by Anna Campbell
I'm sure by now you've all gathered that the San Francisco RWA conference was a huge hit. There's been posts left, right and center about meeting up with famous authors and attending signings and going to fantastic parties and what a wonderful time everyone had.
I had a marvelous time too! It's always such a hoot to catch up with so many of my romance-writing sisters. And as this is my third conference, I know a lot of people now. Sadly too many to do justice to in a couple of days. I kept having the thirty-second conversation - you know, "Hello!" Hug. "Must go." But even just that much touching base is fun! I finally got to meet the lovely Lee who runs Tote Bags. That was a thrill - I wish I'd got back to talk to her in more detail.
Sadly, I didn't come home with a RITA but I'd love to offer my congratulations to all the worthy winners. The awards night was huge fun - everybody gets dressed up and there's a wonderful electric atmosphere of celebration. And the desserts afterwards always go down well too! I'm delighted to say, however, that CLAIMING THE COURTESAN did win the Booksellers' Best Award at the Greater Detroit RWA reception. It's a seriously cute bit of bling - a gold open book with a pair of glasses poised over the pages.
Another fantastic plus of this conference is that it was crawling with Aussies and Kiwis. Every time I turned around, there was someone else from Downunder! Including Tote Bag regular Bronwyn Jameson. My countrywomen have been thin on the ground at recent conferences so this was such a treat. San Francisco is practically in our backyard compared to the east coast venues so of course lots of us took advantage of the (relative) closeness.
I thought you might like to see some photos. The top picture is me with great Avon historical author Sophia Nash at the awards night. The next photo is of more Avon ladies. Me (again!), Julie Anne Long and Jenna Petersen at the Avon dinner at the very glamorous Mandarin Hotel. The next one features the Romance Bandits mascot, the Golden Rooster, who was a VERY naughty boy when confronted with 3,000 romance writers to flirt with. He's completely fascinated by Donna MacMeans's corset purse, the saucy fellow! And I don't mean red-wine marinade! This candid shot was taken at the Romance Bandits party which was a huge success - a 'crush' in Regency terms!
The group photo is 12 of the 19 Romance Bandits in attendance at the conference. Sadly, one of us just couldn't make it. The picture was taken at the Golden Heart Booting Out ceremony which featured a gratifying number of Banditas. 11 of us have been published since we finaled in the 2006 Golden Heart that brought us all together.
And yes, there had to be a silly photo to finish up with. This is me at the literacy signing (do you like the top? I got it at Macy's which is now my favorite place in the universe!) clutching my two RITA finalist flags in a strangely King Tutankhamun pose. Although he lacked the gleeful expression!
So did you go to San Francisco? What was the highlight of your conference? Even if you didn't go, is there a romance writer you would like to meet? The conferences take place all over the States - you never know, you may just get your wish one day!