Today's post will be mostly green, as I mention all the lovely people I met at the New England Chapter of the Romance Writers of America Conference. Click away if you want to learn more about them!
Here I sit with my friend, Golden Heart Nominee Colette Auclair. Colette and I were finalists in a contest last year (she won), and met in person at the RWA Conference in New York. It was a lovely surprise to see her in Salem! Colette is my Mack truck--I'm drafting behind her as she blazes her way to glory! She'll get all the awards but I'll get better gas mileage. Don't laugh--gas is pretty expensive these days.
This photo was taken by my roommate, Kate George. I'm telling you, I've slept with some outstanding women at these conferences! Last year, I roomed with Delia Moran, and I shacked up with Deborah Blake at National. I'm making my natural hussy tendencies work for me.
It was fantastic to see my friends Serena Bell and Ellen Dean, who is social-media phobic but effervescent in person. You should remember their names, folks, because you will see them on book jackets soon. Rebecca Rose and Meg Maguire are already published, but were pitching books at the conference. While we waited for our appointments, I quizzed them on their projects and whether Meg's chicken hat from the previous evening was a rooster or a hen. Because romance writers are an incredibly supportive group, Rebecca volunteered to be my critique partner, and Meg told me where she bought her hat.
The conference workshops were informative, the panel discussion lively, and the presenters inspiring. Kristan Higgans made me laugh and cry--no easy feat at an early breakfast! And when a presenter offers to help, they mean it, as evidenced by Jen Talty's willingness to sit and discuss her digital publishing business with me. She's the mother of three hockey-playing boys, so I felt an immediate kinship with her.
One of the reasons I attended the conference was to meet LaToya Smith, an editor with Grand Central Publishing. I submitted ten pages of my manuscript, along with my query letter, for her to review before our appointment. It was an opportunity to get constructive feedback from someone in the business. LaToya was kind and enthusiastic, and at the end of our meeting she asked to see my full manuscript!
Now you know where you can find me for the next few weeks--polishing BIG SKY until it is so blindingly brilliant LaToya will scramble to snap it up!
It was an excellent weekend.