranormal list, Lil! I've only met CL Wilson (at a smaller conference in Atlanta). She was lovely!

      Delete
  8. I don't have any authors I would like to meet...A romance book conference sounds fun though:)

    ReplyDelete
  9. How wonderful that you met and attended this lovely event. Meeting authors sounds like a delightful occasion. I would love to meet and greet so many interesting authors. Mary Doria Russell, Jennifer Donnelly, Pam Jenoff and Adriana Trigiani.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to meet Adriana Trigiani!

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much for the mention traveler.i have never been able to make rwA but hopefully soon

      Delete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I would love to meet Kresley Cole, Gena Showalter, Cynthia Eden, Felicity Heaton, Donna Grant, Tessa Dare, Sophie Jordan...and sooo many more!!

    I haven't had a chance to go to a book signing/event yet, but I hope to in the future! Maybe RT16? I was so close to going to RT15, but I got influenza a month before and had to use up all my sick hours and vacation days for it, lol!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So sorry you got sick and that it kept you from attending RT15. I've never been to a RT convention. I always have a conflict. One of these years maybe...

      That's a great list. I've met Sophie Jordan and Tessa Dare, both awesome ladies!

      Delete
  12. What a treat to see all these photos, PJ! I'm such an introvert I don't know that I will ever make it to a conference or a signing. If I were to attend an RWA conference, the authors I already count as friends but whom I've never met face-to-face would be at the top of my list--Manda Collins, Terri Osburn, Maggie Robinson, Eloisa James, Anne Gracie, Mary Jo Putney, and several others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janga, we need a smaller, more intimate gathering where you all can meet. You'd love them in person and I know they'd love you...even more than we all already do!

      Delete
    2. I'd come after you, Janga. And I'm an introvert.

      Delete
  13. Loved the photos.
    What wonderful mementos!

    If the RWA came to London I would definitely want to attend.

    I would particularly like to meet Mary Ballogh .... A Welsh lass who made good; Catherine Anderson or Mary Jo Putney representing America and Anne Gracie for the Aussies.

    If Anne McCaffrey could be persuaded to come and represent the Irish, I would que round the block to meet her. Also if time travel is supported, meeting Fred Hoyle and H G Wells would be fascinating!

    I know that I'm out of the running for the book stash but as a special favour I would like to request that if the random selection should pick my name, the stash goes to Janga .... with the proviso that she selects the best and reviews it here. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd queue around the block for some of those too, Q! I'll also be happy to honor your request should the randomizer choose Janga. :)

      My brother introduced me to the books of Anne McCaffrey. She's outside my typical reading box but I enjoyed her writing a lot.

      Mary Jo Putney is a lovely, lovely lady. I think you'd enjoy chatting with her. And Anne Gracie would feel like an old friend within the hour. She's fun, friendly and oh so interesting!

      Delete
  14. I love this WHOLE post. What a wonderful time, mainly because it brought so many dear people into my life.

    Love your guts, PJ!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel the same way, Julianne! I often think about the odds that in a room that size with over 400 authors and double that number of readers, you and I would end up standing next to one another in a line for an author who "knew" both of us online. It was kismet.

      Delete
  15. I've never attended an author's signing.

    I would like to meet Karen Hawkins,Jill Shalvis,Linda Lael Miller, Susan Mallery, Cindy Kirk, Anna Campbell, Roxanne St Clair, Jennifer McQuiston, Carly Phillips,Susan Wiggs, Shanna Galen, Julia London, Sarah MacLean, Julianne MacLean and Victoria Alexander...

    I will not be in NYC next month. I will be out in Moab,Utah visiting my son and D-I-L. We will visit Canyonlands and ArchesNational Parks and Colorado's San Juan Mts (Durango, Ridgland , Silverton, Telluride) and Rocky Mt National Park. I can't wait, even though it's going to be HOT!!

    I always have room for more books.

