Friday was just as busy. On Friday morning I attended a workshop given by Trish Milburn & Mary Fechter. The workshop was on surviving being unpublished. Of course, they had a snappier title that, unfortunately, isn't coming to me at the moment. They did an awesome job and compared writing to baseball. Starting out in t-ball, little league, minor league, & going pro. Each step of the way, you're gaining skills & experience that will see you through your published career. I've often thought of being unpublished as my educational period--like college. You put your time in to gain the knowledge needed to make you successful in your chosen career. Goodness knows I put enough educational time in for my Masters in Nursing (& my patients are thankful I did. ;) , why should writing be different? I think their point was more to take advantage of opportunity and prepublished time is an opportunity to learn.I also went to a Bantam Dell spotlight & an Avon one. The one thing that struck me as different from past spotlights is that the market trends seem to be shifting back toward historicals--westerns in particular. Several mentioned recent western purchases.
At lunch, I went with the Wet Noodle Posse to the mall's food court. Ah, finally time to sit down & chat with noodlers. We were all spread out (mostly in Atlanta Bread Company), so chatting with everyone was difficult, but I got some chat time in with Sandy Blair, Priscilla Kissinger, Mary Fechter, Karen Potter, Esri Albritten, & Trish Milburn. After lunch...I went to some publishing spotlights, including Dorchesters. Was super cool to see my pal Gemma Halliday's SPYING IN HIGH HEELS cover up on the screen. I adore this book & read it while she was writing it--let me tell you, ya need to read this book. It's fun! During the spotlight I got to see Brooke Bourneman--what a sweetie & Brianna Yamashita, who both work for Dorchester. Brooke & Brianna have both been wonderfully helpful & supportive--as have the others from Dorchester that I've met. Dorchester has some fabulous people who work there.
Rushed to my room, chatted with Kath & Beth a few minutes then rushed off to the Dorchester party. My pal Lindsey Brookes chased me down to take a picture of me in my dressy dress. My inner being came out though & the photo literally looks like a heat sensor photo in a long black dress. I'm not even gonna try to figure that one out.
At the Dorchester Party, I got to visit with this year's American Title winner Gerri Russell, Gemma Halliday, & made a new pal in Jana DeLeon (I can't wait to read RUMBLE ON THE BAYOU, becasue this lady is FUNNY! & if her writing is anything like her, she's going to be a mega star!). We shared a lot of laughter.
Michelle Buonfiglio attented the party & looked quite spiffy, but then she did every time I saw her. Next year I'm going to let Michelle do my conference clothes shopping. ;) My editor, Leah Hultenschmidt, recently got engaged & the Dorchester author went together and got her some awesome gifts & a gift card. Leah was surprised--what fun!
After the party, I was heading back into the hotel with Gerri & we ran into some friends who are also with The Knight Agency. Next thing I know, my agent grabs my arm & says to come on, that we're going to the Harlequin party over at the Ritz Carlton. Who am I to argue, right? ;) I had an absolute blast hanging with TKA & clients. We danced and laughed and had a great time. After about an hour, I ran into Kath, Tawny Weber, & Stacey Lynn & then danced with them.
We shut the party down at 1 AM, then piled in a taxi (literally) to go back to our hotel. OMG. The party rocked. Kath & I snuck back into our hotel room, trying not to wake Beth, but then we got the giggles and lay in bed talking half the night. Made me think back to Jr. High days & chatting the night away.