Thursday, June 25, 2015

Throwback Thursday - - RWA National


Three years after my initial RWA experience in Atlanta (click here to read), I traveled to Washington, DC to attend my first complete conference as a registered participant. By the time July, 2009 rolled around, I had been reviewing books at an online site for almost a year and was excited to learn as much as I could from workshops while also meeting the authors whose books I'd enjoyed reading and other readers I'd "met" online. I volunteered to work the registration desk at that first conference and I strongly encourage anyone attending a conference for the first time to consider doing the same. It's a great way to meet people as they check in for the conference, especially when you're wearing that "first-timer" ribbon! Here are a few of the many highlights of my Washington, DC RWA National Conference.




They traveled from the other side of the world and I'm not sure anyone there was more excited to meet them in person than I was. Here's a picture of me with two of my favorite Aussies, the incomparable Anna Campbell and Christine Wells/Christina Brooke. Have you checked out Anna's new novella, Three Proposals and a Scandal? It's deliciously good!












You can not spend time with Cathy Maxwell, Suzanne Enoch and Karen Hawkins without smiling. It just isn't possible. 













The lovely Robyn Carr treated Virgin River fans to a Jack's Bar luncheon and a fabulous time was had by all! Robyn's upcoming Thunder Point novel, A New Hope was reviewed by Janga yesterday.








I stalked...er...um...stumbled upon...that's right...I stumbled upon the fabulous J.R. Ward while  
walking down the hallway between workshops and begged...no, that sounds desperate...graciously asked...yeah, that's better...I graciously asked her to sign a book for my niece. At least I think that's what I asked. My memories are clouded by the babbling...lots of babbling. Thankfully, she took pity on me, agreed to sign the book and also posed for a photo. She rocks! She also has a new contemporary series kicking off this summer with the July 28th release of The Bourbon Kings. I've read an advanced copy of the book and it is fabulous!








Toni Blake and Julie Anne Long are people I always look forward to seeing and their books are at the top of my "must read" lists. This was my first time meeting them in person and they both treated me as if we were long-time friends. They're just the best!

















Joanna Bourne with the RITA she won for My Lord and Spymaster. She was a double finalist that year. What a fascinating woman and exceptional author!















With Victoria Alexander at one of the publisher parties. Such a lovely lady!











I adore Anne Gracie. Not only is she one of my favorite authors but she's also one of the nicest and most interesting people I've had the pleasure of meeting. And she has that wonderful love of life and sense of humor that seem to be woven into the DNA of all our friends from Down Under. Are you reading her Chance Sisters series? The third book in the quartet, The Spring Bride was released earlier this month and it's wonderful. The hero, Zachary Black stole my heart!















Kristan Higgins, who not only writes great books but also gives great hugs!













Marie Force with the book that started it all. She's worked hard for her success and I couldn't be happier for her!














Tessa Dare and Goddess of the Hunt. What fun to have your debut book sell out at your first RWA Literacy Signing!















The Romance Bandits know how to write great books and they especially know how to party!








Those are a few of the highlights from today's Throwback Thursday to RWA 2009. Be sure to stop by next Friday for a look back at 2010's RWA Disney!


What's your favorite romance sub-genre? Historical? Contemporary? Something else?

Have you ever been to Washington, DC? What was your favorite part of the trip?

What author would you most like to stalk...er...meet in person?

What's the farthest you've traveled?

I have a package of books for one person who leaves a comment on today's post. (U.S. addresses only)

51 comments:

  1. Love your pictures. Unfortunately I haven't been able to attend any yet. But I'm not giving up yet, I will get to one yet. :) How exciting to get to meet so many talented Authors. I have so many favorites, but JR Ward, Nora Roberts & Sherrelyn Kenyon are just a few of the Authors I'd love to meet.one of my favorite genres is Scottish Historical Romance. Thanks for sharing and the opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. But I'm not giving up yet, I will get to one yet.

      That's the spirit, Carol! I hope you get that opportunity to meet your favorites.

