RT reviewer and romance lover Susannah Balch had the pleasure of attending the Heart Of Dixie's annual writers' luncheon last weekend. Local romance authors gathered for a day-long event to sign books, meet readers and celebrate their genre, and Susannah was there to capture every moment! Today she shares some highlights, as well as a few photos.
The Heart of Dixie Chapter 51, an affiliated chapter of Romance Writers of America (RWA), held their annual romance writers’ luncheon on Saturday, June 8, in Huntsville, Alabama. A delightful time was had by all in attendance, as romance readers got their chance to mingle with authors and fellow romance readers alike. In addition, readers were given the opportunity to win fabulous door prizes and raffle baskets, and support a good cause by purchasing books at a charity book fair. This year’s proceeds are going to a local public library looking to replace books that, unfortunately, were damaged in a storm.
J.T. Ellison with a fan — and a very big book cover poster!
The guest speaker this year was best-selling suspense author J.T. Ellison, who has had several books over the last few years that were rated Top Picks! by RT. In her speech, Ellison focused on the difficulties that all writers face and the perils of self-doubt and self-deprecation that can come with writing. Her speech was insightful and was received with a standing ovation from the room.
Linda Howard chatting with readers
Vicki Lewis Thompson signing her Harlequin series titles
Rhonda Nelson and Lynn Raye Harris also signing their series titles
The Heart of Dixie chapter currently has around fifty-five members, including fan favorites Linda Howard, Linda Winstead Jones and Vicki Lewis Thompson, who was recognized at the luncheon for having one hundred titles sold. An impressive feat for an author! In addition to Thompson, the Heart of Dixie chapter has several authors who write for Harlequin including Desire authors Andrea Laurence and Dani Wade, Presents authors Kimberly Lang and Lynn Raye Harris, Blaze authors Kira Sinclair and Rhonda Nelson, Harlequin Medical Romance author Susan Carlisle and Harlequin Superromance author Pamela Hearon — a 2013 RITA finalist. Also in attendance was author Kim Law, another 2013 RITA finalist.
If you are a fan of romance, and live anywhere near the North Alabama area, make plans to attend this conference next year, as the date has already been tentatively set for Saturday, June 14. Mark your calendars now and come out enjoy a day that you won’t soon forget!
- Susannah Balch