Thursday, August 6, 2015

Top Ten Things I Took Away from RWA15

with guest Cate Nolan.

It's been over a week since RWA15 ended. I've caught up on sleep and family time, unpacked and finished the laundry. My conference brain is recovered, I've read lots of recaps, and I've had time to mull over the takeaways.

I think the one absolute about any writing conference is that people will experience it differently. A large part of our conference experience is a result of who we are and what we bring to it. So, with that caveat, and based on my conference experiences this year, I give you my personal, 

Top 10 Things I took away from RWA15:

10. If you attend RWA National during an anniversary year, you get cool gifts. This was RWA's 35th National Conference. Each attendee at the Rita/GH Gala received this lovely pen/business card case set and their very own golden chocolate RITA.

9.  Newsletters - I heard this in both traditional and Indie workshops. The best PR you can do for your book is write the next one, but beyond that you need to build a base and keep in touch with your readers. A newsletter helps you do that more than any other forum. Bella Andre talked about how her built-in audience awaits the release of each book because her newsletter tells them it's coming and gives them a reason to look forward to it. You can start out small and build, but do a newsletter. 

8. Literacy signing - a reader’s dreams come true. Imagine a room full of hundreds of your favorite authors waiting to chat with you and sign your books. It’s crowded, loud, crazy fun, and it’s all for a good cause. 

From the RWA website:
In 2015, Romance Writers of America raised more than $48,000 to benefit literacy programs — bringing our total donations since 1990 to more than $900,000. This year's beneficiaries are ProLiteracy Worldwide, Literacy Partners, and Literacy Assistance Center.

7. Books - lots and lots of books - everywhere. If there weren’t enough for you at the literacy signing, there were books everywhere for the next three days. I came home with 30 free books, but I could easily have had double or triple that many. I was trying to be good and only taking books I knew I'd read. But basically, I could have had as many books as I could carry. Almost covers the cost of the conference right there. Of course there is shipping if you're not local (and pain meds if you are and try to schlep them all home on the subway). My mother is delighted with all the Love Inspired books I got for her!

6.  Public Service Message - Not too many people ever attend the AGM, but you should! That's how you learn what's going on and get a chance to have your voice heard. Much gratitude goes out to the board members and the office staff who dedicate so much time to running this organization. They are unfailingly polite, helpful and cheerful. Not to mention amazingly organized and efficient! 

5. Harlequin gives THE best parties. They really know how to show their appreciation of their authors.
Photo credit - Harlequin

4.  Don't believe that there's no place for you at RWA if you write Inspirational. Want proof? Just look at this photo from the Love Inspired Meet and Greet. 

And because conference was in New York this year - ALL of the LI editors were present. What an amazing opportunity to hear from the editors themselves, learn what they are looking for, pitch your stories.

There's also the FH&L Chapter (Faith, Hope & Love). FHL always opens the conference with a Prayer Service and this year they had a wonderful panel of Inspirational agents and editors to offer information specific to the genre. 

  4 1/2  - Conferences in New York are expensive, but if you can swing it, they are the one venue to attend because like I said above - ALL the editors attend. There were plenty of empty editor/agent appointment slots.

3. You WILL learn something new. No matter how long you've been writing or how advanced you are in your career, there's always someone who knows something more than you do. I attended an amazing workshop with a forensic anthropologist that made me lose all track of time (and miss a book signing I'd planned to attend!). I also attended a workshop on writing romantic suspense given by Brenda Novak and Laura Griffin. Lots to soak in there!  

Tina’s fangirl moment came from that workshop.

Want info about writing for traditional? Indie? Or maybe going hybrid? There's a workshop (or 5) for that. Just a sampling - Barbara Freethy and Bella Andre did a 90 minute Q&A so that people could pick their brains for everything they know about going from Trad midlist to Indie Mega Success. There were workshops like:  Breaking into the Lucrative UK market, Don’t Drink the Kool Aid, The Boxed Set: Beyond Basics.  (When the conference flash drive becomes available, definitely consider buying it. Watch this site for more information.

If you're serious about Indie publishing, you could also have attended a trade show of vendors or met with representatives from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks who were available to answer questions and give advice.

2. The reminder over and over again - write. Write your best book. And then do it again. Keep doing that, regardless of changes in the market, regardless of highs and lows in your own career. Barbara Freethy's Keynote was an inspirational tale of how she reinvented herself over and over again. 

To go with that - in the Q&A, Barbara said she spends 15 minutes a day on Facebook. Think about that - 15 minutes on FB, 5 million books in print. Draw your own conclusions.  :)


My #1 takeaway from RWA15 is

1. It IS all about who you know - your friends. Old friends, new friends, your chapter friends, your Facebook friends, your Seekerville buddies, friends from your publishing house. 

Alison Stone described RWA15 as her Facebook feed come to life. That's a pretty perfect description.  If you ask me, the best part of RWA is the people. From the Board to the hundreds of authors and fans at the literacy signing, to the members who volunteered to help in a variety of capacities - it is all about the people you know and come to know. 

So let’s talk. If you went to RWA, what would make your top 10 list? If you didn’t go, what do you wish you’d been there to experience? Or tell us about other conferences you have attended. What have you learned?
And here are the future sites for the RWA Conferences.

Cate Nolan lives in New York City, but she escapes to the ocean any chance she gets. A devoted mom, wife and teacher, Cate loves to leave her real life behind and play with the characters in her imagination. She’s got that suspense writer gene that sees danger and a story in everyday occurrences. Cate particularly loves to write stories of faith enabling ordinary people to overcome extraordinary danger

You can find Cate on 

Her website -

And just in time for this Seekerville appearance, Cate’s debut release, Christmas in Hiding, arrived last Friday. One lucky reader will get an advance copy. Just tell us in the comments if you’re interested. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.


  1. The chocolate RITA looks amazing. I can only imagine how invaluable RWA could be for a writer.

    Count me in for a copy of Christmas in Hiding thank you.

  2. I'd love to win a copy of Christmas in Hiding. I agree with Mary the chocolate RITA looks amazing.

  3. Thank you for the insight to RWA Conferences. Sounds like a lot of fun and learning all rolled into a fast moving weekend!

    Congratulations on your debut Christmas in Hiding I love the cover and would love to win a copy!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  4. I can't imagine going to NYC. I've been to Buffalo and Niagara Falls (*shudder*) but never to NYC. I'm not sure my Southern self would make it. ;)

    Thanks for this, Cate. As I'm thinking about ACFW, this is a fun way to see what to expect from a conference.
    Looks like y'all had an amazing time!

