Magic next to the Magic Kingdom.

28 Jul

Me and the iconic LAX thingy.

At last, at last, I am at the Romance Writers of America National Conference, in Anaheim, California, home to Disneyland and every chain restaurant ever invented. (In that way it’s much like my charmless, soulless Denver suburb of Westminster so I feel right at home.) I can’t see much of Disney from my hotel room except for the parking lot. But mouse ears are everywhere.

And until Sunday, so are romance writers. I just found this out—with 10,000 members, the RWA is the second-largest group of writers after the Screen Actors Guild or one of those screenwriting trade groups. I’m going to assume this is accurate, because then it makes my finaling in the Golden Heart contest even more impressive. In fact, in my mind, I’m going to pretend RWA has two million members. Yes, that’s what I’m going to do.

Okay, I hate to do this to you, but I started this blog post on Wednesday and now it’s Friday. This conference never stops! I ducked out of the gathering of Firebirds (the nickname of the Golden Heart class of 2012) by the pool to, yes, watch the Olympics opening ceremonies because I am an Olympic fiend. I’ll post lots of pictures. How’s that?

The closest I'll ever get to a tat. Our custom-made Firebird temporary tattoos. I say the winners have to get real ones.

Bestselling author, champion of new writers and all-around hilarious gem Cherry Adair and me at the Golden Heart Network retreat.

At the literacy signing for charity, it's me and Susan Elizabeth Phillips, who has graciously accepted me as her official stalker.

The fabulous bestselling author Kristan HIggins and yours truly.

Several of us Golden Heart finalists descended upon Susan Elizabeth Phillips after her workshop.

Fellow Single Title Contemporary Golden Heart finalist Nikki Salcedo and me. I'd knock her off if I didn't know the judges voted weeks ago.

Overall, this is quite the wild ride and I’m being treated like minor royalty. Strangers in the elevator see that I’m a Golden Heart finalist and say, “Congratulations!” Today I got my official certificate, which made it all the more real. By this time tomorrow, we’ll know who won. But you know, I’ll be thrilled—genuinely thrilled—no matter which of us Firebirds wins each category, because I feel so connected to this group of talented, determined writers. I’m not saying (writing) this to be all PC or anything. I cheer this gifted crew on with all my heart and hope this is the last year any of us will be eligible for the Golden Heart because by next year we’ll all be published. Fly, fly, little Firebirds!


  1. AJ Larrieu Says:

    Colette, I think we all feel this way–genuinely excited for each other. It’s been so much fun to meet everyone this week. Go Firebirds!

  2. Michelle Says:

    Watching the Olympics and thinking of you. Best of luck taking home the “Gold”en heart tonight! Waiting on pins and needles. I’m so proud of you!

  3. Talia Quinn Daniels Says:

    Colette, you crack me up. Glad you decided not to knock Nikki off. And I’d totally go for that permanent tat, but my husband might have a few sharp words about it. (I threatened to get a tat about 10 years ago and he got very grumpy.)

    When I met SEP at a signing, she said she loves her stalker(s). You’re so friendly! And non-scary!

    Sooo good to spend time with you!

  4. Kay Hudson Says:

    It was wonderful to meet you at last, Colette Auclair (assume I am writing your name as you pronounced it at the rehearsal), and all the Firebirds. What a wonderful experience. I kept up my journal during the conference, but not my blog–maybe I’ll get back to that tonight. Sounds like more fun than all that laundry.

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