Tag Archives: RWA conference

70-Author Booksigning on Sunday, March 29

California Dreamin Writers ConferenceIf you didn’t already know, there are going to be 70+ authors signing their books in Brea, California, this weekend. And I’m one of them – woohoo! Here are the details:

Where: Brea Embassy Suites, Brea, CA
When: Sunday, March 29, 2015, 2-4pm
Who: Mostly romance writers of all types, but some also write urban fantasy, young adult, and more

You can find a map and a list of all the authors (including links to their web sites) HERE.

Please share this on social media so your friends in Southern California can stop by. It’s free and open to the public. You buy the books you’d like to get autographed, or just come and shake hands. 🙂

Lady Jane Salon – Author Readings

There will also be a Lady Jane Salon Saturday night, March 28, from 9-11pm at the conference. This is also open to the public. There will be 12 authors in each of two rooms at the Brea Embassy Suites, each reading from one of their books for 10 minutes.

I’ve never done this before! Ack! But you have to try new things, right? I’d love for a few friends to show up! 🙂 I will be in the Tut room, adjacent to the hotel bar, and I’ll be reading from 9:20 to 9:30pm.

Also in the Tut room, in order of appearance, are: Mary Leo, Elizabeth Boyle, (then me), Jane Porter, Lucienne Diver, Dayle Dermatis, Susan Squires, Christine Ashworth, Vicky Dreiling, Christie Craig, Teresa Carpenter, and Louisa Bacio.

Reading in the Giza room are: Laura Drake, Louella Nelson, Patricia Rice, Rebekah Ganiere, April Kihlstrom, Susan Meier, Linda O. Johnston, Debbie Decker, Lisa Kessler, Shirley Wilder, Anne Cleeland, and Maggie Marr.

Hope to see you and your friends there!

Fun Pictures From the SoCal RWA Conference

Whew! What an exhausting and wonderful weekend! There were so many great things I enjoyed about the SoCal RWA Conference. First, of course, is spending time with a bunch of other romance writers talking shop and sharing ideas. That always feels like a good use of time. 🙂

The surprising thing for me was that for the first time, I batted 1000 when it came to workshops. There was at least one thing in every workshop that I needed to take home and use right away. I almost wasn’t able to say that because one workshop was definitely for newbies but it didn’t say that in the description. I was bored but kept my friendly interested face in place out of respect for the speaker. Then the very last sentence this speaker uttered, I thought, oh my gosh, I completely needed that! The last sentence – LOL!!

Of course, the most exciting part for me was Sunday, my first public book signing! Woo-hooo! It was good that it was small-ish so I could see if I’d prepared properly. Some things were awesome – like my Square Reader on my iPhone for taking credit cards. Quick, easy, and the money was in my bank account the next day. Wow!

Other things I figured I’ll have to make a change. I had the two anthologies on the table to show more books you could purchase with my stories in them, but I didn’t have copies for sale. Plus I had a pile of four-color flyers showing covers for the three books available, the book cover for Unexpected Superhero that’s coming out next month, and a coupon for buying an ebook of Little Miss Lovesick at a reduced conference price. But all of those things altogether took up a lot of table space.

For the next conference, I’m taking an idea from Barbara Vey with Publisher’s Weekly who mentioned that Dianna Love created Keeper Kase Cards. She made 4×6 postcards with the book cover on one side, and on the other side a short blurb with a big blank space. Then people who buy digital books can get her autograph on the postcard and keep all their postcards in a kind of autograph book.

Even though this conference was trying to “go green” by having the least amount of paper products, readers were asking for a bookmark or postcard. So I’ll create postcards for each book. That will save space on the table, and I can offer them to my readers who buy ebooks. I’ll let you know when I have them ready. 🙂

Here’s a look at the conference through pictures. Enjoy!

I stalked author Christie Craig, who is also YA author C.C. Hunter, throughout the conference. Thank goodness she didn't mind!

I stalked author Christie Craig, who is also YA author C.C. Hunter, throughout the conference. Thank goodness she didn’t mind!

I bought a shirt to show off Little Miss Lovesick. On the front it says, Listen to Your Voices.

I bought a shirt to show off Little Miss Lovesick. On the front it says, Listen to Your Voices!

And on the back is the book cover. Fun!

And on the back is the book cover. Fun!

Barbara Vey from Publisher's Weekly and me. She is nice, nice, nice!

Barbara Vey from Publisher’s Weekly and me. She is nice, nice, nice!

Me and my friend, author Elise Scott, who is also in the Romancing the Pages anthology with me.

Me and my friend, author Elise Scott, who is also in the Romancing the Pages anthology with me.

Elise always makes me laugh!

Elise always makes me laugh!

My friend and fellow author Jenny Hansen and me.

My friend and fellow author Jenny Hansen and me.

Signing a book for my friend Lori. Way fun spending the weekend laughing with her.

