Yesterday was my local RWA chapter's Romance Reader's Luncheon. It was held at the Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham, and we had a great time. The delightful Teresa Medeiros was our luncheon speaker, and when she finished her speech, which reminded us romance writers why we write romance, everybody was reaching for the Kleenex.
It amazes me how many romance readers are willing to travel long distances to get to have lunch with their favorite writers. Of course, Teresa was a big draw, as was our own Gayle Wilson, who is moving into single title suspense in a big way. The mind-bogglingly prolific Debra Webb was also there, reminding me just how successful a person can be when they're talented and persistent. And I was so happy to see fellow Intrigue author Kathleen Long, who came a very long way to be with us. She sat next to me at the booksigning and I so enjoyed catching up with her.
I also had a chance to exchange old memories with a fellow Banks High School graduate, DeAnn, who now writes under the pen name Giselle Carmichael . DeAnn reminded me that I had a reputation as a verious "serious" person in high school, which made me laugh, because I remember being more goofy and geeky than "serious." I guess it was the combination of shyness and good grades that made people who didn't know me well think I was serious.
I think a lot of people thought I spent all my spare time studying. I didn't. I did most of my homework during breaks and down-time at school, so when I came home, I either read or watched TV--usually my daily Gilligan's Island rerun fix. I only studied briefly the night before a test and that was it. I just had great info retention back in the day. Wish I could have some of that back now that I'm older!
I got some great books in the goody bag all the attendees received, too! Usually I get the goody bag that has all chick-lit and vampire stuff--not my preferred genres--but this time I got a couple of great-looking suspense titles, including one of Brenda Novak's newest single titles. I look forward to diving into those.
I think everyone had a really good time, and I look forward to May of 2007, when my other chapter, Heart of Dixie, holds their Reader's Luncheon in Huntsville. Karen Robards is the featured speaker.
Oh, and between now and then, there's also a little thing in Birmingham called the Romance in the Magic City conference, March 30 - April 1, 2007. It's going to be great--we already have some terrific editors and agents lined up, and lots of exciting workshops. Keynote speakers are Linda Howard, Gayle Wilson and Beverly Barton. For more information, you can download the conference brochure in .pdf format here. It will also be held at the Wynfrey Hotel.
Finally, I got my first royalty statement yesterday, and I'm happy to report that not only did I pay back my advance, but I actually made some cash in royalties. Whee! Thank you everyone who bought one of my books. And remember, if you haven't bought one, they're still available online at Amazon.com. They make great holiday gifts for the romance reader on your list! Buy now! Buy often!