09 August 2006

Real life

International travel is so bad for your health. I have a cold and my neck has gone into spasm, the result of bad pillows and schelping around heavy bags. I feel like another holiday to get over it.

But I did have a great time. America is such a diverse country. There's a lot to love and a lot to hate.

I loved:
New York. Even when it's hot and humid it's a blast. Everything is always open and buzzing. I met up with Ishmael Goat and D L King, both writers from ERWA over DL's fabulous guacamole. They were wonderfully hospitable. It was so great to chat about a whole range of subjects with like minded people.

Then I was fortunate to spend the next three days with an old friend who took me around the place. We went to museums, shopped, ate and generally had a great time, even though it was in the midst of a record breaking heat wave. It's a great town.

So is Chicago. I went with my sister and her partner and we spent the weekend we were there shopping, listening to jazz and eating. I bought lots of books which are so much cheaper in the States. The weather was great and the people friendly. In fact, Americans are wonderfully friendly. Sure, there was a lot of insincere "have a nice day"s thrown around, but on the whole they were great.

Not sure about Atlanta. I was at the Romance Writers of America conference and so didn't get to see much of the city.

What I hated:
The food and the coffee. You wouldn't think it from what I've said above but it was often hard to get good food. I guess it probably always is when you travel and maybe I just didn't know where to go, but there is an absence of good cafe food. It's either bad fast food or more up market expensive food. There didn't seem to be much in between. And the portions were huge!

Starbucks seems to be the only place to get espresso and then I had to ask for a triple shot so I could taste the coffee. Maybe it would have been different if I'd got to Little Italy in NYC.

The RWA conference was a mixed bag. On the whole the workshops were mediocre but the sessions with publishers, editors and agents were great. I didn't do enough networking because I'm fundamentally shy around people I don't know. I always feel awkward, like the person who hasn't quite worked out the rules.

It was terrific meeting a whole range of people I'd been chatting to over the net though. The Passionate Ink lunch at the Aquarium was fantastic. The look on the face of the guy behind the bar as a speaker after speaker talked in fairly graphic ways about the popularity of erotica was a delight to behold. He had a great time.

Our Christine Diehm writing as Christine Wall won a Golden Heart for Best Short Historical and while I was away she was signed up by Berkley. So keep and eye out for her. She's a terrific writer.

So is Karen Schwartz writing as Anna Campbell. She's been signed by Avon and will be out next year. It's been a good year for Aussie romance writers.

Now I'm off to the Romance Writers of Australia conference on the Gold Coast. I'll be back on Monday ready to start real life again. Back to work and back to writing.


At 9 August 2006 at 8:31 pm , Blogger Karen said...

Glad you made it back home safe. It was fabulous to meet you!

Food in Atlant was a pretty big disappointment (with the Aquarium and Ruth's Chris being exceptions). Every Marriott meal was pretty uninspired. Which made it easy for me to still fit into my dress Saturday night ;)

Have fun at the Gold Coast conference!

At 14 August 2006 at 11:28 am , Blogger Amra Pajalic said...

Sound like a great trip. Hope you have a great time at the Gold Coast conference.

At 20 August 2006 at 10:37 am , Blogger Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, Deb! Clearly I owe you a Christmas card after the plug. And I agree with you - Christine is a terrific writer. Readers are really in for a treat when Berkley release her book late next year.


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