Saturday, July 11, 2009

Whooping it up in Washington!

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 This year I'm all excited - a lot of my friends are up for the Golden Heart (unpublished) and the RITA Award (published).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!


Dina said...

Hi Anna,

No, I've not been there, but would like too, maybe someday.

MsMoonlight said...

I won't be in D.C. this coming week for all the excite, but I do visit Washington D.C. and really love it. I love Washington at night, when the monuments are lit up and the lights reflect off the water. During the day, the Lib. of Congress is a must see for book lovers. They have all sorts of interesting daily events and tours, check out their website.

EllenToo said...

I've been to Washington,DC several times but always as a chaperone for teenage school kids. But I still got to see a lot of things. Choosing one favorite would be difficult but I have to admit the the American History Museum and the Air & Space Museum were my favorites. And we even made the Washington Zoo which was quite a treat.

Virginia said...

Hi Anna,

No I have never been to DC, but my son went on a school trip there years ago and really enjoyed it. Have fun on your trip!

PJ said...

I was in DC last fall and had a great time. Looking forward to returning next week for Nationals.

The monuments are a must. We took a night tour of them and it was gorgeous. Going to the top of the Washington Monument gives you a unique perspective of the city but the wait is usually long. Arlington Cemetery, Monticello and Mount Vernon are all worth visiting. All the Smithsonian museums are great. While at the Library of Congress, check out the banners hanging from the ceiling representing the various genres of literature. There's one for ROMANCE!

Pamela Cayne said...

Anna, I was going to attend Nationals in DC this year, but "life" popped up and I had to cancel. We had the Smithsonian on the list, but aside from the usual monuments, that's all I can really suggest. Have a fun, safe trip and I'll see you in Nashville next year!

Pat Cochran said...

Hello, Anna,

Sad to say, I've never been to D.C.! I have a cousin who belongs to one of the "alphabet" federal
organizations, yet I continue to be a home body! If I do ever get to visit there, I would want to visit the Library of Congress,
the White House, and all the monuments.

Enjoy your visit!

Pat Cochran

Mari said...

If you have a chance you should visit the Int'l Spy Museum. It is a lot of fun.

Michelle Styles said...

Not going this year but I have been to DC before as some of my family live there now.
Places to see:
Mount Vernon ( the restuarant is pretty good)
The Smithsonian Air and Space.
The American History Museum.(They used to have an ice cream parlor with great ice cream)
The Library of Congress
It will be hot and stickly so if you are going to do the monuments, do them in the morning or late in the evening.

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Have a wonderful time and please share with us.

Anna Campbell said...

Hi, everyone, sorry I've been missing in action. Various travel hassles which believe me deserve a blog in their own right. "Um, Houston? I'm not going to Houston!!!"

But I'm now safely in DC and having a wonderful time. My wonderful Bandita friend Jeanne Adams took me to Monticello yesterday. What a gorgeous place.

I'm doing the monuments on the bus tour tomorrow which should be wonderful fun.

Thanks for all the suggestions. The Library of Congress is definitely on the list. Love the idea of the romance banner!