Sunday, July 3, 2011

Highlights from New York & RWA!

I've been absent from my blog for quite a while, but there's a very good reason... I've just returned from a looong vacation in fabulous New York that was jam packed with broadway shows, exhibits, tours, and best of all -- meeting authors at the Romance Writers of America conference!

We stayed at the hotel which was hosting the RWA conference and Literacy Signing, so throughout the week I had many close encounters in elevators and in the restaurants with both aspiring and published authors, and I even managed to meet a few new-to-me authors while sitting at the bar sipping an iced tea and hoping to see some famous authors. (I'm not ashamed to admit I'm a woman on a mission... I'll hunt down a big name author! ha!) I spotted Deanna Raybourn and Robyn Carr chatting at a nearby table and got up my courage to stop at her table to tell her that I loved her books. Deanna was delightful and very sweet, just as you would expect....and beautiful to boot.

The highlight of the RWA experience was when I met up with partner in crime and book blogging buddy Julie from Outlandish Dreaming for the Literacy Signing, and that was quite an experience!! Oh, my.....literally hundreds of authors lined up alphabetically in a huge ballroom with their latest books for sale for literacy charities. Julie and I were like kids in a candy store -- a feast of books and authors!! We each had our "must see" authors, but we began with visiting a mutual favorite, Lauren Willig. I had a little gift for her (I made a Pink Carnation bracelet for her with portraits of a few of her books, including Mistletoe, for good luck -- she was nominated for a RITA award for her Mischief of the Mistletoe.) She loved it and told me she would wear it all week for good luck....and was sweet enough to mention it on her blog and facebook page! And I'm happy to announce that she WON the RITA for Best Regency Historical Romance Novel!! Hurray!!
Lauren has a new Pink book coming out in 2012, The Garden Intrigue, and has a short story in an upcoming anthology titled Jane Austen Made Me Do It (Laurel Ann Nattress, editor).

The next big thrill for me was stopping to chat with Deanna Raybourn again. I couldn't wait to get her newest installment of the Lady Julia series, The Dark Enquiry, and I'm looking forward to more Brisbane goodness.

One of my newest favorite authors is Susanna Kearsley, and she was at the top of my "must meet" list. I discovered her books last year and I think I've read all but one of her terrific novels. The Winter Sea and Mariana remain my top favorites, but really all of her books are a wonderful mix of history, suspense, subtle romance, time slip, and adventure. I highly recommend all of her books, and I am very much looking forward to her fall release in the US of The Rose Garden. What a delight meeting her!

There were many other great authors I met such as Colleen Gleason, Tessa Dare, Robin Kaye, Christine Trent, Julie James and so many others! After an hour and half of wandering around a very HOT and stifling ballroom that was deafening with roaring, excited crowds, I was beginning to fade and had to make an exit. I checked out with my book goodies (see sidebar at right for my picks -- I had to exercise restraint as only so much will fit in my packed suitcase.) Julie and author Robin Kaye are longtime friends, so we all met up after the signing to relax at the lounge at the top of the hotel, and then headed out for a late night dinner. Thanks to Julie and Robin Kaye for a great night of fun and book talk!

Julie from Outlandish Dreaming and bestselling author Robin Kaye

New York is such an exciting place to visit, and the sights and sounds that are in my memory from my trip are amazing. We especially loved The Harry Potter Exhibit and all the broadway shows:

Here's a little taste of the Wicked fun!

The haunting opening scene and overture from my favorite, The Phantom of the Opera!

Daniel Radcliffe in How to Succeed in Business

Spider-Man Turn off the Dark -- Really cool Bono music! We were in the balcony and Spider Man practically landed in our lap!

Whew! It's good to be back home, but one thing is for sure.....New York, we will be back!


Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

what a great post! Didn't we have a great time that night at the signing! I can't believe how late it was when I finally got to bed! And how great that Lauren won!!! Your bracelet has magical qualities (but I think Mistletoe would have won anyway - it was so good!) That scene at the Literary Signing was magical and crazy - what a crush in the middle there! Glad to see the pics - glad they turned out well - you look fab, my dear! :)

Unknown said...

Sounds like you had a blast! If I hadn't went to the Historical Novel Society Conference this year I would probably have went to RWA.

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

Oh what a serious fun! I just got back from a conference as well. Tired but amazing.

Joanne said...

Julie -- I remember saying last year after the Poisoned Pen conference meeting Diana and Lauren and saying, "How are we ever going to top this?" Well, I think we topped it!! A really fabulous time, and I can't wait to read your post, as you went on to meet more authors when I pooped out!