    And congrats on the book! I can only imagine the thrill you felt when you opened that box.

  5. Buffalo and Niagara Falls? Courtney. I am from Buffalo. It is NOTHING like NC.

    Try San Diego next year. Smaller venue.

    ACFW is a good way to get your feet wet.

    Attendance at RWA was 2400. ACFW will be about 500.

  6. Cate, welcome to Seekerville. Your book cover is gorgeous. I preordered on Amazon. When will it be in stores?

  7. Good morning, Seekerville. It's such an honor to debut as Cate here. I think I'm finally getting the hang of this dual identity thing.

    Now let me just duck into my handy phone booth and switch into my Cate cape.

  8. I have family in Buffalo. It's just sooo different from my home. (When they ordered pizza, it was SQUARE. Lol!)

    Maybe one day I'll try out RWA. Sounds like a great experience.

    1. I live in Buffalo. Not all pizza is square. I only know one place that does that. Lol I hope your family ordered you some chicken wings while you were here!

  9. Good morning, Mary Preston. I'd forgotten that it was a big anniversary year, so when we went into the ballroom for the RITA/GH reception, it was a pretty cool thing to see all those tables with little golden ladies sitting on them. My chocolate RITA now resides in my freezer so she can serve as inspiration.

    1. Because of you, I've done the same thing. *Note to self*: check on Rita and make sure someone didn't eat her. πŸ˜‚

  10. Congratulations on your debut release,Cate.
    I love the Love Inspired line. You are in excellent company there.
    I would love to win a copy of your book it sounds fabulous !

    Deanne patterson

  11. Hi Cathyann40. Thanks for stopping by. Your name is in the hat.

    Thanks for the congrats,Cindy. RWA is pretty amazing - mainly because you're with over 2,000 other attendees (mostly women) who really get you. They all know what it's like to have stories rolling around your brain and characters who talk to you. That companionship and affirmation alone make it worthwhile.

  12. Enjoyed this post. I would love to attend a conference some time.

    I would love a copy of your book, Cate. I have been looking forward to reading it.

  13. I realized that since the post is about RWA, there's really no description of the book, so here's the back cover blurb for anyone who is interested:

    Christmas in Hiding

    After her ex-boyfriend's murder, Callie Martin has no choice but to trade her quiet life as a kindergarten teacher for the witness protection program. It's US Marshal Jackson Walker's job to keep Callie safe, but the men who would do her harm just keep getting closer and closer. Either someone on the inside is betraying Callie, or she's lying to Jackson about her involvement. So he decides to go off the grid, spiriting her away to the remote Vermont countryside at Christmas. Jackson wants to trust her, but with danger dogging their every move, he'll have to use all his energy to keep her alive.

    Tina, Thanks for asking that. I'm one of those people who probably won't see it on the actual store shelf because we don't have any Walmarts and B&N here only carries LI. So - I'm not exactly sure when it will be in stores, but it should be the beginning of October. The ebook is available for Pre-order now and will be delivered October 1st on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

  14. Hi Courtney,

    Don't let the size intimidate you. There are a few times everyone is together. This year that was 3 breakfasts and the awards reception. But generally it's not that overwhelming. There are so many workshops - @11 per session this year, 5 sessions per day, 3 days. I didn't count exactly how many overall, but that's @150 workshops! Some of them are in small rooms and might have less than 20 attendees. Others, like Chat with Nora Roberts, might be standing room only in a huge room. You can pick and choose, wander in and out, find what works for you.

    As I was typing that, I thought wow, the sheer number, variety, and expertise of the workshops was something else I could have discussed above. There are so many great things about RWA that it was hard to narrow to 10.

    As for NYC - I live here and yet I hate it when I have to go into Times Square for conference. BUT - if you don't like big cities, you can pretty much stay inside the hotel and never have to wander far. That was pretty much my tactic this year since this is the part of NYC I generally avoid at all costs.

  15. Mary Cate, this is an awesome re-cap! And such good reasoning, 100%.

    I love Alison Stone's comment about the facebook feed, LOL!

    And I can't wait to see you when I come to NY in a few weeks!!!! I get to hug you in person for the first time since you got the call! SO HAPPY!!!!!!

    I agree about the NYC thing. There is nothing and no other place like New York for a big conference like this. I know the other venues are lovely, but NYC sings with publishing. There's a hand-in-hand connection unfound anywhere else. I was so sorry that I had to miss the whole thing because Mary Cate and Tina graciously invited me to share their room... and if I could have found coverage for work, I'd have done it!

    God has blessed us with a marvelous sisterhood of authors.

    God is good!

  16. It is a very cool thing to have your Facebook page come to life. πŸ˜€ Very surreal. My favorite part of NYC was meeting so many of you in person. I had so much fun.

  17. This is great, Cate! I loved the photo of the meet and greet. That would be my favorite part of attending a conference, meeting everyone in person. I enjoy hearing how writers manage their time. Fifteen minutes on Facebook is something I'd like to consider. I'm not on FB every day, but when I do log on, an hour can pass quickly. I was interested in reading about the newsletter. Do you think a newsletter is more beneficial than a blog? My blog and reading others, steals a lot of my free writing time. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  18. We should start seeing Christmas in Hiding in late September (or even mid-September) up here. I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE IT ON THE SHELVES!!!!! WILL POST PICS!!!!

    And Courtney, whichever conference you try on for size first, let me just say I think they were hugely informative for me. Not only meeting people, but making impressions on people.

    And learning some of the "insider" stuff of the biz isn't a bad thing, either. I worked extra restaurant shifts to get to my first conference.... and that money went into an envelope so I could go to my first ACFW in Denver and I met Tina and Mary and some other Seekers and we formed our group based on that.

    And now, ten years later, we've not only done what we set out to do (pray all of us into publication) but we've helped lots of others along the way!!!! BEST THING EVER!!!

    So yes, when the time is right, go and have a ball and soak it in. I think RWA gives more bang for the buck (and that's important in business mode) but ACFW gives an opportunity for more time with specific publishers.

    Both good, but in different ways.

  19. I'd love to read your latest book, Cate. :)

  20. And congratulations on Christmas in Hiding! So excited for you, Mary/Cate. (Please don't include me in drawing. I plan to haunt my local Walmart for that one. I'll try to post a picture. It's great fun to see our "babies" in the wild. )

  21. I am laughing at MC's comment about avoiding Midtown. It's probably not a surprise that I love, love, love Midtown. I love Lower Manhattan. I love Union Square. It's so funny to have so many distinct areas in one city!!!

