Conference is crazy. It always is. Doesn’t matter where it�s held, or who the keynote speakers are, conference is conference which means two thousand writers, editors, agents and industry exes are trying to accomplish business. What kind of business? Well, lots of it is meet and greet–shaking hands, kissing cheeks, smiling broadly, nodding politely. Some business is sitting in workshops and meeting rooms and listening to industry publishing statistics–paperback sells down, mass market soft, doom and gloom news followed by hopeful projections. Other business is conducted over lunches and dinners where you discuss future contracts, current book sales, ideas for new books and brainstorming to strengthen one’s name and branding.

During my lunch with my Warner editor on Thursday I learned exciting news. The Frog Prince had already gone back for a small second printing and it�s on its way now for a third print. This had been my goal all along and it’s one reason I pushed so hard, setting up booksignings, hosting bookclubs, traveling to cities I’ve never visited. I knew that if a book has a small initial print run, bookstores only have a few copies and many bookstores won’t get it. By increasing my print run more people will see the book and hopefully more people will read it. Next summer’s book, Flirting with Forty, will benefit from Frog Prince’s success, and I believe Flirting with Forty is an even better book–stronger, bigger story, tighter plot. And yet I wouldn’t have next year’s book without The Frog Prince. One story–one epiphany–is the stepping stone for the next. My stories and voice have grown through writing each of my books. My confidence has come from stretching and growing as a writer.

Thursday night I met my Harlequin editor for dinner and discovered my Princess Brides trilogy for Presents was very successful. The sales were strong, the feedback from readers fantastic and Harlequin is anxious for more books from me. Something else I discovered is that later this year I’ll have my first Harlequin book out at, a new venture where select Harlequin books are being made recorded to download onto iPods and MP3 players so women can listen to their favorite novels, whether its driving carpool, running at the track, cleaning house, or sitting in an airport waiting for the flight. It’s exciting being part of a new Harlequin business venture, and I’m thrilled to be one of the first authors to be ‘test-driven’.

I leave Reno tomorrow and return to my desk and writing and mothering but its been a great conference, one that has encouraged me and reminded me that I’m in an amazing industry with some of the most creative, talented and dedicated professionals around. The writers I know, the editors and agent I work with, the Warner sales force and Harlequin research and marketing folks care so much about books. We are all obsessed with books–writing them, publishing them, getting them into the hands of readers. I love what I do. It�s the ultimate challenge and it�s incredibly rewarding. And that’s saying a lot considering it took me fifteen years to get my first sale.

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