Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Global chicks, Harlequin Parties and Cheap-ass food!

My visit to Dallas for the RWA National Conference started off a little differently than most....Heather and I flew in together on Tuesday night and after a quick session with Simone & the Chicago North Posse at the bar, we crashed.

Day 1: Dona goes on a hunt of cheap-ass food after seeing the hotel's outrageous prices the night before. $12 for chicken strips--uh-huh, I don't THINK so! I passed this gorgeous red museum and finally found a ghetto-diner, a cute little restaurant (F&G) and a little bakery/cafe. Also a cowboy store and a bbq joint. I bought some REAL Texas BBQ sauce for a friend and for DH.

Then it was time for the Literacy Signing. I met so many of my fellow authors. And to think, I'll be behind the tables next year!

Heather and Tera doin' their thing--BEEing fab =)

Buzz Girl Tina Ferraro with Caridad Ferrer in the background

Me and Steph Hale. Ain't we divas? =)

I couldn’t get past Simone’s huge, long line to get a closer pic! The mob scene around Ms. Elkesles!!!

Then came the running-upstairs-to-change and the chick-lit party followed..

Late at night, we had a mini-BBG gathering to celebrate Tina's birthday with cakes! We stayed up late chatting about boys, families and writing.

Day 2: Thursday was a half-day of workshops and I FINALLY found the gorgeous (and LATE!) Nadine Dajani at lunch! We sat at a table with Kelli Estes, Christina Arbini and Heather and ate questionable chicken and yummy cheesecake.

That night was the Buzz Girls dinner/meeting atop the Hyatt ball in the Antares restaurant. First we got a long table where we would have to yell. After some, ahem, negotiation, we got a better deal. As Heather demonstrated, you can definitely catch more bees with honey!

Aren’t we glam?

Then came the Golden Network Party where Heather Davis got the boot after selling her NEVER CRY WEREWOLF to HarperCollins. Also booted, Wendy Toliver for the sale of her book CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE SIREN to Simon Pulse. Yay girls!

Heather and her agent, Wonder Boy, er Stephen Barbara

Day 3: Friday was Simone's YA workshop, followed by an afternoon of workshops. I got a chance to meet up with my lovely agent Sha-Shana Crichton and chat about my future for a bit, all while leaning over a balcony and spying in publishing professionals.

Me and my wonderful agent, the gorgeous Sha-Shana Crichton. She ROCKS!

Then came one of the best parts of the trip: the Harlequin party. They say you'll never forget your first publishers party and they were right. A plethora of desserts, open bar and so many truffles, my head was swimming. Everyone was dancing up a storm and the ballroom was rockin’.

Me and my new best friend Nora Roberts. Wow, what a dancer she is!

Kimani Girls -- Ann Christopher, Sha-Shana Crichton and me


Yes, the rumours are true, Sha-Shana and I did indeed steal a bag of M&Ms and a limo at the end of the night

Day 4: Saturday was the amazing Michael Hague workshop. Seriously, people, if you haven't seen this man present, BUY THE FREAKING DVD! I have never had such a life-altering workshop before. I was almost in tears. No kidding. My writing is literally never going to be the same again. Hands down, the best workshop I've attended in my writing career. He talked a lot about the heroes journey and why two people connect at a deeper level. Seriously folks, great stuff.

I crashed the St. Martin's signing and had fan-girl moments with the gorgeous Blossom and Michelle (CHINA DOLLS) and Nadine Dajani (FASHIONABLY LATE).
Then was the GH/Ritas where history was made with an ethnic YA novel taking"Best Single Title Contemporary Novel." I am so incredibly proud of Barb "Caridad" Ferrer and her ADIOS TO MY OLD LIFE.
We partyied like rock-stars we are after the awards.
On the way home, we had real Texas BBQ with Julia Quin, Elizabeth Boyle and Jane Porter...amazing, sweet, brilliant ladies =)
All in all, the best conference EVER!
...can't wait for San Francisco!
Dona Sarkar-Mishra
HOW TO SALSA IN A SARI - January 2008 from Harlequin's Kimani Tru


stephhale said...

I am SO crashing that HQ party next year!
ps- Sorry, Dona, but Nora said she was my b/f/f! :)

Tera Lynn Childs said...

Great recap, Dona! I can't believed you and Sha-Shana hijacked a limo... naughty, naughty girls. But those M&M's sure came in handy at the awards ceremony.

And you didn't make any mention of your ultra-fabulous shoes! Those red stilettos deserve their own post. =)


TinaFerraro said...

Dona, I'm with TLC about your shoes. I'm not even a shoe person, and I went nuts for the red stilettos and the beige and white polka dots ones you wore at Simone and Shannon's talk.

Great pictures and terrific recaps, but most of all, so wonderful to finally meet you! You are every bit as fun and sweet (and pretty) as I'd thought you on-line. Can't wait 'til next year to hang some more...

Dona Sarkar-Mishra said...

Awww, you guys are *so* sweet :) And yes, next year all the BBGs are crashing the HQ party!!!

Marley Gibson said...

Loved the post-conference wrap-up. What fun you had!! Love all the pictures -- especially you and Nora! Sha-Shana is a lovely woman. I met her at the NEC conference. So glad you had a great time!

Marley = )

Heather Davis said...

How could I forget Tina's b-day gathering in Steph & Tera's room? That was fun. They got little pastries and we all visited. Simone had crashed for the night, and who could blame her -- it's exhausting at Nationals!

You forgot to mention the whole Dona-is-a-star thing at the HQ party! Yes, people -- Dona is known in those circles.

So glad you found the cheap-ass food. F & G was well... effing G.

Love ya!


Manav Mishra said...

I feel kinda, sorta outta place leaving a comment here but I do have to say Dona had a blast in Dallas and from what I heard from Dona and Heather, seems like it was an equally great experience for all the BBGs in attendance. I've heard so much about this group that I'm really looking forward to meeting y'all next year.

BTW, doesn't think Nora Roberts looks like a light-haired version of Joan Collins?

Manav Mishra said...

The last sentence should've read

BTW, doesn't Nora Roberts look like a light-haired version of Joan Collins?

Given the abundance of writers on this site, I was obligated to do a Mea Culpa and take blame for my fat fingers :)

The (Mis)Adventures of a Single City Chick said...

Dona, I had a blast with you and Heather in Dallas! Can't wait for San Francisco! I'll be right there in line to get a book signed by each of you lovely ladies. :-) Oh, and I LOVE that pic with you and Nora and the one in the limo. I think that will HAVE to be the way to travel next year!


alexgirl said...

Oooooh that looks like LOADS of fun!
I wish I was a buzz girl. *sob*
Congrats to all of you!

Heather Davis said...

OMG! Manav posted! How cute is that, Dona?



PS Christina, you and Kelle rock! We love you!

Dona Sarkar-Mishra said...

Why look who stopped lurking and posted, hi Manav! Welcome! Don't worry the BBGs know all about you!

(Now he's really worried!)

Christina, Kelli: hope you got home w/o incident and we have to get together soon!

Alex, congrats on the wedding!!!