The Romance Writers of America national conference took place this last weekend in Denver, CO. I had no idea what to expect as it would be my first ever conference, but I knew there would be interesting and informational panels, book signings, award ceremonies, and luncheons.
Pitching session slots had all been filled, so I wasn’t worried about that, and I knew I had an amazing, supportive friend at my back for the whole weekend. What I didn’t know was how spellbound I’d be by the whole experience, and the incredible kismet raining down upon me. Seriously, it felt like the universe was making up for a lot of missed chances and poor choices because I’d decided to step up and fight for myself. I wound up making it in to pitch to agents, spoke with established authors, and collected an awesome group of people.
Twice I chatted with Beverly Jenkins. I accidentally dubbed Gail Carriger as Ms. Dapper and made my friend nearly piss herself when she realized we were sitting across the aisle from her at the keynotes luncheon.
Fellow writers remembered me and sought me out. I danced in a hotel lobby and hiked up my pant leg to my thigh in the middle of the crowd to gush over tattoos. I met so many women with purple hair! And it turns out paranormal romance writers are my people. Through and through.
I walked away with new friends, tons of swag, and a dozen manuscript requests. I’ve never been in such a supportive group of people, and the fact that it was 95% women made me want to sing. So many sisters, and no matter the subgenre of romance, we all had each other. I left Denver feeling like I’d started my career, never mind the years of writing I already have under my belt, that was all practice. This was my beginning.
Find your tribe, no matter your work and goals. They matter. They’ll get you there. I’ve always believed in myself, but after the conference, I know it’s just a matter of time until I shine.