August 2007

 

It’s the Chalice from the Palace in Dallice…

Or perhaps it’s the Challas from the Pallas in Dallas?

Had a fantastic time in Dallas as I’m sure anyone who reads the Latest News section this month realizes. This was my second visit to RWA Nationals although in many ways I consider it my first. Last year in Atlanta, I had some awful stomach bug and I wasn’t operating on all cylinders. As they say down here, I was definitely a kangaroo short in the top paddock! But I was ready for Dallas! And how!

It’s always wonderful to catch up with people I usually only interact with via email. Thank goodness for the Internet – otherwise we’d go all 19th century and have to write to each other via snail mail! The group of people who finaled in the 2006 Golden Heart (the Packers – ’06 Packers, geddit?) are such a fantastic bunch of women and I seemed to run into them everywhere so I was immediately amongst friends. Wonderful too to catch up with my fellow Avon authors who I met last year and also meet new friends like Elizabeth Boyle and Toni Blake and Sylvia Day. Avon always put on a wonderful dinner for their authors and this year we went to this amazing Art Deco palace called the Hotel Zaza. I felt like a movie star there! If you want to see how some of the Avon ladies scrub up, I put a photo of me with Toni Blake and the lovely Terri Garey on the contests page this month.

Other highlights? Having breakfast with the fabulous Jane Porter who is a regular visitor to Australia. Meeting the gorgeous and gracious Lisa Kleypas who the next time I ran into her, came to my rescue in a make-up emergency before Romance Novel TV interviewed me. I’ll let you know when the videos are up on the site – pretty daunting for a girl who hadn’t done an interview before. But Kim and Marisa are so lovely, I soon relaxed and it was like talking to old friends. Having breakfast at an IHOP with Kathryn Smith and Adele Ashworth. Those chocolate chip pancakes should be on the register of national treasures! Seeing so many people from the Avon Fanlit contest. We’d developed a real bond during the competition and it was fantastic to meet so many of them. Meeting the Romance Vagabonds who are a great bunch. Eating Tim Tams and drinking champagne into the small hours after the awards ceremony with the witty, wonderful Sabrina Jeffries and the lovely Packer Caren Crane and brilliant Michelle Buonfiglio from Romance by the Blog and the fabulous Sybil from The Good, the Bad and the Unread. Not to mention Claudia Dain who looked like a movie star in a velvet dress with feathers and hilarious Deb Marlowe, who it turns out is a fellow Kate Bush fan. Now that’s one party that I’m sorry I didn’t have my camera for!

Goodness, this is turning into a name dropping bonanza. And I’m running out of adjectives. I swear if I use ‘wonderful’ once more, the adjective police will lock me up and throw away the key. And then I wouldn’t be able to make the conference in San Francisco in 2008!