RWA National & the Samhain Party


I thought I’d take a break for a moment from the Story Behind the Story of my new releases and talk about something completely different — the business of writing.

Well, this is sort of business and sort of pleasure.  Romance Writer’s of America had their annual convention in Anaheim this year — in July of this year.  And because it was in southern CA and I live in the southern CA area, I was able to go.  The picture above is a picture of my husband and myself at the Samhain Publishing party directly after the awards gala.

 When all was said and done, I suddenly realized that I had gone to the convention minus a camera — these pictures were snapped by my husband (who had the foresight to bring a camera) at the Samhain party.  RWA was particularly exciting this year, due to the tremendous advances in the ebook trade.  And by exciting, I mean there was electricity in the air.

In 2010 I did a physical booktour, as I had done for each one of my neweest releases — at the time I was scheduling the tour, I found myself in tears many, many times.  So many bookstores were closing or had closed.  In truth, from my perspective that year, the future for us writers looked bleak.

But what I hadn’t counted on — and I’m not sure anyone saw this coming — was the opportunity that ebooks present.  And so it was that at this particular RWA convention, the authors were buzzing with excitement and a future that once again looked bright.

All these pictures were snapped at the Samhain party, by the way.  Now Samhain (my new publisher for 9 of my books) is an ebook publisher and they held a great presence at this convention.  But rather than have their party the night before the awards, they decided to have the party after the awards — and what a party it was.

Live entertainment, dancing, food of all kinds and desserts to tempt even those of us who watch their weight with the eye of an eagle.  I did my best to avoid those desserts, but it wasn’t easy.  Now this picture off to the left here was snapped by a professional photographer that Samhain had hired especially for this event.  And in doing so I got to have my picture taken in the dress that I had saved and saved and saved for — especially for this party — it’s from Nordstrom’s …  I guess I don’t need to say more.  Below here is one more picture of the dress which I’m kinda showing off because it took me so long to save up for it.

It’s a dress that’s called a Jackie “O” dress — for those of you who keep up with that sort of thing, apparently, it’s a famous cut of dress.

Now the best part of the party was that I got to meet an old, old friend — a bookseller that I first met at Borders in Southern California — Heather Osborne.  I’ll never forget the first time I did a booksigning in one of Heather’s stores — there were posters everywhere and books everywhere — and she made me feel so very, very special.  So now she has a job where she makes all of us authors feel very,very special because now she works for Samhain.  Samhain really threw quite a party — my thanks to my publisher.

Now one of the best things that happened at this convention is that we fillies got to meet — many of us for the very first time, although we’ve been friends for years and years and years now.  Of course now I could kick myself that I didn’t have a camera — and the pictures that we did take, I can’t now find…  But I think of all the things that happened at the convention, meeting the fillies will remain one of the best experiences of my life.  Even though we only met for an hour or so, it really was like meeting old friends.

Well, now, I know this isn’t the sort of post that I usually post, and I wish I had more pictures to share — unfortunately, I’m sharing all of the ones that I have, which I took more or less because of the dress…  Deep sigh…

I’d love to hear from you, and as I usually do nowadays, I’ll be giving away a free book to some lucky blogger.  So come on in and leave a comment.

Don’t forget that right now these books are on sale at the above website for practically a song.


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KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
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43 thoughts on “RWA National & the Samhain Party”

  1. Nice post, Karen. Sounds like you and your hubby had a great time at the Samhain party. Great dress, by the way; but then you’d look good in a flour sack dress. Since I write for Kensington, I went to their party instead of Samhain and we had a very nice time. I agree there was really a buzz in the air at Anaheim and I was so glad you were able to make it to the gathering of the P&P Fillies! Wasn’t it fun? Now, go look for the perfect dress for RWA Atlanta in 2013! Hugs, P

  2. Hi Mary!

    Wow! You are always so gracious. Thank you. Yeah, I saved and saved and saved for that dress — it was almost as expensive as my wedding dress so many, many years ago. 🙂

  3. Hi Phyliss!

    What a wonderful thing for you to get this new contract with Kensington, a wonderful company. And yes, there really was a buzz in the air — one that I hadn’t seen in many a year. I should probably have acknowledged Amazon, also, for their part in creating that buzz. Yeah, I have my eye on a new dress now, also, but it takes me a while to save up for them — thing is in many cases, by the time I’ve got the money saved, the dress is no longer available or something like that. Oh, well… 🙂

  4. Karen, I absolutely LOVE your dress. No wonder you were so proud of it. Too bad you forgot to bring the camera for more pics, but there’s always next year. :p
    RWA sounds like it was fun and exciting.

