Friday, August 03, 2012

RWA12 - Day 1 and 2

As promised - here's the beginning of my RWA adventures!

I left Halifax early Tuesday morning. I arrived at the airport an hour before my flight. Well, 50 minutes. I thought I'd have lots of time. But because I was going through the US, I was very nearly panicked when I realized they had closed the check in for my flight. I was quickly told I would have to go to the counter and RE-BOOK. And I'm thinking...but the flight doesn't leave for 45 minutes and OMG OMG OMG.

Thankfully a wonderful man in a United uniform said it might not be too late, checked me in, directed me to customs and security. And because there was NO line at either, I spent half an hour waiting for boarding. Yep, hurry up and wait. Argh! Anyway, I got to Newark without incident, killed a few hours at the airport before getting on the flight to Orange County. I also read 3 1/2 books on the flights out!

I got to the hotel and checked in, texted my roomie Fiona Harper from our balcony, and less than an hour later there she was! Wooo! We caught up briefly, thought we might check in at the conference registration desk, but it was closed. What to do? Well, we went to the patio bar and found Heidi Rice, Abby Green, and Sharon Kendrick. A glass of wine was just what the doctor ordered. Unfortunately the second glass wasn't, and with the time difference it made dinner with Jenna Bayley-Burke and others a bit of a surreal experience.

Fi and I hit the sack, and on Wednesday morning she zipped off early for some Disney adventures and I registered, caught up with some peeps in the Starbucks over breakfast, and wandered to Harlequin's Digital Day where I got an analysis of my website, then did a Goodreads session which answered a few questions I had about effectiveness of ads etc.

The rest of Wednesday was crazy busy. After an early lunch with Barb Wallace, I hit the Women's Fiction Mini Con, doing a workshop with Margie Lawson and then listening to an author panel. I had to leave half way through the agent/editor panel as I had to zip over to the Convention Center for the Literacy for Life signing. What a great time! I sat beside Margaret Mallory, who was totally the swag Queen. I met Jennifer Haymore for the first time in person as she was at the same table, and I totally LOVED meeting Deanna Raybourn, who I kept seeing all conference and who ended up being one of the very best things about conference. As she put it - every year you seem to meet ONE person that you're just so glad you connected with. Here we are at the Lit signing holding our RITA flags!

My chaptermates Nikki McIntosh (A GH finalist!) and Tara MacDonald stopped by - here we are all together!

After the signing, it was straight to the Booksellers' Best Awards. The Detroit RWA Chapter puts on such a nice event - finger goods and a bar and even though it's an awards ceremony it's actually a nice way to wind down the evening. My pal Michelle Willingham was nommed as well, so the UK editors came with us and after it was over we ended up catching up for a few minutes.

And then it was off to the legendary pizza party thrown by Sandra Marton. This is the first time I've been able to attend. Around 10:30 Fiona and I headed to our room, as we'd been up since FOUR in the morning. The jetlag, by the way, was horrendous (and I've slept and slept and slept since I got back!).

There are more pictures with the next post as more group STUFF happened. Stay tuned, I'll be back after the weekend with day 3.

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