So, it's been awhile hasn't it? Sorry to have been MIA for so long. Real life has happened and to be honest, my writing has been stalled for months now. It's only been the past few weeks that I've gotten back into the swing of things. But that also means I have a lot to catch you up on!
Back in January, I went to Sedona over MLK weekend for my very first writers retreat with Liana de la Rosa, Elizabeth Bright, and Laura Kristie. The four of us found a cabin on Air B&B, and had a great time. There was bacon, and lots of wine, and laughs. I even tried deep fried pickles for the first time, and now I'm a fan. The three of them kindly helped me plot, so there was work happening in between all the wine and fun. ;) We had fun day trips into Sedona and Flagstaff and Liana was a great tour guide. The views were breathtakingly beautiful, but the great company, friendship, and comraderie was the best of all.
This was during the shutdown so there were many beleaguered TSA workers at PHX and PHL. It was great to get away from freezing Philly for a weekend for the much better temps in Sedona. Let me tell you, it wasn't fun coming home that Monday and it was only 17 degrees in Philly!
Last month, I went to NYC for the annual RWA conference. RWA is always a highlight of my year. It's the one time of year I get to see all of my Romancelandia friends. As always, I roomed with the fantastic PJ Ausdenmore from The Romance Dish, and this year, Brina Starler joined us. The one drawback was the hotel. The conference was going to be at the Marriott Marquis, which was right in the middle of Times Square. How bad is this hotel? The RWA conference was at the same hotel back in 2015, and at the end of the 2014 conference in San Antonio, people were ALREADY complaining about having to be there! The layout of the hotel is NOT user friendly at all, and frankly, the elevators sucked. I got stuck waiting for it on more than one occasion. But getting to spend time with friends more than made up for it. I was especially happy to see the lovely Lenora Bell who I hadn't seen since the 2016 conference in San Diego! Best of all, it was Restaurant Week in NYC while we were there, and Elizabeth, Liana, and I took full advantage when we went to dinner Thursday night at the Capital Grille! I also got to have dinner with Susannah Erwin on Tuesday. All three were kind enough to celebrate my birthday and treat me. I also got to meet the lovely Vanessa Riley and Marie Tremayne. And Saturday, I got to try Cuban food for the first time at Havana Central with PJ, Lenora, her assisant Kelly, and Janna MacGregor! I highly recommend their arroz con pollo and their avocado with seafood salad app! I even got birthday flan! (Yes I know. I celebrated my birthday three times. They were all belated celebrations! I have the best friends ever) I confess, most of the week was meetings and drinks, I didn't attend a lot of workshops. But that's what conference recordings are for right? I also want to take this opportunity to celebrate Kennedy Ryan, Nisha Sharma, and M. Malone's historic RITA wins! So happy to see more diverse authors getting the recognition they deserve.
I also got the chance to meet with my agent Courtney Miller-Callihan Friday morning. (It still feels so surreal to say I have an agent! lol) we had a great conversation and it just reinforced that I made the right choice signing with her.
Some of you may remember that I mentioned working on a secret project. 2 years ago, I wrote an own voices novella based around the Lunar New Year. I am excited to announce that the novella is going to be expanded into a full length book, and the first in an own voices contemp rom com trilogy! More info to come, but I have sent synopses for all three books to Courtney, and the goal is to be out on submission by the middle of September. Fingers crossed and wish me luck guys! The historical As She Likes It series will be on the backburner for now. But I have to admit, the novella poured out of me, and I am super excited about this new series, and I think my contemp voice actually flows easier than my historical voice. I would love the opportunity to bring more own voices book out into the world!
But I can leave you with this tidbit. The first book is a second choice story between Cecily Chang and Jeffrey Lee. She's an attorney from San Francisco and he's a screenwriter living in LA and the two childhood sweethearts run into each other on their way home to Brooklyn to celebrate Lunar New Year with their families.
Without further ado, meet Cecily and Jeffrey!
More to come soon!!