Coming Down from the RWA High

Is it even possible to come down from such an amazing high?

Last week I blogged about how nervous I was to attend the Romance Writers of America National Conference in Anaheim. To everyone who left a comment, THANK YOU! I read all of them, but iPad and I disagreed on how best to display my replies, so they weren't posted. I'm so sorry about that. This post is a longer version of what I tried to say to each one of you.

The weekend was a whirlwind of meeting online friends who became instant real-world friends, filling my brain with more writerly goodness than I know what to do with, and having the chance to meet rockstars in the writing community.

My notebook is filled with scribbles spanning the page with quotes like, ‘Write your passion!' which sounds so simple, but really if we aren't passionate about our work, who will be? On pitching I wrote this gem, ‘Practice! Make it as conversational as possible.' Well, duh. But then we were told over and over again how much the agents wish writers would sit down and talk with them. Not read a pitch from a scrap of paper.

I learned new catch words like, ‘Street Team', which is apparently a group of highly motivated people who help an author get the word out. I'm not sure if it actually has anything to do with a street, but it seemed more like a group of friends willing to send out tweets, FB posts, etc. to promote your work. Even though I'm confused on the specifics, I found myself longing for a Street Team of my own.

In a workshop about building reader loyalty, this struck me as profound, ‘Balance your “Celebrity” by asking about them. Engage them in conversation not just about yourself, but their interests.' Again, so simple, but how easy is it to forget this?

As for writing romance, we were reminded that, ‘For women the relationship includes sex. For men, the relationship starts with sex.' Women tend to think sex is an expression of love where men, well not so much. Natalie Hartford has a hilarious video on her blog that talks about the differences in the way men and women approach sex. If you haven't seen it yet, don't drink anything while watching it. Fair warning!

I wrote pages and pages of awesomeness that I got from all the workshops at the conference. Way too much for one blog, but be assured I'll have future posts to share what I learned.

In case you're worried that the conference was all work and no play, let me just put those concerns to rest.

Before the conference officially started, I had a chance to hang out with August McLaughlin, Jami Gold, Jenny Hansen, Kristen Lamb, and Natalie Markey. Talk about some blogging rockstars!

They were only the beginning… soon enough I was joined by Debra Kristi, Melinda VanLone, Bethany Lopez, Kate Wood, and Tracey Livesay. All except Bethany (who didn't attend the conference, she just came for the literacy fundraiser) became my near-constant companions for the entire weekend. I can honestly say I haven't laughed so hard in years. These women are intelligent, beautiful, and have damn fine senses of humor. Which worked in my favor since I can be a bit of an idiot at times. Shocker, I know!

Even though she didn't attend the conference, my gal pal Gayle Carline stopped by for some drinks Friday night. My SCWC friend Rick Ochocki and his lovely wife Linda were also there. I swiped this pic of Rick from his facebook page because, well he's in a kilt! Also, he's standing with Nora Roberts (in her hand is her RITA award).

I could gush on and on about the folks I met, from James Rollins to an erotica writer I saw in line and went all fangirl over. That's a post for another day. In all, it was an amazing weekend and this is one conference I'll always attend. Next year it will be in Atlanta, I hope to see all of you there!

Here are some other fabulous posts about the RWA conference. As more come in, I'll update the links.

52 thoughts on “Coming Down from the RWA High”

  1. Gayle CarlineGayle Carline

    Okay, I TOTES have to join RWA. What a fun group! It was so great getting together with you (and all your adoring fans) at the bar. Although I’m a little worried – I’m your go-to-the-bar gal pal, or your porn store accomplice… I may be getting a reputation here.

  2. August McLaughlinAugust McLaughlin

    What?!? You all can’t move to Atlanta next year. I won’t have it.

    Hanging out with you was a highlight of my summer, Tameri. I really lucked out having WANA pals gathering so close to home. So glad you had a blast!

    PS You are STUNNING in that shot with Mr. Rollins. You make famous authors look goood.

