I recently returned from the 2014 RWA Conference, and, after unpacking and trying to get back into my routine, I took some time to reflect on what my experiences were like. This was my third RWA conference, and each time, my choice of sessions, and what I considered important changed, as my career has progressed. During my first conference, I was in awe of the talented ladies who were in attendance. After all, I had entire bookshelves devoted to Nora Roberts, Jayne Anne Krentz, Eloisa James and Julia Quinn, among others. And here I was, in the same hotel, in the same room, breathing the same air as they were! I went to every chat session with these powerful women, and came away thinking what a fun bunch of people I’d landed into. I went home inspired.
By the time my second conference rolled around, I had a publisher and a debut book under my belt. This time, I had joined the ranks of author, just like those women I so admired during my first conference. I forged lasting relationships with some of the ladies from my publishing house, and began networking, which is so vital to being a successful author. I went home inspired.
This time, I had multiple publishers to meet and spend time with, and my days were carved up meeting my obligations from special interest chapters, publisher dinners, and meeting up with friends and fellow authors. I’m not quite ready yet for the Jumbotron, but I’m getting there. I came home inspired. Each year gave me a different experience, and each year I could tailor the conference to fulfill the goals I had as I moved my career along toward publication and developing my backlist. Which is the moral to my ruminations. It doesn’t matter where you are in your publishing journey, or what route you end up taking to get there, the RWA Conference will have some session, or some author, or some other industry professional who will meet your needs and answer your questions. Next year, the conference is in New York City, and it will be expensive. Start saving your pennies now so you can attend. You will come home inspired.
The sixth book in my Cotillion Ball Series will be released September 1. Here’s a taste of what to expect, as Rosemary Fitzpatrick takes center stage this time. In 1859, ladies of New York society were expected to do three things well: find a husband, organize a smooth-running household, and have children. Rosemary Fitzpatrick’s agenda is very different. As the author of the popular Harry Hawk dime novels, she must hide her true identity from her new publisher, who assumes the person behind the F. P. Elliott pen name is male. She must pose as his secretary in order to ensure the continuation of her series. And in the midst of all this subterfuge, her mother is insisting that she become a debutante this year.
Henry Cooper is not the typical Boston Brahmin. Nor is he a typical publisher. He’s entranced by Mr. Elliott’s secretary the moment they meet, and wonders how his traditional-thinking father will react when he brings a working class woman into the family. Because his intentions are to marry her, regardless. Rosemary’s deception begins to unravel at the Cotillion ball, when Henry recognizes her. The secretarial mask must come off, now that he knows she is a member of New York society. But she can’t yet confess who she truly is until she knows if Henry will accept her as F. P. Elliott.
The more time they spend together, the closer they become. But when Rosemary reveals her true identity to him, will Henry be able to forgive her or has her deceit cost her the man she loves?
For more information, visit Becky Lower’s website at http://www.beckylowerauthor.com