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RWA Recap -- Part #1

As I write this, this time last week, I was finishing up lunch with my fantastic editor Emily Rodmell and two fellow Love Inspired authors, Maggie K. Black and Debby Giusti, at a little New York restaurant called Nino's. I'd been so incredibly anxious about it, but the meal was delightful and the conversation easy. 
 
But what was I doing in New York? I was attending the RWA annual conference for the very first time, held this year in NYC (the location changes each year). It was one of those things that I felt I should do, especially as a new author, and Maggie convinced me to come and share a room with her. 
 
It's daunting to travel to NYC on your own... but I made it on the Air Train and then the subway to 42nd street, emerging to a ridiculously busy street where I had to drag my suitcases around until I figured out where the hotel was (right inside Times Square)! 
 
While I didn't take a lot of my own photos during the conference (I'm terrible at remembering to do that), I'll try to share some images from my fellow writers and credit where possible in these next few posts.
 
The very first session after arrival was a Harlequin Debut Authors Meet & Greet, where I had the opportunity to meet many of the important people at Harlequin, from marketing to editing to the business side of things. It was nice being able to put faces to familiar names, though admittedly the interaction was quite daunting for an introvert who'd just barely held it together while traveling on the NYC subway for the first time. Hah! 
 
I did meet up with several fellow Killer Voices debut authors at this time, Dana & Cate, so it was nice to have some familiar faces to turn occasionally! After that it was off to the Goody Room, unpacking, and getting oriented before the literacy signing.
 
 

Imagine a giant ballroom full of long aisles with authors sitting behind the tables and the aisles jam-packed with readers (mostly other authors!). It was a great opportunity to meet new & favorite authors... and to buy signed books to raise funds for literacy, of course! I met (and bought books from):
 
  • Ellie Macdonald, whose table was next to Dana R. Lynn's, and who hand-sold her book to me in such a convincing way that I couldn't say no! I wish I could recall how she described it (something meets... something else), but it was a great pitch and Ellie was delightful.
  • Sandra Orchard, who is a fellow LIS writer and Ontario resident! I hadn't met her yet and thought it was about time, since we live close to each other and share a mutual friend in Maggie K. Black.
  • Emily McKay, whose YA series I was utterly shocked & delighted to find there as I'd been intending to buy the third (and most recent) book later this month. I was glad to be able to tell her how much I and my sister have enjoyed her series.
  • Sonali Dev, whose "A Bollywood Affair" I have heard nothing but fantastic things about... and admittedly, while I already have a copy of the book on my Kindle app, I wanted a hard copy to enjoy. We got to swap stories about our earrings, which was fun! 
I went to bed nice and early on Wednesday night so I'd be ready for the next day, which was full of workshops and other opportunities to meet Love Inspired authors and editors. We took a big group photo after a Love Inspired Meet & Greet... look at all those smiling faces!
 
I'm way at the back there on the right, underneath the tip of what looks like an upside-down white lipstick tube! 
 
The day was exhausting but great, as I got to meet many, many other Love Inspired authors and connect them with the books I'd read. Such lovely people, and very giving. 
 
In the next post, I'll talk a little bit about the Harlequin party on Friday night -- and talk a little bit more about what it's like attending a massive conference like this as an introvert who struggles with anxiety. If you, like me, have trouble being around people constantly and need to get away to recharge sometimes... don't worry! You're not alone. :)

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