Dolleygurl -- The Historical Novel conference is one I would LOVE to go to....that might have to be on my "someday soon" list! Thanks for stopping by!

Hi Pam -- Did you go to a book conference? Hope you enjoyed your trip, but it's good to get home, isn't it?

Yvette said...

Wow!! It looks and sounds as if you had a truly wonderful and dazzling week! I am green with envy. :)

Writers Conferences can be so much fun. I attended the RWA several years ago. But I didn't get a chance to hit the Broadway Shows.
I'm still groaning in despair. Ha!

Great to have you back though.
Thanks for a fabulous update post.

Melissa @ Confessions of an Avid Reader said...

Sounds like you had a fabulous time, Joanne! I'm jealous of all the authors you got to meet, especially Susanna Kearsley.

Didn't you just love Wicked? It's one of my favourite musicals.

Staci said...

Wow!! Dare I say what I'm thinking??? This sounds better than BEA!!!!! I love all of the authors you visited with the exception of Rayburn. I have yet to read her. And might I add that I'm so jealous that you met Susanna Kearsley..I love her!! and Willig too!!

What a great time and thanks so much for sharing!!!!

Joanne said...

Hi, Yvette, Melissa, and Staci -- Thanks so much for dropping in today -- I missed visiting your blogs for the past week (feels more like a month!) I'll have a good time catching up on all your books from the past week. ;)

Anjuli said...

Wow this was a good reason not to be blogging :)-- what a great 'catch up' post, made me feel as though I was 'almost' there with you -- great pics!!

Joanne said...

Hi Anjuli --
My head is still spinning from the sights and sounds of NY -- such a fun family time (my family was very patient with my quest to meet authors, and would even report to me which ones they met in an elevator - the authors all wore name tags!) Thanks for stopping by!

Literary Chanteuse said...

Wow the show looks great! You must of had a good time!

Susanna Kearsley said...

Hi, Joanne! I'm still catching up on my sleep from the conference but just had to say that it was lovely meeting you, too. Hopefully our paths will cross again and we'll have more time to chat, but it was wonderful (especially after my plane delay due to storms, and getting stuck in a cab in the Lincoln tunnel AND rushing in 15 minutes late to the signing..) to find you waiting there to welcome me! Definitely got my conference off to a great start. Thank you.

(P.S. I saw Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark as well, and LOVED it. We were in the flying circle, just below the balcony, so Spidey hung out on our railing, too, which thrilled me no end. He was always my favourite superhero. I've been humming "Rise Above" all week... :-)

Carole Rae said...

Lucky you! That sounded like it was really fun! I've never been to New York.

Joanne said...

Hello, Susanna! What a pleasure to have you stop by my blog today. Meeting you and so many wonderful authors at the Literacy Signing was an unbelievable experience for me! I'm so glad I was organized enough to remember to bring my copy of Mariana to NY for you to was the first book I read by you and I remember saying to myself, "Why am I just finding this author, and how can I get my hands on more of her books?!" So glad Sourcebooks is getting them out to your US readers! Wishing you much success with The Rose Garden!

Joanne said...

Margaret and Carol Rae - Thanks so much for stopping by today...I hope I conveyed how much of an honor it was to meet so many authors....they are my rock stars!

Marg said...

Joanne, you and I seem to have many of the same authors as favourites! I would love to meet Robyn Carr, Deanna Raybourn, and yes, Susanna Kearsley!

By the way, you are in for a treat when you read The Rose Garden! I loved it!

Joanne said...

Hi, Marg! So glad you loved The Rose Garden...I actually thought of you when I met Susanna as I know you are a huge fan of her books as well. (I enjoyed your week long tribute to SK on Historical Tapestry.) Thanks so much for stopping by, and I'll be sure to post my thoughts of The Rose Garden just as soon as I can get my hands on a copy! :)

Favorite Period Dramas

Mount TBR

Joanne's to-read book montage

On a Highland Shore
A Light on the Veranda
The Queen's Vow: A Novel Of Isabella Of Castile
The Edwardians
Maisie Dobbs
Howards End
Lady's Maid
Instruments Of Darkness
When Maidens Mourn
Where Shadows Dance
What Remains of Heaven
Where Serpents Sleep
Why Mermaids Sing
When Gods Die
Before Ever After
The Sugar Queen
Garden Spells
After the Night

Joanne's favorite books »