RWA Readers For Life Literacy Autographing 2011

Tuesday was Romance Writers of America's annual "Readers For Life" Literacy Autographing. With almost 500 authors signing and lines that wrapped around a New York City block, a tremendous amount of money was raised for important literacy programs. RT BOOK REVIEWS was there to chat with some of the authors in attendance. Here's a look at what we learned from a handful of the many fan favorite authors at the signing. 

Susan Andersen was signing her newest contemporary novel Burning Up. We asked the author what was something about her writing that would surprise readers and Susan said that she likes writing about the family and friends in her books as much as writing the romance. So which was her favorite family member in Burning Up? "Definitely Auntie Lenore."

Historical romance author Kieran Kramer was also in attendance. We had to know more about her sexy hero in her newest release Cloudy With a Chance of Marriage. She lets us in on this detail: "Captain Steven Arrow was my first non-peer hero. I made him a navy captain because my husband is in the Navy. Navy men are hot, adventurous and brave."

Deeanne Gist, award winning inspirational author, let us in on the plot for her RITA-nominated romance Maid to Match. "The story's main character is a parlor maid that aspires to be a lady's maid. She practices her skills on a guest which doesn't go well. Tillie has to scrape a woman's tongue and pop a pimple. These things were based on diaries of real servants at the turn of the century."

Paranormal author Larissa Ione was on hand to sign her newest novel Eternal Rider. We asked her if there were any hiccups when she was writing the first in her Lords of Deliverance novel. Larissa told us that while writing Eternal Rider she actually broke both of her arms. How? She wouldn't go into details, however, she did say that when it happened, "I was on the dance floor at my high school reunion." Ouch. So can we expect to see her characters having the same fate? Probably not. "When writing my stories, I usually like to break something or chop things off of my characters, but my editor makes me put them back on in the final draft."  

We also met up with multicultural romance author Brenda Jackson. What did she have to share about her novel A Silken Thread? "After a reader is finished with this book, they will definitely be asking themselves, 'how evil is evil?'" A fan of Brenda's nodded at hearing this. The reader shared her own experience with the book, "You think you know what will happen, but you have no idea!"

And finally, we tracked down the beautiful and talented series romance author Olivia Gates. Hailing from Egypt, Olivia wins the award for furthest traveled to attend the booksigning. A special surprise from the author was that she had her upcoming release, To Touch a Sheikh to sign. (Heads up — this Harlequin Desire releasing in August received a Top Pick! review). Need another reason to pre-order this book? Olivia says her hero practices "sexual continence". Hmmm. Definitely sounds intriguing!

We want to say a big thank you to the wonderful authors that shared a bit of their stories for readers that couldn't be at the booksigning. And for those fans that are interested in hearing more news about the RWA conference happening this week, make sure to check out our video interview with RWA President Dorien Kelly.