I've been sitting here for a few hours, working away, trying to come up with a topic to write about. There shouldn't be any shortage; I've just come back from RWA Nationals where tons of exciting things happened.
But I didn't want to give another conference report, you know? And then as I was doing the dishes I thought about what the takeaway is from Nationals. We get asked that on our art fact sheets, you know. What's the takeaway?
And as I was thinking about all that I realized what it is that makes Nationals so special. It's not the fangirl moments - though those are great from both sides of the coin. It's not the networking, though that's pretty darn energizing too. It's not even awards or parties...wait. Ok, so maybe the Harlequin Party is the exception, because it's pretty damn fabulous (here I am with my roomate Fiona Harper at the Waldorf Astoria), but even that kind of contributes to the point I'm about to make.
The takeaway is equality.
At Nationals everyone is the same. We all love the romance genre. We all love writing. We all just GET IT. Nothing brings this home like listening to the keynote speakers and it is why I hate to miss them and really try not to. It is so inspiring and humbling to hear someone speak about how they wrote on the QT for more than a decade before finally selling their first book. It's awe inspiring to hear about some people's struggles not only to be published but to get through life - if you haven't read Sherrilyn Kenyon's keynote speech on facebook, go find it. It is encouraging to know that best selling authors suffer the same trials of just WRITING THE DAMN BOOK as we do. And it doesn't matter if you're unpublished, newly published, a midlister or a NY Times Best Selling author. When it all comes down to it, we're all the same. And do you know what that means?
It means anything is possible. If they (meaning the "stars") can do it, why not us? The possibilities are endless. There is hope. And I don't know about you, but I'm a big fan of hope, and of promise, and of hard work. I love that there doesn't have to be limitations.
In the words of Red Green, "We're all in this together."
But real life intrudes just the same - and includes a brand new release day for me. A FAMILY FOR THE RUGGED RANCHER hit store shelves yesterday! And I have to admit this is a special story for me. The hero is dealing with the issue of aging parents and facing his own mortality. He was lovely to write!
Until next time, happy reading!