    But I am so bummed about Zelda the Wild Turkey. She died this year (sad, sad face) I used to go to Battery Park and see if I could spot her (I did, 4 separate times) and buy Nuts4Nuts over near City Hall (which is by the awesome Harlequin offices!!!)

    I will miss my bird.

    I might have to plant an upstate bird up there in her place. Mary Curry, you'll help me with that, won't you???

  22. Mary you are spot on with all your comments about NYC. This was my first RWA and my first year as a debut LI author. I loved the Black and White Ball at the Waldorf. Such an elegant place. It was wonderful to finally meet some of the Seekerville ladies I'd only met online before and to catch up with those I've had the pleasure of knowing from ACFW and WPA. Happy First Book to you, Mary/Cate.

    P.S. I ate my chocolate Rita yesterday because yes, it was that kind of day. I self-medicate with chocolate for medicinal purposes, of course. :)

  23. Love getting another chance at a living that vicarious conference thrill. Thanks for sharing your insights. But, wow, 2400 in attendance? That's way to huge for me, I think, even though you said it doesn't feel like that much once you divide up into workshops and stuff. The hotel must have been all RWA folks. Kudos to them for delivering such great service. And Harlequin does seem to know how to throw a great party. So looking forward to reading your debut...which avid readers can get a month early by ordering it directly from Harlequin in September, by the way.

  24. Hi Cate/Mary!

    I was so wonderful getting to chat with you at RWA albeit briefly!

    Umm...I just had Christmas in July to read all of my Christmas themed books and look what's posted here....the start of Christmas 2015 reading list!!! How exciting.

    I think the networking is my favorite part of the conference.

    Best of luck with your book.

  25. Lisa, I seem to recall chocolate being involved while I was chatting with you and Mindy at the Trade Show. I'm so sorry you had to eat your chocolate RITA, but you reminded me to drop off a supply for the day so no one tries to nibble at my chocolate RITA.

    Yesterday we were making chocolate dipped fruit at the Yankee Belle Cafe so I'm dropping off a virtual platter of chocolate-dipped pineapple, apple slices and oranges. They were SO delicious.

  26. Hi, Cate! Loved your recap of the conference. I am seriously considering attending ACFW next year. We'll see. I love the title and cover of your new book. Can't wait to read it. Congratulations!!

  27. Hi Mary,
    Congrats on your new LIS book! It must be so exciting and surreal at the same time to open a box of books and see your name on them. A dream come true I'm sure, I'm so happy for you.

    I enjoy the extra layer of suspense in the LI line and Christmas books are some of my favorites too. I can't wait to read it! Please toss my name in the hat, I'd love to receive one from you.

  28. Hi Cate (Mary),

    Congratulations on your new book. I love the cover! I've got a couple of questions...

    Are you going to ACFW this year?

    Thanks for sharing all the great pictures of RWA. Was this your first time?

    Our family vacation this year is to NYC for the US Open (tennis). We'll have a couple of days in the city. In your opinion is there anything we shouldn't miss that's not obvious? (Planning on Statue of Liberty, 9-11 Memorial, Empire State Building)

    I loved your post today. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

  29. Welcome "Cate"! LOVE your new cover! I'll try to remember to snap a photo of it when I see it on the shelves and send it to you since you're Walmart-less!

    I've never gotten to go to RWA -- it looks wonderful. Been to LONDON but never to New York City, so hopefully next round!?

  30. Have to take the dog out, but I'll be back in a bit to answer all the questions. Thanks so much to everyone who is stopping by and saying hello. Your enthusiasm makes this all the more fun for me. :)

  31. Good morning, Mary, aka Cate! I remember the thrill of receiving the case of my debut. That thrill never fades. Can't wait to read Christmas in Hiding!

    Thanks for the fun Top Ten list. Just a wonderful recap of RWA15. NYC is an exciting spot for the conference. I went early to play tourist, spending an afternoon at the WTC museum. And seeing the musical Amazing Grace that evening.

    My chocolate Rita is in the refrigerator for inspiration. LOL No one better touch that little lady.

    A group lunch with my editor and a private lunch with my agent were highlights, along with sharing the fun of the HQ party at the Waldorf. This year's Rita Award Ceremony was special with Irene Hannon winning the Rita and being installed in the Hall of Fame.

    The workshops I attended were great. I'm grateful there are writers who know more or can get across what they know in a way I can absorb! I find workshops energizing. Anyone else?

    One of the best parts of RWA is hooking up with writers. Such fun to party with LI authors! I really enjoyed getting to know you better, Mary/Cate, a native New Yorker. Yay!

    Congratulations on your debut!

  32. Lisa, Alison, Rose, so fun to see you in NYC! I've downloaded Cate's picture of LI authors, a terrific group of ladies! Mindboggling to think of all the stories tucked inside their heads.


    1. Janet, it was great to see you in NYC, too.

  33. What a great recap! I totally agree with your list. I loved meeting people that up until then I had only been virtual friends with. I had so many fangirl moments! And my hometown was 600 people, so a city like NY was a little scary, but I looked at it as research for a story. I even braved the subway by myself and went sightseeing. Definitely an experience I will never forget!
    Sadly, there won't be a lot of RWA conferences I can attend because they all seem to happen the same week I have to start back to school. (Last year was out, this year I got home on Sunday and started school on Monday). Next year, the conference is a little earlier so I can attend that one, but not the next. But I had so much fun and met so many great people that I can't wait for next year!

  34. LeAnne, you're brave indeed to take the subway alone. We were on the right line but going the wrong direction. LOL I would never have noticed. The nice part was friendly New Yorkers happy to help.


  35. LeAnne,, that's why I never get to attend ACFW. We don't start back to school until September here (we go until the end of June), and ACFW is always in the middle of September. Next year that one is earlier so I'm hopeful.

    Go you for daring the subway. There's actually a subway scene (brief) in the beginning of Christmas in Hiding.

  36. Thank you, Glynna. I'm really looking forward to those sightings in the wild. My editor told me there is a Walmart in NJ that might carry it so...road trip! Except she wasn't sure. One of my LIS friends is on her 5th book and she's never seen any of them on the shelf. :(

  37. Great recap, Mary/Cate! I love RWA, and this year was no different. I'm still recovering, I think. :) I always come home ready to dive into my wip and fix what's been troubling me. And yes, I know, a newsletter.....just need an extra few hours. As soon as I get those. So for me, RWA is the rejuvenation that boosts me up and forward for the next year.

  38. Good morning, Janet.

    Meeting up with Seekers and other friends is definitely my favorite part of RWA. I'm so glad we got to spend more time together this year.

