What a great hotel for the Wisconsin Romance Writers’ Conference. First they had free cocktail hour Friday night (white wine spritzer for me) and Saturday morning a a cooked to order free breakfast and buffet. I may never go home.
The workshop sessions started with Mary Jo Putney who talked about how stories mattered. She said, “The best time to be a writer is when you’ve just sent in a book. Then you have about a week to rest. And went on to say, “Women read romance for the sizzle. Life is chaotic, it’s nice to go into a book where everything works out.”
The Awards Luncheon featured tailgate party fare with brats, hamburgers, salad, pickles and all the fixings. The winners from the Fab 5 contest were recognized and WisRWA paid special tribute to author Ana Leigh by giving her their first Lifetime Achievement Award. Ana has written 31 books in 28 years. Being hailed a long time mentor, Ana insisted that she was the student and the other members were the teachers, keeping her young. She attributes her gray hair, drooping eyes and body falling about on the fact that she hasn’t been able to attend an RWA meeting in several years.
Cathy Maxwell told the group attending her Voice Your Writing Personality workshop that voice has to do with personality. The voices move around in your head and you need to put it on paper so everyone can see and hear what you want them to.
Keeping with the midwestern flavor, the afternoon snack was all about State Fair with cotton candy, popcorn, soda and cream puffs. The only thing missing were the farm animals, which was ok by me.
The literacy signing was held in the lobby of the hotel, right next to a wedding’s cocktail hour. It was also right next to the bar for happy hour which brought hotel guests right to the authors. Pretty clever.
Everyone broke off for dinner on their own in groups. We went to Champps and it was packed as fans watched the Brewer game on the many TVs covering every inch of wall space in there. Unfortunately, they lost. But the management then announced that WisRWA was in the house and so was New York Times Bestselling Author Cathy Maxwell, who stood up and took a bow. Then the male waiters came around with lon stemmed red roses for all of the writers (and they even gave me one). It was a beautiful sight.
The night ended with a party in the Hospitality Suite that featured brandy slushes, appetizers, snacks and homemade desserts. I was particularly fond of the butter cookies dipped in chocolate.
Bottom Line: I’m still paying for the mistake of dipping my shrimp in hot sauce that looked exactly like shrimp sauce.