Love is in the air — and in town — as the Romance Writers of America hit Orlando for their annual conference Wednesday through Saturday at Walt Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin. Best-selling authors will be rubbing shoulders with novices, agents, editors and industry insiders in what is truly one of publishing’s grand affairs, a literal lovefest of programs, panels, parties and promotion.
If you, as readers, are feeling a bit left out, don’t be. One of the things I love about RWA is their annual Readers for Life Literacy Autographing event, where 500-plus authors sign books for fans with proceeds going to literacy charities, like our own Adult Literacy League. The event itself is free, but RWA asks that you buy the books there if you can. If you want to bring one or two (no more, please) of your own books to have them signed, that’s fine, but then consider making a donation to the literacy campaign, which has raised more than $600,000 over the last 20 years. Makes sense and cents!
This year’s session runs from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Pacific Exhibit Hall at the Dolphin (follow signs for Epcot resorts after entering Disney property). There’s a long, long list of the participating authors at www.rwanational.org, as well as a map that highlights where the Big Names in the biz will be. Y’know, like Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick, Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Meg Cabot, Linda Howard, etc., etc. Others are seated A-Z, and there are Big Names in the mix there too, like South Florida’s Heather Graham and Central Florida’s Kresley Cole, plus Eloisa James, Deanna Raybourn, Kat Martin, Karen White and my chick-lit pal Mary Kay Andrews. I know I’m leaving out loads of names, but I actually own books by those particular authors.
I’m not a rabid romance reader, although I grew up on Emilie Loring, Mary Stewart and Georgette Heyer, but I like chick-lit and romantic suspense, Regencys, vampires, ghosts. Oh, what the heck. Obviously, I read romance. I love a good love story. In fact, I think I’ll go read one now. How’s that for a happy ending?
Open Book: I bought a copy of Meg Cabot’s Insatiable (HarperCollins), downloaded a digital copy of Heather Graham’s Ghost Night (Harlequin/Mira) through NetGalley, and have a signed ARC of Mary Kay Andrews’ Hissy Fit (HarperCollins) and her other books. She’s a friend! (The first link published for RWA didn’t work; sorry, now updated).