Back From RWA (and fun stuff!)

(Warning: long post ahead.  The fun stuff is in bold below for those who want to skip to that.)

Fabulous time.

That about sums up my RWA 2009 experience.  Got off to a slightly rocky start, with flight delays, the hotel forgetting my wake-up call the first morning, and dropping and breaking the stupid hair dryer I had lugged in my suitcase (I hate those tiny hotel hair dryers). But after that, things really got rolling.

Wednesday night of the conference kicked off with the literacy signing.


Me at the signing

Confession: I stole this photo from Sharon Lathan (thanks Sharon!), who I ran into right before the signing.  Sharon is the author of The Darcy Saga, the sigh-worthy story of what happens to Elizabeth and Darcy after Pride & Prejudice ends.  I read the first book in the series, Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy, earlier this year and enjoyed it very much.  Not to mention, Sharon is such a warm, wonderful person and I’m so glad we got a chance to meet.  Here she is at the signing:


Another picture from the signing, me with two lovely ladies, Susan and Colleen, who I met last year at RWA.  So glad we could connect again this year!


Finished off Wednesday evening by having dinner with my editor where we discussed Book 3 (more on that below).

The workshops started on Thursday (yes, I actually attended several of them), and from thereon the rest of the conference was all about workshops, meeting up with fantastic, fun women (both new and old acquaintances), and generally having a blast.  Now when I first started this blog, I wanted to talk about all the incredible women I met–authors, bloggers, and readers alike), but I quickly realized that if I tried to do that, I would forget someone and that would just be horrible.  So I’m not going to try to name names–there were so many great women at this conference I wouldn’t even know where to start.  That being said, I would be remiss if I didn’t say something about the Kati(e)s– Kati Dancy and Katiebabs.  These two are just too much fun to hang out with–whether we’re talking about books, writing, Ryan Reynolds, inappropriate use of food in sex scenes, and anything in between.

IMG_2712Kati Dancy and myself

katiebabsAnd here’s me with Katiebabs

I also have to throw shout-outs to Elizabeth/Anime June of Gossamer Obsessions and  Amy/Aymless of Rambling About Books, who I had some great conversations with, and the illustrious Jane, for her hospitality.

Time for more pictures…

IMG_2710Joanna Bourne, Elizabeth/Anime June, and myself

IMG_2709Gannon and P.J. (from Romance Novel TV) and Katiebabs

IMG_2711Lots o’ people at the bar (who is that mystery woman, front left, I wonder…?)

IMG_2713Susan Elizabeth Phillips and myself

Like bloggers and readers, I couldn’t begin to tell you about all the incredible authors I met (I mean, look at these pictures alone, right– Joanne Bourne and SEP!).  But again, I have to at least mention two in particular, Shiloh Walker and Colleen Gleason.  Shiloh is smart, sassy, a straight-shooter, and just flat-out a blast to hang-out with.  She’s also a great writer– have I told you how much I enjoyed Fragile?  With all that, I guess I can excuse the fact that she wouldn’t let me take her darn picture. 😉

And then there’s Colleen Gleason, who I met for the first time at this conference and instantly hit it off with.  Also smart, engaging, uber-friendly, and just plain cool as all hell (psst– she snuck a bottle of wine into the RITAs for us– how many levels of fun is that?).  I haven’t read her books yet, but have heard incredible things about the Gardella Vampire Chronicles, which I’m going to buy, like, tomorrow.  For some weird reason, I don’t have any pictures of us together (probably chatting too much to think to take one), but I snagged this one off her twitter page (hope you don’t mind, Colleen).

ColleenGColleen Gleason

So that’s the nutshell version of my RWA 2009 experience.  And then when I got home and walked in the door, my two year-old son came running up to hug me and the first thing he shouted was, “Mommy–author!”  If that’s not just a priceless moment for any writer, I don’t know what is.

Alert–random digression ahead: Boy, you know you miss your family a ton when you come home after five days and the house is a total friggin’ disaster and you don’t care one bit.  Pay attention ladies, because in all seriousness I think there’s a lesson to be learned from men here.  After five days of having primary care-taking responsibilities, my husband accepted and had no problem embracing the fact that he simply couldn’t do it all.  Why do women, on the other hand, think we must achieve this?  Note to self: adopt husband’s philosophy in this vein. Although who am I kidding?  If the house became a total disaster, so would I.  😉

Okay– now here comes the fun part. At dinner, my editor and I discussed Book 3, which I had turned in last week.  She loves it!  Hooray!!  For those of you who’ve been following this blog, you know that I’ve been going crazy, working ’round the clock on that book.  So now I’m in the mood to celebrate.

