Friday, July 15, 2011

RWA 2011 in NYC - Part V

Okay, I think this post will be the last of the recaps! Yay! Can you imagine if I'd have squeeze everything in one or two posts? Yeah, I can't either.

Day 7

Friday was the last day of the conference :( It was a bit sad, but at the same time, lots of exciting stuff. The first thing on the agenda was publisher signings, yay!! It was Berkley vs Ballantine and I opted for Berkley, as it is one of my favorite publishers :) Guess who was in line with me? Jennifer Estep!! Not surprisingly, the room was packed - not only with fans, but authors as well! :) And of course books LOL. One of the things I like best about these publisher signings is the surprise element. You don't know who will be there and who won't. Oh, you can make an educated guess based on authors you've seen and who attended the Literacy Signing, but still... One author that I did not know would  be there was Lisa Dale and when I saw her - or more specifically her book - I stopped dead LOL. Ms Dale is one of Hilcia's favorite author so I had to get a copy :) I also came prepared with my copy of Nightfall for Ann Aguirre to sign and Ames' copy of Kiss of Snow for Ms Singh :)

Julie James - Jodi Thomas - Lisa Dale

Nalini Singh and assistant (?) - Ann Aguirre and Carrie Lofty

As you can imagine based on my loot, I did spend a lot of time at Berkley's signing :) By the time I made it to Ballantine's, many authors had run out of books. This is the risk you incur as you can't be in two places at once. However, by that time, I'd already collected so many books that it didn't feel like a loss to have "missed" Ballantine's signing. And I still got to meet some authors which really, is the most important :)

Madeline Hunter - Keri Arthur

 There was only an hour before the next publisher signings started and so I went to the room to empty my bag and then, went to the bar to see who I could run into :) I'm pretty sure I got to meet up with Kristie and Wendy :)

Jennifer Echols
Now, that session of publisher signings was really a tough choice, because you had New American Library vs Simon & Schuster vs Kensington. Wendy headed off to Kensington and in the end, Kristie and I lined up for New American Library. My reason for choosing New American Library over Simon & Schuster is because I really wanted to make sure that I'd meet Emma Wildes and I've held off buying her newest release One Whisper Away. Unfortunately, it's only after entering the room that I found out that Ms Wildes didn't make it to the conference due to unexpected circumstances :( Bummer. But I still got the book :) In the end though, I'm happy I got to go to New American Library, because most of the authors I wanted to meet at Simon & Schuster, I already had their books and have met them during the conference. Although one of the biggest yay moment of the day was meeting Jennifer Echols and finding that she had Love Story, her newest release, at the signing  :)  I did swing by Kensington's signing, but I arrived really late and they had been cleaned out and authors were leaving. However, I found out from Wendy that this was the first time in years they had held a signing, so I didn't feel too bad either.

After the signing, Wendy, Kristie and I went for lunch... to Junior's LOL. There is something to say about proximity, really. And this time around, Kristie and Wendy were determined to have dessert: famous cheesecake :) For some reasons, I wasn't too hungry that day (which believe me, is rare)... but I did get some bites of Wendy and Kristie's :)

 Now, here where it starts being a blur. I'm pretty sure that after lunch, I went to a workshop which was given by Victoria Alexander, Stephanie Laurens and an editor. The topic was something about historical romance - what is historical and why is it so popular (I think).  For example, would a story taking place during WW II considered historical romance or not? It was a nice workshop. I didn't stay afterwards to meet the authors or take picture, because I had to rush to the next publisher signings which was Grand Central Publishing vs. Samhain. I went for Grand Central Publishing. While I was waiting in line, Rosie joined me... She want to see Carolyn Jewel again :) I have to admit, out of all the publisher signing, I thought Grand Central's was the most generous... and that says something about their generosity, really. But can you imagine? Every author had not only their most recent release, but also a few books of their backlist!! Let see, Roxanne St. Claire had all three books of her new trilogies, Karen Rose had 5 books on her table, from Die for Me to Silent Scream, Ms Jewel had her last two releases, etc. I mean, seriously, that is A LOT of books! Most impressed :) During the signing, I did take a few minutes to chat with Ms Rose... Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture! Ugh. Anyway, definitively an awesome signing. At the end of it, I saw Wendy and she told me to go to Samhain because there were lots of books :) Now, I'm not a big fan of erotica romance... but I did go :) Got to meet Maya Banks, Vivian Arend and said hello once more to K.A. Mitchell. And during the signing, I ran into Gennita Low :)

