Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

RWA 2013: A Fool’s Paradise

Posted on Jul 24, 2013 by Lisa Ricard Claro   No Comments Yet | Posted in Bell Bridge Books · BelleBooks · Cherry Adair · conference · Deborah Smith · facebook · Nora Roberts · Romance Writers of America · RWA · The Conjuring

Admit it. You’ve waited with baited breath to hear how I (mostly) didn’t make a (babbling) fool of myself during last week’s RWA national conference.  All I can say to that is, “Oh, but I did, buttercup. I did.” Twice that I will admit to, and probably ten times more to which I am oblivious and would like to remain that way.

If you’re my Facebook pal then you saw the pics I posted of myself, first with Nora Roberts and then with Deborah Smith. In case you missed out, I’ve re-posted them below because they make me happy. Another photo, not posted, is of me and Cherry Adair. The lady who snapped the pic was star-struck and shaking like she’d swallowed a Maytag washer during the spin cycle, so I kind of look like a special effect in The Conjuring.  Best not to have that image in your head.
Okay, on to Babbling Fool Moment #1.
On my first day at the conference, with morning workshops completed, I set out to attend the luncheon. I wandered in circles (not kidding) and finally found the escalator where I spied a petite, attractive woman and thought, “She looks like Nora Roberts.” Not being a total idiot, my second thought was, “OMG. That is Nora Roberts.”
What are the odds? 2,000+ people and I ran into the great Nora within the first three hours of my attendance. That can only be good juju, y’all.
Two other ladies stood chatting with you-know-who. I waited for them to vamoose so I could scoot right in. They did, and I did, and proceeded to babble nonstop. To her great credit, the object of my babbling looked me right in the eye the whole time, and only betrayed a smidge of alarm when I blurted that I have her e-mail address which, as you know, I have promised to use only for the powers of good. (That blog post is HERE) I asked for a photo and she agreed. She took a look at the first pic and said, “That looks blurry to me. Why don’t we take another?” (Is she great, or what?) This prompted a hoard of fans to line up for their own photo op, so Nora, thanks to me, probably never made it to lunch.
Nora Roberts & me, RWA 2013 Atlanta
After sharing the above photo I posted another Facebook update wherein I said my conference experience would be complete if only I were lucky enough to run into Deborah Smith as I did Nora Roberts. Again, good juju prevailed.
Which leads me to Babbling Fool Moment #2.
My pitch appointment with editor Brittany Shirley of BelleBooks/Bell Bridge Books (Deborah Smith is a founding partner and serves as VP and Editorial Director) happened Friday. Brittany is a true peach. Having never done a pitch in this manner (think speed dating) my nerves had their full face on. But Brittany is young and enthusiastic and went out of her way to put me at ease. I suspect she felt pity for my status as a babbling old bagger (and make no mistake, babble I did). Anyway, we chatted, I pitched, she requested my full manuscript for review (yay!), and we chatted some more. We crammed much into our allotted 10 minutes. At some point, I mentioned my adoration of Deborah Smith, and within seconds introductions were made and another photo op ensued.
Deborah Smith & me, RWA 2013 Atlanta
Deborah, upon discovering that I’m the crazy Facebook fan who became so excited at her re-post of my blog a few weeks ago, lit up and gave me a hug. And I, of course—c’mon, say it with me—babbled like a fool. I mean, who wouldn’t, right? THE Deborah Smith (as gracious and lovely as her books are awesome), the author of my fave Blue Willow and fantasy novels Alice At Heart and Diary of a Radical Mermaid, in addition to so many other magical reads, recognized me as her wacky Facebook stalker. It was a proud moment.
So now you are privy to the two Babbling Fool Moments that marked my first RWA national conference. And next week I’ll regale you with the naked truth about . . . the terrors of pitching.
Hope you’re having a great week!

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