After my adventures at Disneyland it was back to the hotel to get reader for the Readers for Life Literacy Signing. Each year RWA holds this charity event to raise money for literacy charities. Publishers and authors donate books for the event and all the money raised goes to the charity. If you ever wanted to wander through a room full of more than 400 authors, all happy to chat and meet readers and sign books, you really need to pop along if it ever happens in a city near you! This year RWA raised more than $50,000! Way to go!
Thanks to everyone who stopped by to chat or buy a book! Here’s me sitting at my desk:
After the signing, it had become tradition for the Mills & Boon authors (Harlequin authors edited out of the London office) to meet up for a pizza party. This year was the busiest ever! Much wine was drunk. Much pizza was eaten. Much laughter was had. And for the first time I can ever remember, I was in a room with TWO other Fionas – Fiona Lowe and Fiona McArthur, both Aussie Medical Romance authors. I was all for hatching plans for world domination, since the Fionas were in the majority for once, but the other two managed to talk me down...
Thursday the conference really got underway. Workshops started and we also had the Keynote luncheon, with speaker Stephanie Laurens. Her speech was both thought-provoking and inspirational, and if you want to read why she thinks authors need not panic in the current publishing climate, you can read her address here.
However, the real highlight of my Thursday had to be the Harlequin Romance Authors’ tea at the Cheesecake factory in Anaheim, with authors Donna Alward, Barbara Wallace, Melissa McClone, Teresa Carpenter, Patricia Thayer, editors Bryony Green and Tessa Shapcott and VP of series Dianne Moggy.
I LOVE cheesecake, but unfortunately my hubby does not, so I don’t get to eat it very often. We ordered eight pieces between ten of us. Surely we’d be able to defeat that many bits of cheesecake between us? The challenge was on! (I’ve borrowed Donna’s photo, because it shows more cheesecake than mine did!)
And just so you can see the depths of my cheesecake obsession, I am going to tell you exactly what we ordered:
- Red Velvet Cheesecake
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake
- Banana Cream Cheesecake
- Dulce de Leche Caramel Cheesecake (OMG!)
- Chocolate Tuxedo Cream Cheesecake
- Pineapple Upside-Down Cheesecake
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake
- Dutch Apple Caramel Streusel (my choice!)
No we did not. And I think we should be thoroughly ashamed of ourselves.
Barbara, Donna and I decided to placate our consciences by walking back to the hotel instead of getting a cab. It was only about ten minutes away, and it was a lovely walk in the afternoon sunshine down avenues of palm trees.
But Donna and I were back that way later in the evening, when we headed out to Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co. for dinner. We even managed to impress our server with our Forrest Gump trivia knowledge when he gave us a quiz! The only one we really got stuck on was Bubba’s full name. I challenge you all to remember it (without Googling, you cheaters!) and see if you can get it right.
Here’s Donna at Bubba Gump’s looking very happy she’s about to have fish and chips. Me, I gorged myself on shrimp. What else?