Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Heidi's Adventures in Romancelandia... NYC 2011

So okay, I'm posting this two weeks after I got back from NYC... Which is pretty pathetic I know, but quite apart from the recovery time needed after spending six days with Ms Abby Green in the city that (as it turns out literally) never sleeps, I also had a little book project to finish...

So with Nick and Eva's story finally SOLD on Friday!!! After frantic typing of epilogue on Hampstead Heath while watching Son Two play football. (As soon as I have a title I shall bore you all rigid with details of how wonderful this story is so you shall all want to rush out and buy it in March next year! Hint -hint) I am now free to tell you all about the phenomenal par-tay in the Big Apple!

Here are a few of the high spots, with pictorial accompaniment (unfortunately crap pictorial accompaniment for the most part, as I still haven't quite figured out how my camera's auto-focus works...)

The gorgeous Ms Abby Green, my amazing roomie (she made me to say that, btw), did a fabo job getting us a room with a great view of Times Square, so when I got in jet-lagged and exhausted after a 10-hour flight (which should have been six - thank you so much Virgin Atlantic and the nice peeps at JFK airport! Grrr) the par-tay was on. That said, sharing the flight agony with Sharon Kendrick, Sue Stephens and Carole Mortimer made it a lot less of a trial.

Here's an arty shot of my spot at the mega-literacy signing the next day (Tuesday I think, but don't quote me on that, I'd already had too much prosecco and not enough sleep)...

A total romance-arama with about a billion eager readers buying books (unfortunately not all of them mine!). But, hey, I got to sit within two seats of Susan Elizabeth Phillips who is one of my auto-buy authors! So it was quite a thrill.... To watch everyone charge past me to get to her...!

Now, to the great regret of my thighs, there happened to be a wonderful retro Noo Yawk diner across the road from the Marriott Marquis hotel called Juniors... This is fellow Riva Divas Fiona Harper and Lucy King who I enjoyed the first of many slap-up breakfasts with on Tuesday morning.

Unfortunately, I ended up eating my way thru most of Juniors breakfast menu by the end of the week (well, apart from the fruit plate)... So the less said about that the better.

Here is a picture that I will be putting in 'Heidi's Hall of Fame' because... Yes!! That's me sitting next to LINDA HOWARD... I may have mentioned this a few times already, but thanks to our Alabama heroine Kimberly Lang, the Mod Hot posse got to have lunch (at Juniors of course) with this great lady. Not surprisingly she turned out to be gracious, gorgeous, classy and a whole lot of fun... And I'd just like to add that those other women in the photo didn't actually sit with us, they insisted on muscling in on the photo, it was actually just me and Linda.... Honest!

Have to admit that during the four days of the Conference proper, which as always was organised with military precision by the RWA, I was so busy sightseeing and socialising (and generally trying to pretend what a proper author I am!) that I didn't attend nearly as many workshops as I would have liked (although Jennie Cruisie's Wonder Woman talk was an inspirational exception)... So here's Abby and me (with the lovely Lucy King on camera duty - hence the focussing) going AWOL on the High Line.. Which if you ever go to NYC I would highly recommend (no pun intended!)

And here are some more AWOL moments....

Which include me and Fi Harper in Central Park and Riva Divas Sue Stephens, Fi Harper, Lucy King and Amy Carson supping margaritas at a down-town bar... 

Among other events I attended there was the Presents lunch in a bijoux restaurant off Fifth Avenue, Sandra Marton's legendary Pizza Party (where I had a good old chinwag with Maisey Yates, Jennie Lucas, Lynne Raye Harris, Jane Porter, Sue Stephens, Sharon Kendrick and ... well, all the usual suspects) and then there was the Harlequin Black and White Ball at the Waldorf Astoria, where we all got glammed up and danced till dawn and I met lovely New Voices winner Leah Ashton (and her hunky new hubby).

I did take the camera to those events but was concentrating way to hard on being gorgeous and erudite (and that takes a lot of concentration these days btw) to take any picures....

Anyone jealous, yet?? Good, my work is done.

On the last night of conference, I had the great honour of being Rita-nominee Ms Abby Green's date for the super-plush RITA and Golden Heart Awards ceremony. Now sadly, Abby didn't nab the prize for her spectacular book Breaking the Sheik's Rules, or the lovely Kelly Hunter or Sarah Morgan, but Karen Templeton who did win gave a wonderfully empowering speech and then Hall of Fame honouree Sharon Sala had us all blubbing like, well, a room full of romance writers, with her speech... And the emcee Meg Cabot was a dead ringer for Tina Fey. Plus we all looked absolutely fabulous, of course. So it was really all right on the night....

Have borrowed this photo of me and Abby from Fiona Harper (because I thought you might want more than one in focus) as proof to sign off with.

Roll on RWA 2012!


Roanne said...

I can't say I'm jealous because I was in New York two weeks prior to you touching down and it is truly the city that never sleeps. I also went to all the places you mentioned and ate tons of food. Probably the most memorable holiday ever, as I got engaged there :)
I guess I would be very jealous, as you got to hang out with some of the best known and best loved M&B/Harlequin authors ever! Looks like you had a blast!

Joanne Coles said...

I am horrifyingly jealous, it all looks impossibly glam and exciting.

Am trying hard to not hate you all right now ;-)

Joanne Dannon said...

Sounds and looks absolutely fab-u-lous!!! Love the pics :) and glad you had a brilliant time.

How wonderful you got to meet up with the gorgeous Leah Ashton :)

Heidi Rice said...

Ahhh, now Roanne you've made ME jealous! I actually got married in NYC so know how romantic it is. Congrats on your engagement!

Joanne C, channel that jealousy and hopefully I'll see you in Californ-I-A next year.

Joanne D, yes, it was utterly brill and completely exhausting. Leah was absolutely lovely and her husband was gorgeous too - and given that there was a bit of a shortage of men at the Black and White Ball also very brave to get on the dancefloor!

Leah Ashton said...

Great post Heidi! And Mr Leah is very chuffed re the hunk comment :)

It was wonderful to meet you! I wish I hadn't felt quite so tongue tied as I would have love to have chatted more.

I also had a photo taken with LINDA HOWARD (totally agree with the necessity of shouting her name), and I gushed embarrassingly all over her. Adore her!

Caroline said...

Sounds like you had a FABULOUS time in NooYork City. Great stuff- and fab pictures as well. Thanks for sharing. Caroline x