RWA 2010–Romance over Lunch

Aside from the books and the books (did I mention the books?), the Romance Writers of America (RWA) annual conference is also about food. Along with the receptions, cocktail parties, buffet breakfasts, and RITA dinner, there were two lunches. The keynote luncheon speech by multiaward winner Nora Roberts harkened back to her first RWA 30 years ago and the friendships she has maintained with some of those authors to this day. She also mentioned speaking at a nursing home and disappointing one elderly resident who was expecting to hear Oral Roberts. At the awards lunch, Jayne Ann Krentz (a librarian as well as a best-selling author) talked about her career missteps, which led her to write under three separate names.

RWA lunch blog

Authors Julie Linker (l.) and Kate Perry made this RWA lunch something special

More than chicken or speeches, RWA lunches are about the women (mostly) at your table who are at varying stages of the writer’s life. Many are still working on the manuscript they hope will be their big break. Others have achieved a modicum of success but aren’t yet on the top rungs and wonder if they will go further or even if they still want to. Two young published authors remained after lunch to continue chatting and sharing their thoughts about their careers and their goals. We shut the place down, basically. And we ran into one another during the rest of the weekend. Though I am quite a bit older, perhaps these women would be friends to encounter throughout years of RWA conferences. Though I hope never to disappoint a nursing home resident hoping to hear Redd Foxx.

Bette-Lee Fox About Bette-Lee Fox

Bette-Lee Fox ( is Managing Editor, Library Journal.

Now in her 46th year with Library Journal, Bette-Lee also edits LJ's Video Reviews column, six times a year Romance column, and e-original Romance reviews, which post weekly as LJ Xpress Reviews. She received the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Vivian Stephens Industry Award in 2013 for having "contributed to the genre or to RWA in a significant and/or continuing manner"


  1. Kate Perry says:

    You’re not going to get rid of us that easily. ;)

    • Bette-Lee Fox says:

      I couldn’t decide between Redd (long dead) and Vivica, with whom no one in their right mind would confuse me. Rue the day is awesome. Can’t wait till RWA in NYC. Take care.

  2. Julie says:

    Lol, I would LOVE to see the nursing home resident who thought he was coming to hear Redd Foxx.

    I’m afraid you’re stuck with us now… you will rue the day we happened to sit at your table.

    (I’ve always really wanted to use the phrase “rue the day” in a sentence) :)

  3. Hey Bette-Lee! Wasn’t it a fabulous conference? Julie and Kate, I’m tickled that you all sat together and that you indoctrinated Bette-Lee the right way. Grins. Like Nora, I’ve made friends at conference and kept them. My first was Denver in 2002. I made a friend there that is still my BFF. In 2006, I finaled in the Golden Heart and 19 of those wonderful ladies and I formed The Romance Bandits, a now 4-year-old, fabulous blog. Trust me, ya’ll don’t WANT to get rid of one another…you’re all too valuable. Grins. And to think, it all started at a luncheon….ha! Thanks for joining us in Orlando, Bette-Lee!