RWA2014Every year the romance world gathers for the RWA Convention and this year it’s in San Antonio, Texas! I’m totally pumped about heading that way tomorrow. The DH is coming with me so we’re making it a road trip. He’s planning to spend his time hanging around the pool while I keep a whirl-wind schedule of signings, networking and workshops. Here’s a peek into some of what I’ll be up to:

Wednesday July 23rd

5:30-7:30pm Literacy for Life Signing
Rivercenter Marriott

I’ll be joining 500 other authors, who along with our publishers, are offering all the proceeds from the sale of our books to support literacy charities. Over the years, RWA has raised more than a million dollars for this intensely worthy cause. This event is open to the public, so if you’re in the San Antonio area, I’d love to see you there!

Thursday, July 24th

9:45-11:15 Kensington/Sourcebooks Signing
Grand Ballroom, Rivercenter Marriott

Here’s where I need a clone. I’m scheduled to be in two places at once. I’ll start at the Kensington signing with my RITA nominated Plaid Tidings, then half way through the time, I’ll switch to the Sourcebooks event and my final book in the Royal Rakes series, Between a Rake and a Hard Place. If you’re attending the convention, I hope to see you both places!

3:15-4:15pm Sourcebooks Spotlight

Sourcebooks is home to some of romance’s hottests authors. Join me for a look at why it’s such a great publisher to partner with!

6-8pm Kensington Party

This is my chance to hobnob with the publishing pros and my fellow Kensington authors. One year, I spent most of the evening with one of my favorite authors, Mary Jo Putney! Imagine my fan-girl joy at being able to rub elbows with Victoria Alexander and Hannah Howell!

Friday, July 25th

3:00-5:00pm RITA/GOLDEN HEART Finalists Reception

I’m thrilled that my Plaid Tidings has been nominated for this prestigious award. It’ll be lovely to join my fellow nominees for this event.

4:30-5:30pm Kensington Spotlight

I’m going to have to hoof it pretty fast to make both of these events since they are in two different hotels! But I’ll be sure to put in an appearance because Kensington is a terrific publishing house and I’m proud to be part of their Zebra line.

6:00pm-? Sourcebooks Dinner

This is always a highlight of the week. Sourcebooks always treats us to a gastronomic celebration. Plus it’s a chance to visit with the likes of Grace Burrowes and the always irrepressible Jade Lee!

Saturday, July 26th

Plaid Tidings12:30-2:00pm Rehearsal for the Awards Ceremony 

Yeah, this is a big enough deal that we have to practice for it. I’ve been instructed to prepare an acceptance speech (even though I think encountering a snow storm in San Antonio is more likely than my winning!)

7:30pm  RITA Awards Ceremony

I’ll be honest. Every year I’ve attended RWA (and I’ve only missed one since 2002!) I’ve wondered how it must feel to be nominated for this honor. Now I know it’s equal parts humbling and exciting. Whether I win or not, it’s thrilling to be named with all the other finalists!

I’ll be posting some pics from the conference on my FB page this week, so pop over to my “Official Page” from time to time. And if you’re going to be in San Antonio, I really want to meet you!







Going the way of the dinosaur?

The last big technological advance in publishing–audio books–filled a growing need and expanded the number of people who enjoyed books on their commute or during time at the gym. But it didn’t impact the sales or popularity of traditional books. With the surge of the newest technological change–ebooks–people are wondering if it’s going to fundamentally change the publishing industry forever. Here’s what an industry expert says:

”The physical book really has had a 500-year run. It’s probably the most successful technology ever. It’s hard to come up with things that have had a longer run. If Gutenberg were alive today, he would recognize the physical book and know how to operate it immediately. Given how much change there has been everywhere else, what’s remarkable is how stable the book has been for so long. But no technology, not even one as elegant as the book, lasts forever.” ~ JEFF BEZOS, Newsweek, Dec. 20, 2009

My writer friends on the New England Chapter RWA loop had a fascinating discussion about this recently. Many bemoaned the impact ebooks have on mom-and-pop bookstores as well as B&N, the last brick and mortar big boy in play. Others touted the benefits of ebooks to readers–convenience, lower prices & more choices. Writers have more autonomy and control over their own careers with self-published ebooks.

