I spent last week at the RWA® National Conference. This is primarily a business and education meeting for authors who are members of RWA® (Romance Writers of America). The Literacy Signing that kicks off the conference is the only event open to the public. It pulls together hundreds of romance authors in support of literacy charities. It is an event not to be missed, if you ever have the opportunity. Be prepared for crowded aisles of author after author and books everywhere. This year I went with a mission to search out autographed copies of books for friends, meet a few authors I adore, and to relish the love of books that abounds. Mission accomplished!
Workshops and education are a big part of the conference, but this year my goals revolved around networking, so I got to spend more time meeting and talking with authors. Fun! One of the authors I got to connect with, was Jenna Bennett. Last year I reviewed her debut SFR, Fortune’s Hero , and that spurred a chain of events that has led to a great new friendship. We talked about her SFR series and her mysteries, written as NYT bestselling author Jennie Bentley.
I also got to meet the cool new author, Sonali Dev. She and I are represented by the same literary agent so I met her at the agency party. It was my first ever agency party – woot! Sonali’s debut novel The Bollywood Bride will be published by Kensington in November 2014 and will be followed by The Bollywood Bad Boy in 2015. I can’t wait to see what they do with her book covers.
Lucky me, also got a rare invite to a publisher party. These parties are held by publishers strictly for their own authors. Fortunately, this year Grand Central Publishing allowed authors to bring a plus one and my awesome friend, the wonderfully funny and talented author Abigail Sharpe let me ride in on her coattails. It was there that I met SFR author KM Fawcett among others. Her novel, Captive, came out earlier this year. Go, go SFR!
I just realized that if I try to name every cool author I met during the conference this will get to be a very long post, so maybe what you all want to know is that – yes – I did pick-up a ton of new books some of which may soon be reviewed on the blog. I also connected with some authors and publishers to let them know we are open to review copies, so hopefully we will continue to get more books for our reviewers in the coming months.
The only SFR and PNR news I can offer is that publishers are still taking chances on SFR though they don’t seem to accept that it will be the next big thing. More like their editors love it and keep hoping the rest of us will buy it. PNR is still alive but, according to industry insiders, it is no longer growing. At least for now. The hot new thing is new adult romance…but you all knew that. It happens with readers first, after all. After much hesitation, I am now looking for new adult recommendations, both SFR and Contemporary. I came back from the conference feeling out of touch for not having read the genre.
I could go on forever, but let’s see if there is anything special you’d like to hear. So… what else can I tell you?