    I always buy the conference recordings for the workshops I don't get to attend because invariably two that interest me most are at the same time. Since I started doing that, and since I started to know more people, I gladly pass over a workshop in favor of time spent with writing buddies. I can listen and catch up when I'm back in isolated writer land.

    That said, I absolutely find the workshops invigorating. I always come back to my writing filled with a new energy and determination.

  39. Welcome Mary/Cate! I agree with everything you listed! So many great reasons to go to RWA. So much learned!

    I always love attending as many workshops as I possibly can. I just checked the notes I took at conference and found 12 files from workshops I attended. That's a lot of new info to digest and incorporate into my writing life. :)

  40. This was the first conference where I made a point of attending workshops that were out of my realm. But it also the first out of the three Nationals I attended that I really am going to listen to ALL the workshops on my flashdrive. What a gift.

    I also had lunch with total strangers who turned out to be workshop speakers were totally gracious in giving me information. And met Christians who were mainstream reviewers and authors who were just marvelous.

    Yep, Facebook and twitter came to life. I sat down to one woman and recognized her from her Twitter icon on her badge. Turned out to be a pastor's wife.

    But, and this was the most important...ManO ate my chocolate Rita! Ack. Even though he did that we both had a great time in the city. Excellent NYC adventures with my sister and BIL. Loved the restaurants, the High Line, the people.

    Thanks for the reminder of what a great opportunity RWA is for so many reasons.

    Peace, Julie

  41. Mary/Cate, I took a photo of me holding that little gold (chocolate) statue. A girl can dream, can't she?! LOL

  42. LeAnne, good for you for braving the subway and touring!

  43. Katy, I'm sure this year was extra special with the RITA nomination! I'm the same way when I get home. I'm inspired to get back to writing.

  44. What fun, Mary/Cate!!!! Thanks for telling us all about your RWA-NY experience! Wish I could have been there, but this summer it wasn't meant to be.

    You know, I still have my silver chocolate RITA from my GH year, RWA 2005. It sits in my fridge and has been through three moves since then. I'm holding out for the real thing--LOL!

  45. Alison, thanks for letting me quote you. Your words totally summed up RWA for me.It was such fun meeting you and getting to hang out with you.

    I realize as I write these "friends" comments that it might be intimidating for the newbie who maybe doesn't know many people and is thinking, "Oh no, no RWA for me."

    Let me tell you two things.
    1. When I went to my first RWA, I knew no one. Not one single person.
    But I made friends. That's not easy for an introvert like me, but as I said above, when you're at RWA, you're already among like-minded people. They get you. They want to talk about your stories and theirs. They are willing to sit up into the wee hours hashing out plot points. They get the same high from this that you do.

    2. You're already way ahead of where I was just because you're here on Seekerville reading this. Being a friend of Seekerville invites you into this big, warm, friendly circle. It's magical and very encouraging.
    So if you're lurking, consider this your invitation to step out and meet some new lifelong friends.

    For me, the hardest part of conference being over was wondering when I would see some of these lovely ladies again. I sat down with Mary Connealy at one point and marveled that it had been a year since we had been in the same room, but the conversation picked up as if it had been yesterday.

    1. Yes! I attended my first conference by myself without knowing anyone. But soon, it's as if you're among old friends. So, Mary's right. Don't be intimidated if you feel you don't know many (any?) people. You'll meet people soon enough.

      Also, my first conference was before social media was a thing. But now, I find social media helps connect us writers so when we meet at conference we already have a sense of one another.

      Ahhh...I'm ready to go back. :)

  46. Ruthy, I was so sad you couldn't join us. But I'm looking forward to seeing you soon.

    You're all reminding me of so many more great things. I tried to keep the post more general, but lunch with my editor and some author friends was also a huge perk.

    I'll admit, National takes on a different slant after you sign that contract - there are more business meetings and required things, but that doesn't mean to skip it if you're not published yet.

    I attended 6 National conferences before I signed with Harlequin. I got so much from each of them.

    And in case anyone is curious - here's the history leading to this year's Golden Chocolate RITA:

    1981 -- Houston, TX
    1982 -- Long Beach, CA
    1983 -- Washington, D.C.
    1984 -- Detroit, MI
    1985 -- Atlanta, GA
    1986 -- Minneapolis, MN
    1987 -- Dallas, TX
    1988 -- Seattle, WA
    1989 -- Boston, MA
    1990 -- San Francisco, CA
    1991 -- New Orleans, LA
    1992 -- Chicago, IL
    1993 -- St Louis, MO
    1994 -- New York City, NY
    1995 -- Honolulu, Hawaii
    1996 -- Dallas, TX
    1997 -- Orlando, FL
    1998 -- Anaheim, CA
    1999 -- Chicago, IL
    2000 -- Washington, D.C.
    2001 -- New Orleans, LA
    2002 -- Denver, CO
    2003 -- New York, NY
    2004 -- Dallas, TX
    2005 -- Reno, NV
    2006 -- Atlanta, GA
    2007 -- Dallas, TX
    2008 -- San Francisco, CA
    2009 -- Washington, D.C
    2010 -- Orlando, FL (Moved from Nashville due to flooding)
    2011 -- New York, NY
    2012 -- Anaheim, CA
    2013 -- Atlanta, GA
    2014 -- San Antonio, TX
    2015 -- New York, NY

  47. So, if we've got you excited - here's the list of the next four sites/dates:

    2016 July 13–16 San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina
    2017 July 26–29 Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin
    2018 July 25–28 Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel
    2019 July 24–27 New York Marriott Marquis

    Readers, did you know you don't have to be registered for RWA to attend the huge literacy signing? That event is designed just for you. Books everywhere. Literally. A reader's paradise. So, if RWA is coming to a city near you, come on out and meet everyone.

  48. Hi Tracey,

    Yes, surreal is a good word for it - especially since the name on the cover is my pen name.

    I was just heading out to walk the dog last Friday when I saw my husband crossing the street with a box in his arms. I saw that red Harlequin logo, and I will not lie - I teared up. The UPS man had delivered them to my neighbor since we weren't here. Fortunately, it was hot and the dog only wanted a short walk. I couldn't wait to get home and open the box.

  49. Cate, thanks for sharing the key information you learned from RWA15. Such fun! Love the special anniversary gifts.

    I haven't yet attended an RWA conference, but did get to go to a literacy signing at the Anaheim conference. I was overwhelmed by the enormity of just that event, even forgetting to see authors I had intended to visit. I can imagine the entire conference is even more overwhelming. Do you have coping suggestions?