Grand Central Publishing and Samhain signings were the last sessions of RWA that I attended. Looking back now, I regret not having gone to more workshops :( I think that I was a bit too overwhelmed before and after I arrived to the conference to really take a look at the workshops and their speakers. Next time, I sure won't! There were a few hours before the RITA awards and I think everyone was a bit down. Everyone has been running on very little sleep, the conference was about to end, etc. I know that Wendy and Rosie went to ship their books home. Lucky me, I was taking everything home in my car... but that still meant I had to pack ^_^;

Good thing in the end that I took the boxes that were offered. Although I had to get another one from Business Center. While I was packing, guess what Kristie and my sister were doing? Napping! Yep. My sister had woken up early that morning to see if she could get stand-by tickets for Jimmy Fallon's show - unfortunately, no. Then, she went to explore Central Park a bit more. Quite frankly, I was surprised to find her in the room when I came back... but she came to charge her batteries before going to Broadway theaters and get more autographs from the cast of Billy Elliott and The Normal Heart :) As for Kristie, she was very good book-wise during this conference and that meant she had less to pack and more time to rest. Smart lady, really :) Although I had to admit, I did really good and by the time we had to get ready for the RITA awards, I was almost done! :)

I debated wearing high heels or not for the RITA awards... I was one of the few left that still felt good standing on her feet LOL. I decided that I should suffer for beauty - yes, I can be vain LOL. I made it to the elevators and it was taking them forever to get to our floor. I haven't told you about the elevators at the Marriott Marquis. They're special. Outside of the elevators, instead of having buttons for up and down, you have a number keypad. So you push the floor which you want to go to and it will tell you which elevator to wait for... However, there's no floor indicators and you have no idea how long you have to wait... and some times, it can be really long! Some people on our floor had been waiting for 10 minutes already... and that's when I decided: screw it. I went back to the room and changed for my flats LOL. There was no way I could have climbed up and down the stairs with high heels ^_^;

During the RITA Awards, I sat with Wendy, Kristie and Sarah. There were other people at the table, but I can't remember who ^_^; Sorry! Anyway, the RITA awards were great :) Loved seeing everyone decked out in their nice clothes. However, what I liked most is that I had read most of the winners!! Jodi Thomas, Karen Rose, Sherry Thomas, Jill Shalvis and so on... and Sharon Sala got the lifetime achievement award. And some of the acceptance speeches were really good :)  Definitively best award ceremony for me!! :)

Meg Cabot as emcee - Julia Quinn, one of the award presenter

Jodi Thomas

Karen Rose - Sharon Sala

After the RITA awards, I went to Rosie and Lisabea's room to return Lisabea's camera that I had appropriated for the past two days. Rosie was planning to attend the awards, but didn't feel very good after her trip to the post office. I found both of them in beds with their clothes still on LOL. I stayed on for another chatting with Rosie :) I say with Rosie, because Lisabea had fallen asleep on me in the middle LOL. Poor her, I don't think she had recovered from jet lag ^_^; I wanted to stay longer to hang out with Rosie, but I also wanted to go to the bar. I knew everyone was there and it might have been my last chance to see them. And indeed, not long after I got to the bar, it was time for goodbyes :( Everyone was going back to their room - not only to get some sleep, but also to finish packing.

