Recap of My First RWA National Conference

While I have been writing for most of my life, romance since 2004, this was the first year I attended the RWA National Conference. Once I'd registered and booked my hotel, once I'd accepted the reality of my going, this was me:

Going to RWA...finally! on Make A Gif

(make animated gifs like this at MakeAGif)

I was like: "Yippee-yi-yay! I'm going, going, going!" 

I was finally making it to the Romance Writers of America conference, the national gathering of my people. People who wrote and read and loved books, who actually understood me and my obsession with words, and there'd be books. So many books! 

Once in San Antonio, I made this face quite often to the amusement of my more experienced peers...

kiIBoZ on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

I made it is every time I saw the awesome Nora Roberts. When I did speak to her (okay, I fan-girl gushed at her), she was uber gracious and posed for a picture:

Since I had a breakfast date with Nalini Singh, I was up at the crack of dawn. Fortunately by the time we met, I was able to control my fan-girling and actually have a conversation. We both gushed about Sari Sister Sonali Dev's Debut Release:

Then, Nalini showed me how to take a selfie:

I also attended part of her Writing Paranormal Romance workshop and caught this gem:

"Be logical, be consistent, and be passionate!"

Speaking of workshops, they were awesome and there were several tracks to choose from -- craft, marketing, industry, self-publishing, career, writer's life and more. I attended several and learned a lot! 

My favorite was the last workshop I attended -- Reviews: Reaching, Receiving and Reacting to Them. The presenter, Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, did a great job. 

Her straight talk made sense and put reviews into perspective. But, even better, she's freaking hilarious and made me (and others) laugh out loud over and over. By Saturday afternoon, I was in zombie mode and a good laugh was exactly what I needed. I left energized and headed to a donut party courtesy of Carolyn Jewel, one of my co-authors on the Alphas Unleashed anthology.

This next picture perfectly sums up my first RWA experience:

Yes, it was SWEET! Wildfire did me proud...

2014 Prism Award Winner for Best First Book
2014 Prism Second Place winner in Light Paranormal

2014 Published Daphne du Maurier Award finalist in the Paranormal category

Would I attend another RWA National Conference? 

Reading Shield of Winter & Sharing Favorite Quotes

What are you reading this weekend? I'm enjoying Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh

Here are some of my favorite bits from it:

"We created heartbreaking art once, discovered star systems and new species of butterflies with equal joy. We were explorers and musicians and writers of great works. Now . . . how did the Psy become such a ruin?"

Kaleb knew the answer wasn't as simple as Silence, and yet Silence was the core. "We attempted to become a race without flaws." (pg. 18)

"I don't know if it all balances out in the end, but I know I have done all I could. It's the only thing a man can do." (pg. 294)

"We all have to live with our past, but it doesn't have to define us." (pg. 369)

Shiny Indie Recognition and Honor

Look at the beauty that came in my email...a nice gold Indie Romance Convention Book Award nominee logo *SQUEE!*

Why? Well, hee, here's the good news: WILDFIRE has been nominated for Best Fantasy Romance by a reader. I don't know who it was, but I sure do appreciate him/her for thinking of my story and honoring me. Totally tickled!

Now the nominees are being voted on and I'd love to have your vote (unless you find another on the list that you love) and there are many lists. So go check it out and have some bookish fun at the IRC Book Polls!

Saris, stories and sisterhood

I grew up in Bangladesh where wear women wore saris. Some simple, others heavy with sequins and gold thread embroidery. Saris of many colors and textures. To me the sari was a rite of passage, an elegant and mysterious symbol of womanhood. As I grew old enough to try and wrap myself in saris, I learned it could be challenge, a lesson, and a present. Saris, like stories can bring people together. Today I'm sharing my personal experience at Saris and Stories, a new group blog.

Saris and Stories brings together seven desi American women writers from all the U.S. We share our stories, our inspirations and, of course, our love for Bollywood. We laugh, we cry, we write.

Saris, like stories, have been bringing together people for ages. My personal story is about how saris keep my Mom and I tied together. Six yards of cloth with so much love and meaning.

Author Mina Khan's mother, grandmother and family
My Mom in a sari with her mother and siblings.

Author Mina Khan and her Mom
My Mom and Me :)

For our launch week, we are sharing our personal Sari stories and celebrating our heritage.Part of that is of course giveaways. So check out the posts, comment and keep your fingers crossed! Winners will be picked randomly at the end of launch week. So go visit Saris and Stories!



A July 4th Thought

Happy July 4th to all my American readers! Stay safe and have loads of fun! But also keep in mind veterans who maybe sensitive to fireworks, and your best friends aka pets....

Now for that wonderful Erma Bombeck quote:

"You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.” — Erma Bombeck