Virginia Romance Writers

Barbara Vey -- December 14th, 2012
Barbara Vey sign

The beautiful sign outside the party announcing me as a guest. I wish I could have taken it home on the plane.

When the Virginia Romance Writers asked me to do a workshop for one of their meetings, it was a simple yes for me.  My goal is to meet with every RWA chapter in the country.  I’m well on the way.  But when I checked their website, I found out I was scheduled to talk during their Christmas party.  I was sure I had the wrong date.  After offering to come a different date, I was assured that they, indeed, wanted me to talk at their Christmas party.  So, I get to travel to Virginia, meet the authors, talk for a couple of hours and attend a party filled with food and gifts.  Score!!




The get together was held in a park in a colonial style building.  The sun was shining, it was warm  and it was way too nice a day for a Christmas party.  I knew I wasn’t in Wisconsin anymore.  They had a terrific sign welcoming the members.

Virginia RWA officers

Virginia RWA officers Left: Suzy Short, Tracey Livesay, Donna Dalton, Lucy Balch, Alleyne Dickens

Virginia RWA

Virginia RWA members

Although the main focus of my talk was Building Reader Loyalty, there was such an intimate connection with the group that it was soon more like a conversation between friends.  We laughed, we cried, we connected and energized each other.  One of my favorite parts is having someone come up to me afterward and tell me they identified with something I said.

Cathy Maxwell and Barbara Vey

Love this picture! Cathy Maxwell and Barbara Vey

The Virginia chapter also held their awards ceremony thanking members for their service including their part in Lovefest which is the romance part of Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville March 23rd.  In addition, they are now accepting entries for their HOLT Medallion contest through January 31st.  Winners and Merit recipients will also appear in a full page ad in Romance Writers Report and RTBook Reviews magazine.

Tomorrow the Virginia RWA will be participating in the  Celebrate With an Author Book Fair in Richmond, Virginia.  20 authors will be signing books.  I’m telling you, this is one busy chapter.

One of the highlights of the day was the gift exchange.  Everyone was gathered in a large circle holding a gift with Mary Ann Clark in the center.  As Mary Ann read a Christmas story, the women passed the gifts to the right or left as was indicated in the story.  You had to see it to believe it, especially when the family’s name was Wright and their were at least 30 people in the story (I may have exaggerated a little).  Kind of sad, though, that we had to stop a few times because someone would end up with 2 gifts because they had trouble figuring out their right from their left.  It was all in good fun and everyone ended up with terrific gifts.

Bottom Line:  I hope I get a chance to come back and visit this enthusiastic group.  It’s contagious.

75 thoughts on “Virginia Romance Writers

  1. Cathy Maxwell

    Barbara–You made the party! Your enthusiasm for our genre, your insight, and your wisdom was exactly the message we wanted to hear. But you said nothing about our special guest, that hapless man who stumbled into our gathering looking for the toy donation drop off. It was all a great time!

  2. Madeline

    Barbara you were a FABULOUS speaker! I was moved to tears when you spoke about romance giving people hope. There were a lot of times I spent in hospital waiting rooms as a teen and romance novels got me through it all. You don’t know how deeply you touched me with your own story–it’s so similar to my mother’s.

    Thanks also for giving Love Fest a shout out too. Cathy Maxwell has helped me so much with this–she’s amazing! Here’s a link with all the authors that will be appearing at the event & their panels:

  3. Susan Carlisle

    What fun. I love Virginia. What a lovely place to go during December. I’m sure they all enjoyed hearing from you also.

  4. Jinny Kirby Baxter

    Barbara, your presentation was so inspiring and fun. I hope I get to hear you again some time! The message you brought needs to go out to so many people. While it would be good for author sales, it would be even better for women who need that place to go where they become a lovely young lady in love, with a guaranteed happy ending.

  5. Tina Glasneck

    It was wonderful having you as a speaker at our Christmas party. You had us laughing, learning about the importance of believing in ourselves and how romance makes a difference. Thank you so much for speaking with us and reminding us that what we do is indeed beautiful.

  6. Wendy Brame

    Barbara! We had so much fun. Sometimes, when I’m writing, I get into this funk where I think: Why in the world would anyone care about my characters and their story? You were so inspiring. You gave me an answer to my question. ;) Thank you for that… enjoy your escape to Florida. Sincerely, Wendy

  7. Sandy Raven


    Thank you so much for coming down and speaking to us. We had so much fun, and you are such an amazing survivor. You are truly an inspiration for everyone.

    Please come back to visit. We’ll even try to *arrange* for another hot guy to interrupt our party if you’d like!

    Many blessings to you and yours!

    Sandy Raven

  8. stephanie

    It was lovely to have you with us and we hope you’ll come back.

    I’m with Cathy… isn’t there a picture of the guy that crashed the party:)

    1. Cathy Maxwell

      There is on my FB page. I’ll share with you, Barbara . . . but I seem to remember you taking a pic or two. He had a great sense of humor (of course, he beat feet away from us pretty fast at the end . . .and we were on our best behavior!).

  9. Mary Ann

    Barbara dear! Now do you see why we defintely wanted you to speak at our party?! You were our centerpiece and set the mood for a wonderful event. Please come back anytime and share more of your insights. Hugs and happy holidays.

  10. Donna

    Barbara, I had a wonderful time both Friday and Saturday. You are so much fun to be with, and you showed me that it’s okay to put yourself out there. I shall always carry some form of promo wih me wherever I go. Thanks for showing me the way! Enjoy your visit to Floridia. You deserve it.

  11. Donna Frelick

    Now you see why after four years at Beloit College in Wisconsin I scurried back down below the Mason-Dixon line–warm weather, nice folks and hot guys walking in off the street! Thanks so much for making our Christmas party/meeting special and fun!

  12. Allyson Johns

    LOVED meeting with you, Barbara! It was a fun, hopeful, interesting, invigorating, and sentimental talk. Thank YOU for sharing personal stories that give others hope.

  13. Jacqueline Seewald

    Hi, Barbara,

    Virginia Romance Writers sound like a warm and friendly group! I don’t usually enter contests, but the HOLT has such a fine reputation, I decided to submit my own romantic suspense novel Death Legacy and will keep my fingers crossed.

  14. Tracey Livesay

    It was such a pleasure hearing you speak at our meeting. I’d heard wonderful things about you; in fact, I was quite nervous meeting you. (You: Hi, I’m Barbara. Me: Hi, I’m Barbara. I mean, Tracey.) But you quickly put me at ease and I saw why everyone who meets you loves you.
    Thank you for bringing that to Virginia Romance Writers. As the comments above attest, we were all moved by the experience. :-)


  15. Pamela K. Kinney

    Sorry to be late replying, but this was my crazy weekend. Now I can rest and check out this blog. You were w great speaker and gave us much to think about from a reader’s viewpoint. We were all thankful for your insights and to meet you. :-)

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    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thanks, However I am encountering troubles with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I can’t join it. Is there anybody getting identical RSS issues? Anyone who knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  17. Laurin Wittig


    I was so sorry not to make it to the party. I’ve heard you speak a few times now and your passion for the genre always shines through. I’m looking forward to the next time our paths cross!

  18. Leah St. James

    I knew I’d miss a great time when I realized I had to attend hubby’s office party that day instead of joining my VRW buddies to hear you speak, but after reading this, I’m doubly (no triply) sorry! (This would have been so much more fun!) So glad everyone had such a wonderful time.

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