    Please enter my name in the Christmas in Hiding giveaway. Congratulations!!!!!! (Exclamation points necessary!)

  50. Hi Jackie, I'm sure you and your family will have a great time at the US Open. My uncle was one of the architects who designed Arthur Ashe/USTA National Tennis Center when they made the switch to the new stadium from Forest Hills.

  51. Mary Cate, loved this post. Loved spending time with you in NYC! The conference was over the top. As you mentioned, a great opportunity to mix and mingle with the LI editorial staff...all the way up to the top! Did you meet the man from HQ who handles the Walmart account? He was so nice. I gushed about Walmart and he beamed!!! So, my resolution...never miss an RWA Conference held in NYC! (Of course, I don't want to miss any RWA Conferences, but the NY ones are power packed.)

    As an aside, the hotel offered side exits that led away from Times Square so we didn't have to pick our way through the crowds each time we ventured outside.

    Can't wait to read CHRISTMAS IN HIDING. Holding my breath...well, maybe I'll breathe a little, but still so excited.


  52. Sherida, YES, it can overwhelming - and crowded - at the signing. I find that more overwhelming than the rest of the conference. I had one author in particular I wanted to see this year because her new book had just been released and I wanted to get it. I'd been planning that for weeks. I remembered the day AFTER the signing that I'd never even gone near her. Conference brain set in early.

    My best advice for conference in general is to know yourself and your limits. Know when you need to get a cup of coffee or tea and escape to your room for a bit of quiet time. That's one reason I stayed at the hotel this year even though I live here. (The fact that even living within the city, it still takes me 45 minutes to get to and from Times Square on a good day convinced me. Plus I didn't want to be riding the subway in dress for the galas.)

    If you're local, find a quiet place in the hotel to hang out. I remember one year - Atlanta maybe - some of us found an empty ballroom to sit in and chat. Far from the Madding Crowd. :)

  53. Jackie,
    The World Trade Center Museum is a Must See! Buy tickets ahead of time and get there early. We started at 10 AM and spent 4 1/2 hours touring the North Section (9/11 and the day prior and the day after.) Didn't even get to the South Section. So moving, so poignant, so important to experience and we never forget.

    I posted pics from the WTC Museum yesterday on the Craftie Ladies of Romance blog.

  54. Janet didn't mention that I couldn't get my subway ticket to work. Kept trying, which used up the extra fares. A sweet young man--I continue to thank God for him--swiped his ticket and got me through the turnstile. Janet, her hubby and my daughter had already gone through, and I was stranded without a way to get to them. Still wondering what I did wrong. :)

    That young man made me realize that New Yorkers have big hearts! Just like our Ruthy and Mary Cate! :)

  55. Mary/Cate, I love your top ten list! Makes me wish I'd been there. If only, I'd have insisted on our trip being a couple of weeks later, but that wouldn't have been fair to my sis-in-law and nieces. At least, I got to meet you! Please put my name in the drawing for Christmas in Hiding. Can't wait to read it!

    Courtney, what part of the south are you from? I'm an Alabama girl. I spent four days in NYC with family last month. Times Square felt like being in the middle of a commercial 24/7. It was a bit overwhelming, but other areas weren't so bad. I met a lot of nice, helpful people everywhere I went. And, I even survived my one lone trip on the subway.

  56. RWA in New York sounded like an amazing time from what I've heard and read from friends. :)Just the general excitement of being in New York, the Pajama party, the Black and White party. Hanging out with that many writers . . . it all sounds amazing! :) I loved your top ten list, Cate. And I"m with others, the chocolate RITA? I almost wouldn't want to eat it it looks so good. :)

  57. Debby, I've seen Zach do that for people before. The system is so quick that you swipe, you have like zero seconds to go through, and if you don't know to glance at the reader, then it goes back to the next person and you're locked out. I did that my first few times. And I got on the WRONG TRAIN once, going downtown when I should have gone Uptown and took a whole train ride through the underpinnings of New York. Luckily we'd left early and got to our appt. on time, and I learned to figure out which side of the road to grab the subway! SO FUNNY!!!!

    And I almost got me and Tina killed, but we lived, so it's all okay. :)

  58. A bunch of you have commented on the book cover. THANK YOU! I have to laugh because my first reaction was, that's not what I sent them.

    If you've been hanging out on Seekerville a while, you know that you have to send Art Fact Sheets with the images you have in mind for the cover. Well, I sent some great images of peaceful snowy scenes, lovely log cabins decorated for Christmas. You know - all the great covers you see on Love Inspired books.

    Except mine is Love Inspired SUSPENSE. Yeah, they didn't want all that peaceful stuff. It needs to look dangerous and threatening! So they took the cabin picture I sent and did a little reverse rehab.

    If you want to see what I had in mind, it's the cover photo on my FB page. So pretty, so peaceful. So NOT suspensy. Live and learn.

  59. Good morning, Mary Cate! Thanks so much for your recap. I watched my Twitter and FB feeds that week and so wanted to be there! I hear you on the newsletter, as we were discussing on FB. I need to get one going since that's the best way to communicate with readers.

  60. I love that you have become Mary Cate!!

  61. WOW!! LOVED your post, Cate! :)
    The one and only time I was able to attend RWA (where I met YOU!) I came home feeling SO exhilarated. I think what surprised me the most was how very kind people (strangers) were. Some even noticed my first-time attendee ribbon and went out of their way to welcome me.
    Lord willing, I'll attend future RWA conferences (would love to see San Diego--both my daughters have visited that area and loved it).
    Thank you soooo much for sharing, and CONGRATS on your new release!!
    Please put me in the drawing!
    Hugs, Patti Jo

  62. Hi Deanne. You're right. I am in most excellent - and super friendly - company with the Love Inspired authors and editors. I learn so much from all of them.

    Hi Wilani, I hope you do get to go to a conference. I'm lucky that RWA rotates through NYC every few years so at least I have that chance. The policy is to rotate East/West/Central/South. I'm pretty sure NYC doesn't get counted in that rotation - they just do it every 4th or 5th year. Thanks for being excited for my book. That makes my heart smile. :)

    Jill, I agree about FB being a time sinkhole. That's probably my personal most important take away. When I'm working, I check in too often. I was thinking the other day about how much more productive I was in the days before internet. Must learn to discipline myself better.
    As for newsletter vs blog, I don't have enough experience myself to say, but the consensus from authors seemed to be newsletter because it's proactive. It arrives in the reader's email. They don't have to seek you out each time. Does that make sense?

