Conference - Day 5

Today I volunteered to work the agent/editor appointments. A chaotic orchestration that went off with few hitches thanks to the ladies who worked to keep everything and everyone happy.  This is not an easy task with over 100 women and men to be watchful over. I worked the stopwatch and got to call the one minute warning and when the appointments were over. Talk about ultimate control!  I did meet two fabulous ladies who helped with the time and when they say “synchronize your watches” they are not kidding! 
I had a brief chance to speak with an editor and do a quickie pitch.  She was extremely polite because she was on her way to another appointment but for some reason I was booked to speak with her and she was leaving. But as the lovely lady she was, she allowed me to tell her about my story and explained Harlequin historicals only does books that are approximately 80,000 words in length.  Since almost all of mine are around 100,000 words in length, this would not work out, but she suggested I send the first 3 chapters to HQN. Later in the day I was told HQN only accepts manuscripts from agents. Hmmm, this was not working to my advantage in the least. About an hour later, I was to meet an agent to pitch.  Guess what? Same problem.  I go to speak with the agent and once again, she was scheduled to depart at the same time and she had another appointment in a different location. Another gracious lady, Sara Megibow from the Nelson Literary Agency, she said to send her the first 30 pages and a synopsis and gave me her card with the information on it. I did not get to tell her about my very hot and sexy Georgian historical, but she was very polite and I appreciated the chance to send anything to her.

This leads me to the main topic of discussion – the wonderful ladies I have met over the course of this conference. Not once have I been in a discussion with fellow writer, an agent, or editor who has not been completely polite with me. The level of respect was obvious from the moment we began speaking.  Even at the appointments where I volunteered, everyone from the other authors to the agents and editors were polite. Even when the noise level became so loud my ears began to ring and I was forced to “politely” remind the ladies to speak softly, they did so without a blink. Even several editors thanked me for the gentle reminders I gave during the sessions.

Once the sessions were over, I headed over the Plaza for high tea. A delightful experience my youngest daughter will be thrilled about because she loves the movie Bride Wars with Ann Hathaway and Kate Hudson where they are June brides at the Plaza. I took tons of pictures and of course wished she were here with me. The weather was glorious and we enjoyed our walk to and from the Plaza.
The awards ceremony remains and I cannot wait to see who wins tonight. Actually it starts in about 40 minutes so I better get dressed and head downstairs.  I’ll fill you in on the winners when it’s over.
So here are the finalists:
Golden Hearts:
Anne Barton – Regency Historical for The Proper Miss’ Guide to Bad Behavior
Maire Shelley – Historical Romance for The Dark Lady
Ruth Kaufman – Inspirational Romance for At His Command
Suzanne Kaufman Kalb – Young Adult Romance for Irresistible
Jo Anne Banker – Contemporary Series for Lost and Found
Robin Lynn Perini – Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure for Stolen Lullaby
Ann Charles – Novel with Strong Romantic Elements for Nearly Departed in Deadwood
Diana Van Dyke – Romantic Suspense for Spy in the Mirror
Trisza Ray – Paranormal Romance for The Blood Sworn King
Lisa Connelly – Contemporary Single Title for The Sinners

The Rita Awards
Lauren Willig – Regency Historical Romance – for The Mischief of the Mistletoe
Sherry Thomas – Historical Romance – for His at Night
Irene Hannon – Inspirational Romance for In Harm’s Way
Julie Kagawa – Young Adult Romance for The Iron King
Karen Templeton – Contemporary Series Romance for Welcome Home, Cowboy
Helen Brenna – Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure for The Moon That Night
Jodi Thomas – Novel with Strong Romantic Elements for Welcome to Harmony
Virginia Kantra – Romance Novella for “Shifting Sea”
Karen Rose – Romantic Suspense for Silent Scream
Sharon Ashwood – Paranormal Romance for Unchained: the Dark Forgotten
Kaki Warner – Best First Book for Pieces of Sky
Jill Shalvis – Contemporary Single Title Romance for Simply Irresistible

I suggest you check out the books and when you see the Golden Heart finalists on the bookshelves, because you will soon.

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