Day 8, 9, & 10 ~ RWA Conference

Day 8 ~ In which #KiwiChickInUSA finally meets up with other Kiwi Chicks!

Lots of workshops attended this morning: Series Bible: The Savior of a Long-Running Series with Jill Shalvis and Jaci Burton, The When , Why, and How of Reinventation and Diversification with J. Kenner, Kevan Lyon, and Alix Rickloff, Maximize Your Discoverability on Amazon, Writing Great Characters with Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I also attended my first publisher book signing – couldn’t believe how many free books they were just giving away. 

Lunch was lovely with the guest speaker, Beverley Jenkins, delivering a powerful speech covering a lot of African American history that I was unaware of but found fascinating. After lunch I managed to find two other Kiwi authors – Talia Hunter Trudi Jaye Yay! I found my tribe! 🙂 We attended some afternoon workshops together and once they were done, headed out for well deserved refreshments.

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I somehow managed to miss DH and the BRIGHT BLUE Dodge parked outside the hotel (pretty sure he wasn’t there when I came out, but then I did have a rather large mojito…) but we were soon zooming off to a 70’s car show in La Mesa, about a ten minute drive out of San Diego. Some amazing cars there and one very cute bulldog in a motorbike trailer.

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Day 9 ~ In which #KiwiChickInUSA nearly gives herself a hernia with so many free books…

The day started early–way too early–with a buffet breakfast at the hotel at 7.30. This would’ve been more palatable if I didn’t have to walk 15 minutes to get to the hotel. You can tell I’m not a morning person, right? Anyway, the breakfast was delicious and the speaker, Dr. Valerie Young who gave a helpful, but also entertaining talk about the impostor syndrome. Next I went to the Avon and Harlequin book signing, which was basically free-for-all book porn where all these amazing books were (get this) FREE. Maybe not such a huge deal to those of you who’ve been to RWA conferences before, but for this New Zealander, seeing people dragging suitcases around to fill up with books…well. It was an eye-opener. I may well exceed my luggage allowance on the flight back – but at least I can partially fill up the Dodge, ha ha. I managed to get another signed book from Kristan Higgins (truly, I was worried she was gonna get a restraining order on me, except she is SO super-nice) not to mention at the later Berkley signing when I spoke to Jill for the third time and got another signed book. Pretty sure we’re all besties now…

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Then there was getting a signed book from Sylvia Day who is also super nice and laughed when I made a lame joke about how she is smaller in real life (as an ENORMOUS photo of her is on the outside of the hotel).

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Part of the Kiwi contingency, including the most fabulous and nicest-NYT-bestselling-author-ever Nalini Singh ( got together at lunch, with a stranger taking advantage and photo bombing us – LOVE IT. Talia and I also fan-girled briefly when we spotted La Nora power-walking toward us in a hallway, though Trudi missed her. Honestly, how can you miss romance rock-star Nora Roberts?!

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With Trudi Jaye (left), Nalini Singh, me, Talia Hunter (and a random photo bomber at the back!


The last 2 hours of the day were taken up with THE most amazing workshop with Michael Hague. Man, this guy is AWESOME and if there are any fellow NZ authors reading this, you absolutely MUST go to the RWNZ conference this year as he’s doing a whole day Friday workshop that you will NOT want to miss. Check out details of the RWNZ conference here:

To finish of the evening, DH and I had dinner at TGI Fridays and I think I definitely earned the Coconut Mai Tai I ordered! 



Day 10 ~ In which #KiwiChickInUSA glams up for the Rita & Golden Heart’s…

Another crazy whirlwind day of workshops today. The one I learned the most in was Michael Hague’s dissection of the movie “Hitch”. The one I had the most fun in entitled ‘The Terrible Trio talk Sex’ and included the uproariously funny Elizabeth Hoyt, Alyssa Day and Kristan Higgins which had the audience in fits of laughter. Hoyt and Higgins were almost like a stand-up routine, and oh my, when Higgins got the giggles and couldn’t stop…well, that might’ve had something to do with the bottle of wine she brought with her! 

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That evening DH and I got glammed up for the RWA’s 2016 Rita and Golden Heart Award ceremony. This is a really, big, deal, in Romancelandia, in case you didn’t know, with sequins and sparkles and even a couple of tiara’s I’m pretty sure. It’s the Oscars of the romance author’s world and it was wonderful to see my fellow Romance Writers of New Zealand author Elizabeth King score a win for the historical Golden Heart. The whooping down the back was from DH, Trudi Jaye and myself!


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The reason why this blog is so short? It’s nearly midnight and I’m about to turn into one very deflated pumpkin. DH has long since crashed out beside me, and since it sounds like party central in downtown San Diego where we’re staying, it could be a long night…

What this #KiwiChickInUSA learned today: So many things that my head is exploding – I needs a vacation!

What this #KiwiChickInUSA loved most about today: Seeing self-published authors listed as finalists in the Rita’s and in some cases winning! Go Indies!

What food this #KiwiChickInUSA loved today: Salted caramel cheesecake from the Cheesecake factory.


Comments (1)

  1. Rhonda Brant


    Wow! Sounds like you are having a great time Tracey!!! Glad your fellow NZers took home one if the awards. You will probably need to start mailing packages back home so you don’t end up having to ride up tip on the roof. Lol. Safe travels to your next adventure!

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