  63. Tina said, "I love that you have become Mary Cate!!"

    Funny thing at RWA was meeting people who had heard of me as Cate but not as Mary. That was a switch.

  64. My responses to comments are all over the place which reminds me to highly recommend the recording of Tina's workshop:

    Fire Up Your Focus! Strategies for ADD/ADHD Writers (WRITER’S LIFE)
    Speakers: Alison DeLaine, Tina Radcliffe, Jessica Scott, and Jeannie Watt
    Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD) is an all-too-common problem whose symptoms present challenges for anyone with big dreams—none more so than writers. In this fast-paced interactive workshop, successful ADD/ADHD authors share the systems and strategies that help them maintain a rewarding writing career while managing the daily challenges of ADD/ADHD.

    I found SO much that was helpful in this workshop. I think it's great even if you don't have diagnosed ADD/ADHD.

  65. Hi Mary/Cate. Fun post. I love New York City, although I've only been a couple times in my life. Even being from small town Nebraska, I love to visit cities. The most fun thing about a conference like that for me would be meeting all the authors and editors. I hope to get to one someday.

    Don't enter me for the book. I have already won it and waiting for the e-book to come out. I look forward to reading it at Christmas.

  66. Love all these takeaways! And a Chocolate Rita???? Perfect! :)

    And you got your books!!!! How amazing was that? Did you just about faint from excitement??? :)

  67. Kav, I guess I'm used to big. We had 845 students in my senior class in HS.

    RWA actually had the Marriott plus at least 2 overflow hotels. We stayed in one of the overflows and it was kind of nice to get totally away (even if it was only half a block.)

    Thanks for reminding me about the Harlequin website. You know better than I do on this - is it only the book club members who get it early, or anyone ordering off Harlequin?

    Hi Ms. RITA finalist Rose. It was such an honor to sit with you. :) And just good to see you.

    Thanks for sharing the excitement, Sally. Maybe next year I'll make it to ACFW. As I mentioned above somewhere, that conference is right after school starts for us and I can't take the time off that early in the year.

  68. I'm still thinking of what Kav said about crowd size. One of the drawbacks is missing seeing some people. and I planned to get together for breakfast. Otherwise I'm not sure I would have even seen her in 4 days. I think I saw Piper twice. But then I saw many of my Seeker friends and LI sisters over and over and over. It probably has a lot to do with the workshops you choose.

    I got to see beautiful Katy Lee all dressed up as a RITA finalist on Saturday night. But I also saw her lots of times in between and she was kind enough to hold my luggage in her room so I could go off to lunch with our mutual editor.

    Missy, I love that you took a picture of yourself with RITA. She's sitting in my freezer as inspiration. At least you have already been a RITA finalist so you're one step ahead of me!

    I agree that there's so much to digest, but I always feel I come away with newly honed skills.

  69. Thank you, Ruthy! You've made me feel a bit less stupid! Knowing you understand how I could have been locked out of the NYC subway helps to soothe my still-embarrassed ego! :)


  70. Debby, those readers mess things up all the time. It was the faulty technology, not YOU!

    Seeing you and Mary is always one of my highlights at RWA. I'm so glad for the chance to connect in person each year!

  71. I can't edit the comment so to be clear - I meant the Metrocard readers - the machines - not people who are readers.

    I horrified myself when I looked back at my comment. One bus driver told me the buses are even worse because they don't clean the Metrocard reader machines on them.

  72. Mary/Cate
    Huge congrats on your debut book. Great picture of your debut box o' books too. I can see how that would make a person's day/month/year.

    I'm not a conference type of person, but your top ten list makes me thing "why I oughta..." I might look into the Denver RWA because that's my home state and I could see family too. Or, if things work out with a job opportunity, I'll be back living in Colorado by then.

    I feel like I cannot justify going until 1) I finish fixing my book, 2) actually finish more than one manuscript, and 3) join RWA.

    please put my name in the draw for your book. if I don't win it, I'll definitely be buying it since you were writing it alongside me writing my KV entry. Way cool.

  73. Congrats on your debut novel! I would love to win a copy!! I adore reading new writers!! So glad you got to attend RWA! That would be a dream come true for me. I really want to go to a conference someday and meet all these fabulous writers that I read all the time! Thanks for your post!

  74. Mary, I admit I did a double take on that comment about readers! I had to go back and read the one before that to clarify, but I was pretty certain you weren't complaining about human readers ;)

    Congrats on your upcoming release!! So excited for you :)

    Rita probably is getting chilly in the freezer! Nice way to keep her fresher longer, though!

    Please count me in for the drawing!!

  75. Anyone want some leftover birthday brownies? They're homemade!

  76. Rhonda, I'm from Tennessee, but my mom's originally from Lockport, New York. We like to tease about Northern things.

    I'm going to ACFW this year. I'm not scared of crowds or anything--it's just the traffic/crime of big cities that isn't fun. We go to St. Louis for ballgames have been approached by more than a few men on the street.

    But I'm most definitely looking forward to conference.

    Cate, you've given so many great tips. I'm reading all the comments on my lunch break. :)

  77. Courtney, the traffic wasn't any fun. I was so afraid we were going to see someone get run over, and don't even get me started about our ride to the airport. The driver got us there in one piece, but oh my, it was an experience.

    I'm sure you'll have a great time at ACFW. I wish I could go this year, but I can't. I do plan to attend next year when the conference is in Nashville. It's only a 2 1/2 hour drive, making it more affordable and requiring less time off work for travel.

  78. Sounds like an awesome experience!

    Free books are always great!

  79. As a reader, which conferences are the best to go to? I would have been in delighted awe at the mass signing! And free books? BEST. DAY. EVER!! (In the Disney-immortalized words of Rapunzel from Tangled;)

  80. Hi Cate:

    I thought every year was an anniversary year. Do you think my wife would go for only having anniversary celebrations and gifts just every few years or so? Did a man at RWA think this up?

    Also I love that golden chocolate RITA. That would look great on a writer's mantlepiece. You could say they gave it to you in NYC in 2015. Except in Seekerville it would be eaten before the sun went down.

    Also, I'd like to ask you what I'd love to ask all the conventionettes:

    "What one thing did you learn that will change the way you write from now on and become a very part of your writing mindset?"

    And yes please enter me in the drawing for "Christmas in Hiding". I read twice the romances during the Christmas season. I need a new Christmas Suspense Romance to augment, "Yule Die", which I read every year. (It's a novella)


  81. Courtney, I'm about an hour east of Lockport! Howdy, neighbor (past tense!)

    Oh, Courtney for the days when men approached me on the street!!! The ones looking for a date and not directions to the subway, LOL!