Signing a book for my friend and writer Lori Brubaker. Way fun spending the weekend laughing with her.

How cool is this?! I'm signing a reader's Kindle cover!

How cool is this?! A reader asked me to sign her Kindle cover – in permanent marker! Sweet!

Me and my book table.

Me and my book table.

Making friends with a new reader! Fun!

Making friends with a new reader! Fun!

Trying to keep my handwriting pretty while not making people wait.

Trying to keep my handwriting pretty while not making people wait. Not sure I always succeed.

The ballroom full of more authors and readers.

The ballroom full of more authors and readers.

Outside the ballroom, more tables of authors. This is where I was.

Outside the ballroom, more tables of authors.

Sydney in Little Miss Lovesick LOVES Godiva truffles, so I gave a box away. Mary B is the winner!

Sydney in Little Miss Lovesick LOVES Godiva truffles, so I gave a box away. Mary B is the winner!

I love talking to people who love books!

I love talking to people who love books!

Almost over.

Almost over.

I promised I'd upload at least one embarrassing photo. I can't believe this is my "I'm completely interested in what you're saying" face. Maybe I should practice a new expression. LOL!

I promised I’d upload at least one embarrassing photo. I can’t believe this is my “I’m completely interested in what you’re saying” face. Maybe I should practice a new expression. LOL!

Thank you to the conference committee for putting on such an excellent conference! Thank you so much to all the readers who came to the book signing! And a special thank you to John for taking pictures all day. You all rock! 😉

First Public Book Signing – Woo-hoo!

Sorry I didn’t get this posted earlier but I have been running around like a mad woman getting ready for the SoCal RWA Conference this weekend. My very first book signing was at my Romance Writers of America meeting earlier this year, and that was awesome. It was not at all scary because it was all my friends.

SoCal RWA Conference

But on Sunday I’ll be participating in my first public book signing. A couple dozen romance writers will be selling and signing books (sorry, Barnes & Noble said you can’t bring in books you already own to have them signed) all together in a big conference room at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Santa Ana, California. Click here for details on who, when and where.

If any of you are in the area, I’d love to see a friendly and familiar face! If you won’t be around but you know someone who lives in the area, I’d love for you to pass the word. 🙂

I won’t be home in time to post pictures for next Monday’s blog, so I’ll wait until Tuesday to post. That way I can tell you all about it and show you the pictures! I can’t decide if I’m more nervous (I’m scratching my arm like crazy!) or more excited (I can’t wait for people to see my Little Miss Lovesick t-shirt and the mockup for the Unexpected Superhero book cover!) but one way or the other, this train has left the station!


Romance and Writing and No Sleep – Oh My!

I’m off to the annual Romance Writers of America National Conference in less than 48 hours – YAY! I’m really excited, deep down inside. But as always at this time of year, what I’m thinking about right this second is – how much of that pile of laundry needs to be done in order to pack? What clothes look good enough on me after a few months of American living (more calories and less exercise)? How many suitcases can I wrangle alone? How many business cards should I take? How many empty bags should I bring to carry all the new books home??

Yes, these and many other questions are at the forefront of my mind today. Once John drops me off at the Anaheim Marriott, I’ll have much more brain space to relax and get back to being excited.

Some of the things I’m looking forward to include –

  • talking to the PubIt reps from Barnes and Noble about what I can do to increase sales of my book to Nook customers
  • going to more workshops than ever on the business of self-publishing
  • staying up too late talking with my friend and roommate Lauraine Snelling about, you know, everything (since we’re girls!)
  • and even running down to Disneyland in my “The Running Company – Bondi Beach” running shirt so I can take a picture and send it to my friend Chris, the store owner (Camy Tang, want to run to Disneyland? We had such a great time running in Central Park last year!)

Remember, if you can get to Anaheim, California, Wednesday night, there will be an autographing session at the Anaheim Convention Center with over 400 romance authors with the proceeds from book sales going to literacy charities. And the best part is, it’s free and open to the public.

It should be an exciting week. I can’t wait! But right now I have to go do laundry.

Library Walk in New York City, part 3

If you missed part 1 or part 2 of my online tour of the Library Walk in New York City, please go back and take a look. I’ll have more pictures for you next week, too. Be sure to take a close look at the bottom one here. Can you read it?

If you need a hint, start with the last word before Gertrude’s name at the bottom and try to read right to left, bottom to top.

Library Walk in New York City, part 1

When I was in Manhattan in June/July for the Romance Writers of America National Conference, I had to go see the New York Public Library. 😉 Unfortunately, it was a holiday weekend and closed when I stopped by. But on both sides of 41st Street leading up to the library there are these wonderful plaques in the sidewalk. I took pictures of every one of them so I could share them here with you over the next few days.



