Tuesday, August 1, 2017

RWA 2017 Conference Photos

I'm back from the Romance Writers of America 2017 conference and, as promised, I have pictures to share. In fact, too many pics for one post, so I've split them up. My friend and blog sister over at Harlequin Heartwarming Authors blog, Catherine Lanigan, and I just posted a photo recap of the conference and it includes TONS of pics, from casual gatherings to the famous Harlequin Party held at the Waldorf Astoria! I'll post a few of those, plus additional photos here, but rather than duplicate the posts, here's the link to that one...which we can call RWA17 pics part 1 :). Please check them out because I was up well after midnight putting those photos and the post together!

And we can call the pics here, part 2 ;). These pics will include a few of my faves (you might see both places), as well as some with my author friends who aren't with Heartwarming (but they're just as special to me of course).

Let's start with the fact that I finally got to meet my extraordinary editor, Claire Caldwell, in person! Every time we've tried to meet over the past year or two, something has happened. I had to leave the New York conference early in 2015 because of a death in the family...then when she attended my chapter's annual retreat the following spring, I couldn't make it because it coincided with my eldest's Senior Prom and my husband was out of town. Well, this year it finally happened! I knew she was super nice, patient, smart and plain brilliant as an editor, but she was even more so in person!

Catherine Lanigan (also one of Claire's lucky authors) and amazing editor Claire Caldwell. 

Claire Caldwell and me at the Harlequin Party. Sorry for the red photo. Mood lighting!

Claire, myself and Catherine
Okay, I'm posting a little backwards here, since the party wasn't until Friday night, but my other post on the Heartwarming blog goes in chronological order, I promise.

One of the best parts of my conference was getting to see my close friends and annual roomies, Harlequin author Jeannie Watt and her daughter, author Jamie Dallas. Jeannie received an award for reaching 25 books with Harlequin and Jamie had just found out she'd won a Stiletto award (Contemporary mid-length for The Wrong Brother) at an event right before the party! You go girls!

Jeannie Watt, me and Jamie Dallas

Jeannie Watt and Jamie Dallas in front of the Harlequin sign honoring their award recipients. Beautiful ladies!
Jeannie has written for Harlequin Superromance and American in the past...in fact she was my favorite cowboy author long before I got published and, for those of you who follow my posts, you'll remember her as my mentor and the author who made me pitch the book that ended up being my first sale and debut :). I'm so excited that she'll be bringing her cowboys to the Heartwarming family!

Jeannie on the end with her 25 book award. There were more awards afterwards...all the way up to 150 books!

Jeannie and Jamie with her Stiletto contest award.

The lovely and sweet Miranda Indrigo, who is always there to answer any questions we Harlequin Authors have.

Okay, this one's on the other post too, but I had to tease you with how gorgeous the room and dessert set up is at the Harlequin Party. More pics if you follow the post link above!

Authors Cari Lynn Webb, Amy Vastine, Jennifer Snow and Carol Ross at the party.
See that giant screen in the back? Well, Harlequin had book covers rotating through. See my other post of the Heartwarming covers that made it on the big screen. Here's one of Jeannie Watt's 25th book.

Catherine Lanigan and me on our way to the Harlequin Party.

Catherine Lanigan and Kate James. We shared a taxi to the party :).

Our traditional pic! See the other post for the one we took back in 2014!
And then there was the Reader's For Life Literacy Autographing which is open to the public and raises funds for literacy. Check out the other post for pics of all the Heartwarming authors signing. I didn't this year because my next book release isn't until December. Here's a shot of Cari and Jeannie who sat next to each other last year too. These two are a riot. They had me laughing so hard and readers loved them. One reader even brought Jeannie a specially made gift with her book cover on it!

Always great to see Donna Alward at the conference!

And I was excited to see Nancy Holland. It's so fun to run into people you usually see online.

I ran into so many friends and I don't have pics of them all. Some have been shared on Facebook and Twitter though, if you hang out there or lurk. Gosh, if I try and post names, I know I'll miss someone, but a few were Karen Foley, Cathryn Parry, Barbara Wallace, Tanya Agler and so many more! If I forgot to list you, it's from sheer exhaustion...not because I don't love you.

Again, I posted many more pics at the above link to the Heartwarming blog, so I'll leave you with this last (somewhat blurry one). I love it because, although we attend the conference to learn at workshops, meet with our editors/agents and find out about publishing trends, the conference is also about getting to see friends (sometimes only this once a year) who understand what it means to be a writer and who are always supportive and giving.

Kate James, me and Catherine Lanigan
So now that I'm back home, I'm feeling recharged and inspired (albeit tired from travel). I'm working on book 6 in my From Kenya, with Love series, due at the end of the month. Book 5, Every Serengeti Sunrise releases in December (and is up for preorder). I just saw the cover for it and it's very romantic. I'll be doing a cover reveal in my newsletter by tomorrow, so anyone who wants to get an early look at it, sign up soon on my website!

I hope you all get a minute to check out the pics on the Heartwarming blog too. Thanks for visiting and checking the ones I posted here!

Until next time,

Rula :) (who really, really missed getting to see Victoria Curran. Wish you were there!)


  1. It was so much fun! Love these pictures!

    1. It was so great to see you there, Laurie! I loved our chat time! Can't wait until next year :).

  2. Yay, on the photos, and the conference news. Thanks, Rula, so much for sharing! How wonderful that you finally got to meet Claire! She's such a peach--I'm sure you two make a fabulous team. SO glad to hear that Jeannie will be writing for Heartwarming, too! And I can't wait to read Every Serengeti Sunrise! <3

    1. Hi Kathy! So glad you liked the pics and, yes, Claire was so sweet! Of course, we both know what a smart and brilliant editor she is too :).

      Thanks for popping by here (always an honor)! Always great to hear from you :).

  3. Looks like you had a great time. Wonderful that you finally got to meet your editor in person. Plus- you met up with so many friends. :) Awesome! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hey Jess! Meeting up with friends is one of the highlights of the conference and I absolutely loved meeting my editor. She's so smart and so sweet. :)