After an 18 hour day I am beat! I started my day in New York City with 3 hours of sleep under my belt and 2 empty bags. I ended it with the bags completely full, my feet sore, and my mind all a jumble. …Yes, I'd say it was a great day at this years Beau Mon/RWA Nationals con :)
Nationals this year is CRAZY! Now I say that understanding that con is always chaotic- but this year we have SO many people stuffed into the Hilton it's scary. The list of authors signing was 9 full pages in my 11 point Times font, and every room in the hotel has been booked for months. We have taken over ALL the men's bathrooms on the 2nd and 3rd floor conference areas, and whenever I walk the streets within a 1 mile radius of 6th and 53rd St. I see women with romance novels!
Although the con kicked off today, I spent my time at the Beau Monde Conference. The Beau Monde is the Regency chapter of RWA that supports Regency and Regency authors. The muttering on the hill is that the Regency is "dead" or "dying". Regina Scott, the new head of PR, informed us that the Beau Monde was setting out to prove these rumors wrong. She has an uprising planned! A revolution if you will, of authors and readers banning together to promote the genre. She also announced that The Beau Monde has hired their very own market research team to get accurate statistics on JUST the Regency market.
After the usual business was taken care of, Julia Quinn started us off with an excellent key note address on how she wishes she was an organized person. Just like her writing she was fun and witty. I almost fell on the floor when she listed off her 4 rules of writing – her first being that you NEVER set up your computer within reaching distance of the fridge! If I can get a transcript of the speech I will be sure to post it here.
I next sat in on Candice Hern's workshop on Regency Ladies Magazines that was, to say the least, one of the MOST interesting workshops I have ever sat in on. Candice Hern is an amazing author, but what many don't know is she is an avid historian and artifact collector. If you haven't already, be sure to stop by her website at candicehern.com to read her articles and see the images she has of her collection.
After that I took a bit of a break so that I could run over to the Goodie Room. I am sad to say that you could see how the publishing industry is floundering by the sheer lack of "stuff" in the room this year! Being in NYC I assumed that the Goodie Room was going to be huge- at least as big as Washington DC 3 years ago. Boy was I wrong! The room was the size of my 1 bedroom apt's living room and had virtually nothing. All the books were old books that I purchased a few months ago, or small excerpts from soon to be published books. I did get an entire set of "Secrets" an erotica series I have been DYING to get my hands on, but I'm sad to say that was all that I picked up.
A little depressed, and thinking about what was happening to the industry I trudged down the hall and sat in my next workshop. This one was hosted by Regina Scott and she enlightened all of us on what the heck parliament was like in the Regency. She explained it all from who's who to what it did. Absolutely fascinating! I took a ton of notes so look for an article on Rakehell soon!
Lunch was next and very nice. I can't eat much due to allergies, but I was very happy with the meal and everyone around me seemed more than satisfied, which was good because the most strenuous part of the con was coming next!
Gail Eastwood spoke for 45 min on Regency dance. Then she showed us all how to do it. She has a ton of info on this subject, and I will be sure to share it with all of you once I get home. Right after this I went over and queued up for the highlight of everyone's day, the Literacy Signing. Picture this: 3000 women, 800 authors, one room with a LOT of books…I think you get the picture! It was a mad house. It was heaven. I can't stress enough how important the RWA Literacy Signing is. Not only does it give readers and authors a chance to see each other and talk, but as you walk down the rows and ROWS of authors with their books you can't help but find a few new faces to add to your ever growing pile. Even with the 2 hour wait to BUY the books, women would walk up to an author they had never read ask about their book and then buy a signed copy. It's so hard to NOT buy the books when the author is sitting all alone, her books piled up around her, and that forlorn look replaced by excited expectation as you walk over. *shaking head* I know I can't say no! But I must say that I have found some excellent authors that way :)
The signing ended at 8pm officially but I didn't get out of there until 9:30. It's now 11:30 and I am off to bed so I can start again tomorrow!