Research Changes Everything

On Wednesdays, I’ll cross-post my blog from Routines for Writers here…

I’m in New York City right now at the 2011 Romance Writer’s of America National Conference. Woo-hooo!! Over the next few days I’ll attend numerous workshops, learn a lot about the new ways we’re creating and selling books (i.e., digital solutions), meet new people, and hug old friends.

While I’m here, I decided to add a few extra days to my stay to do some research for my current book, which is set in New York. There are sooo many things that have changed my perception of this city – which, it must be said, I got primarily from TV shows and movies.

1. New Yorkers are not the rude, fast-paced, get-out-of-my-way people they are portrayed as being. Yes, the traffic is crazy, there is a lot of honking (near Times Square, at least), and pedestrians are either foolish or fearless (maybe both). But one-on-one, outside of the crowd mentality, they are friendly and helpful. I’ve met some really wonderful locals, and I’ve had some of the best retail customer service I’ve had in years.

2. Harlem is not the gangster-infested, poor and downtrodden neighborhood it’s said to be. Sure, there are probably lots of gang members and crushing poverty in areas other than where I went. (There is in every city I’ve lived in.) But I’ve never seen on TV the part of Harlem I visited. It’s beautiful and historic and much of it is expensive and high end or upper middle class.

3. The sunset cruise around the Statue of Liberty is even more beautiful than you can imagine.

I know none of us rely solely on movies and TV shows for research. But it colors what we put on the page if we don’t find a tactile, emotional way to connect ourselves to what we don’t really know much about. If we’re not well-connected, it will be all but impossible for us to write in such a way that our readers are connected. I was blessed with an opportunity to visit the city I was writing about, and now my book will be significantly richer for the experience.

What can you do to emotionally connect to your subject matter? (Example: If you write historical fiction, is there a costume shop where you can try on clothing similar to your character’s mode of dress?)

P.S. I won’t have Internet access from now until I get home middle of next week. I’d hoped to post more about the conference as it happened, but I’ll tell you about it after I get home. Forgive me if my post is a day late, but I’ll be traveling until just a few hours before my post is due.  🙂  Happy Writing!

Tired but Happy

It is 12:54am on my friend’s DVD player clock. California time. I am awake. Exhausted but awake. My computer says it’s 5:54pm Sydney time. I think this is why I’m awake.

The part of me that’s exhausted after 72-ish hours of fighting jet lag is grumpy. I don’t do well on less than seven hours of sleep a night, and I’ve been getting four to five, tops. But the grumpiness is so overwhelmed by the SHEER JOY of seeing friends, going to my RWA writer’s group (with much hugging), going to my home church (with much hugging), and getting ready for an annual writer’s retreat followed by the RWA National Conference in New York City (enter much, MUCH hugging!) that I’m trying to be chill about the fact that I can barely put a sentence together at various times of the day.  🙂

I’ve tried all the tips and tricks for jet lag and it’s not working fast enough for me. Tonight I’m trying my own idea. I’ve been waking up at 1am for the last few nights, whether I went to bed at 9pm or 11pm, and I’ve been unable to get back to sleep until after 5am. So I decided I’d stay awake till 1am tonight (this morning?) and see if I can sleep the rest of the night.

Oh look! The clock just turned over to 1:01am. Time to try to get some sleep. Even with that stupid bird singing outside the window. Is he from Sydney, too? Sigh. That’s okay, I’ll just keep focusing on how great it is to be doing all these writerly things now that I’m done with my degree!!!



<<wild clapping>>

Looking Forward to My Trip

I can’t believe it’s almost that time, but next week I am DONE with school! And I leave for my trip back to the U.S. the morning after my last class. Sheesh! Talk about cutting it close.

I’m so excited to see all my friends and lots of family. But I’m also enormously excited about the reason I’m going – the big writer’s conference in New York! Of course, the reason I’m going to be gone three weeks instead of one is that I’m blessed to be able to attend two other writers events as well. (Thank you, God!)

The day after I arrive in LA, I get to go see all my friends at the Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers of America. Yay! Should be a good meeting with a great speaker, as well as a great time to see friends I’ve been in touch with only via email for the last two years.

Then the next weekend is a four-day writer’s retreat at my friend Lauraine’s house. We get together every year, usually about a dozen total out of a group of 30 or so, depending on who’s available. This year I asked if there was any chance we could change the time to coincide with my trip – and everyone agreed! I feel so loved.  <grin>  I absolutely can’t wait to get there!

Then after seeing family for a few days, and having a bit of a party with my old Bible study group, I fly to New York! I’ve never been there and I’m sooo excited! As a special birthday gift to both of us, our husbands arranged it so my sister Bonnie can join me for the first weekend there. Double Yay!! Then the big Romance Writers of America National Conference in the Marriott at Times Square. That is so cool! My brain is going to be about ready to explode by the time this trip is over. LOL! But I think I can handle it.

I’ll keep you updated with everything I learn and all that happens!