Author Goals, Journey, Networking, Romance Writers of America, Writing

RWA 2019 – Post Event Recap!

Holy Cow! July was a whirlwind!   I feel a bit like Amie in Book #2!

July was a little nutty for me! Not only was I finishing up edits on my secret squirrel project, but it is also the month the Romance Writers of America has their National Convention. This year it took place in the heart of New York, and I am not lying when I say there is always something to do since folks were ALWAYS around! There were about 1,500 Romance Writers that attended, representing pretty much any sub-genre you can think of. The energy was amazing, as were the other writers that I met and interacted with. I even hooked up with some of my Twitter friends which is always a treat! Any writer, who isn’t already, really needs to hook up with the #WritingCommunity, #TurtleWriters folks or just jot down your latest project woes at #AmWriting. You can make some fantastic connections!

I had some marvelous sessions to choose from, touching on everything from structuring plot, developing memorable characters and even “ask the author anything” sessions, which were super fun. J.R. Ward was an author who did one of these sessions, and I swear I could listen to her all day. Her energy is amazing and she is extremely passionate about following your dreams and writing what you love, a message I totally connected with at this stage in my journey. I was able to thank her personally for taking the time each Friday to chat about craft on Facebook. For any writer who is interested, you should check it out, it is well worth the read each week. Her guidance extends well past the paranormal romance genre, and she has great tidbits to share. There was also downtime between sessions where I would find a quiet place to edit. I think I did a pretty good job keeping the introvert in me balanced. For any first timers, I would highly recommend scheduling some “you time.” You can thank me later. 🙂

I also had the opportunity to pitch to an Agent, and for anyone out there that hasn’t done this yet, it can be a nerve-wracking experience! Tensions were high and my nerves were jumping, but I was on a mission, and I am happy to say that I was able to get through it unscathed. I was even asked by a couple of agents to send a few pages of my secret squirrel project for review! That project is all I have been working on since my return, and I am happy to say I am days away from hitting “submit” and shipping it off as my first official query! Fingers crossed that one of them likes it!

I participated again this year in the Indie Author Book signing and gave away copies of my book to the attendees that were interested. I love meeting other writers and had a lot of fun meeting some I didn’t know. There are so many authors out there that take the time to craft beautiful and unique stories, and as a reader I get just as excited to take their books home to place on my TBR shelf. What I will admit is that the flight home with a carry-on stuffed full of books was a challenge, but I made it and I am so excited about my haul! It was like Christmas! During that event I rolled out my new logo shown in the picture above. You will be seeing on my marketing material soon! What do you think?

As you probably suspect, it wasn’t all work and no play. I was able to sneak away one night and hang out at the famous Russian Tea Room with some fabulous author friends. It was a pretty small place and was richly decorated in reds, greens and golds. I had no idea Felix the Cat would be there to greet me, but there he was right in the middle of the entryway!I have to admit we did spend a while there with the bartender Jasmine, and I did have a few too many “Cosmonauts.” Delish! I was feeling no pain, and afterward, I may or may not have eaten my very first New York vendor hot dog. Oh… and danced in Central Park. Memories were made that night, and no, I won’t be sharing any pictures of that! 🙂

Meeting J.R. Ward was, by far, one of the highlights of my trip! After hearing her speak at the conference and watching her accept her RITA Award for “Dearest Ivie“, I was thrilled to see her at the Adult Literacy signing. Getting a signed copy of her book and snapping a quick picture was the frosting on the cake! She is my new favorite person! During this signing I attended with her, RWA was successful in raising over $27,000 for Adult Literacy. I am so proud to have been part of this wonderful event! I had an absolute blast in New York and can’t wait for next year’s event!

For anyone that writes Romance, that is interested in seeing what the Romance Writers of America has to offer, you can check them out at www.rwa.org. It has brought my writing up to the next level, and I highly recommend participating if you can. They even have online chapters available for writers who may not have one in the area where they live.

For more information on the fabulous chapter I participate with, you can check out their website at: www.gdrwa.org. They have a fantastic book contest that will be revving up soon, and anyone that writes romance should check it out here!

If you are on the fence with a decision, not sure if you should spend the money to participate, I am going to tell you right now you should. It will be money well spent and you deserve the investment in yourself and your passion. Always follow your dreams…they won’t lead you astray.

Happy Writing everyone and hope to see some of you next year at RWA 2020!

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