Not only was this my very first RWA conference, I was also extremely privileged to present a workshop with five of my amazing RomVet sisters on creating military characters -- Not Every Man in Uniform is a Navy SEAL! Developing Military Characters to Steal Readers' Hearts. If you didn't get a chance to sit in, the session was recorded and will be available on the CD/DVD.
If you did get up early enough on Saturday morning to see us live and in person - THANK YOU!!! We had over 30 attendees, quite a few of whom were veterans or military family members themselves, and we were so happy to see a great turnout. Hopefully we were able to offer you some useful information on the military in general and good resources for research.
Check my website again in a couple days, and I'll have AJ Brower's handout and Heather Ashby's characteristics worksheet both available for download.
I want you all to know how amazingly, awesomely, wonderfully welcoming Geri Krotow and Jo Anne Pinney were to me. I stayed with my bestie in Long Beach, so I commuted to Anaheim for the conference each day. Jo Anne handed me a key to their room and told me to use it any time I wished - to power nap during the day, take a bit of quiet time away from the crowds, stay overnight if I didn't want drive back to the house, whatever I needed. Geri introduced me to tons of new people from writers to editors to other RomVets and always made sure to point out opportunities to further my writing career. These two ladies made my first conference, an event with over 2000 strangers I was expected to hang out with for three days, a fabulous introduction to the writing world.
The event culminated with a delicious dinner and the RITA Awards Ceremony on Saturday evening. After three jam-packed days of Spotlights and workshops and introductions, it was great to get away from the hotel for a quiet and friendly dinner with Jo Anne, Geri and Teresa Bodwell at the Citrus City Grille in Orange, California. Seriously, eat at this place if you're in the OC. It's near Chapman University and on an adorable little downtown street filled with fun shops. Every bite of food we tried was delicious. When we told the server we were on a tight schedule, he ensured we were in and out quickly while maintaining great service.
Back at the hotel, we were excited for Heather's nomination as a Golden Heart Finalist for Cat on a Hot Steel Flight Deck and very proud of Cindy Dees for her RITA win with Soldier's Last Stand.
I really think our official motto should be RomVets ROCK!