  3. katewoodauthorkatewoodauthor

    The “street” in Street Team refers to the idea of “hitting the streets” with the authors swag and other marketing materials in order to promote their name and works.

    See how smart I am?

    So, you should attend each and every OCC meeting from now on. Just sayin’.

    • Jenny HansenJenny Hansen

      The two of you might be just enough for me to get my ass there…

  4. AnonymousAnonymous

    Thank you, Tameri, for the photo with Nora Roberts (aka J. D. Robb) who is one of my very favorite writers!!!

  5. Coleen PatrickColeen Patrick

    So cool looking at all the photos–I’m living vicariously through them! So glad you had a great time, looking forward to hearing more. And I completely agree with August, you do look super FAB in that photo with Rollins. Awesome!

  6. Louise BehielLouise Behiel

    sounds and looks like a blast. I’m so glad you enjoyed. RWA is great at the best of times but with WANA folks, it would be wonderful.

  7. MarciaMarcia

    The pictures are so fabulous, Tameri! If I’d know you get all that swag, I’d have gone for sure! 😉 I was going to say the same, you and Jim Rollins—woohoo!–looks like you’re getting cozy there with him. And you DO look gorgeous!
    I’m praying I can make it to Atlanta. I want some of that fun! Atlanta in August–hmm, humid, hot, very sticky–my hair will be a frizz-ball!

  8. EmmaEmma

    Ha ha, burst out laughing when I saw Thor! Fabulous pics Tameri. I would be in heaven with all those goodies.

  9. Richard SnowRichard Snow

    Glad you had such a good time. It must be great “actually” meeting people you’ve only “met” electronically. 🙂

  10. Natalie HartfordNatalie Hartford

    Sounds ahhhhmazing!!! So much fun and I love how you shared those fabulous little tidbits. Looking forward to hearing more here and there…squeee! All kinds of goodness. And those photos are fantastic! Love it. Thanks so much for sharing honey!
    And thank you for the uberlicious shout out….you are the BEST! xoxoxox

  11. amyshojaiamyshojai

    AWESOME-ICITY! Now I really have to check into Atlanta for next year, wow!

  12. jansenschmidtjansenschmidt

    Awesome pictures, Tameri! I tried to hook up with you gals, but apparently no one saw, or everyone deliberately ignored, my FB post. It’s always nice to get to meet someone you’ve become acquainted with on line.

    Conferences are always so inspiring. I try (too hard) write every word down because I know I’ll actually only remember about 2 things and that’s not nearly enough. I hope you find ways to incorporate some of the things you learned into your writing. Never stop learning, I say!

    And the added bonus for me – I pitched to 2 people and got requests from both! So, I’m still jazzed up about that.

    So glad you had an awesome time!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  13. patriciasandspatriciasands

    Atlanta 2013! Let’s do it! Thanks for sharing your fab photos and great information. How wonderful to connect with so many WANAS … as well as everyone else, of course! RWA need to have you on their publicity team, Tameri. You make everything sound sparklicious!

  14. Roni LorenRoni Loren

    Those are awesome pictures. I’m always mad at myself after a conference because I realize I forgot to take pics of everyone. I need to get on the ball. : ) It was so great to see you and I’m glad you had such a great time! 🙂

  15. Debra KristiDebra Kristi

    I learned so much and had such a great time! Sorry I cut the bottom of the book out in the picture with Rollins. 🙁 Are you considering the So.Cal. RWA next year in March?

  16. Jami GoldJami Gold

    Great pictures! Thanks for sharing. Now I have to figure out how to share mine too. 🙂

  17. Angela QuarlesAngela Quarles

    It was so great to meet you and eat lunch together Friday! That’s one thing I regret is that I didn’t take many pictures 🙁 But I had a blast!

  18. Tracey LivesayTracey Livesay

    This post was awesome and brought RWA back to me and in a good way! I loved meeting you in person and would tell anyone that your blog does not do you justice-even though it is crazy good. You must experience Tameri in 3-D!! {big hugs from Virginia}

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