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Friday, August 2, 2013

Behind the Scenes at RWA Nationals 2013 (Part I)

Recently, I spent the week in Atlanta with two thousand other Romance Writers of America members, including authors who’ve just started writing, bestsellers, agents, editors, and a pile of other mighty interesting people.
atlanta skyline photo:  atlanta.gif
The main focus of the conference is to learn good writing, the art of publishing, and to meet up with friends along with making new friends.  That’s the basics, but I’m going to tell you about a few of my encounters with people whom would make great characters for future novels.

One evening I had dinner at a bar and grill and an older woman sat next to me at the bar.  She was delightful as she told me her story.  She’s eighty years old and yearly makes a trip-by car-from her home in California to another in Pennsylvania.  Along the way, she stops wherever her AAA guide book gives her enticing information on a location.  This stop happened to be Atlanta.  The highlight was when she told me she’d finished her bucket list with a recent trip to Australia after she’d already visited the other six continents!  I forgot to ask how Antarctica was.
Another woman I won’t forget accompanied me to the terrace of our hotel-purely by coincidence, or maybe Karma(!)  This woman astounded me as her job holds a mystery of the U.S.  She designs the American embassies around the world.  I’m not talking about the furniture or flooring, but rather the cameras, secret rooms and corridors, and placement of the things the average citizen will never know.  Her next stop will be Miami, then Brazil, and followed by another trip across the ocean.
Can’t leave out the interesting men!men and guns photo: Men Playing With Their Guns Menplayingwiththeirguns.jpg
As Atlanta is the headquarters for CNN, I attended a workshop by Mike Brooks, a crime analyst (CNN, HLN) with a resume two pages long.  He described in detail former assignments with the DC Metro   Police, FBI, and other tags on his list.  He was a deep sea diver who recovered pieces and parts of luggage and people after the TWA flight (1994) crashed into the ocean.   He’s been at massive slaughters involving AK47’s with gruesome descriptions of the victims.  He’s definitely been around the block. 
I’ll leave you with two men, one from Ethiopia and the other from Egypt.  Their focus was on taking advantage of the opportunities in the great United States of America!  They reminded me of what many of us take for granted daily-a home with bathrooms and heat and AC, your own car, availability of technology for anyone who wants to use it, jobs-yes, they are out there, and so much more.
So don’t forget to pick up any book you want to read, I suggest a great romance, and exercise your freedom of the press!
Happy Reading,



  1. Excellent post, Dawn. Sounds like you had a great time and met some interesting characters--the best part of any trip!

  2. Thank you, Marie! People are the best part of any conference.