July 21, 2014
This week romance writers from around the country— actually, from around the world!— will be converging on San Antonio, Texas, for the annual Romance Writers of America Conference.
I, however, will be sitting in my humble abode in Louisiana, whimpering with jealousy when I hear about the great workshops, fabulous parties (Harlequin’s party for its authors is always a blast!), and inspiring speeches. I chose not to go to the national conference this year for a variety of reasons.
1) To save money. While as a business trip, it would be tax deductible for me, I’d still be laying out a chunk of change to go. I was trying to be frugal.
2) A lot of what I hear at conference tends to be the same old, same old. Refreshers on the business of writing, craft tips and marketing are great, but I don’t really need to be reminded every year, right?
3) I’m writing. Preparing for conference, time away for the event, and the rest and unpacking afterward takes a significant chunk out of a gal’s writing time, not to mention the interruption to the thought process.
4) I’m an idiot.
What was I thinking skipping conference this year? I love the parties, love seeing my writing buddies, love getting fresh ideas and hearing the latest business buzz.
The market is constantly changing, faster every day it seems. Amazon continues to jockey for market share with new programs and print publishers shift to accommodate the trends. Harlequin, my publisher, was bought by HarperCollins earlier this year. Samhain Publishing (another of my publishers) has made significant staff changes and refocused its program. Change is in the air and I’m not in Texas to hear about the new directions first-hand.
RWA conference is just about my only chance every year to see many of my dear writer friends, people who GET IT—what it is like to conceive, labor through and deliver books, people who share my neuroses, understand my worry over sell-through, ask the same questions about marketing, have the same hangups about big crowds and lots of noise.
RWA conference is just about my only chance to see fun places my couch-sitting, why-do-we-need-to-travel? husband won’t take me. I’m missing the Riverwalk and the Alamo!
I’m missing late-night plotting sessions and pajama parties, gallons of coffee to wake up the morning after the Harlequin party, free books, rubber chicken at lunch and decadent desserts at the Kiss of Death party, sharing an elevator with Susan Elizabeth Phillips or Lisa Gardner…or BOTH, precious face-time with my editor, the glamour and emotion of the Golden Heart and Rita awards ceremony.
Holy miscalculations Batman! I’m missing RWA conference! WHAT WAS I THINKING!?
So if you are at RWA this week, have a glass of bubbly and chocolate cake for me, dance a dance at the Harlequin soiree, and report back with all the juicy gossip and industry news. Please?