Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bright Lights & Romance in the City

I’m still trying to catch up after returning from the 2011 RWA Conference in NY City (June 28-July 1). You can’t help but feel the adrenalin rush when surrounded by at least 2,000 romance writers, editors, agents and other professionals. As much as I wanted to sightsee, I didn’t want to pass up the workshops, signings and keynotes. I do plan to come back to see a show and check out some of the tourists spots shown on a guide map Carina Press and Smart Bitches provided. Museum of Sex? How did I miss that? (5th Ave. at 27th Street.) Darn.

Don’t you love the view from our room? (photo at the top of post) I roomed with romantic suspense author, Autumn Jordon. She was brave and drove us into the city. After we arrived on Tuesday, I took a preconference session on screenwriting and social networking, by Bill Pace, Jeanne Bowerman and Kim Garland. Great workshop.

The book signing started at 5:30 and I sat next to Kieran Kramer, a Rita finalist and a sweet lady. And also Joyce Lamb, a paranormal romantic suspense author from Berkley. I was telling Joyce about my book Damned and Desired and told her it had a shapeshifter coyote and hawk. Somehow with all the noise in the room she heard wolf and dolphin! She said she couldn’t figure how I worked in the dolphin in the desert. “Dolphin?” I exclaimed. “There are no dolphins in my books.” I nearly fell off my chair laughing. We’re still chuckling over it, and I imagine we’ll remember this signing for years. I’m reading her book True Vision. Awesome read! Paranormal suspense. Drop everything and go buy it, really it’s great.
At times the conference seemed more like running a marathon. Between workshops, appointments, the goody room, luncheons, and book signings, I’d grab a banana, a yogurt or a cup of coffee at Starbuck, and charge off to the next event. The keynotes were wonderful as always. I’m not an emotional type person but I think every time I hear Sherrilyn Kenyon speak, I get weepy. Inspirational? Yes, definitely. After listening to her speak, it’s hard to whine about the writing life. 
                                                             (Times Square, NYC)
Ellora’sCave gave their authors a lovely breakfast one morning with a nice gift. A really awesome treat. You don’t want to know how expensive breakfast is in NYC. The city does have some fabulous restaurants in the area. Down a street called Restaurant Row the Liberty StateFiction Writers met at Becca’s, an amazing Italian restaurant. I also ate at Junior’s across the street and swear I could’ve made a meal out of their cheesecake but only had ONE spoonful to taste. Honest.

One highlight was the FF&P Chapter’s Gathering for the PRIZM Awards. I was up for the novella category. I received third place and I’m very proud, especially when you consider the company: NYT Best Seller Pamela Palmer placed 1st and Sci fi author and Nebula Award finalist J. Kathleen Cheney placed 2nd. A big kudo for me. I also got to see a friend of mine Maria V. Snyder. She’ll be going on a month-long book signing tour in Australia and New Zealand. Yay, Maria!

     (Daisy Harris, Kathy and Louisa Bacio)

My other big highlight was Friday night when I read from my book Emerald Dungeon at the Happy Ending Lounge in Chinatown. This reading was part of an event called Ravenous Nights and sponsored by Lori Perkins. Three other erotic romance authors read from their books too. Louisa Bacio, Daisy Harris, and Gwen Masters. (See photo, sorry we didn’t get Gwen too) I’m so glad my friend, author Mitzi Flyte (aka MacieCarter) came with. We tried getting a cab for all five of us. Louisa had her hubby and Gwen rode in separate. But they didn’t have any SUV cabs left. The only way to ride together would be to take a limo, the attendant said. At that time of night on a Friday, two cabs wouldn’t have been that much cheaper. Louisa’s dh offered to get the limo if we paid the tip. Worked for us.

   (me getting into the limo for Ravenous Nights)

The traffic was horrific and we were running a tad late. Louisa sent a text to Lori Perkins: THREE AUTHORS, ONE LIMO, ALMOST THERE. The Happy Endings Lounge was an interesting venue: Red velvet walls, tables and black vinyl seats among dim lighting. It used to be an erotic massage parlor so you can figure out where they got the name “Happy Ending”.  Everyone did a fabulous job reading and we gave out door prizes. We had an audience of about twenty. Afterward, we walked to a Chinese restaurant a few blocks away and the food was fantastic. Very fun night. And Lori Perkins and Debra Hyde were great hosts.

It was an amazing conference. I managed to do some networking, made new friends and even got writing done. Sleep? Well, not much. If you talk to author KeriStevens, ask her about the cute outfit she wore at the Carina Press party.

Now, I can’t wait for the RWA conference recordings so I can listen to all the workshops I missed. Back to work. Yay!! Sorry, I didn’t have many photos. I was so busy I forgot. I promise, promise to take lots at Romanticon. With all those Cavemen, I’ll have to take lots. (Sept. 29- Oct.2)


Donna Galanti said...

Kathy, love the highlights and pics. thanks much! Looking forward to your Romanticon news!

Anonymous said...

Looks and sounds like lots of fun. I'll miss you at Romanticon this year. :(


Anonymous said...

Kathy You had a great view of Times Square. Our view was of the West side with the Hudson River, which was nice as well. Hmm maybe you should write a book of a Dolphin and a Wolf, as long as it is set outside of a desert ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Donna, Thanks for visiting. I'm looking forward to Romanticon and will be posting all the fun news here.

Hi Amber, Really bummed that you can't make it this year. :(

Hi MJ, sounds like you had a cool view too. That's what I told Joyce with the dolphin and wolf. LOL

Anonymous said...

That was my comment as Anonymous, above. Google is being a pill this morning. Can't post on my own blog. Grrr.
Kathy Kulig