Whew. Why did I think I’d be able to blog from RWA National Conference? I don’t think I even cracked open the laptop but once. It was iphone or nothing. But anyway, I am finally home and had such a great time. This was my first conference as a really, truly, almost-all-grownup author! And it ROCKED.

The fun started Wednesday with the Eloisa James/Julia Quinn Bulletin Board get-together, catered by the amazing Kim Castillo (we were enjoying the fruits cookies of her labor all week). Later that day, I had my first-ever book signing at the RWA Readers for Life literacy benefit. I only had about 15 copies there, and they were all gone within minutes, thanks to my wonderful friends. I can’t tell you how touching it was to see people I’ve “known” online for three years show up with hugs and misty eyes to support the release of GODDESS OF THE HUNT. I am so blessed with a wonderful network of friendship and support.
Me at my first RWA signing!! on Twitpic

Thursday started with breakfast with my roomies Courtney Milan and Carey Baldwin, plus…oh…a dozen? of the historical romance genre’s most esteemed authors. Oh my stars – Joanna Bourne, Sherry Thomas, Mary Jo Putney, and several more – all before I’d had my coffee. I may have dreamed it.

After breakfast, I attended the Rogue Digital Seminar presented by Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches Trashy Books, Kassia Kroszer of QuartetPress, Angela James of Samhain Publishing, and Jane Litte of Dear Author, along with authors Maya Banks and Lauren Dane. It was standing room only. These ladies did an awesome job of packing that hour with valuable information on digital rights, e-publishing, the Google Books settlement, and more.

Then it was off to the RWA Annual General Meeting. I can’t claim to understand exactly what all went down at that meeting, but it was fascinating to see the organization at work and very exciting to see that we had achieved a quorum, through proxies and attendance.

The Thursday keynote luncheon address was given by Linda Howard, bless her heart. She delivered absolutely side-splitting speech of anecdotes and advice, delivered in smooth Southern storytelling style. I can’t wait until she visits my chapter this September.

Later that afternoon, I had coffee with my wonderful agent and attended a hilarious and inspiring chat session with the amazing Nora Roberts. Then I caught up with a dozen or so members of the Orange County chapter for drinks in the bar. (Are you beginning to see why I had no time for blogging?)

And then my fabulous friends surprised me with a release party for GODDESS OF THE HUNT!
Awww! My fabulous friends threw me a surprise release party f... on Twitpic

Courtney, Carey, Sara Lindsey, Kim Castillo, and (I’m sure) many more worked to put together an amazing (and surprising!) party for me and many new and old friends from FanLit, Twitter, the online review community, and more. Even my dear Ballantine editor, Kate Collins, came by! Vagabond Lindsey and author Toni Blake were generous enough to offer up their swingin’ suite as the venue, and there was delicious cake, food and drink, and hunting and fishing party games! But I cannot forget the piece de resistance, this poster fashioned by Sara Lindsey:
Check out the poster!! Hm...that "Lucy" looks familiar... on Twitpic

Click on the image to see the whole thing. Sara photoshopped my face onto the GOTH cover. Ingenious, no? And a little disturbing… πŸ™‚

I had a wonderful time and was so touched by all the effort they put into planning such an extravaganza. I love you all! And Lucy and Jeremy thank you.

My goodness…look at the length of this post, and I’m still on Thursday. I’ll be back tomorrow to roundup the fun of Friday and Saturday!


13 comments to “Home at last – RWA Roundup”

  1. Darcy Burke
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    1
    · July 20th, 2009 at 9:31 pm · Link

    So sorry to have missed the fun last week, especially your party. But I was there in spirit! And I’ve already got numerous friends to pre-order your book, bwa ha ha!

    P.S. That Tessa cover is a bit disturbing…



  2. Tiffany Clare
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    · July 21st, 2009 at 4:32 am · Link

    Tessa, the best part of you seeing the poster was your sound of disturbed distress and your expression! Sara did an awesome job on it.



  3. Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe
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    3
    · July 21st, 2009 at 5:13 am · Link

    Hm, how is Sara ever going to top that? What a great poster! I’m so glad your RWA launch went well, but I expected nothing less. With all those stars, you’re going to be a whole constellation!



  4. Tessa
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    · July 21st, 2009 at 1:10 pm · Link

    Darcy, we missed you!! Thanks so much for all your support. πŸ™‚ Hopefully I’ll have cause to visit the Pacific NW this fall and we can meet up!

    Tiff – LOL. I wish I had that sound preserved on video! It was extremely frightening at first, but once I got used to it, it kinda grew on me. It was so fun to finally meet and hang out with you!

    Maggie – all I can say, is…payback will come to haunt Sara Lindsey. You’ve seen her cover, right?



  5. Sarah Tormey
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    5
    · July 21st, 2009 at 1:25 pm · Link

    Tessa, it was a pleasure to meet you in person! Everywhere I turned agents and authors were talking about your upcoming release. Congrats on your amazing success:)



  6. PJ
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    · July 21st, 2009 at 3:08 pm · Link

    Tessa, it was wonderful to finally meet you in person. Congrats on your successful launch of GODDESS OF THE HUNT. The party was great fun but even more exciting was seeing the long lines of people waiting for a signed copy of GOTH. It’s just the beginning of what’s sure to be a brilliant career!



  7. Gannon
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    7
    · July 21st, 2009 at 6:11 pm · Link

    Tessa, it was wonderful to meet you at RWA. I was so thrilled for you and all of the fans waiting to receive an autographed copy of GOTH!



  8. Erica Ridley
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    8
    · July 22nd, 2009 at 7:40 am · Link

    I so wish I could’ve been there! Although by the sounds of it, I wouldn’t have been able to get a signed copy of GOTH without shanking people with a machete. Go Tessa!!!



  9. terrio
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    · July 22nd, 2009 at 11:47 am · Link

    I still can’t believe I didn’t get a copy. You had to be fast and/or cunning. Guess I wasn’t either last week. But at least I get to buy it in a store near me soon!



  10. Janga
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    10
    · July 22nd, 2009 at 12:42 pm · Link

    GOTH is such a special book, Tessa. Not only is the story wonderful in its own right, but also watching its journey to publication has been a delight. Now I’m looking forward to seeing it on bookshelves here so I can recommend it to all the browsers.



  11. Lady Leigh
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    11
    · July 23rd, 2009 at 6:07 am · Link

    Great to see you again, Tessa. I wish we could all get together more often. Only 5 more days until the release!!!! I am already planning my day next week and how many bookstores I can drag my toddler to.



  12. Elyssa Papa
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    12
    · July 23rd, 2009 at 8:51 pm · Link

    It sounds like a fabulous time! And Sara Lindsey is a genius at Photoshop. Did you take the poster home? Yay on GOTH’s soon-to-be release.



  13. Elyssa Papa
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    · July 23rd, 2009 at 8:52 pm · Link

    Um, very soon release!

    :mrgreen: πŸ˜€