by Anna Campbell
When you read this, I will have become an international woman of mystery.
Well, at least an international woman!
Every July, Romance Writers of America host a huge convention in the States and for the last few years, I've been lucky enough to go. Wow, is it a shock to my usually hermit-like system.
Thousands of romance writers, all completely overexcited like toddlers drinking red coridal at the kindy Christmas break-up. People you love but only ever see once a year. A week where I talk romance fiction nonstop with writers and fans and industry bods.
If anyone is in the Washington area on Wednesday, 15th July, make sure you come to the author signing to benefit literacy charities. Every romance author you ever wanted to meet will be there (well, perhaps not EVERY one but enough to make your heart beat faster!). Details here.
The conference is huge fun as well as a great networking opportunity and learning curve. There are fantastic workshops (most of which I never seem to get to although my intentions are good - darn you, hotel bar!) and lots and lots of parties.
One of my favorite parties is the big awards night which is the culmination of the conference on Saturday night. This year I'm all excited - a lot of my friends are up for the Golden Heart (unpublished) and the RITA Award (published). I'm also lucky enough to the guest of RITA nominee for Best Regency Romance Christine Wells for the ceremony which means I get to sit up the front and drool over all the stars. Yeah, I agree, not an attractive picture.
Christine's THE DANGEROUS DUKE finaled this year and I'm so excited for her as it's a fabulous book, witty and passionate and romantic.
until recently, I'd never visited the U.S. and I find it an absolutely fascinating country. I always try and tag a few extra days on to do some sightseeing. Last year, as many of you know, I got to explore the area around San Francisco. This year, I'm so looking forward to checking out a few things in the national capital and its adjacent area.
Of course, there are too many wonderful sites in Washington for anyone (and particularly a history geek like me) to cover in merely a couple of days but I'm looking forward to getting a taste of the place. I'm hoping to hit a couple of art museums and the White House (still to be confirmed) and the monuments and the Library of Congress. A writer HAS to go to the Library of Congress!
Lovely romantic and talented suspense author and fellow Romance Bandit Jeanne Adams (her latest book DARK AND DEADLY has just hit the shelves - another treat!) has offered to drive me around a few places outside the city.
Something I'm particularly looking forward to seeing is Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home and estate. Several years ago, I remember seeing a marvellous documentary by Ken Burns about Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson has always been someone I've admired without necessarily knowing a lot abouthim. What an amazing man (obviously not perfect, but who is?). So clever and interested in absolutely everything and such vision for the future.
So have you been to Washington D.C.? If you have, what was the best thing you saw/attended/experienced? If you haven't been, what would you most like to see? The Smithsonian? The White House? The Washington Monument? Inquiring minds want to know!