Reflections from a First Timer at RWA Nationals

I’m back from RWA Nationals in NYC, and happy to be home with my family, although I’m not sure whether they’re happier to see me or the gifts I brought back home. Okay, my daughter’s tears were enough to know I was missed. But seriously, I met a lot of wonderful people and had a fantastic time. Plus, I came home with enough books to stretch the length of the NJ Turnpike. If only I had that library in my home I’ve always wanted.

Here are some of my First Timer highlights.

  • The Author Literary signing – it was great to see so many people embracing their love of books and supporting a great cause
  • Kristan Higgans was a surprise attendee and did a fantastic British accent in the Dialogue Workshop
  • Susan Elizabeth Phillip’s Six Magic Words. Plus, she gave us permission to initially put garbage on the screen. Whew!
  • From the Contemporary Challenge: give your alpha guy a quirk or vulnerability
  • Fantastic workshop and examples of mending a broken scene with Roxanne St. Claire
  • Advice from Cherry Adair, PRO Mentor of the Year- “Just Write the damn story!”
  • Contemporary Romance Market –
    • the setting almost becomes a character
    • Kristan Higgins: know what your book represents: “Real life, true love & lots of laughs”
    • Robyn Carr: your brand emerges from your writing & the characters
    • Build characters you would like to meet
    • NEW ADULT: protagonists between 18-25 years
  • Agent Search – treat personal feedback as gold
  • Creating an unbreakable connection between characters & readers
  • There are an enormous number of authors who have struggled through many a personal challenge to get to where they are today. Hearing the stories of Sherrilyn Kenyon and Sharon Sala were extremely touching and brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for helping me keep things in perspective and remember to always believe in ourselves.