If you missed my many posts and pictures, last month I was lucky enough to go to Atlanta for my first RWA conference. I was cool, calm, collected...I mean, I knew I was going to see some of my all time favorite authors, but I wasn't going to spaz out...I wasn't...really...
Yeah, that lasted until I went to my first Avon Author Workshop. I sit down with my roomie and friend, Jackie Hatcher, looking around in awe...and the first gasp and squeeze happens.
"Jax, it's Eloisa James.....JAX! Lorraine Heath is sitting behind me...OMG, so is Lori Wilde...Holy Crap, Susan Elizabeth Phillips is in the way back and she has spoken...."
Yeah, Jackie was very amused and I recieved plenty of eyerolls.
As the week went on, it only got worse. At the literacy signing, they put me next to Lisa Gardener, and I had to fan girl it up a little. Then I was so nervous I started tearing up while talking to Eloisa James (I do that sometimes when I'm nervous) and ran away like a dork... then, I see Jude Deveraux walk by and I'm like...I can't speak..I read her when I was thirteen...I still have my original copy of The Raider....*gulp*
Later that week, she signed a book for me along with Karen Robards (whose books give me goosebumpy, nail biting tendencies) and then, the Avon Party.The first person who really helped me relax was Beverly Jenkins, a wonderful author who has published over 30 novels, and let me sit with her, asking me questions and putting me at ease. I had read several of her novels and attended one of her workshops: she is truly lovely. After leaving her company, instead of letting my big mouth and crazy nerves turn me into an irritating mess, I started visiting each group and snapping photos with my camera. It kept me from spazzing and I had a blast talking to everyone (although, the week is such a blur, I've forgotten some names! I'm sorry!) I started seeing all of those authors in a new normal light, and not just through the eyes of a fangirl.
Like when Susan Elizabeth Phillips crashed a photo to put bunny ears on one of the girls, I laughed and the photo was perfect. Or as I watched Eloisa James sit on Sarah MacLean's lap, I ran over to get a picture of these two women who were obviously friends. Then Toni Blake had me chuckling as she insisted I photograph her awesome skirt, since it was beautiful and needed attention.
By the time the party ended, I was a little less nerdy (only a little) and the rest of the conference was a tad bittersweet...I was happy to be going home to my family, but the conference was so much fun that I was sad to see it end.
Of course, there's always next year right? :-)
Avid writer of small towns, true love, and laugh out loud moments. Romance novel entusiast. Addictions include Coffee, Twitter, and TV Shows.