Day 8 

The next morning Kristie was checking out at 10am and me, car service was coming to pick us up at 10.30am. Still, I was ready - had everything packed and waiting :) Rosie and Lisabea came to our room to say goodbye to Kristie, so I got to chat a bit more with them :) Then, it was soon time for Kristie to leave. Me? Well I finally came to my sense and realize it was pretty impossible for my sister and I to carry all our luggage down ^_^; So I called a bellman and waited... and waited. And I was getting really nervous, because it was 10.10am and the car was picking us up at 10.30!! Yeah, I was so nervous that I started bringing all the luggage to the elevator... 2 suitcases, 3 boxes of books, 1 backpack, 1 duffel bag and 2 tote bags. Not the brightest idea ^_^; When I called to check out, I asked again for the bellman - they said they never received my demand... but luckily for me, the bellman arrived promptly and at 10.30am I was downstairs waiting.... and I ran into Rosie and Wendy! So I got to say a last goodbye! :)

Once we arrived to Hilcia, she was nice enough to help me prepared some packages and accompany me to the post office. Seriously, it's great that post offices are opened on Saturday in the States! Indeed, I had some books to send to some friends in the States and figured shipping would be cheaper :) And I was right. While I was at the post office, I had left my sister behind to pay for pizza for lunch :) After we came back from the post office, my sister, Hilcia's husband and I convinced Hilcia to come and do some more shopping with us :) She was going to stay home to read a book to review on July 4th. I mean, seriously?! LOL. Who's going to blog on July 4th? Who's going to read a review on July 4th? Everyone would be too busy :) In the end, she caved LOL and we went to Jersey Gardens Mall. I think we shopped another 4 hours LOL. Poor Hilcia :)

By the time we came home, it was time for supper and I had already decreed that I was treating Hilcia's family out... Guess where we went? Of course, Coach House Diner :) We had a great time and great food :)

That last night in New Jersey, I didn't stay with Hilcia and her family. Instead, I moved to a hotel 10-15 minutes away from her place, because my friends had decided they wanted to get away and decided to come to NYC as well :) So I met up with them so we could all go home together :) That's how I got to go to Walmart and buy some books :)

And there you have it, my trip to NYC in all its glory details! Hope you have enjoyed the recaps! :)


  1. Wow. I'm really happy about that cheesecake - LOL!

    Awwww, and there's a picture of me hugging Nath :)

    1. HI
      Are you Wendy Oxley from blanding tower?
      Jeremy @

  2. Oh, I love looking at all the pictures!!
    So glad yu had such a great time.

  3. I have loved reading about your trip and your HAUL! Excellent write up :-)


  4. I am in awe of your memory. Thanks for taking the time to recap and share your trip. I felt as if I was there. Wonderful recaps!

  5. Nath, you took a bunch of great pictures! Thanks for taking the time to put these posts together. I've really enjoyed reading them.

    And I agree, that cheesecake looks delicious. :)

  6. The recaps were great Nath! I love all your pictures and you remember everything! Wow... *g*

  7. Wendy - LOL, yes :) Well it was good cheesecake :)

    I also have the picture where you're standing next to me. Unfortunately, my sister was not able to catch you patting my head LOL.

    Alex - Thanks :)

    Li - Thanks Li! I'm glad you enjoyed :)

    Tabitha - LOL, well it's the same way that I review. Next time, you better be there, Tabs!!

    Leslie - No problem :) I'm happy people enjoyed it :)

    Yeah, there are some good pictures here. However, looking back, I really wished I've taken more pictures of the event...

    Hilcia - LOL, I probably forgot a few things, but the gist is there :)

  8. I really enjoyed hanging with you and really look forward to the next time. And I enjoyed your recaps. It reminded me of what a great time we had.

  9. Well, nath... I enjoyed every single one of your recap posts. You did an amazing job of documenting your trip with photos and details from your memory! Impressive. :)

    I can't believe you convinced Hils to shop again on the 4th! LOL!

    That elevator system in the hotel was amazing, wasn't it?

  10. Kristie - I'm glad to hear, Kristie!! Because there will definitively be a next time :) I'm glad you enjoyed the recaps... Did I forget anything? LOL.

    Christine - Thanks Christine :) I'm glad. I should have taken a few more pictures though...

    LOL, it wasn't the 4th. It was the 2nd. But yeah, it was packed!!

    Hmmm, I'm not sure whether it was amazing or not. At first, I thought it was a good idea... but after a few days, it's a bit frustrating. Because it doesn't take in consideration that the elevator might be packed. But then, I think there will always be elevators troubles when there's so much ppl.