Monday, August 4, 2014

A San Antonio Trip Report (and a Giveaway!)

by Cathryn Parry

What's it like attending the Romance Writers of America National Conference as a Harlequin author?

Fun, inspiring and educational! 

I've been very privileged in my writing life--this was my 15th year attending this event, and 4th as a Superromance author.  To me, the best part of the conference is meeting with other writers, as well as participating in the workshops, editor pitches, and networking events.  I also love the romance publisher get-togethers and made sure to partake in all Harlequin had to offer. 

Here is my short photo essay of some of the highlights for 2014: 

Cathryn Parry with The Sweetest Hours
First is the annual "literacy autographing."  On Wednesday night, RWA sponsored the massive autographing book sale open to the public, with over 400 authors participating.  Publishers donated books, and all the proceeds went to literacy organizations. 

Harlequin sent copies of my Scottish-set contemporary The Sweetest Hours, and a volunteer arranged the books beautifully on the table, complete with a red Harlequin balloon and author button.  This photo was taken before the doors to the Marriott ballroom opened.  (There was a very long line of readers waiting!)

Vintage Harlequin Covers

Another fun event on Thursday night was the annual eHarlequin pajama party.  I don't participate on that forum as often as I would like, though I do look forward to the annual Superromance Christmas Week celebration. 

Here are two of the fun giveaways from the pajama party.  These notebook covers are from vintage Harlequins.  I chose "Doctor Scott"  and "Anna...She lived like a wicked little animal."  (Sorry, ladies, I am keeping these!)

On Friday, there was a Harlequin booksigning session open to all attendees at the conference.  Jeannie Watt and Beth Andrews represented us at Superromance.  In this overview photo, you can just see Jeannie busily signing her books amidst the crowd in the background:

The 2014 Harlequin Booksigning

Friday night is the famous Harlequin party.  I clearly remember being an unpublished writer, wistfully watching the Harlequin authors in their cocktail dresses walking through the hotel lobby en route to the festivities.   I'm sorry that I couldn't get clear photos of the fun on the dance floor, but I did record some of the food and favor tables outside of the action:

Ice Cream Buffet

Dancing Socks inside Vases

Candy Favors
S'mores Table


On Saturday night, the conference was capped with the Rita award ceremony (see Kris's post last week, with photos).  We have Superromance authors with news to report, but I'll leave that happy task to them!

Lastly, I have two prize packets to give away, each containing take-homes from the conference.

The first item in the packet is an autographed copy of Queen of Your Own Life: The Grown-up Woman's Guide to Claiming Happiness and Getting the Life You Deserve, by Kathy Kinney and Cindy Ratzlaff.  This is a Harlequin-published book, and we received copies during Cindy Ratzlaff's excellent breakfast speech.  Kathy Kinney was also present--she is best known as the actress who played Mimi on The Drew Carey Show, and yes, she autographed the book, too! 

Next is a mini-poster I picked up in the Goody Room, for Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, beginning August 9th on Starz.  Is anyone else looking forward to this adaptation?

There's also a copy of my Scottish-set Superromance, The Sweetest Hours.  This is Book 1 of a series--Book 2 (Scotland for Christmas) is coming out in December 2014, and Book 3 (Rhiannon's Story) is in process. 

That's it--Otis the cat is not included.  Winners will be randomly-selected from this post's commenters from now until Saturday, when I list the results.  (Good luck!)  If we get lots of commenters, I can include a few more prize copies of The Sweetest Hours with the Outlander mini-poster. 

I'm interested in hearing from you.  Please say hello, or mention what you're up to in August.   Any trips or things you are looking forward to? 

Take care, and thanks for reading!

Cathryn Parry lives in New England with her husband and her neighbor's cat, Otis.  Her next Superromance, Book 2 in the Sage Family of Scotland Series, will be out in December.  Please see her website at


Cathryn Parry said...

Sorry I took so long to get this post up today! I wrestled with figuring out how to get my photos from my Droid phone to my laptop. If anyone can suggest an easier way than emailing each one individually, I appreciate it! :-)

kris said...

That's the only way I know, Cathryn. Bummer :-( But you did it, and it's awesome, and DANG, I wish I was eligible to be entered in your drawing!!!

Cathryn Parry said...

Darn it, Kris. (And PS Check your email. :-)

Anonymous said...

No trips for me this summer. We stayed home. More time to read! Glad you have fun in San Antonio.

Kaelee said...

Lovely photos. I'd heard about the dancing socks but now I know what they look like.

Since we have two cats and they each require daily medications, we aren't planning anything but day trips this summer.

bn100 said...

No plans; fun post

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Colleen C. said...

Enjoyed seeing your pics! No vacation plans this summer for me... just reading a bunch of books when I can! Interestingly enough, they have all been Harlequin books this week! :)

Unknown said...

Going to the beach in a couple months for the weekend, when the summer crowd thins out some. Looks like you had a great time at the conference, I wanted to go but was unable to make it.

Mary Preston said...

The autographing book sale is such a fantastic idea.

I LOVE the vintage covers.

OUTLANDER promises to be must watch TV.

Geri Krotow said...

Cathryn, wonderful post! I use Dropbox for saving everything. So my photos from my phone automatically upload, and then I retrieve them whenever I post blogs, etc. It's a nifty thing. Your post is so good I may add on a little bit for Thursday's column. It was great seeing you and so many other dear Super authors. Our chances to get together are few, and I treasure them.

Summer said...

I always enjoy these posts about the conference, it's a chance to visit vicariously. As for August, I don't have any big plans, just hopefully a lot of reading in the sunshine, and since I'm a huge tennis fan, it's usually a busy TV watching month for me.

Cathryn Parry said...

Sorry I'm a bit late with my comments, but better late than never, right? :-)

Tammy, it's great to see you again! Hope you're having fun reading this summer.

Kaelee, the dancing socks are red and fluffy, with a white Harlequin logo on the side. This year, I kept them clean and pretty to use in the winter when it gets cold. And I completely understand about the cats--we don't want to go too far, either. Otis is an outdoor cat, and since he's older we need to be around to get him inside if the weather changes, etc.

Hi bn100! Thanks for stopping by!

Cathryn Parry said...

Hi Colleen! LOL on all the Harlequin books! I confess, I grabbed a stack at the signing, too. It's interesting how many lines there are!

Emily, I'm sorry you couldn't make the conference this year. Maybe see you in New York next summer? Enjoy the beach! :-)

Cathryn Parry said...

Mary, the vintage covers are a hoot, but the back cover copy is even more interesting. From Anna:

"Anna was an innocent savage who was waiting to be awakened. From the sordid squalor of her family she escaped into the glamorous world of a border tourist resort.

"Anna had never owned shoes. Gifts of pretty clothes and city shoes won a place in her heart for Clem Barrows--the half-mad artist. Clem found it was not too hard to seduce her.

"Through all the terror and shame of the days that followed one man loved her. But he was a breed-Indian and she would not look at him.

"Anna is an intriguing woman, part vixen, part child. She lives in fear and horror and passion. The author builds into the book all the crude excitement, the fierce desires of an animal existence. The story is often revolting but always gripping."

Oh, my. I'm laughing just thinking of what my editor would do today if I sent her a story that was "often revolting." Times sure have changed.

Cathryn Parry said...

Geri, my friend, it was so great to see you! Thank you for the tip about Dropbox--I really need to look into it. And I'm looking forward to Thursday's column!

Cathryn Parry said...

Summer, thanks for visiting! I hope you have a great August!

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