Tuesday, August 08, 2006

RWA Nationals

I said I'd chat about the annual Romance Writers of America conference and I'm here to do that. But, dang, there's so much stuff to tell that I'm going crazy with what to include and what to leave out! Because of that, I'm going to spread the blogging over a few days, okay? Let's start with Tuesday....

Atlanta was the place to go this year, and I'd heard so many stories about the "high crime rate" and scariness of the city that I was wary. But you know what? I really liked it! When I travel, I get an immediate vibe about my location, and Atlanta gave me a cool one. To make matters even better, I got to the wonderful Marriott Marquis (Folks, they define customer service--awesome!) on Tuesday night, just in time to hop on the bus to attend a soiree my agency was hosting. We traveled about an hour outside the city to a darling little town where Deidre Knight and Pamela Harty spend their days. You guys should've seen the sweet bungalow that houses the Knight Agency (go to www.theknightagency.net for pictures and their blog). And these women know how to treat guests: there was a tent decorated with fairy lights in the back yard, and it was filled with champagne mimosas (laced with a Georgia peach, of course) and incredible food. The highlight was a smoked salmon that I couldn't stop shoving down my gullet, and there was even a side table where a lady made hush puppies while telling us the folksy origins of the food. The same went for the praline table--yum. Naturally, I forgot to bring my camera (and that's why I'm known as the worst picture taker on Earth), but if you go to http://www.karmelajohnson.com/photos/, you'll see pics of the festivities. Warning: I'm in one of them. Hee. Just access Karm's picture section.

I hung out a lot with Mary Leo, humor-romance writer extraordinaire, and Karmela, who writes about major kick-ass women. And it was a bonus to see Gena Showalter and Jill Monroe (I'll be talking more about them when I write about the Harlequin party!). Of course, I had some time to chat with my agent, Pamela, who's always a riotus magnolia. (If you met her, that would make total sense.)

All in all, it was a great time--civilized and hilarious. But the next day wasn't quite so sedate, for I'd be going horseback riding with my Blaze editor, Brenda Chin, and some other Blaze writers....

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