Saturday, August 02, 2008

RWA Day 4: aka, Halfway to Brain Dead

Friday is the day a lot of people start to crash, especially if they came early in the week. It's often the busiest business day for people, though not always. Sometimes things are more spread out, sometimes they are all on Thursday. Friday was a busy day for me.

Started in the morning, continental breakfast, meeting with my Gab Wagon colleagues, Cathy McDavid and Monica Burns. (Note: Yes, I know I have not linked to a single author or other kind of site. I fail. Sorry.) We sat and chatted about lots of stuff for a really long time, pretty much until we were the only ones left in the giant ballroom.

I then went through the Grand Central Publishing author signing and the Avon author signing and hit the St. Martin's spotlight before lunch. The awards luncheon is always great (holier-than-thou-ness again: If you don't have a really, really important reason for leaving early, don't. These people deserve your respect and attention.). The luncheon speakers both days were great (forgot to mention Thursday's luncheon speaker). They always are. Every year, I imagine myself up there as one of my Ways To Know I Have Arrived (aka, Symbols of Success). Then I imagine myself as the first conference speaker ever to bomb totally, and I hope they never ask me.

I met with my agent this afternoon, and it was a great meeting. I adore her as much as ever. And no, I'm not looking for points. She doesn't even read this blog. (I don't think.)

After that, we went up to the Berkley signing, which had a hugungous line. I told her she should cut 'cause she was just going to go see a client, and assured her no one would get mad. She's an AGENT! But I did not wait in line. I went down to the Harlequin signing, where I waited in a slightly shorter line for a little while, talking to a Harlequin Superromance author whose name I'd recognize like *that* but who I now cannot recall for the life of me. Sorry! :(

Once inside, they wanted to keep the line moving in one direction to try to keep order and control in the room. I understood that--they had a LOT of authors--but in practice it was kind of stupid. We waited in line for like 20 minutes, maybe more, and half the room was empty while we waited in empty space for longer. No one was approaching the first author, so I walked up and got her book, then skipped all the category books and jumped ahead to the single titles (the side of the room with hardly any people--very inefficient). I got bunches of great books for free, met some authors I respect and appreciate and said so, and got out of there before the person who'd been in front of me in line had even moved a foot.

I'm so sneaky.

I got into the Berkley signing in the last 15 minutes. Most of the authors had left early, but a few were still there, so I got my first-ever Nora Roberts (JD Robb) signature.

Then I went to the workshop on Alternative Romance, half of which was conducted by three of my fellow Amber Quill Press authors, ML Rhodes, Lyndi Lamont, and Caitlyn Willows/Cassie Stevens. (Yes, I know, still no links--I don't have enough awake brain cells to fill them in. Sorry again.). I had never met any of these wonderful women (though Caitlyn/Cassie/Catherine, my fabulous editor, is pretty sure I was her underling at a previous RWA conference). After the smart, well-constructed, and full-house workshop, we joined up with ML's mother and Cindy Procter-King and went to dinner at John's Grill.

Interesting sightseeing note: John's Grill is where Dashiell Hammett set The Maltese Falcon. Very atmospheric, excellent food!

And the company was also excellent. I can't believe I felt so comfortable with them. I mean, I've been working with them and doing time on the AQP loops and stuff for years, so it makes sense that I would, but I'm a social misfit and always expect to fall flat on my face with the small talk stuff. As far as I can tell, I didn't. And if the others say otherwise, well, hey, I didn't link to their blogs, so you won't know! LOL

And that brings you up to date. I'm sitting outside the closed Starbucks while the rest of my friends are at their own publisher parties, alternating between typing up this blog and reading e-mail. I'm having trouble sending replies, which is making me mad and might lead me to not send anything else until I'm in the airport Sunday night/Monday morning. I can't tell if some of these are sending or not, so some might go more than once, some not at all. Apologies either way. :(

Tomorrow is a quieter day for me. More publisher signings, if I can squeeze them in--several are at the same time!--and some workshops before the award ceremony, which is always exciting and fun and I have a great dress even if I don't have a great body, so I'm looking forward to it 100%.

I have to say, I have only two regrets about this conference so far:

1. I have not found Amy Atwell, whom I really wanted to meet.
2. I have not had time to talk to Trish Milburn or Sherry Davis or Peggy Emard at any length. Trish and Sherry are busy with board duties, but missing Peggy is all me. Maybe tomorrow I can rectify that.

Stay tuned for more!


Anonymous said...

Glad you're having such a great time Natalie! We missed you today at the meeting and lunch. Have a fabulous time this weekend and safe trip home!

Natalie Damschroder said...

Hey, Mandy! Thanks for reading my blog. :) I missed you guys, too. I hope I make the September meeting!