    THANKS for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laurie, of the authors you mention I've met all but Linda Lael Miller and Susan Wiggs. I can guarantee you would love all of them! They are fun, friendly and so very appreciative of their readers. As an added bonus, I could listen to Anna Campbell's wonderful Aussie accent for hours!

      Hope you have a great time out West! I've been in the Rockies in July and you're right, very hot and humid. However, the sheer majesty of the scenery far outweighs the heat!

      Delete
  16. I have never been to a book convention or author signing. There always seems to be something else going on that I can't get out of. But my family has already been warned not to plan anything for me the week of RT2016!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope it works out for you next year!

      Did you see that you won a book from Kat Martin? I haven't received your name and mailing address yet. Please send to: theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks!

      Delete
  17. I'd love to get to a book convention, but time and cost are issues - plus I'm not a big fan of huge crowds - but maybe someday I'll connect with a smaller local event.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Di, there are some very good small regional conferences with book signings open to the public. I don't know how far away this is from you but the New Jersey romance writers have a really good (smaller) conference in October. They usually pull in some big names.

      Delete
  18. Every year I say this will be the year I get to go to a book conference/signing and every year something comes up and I don't get to make it! LOL oh well, maybe next year? ;) Who knows, maybe next year I'll get to meet one of you guys!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you'll be able to make it to one!

      Delete
  19. I have never been to a book signing but have always wanted to go to one. I think it would be a lot of fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is fun, not only to meet the authors but to connect with other readers too.

      Delete
  20. I have been to many and still get excited when preparing for them. By the way I love the photos ...and I have met all my faves including a few times meeting Diana Gabaldon. As for now? I love to meet the friends I have made. What a wonderful post!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've never been I think it would be a lot of fun. I've just never had both the time and money available at the same time to make it happen. As for author's I'd love to meet, my list would be huge. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you get the chance to go to one, Glenda.

      Delete
  22. A lovely post, PJ! I remember that photo of us being taken in Atlanta. I'm honored to have you post it today and honored to call you my friend. xox Jacquie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You were one of the highlights for me, Jacquie! Some of my favorite conference (both RWA and M&M) memories revolve around you, my friend. (((Hugs)))

      Delete
  23. I've only been to one and it was two popular urban fantasy writers. It was a lot of fun! I wish I could go to more! Ummm... I would love to meet Nora Roberts and Ilona Andrews. I think that I just need to peek my head out once in a while and see where everyone's at and go :) thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The RWA and RT conferences move to different locations every year but there are also regional conferences in various states. Hope you'll have another opportunity to go.

      Delete
  24. I attend my first conference 2 years ago, RomCon in Colorado Springs, CO. It was small by comparison for RWA, but enjoyable. I was impressed by how personable most authors were, and met some new to me authors that I am now enjoying. Unfortunately, two boxes of books that I mailed home never made it. My husband works for the Post Office and was not pleased. I lost several books I really wanted. The theme of the conference was erotica and BDSM which is not something I read, but there were enough sessions that were on different genre that I could enjoy.
    This year I attended RT in Dallas. It was certainly an experience. I met so many authors I have read and enjoyed. I am impressed how they make an effort to greet everyone and make them feel special. They put a lot of time, effort, and money in making the conference a wonderful experience for the readers. There were so many authors and events that it was a bit overwhelming for a first timer. I was a librarian when RWA was to be in Nashville a few years ago but got flooded out. I was attending as a librarian and would have followed them to Florida if I had not just returned from there the week before.
    I may go to another event and will be checking out the smaller regional ones. I would gladly go back to RomCon in Denver even though it is a long trip. If RWA ever comes back to Nashville, I will probably go. It is only a 5 hour drive and definitely worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  25. No,
    Would lik to meet
    Lelskie Kelly, vuvki Thompson
    Nora Roberts
    Kimh

    ReplyDelete
  26. Congrats to the winners.

    Would love to meet Robyn Carr, Susan Mallery, Jill Shalvis to name a few.

    I met Suz Brockmann, James Patterson, Barbara Delinsky and Nora Roberts at signings.

    ReplyDelete