After the Con…

sponsored by Belle Books/Bell Bridge Books

It’s been a year of emails and phone calls, strategy and decisions…

and that’s just for my job as promotions!

I’m not anywhere near the top of the heap of volunteers and committees; I just happen to be the most visible of all of the wonderful people who volunteer their time and energy to put on what we in Georgia Romance Writers think is The premier romance writers’ conference in the southeast .

They forego television shows and childrens’ soccer games and spending time with their favorite book to study spreadsheets, email requests, pore through catalogs, download jpegs, and design labels… research photos that are available for common use , and map out traffic patterns and timetable charts for workshops to be attended by over 200 people…  microphones and screens and projectors and dancefloors to acquire.

There are airline reservations to be scheduled for industry professionals, as well as figuring out transport from airport to hotel, some arriving in the early morning hours. Then they have to be transported back to the airport so they can go home… again, some leaving in the early morning hours after heavy-duty partying. There are cabs to call… and those aren’t common in Interstatelandia.

Food and menus = Vegetarians, Gluten free, Dairy free, Diabetics… and then there are the rest of us. Tip: d i e t is a four letter word at conferences, and if you think you’ll go hungry, it’s a good idea to pack some snack bars.

The amount of detail oriented work is staggering…. and the above are just the basics. Everything, from headcounts to price rates, is a moving target.

And we do it because we love the challenge. We love to gather our friends, old and new, around us to visit and drink and celebrate successes and commiserate lost goals. We meet new friends and contacts, and make plans to visit their events.

Agents and Editors and Publishers and Booksellers are always looking for the next big author, discover the next big story, mine for the next sensation. There are so few really big stars  that hope never fades.

We do it because we want them to find you.

Writers are full of knowledge, whether applicable from their day jobs like copyright attorneys or mixologists or screenwriters turned professors of creative writing – that their workshops serve as overflow pools from the fountain. Everybody is an expert at something, and another writer can always tuck away the tidbit that will close the plothole and make the story shine.

I wrote this last week after Moonlight & Magnolias closed, and then was promptly sidetracked by another shiny attention grabber – my guest post on tomorrow’s PetitFours and HotTamales will expand on that.

But I couldn’t let any more time pass by without congratulating the volunteers who put on one great conference, and the chairs Terry Brock Poca and Noelle Pierce, for organizing, directing, problem-solving, and making it all happen.

Thank you very much for your hard work, trouble, and time missed from your families and other interests. It is much appreciated.

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