It’s getting tougher and tougher to get up in the morning. These late night blogs are getting to me, but I brave the morning light and stumble into the bathroom. First up is a breakfast interview with Cathie Linz. Since we couldn’t agree on the civilized time to eat, I headed down at 8. I met up with Sandy Blair, Jo Davis, Tracy Garrett and Suzanne Welsh for breakfast. Interestingly, the conversation centered around the different casseroles you could make from corn on the cob. They didn’t sound half bad.
By nine Cathy was there and we had a great visit. Cathy started the Librarian’s Day 18 years ago and has worked as the library liason for the past 14 years. She was excited because a friend just called to tell her that her book was shown on Fox 6 news. How cool is that?
More booksigning and more free books! Yikes! I left with so many books that I had to keep stopping and readjusting everything. I also was lugging empty boxes to pack them in. Ok, this is the pathetic part, a pregnant woman stopped to help and ending up walking me back to my room. And she was 8 months pregnant! I think I need to look into therapy for this book addiction when a pregnant woman feels sorry for me.
Then on to interview Lisa Kleypas who is as beautiful inside as out. We both are Disney nuts and we talked about the inner secrets of Disneyland (I used to work for Disney, so I know insider stuff…shhh).
I was late for the luncheon, but lucked out by snagging a seat at the front reserved table (my Friday the 13th luck was still with me). The keynote speaker, Lisa Jackson, delighted the crowd as she pulled her "work clothes" out of a bag and put them on over her clothes. This included a well worn nightgown and what she loving called "old dog," a hooded sweatshirt. It was obvious the audience could identify judging by the hoots and applause.
Next up was Anne Elizabeth. I met Anne at the RT convention in April. She had exciting news about being a character in an upcoming Laurell K. Hamilton graphic novel. Anne will be a villian with spikes on her shoulders. She promised to send me the picture so I can post it.
Time to get ready for the big event of the conference, the Golden Heart Awards and the Rita Awards. The Golden Hearts are given to writers who have not yet been published and the Rita awards go to published authors. There are various catagories like Best First Book, Best Long Historical Romance, Best Paranormal Romance and Best Inspirational Romance. This is truly like the Academy Awards. Everyone gets decked out in their finest. There’s special music, voice overs and clever short video stories about veteran authors. It would be great if RWA could add a link to their site with these videos.
Carly Phillips was the host. There are special presenters, the names are read, their pictures cover the large screen, the winner is announced and screams fill the air. Many acceptance speeches are funny, but a lot tug at your heart and there are more than a few tears shed. Linda Lael Miller received the Lifetime Achievement Award. She says, " The joy of bringing one man and one woman together on the printed page is as fulfulling as it was when she got ‘the call’ in 1983." I have to say I was very emotionally touched by the whole ceremony. I had read a lot of the books nominated and don’t know if I could have picked a winner. Congrats to all the nominees and winners!! (Here’s the link for all the winners)
The reception afterwards was a decadent array of delectable desserts.
Bottom Line: Throw in Johnny Depp and this night would have been darn near perfect.
Sandy Blair, Jo Davis, Tracy Garrett, Suzanne Welsh
Me and Daisy (PW bigwig)
Me, Lucienne Diver (agent),Chris Keeslar (editor), Marjorie Liu
Hubby Greg Ellis, Lisa Kleypas, Mel Berger (agent)