It’s been just over a year since I received The Call and was inducted into the Harlequin family. I not only found myself part of the large welcoming community of this publishing superpower, but also part of a smaller, but non-the-less amazing group of women- Medical Romance authors.
Not a day goes by without some kind of contact, an email, some information, a question, advice… and I soon discovered this diverse group of writers were fast becoming (albeit online) friends.
So it was fabulous to actually meet some of them face-to-face at my first RWA conference in Anaheim, Orange County. Traveling from tiny New Zealand to a conference with over 2000 women was a bit daunting so it was nice to have a few familiar names I could seek out.
We’d shared so much about our trials and tribulations, lives etc, but knew little about each other. We had formed impressions, shared laughs and a few tears, but really? How would we get on?
No problem. Meeting these lovely ladies was how I imagined meeting a long time penpal would be. After a few minutes in their company I discovered they were all as warm and funny and spirited as their stories.
So just in case you wondered what happens at one of these romance writing conferences here’s a few photos of our adventures!
First up was a Heartbeat lunch on Wednesday. ‘Heartbeat’ is the RWA chapter for Medical Romance enthusiasts.
Wednesday evening was the literacy signing event- where 400 plus authors signed books for readers for charity-we made over $50,000!
Of course editors are huge parts of our lives, so it was great fun to meet three of our Mills and Boon editors from the UK office too- and they took us out for lunch on Thursday!
As you can see the weather was very kind to us! And the food was divine!
All the food I ate over the week was delicious- but in huge portions! Talk about supersize me! When I first arrived I was embarrassed to be sending half back because I just couldn’t eat it all…but by the end of the week I was asking for seconds!
We drank mimosas and ate italian antipasto and talked and talked and talked.
And then we talked some more.
Oh- and throughout all of this we had workshops with esteemed authors and experts in every field of writing and beyond (I went to one particularly interesting- but very gory- lecture by an ER doctor complete with slides of gunshot wounds and head injuries).
Friday evening was the Harlequin Ball (aka disco) where your trusty medical romance authors danced the evening away- and I mean ALL EVENING! (Those american women sure can dance!!) I have blisters on my blisters!!!
And finally the RITA awards. Think Oscars for romance writers. The highlight of the week!
We had two medical authors nominated for awards (not for their medical books, though)…Sarah Morgan and Fiona Lowe. And they both won! The cheers almost brought down the roof! We are all so proud of their wonderful achievement.
Sadly I don’t seem to have photos of either Fiona McArthur or Carol Marinelli but they were with us too- gorgeous as ever!
So I’ve been lucky enough to meet most of the Aussie, Kiwi and US medical authors, next stop- Britain (I wish!)…
Have you ever met up with someone you met online? How did that work for you?