Southwest Florida Romance Writers Conference

Sunday, January 30, 2011

On the spur of the moment I decided to attend the Southwest Florida Romance Writers' Conference yesterday. My agent Roberta Brown was speaking on a panel, and I needed one of her hugs. Since I probably won't attend the RWA conference this year, I would be missing out on my usual time with her.

At 5 a.m. I was up and after getting dressed, took Maddie for her walk. Venus and the quarter moon were so close they appeared to be cuddling.

With hot tea in hand, I began my trek west across Florida. It was almost a 3 hour trek across Alligator Alley, which cuts a swath through the heartland of the state. Since I was driving, I couldn't take pictures, but I saw egrets, osprey, blue herons, and hawks. I got lost right before reaching the hotel in Estero, but finally found the hotel.

The look on Roberta's face when I snuck up & gave her a hug.  The room was packed with attendees. Romance suspense author Roxanne St. Clair,, gave a moving keynote speach, weaving together a story of her beloved father with inspiration. She is definitely 'keen'.

Kristen Painter gave a really great workshop on worldbuilding and I'll blog more about that later this week.  I had a relaxing lunch with mystery author Marty Ambrose,, Roberta and agent Marlene Stringer.

The agent/editor panel consisted of Roberta, Marlene along with fellow agents Susan Crawford, Miriam Kirss & Christine Witthohn as well as editor Alex Logan.  They gave a lot of good advice that I tweeted simultaneoulsy.  @CStephensonFL

One tidbit I will try to take to heart. If you blog, you need to do it consistently several times a week. While I was trying to provide information in prior blogs, it takes time, which I don't have consistently. So...I'm going to go for more of a live journal approach. I can babble about things going on in my life and I'll call on Maddie for her dog perspective at times.

Best thing of all from yesterday? I got my Roberta hug. :) Carol

Roberta Brown, Carol Stephenson, Marlene Stinger