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RWA Conference August 5, 2009

Posted by Ronica Stromberg in Uncategorized.
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I’m still playing catch-up after attending the national conference of Romance Writers of America in Washington, D.C. So many bestselling authors, like Nora Roberts and Janet Evanovich, spoke at the conference, and I met a good share of them. I acquired autographs on 85 books at the conference, and unable to squeeze them into my suitcase or bring myself to part with them, I shipped them home. Two boxes. I’m well-stocked for winter reading.

Ronica Stromberg and Janet Evanovich at the 2009 RWA conference in Washington, D.C.

Ronica Stromberg and Janet Evanovich at the 2009 RWA conference in Washington, D.C.

Janet Evanovich admitted she no longer has time to read other authors’ books. So sad.

She and I are kindred spirits in other ways though. She appeared at the conference with a broken foot and minus her glasses. She’d lost her glasses, and she’d broken her foot after going to sign a book for a woman at a bookstore and falling off the stage. And I thought that kind of stuff only happened to me! Now I see this is the sort of expense the IRS needs to count in an author’s efforts to make a living.

Janet inspired me with the story of her road to publication. She wrote, as a stay-at-home mom, like me. After 10 years of writing and receiving nothing but rejections for her efforts, she gave up. She burnt the rejections and hauled everything to the curb for disposal. A few weeks later, she received her first acceptance. I couldn’t help wondering how many of the 2,000 writers at the conference had been to the curb and back again. I know I have!

Janet was so gracious to her fans. During a break in the conference, a long line of women formed to have their pictures taken with her. Janet accommodated the whole line, which kept forming throughout what I’m guessing was an hour or more. She had to have been seeing stars from all those flashes, but she never quit. Two or three flashes are about enough to give me a migraine, so I don’t know how she did it. Perseverance once again, I guess.

Ronica Stromberg and Debbie Macomber at the 2009 RWA conference.

Ronica Stromberg and Debbie Macomber at the 2009 RWA conference.

I met about 10 other inspirational writers (like me) at the conference. I had communicated on-line with most of them, but now we finally met face to face.

For the past three years, I’d been looking–unsuccessfully–and praying for at least one inspirational romance author in my area to network with. At conference, I met Renee Ryan, and she lives only blocks from my house. We are talking about carpooling to future writing events. What an answer to prayer!

I took three days of classes at the conference and attended the awards banquet on the last night. This was a black-tie affair. I wore a black velvet dress with silver beading, as pictured below. My husband took this picture in the Omni Shoreham, the hotel we stayed at.

Ronica Stromberg on her way to the 2009 RWA awards banquet.

Ronica Stromberg on her way to the 2009 RWA awards banquet.

The Omni has served as the site of many inaugural balls, and several presidents have stayed there, as well as international icons like the Beatles. Although I felt the urge to dance around like Maria in “West Side Story,” singing “I Feel Pretty,” I restrained myself. 

All in all, the conference was a great one. The only drawback was no Fabio. I had not-so-secretly hoped to get my picture taken with him. (OK, so I told everyone I came across.)

Fabio, Fabio, where wert thou?

You missed out!



1. slgreatsuccess - August 5, 2009

Looks like a great event. Will have to remember to post in on our company’s blogsite next year.

2. Ronica Stromberg - August 6, 2009

It was really well-organized for a conference with 2,000 attendees.

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