So, I'm back from RWA in Reno. Or at least my body is back. My mind is still in that stunned, post-conference limbo where I really, really want a nap but it still seems like I ought to be running to another meeting! In a nutshell, here's Amanda's Conference Experience:
1) Wednesday--the Beau Monde conference. This was very good, interesting workshops, fun people, way more cake than is good for me at the afternoon tea. Luckily for me, since I tend to get nauseous when I have to speak in front of a group, my workshop was early and I had the rest of the day to heckle, er, listen politely at other workshops. The literacy signing was a zoo, as always, but there was a bar (whoever thought of that was GENIUS), and I sold several copies of Lady Midnight. Some even to people I don't know. The Beau Monde soiree was a hoot, also as always, though I discovered that people now expect me to show up in a new Regency gown, since I did so at the last 4 soirees. This year I wore a modern evening dress and let them down. I'll need an extra-fab ensemble next year.
2) Thursday--I started the day right with a workshop on period sword fighting (very helpful for the upcoming duel scene in the Venice book), then went wrong by meeting a friend for a drink at 11. There's a reason people of Irish descent should not drink in the morning. But I was nicely giddy (and way too chatty) for lunch. That night--the National Reader's Choice Awards reception (I won!! And there were flaming desserts and champagne! The perfect party, IMO). Then more drinks with the editor. You see where this is all going, right?
BTW, at this point can I just say I have discovered I am NOT a casino person. The flashing lights, the smoking, the noise of the slots--yuck. But meanwhile, back at the ranch...
3) Friday--a PAN workshop on interpreting (and finding out) your numbers. Way too early in the morning for math (see champagne and flaming desserts above). Then Spotlight on NAL--not enormously helpful, no new news, but the people behind me were having a fascinating conversation on the recent contract travails of one of them. For a nosy-noserson like me, eavesdropping at conferences in usually more fun than whatever "official" is going on. That night--publisher party. Tiny room, very loud, too hot, free drinks. 'Nuff said.
Did you know that one of the bars at the Reno Hilton has a special called Margarita Madness? Four dollar margaritas. Should be called Tool of the Devil Express. Again, that's all I'm saying. But I am glad to know I'm not the only author with a Hello Kitty obsession.
4) Saturday--must have fresh air! So, I go to Tahoe for lunch with some friends. Gorgeous, gorgeous place. It helps me unwind a bit before the Nerves and Nausea Fest that is my pre-Rita ceremony state. I couldn't eat at all at the nice banquet, because then my gown wouldn't fit and I would get sick anyway. But by the time we sit through all those god-awful film clips, and my category actually comes to be called, the boredom has stupified my nausea. I lose (of course), but Sophia Nash, a good friend and very classy lady, wins, so I don't have the heart to be too jealous or snarky.
So, all in all, I'm not sure how much I gained out of it all on a professional level (though it always seems good to get in my publisher's face whenever possible!). But I heard some good news, and also some depressing news. I heard LOTS of gossip, and got to wear lots of evening gowns. This counts for much to a clothes freak such as myself, especially when my everyday world just calls for t-shirts and capris. Mostly, I just had lots of fun catching up with friends and then being able to call it "networking". That makes my CPA happy. And I only lost $1 at the slots. That DEFINITELY counts for something. :)