I loved RWA! It was like finally finding "your people."
Writers, agents, editors, publishers...ah, the mother ship had landed in San Antonio! And what a ship!
I've been to many other writing conferences, so I knew sort of what to expect, but this was entirely different. Most conferences you wander around, meet some other writers at the bar, and then you take a few classes. You exchange business cards, maybe pitch an agent or editor and then you go home feeling ready to write again.
RWA was like that, too--only bigger and better! This was a conference where you got to brush elbows with big names and big publishers. The keynote luncheon speech was given by Sylvia Day, best selling author and attended by lots of other best selling authors. There was a "Chat with Nora Roberts" where she answered questions candidly about her writing process and her series. My favorite piece of advice from Nora?
"Stop whining and start fucking writing!"
And then there were the books. Free books from the big publishing houses. Signed by their authors who were there happily signing away, ready to chat one on one with you. There were free books at lunch, free books at breakfast, free books in the Goody Room!
Mary Ann and I both came home with over a 100 books.
I also attended workshops presented by writers who were all on the best seller list. I discovered the importance of doing what's best for my career--that there is no one size fits all when it comes to publishing anymore. Hybrid authors and their ability to publish traditionally and self publish were all the rage. I learned the roots of historical romance and was reminded of why I started writing romance in the first place--Rosemary Rogers and Sweet Savage Love.
One of the highlights was attending the Rita Awards. This is like the Academy Awards for Romance Writers. It was a big, flashy affair and lots of fun!
Did I come home invigorated? Hell, yes. Inspired. Ready to work. With more faith in myself than ever before.
Will I attend RWA next year? Hell, yeah! Bring it on! NYC here I come.