Romance Writers Unite!

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Chocolate versions of the Rita Award

I think most writers would agree that the process of writing a book is not only personal, it’s solitary. While my baby is bubbling in my head, it’s hard to share it, especially with a non-writer who doesn’t understand the technical balance between character, plot, and the need for conflict. It’s a whirlwind of puzzle pieces that have the potential of being assembled in a thousand different ways.  The process of choosing which configuration best maximizes the tension and brings out the most emotion in a story is delicate and has to be done one tiny step at a time.  For me, it’s time consuming, exhausting, and something I take very seriously.

So, imagine my pleasure at attending the Romance Writers of America Convention in New York City last week.  Literally thousands of romance writers came together to talk about all those puzzle pieces, to make connections with other writers that last long after the conference is over, and to learn more about the craft of writing.  It was wonderful to indulge in those conversations that make non-writers think you’re nuts.

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My daughter and I at the Awards Ceremony

For me, it was especially fun because I shared it with my daughter. She joined me for the last couple days of the conference and got a glimpse of what writers are like in an environment where we can let our hair down and talk about all those things others just don’t get.

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Me with Jill Shalvis

But the conference isn’t only about writing. It’s a time to be a reader, too. So many of the legends in our field attended the conference, it was hard not to go a little fan-girl. Nora Roberts, Lisa Kleypas, Robyn Carr, Jill Shalvis, Julia Quinn, Roni Loren, Kristan Higgins, and so many others attended this year. It’s surreal to see them walking the halls of the convention center, willing to share their time and experience with anyone who approaches. To me, that’s the most amazing thing about the

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Me and Robyn Carr

convention–the complete and utter willingness romance writers have to help and encourage their fellow writers.  Frankly, without the RWA and the first convention I attended, I don’t think I would have ever finished my first book.

So, I’m back home now, completely energized and eager to get back to work.  I’m still hoping to get the next book out this Fall, but there’s so much to do!  I guess I better get to it.  : )

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