I had tons of fun at RWA Nationals last week. If you don't know, RWA means Romance Writers Association. Every year it's held in one major city and romance writers from all over come for workshops, panels, booksignings, and awards. This year it was held in Anaheim, California which is 30 minutes away from where I live. So like my former writing teacher from UCI told me, "You really have no excuse not to come."
The first day I was there, I admit, I was overwhelmed with all the conference had to offer. I didn't get lost getting to the hotel. Whew. I'm so direction challenged. The cost of parking though was crazy: $24 a day! Ouch.
But when I went inside the Marriot and registered I received a really nice bag filled with BOOKS! Two were YAs: EMBRACE and Meg Cabot's ABANDON. Both I've read and both are amazing!
Then I went to the first panel BEYOND THE HERO'S JOURNEY with the author of GRAVE MERCY: Robin LaFever!
Loved this panel so much and ended up purchasing the one book they recommended: WOMEN THAT RUN WITH WOLVES on the woman's journey.
**Robin went over archetypes:
1. Orphan--example, Dorothy of Wizard of Oz and Bella in Twilight
2. Martyr- **Everyone's needs before their own at a cost.
3. Wanderer-Chocolat, and EAT, PRAY, LOVE
4. Warrior-Buffy, Xena
Another book I purchased was THE HERO WITHIN that goes over the six archetypes.
Then I went to the Hero's Journey with YA.
Fascinating take on using the hero's journey with YA.
Then I went to Tera Lynn Child's workshop on GOOD THINGS COME IN 3s--Series writing
Got some really good pointers
**Your first book will be the best one. Sucessful trilogies have high stakes.
I had Tera sign a copy of SWEET VENOM which I will send to YA Books Central for a giveaway.
***Yes, I love to share!
I was so busy, I ate the snacks I packed plus went to the goodies room and was amazed at all the free swag/books! I added my own CROSSED OUT and EARRINGS OF IXTUMEA bookmarkers to one of the many tables.
So many people were mingling in the hallways. I heard there were 2000 attendees. Crazy, huh?
I left early on day two to make it in time for Marlene Perez and Nancy Holder's panel.
I made it!
SERIES-OUS STAMINA went over writing series and some hints on what worked for them.
**Need to stay fresh. Put your own unique twist on a series.
***Copy editor: Need to remember you are the director here with your story. Copy editors might not get the whole 'story'. For example with YA dialogue. It might not be grammatically correct but that's your voice.
Since I just got my copy editor assigned to me, this info helps me!
Then I went to WORLD BUILDING MADE EASY
This panel was a little sketchy I thought. So I left and went to a class on PR for your book. This one had some very interesting info on how to do press releases and how to get word out about your novel.
Check these sites for news places to query.
Also an example of how to start off a query to a local newspaper/site:
A romantic story is about_____________
Author ___________has a local connection to this community
Then it was time for booksignings!
St Martin's Press:
And I can't forget Sourcebooks:
I think I was so excited to finally meet authors, I didn't focus or something.
Other panels I went to included STEAMPUNK: How to write.
Very fascinating class!
. Is a world set during the Victorian era of 1837-1901.
. Has some kind of mechanical technology or social aspect that is integral to the story line
. Story has inventions that transcend the period but use period appropriate
. Have a social commentary or look at the underbelly of society
Another highlight was having lunch with YA authors Marlene Perez of DEAD IS THE NEW BLACK series and I also finally met Tina Ferraro of PROM DRESS and also YA author Teri Clark, Flux author of HOLLYWEIRD.
Met Jennifer Echols and really enjoyed her class on setting
**Show echoes of history in your locale
Use Google alert
Then I got to go to former writing mentor Lou Nelson's class on SETTING THE SCENE GOAL
Plus, I put some signed copies of CROSSED OUT in the goodies room. I went back to check and they were gone within an hour!
Going was such an amazing experience and I'd highly recommend!