I’m thoroughly addicted to my ereader. It makes so much sense since I live in a small condo, and yet…I miss real books. I have a friend who works with special needs children who always says there is a little autism in all of us that resists change. That’s me. I’m conflicted about this change in publishing.

Professionally, I’ve got a foot in both worlds. This year I’ve been blessed with 4 traditional releases from my two publishers (Sins of the Highlander, Touch of a Rogue, Lord of Fire and Ice, and Touch of a Scoundrel). An embarrassment of riches in writer circles, to be sure. Then on the other side of the aisle, I’ve released 4 ebooks and an enovella as well–Maidensong, Erinsong, How to Distract a Duchess, How to Please a Pirate and Touch of a Lady. It reminds me a bit of when I was a kid at my grandparent’s cabin on the lake and I’d balance between the dock and the dipping boat. I wonder how long I can hold this position.

Yet all we’re really talking about is the delivery method. The important thing–the story–is still there. As long as people have huddled around a common campfire, there have been storytellers. (Wonder if that’s why Amazon dubbed their biggest, best Kindle ‘Fire’?) The switch from oral tradition to written was a sea change, yet the story was still there. The switch from paper to digital is an wrenching change as well, but the story goes on.

I’ve heard some suggest that in the future, books will be delivered in 500 word chunks on our cell phones, a technological nod to the past when Dickens and Alcott’s stories were serialized in newspapers. There’s already been a novel released solely as “tweets.” What’s next?

What do you think? Whether you’re a reader or a writer or both, I’d love to hear your take on the state of publishing, paperback vs ereader, the fate of bookstores… Where do you think the story will go in the future?

Update: The winners of an ARC of Touch of a Scoundrel are Tin and Sandy S. Thanks to everyone who dropped by and left a comment. If you didn’t win this time, don’t despair. I’ll have another giveaway next Monday!

Waking Up with a Rake

Coming January 2013

It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a small army of folks to bring a book to market. It starts with the initial kernel of a idea from the author. She puts together a proposal. How detailed that needs to be depends on her relationship with her publisher. For the Royal Rakes series, Connie Mason and I submitted a short overview of the series and a paragraph each for the 3 books to our agent who sold it to our editor and hammered out the deal with our publisher.

Then the first story, Waking Up with a Rake had to be written. That involved our critique partner, Ashlyn Chase, as we fleshed out the manuscript. While we were doing that, the cover artists at Sourcebooks put together this wonderful cover. After multiple passes, the manuscript went to our beta-reader, then finally to our editor (on time!). As a railroader’s daughter I’m a stickler for punctuality.

After several months, requests for a few revisions came back and we finished those up just before I ran off to Hawaii in May. Now the manuscript is back in my hands for one last look-through to approve or disapprove the copy editor’s changes. By this time, it’s looking much more like a real book. The appearance of a galley, even an electronic one, is much more like it will be in print next January. Someone has taken great care with my words and this is my last chance to make this story the best it can be.

And frankly it’s been long enough since I looked at it (and my attention has been on other manuscripts since then!) that the writing and the story feels delightfully fresh to me. I love it when a book finally comes together and I’m so appreciative of all the many people who’ve had a hand in it.

A bit of housekeeping for my blog now…

Touch of a Scoundrel

Leave a comment for a chance to win an ARC of TOUCH OF A SCOUNDREL!

Congratulations to Fiona Marsden and Librarypat! You’re the winners from Bronwen Evan’s visit to my blog last Monday. They’ll be receiving either INVITATION TO RUIN or INVITATION TO SCANDAL. She’ll be emailing you soon. That same day I was guesting on her blog and my winners are Annfes and Jen Rescigno, so they’ll be hearing from me.

You didn’t win? Don’t despair. I’m offering 2 ARCs of Touch of a Scoundrel to 2 winners here. All you have to do is leave a comment or question for me.  It can be about anything–even how you spent your weekend! I’ll be announcing the winners here later this week.

Good luck!