RWA17 Con Recap (July 25-30, 2017)

I had a blast at RWA17! We arrived on Tuesday, and kicked things off with a group dinner at the Big River Grill, within walking distance of the Swan Hotel. Being surrounded by my peeps (other writers) is the best feeling ever. They get me. They understand. I don’t have to explain.

Wednesday, I reconnected with friends I hadn’t seen in far too long, for a lovely lunch at Fresh Market, inside the Dolphin Hotel. It was a great salad, but the desserts were to die for! And, Wednesday night was the long-awaited DEATH BY CHOCOLATE party, hosted by the Kiss of Death chapter.

I dressed up in all my finery, full makeup, hair and gown, and made the trek from the Swan over to the Dolphin. Yeah, you guessed it, the Florida heat didn’t look good on me. But I pressed on, knowing I would soon be drowning in chocolate. Uh, not so much. The only chocolate to be found at the party was a chocolate dipped strawberry. That meager serving was a little disappointing, but the party was not. I received Honorable Mention for my romantic suspense novel, CRIMINAL HEAT! And, cheered for my good friend, Lena Diaz, who won her FOURTH Daphne! She is the Daphne Queen!

Thursday, I attended the PRO Retreat, and was moved to tears by Alyssa Day’s wonderful talk about “Writing and Mental Health”. The Retreat was well organized with round table discussions and lots of prizes, as well as food!

Unfortunately, I missed the Rita’s on Thursday night. My mother was in a car accident and I had to go home and make sure she was okay. Thank goodness, she is, but it was scary there for a while. Can I just say my husband is my hero? He dropped everything and came to get me. And my roommates are amazingly supportive, wondrous women I am privileged to know.

I made it back to the con in time for Editor/Agent appointments on Friday. I came away with three requests! Next up, THE GATHERING, hosted by the FF&P chapter. My friend, Debra Jess, took third place in the Novella category of the PRISM AWARD with A SECRET ROSE. Super proud of her! And, I finished the day with a room party, hosted by Lena. So fun!

Saturday morning, I attended the Chapter Leadership Breakfast where I met other chapter leaders and soaked up a ton of great information. This was also well organized, and so beneficial.

During the conference, I attended some exceptionally good panels. I will mention two of my faves: Anything by Geoff Symon, and “Locked and Loaded: Pulling the Trigger on Military RS”: Lynn Raye Harris, Cristin Harber, and Laura Kaye.

The big finale came all too soon as we roamed around the Literacy Autographing with hundreds of authors. I’m proud to say that over $40,000 was raised for literacy. Romance writers are givers, and we need all the readers we can get!

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