  5. Hi Stefanie D!

    I know — the thing I regret most is that I didn’t get to snap a picture of all of us fillies together — nor did I get a picture of my agent — and I would have liked that.


    Yes, RWA this year was very exciting — lots of new ideas — lots of room to grow.

  6. Hi Kay,
    The dress was worth it! I am sure you wow’d everyone, with or without the camera.
    Put a sticker reminder on the calendar for the next conference—CAMERA!
    I love seeing pictures of writer’s husbands. I am intrigued.

  7. I agree, you look gorgeous in that dress! I remember the time we took our one and only cruise and my husband had a fancy camera (way before digitals lol). We took 32 or 36 pics and found out when it was over that the film never wound correctly (young people will have no idea what I’m talking about lol). We were able to buy a few expensive pictures from the ships photographer or we’d have nothing. Glad your hubby was able to take some pics!

  8. Hi Mary J!

    What a great idea — to put a sticker on it that says remember camera! 🙂 And thanks for the compliments on the dress. It was something I don’t do often (buy a dress that expensive). But it was fun!

  9. Hi Catslady!

    Smile! 🙂 I’ve done that too — and for some very important occasions, too.

    You’re right — young people probably wouldn’t know what that means today. Sigh…

  10. Kay, what a great dress! (And the good looking guy you’re holding on to, doesn’t hurt either). Yes, the conference was exciting with all those positive vibes. It was good to see so many writers smiling–and good to see you!


  11. Kay, what beautiful pics of you! You look MAHHHVELOUS, DAHLING! And you look so happy. It sounds like a wonderful time!

  12. You look Beautiful in your dress !!!! love the pic of you and your husband : ) As for the camera…I went to the coast about 8 years ago to photograph some kids for their senior school pictures and was using a medium format camera and i wasn’t use to that kind of film the way you had to loop it threw anyway needless to say we all made a second trip for those pic’s lol
    photoquest at bellsouth dot net

  13. Well if only got to get a small amount of pictures, then getting pictures of “the” dress and with your hubby, then you got the important pictures. 🙂

    So nice to hear that authors are excited about ebooks.

  14. Wow you look stunning in that dress, but you would look good in most things.
    I know what you mean about the closure of book stores. There was an independant store near me, and I spent most of my free time there. It broke my heart when it closed. I even looked into buying the store but it just wasn’t viable as a business. The owner used to joke I was his best and only customer.

  15. Great dress and the color is beautiful. In two years I will be going to my first RWA convention. Its making its way back to Texas so its more affordable. I’m glad that you had a great time and I agree…the picture of you and your husband is sweet.


  16. Very pretty. That dress is to die for. You look absolutely radiant. But that might be because you have your handsome hubby beside you. I imagine that Samhain party was really something. Glad you had fun.

  17. Beautiful color for the dress! Thank you for sharing your pics with us… sometimes I go to places and hate it when I see something that I would love to have a pic of, but did not have a camera with me…

  18. Karen,you are stunning,an you have a handsome husband too! lucky lady! looks like you guys had tons of fun,,its nice to get a way even for a business party an have a nice time

  19. Oh, Lori, I’ve so done that, also — new camera — didn’t know how to use it and the pictures didn’t come out. Will have to go and see those pictures! 🙂

  20. Thanks so much, Vickie, for your compliments. Yes, it broke my heart, that tour — because in the scheduling of the tour, I realized what was happening to the bookstores — a real heartbreak.

  21. Hi Charlene!

    You are so sweet, Charlene, but then after reading your books, one is struck by how true to heart you are. Thanks — and yes, those covers are wonderful!

  22. Hi Vickie!

    I so agree with you. It’s nice to have somewhere to go to get all dressed up for, isn’t it? And thanks so much for the compliments — so gracious.

  23. Hi Karen! That party was great, wasn’t it? Normally the awards end and people just kind of drift off to a last drink or to pack or whatever…it was really great to finish off the conference at that party with my 2 best peeps, my roommate Fiona and fellow Samhain author Jenna Bayley-Burke. We had a fab time! (and you are SO right about the desserts. gah!)

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