TGIF: Two days of sex, passion and books …

This weekend the New Jersey Romance Writer’s Conference, (NJRW) whose theme is “Unleash Your Passion,” happens and I’ll be there.

I’m looking forward to the lineup of guest speakers and presenters, which includes best-selling authors Sabrina Jeffries, Heather Graham, Susan Wiggs and husband and wife team, Jim and Nikoo McGoldrick.

There will workshops for writers at all levels, some include:

  • Using POV to create emotionally powerful scenes
  • The Core of Romance
  • Women’s Fiction: Hitting the Genre’s Sweet Spot (see, told you there’d be sex!)
  • E-pub, Self-publishing, Marketing and Selling the book and the Future of Publishing for the Writer

There are also editor/agent appointments for those pitching their books, a Literary Book Fair, where authors sign their books for their fans, and most of all, networking opportunities.

I’m not pitching a book this year. However, I will be handing out business cards (which ALL authors should have–yet to be published and published) and networking. I’ve met some of the most fantastic people at these types of conferences, not only as supporters of my work, but as friends.

The NJRW conference will also have a professional photographer on site to take studio and environmental portraits. Need a new head shot for your book or Web site? Say cheese!

While I’m there, I’m going to take a trip to Barnes and Noble, which is only 10 minutes from the conference location. There are a couple of new books I want to pick up.

    I find J.K Rowlings’ adult book,“The Casual Vacancy”very intriguing. It’s also on Nook, so I will be making my e-book purchase!

    Ken Follett’s,“Winter of the World” (part of the Century Trilogy), which is on Nook as well! Yippee!

    Actor and Director Penny Marshall’s, book “My mother was Nuts,” looks hysterical.

    I couldn’t buy books without including a Romance novel. “Return to Willow Lake,” by Susan Wiggs, one of the conference speakers, is on my list to buy. It’s on NOOK as well. However, I may purchase this at the conference, so that I can get Susan to sign it! Perfect timing!

By the way, the authors signing at the Literary Book Fair donate a portion of their proceeds to literacy. Nice, huh?

I’m taking a bag large enough to transport all my new books—those I plan to buy and those I don’t!

Have a great weekend. See you Monday.

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Tossing Caffeine

200177044-001I am not a morning person—never have been, probably never will be.

Normally, I need a cup of coffee to start my day. (Yeah, I know what’s been said … it’s all in my head.) But there are times when I friggin’ amaze myself.

The day of my pitching appointment at the Romance Writers of America Conference in Washington, D.C., was one such day. I purchased a cup of coffee for $3.00, took two sips and tossed it.

Yes, just shoot me. I tossed caffeine down the drain because I was too nervous to drink it. I was wired—naturally.

I did something else that shocked the hell out of me. I sat in the front row. I’m a middle type of person. I sit in the middle of the row, in the middle aisle, in the middle of the room. I don’t like weather that’s too hot or too cold, average—middle. I open rolls or packs of candy in the middle.

But I actually made a conscious effort to sit in the front row, and wait for my appointment time to be called. Deep. And a sign of sheer panic.

But then it was my turn, and the panic morphed into determination, professionalism and a desire to succeed.

I wanted to make a good impression, to present my book and to give those ten minutes of my life the care and attention it deserved. After all, it was my only opportunity to make a good first impression.

The editor was gracious and friendly. She put me at ease immediately. She made my ten minutes of pitching, meaningful and worthwhile. She commented on how passionate I was about my book through my brief description. I was pleased that I exhibited excitement about my work. She liked elements of my book and about nine minutes into the interview, the editor requested a partial submission.

Elation beyond words.

Before attending RWA, I read a lot about the do’s and don’ts of pitching. I’m glad I followed the advice of agents, editors, and friends who are published authors. More important, I’m glad I listened my own advice to get over the nervousness, and follow Nike’s message—JUST DO IT.

After my interview, I sat in the middle of my bed in the hotel room, savoring another cup of coffee and staring at the editor’s business card.

Friggin’ amazing.

RWA National Conference … Rejuvenating

I’ve returned from the Romance Writers of America (RWA) National Conference, rejuvenated and ready to continue writing. There were so many workshops to choose from, but so little time to try them all. (Four days isn’t nearly enough time!)

Career, Craft, Publishing and Writer’s Life were just a few of the workshop tracks offered. There were special workshops, and spotlights on individual publishing houses, and what they’re seeking regarding submissions. And if you want to feel intensity, try pitching your book to an agent or editor within a ten minute timeframe. Whew!

I met so many new friends, and like I mentioned earlier, hung out with some very dear friends. Although I’m rejuvenated, I’m tired as you know what. So, I fill you in on more happenings tomorrow. I hope to have a few pictures to post. I had a great time, but it’s always nice to come home.