I went to New York for 5 days to attend the Romance Writers of America national conference. Here are some highlights of my trip to NYC for RWA15.
Travel was smooth as silk. After discovering that we’d be on the same flight, I hooked up with fellow writer Renee N. Kelly in Atlanta and we shared a ride into Manhattan together. I even brought Pocket Jamie along for the adventure!
Got checked in, changed, and ready to head down to the Harlequin author Meet & Greet when who did I spy waiting for the elevator on my floor???
SUSAN ELIZABETH PHILLIPS!!!!!
I have no photo because, frankly, I was too busy trying to fangirl without actually dropping to the floor and worshiping the ground she trod upon. Those of you who know me know that I am wary of meeting my idols live and in person. I hate it when they disappoint me by being human. I’m happy to report that SEP is everything gracious and lovely. We had a nice chat on the ride down, and apparently no restraining orders were filed.
Wednesday night was the huge Readers for Life Literacy signing. Here’s my set up:
My friend and roommate, Karen Booth was signing as well:
Now, some of you may have noticed that there was no mention of food so far in my post. That’s because, other than a bagel at the airport, I had none. The schedule was so jam-packed, and I didn’t want to miss a thing to take time out to eat. You can bet your bippy I did once the signing was over. Back in comfy clothes, I ventured across the street to Junior’s Famous Cheesecake for fortification.
Thursday was my busiest day.
I started out by attending some publisher spotlights and signings. Here I am with my new BFF, Lisa Kleypas.
After offloading books and other goodies in my room, I joined my DSRA pal, Mia Kay, for a walk up to the Random House offices. There we had lunch and listened to their editorial team talk about their digital first imprints, Loveswept and Flirt. Here are some highlights from the walk up Broadway:
Upon our return, I worked the line for the Kensington Books signing, handing out my nifty ‘How deep is too deep?’ promo buttons for GOING DEEP (September 15, 2015).
Then, I ducked into a fabulous workshop on Conquering High Concept led by Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, and Avon editor, May Chen.
After that, it was time for the Carina Press wine break, where I got to schmooze and booze with my fellow Carina authors.
The next thing I know, it’s time to slip into my party dress and head off to the Bowery district for the Kensington Books party at Duane Park jazz club. I was lucky enough to hook up with fellow Kensington authors Sharon Struth, Terri-Lynne DeFino, and Sonali Dev in the cab line.
There were cocktail and passed hors d’oeuvers. We had a great time mixing and mingling with publisher, Steven Zacharius, and the whole Kensington team, including my acquiring editor, Martin Biro.
Upon my return to the Marriott, Karen and I slipped into our PJs and headed downstairs for the Harlequin.com pyjama (they are Canadian, after all) party where we sugared ourselves up good before heading off to bed.
Friday we hit the ground running with a keynote address from historical romance mega-star, Julia Quinn. After that, more spotlights and signings. Here I am with my fellow diamond, Elle James:
And the always charming and glamorous, Olivia Gates:
As the morning wound down, I slipped out of the conference to meet up with fellow Gilmorian and NYC native, Marla, for a fabulous lunch at Arriba, Arriba and my very first caramel frappachino.
Back at the hotel, I slipped into a session on developing characters given the incomparable Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Copious notes were taken, but will make sense to no one but me. Then it was on to another publisher spotlight before I dashed up to the ninth floor to help set up for the Passionate Ink RWA speakeasy party:
Sadly, I couldn’t stay long once the festivities started to heat up, because I was due to change and head for the historic Waldorf-Astoria Hotel for the Harlequin authors Black and White Ball!
There were a bunch of us in the cab line, so the doorman cut a deal with a limo driver, and nine of us arrived at the party in style!
Once there, we drank, ate delicious desserts, then donned our dancing socks – yes, socks – and boogied the night away.
I’m proud to report that my partner in crime and I shut that baby down!
Saturday was tennis shoe day.
It was also the easiest day in my schedule. I attended workshops and leadership meetings, slipped into a great seminar on dialogue led by Alyssa Day, Elizabeth Hoyt, and my other new BFF, Kristan Higgins (squee!):
After that, the roomie and I decided it was time to slip out for a little John’s meatball pizza, and a walk in the lovely low-80s evening before dashing back to dress up one last time for the RITA and Golden Hearts awards ceremony.
I had a few author pals who were finalists. so the cheering was loud and proud. So happy for fellow Team Megibow (kt literary) client, Tiffany Reisz. She won the RITA for best Erotic Romance for THE SAINT.
She even let us touch her RITA. Very gently. And with great reverence.
We shared a celebratory cocktail in the bar after the ceremonies, where I posed with my RITA. She’s a little smaller, and made of chocolate, but someday….
The following morning, I hugged my roommate extraordinaire goodbye while she stood in the FedEx line, then hooked up with my travel partner, Renee, for the trek back to JFK.
And that, my friends, was how I spent my summer vacation. Want to share in a little of the loot from my trip to NYC? Over the next few weeks, I’ll be giving away goodies to random winners chosen from my mailing list and from my Maggie Wells Street Team.
Sign up to be a part of one or both today!