Posts tagged with: 2018 RWA Nationals

We’re Back!

Okay, RWA National was fantastic! I did more than survive. My brain is exploding with inspiration, and also, and perhaps more importantly, with concrete ideas on how to execute.

While we all recover, I thought I’d put up a quick post with some of my top RWA 2018 moments.

– When the woman with the coolest hair at the conference refers to seeing you at the Indie signing as her “surprise fangirl moment.” (Thanks, Chelle Olson!) 

– When Tessa Dare looks at your name tag and says, “We know each other, don’t we?” (Only in the sense that we tend to follow each other around the same threads on Twitter, but *grin*)

– When someone tells you your “Reinvention” panel was the most inspirational thing they heard all week. 🙂

– Having to take a few things out of checked luggage and transfer to my carry-on to reduce suitcase weight to 50 lbs. So many great books! #goodproblems

Me, with Darynda and Vivi

– Dinner with the Rubies, and seeing old friends! There’s never enough time to catch up.

– Ruby Slippered Sisterhood shout-out at the Annual General Meeting, related to the need to gather feedback from the RWA membership about the Golden Heart contest, which will end in 2019. What comes next? My friend @SusanSey live-tweeted the #AGM – she’s always worth a read!

– Listening to 2018 Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Suzanne Brockmann’s electrifying acceptance speech:

(The RWA National office will post a YouTube link to the RITA Awards Ceremony soon. It’s worth watching in full.)

– Having multiple people mention how much they enjoyed/valued/appreciated the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog. Thank you so much! If you value the blog, we invite you to comment occasionally. Sometimes we wonder if we’re shouting into the void…  🙂

There’s so much more I could write here – workshops, and signings, and sore feet, oh my! But what about you?

What memories, learnings, and takeaways did YOU take away from this year’s RWA National Conference?


Meet 2018 Golden Heart Finalists Eileen Emerson and D. Murphy Ryan!

What a treat here for our second-to-last interview with the Golden Heart class of 2018: today we’re welcoming TWO Persisters, D. Murphy Ryan and Eileen Emerson!

D. Murphy Ryan, also known as Dawn, is a finalist in Contemporary Romance Short with OUT OF THE SHADOWS, and Eileen is a finalist in Historical Romance with AN UNLOVED EARL.

D. Murphy Ryan has lived a life in chapters: as a waitress, a nanny, a photographer’s assistant, a singer and performer, and as a healthcare professional.  But author is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.  Writing since she was eight, she has a vast array of stories she’s eager to share as she moves onto the next chapter of her storied life.




Eileen Emerson spent years getting a Master’s degree in costume design for the theatre, and then chucked it all to make her way in the world of Corporate America. She eventually turned her creative focus to writing and began submitting her work to the contest circuit, with excellent results. She is now a three-time Golden Heart finalist and is zeroing in on publication.


We’re sitting down to chat in the Writing Room of Eileen’s newly renovated Victorian house, which she’s named Valhalla. Dawn and Eileen will be telling you about their books in the course of our conversation, so let’s jump right in!

FYI, Dawn and Eileen met last year when Dawn joined Valley Forge Romance Writers, of which Eileen is President.

And fair warning: Eileen is also Elisa’s real life sister, so the conversation gets a wee bit personal as we go along. Also, there was waaaaay more giggling and raunchy humor than the final transcript implies. (We talked for 45 minutes!! I had to cut something!!!!)

And one more thing: at one point we got so caught up talking about the possible elimination of the Golden Heart Contest, I decided halfway through the conversation to split that part of the interview off into a separate blog that will post tomorrow. IF YOU’VE GOT STRONG FEELINGS ABOUT THE VALUE OF THE GOLDEN HEART, PLEASE JOIN US AGAIN TOMORROW, AND TELL YOUR FRIENDS!!

Elisa’s questions are in maroon, and Eileen’s answers are in black, and Dawn’s are in blue. 

Off we go…

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