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  2. PJ, love this walk down memory lane. D.C. '09 was my first national too. And I remember meeting you and the other gals in a book signing line. I would've been the person chattering nervously, friendly, but anxious about meeting a favorite author more than likely. I loved that first conference and hold it dear to my heart. Although I'm amazed I remember as much as I do, because I was starstruck by meeting Linda Howard and Janet Evanovich. Getting encouragement from Cherry Adair and being invited to sit at the incredibly generous and kind Roxanne St. Claire's table for the keynote luncheon...joining Allison Brennan at the table. Met Lori Wilde who was a sweetheart. Authors I hadn't yet discovered...Kristan Higgins who was so nice when I told her there was a Kristen Higgins in my son's class. She asked, "...with an A?" Since she has a unique spelling for Kristan...I was tongue-tied ( still get that way at the signings ) and just nodded...not really thinking it through until later when I realized what she meant. And no, the girl in my son's class was a Kristen with an E. I picked up my first Julie James book there, also. Thanks for the chance to think about that inspiring conference. I know what I'll post for TBT...a few of my fav photos.

    This brings to mind a question I have thought about lately. With the huge increase of social media, especially Facebook, where everyone thinks you're their 'friend' friend...how has that influenced or changed the author book signings for authors. When a fan expects you to know them. It must be a challenge to greet each reader fan as if they recognize the person especially with as many 'friends' as they have.

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    1. I saw your photos on facebook, Annie! Isn't Roxanne St. Claire wonderful? I adore her.

      Excellent question! I'm never offended if an author doesn't know me. With hundreds - sometimes thousands - of readers who follow and interact with them online how could they possibly be expected to remember all of us. It must be daunting.

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    2. Btw, I meet the nicest people in lines at book conferences! :)

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  3. Historical would be my favorite sub-genre and I find myself reading more and more of those novels.

    I love Washington, DC and my all time favorite place is the Smithsonian Museum right in the Gems and Minerals area. My husband is a huge rockhound and I have following this passion as well. We have spent countless hours there and never tire of it. We were overheard discussing the gems by an employee who later invited us behind the scenes to see treasures that others never get to see. Outstanding!

    I have had an email friendship with author Karen Ranney for years. She is one of the nicest, wisest people I know. She is strong, Intelligent, kind, funny, and very talented. I count her as a good friend. I look forward to meeting her in person some day.

    When our family lived in Paris, I often traveled with my husband to his NATO meetings. I would say that Greece would be the farthest we traveled. Wonderful memories!

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    1. We were overheard discussing the gems by an employee who later invited us behind the scenes to see treasures that others never get to see. Outstanding!

      Oh, wow! That would be so incredible!

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  4. Yes, went several years ago - very touch to see the Viet Nam Wall.

    Love seeing these photos.
    patoct

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    1. I was most moved by the Korean War and WWII memorials. I recommend seeing them at night. Stunning.

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  5. Whoops, posted on wrong post. LOL. I have never been to D.C. but have been to Calif as my furthest trip. My fav genre is contemp romance.
    Gmapeony

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    1. No worries, Gmapeony. I do that all the time! :)

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  6. PJ, I love your Throwback Thursday returns to these conferences. What great memories!

    I read extensively in both the historical and contemporary sub-genres and have auto-buy authors in both. I’d hate to have to choose between them.

    I have been to Washington, DC. Again, I’m hard-pressed to choose a favorite place. I love the Lincoln Memorial, Arlington, the Museum of American History, the National Portrait Gallery, the Folger, and other sites. But if forced to choose only one, I’d have to go with the National Gallery of Art. I could spend every day of a two-week vacation there and leave regretting the works I had missed or spent insufficient time studying.

    I’m a breathless fan of far too many authors to choose only one to stalk. I have a mile-long list. :)


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    1. Thanks, Janga! It's been fun to take a look back and re-live those memories.

      I loved the National Portrait Gallery.

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  7. I love suspense and romantic suspense books.

    I have never been to Washington D.C. One day would love to attend a conference where I could meet some of my favorite authors - Lisa Jackson, Allison Brennan.

    Karen T.

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    1. I've met Allison Brennan. She's so nice! I'd love to meet Lisa Jackson. I could tell her how I didn't get a decent night's sleep for at least a week after reading The Night Before. Dang, that book scared me! LOL

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  8. I have been to Washington, D.C. my favorite was the view outside overlooking Robert E. Lee home. (Arlington) Breathtaking!

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    1. Oh, that's such a beautiful view. Could you imagine what it must have been like to wake up to that every morning?

