I knew that C.S. Lewis and I had more in common than our Christianity when he said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." Welcome to a celebration of faith, tea, and the written word. I'm always engaged in a book, and whether it's one I'm reading or one of the inspirational historical romances I write, there's always a cup of tea close by. Join me in a cup as we chat about faith, our favorite books and the exciting places our reading and writing adventures take us.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

RWA: First Conference but Not My Last!

Romance Writers of America's annual National Conference (held in Anaheim, California) has been over for a full week, but I'm still catching up on my laundry, emails, and my sleep! What a great first experience for a conference.

I had some idea what to expect, but boy was I glad to have a few friends there to meet me: fellow Inkwell Inspirations contributors Anita Mae Draper and Suzie Johnson. We met up at Disneyland before the conference and had a blast.

Photo: Suzie, Susie & Anita in our 3d glasses after the Disneyland attraction, Star Tours.
Wearing our 3-D glasses after "Star Tours," L-R: Suzie Johnson, me, and Anita Mae Draper
They made great roommates, too.

The first thing I did at conference was attend the annual meeting of the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter. Worship and fellowship truly set the tone for my conference experience, and I loved meeting other FHL members.

In fact, some prayed with me before my pitch appointment with an editor, and Anita Mae waited for me so we could process how things went. I couldn't believe others would give of their valuable time for me, when there were so many other things they could be doing.

Right after my pitch appointment, with authors Debby Giutsi, Anne Barton, Sandra Leesmith, Anita Mae Draper! Sweet, talented ladies.

(By the way, pitching my Regency manuscript went well, and I'm busy editing/polishing it so I can get it out!)

In addition to making new friends and pitching my story, I attended the literacy book signing, the PRO-Writers retreat on legal issues, publisher spotlight events, an update on the inspiratinal market, workshops on craft, and book signings. I had a great time at the Harlequin signing, meeting some fabulous inspirational Love Inspired writers like Renee Ryan, Terri Reed, Leonora Worth, Winnie Griggs, and Janet Tronstad--they were all so friendly and kind.

I could not resist the opportunity to meet Nora Roberts, either. (As my husband said, "Even I know who she is.") I picked up a copy of her J.D. Robb-penned suspense anthology and she was kind enough to pose for pictures. Too cool!

And throughout it all, I met writers. In lines, at workshops, at the meals, in the elevator. Sometimes we exchanged business cards and I look forward to connecting with some these ladies.

I can't wait to attend another big conference. So here's to starting a new piggy bank fund.

But in the meantime, I've got a manuscript to edit!


Niki Turner said...

First of all, I am SO excited that you got to meet Suzie and Anita in person!
Second of all, you are one of those TINY people, aren't you?
Third, I am going to have to spend some time repenting for being envious of your pic with Nora Roberts!
And last, THANK YOU for sharing!!! : )

Susanne Dietze said...

Niki, I can't wait to meet you in person, too. And with all her RITA noms, I'm sure NR will be back at RWA every year and you can meet her next time around!

Thanks, Niki. :)

Susanne Dietze said...

Oh Niki PS...not so sure about Tiny. One woman who met me said she thought I'd be a lot shorter.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Great post, Susie. You were a fantastic roomie! Love your cooperating and giving spirit. You can room with me any time.

Thank you for including me in that sweet and talented group. Right back atcha!

Giving of my time to pray with you before your appt and wait for you to come out was something I learned from more experienced conference goers over the years. Someone always seemed to be there for me, and it was natural for me to be there for you. I was blessed by the experience, too.

I really hope we can go conference'ing another time, and I have to say, if you thought that was something, then you will be blessed one hundred-fold by the awesome spirit of God at the ACFW conference. :)

Susanne Dietze said...

You were a great roomie, too, Anita! Anytime! And I'll never forget you praying with me. I was so blessed. Thank you.

You are one talented, sweet lady. I know it won't be long before we see your name on a book cover.