Okay, so I have a very loose definition of “tomorrow”… *shrug* Click on any of the pictures for a better view.

Friday was a big day at RWA, and I began it by sleeping late. 🙂 Seriously, I’d planned to attend morning workshops, but I was just so beat by the previous two days’ activities to drag myself out of bed before 9:30 AM.

So my first real activity of the day was to attend the Awards Luncheon, which I would not have missed for the world – because the speaker was none other than Eloisa James. And what a speech she gave.

Could @eloisajames be any more gorgeous? on Twitpic

A Washington Post columnist happened to be in attendance, and you can read his summary and reaction here. (Be sure to scroll down and read the comments for a more rounded view of the event.) For me, Eloisa’s main point was that we can’t be afraid to use the drama and humor of our own lives to fuel our fiction. A quote I tweeted from the luncheon went something like this: “Best-sellers are born of strong emotion, not just lots of sex.” 🙂 I can tell you that there was not a dry eye at our table at the conclusion of the luncheon.

After the luncheon, Courtney Milan and I were on a panel with our wonderful agents, Kristin Nelson and Helen Breitwieser, and historical authors Sherry Thomas and Tracy Anne Warren. The topic of the panel was something akin to “How to be an Anomaly”–which, obviously, isn’t really something you can give six easy steps for. But we tried to talk about our query letters and how our agents got editors interested in our manuscripts, and most of all it was just uber-cool to be there, sitting in such esteemed company and looking at the front row full of smiling friends.

Then it was off to my publisher parties–first I swung by the happenin’ Samhain suite, which was absolutely packed with people. Then I caught a ride to the Ballantine/Bantam cocktail party off-site, which was swanky and posh. I couldn’t stay too long, because I had to rush back to the hotel to film a short video interview for future use on the Borders website (woot!), but Jane Litte of Dear Author was my fearless guide on the Metro and helped me get back in time. Friday evening was spent hanging out in the hotel bar, chatting with other authors. Okay, yes — I will name drop. Miranda Neville, Jennifer Haymore, Anna Campbell, Elizabeth Hoyt…awesomeness.

Ready to sign at the RH signing! I'm right across from Suz Br... on Twitpic

Saturday morning began with the Ballantine/Bantam author signing, at which I had a much larger stack of books. Hooray! It was, without a doubt, the most fun hour of my conference. I signed books for readers from Germany, Australia, Azerbaijan…! And also for many dear, dear friends.

After lunch with my editor and agent (which was interrupted by an exciting fire drill! So high school), I actually attended some workshops! And then it was off to get pretty for the RITA and Golden Heart Awards. The historical categories were positively packed with authors I admire and books I loved, so it was impossible to be disappointed. I was excited to text my agent Helen and let her know her client Pam Rosenthal had won for Best Historical. And we were all so excited to see Joanna Bourne win for Best Regency.

At the Ritas! @courtneymilan, Lady Leigh, @careybaldwin, and me on Twitpic

More fun times in the bar ensued…pictured are Victoria Dahl, Tiffany Clare, Courtney Milan, Amy/Carey Baldwin, and Jennifer Echols.
(please note – not all those empty glasses belonged to us!)
In the bar w the girls! on Twitpic

And then a few precious of sleep before packing for the flight home. After a surprise diversion to Tulsa due to storms, I was so glad to get home to Mr. Dare and the darelings–even without my suitcase.

So that’s the insanity and wonderment that was RWA 2009. Can’t wait for next year!

7 comments to “RWA Conference Roundup, Part 2”

  1. Louisa Edwards
    · July 23rd, 2009 at 11:37 am · Link

    Was so cool to finally meet you in person! Sounds like you had as great a week as I did. Already looking forward to next year…

  2. Anna Campbell
    · July 23rd, 2009 at 1:40 pm · Link

    Hey, Tessa, lovely to catch up with you! Can’t wait for Goddess!

  3. Miranda Neville
    · July 23rd, 2009 at 4:30 pm · Link

    Great to meet you in person finally. And that was a fun evening. I just don’t get to hang out in bars as much as I used to 🙂

  4. Elyssa Papa
    · July 23rd, 2009 at 8:57 pm · Link

    It sounds so exciting but so tiring, too. If I was there, I would need lots of chocolate. (Big surprise, right?) It must be so great to have been able to celebrate your first signing with Courtney and Carey and other friends. Yay to a successful workshop, too!

    And ugh on the travel back to CA.

  5. Tiffany Clare
    · July 24th, 2009 at 4:48 am · Link

    It was very exciting to meet so many awesome online friends… and I’d like to reiterate… no, those weren’t our glasses at the table! LOL

  6. Santa
    · July 24th, 2009 at 8:55 am · Link

    It was great to share in the excitement of your fabulous debut, Tessa! GOTH is a marvel and I can’t wait to brag and blog about it wherever and whenever I can.

    Congrats, darlin’!

  7. PJ
    · July 25th, 2009 at 10:47 am · Link

    It was wonderful to finally meet you (and the rest of the bonbons) in person, Tessa and especially fun to come home with a signed copy of GOTH. I absolutely adored this book, which I’m pretty sure will be evident in the blog I wrote for RNTV. I’ll let y’all know when when it will be posted as soon as I find out.

    I’m looking forward to Nashville next year!