Writing News

Posted by , in Blog category August 21, 2013

Tales From RWA


My first experience at the Romance Writers Association conference in Atlanta was amazing!


Lori Adams and Barbara Brennan



Me and Barb


I was overwhelmed by the positive energy and excitement throughout the entire event. The first day kicked off the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing event. 450 romance authors and thousands of fans spent the evening chatting and signing for charity. In one night we raised $52,309 for literacy organizations! The 2013 beneficiaries are: ProLiteracy Worldwide, Literary Action Inc. and Literary Volunteers of Atlanta.


Conference highlights for me: meeting my fabulous editor Sue Grimshaw and part of the Random House team; Gina Wachtel, VP Associate Publisher Mass Market and Editorial Director, Digital; and Kim Cowser, Marketing Manager. I am so blessed to be in their very capable hands!!

Throughout the week, I met some wonderful writers and enjoyed two very special speakers. The Keynote Luncheon featured author Cathy Maxwell who gave an inspirational talk about overcoming fears and doubts as a writer. All writers have been there, and it’s so encouraging to hear personal stories from successful writers, their struggles and determination to keep reaching for their dreams. I’ve been writing for a long time myself and certainly recognize the innate and unrelenting drive it takes to break into the business. There is a lot to overcome; fear and doubt are just a few. Later in the conference, Cathy was kind enough to write a personal note to my friend Barbara, an aspiring writer who was so touched by Cathy’s speech. Thanks again Cathy.


The Awards Luncheon offered up a unique and riveting speaker, author Kristan Higgins. Kristan entertained us with tales of her married life with her husband firefighter, McIrish. Kristan was incredibly inspirational, but also hysterical. As diverse as her books, she had us laughing at times and crying at others. Kristan read a letter from a fan who was so inspired by her novels that she gathered the courage to escape an abusive relationship. There was not a dry eye in the house. Kristan confirmed what we’ve all suspected; the connection between authors and readers can be very powerful.


Me and Jude Deveraux


I have my own ‘connection’ with an author I was thrilled to meet at the conference. Jude Deveraux! I grew up reading her books because my mother was a huge romance fan back in the eighties. Living in a quiet country town in Oklahoma, I spent countless hours lost in Jude’s exciting historical romances and still have a passion for those mysterious and sometimes exotic places.

All the workshops were awesome but I particularly loved Norah Roberts. She didn’t lecture but had a question-answer set up. Norah was riveting, hard boiled, no nonsense, often appropriately vulgar, and very funny. Most amazing thing she shared . . . she does not write outlines for her novels!! That’s impressive! Second most amazing thing . . . every time she mentioned Stephen King, the lights in the room flickered or dimmed. Freakin’ spooky!


Okay, now for my favorite workshop—the New Adult workshop—of course. And the room was packed! Certainly a good sign for NA authors and fans! Looks like things are heating up, and I’m so excited to be a part of it with the Soulkeepers Series at Random House!!


For more details about the NA workshop at RWA, check out my guest blog at www.romanceatrandom.com. 

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