    GO YOU!!!!!

  82. Okay, I'm back from running errands.

    Vince asked -

    "What one thing did you learn that will change the way you write from now on and become a very part of your writing mindset?"

    I should think more carefully about this, but I'm going to run with the first thought that came to my mind. I'm giving the caveat that I'm still mentally sorting through so much that I'm sure there are others.

    I think sometimes the biggest lightbulb moments are the simple ones. The ones that make you smack yourself and say, "Why didn't I think of that." Now you may be doing it unconsciously some of the time, but it's the conscious application to which I am referring.

    SO here it is - the workshop that Brenda Novack and Laura Griffin did was on writing suspense, but this applies to all writing, IMHO. We've all been told to concentrate on ending each chapter with a hook, but Brenda emphasized focusing on the last word of the chapter. Make sure that word carries a zing that propels the reader into the next chapter.

    She gave an example of what sounded like a very solid sentence about the character coming into the room and describing the blood he found. Then she reworded the sentence - same effect, but she ended with the word blood instead of leaving it buried in the middle of the sentence. She absolutely gave the sentence that extra punch.

    So, yes - being conscious of the words with which I end my scenes is something I will carry forth into my writing.

  83. Sarah THANK YOU for reading on and realizing I was not intending to insult readers! Whew! Here I was trying to be nice to Debby and I almost blew it. Why do we not see these things until AFTER it posts.

    I believe I will have a brownie to revive myself. :)

    As for reader conferences - hard to say because it's been many many years since I attended one that was just for readers. My understanding is Barbara Vey's Reader's luncheon is wonderful, but I've never been. I did RT many many many years ago when they were always in NYC (and much different than they are today), but I haven't attended one of those since they went on the road. Interesting tidbit - RT used to hold Saturday mini-conferences and writing workshops monthly. I learned so much from so many wonderful people. But that was my life pre-children so it was many moons ago.

    Maybe some of the other posters or Seekers have some ideas.

  84. Hi Becky, thanks for stopping by. Yes, it really was great. Even for an introvert like me. Right before conference each year, I tell my husband to remind me not to register the next year. I'm always dreading it and wondering why I registered in a burst of enthusiasm. But once I'm there - I never regret it. Wonderful times, much learning, great friends.

    Courtney, I find the key in NYC is just to keep moving fast! Of course that's easier said than done in the mess that is Times Square.

  85. DebH, I hear you on the "not a conference" person. (see my comment to Becky above). I think I lucked out because for my first contest, I was riding the high of being a Golden Heart finalist and I was too excited to be nervous. Plus when you wear those little golden hearts and the finalist ribbons, everyone comes up and talks to you. So, starting out on a positive note got me over that hurdle.

    Valri, Thank you for being so excited and so willing to take a chance on new readers. I consider myself a reader before I'm a writer. Nothing excites me like books do.

  86. Vince LOL Yes, every year is an anniversary year. You got me. I should have said the "big" anniversary years. I went to the 10th anniversary (my first conference - no golden Ritas. Actually, the RITA didn't even exist back then. She was the Golden Medallion then.) So this was my first landmark anniversary.

    I would love to leave RITA on my desk for motivation, but someone (Eloisa James I think) mentioned once that hers had melted. Hence the placement in the freezer.

  87. Myra, I saw your new book cover yesterday! Gorgeous!!!

    I was so disappointed not to see you this year. Glad to hear RITA holds up. We should start a tradition - don't eat chocolate RITA until you have a real one to replace her with.

    Rhonda, I kind of had that thought when you told me you were coming to NYC in early July. But at least we got to hang out just the two of us and I avoided Times Square and those creepy stuffed creatures that time.

    *** PSA HINT to subway riders - if you have problems with your metrocard - go to the booth with it. They can read the transactions on their machine and they'll let you go through the gate. :)

  88. Hi Meghan. you bring up a good point. I feel like those of us at conference have sort of a responsibility to tweet/FB info, but it always feels almost like I'm saying Na Na, I'm here when I do it. Of course I don't mean it that way and when I'm not at a conference, I'm haunting FB and twitter looking for updates. Guess I have to get over the feeling.

    Jeanne That B&W ball was the most fun I've had at a party in forever. I'm not really a party girl, but being there with so many friends, everyone just dancing their hearts out. I was trying to explain it to my husband. He asked what we all did with so few men there. My answer DANCE! It sort of reminds me of a girls' school. No one was trying to impress the boys. We just had fun!

  89. Hi Sandy, my official first winner. :)

    Meeting with the other authors and editors is such a fun and curious mix of awestruck, pinch me moments and camaraderie.

    Pam, Yes, chocolate RITA was such a great end to the conference. The high of that had just about worn off when the books arrived, so perfect timing to keep my enthusiasm high.

  90. I think I'm all caught up on comments. I sure hope I didn't miss anyone.

  91. Mary/Cate, you said: "Brenda emphasized focusing on the last word of the chapter. Make sure that word carries a zing that propels the reader into the next chapter."

    That's something I have tried to do sentence by sentence. I learned this in one of Margie Lawson's online courses, to end every sentence possible with a power word.

  92. Thanks for extending that, Myra. Those are the little kind of things that make a big difference and the reason I love to study craft. It feels like something that important should be intuitive, but you're so caught up in the scene you're writing that it requires a different type of focus to make those changes.

  93. Yes Cate, that makes a lot of sense. Thank you for answering my question.
    Since I work full-time, outside the home, the majority of my writing is done on the weekend. Recently, I wrote first, without connecting my browser. It was amazing what I accomplished. From here on out, that will be my strategy.

  94. Hi Cate:

    I loved your answer about what one thing you learned that will change the way you write. You talked about a 'light bulb' moment concerning ending a chapter with the most dramatic single word being the last word in the last sentence.

    I've been noticing that both Lee Child and David Baldacci do this to great effect. The last word in the first chapter of "Six-One Hours" is 'Jack Reacher' -- the one man who is the worse nightmare for the bad guys to discover they have coming after them! (Sometimes the last word is actually two words.)

    My 'light bulb' moment just now was that while I knew the above and I've seen many effective examples of it, I never made it a part of my writing mindset. I forgot all about doing this until you mentioned it. I just need to make doing this a conditioned response whenever I start to write fiction.

