Thursday, July 20, 2006

RWA Excitement! by Diane Perkins

Next week, officially starting Wednesday July 26, is the Romance Writers of America National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. I'm so excited about the conference this year, I'm going to Atlanta early, arriving on Monday. I'm excited because my alter ego, the lovely and talented Diane Gaston who writes for Harlequin Mills & Boon, has A Reputable Rake up for a RITA award and her debut novel The Mysterious Miss M up for the Bookseller's Best and the National Readers Choice Award.

I'm not too jealous of her...In fact, it almost seems as if it is happening to me too!

But it is not only these awards that excite me about the conference. It is the fun I will have seeing old friends and attending the workshops and the parties!

I've attended RWA since 1998 (Anaheim?) and would not miss it for the world. I have such lovely memories. In 2001 I was a Golden Heart finalist for the first time and I had the most fun ever in my life in New Orleans. Here we are (L to R) Leisa O'Connor, Melissa James, me, Karen Anders, and Maryanne Capelluti: We called ourselves the "Cheap Tarts" and I treasure the fun we had, especially because Maryanne passed away this last year after a long illness.

Another of my favorite parts of the conference week is the Beau Monde Soiree, where I get to see my Regency friends. We like to dress the part of Regency ladies-- and gentlemen -- you can see Sir Reginald (Regina Scott/Regan Allen) in the back there.

2003 in New York City was another wonderful conference for me. I was a Golden Heart finalist again! And I sold my GH manuscript to Mills & Boon. And I won the Golden Heart!

Kathy Caskie awarded me the Golden Heart. If Gaston wins the RITA, Sophia Nash will award it to Here we all are, Kathy, me, and Sophia on that magical night in 2003. (I'm the short, non-blonde one)

2004 in Dallas was another exciting year. I had my first booksigning and it was so much fun.

2005 in Reno was hectic, but another first. This was my first publisher booksigning, where the conference attendees line up to get the books. Here I am with Kelley St. John

Here's another photo from 2005. This is the Wet Noodle Posse, the group of Golden Heart finalists from 2003 who have remained together as a support group. We are dressed for the Awards ceremony, and what a bunch of gorgeous babes we are! RWA is the only place I get to see some of these ladies.

That is what I like best about RWA--seeing friends I don't get to see anywhere else, some who come from halfway around the world.
I can hardly wait until next week!
Diane (for more about RWA see my blog on The Wet Noodle Posse. It's all about the clothes)


Elizabeth Hoyt said...

I enjoyed looking at your pics, Diane, and I agree that the best part of the RWA conference is seeing friends from past years. Oh, and good luck to Ms. Gaston! We'll be rooting for you . . . er, HER!

Diane Perkins said...

Thank you, Elizabeth...from Diane Gaston, I mean...