Saturday, August 11, 2012

RWA Day 5 - RITA day!

Or otherwise known as glamour day 2!
Saturday we had a slower start, which was really quite nice as I didn't sleep well AGAIN and we'd partied until 1 a.m. Fiona and I met up with my "stalker" Nicole Flockton - Nicole showed up EVERYWHERE I was and then we realized a lot of it was due to the fact that she was in the next ROOM! Anyway Nicole joined us for breakfast, which was great - I really felt like I got to know here a lot better during the week.

Fiona and I both planned to attend the Michael Hauge workshop, but by the time we got there it was sitting on the floor only, and my wardrobe kind of prohibited that. Instead I got a coffee at Starbucks and I caught up with Rula Sinara and we had a long chat in the lobby. It was just the sort of hour I needed, because the rest of the day went in a flash.

I attended the Harlequin Author session at 11; had lunch at the Hilton with the Petticoats and Pistols crew, then went straight to the RITA rehearsal. After a short break, Fi and I left for a meeting off-site, we just got back and I had to get ready for RITA night as I was meeting the Mills and Boon editors at 6 for a light dinner before the main event.
Dinner was lovely - editors Tessa Shapcott, Lucy Gilmour, and my Senior Editor Bryony Green treated fellow finalist Trish Morey and me and it was the perfect thing to occupy our time. I was sooo nervous. I'd be fine and then wham! My tummy would go all funny. Lucy gave me a message from my editor who couldn't come and I tried very hard not to wibble. Our table was in a quiet  corner and it really was a wonderful way to chill out. (During the ceremony I did manage to snap a pic of the screen when my book was announced!)
Before the ceremony I did a "red carpet" segment with Harlequin's Jayne Hoogenberk - you can watch in on youtube on Harlequin's channel. It was so fun and the best segment was Fiona Lowe's who I am sure considers that boomerang very lucky...

Then it was into the ceremony. Sarah Morgan was at our table, along with her editor Lucy; Fiona was my date, Trish Morey was on my other side (we giggled a LOT) and the lovely Yvonne Lindsay beside her, and Starr Ambrose, who I met the first night of my very first conference was seated with us along with her agent and editor. It was just my luck that the Series Contemporary category was second to last for the WHOLE night, so I had a long time to be nervous. But I will confess that when Fiona Lowe won for Boomerang Bride I jumped up and cheered and then with a red face sat down as I had the sudden thought that people might think I was her...I was and am so excited for her. She deserved every bit of success with her big book that could.

Of course the results are no secret now and of course Sarah Morgan won our category for Doukakasis's Apprentice! I have to say that I am so happy for her and that the RITA went to our editorial office (Harlequin in London). After her very glam "photoshoot" with Nora Roberts (okay, will confess to being slightly jealous about THAT), we all moved to the bar for a champagne toast! Ms. RITA got passed around and the mood was definitely jubilant.

Around 11 Fiona and I left for the Samhain afterparty (Fiona was my date - actually, I called her my conference wife. She looked after me so well! I love her.). There was food and free drinks and a dance floor and it was truly just what I needed - something fun and upbeat rather than the inevitable letdown that generally happens after the RITAs and honestly a little more bittersweet for nominees. It was WAY better to go out on a high note.

And seriously - how can a girl feel bad when she has friends like this? This is my favourite picture of the whole conference. When Sarah won the RITA, my phone vibrated. It was Jenna, and she texted "I love you man." Not winning didn't make me get weepy, but that text sure did - and Fiona too, when I showed it to her.

And that was it. We got back to the room around 12:30 and I was up and making a hasty "I need to do this fast so I don't cry" goodbye to Fiona by 6:45. 7.5 hours of flying and 3 hours of delays later, I finally made it home.

It was good to be home. But I'm so glad I went. Next year Fiona has to final so *I* have an excuse to go!


  1. I really enjoyed these stories of how you spent your days at RWA.You went to so much time, effort, and expense, it would have been great if you would have been the winner. :) I think you were a very good sport about it, very "grown up." ha

  2. I've found you!! I'm sorry my stalking has been somewhat quiet the last couple of weeks, I've been on vacation! LOL

    I had an absolute blast getting to know you and your partner in crime Fiona.

    Hoping to get there next year and catching up with you both!

  3. LOL at the red carpet segment-LOVE IT! Jayne is the perfect hostess.

  4. You looked gorgeous on RITA night Donna!!!! Great recaps ... you had a lot of great outfits, that's for sure!!! :)

  5. Isn't Jayne great, Trish? I know we probably confused people with the Chippie thing, but Chippie is her cat and he is awesome. He definitely has Cattitude.

    Nicole - you can be my stalker anytime.

    Thanks Cathy and Cathryn!

    And Nikki - I loved your dress for RITA night! And your magenta one on the Friday. That was GORGEOUS.

  6. It was great getting to catch up with you, Donna! I didn't see you after the ceremony, so I'm so glad you posted a pic here. Love the dress:) You look fabulous!

  7. This article is really great

    GED Online