NJRW Conference Mania

First, our winner! Last week, RoseAnn DeFranco chatted up her new book, Return to Audubon Springs and gave away a $5 Amazon gift certificate to one lucky winner. The commenter who receives the gift certificate is Barbara Bettis. Congratulations, Barbara, and thanks for supporting the Femmes!

This Friday, the New Jersey Romance Writers “Put Your Heart in a Book” conference begins. Keynote speaker will be Diane Cosby, and we’ll have other presentations by Connie Brockway, Eloisa James, and Margaret Mallory.

Conferences can be stressful, especially if you’re pitching. Last year, VF Maria did a FAB post on How to Get Ready for a Conference. Check it out if you need tips.

For my tips, I took the question to the mean streets of Twitter.

Screen shot 2013-10-14 at 6.13.31 PM

Here were some of the answers from our attendees:

Q&A: Ruth Seitelman, NJRW Conference Chair

This week, we are thrilled to welcome NJRW’s Conference Chair, Ruth Seitelman, to the blog. Ruth and her team have been working hard on making the prestigious Put Your Heart in a Book conference even better this year.

The conference is October 12-13 at the Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel in Iselin, NJ, and speakers include Sabrina Jeffries, Heather Graham, and Susan Wiggs. Registration for the conference is open until September 30, 2012! Click here for more information.

VF: Hi, Ruth! Thank you for joining us this week.

RS: Thank you so much for letting me tell you and your readers about the upcoming NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference.

VF: What makes the Put Your Heart in a Book conference unique amongst other chapter conferences?

RS: Perhaps it’s our proximity to New York, still the center of the publishing world. Or maybe it’s over twenty-five years of building the conference. It certainly is the hard work of previous conference chairs. All have worked to create a quality and prestigious conference that is well know throughout the country as well as internationally. Last year we had speakers from as far away as Australia present workshops. I think our conference is unique because of its breadth of workshops, willingness to tackle new developments in our industry, and editor agents that attend and take pitches and socialize with the attendees.

VF: I’m excited that Lady Jane’s Salon will be hosting a special event before the Book Fair on Saturday. What else will be different about this year’s conference from previous years?

RS: I’m also excited Hope, Leanna, and Ron are bringing Lady Jane’s Salon to our conference. This is probably our biggest change as we begin to look at attracting more and more readers to our conference.

For authors who may not have access to professional photographers, Marti Corn will be available to take head shots. I understand her appointments are filling up fast.

We have two workshops, one from RT Magazine and the other from USA Today, that deal with media exposure past book reviews.

To add to the festivity, this year we will are introducing an Unleash Your Passion cocktail as well as a Lady Jane cocktail. Both will be available with and without alcohol.

VF: What is your best NJRW conference memory? (Mine is the firemen from last year’s cocktail party!)

RS: There isn’t much that could top last year’s firemen. They were certainly good sports. My best memory is about my first pitch ever. The editor asked me for my full. I still tingle when I think about it.

VF: Both NJRW and RWA have recently changed their definitions on published author status to make it more inclusive to self-pubbed authors. How is NJRW supporting and/or incorporating self-published authors at the conference this year?

RS: I applaud RWA with redefining the qualifications to be inclusive of self-pubbed authors. It is the way of the future. This year we have workshops on e-pub and self-pubbing as well as two round tables in our Pub Retreat. In addition, book fair participants will be able to sell their e-pubbed and/or self-pubbed books.

VF: Last year was my first PYHIAB conference, and I had such a wonderful time. What advice would you give to someone attending our conference for the first time?

RS: I would suggest that anyone attending for the first time go to Christine Bush’s first timer workshop. Christine has a great presentation that is easy to follow and gives you everything you need to know. On a personal note, come prepared with business cards and ready to make new friends.

VF: What is your biggest conference pet peeve?

RS: My feet hurt after standing and running around. I love my heels but don’t be surprised if you see me barefoot!

VF: Who is the one person you hope to spend five minutes with at the conference, should time allow?

RS: Ok, get a cup of coffee, this is a long story. I love historicals of any kind, fantasy, mysteries, adventure, and of course romance. One of my favorite authors is Tasha Alexander. She writes historical mysteries with a touch of adventure and romance. She is one of our speakers this year and I can’t wait to sit and talk to her.

VF: What is the first thing you look forward to doing once the conference is over?

RS: Letting my hair down (and taking my shoes off) at the after party! I always feel energized after the conference so I’m looking forward to tackling my writing with a vengeance. But that may have to wait. My daughter’s wedding is two weeks after the conference.

Thank you again to the Violet Femmes and their support of the NJRW conference. Only three weeks to go!

Thanks, Ruth! We know you’re swamped, so we really appreciate you taking time out to do this for the Femmes.

In addition to conference duties, Ruth also writes as Ruth A. Casie, and she has a smoking hot book out with Carina Press, KNIGHT OF RUNES:

England, 1605

When Lord Arik, a druid knight, finds Rebeka Tyler wandering his lands without protection, he swears to keep her safe. But Rebeka can take care of herself. When Arik sees her clash with a group of attackers using a strange fighting style, he’s intrigued.

Rebeka is no ordinary seventeenth-century woman—she’s travelled back from the year 2011, and she desperately wants to return home. She poses as a scholar sent by the king to find out what’s killing Arik’s land. But as she works to decode the ancient runes that are the key to solving this mystery and sending her home, she finds herself drawn to the charismatic and powerful Arik.

As Arik and Rebeka fall in love, someone in Arik’s household schemes to keep them apart, and a dark druid with a grudge prepares his revenge. To defeat him, Arik and Rebeka must combine their skills. Soon Rebeka will have to decide whether to return to the future or trust Arik with the secret of her time travel and her heart.

Here’s the link to buy Knight of Runes on Amazon, and please visit Ruth on her website at http://www.RuthACasie.com.

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