Home from RWA 2010. What a fun, invigorating National Conference! I haven’t been to Nationals since 2006 (otherwise known as “my pink ribbon year”) so this was a very different experience. My career has changed so much since those days — I now write for several publishers in several genres, I have a bunch of books under my belt, I know so many other writers.
I was discussing this with my fantabulous roommate Erica Ridley, who was signing at her first ever RWA Literacy signing:
Like me, Erica had no books at her first ever literacy signing. I had a bunch of copies of RAMPANT to sign at this signing, and was so pleased by all the fans that dropped by!
I did manage to attend a few workshops at RWA, and they were great! My favorites were “Mending a Broken Scene” with the brilliant and awe-inspiring Roxanne St. Claire (a workshop you should take if you ever get a chance — and one of hte few workshops taht truly works for writers at any level of their careers), “Do As I Say, Not as I Did” with Mindy Klasky and Maria V. Snyder, and the chat with Meg Cabot. Speaking of Meg Cabot, I finally got a chance to meet her, and she signed my ARC of Zombies vs. Unicorns.
I also made a bunch of new friends, like Molly O’Keefe (who won a RITA this year)!
This is Maureen McGowan, Molly O’Keefe, and me. (I am currently trying to decide if I should change my name to Diana O’Peter or Diana McFreund to better match the others.)
Speaking of the RITA, pals of mine made out like bandits this year. First and foremost, a HUGE HUGE congratulations to the marvelous Simone Elkeles, for rocking out the YA Romance category with Perfect Chemistry:
Man, I was giddy when she won. I felt like *I* had won a RITA (you can see my sticky fingers on hers in the photo). I know everyone’s talking about Julia Quinn’s hat trick this week, but I feel like Simone’s win is one of the best stories from RWA — her book is a true romance for teens, and its RITA nod is a recognition by the romance genre establishment.
Here she is enjoying her golden lady:
Simone is represented by Kristin Nelson, whose whole agency made out like a bandit last night:
Congratulations to Kristin and to Sherry Thomas!
And last, but certainly not least, there’s Kresley Cole‘s paranormal win for her #1 New York Times bestselling book, Kiss of a Demon King. Here I am trying to keep up with the beautiful blondes Kresley and Roxanne:
I guess I should be spending more time in the sun this summer. And wear more black.
And, I hung out with so many other wonderful writers! I had lunch with Team Castle-mates Ally Carter and Jennifer Barnes, as well as the aforementioned Meg and Erica:
Gwenda was there to receive her Veritas Award. Christopher was there to support her and to get sick of people saying “a sci-fi writer? What are you doing here?” (Not true, actually, I’m sure he only got that like thirty-five times or so.) That night at the Avon party, which took place in the gorgeous wood-paneled party room of the Living Seas exhibit at EPCOT, Gwenda, Christopher, and I decided that my next project was going to be about the forbidden love between a girl and a were-ray. Behold my inspiration (as pathetically dark and blurry as it is):
We had to get this pic quickly, you see, because of that whole forbidden thing. You guys, he’s a CAPTIVE were-ray. A captive of the Disney Corp. It’s gonna be like Twilight meets Finding Nemo, with a dash of Splash! and a soupçon of Lovecraft.
Ah, RWA. It’s so inspiring.