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  9. Historical is my favorite although I will read almost anything. I've been to D.C. twice with each of my girls for their 6th grade field trip. Four days of trying to get everything in - I loved it all learning and seeing so much history. There are so many authors I would love to talk with but one would be Sue-Ellen Welfonder or Grace Burrowes or ... I live in PA so visiting Hawaii or Europe would be my longest trips. I'd love to see so much more!

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    1. Grace Burrowes is a lovely lady. I'd love to meet Sue-Ellen Welfonder!

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  10. I have been on a cruise to Europe - Paris - loved it.

    Love general fiction and biographies. Would love to meet Janet Evanovitch.
    Patty B43.

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    1. I've always wanted to take one of those European river cruises.

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  11. love contemporary....Washington, DC? Absolutely! Love all of it! It's too special to pick just one thing! the Building Museum was very interesting as was the SPY Museum! If I could meet Jodi Thomas to tell her how much I love her books, that would be a great thing to do!
    The farthest east from the United States of America I've been is to Amsterdam and the farthest west of the great US of A is Hawaii! Mick Mac

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    1. Watch for a photo of Jodi Thomas in my upcoming look back at RWA 2011!

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  12. I would love to meet Sara Paretsky she is from Chicago and I absolutely love her books. The farthest I have traveled is jamaica we went there for our honeymoon (he got a VER baqd burn using baby oil and iodine...ouch and I developed a virus from the water and I also sprined my ankel..we were made for each other...lol) I did go to Washington DC we went to the world's fair there (I know a long time ago)

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    1. A new author to check out!

      Oh, I remember the days of baby oil and iodine! If we had only known...

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  13. Love historicals, Florida is the farthest I have traveled because I really don't like to travel. There are a lot of authors I would love to meet so I can't pick just one.

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    1. That's okay, Quilt Lady. I'll travel for you! :)

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  14. I enjoy historicals. I haven't visited D.C. I travelled to Europe. Your photos are great.

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    1. Thanks, petite! I'm an amateur but photography is one of my loves.

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  15. Goodness gracious! What lovely memories and pictures! I enjoy paranormal and historical the most but I can enjoy a good romantic suspense now and then ;)
    One of these days I'm going to volunteer at one of the book conferences and attend one of those workshops. It just sounds like tons of fun =D

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    1. They are a lot of fun, MsAwesome. I've learned so much by attending conferences as well as meeting some of the nicest people!

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  16. I was born in D.C. and lived there for many years. I always enjoyed visiting the tidal basin
    during the springtime Cherry Blossom Festival.

    My favorite genre is Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy.

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    1. I would love to visit during the Cherry Blossom Festival. Actually, what I really want to do is visit my niece in Japan during their Cherry Blossom season!

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  17. I love all genres of romance, but gotta say Historicals are my favorites.
    Haven't been into Washington DC since I was a child, and one afternoon while in college & was visiting the area. But have driven past it numerous times on the way from NJ to Carolina beaches for vacation- often on a route where we can see the Jefferson Memorial. I'd love to get back there to really spend some time - top of my list are the Smithsonian, the Zoo and maybe some time at the Library of Congress to research my geneology.
    Farthest east I've traveled is Italy (tho Vienna may be farther east than Venice?)
    Farthest West I've travelled is Hawaii (I'm in NJ)

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    1. When we went to Hawaii two years ago we had a non-stop flight from Newark to Honolulu. That is one very long trip!

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  18. PJ, what a great post - and what lovely memories it brought back. It's been FAR too long since I've seen you. Hopefully San Diego RWA is a goer! It's just lovely to see so many of your friends on this post too - again, so many I haven't seen for ages, although I'm lucky to see the Aussies fairly regularly. The wonderful Christina Brooke is actually popping up to my place for a writerly weekend in the next couple of weeks. Can't wait! Wish you could come! We could drink tea and eat cookies until we turned pink! And thank you for mentioning the new novella! Lovely to have something new out!

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    1. It's been FAR too long since I've seen you.

      Much too long, Anna! I'm saving my pennies for San Diego and hoping all will fall into place for both of us. :)

      Wish I could be there to join you and Christine. Hugs to you both!

