Monday, July 20, 2009

Home Again!

RWA in DC was a great time, but it's grand to be home in Boston! I'm sorry I didn't post while I was there. The Marriott charged $12.95 a day for an internet connection, even for its wifi in the lobby and it was a matter of principle not to pay for something Holiday Inn Express includes for free. (Especially when you consider the ridiculous room rate we were charged by the Marriott! And I talked to a couple authors who paid the $12.95 for a connection but dropped it after one day because it was so spotty.)Anyway, I'll give you the rundown now.

I had countless fangirl moments--rubbing shoulders with the likes of Sherry Thomas, Tessa Dare, Madeline Hunter, Elizabeth Hoyt, Jo Beverley--all my favorites! I'm hoping to have several of them on as blog guests soon.

Meeting my new agent (Natasha Kern) and her assistant Becky was a real treat. Natasha is a real dynamo and I think we'll work well together.

I spent some time with the Lollies (Ladies of Leisure!) CL Wilson, Christie Craig, Jade Lee, Colleen Thompson (who was up for a RITA in a field crowded with all the big names in the romantic suspense genre and she fit right in with them!) Angie Fox, Cindy Holby, Bonnie Vanak, Natale Stenzel, Anna DeStefano, and newcomer Caroline Fyffe. I also had a lovely, tear-inducing chat with Diane Stacy (VP of Direct Sales for Dorchester) about life, love, books and everything in general. She remains one of my favorite people of all those I've met since I first published.

My humor workshop went off well. It really helped that my mom gave me something to start with. I was talking to her before I left and confessed that I was a little worried about giving the workshop because comedy is hard and I've seen humor workshops really fall flat. She said, "Nonsense! You have so much to share. Just go down there and elude confidence!" My workshop attendees thought that was a real hoot, typical motherly advice and a wonderful example of malapropism all at the same time! Thanks, Mom.

A big part of what made my conference special was getting to know my roommate, May Boonpitak. May is from Thailand and we first met a few years ago when MAIDENSONG (my debut Diana Groe title) came out. She'd read it and made a point of finding me at RT to tell me she loved it. She's a delightful person and it was fascinating to learn more about how people live in her country (She thinks Americans are mean to kick their kids out of the house when they reach adulthood. She shares a home with her parents, sister and nephew. No one ever has to live alone.) Anyway, I loved sharing my 'down time' with her.

And now I can't wait to start doing what my agent says is my Prime Directive. WRITE MY FINGERS OFF!

P.S.--Voting is still open for my STROKE OF GENIUS Name a Character Contest. Everyone who votes is entered into a drawing to win a WHOLE BOX OF BOOKS! Please help me name an important character in my current WIP by casting your vote today!


Miranda Neville said...

Hi Emily. It was great seeing you again in DC (ditto on the robber internet charges). Please don't enter me in your drawing. I brought home far too many books.

Jerrica Knight-Catania said...

Great post, Emily! I'm still recovering myself from the whirlwind week! It sounds like you had a great time :)

EmilyBryan said...

Miranda--It was lovely connecting with you again! You'd actually have to vote on my website to be eligible for the box of books, so you're safe.

Jerrica--Each year RWA seems to expand to meet my needs. At first, I was OD-ing on craft. Then it was promo and publishing. This time, I was finally able to give back by presenting my own workshop. It was an awesome experience.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you had a FAN-tastic time, Emily. ;) How much fun it must have been to rub elbows with so many romance writers!
I'm glad you enjoyed yourself so much!!

Book Reviews By Bobbie

EmilyBryan said...

Here's another bonus! Several of my favs said they'd be happy to guest on my blog sometime. So I'm looking forward to bringing you news from some of the brightest and best in the near future!

Genella deGrey said...

The larger hotel chains seem to put on airs about less-than satisfactory internet connections.

What IS that?


EmilyBryan said...

Well, to be fair, the Marriott in DC was a lovely facility in a very cushy part of the city. That accounts for the high rates. But when RWA sends out requests for feedback, I'm going to suggest they spell out in writing that free wifi is included in everyone's rate. We're writers, for Pete's sake. We need to be connected!

Patricia Barraclough said...

I'm glad you had such a wonderful time. I've never understood why the expensive hotels charge you for every little thing while the less expensive ones don't. WIFI and land line are perfect examples. There is no reason for them to charge for that service, except they know their clients need it and can/will pay. If a poor little county library like ours can provide free internet access, these big hotels can.

Terri said...

I felt your pain when you told me about the Internet costs. That is just plain silly. There are so many places in DC that have it FREE!

I had a great time buying books that will probably sit on my TBR pile for a while and meeting all the authors that I read and love. My poor husband even got into it after a while. I came home with fewer books than I thought I would, met more authors than I thought I would and had a great time, for the whole few hours that the literacy booksigning was going on.

Had a huge shock when we went to leave though. I knew many DC motels charge for parking. When my grandson was in Children's Hospital we had to pay for parking. I was expecting around $10. For the approximately 4 hours we parked, it cost us $28! Maybe it was a good thing I didn't buy all the books I really wanted. We still needed to stop to eat on the long ride home.

It was great meeting you.


EmilyBryan said...

Pat--I tried to hook up at the McDonalds about a block from the hotel, but never could get connected.

Sometimes, I wonder what the world would look like if suddenly we could see all the wifi, cell phone signals, etc that whip around us constantly.

Terri--It was lovely meeting you and your good sport of a husband as well. The literacy signing always makes me proud of RWA. Thanks to the generosity of our publishers, we were able to raise over $60K to benefit literacy projects.