1. Yes, it's exhausting. I came in on Wednesday afternoon and left Saturday afternoon, and pretty much every waking hour was filled with either networking with others in the industry or attending workshops. I did learn to take some small breaks and go up to my hotel room for a breather every few hours. And my roommates and I had dinner outside of the hotel each night, so that was a nice break.
2. There are writers from all different points in their careers, which was neat to see. From those who are just beginning to think about writing a book, to those whose first book has just come out, to NY Times best-sellers. It's inspiring to be surrounded by all that talent and determination.
3. Choose your workshops and time spent wisely. There is SO MUCH to see, do, and think about. You can listen to lectures, pitch to agents or editors, have drinks with fellow authors, go to book signings, visit the goody room to get freebies from authors, or all of the above. I found it was important to think about what I really wanted to get out of each day and focus my time from there.
4. Romance authors are friendly, giving people. Total strangers talked to you in the elevator, at meals, in workshops, in lines....and everyone I met was completely down to earth and really concerned in what others had to say.
5. It wasn't as challenging sharing a hotel room with 2 other women as I thought it might be LOL. We negotiated the bathroom and shower time well!
6. High points for me included hearing Nora Roberts speak (so funny and down to earth!), meeting with the Marketing Coordinator from Samhain, meeting my indie editor in person, and learning about how to better brand myself and target the trends of the romance market. Oh, and I also got to visit a friend from high school who has a men's accessories' store in Hell's Kitchen, on W. 49th Street, just a few blocks from the hotel. So overall, it was a fabulous conference.
Check out the slide show below for some pics from the 4 days!