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  19. PJ, can't believe I missed you in DC, as I was there. As always, I roomed with my longtime critique partner and dear friend, the late Judi McCoy. I'm signing in NY, and it's bittersweet, as it'll be my first RWA conference since Judi passed. Just didn't have the heart to go, but it's time to move on and make new friends. Hope to meet you there.

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    1. Barbara, I do hope we have a chance to chat in NYC next month. I know many people are missing Judi McCoy. It sounds like she was a very special lady.

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  20. I like to read pretty much anything but I've been recently reading a lot of contemporaries lately. I love a good rom com and I've been finding a a great mix of rom com and heat! Ummm... I've never been to DC but really want to. I'd love to meet Dean Koontz or Nora Roberts. And the furthest I've gone was to Israel when I was in high school :) Thanks for the fun flashback!

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    1. I've been reading a lot of contemporaries too, erin. I think it's because so many of them are being published these days. There are some good ones coming up in the next few weeks!

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  21. Thanks for sharing such fun pictures with us, PJ!

    My favorite sub genre is historical -- I love contemporary and some paranormal but always go back to historical romances. I was just in DC a few months ago with my husband. There are SO many things to do and see that we didn't have time for half of what we would have liked to do. We did make it into the Smithsonian Castle (the only one of the Smithsonian Museums we made it to). There aren't a lot of displays, but it was interesting just because it is the original. If I could only meet one author, I'd probably be paralyzed trying to decide which one to chose. ;-)

    Oh and the furthest I've traveled? I've been to England twice since I've been married. The first time it was to meet my husband's British side of the family. The second time we took our kids and visited family and did some touring --Bath, Stonehenge, Avebury, Cotswald, Lacock and several days in London - once again not enough time to see even half of what we'd like to see.

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    1. England is on my wish list, Glenda, along with Scotland and Ireland. One of these days!

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  22. PJ - what fun pics!! Love the one of Tessa with her "sold out" face :) My current new stalk-able author is Julie Anne Long. I have no idea why I never read anything by her before. She's phenomenal!! IT STARTED WITH A SCANDAL is blowing me away. xoxo - LB

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    1. I know, isn't that a great photo of Tessa? I love it!

      Julie Anne Long is a great author to stalk! Her Pennyroyal Green series is one of my all-time favorites!

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  23. Have been to both Alaska and Hawaii - loved them both.

    I read all kinds of books, particularly like hist. and contemp
    romance but am open to anything.

    LI Marie

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    1. Alaska is a place I would love to visit. Thanks for stopping by!

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  24. Lots of questions today...and I'm still thinking about the wonderful authors you got to meet! Thanks for another great walk down your fabulous memory lane.

    Books--My favorite romance sub-genre is historical. I enjoy contemporary, romantic suspense, and some PNR/UF, also. Outside of romance, my favorite genre is mystery/thriller.

    Travels--I have been to Washington, D.C. I love the Smithsonian and the many memorials. I especially like the FDR memorial, because it features a First Lady (Eleanor) and a dog (Fala.) Go Team! The farthest I've travelled is probably to the Holy Land--Israel and Jordan.

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    1. I enjoyed the FDR memorial too. It seems the most personal of those I visited.

      Have you tried Carey Baldwin's books? She writes psychological thrillers. Love her!

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  25. Historical romance has a slight edge over mystery/suspense, but they are both favorites.
    We lived in Northern Virginia, just outside the Beltway for 5 years while my husband was stationed at Andrews Air Force Base. Our children were young teens and a 4th grader when we moved there. It is a very family friendly place. There are so many things to do that are free, you can have an enjoyable weekend or staycation without spending very much, a bonus since it costs so much to live there. The Metro is a great way to get around: cheap, clean, comfortable, and easy to navigate. That is a big bonus since driving and parking in DC can be a nightmare. The many and varied museums were a treasure-trove we explored often. We hope to go back again soon. There were several we didn't get the opportunity to visit because of the age of our children and husband's schedule.
    I would most like to meet Julie Garwood. Her books were the first romances I read and opened the genre to me.
    From Northern N.Y. I went to the Philippines and spent 3 years there. Leaving there, I went to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Indonesia/Bali. I was to travel around the world on the way home, but a family illness called me home. Sadly, many of the places I was to visit are no longer safe to visit and a couplet that were closed then, are now welcoming visitors.

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