My Retreat weekend was terrific!
First off, Sally MacKenzie and I stayed in the Penthouse of Inn Boonsboro the night before participating in the 16 author booksigning at Turn The Page. It was Sally’s first time at the Inn so it was fun introducing her to this unique place. The Penthouse was the only room not named after fictional lovers (like Elizabeth and Darcy, Wesley and Buttercup, Nick and Nora) but, like those rooms, it had “the toilet.” The toilet opens at your approach, has a heated seat, flushes automatically, and closes again. You can choose special settings, like “front cleansing” or “rear cleansing,” “pulsating” or “streaming.”
We thought the Inn would be full of other authors attending the booksigning, but we were the only ones. The rest of the guests were readers coming for the signing. It was a delight to share wine and cheese (and later, Jameson) with them and see their enthusiasm for Nora Roberts’ books and Romance. Then during the signing, it was like greeting old friends when they went though the line.
I was liaison for for sociologists Joanna Gregson and Jennifer Lois, who are studying the culture of romance writing and were speaking at the Washington Romance Writers Retreat. I was able to arrange for them to observe the booksigning. I figured they would never see anything like it again! There were over 200 people who attended the signing!
After the signing we were off to the Retreat in Westminster, Maryland, and I cannot describe what a great pleasure it was. To be In The Company of Writers (the name of the Retreat) is a blessing in itself, but we had terrific speakers and workshop leaders. I attended the always fabulous Kathleen Gilles Seidel workshop, which was hands on and focused on putting love back in romance novels. You know, making the romance believable and satisfying to the reader. There was speaker Liliana Hart, who also gave what was described as an amazing workshop for indy writers. Robin Perini was the other speaker and workshop leader, giving her workshop on Story Magic. Other great workshops as well. And, of course, Romance Jeopardy! The theme was “Steampunk” and that’s me and my pals Julie and Helen getting photo bombed by Alethea Kontis.
But my favorite part of the Retreat was simply sitting and talking with other writers, old friends and new friends. That’s the part I treasure the most.
Now I’m rejuvenated and eager to begin my new series, as yet unnamed! More on that later. What are you up to today?