I'm back from the New Jersey conference filled with new ideas, made new friends, discovered new restaurants and totally tired!
New Jersey is one of my favorite conferences, and not just because it's only an hour from my house. I had a great drive down with KMJ and Megan, catching up on our lives since the last chapter meeting. When we got to the NJ, KMJ dropped her bags off at her hotel and then dropped Megan and I off at the Woodbridge so that we could check in and register for the conference.
Friday, I went to three workshops, including writing erotic romance, since I have an interesting idea for a Blaze that I might work on during NaNoWriMo. Also using history in romance and also a great workshop on using backstory in your novel. I'm the Queen of Infodump, so that was a workshop that really helped me out. I'm getting better at backstory, particularly with the novella that I wrote and submitted for the Brava novella contest.
I had dinner with KMJ, Megan and Janet Mullany one of the Risky Regencies who is totally delightful, at the Bonefish Grill which is this yummy seafood restaurant near the hotel. I had the best plate of mussels that I have had in a long time. Janet also writes as Jane Lockwood and I managed to pick up a copy of her book Forbidden Shores at the bookfair (where I spent way too much money). I loved that Janet called the book "filthy"!
Ate too much cake after the Golden Leaf awards, but I danced it off the next night at the Saturday night party where I lead a conga line and then later did my interpretive dance to Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart". There were more great workshops on Saturday including Eloisa Jame's workshop on creating a Beta hero. But the best was the Keynote speech that Sherrilyn Kenyon gave at lunch.
She talked about her road to being published, how she'd sold 6 books in one year and then nothing for 4 years! But she kept on writing even though she had to borrow postage from her neighbor to mail her proposal and now she's a New York Times bestselling author. It just goes to show you that no matter how hard it is, no matter how many people may get publishing contracts before you, that you can't quit if writing is truly in your blood. I was so inspired that I'm totally nominating her for our Author of the Year award for The Golden Apples.
Marianne Mancusi over at Cosmo and Chat has some great photos including one of me in my dress from Saturday's party.
I also caught up with some of our chapter members at the conference, including a few that I hadn't seen in awhile, setting up more interviews that hopefully you will see in the upcoming weeks. But there was a sad note, one of our members had a minor heart attack just before she was due to leave for the conference. Thankfully she was okay, but we were all worried about her and sending her our prayers.