While at the conference, I scored some GREAT books.  For you.  I’m so darn happy about the way Book 3 came out, I feel like celebrating.  So in the upcoming days (weeks?), I’m going to be giving away books written by many of the great authors I’ve met these days.  So stayed tuned.  I’ve got six fantastic books to giveaway–ones you won’t want to miss.

31 thoughts on “Back From RWA (and fun stuff!)

  1. Stacy ~ says:

    Sorry to hear about the initial problems, but it sounds like you had such a fab time, and I’m so incredibly pea-green with jealousy 😀

    Isn’t Colleen awesome? I met her last year when she came to Chicago for a booksigning, and I really liked how she made sure to include everyone. And Shiloh is quite the character. I’m a huge fan of her books, and Fragile is one of my favorites.

    Yay on book 3. One of my most anticipated books in the upcoming year, and the wait is killing me. Well, I’ll just have to stalk you & Beth in Palos Hts!

  2. katiebabs says:

    Friday night was so, so much fun! You were one of the reasons I really wanted to go to nationals.
    Hmm Ryan Reynolds and using food during sex. heh heh heh.
    AWWWWW!! Mommy author.

  3. Bridget Locke says:

    *sigh* Totally envious…maybe one of these days they’ll come to Portland so I can finally attend, huh? 😀

    I’m so glad you had a wonderful time and great news about book 3. That’s always great to hear. 🙂

  4. Liz V. says:

    I love hearing about RWA and seeing all the pictures. What an amazing group of women! You all do so much for the publishing/book world and it is greatly appreciated. I feel like I can live vicariously. 🙂

  5. Sharon Lathan says:

    Julie! Thank you so very much for your wonderful words. We are definitely a mutual admiration society because you know how I adore you and your books. Emily was overjoyed at the signature, although she is seriously put out that I met you and she did not! I may never be forgiven for that misstep! I will have to bring her next year to make up so you MUST be in Nashville.

    Thanks again for everything. I will be counting the days until March. Sharon

  6. AnimeJune says:

    Awwww, thanks for the shout out. I should be thanking you – I thought I’d be totally intimated by meeting all these cool authors, but we all hung out and just had fun.

    You can bet though that I spent my plane ride home planning and outlining the second draft of my novel. I WILL finish it and try to make a sale.

  7. Julie says:

    Well look at that– my husband’s first post. And he argues with me. Quel surprise. 😉 But–ha– now I have proof that he reads this blog…

    Stacy: Colleen and Shiloh are both awesome, indeed. Colleen and I had a conversation about you and your blog, in fact… (good stuff). I’m so looking forward to catching up with you at the signing in Palos Hts.

    Katiebabs: Aw, you are too kind. So glad we finally met–I had a blast!!

    Bridget: Portland would be great! I hear it’s a great city…

    Liz: Thanks! You’re so right– romance readers, in general, are a great group of women!

    Sharon: you must bring Emily next year! She would love it.

    AnimeJune: that’s so the right attitude to have– you WILL do it.

  8. Elyssa Papa says:

    All the pics look fabulous, and your husband is funny. I hope 2010 RWA is in the cards for me. I’d love to meet you and everyone else. And I heard the food leaves a little to be desired, much like the coffee. 😉

    Yay on Book 3! Congrats!

  9. Emmanuelle says:

    You obviously had a great time at RWA !!
    As a reader though I think I’m not the only one to think it’s nice RWA is over !! Things have been too quiet last week…. yep greedy reader here !LOL
    (and congrats for book 3 !!)

  10. Buffie says:

    From everything I have read and seen, I would say everyone had a fabulous time at RWA this year. It is nice to see some pictures with fellow RNTV gals. Was this your first one Julie? I’m hoping to make Nashville next year.

    I just love your son’s welcome home. Too sweet!! And I’m sure it just melted your heart. Nothing like hugging and squeezing them after you have been gone for a while.

    Can’t wait to hear more about book 3!

  11. KatiDancy says:

    Woohoo! I had SUCH fun with you, Julie! You are not just an awesome author (and apparently, Mommy), but you are just an all around super cool chick.

    I am sorry for disdaining the wonder that is Ryan Reynolds. No really, I am. It just goes to show that opinions really are like… well. That’s not a very ladylike saying, so.

    Congrats on Book 3, I’m thrilled to hear it’s been so positively received. Of course, I knew it would be.

    Also, I think I might have a little crush on Mr. Julie.