    Now about the Golden Chocolate RITA: while someone may eat it or it might melt, a picture of a Chocolate RITA won't be eaten or melted. I'd suggest taking an author photo with the RITA chocolate very discretely placed in the background of the bookshelf behind you. You can call it 'my inspiration'. : )


  95. How fun is it that by taking on a pen name you are now Mary Cate at Seekerville? :-) Thanks for sharing your take-aways from the RWA conference. I haven't attended, but recordings of workshops in which I'm interested have been a great resource.

    The first conference I attended was all writers from my home state. There were writers of fiction and non-fiction, and to a person they were the most helpful and encouraging people a newbie fiction writer could ask for.

    Such a fun story about when your box of books arrived. Did the neighbor who accepted the box for you know you are a writer?

    Best wishes for "Christmas in Hiding"!!!

    Nancy C

  96. I just keep thinking there should be an Ashley to go with your Mary Cate. now ducking.

  97. Oh no an Olsen joke?! Tina, Tina, Tina... ;)

    I like this Mary Cate much better!

  98. Hi CATE, Thanks for sharing all the fun things you learned at the RWA conference. It is really fun to go there and meet with all the editors. Wow, I love seeing all those inspie authors there. Great going. We need to keep inspie alive and well in RWA.

    And now I'm wishing I wasn't a Seeker so I could win that book. Looks great. Better go shopping right now. smile

    Congrats and best wishes and thanks again for joining us today.

  99. SARAH I'll take some leftover brownies. Are there still some left? YUM

  100. DEB H Hang in there. You definitely have the right idea with 1,2 and 3.

  101. Cate, Thanks for the post. It was like reliving the conference all over again.

    Let's see. The one thing I would add is there's always a good surprise at conferences. Whether a new friend or something totally unexpected. I was very fortunate about the good surprises.

    One of my favorite moments was the selfie picture after the RITA/GH Ceremony.

    I did ship home books (one hint for people attending a conference where free books are-take a large flat rate priority mail box with postage already paid. The flat box fit in my suitcase and I brought packing tape-in my suitcase, not my carryon!-and the concierge mailed it for me, the box arrived on Monday).

    It was great seeing you again, and I absolutely agree about the AGM. I've been to 3 of them now, and I think it's very important to attend. This was the shortest of the 3.

    I can't wait to read your book. Congrats.

  102. Oh yes, Tanya, the group selfie was fun. I can't post pictures in the comments or I would. I'll have to link it on my FB page. Thanks for reminding me.

    What was not as much fun was the selfie sticks in Times Square. LOL

    I agree about the reliving. This whole conversation today has been so much fun.

  103. Yes, Sarah. We must make Tina pay for that. I vote we pelt her with the fried mac and cheese balls that Ruthy was serving in Yankee Belle Cafe today. *grin*

  104. The thought of New York has always scared me, but you made it sound appealing. And I'm DEFINITELY interested in winning an advance copy of your book. It looks exciting!

  105. I'm so glad my answer made sense, Jill. It's always a challenge to take what we learn and figure out how best to apply it to our own careers.

    Vince, YES! That's how it was for me also. It seemed so obvious - once someone else pointed it out.
    Speaking of RITA, my picture of her is immortalized here on Seekerville now, but I like your idea of the photo. Maybe I should carry her around with me and include her in all my pictures - sort of subliminal advertising. :)

  106. Hi Terri,

    I've lived here for over 30 years so I don't generally find it any more scary than anywhere else, but I definitely do find it overwhelming at times. There is that part in my bio that says I escape to the ocean whenever I can. :)

    Hopefully we'll meet up at some conference some day.

    Sandra, I missed you at RWA this year. Thanks for being excited about my book. Maybe I should do a separate Seeker prize. ;)

    Nancy, that has been my experience with writers too. I still remember two women adopting me and taking me to dinner with them the very first night of my very first RWA. I was lonely and missing my 1 year old, and within minutes they made me feel very welcome.

    About the neighbor, I'm not sure if he knew because my husband picked them up and because Cate's name was on the box, not mine. He's so used to getting our mail that he probably didn't even look.

  107. Hi Cate,

    RWA was fantastic and I'm so thrilled we got to meet in person. I think the most important things I learned from RWA is that we are always continuing to learn our craft as writers. I embraced learning new things about craft in my pursuit to be a better writer. I also learned that no man is an island. As authors we need other authors to bounce ideas off, to re-energize ourselves and to enjoy fellowship with. Writing is such a solitary endeavor that it is necessary to connect with other authors. There was plenty of that in New York City. Blessings.

  108. What a perfect comment to end this day with, Belle. The friendship of other writers is such a blessing. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

    And thank you to everyone who has participated in the discussion today. It's always so much fun to be on Seekerville whether as my original self or Cate.

    Mary/Cate *g*

  109. I was trying to avoid missing anyone's comments today, but in reading back through, I see a typo. Apparently when I tried to bold Julie's name, I deleted it instead. The comment earlier should have said - One of the drawbacks is missing seeing some people. It's a good thing Julie and I planned to get together for breakfast. We were on different workshop tracks and had we not made plans, I may have gone the whole conference without seeing her. Very strange considering we were roomies in Atlanta and saw each other ALL the time.

    So let that be my last take away from RWA15 - if you have friends you want to make sure you don't miss seeing, make plans ahead of time!

    Night all.

  110. Cate,

    Sounds like a wonderful conference!

    Please put my name in the drawing for your book!


  111. Good morning, Edwina. I'm happy to put your name in. Thanks for stopping by.

  112. I loved this recap of your takeaways from the RWA conference. I haven't had the chance to attend a writing conference yet. I have to admit the size intimidates me, but I feel like I know a large group of people from here in Seekerville, the Harlequin boards, and Facebook groups. I really want to get my hands on the recordings from this year. It sounds like everyone learned a ton of useful information and got a lot out of the sessions.

    Congratulations on your debut! I would love to be entered into the drawing to win a copy. I love seeing all the Killer Voices on the shelves, and can't wait to see who sells through Blurb to Book so I can follow their journeys as well.

  113. CATE!!! I cannot believe I missed your day!!! I'm in the middle of a move, so my brain's been as cluttered as my garage/house/storage center is with sky-high boxes, so PLEASE forgive me!

    Just reading your top ten reallllly makes me want to go to RWA, especially the chocolate Rita!! ;)

    Thanks for sharing great reasons for me to considering going next time.


  114. Awesome post!!! I've never really wanted to attend the RWA conference, only because it's so huge make me want to go. :-) I'm so glad you had fun and I can't wait to read your book!!

  115. Oh Cate! What a joy to read your post on RWA. I dream of the day. You've brought so much to life. Thank you. Maybe I can live that dream for the 40th anniversary(?) Look forward to diving into your work!