It’s open to the public, and free! You do not have to be attending the conference to go to the signing.
Date: Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Time: 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Place: The New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square, Broadway Ballroom.
“More than 400 romance authors participate in this two-hour autographing event, and each year we raise thousands of dollars, which are donated to ProLiteracy Worldwide and local literacy organizations. Since 1990, RWA has donated more than $670,000 to literacy charities.”
If you’ve never been to New York City before, and if you’re debating whether or not to attend the 2011 RWA National Conference in New York City, here are some of my thoughts.
Because the city is a major destination, it might be easier to find cheap flights; if you live in an area where it’s possible, it’s also very easy to take the train to Penn Station, which is close to the conference hotel. The hotel, the Marriott Marquis, is expensive, but unlike in some other cities, you won’t be limited to the onsite hotel restaurants; Midtown is crowded with restaurants with a wide range of prices. (Though take note, the Marquis has a cool revolving rooftop restaurant!)
Depending on your tourism desires, sightseeing can also be very cheap in New York, if you’re willing to walk and take the subway. (Cabs are reasonable as well, but sometimes hard to come by during rush hour or in certain neighborhoods). There are myriad guides and helpful websites to tourism in the city. And the people-watching can’t be beaten.
Plus, you can also attend the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance Conference, which is piggybacked on RWA. One trip, two conferences!
The cover of The Moonlight Mistress is featured on Naked Romance this week, with some of my thoughts on it as well.
And now back to my RWA 2010 report!
Friday was my busiest day. I attended the awards lunch and cheered for the Librarian of the Year Jennifer Lohmann and for the Veritas Award recipient, Gwenda Bond. I then spent some quality time in the bar with Gwenda; her husband, writer Christopher Rowe; and YA author Diana Peterfreund. We talked genre and book covers and markets. It was nice to be back in the science fiction/fantasy world for a little while; I’m more at home there than in romance, because I’ve “lived” there longer.
In late afternoon, I attended a reception for Harlequin’s Single Title authors and finally got to meet one of the Mira staff who’d been exceedingly helpful to me for a long time. I also met Susan Anderson briefly, as well as Courtney Milan (it took me a little while to realize we’d never met in person, only online!) and Kathryn Smith, and got to see Victoria Dahl for the first time at the conference. And a bunch of other people as well.
I then returned to my room to dress for that evening’s big bash, the Harlequin Party at the Waldorf Astoria. On the right you will see the signature cocktail of the evening, the “Harleqin Heartbreaker,” or rather what’s left of one!
The space this year was much smaller than usual, but the dancing was just as enthusiastic; they’ve had the same DJ for all three years I’ve been attending, and he really knows how to get people out (“It’s Raining Men,” for example, is popular for more than one reason). I danced, took photos, and ate pretty sugary things including ice cream lollipops and caramel apple and lemon ice. Below is a section of the pretty, pretty chocolate log, decorated with candy leaves and insects.
All parties must eventually end, and a group of us left after midnight, trudging out behind a group including Nora Roberts. For the record, we did not steal their cab. They had a limo waiting.
Back in my room, I realized belatedly that I needed to take off my eye makeup again (it was different from what I’d worn earlier in the day). But I was good and did that. Then I slept. Packing could wait until the morning.
I was really glad to get home on Saturday night. I spent all of Sunday lolling about reading and napping. I’ll be ready for next year…in about eleven months or so.
At last, my report on the 2010 Romance Writers of America Annual Conference! Scroll down or click the “RWA” tag for more posts and lots of photos. That picture on the left is one of the pretty floor mosaics at the Orlando Airport.
I arrived Wednesday afternoon. I unfortunately had woken up way too early so was a bit punchy that whole day. My travel, though, was fine; the plane was about an hour late leaving, yet arrived close to the original arrival time. Perhaps there was a TARDIS involved? The van I took from the airport to the Dolphin Hotel was completely full of RWA Conference attendees, with the exception of one male business traveler who was going to the Hilton. We almost talked him into going to the conference with us instead.
I spent the rest of Wednesday with the mundanities of checking in, registering, unpacking, etc. before the Literacy Autographing, which is a fun but exhausting event. I then ventured out to the Blogger Bar Bash and met…lots and lots of cool people. I have a pile of business cards. Let’s see, there was Anime June of Gossamer Obsessions, and KristieJ of Ramblings on Romance, and Librarian of the Year Jennifer Lohmann, and Magdalen B of Promantica, and of course host Wendy the Super Librarian. And many more. I was so tired I wasn’t very entertaining, though. Instead of going on to the Romance Divas Karaoke gathering as I’d planned, I went to sleep instead. That was the right choice.
Thursday morning, thanks to the suggestion of rommate Sarah Frantz, I got room service. It was an unspeakable luxury not to have to hunt around for food, since I hadn’t quite mastered the hotel’s geography yet. However, I felt about a thousand times better than I had the night before, so everything made much more sense! I dropped off my postcards and bookmarks at the Goody Room and picked up various goodies for a Romance Diva friend who collects such things. I also visited the bookmarks of friends Kate Pearce and Jeannie Lin and snabbled a couple for my own use, even though I’d already pre-ordered their books.
Before lunch, I hung out in the lobby for a while with fellow Romance Divas, briefly interrupted by chats with my editor, who was passing by, and with Lucienne Diver, whom I hadn’t seen on Wednesday. I really enjoyed Nora Roberts’ keynote speech, and had a nice chat at the luncheon with Robin Rotham.
I worked out at the hotel’s health club on Thursday afternoon, then that evening was the party for my online RWA chapter, Passionate Ink. Writer Angela Knight and scholar Sarah Frantz spoke most entertainingly, and I ate a lot of cheese. Soon after, I discovered my voicemail on my cell phone was wonky, so I dragged Ella Drake with me to fix it, because being without voicemail at a conference spells disaster.
I skipped dinner (remember all the cheese?) and then put on my pink pajamas and black satin robe to attend eHarlequin’s annual Pajama Party. I was one of the first folks there, so got some interesting looks as I trekked through the crowded hotel lobby, along with a couple of “Pajama party?” queries. At the party, I holed up in a corner with roomie Elaine Golden and fellow writers Ella Drake, Leia Rice, Janet Mullany, and several others who wafted in and out, catching Amanda Berry and Jeannie Lin towards the end.
And so, dear reader, to bed.