  12. tennismom mary g says:

    Glad you had fun Julie. Congrats on Book 3 but yeah, you’re not officially an author until your 2 year old says so! Just discussed the women can have it all/do it all thing with a friend & I said that just because it’s so doesn’t mean its good for us. Thanks to your hubby for the validation.

  13. bethkery says:

    Well if reading this post was 1/1000th of the fun you had, it must have been a blast indeed, because I had a great time just doing that. Got the biggest smile out of the “Mommy, author.”

    Talk to you soon, Jule!

  14. limecello says:

    I love all the RWA pictures -sounds like everyone had a fabulous time. I’d be super star struck if I went to an event like that! I recognize more authors-as-celebrities than Hollywood people!
    And I’ve never even been to a signing :X

  15. Julie says:

    Elyssa: It is a good time– I think you would really enjoy it. Oh, god the coffee… I love Katiebabs’ word for it– “craptastic”.

    Emmanuelle: I hear you. And, you know, as much fun as it was, it is nice to be back home with the family.

    Buffie: this was my second RWA (I went last year), but my first one published. Ooh… I hope you can go to Nashville next year…

    Kati Dancy: somewhere in an office high-rise in Chicago (since we now know he reads this blog) my husband is keeling over at his desk after being called “Mr. Julie.” I so love it–I’m going to use that myself now. 😉

    Mary: It is amazing, how much we struggle with that, right? The freedom in just being able to say, “I can’t do it all.”

    Hi Beth! Thanks for dropping by! Yes, the “Mommy, author,” moment was a heart-melter. 🙂

    Limecello: Funny. I went to the Nora Roberts chat at RWA. Now talk about an author-celebrity…

  16. SarahT says:

    Glad to hear you had fun at the conference. I’m delighted your editor is so pleased with Book 3. It’s on my Books I’m Really Looking Forward To list for 2010.

  17. Rowena says:

    Awww, despite your problems early on in the trip, it sounds like you had a fantastic time! I’m so jealous! I so want to go next year.

    I’m really excited about Book 3, I cannot wait! I’m so glad that things are looking good for you and Book 3!

  18. Julie says:

    Hi Sarah! Thanks! How exciting that Book 3 made your list. It really was a labor of love, that darn book, but I think it all came together very nicely in the end.

    Katiebabs: Just made the trek out for caffeine myself. Never again will I joke about having three Starbucks within a four-block radius of my house. Never.

    Rowena: I hope you can go to RWA next year– I would love to meet you in person!! I definitely hope to be able to share with you more about Book 3 soon…

  19. Lisa says:

    Coming home is sometimes the best part of a trip. It looks like you had a lot of fun. I just got a copy of Book 1 and once I make it through a few library holds I’m planning to start it. Stupid library with it’s deadlines and all! I can’t wait to see book 3.

  20. Keira Soleore says:

    Hooray for Book #3. And I adored meeting you at the booksigning.

    And I agree with you. We should go away more often. Husbands appreciate us more when we return. How about a writers’ retreat every two months??

    Regarding houses and disasters, better left unsaid, but the truth is known to all of us (warning: Julie’s husband).

  21. Julie says:

    Hi Lisa! So true, about coming home. Although I did have a blast while there. 😉 And I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you enjoy JTSMA…

    Keira, it was so wonderful to meet you at the booksigning! A writers’ retreat every two months? Hmm… I’m really liking that idea…

  22. Maya M. says:

    I love that your husband reads your blog. And stands up for himself. Though if I may be so bold (twenty years of marriage will teach you a thing or two) I suspect that you are both right, having wildly different definitions of ‘disaster’.

    I’m at the part of PMP right now where she flies into her friend’s house and discloses all kinds of BFF things without realizing the full picture. Hee!

  23. KristieJ says:

    Hi Julie – It was great chatting with you – and if you are interested, thanks to the greatness that is YouTube, I found the videos of the hawtness that is Nico – the winner of SYTYCD Canada.

  24. Julie says:

    Oh, Maya… my husband undoubtedly now is just secretly strutting around b/c of your comments… 😉 Hope you enjoy PMP!!

    KristieJ: I commented over at your blog, but I just had to say again how much I enjoyed those videos… We certainly share the same love of hawt, manly, strong dancers. 🙂

  25. Julie L. says:

    Sounds like a great time had by all!

    Great pics and I’m glad you got to meet tons of people and other authors and kudos to you about finishing book 3 and that your publisher likes it (how couldn’t she?)

  26. Tamara Holbert says:

    Man, oh man, I wish Ihad been able to go!! I’ve read sooo many stories about how much fun you all had!! I would be in complete awe to be surrounded by all of my author heros!!! Maybe I will be able to go next year in Nashville!!!

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