Last year, I kept hearing people go on and on about this awesome young adult conference in Nashville, Tennessee. All the talk was infectious.
My first thought... Jo Michaels, my writing bud and editor. I knew she lived close by. After passing on the information, we decided to room together and share a table. I was as excited about meeting her as I was about attending the conference.
Anyone who's read this blog knows how I feel about Jo. She's taught me so much and made each of my books better, from editing to cover design. Not that I was worried, but I enjoyed every second with her. I wish I could touch my finger to her brain and absorb all her knowledge. Amazing!
There will be some big stuff coming from Tia-Jo land this year. Some stuff I can't even tell you about... yet.
Over the next few weeks, I will highlight some of the other amazing people I met at UtopYA, including two phenomenal guest speakers, Sylvia Day and Gennifer Albin.
Before I do that, however, I want to mention a very special lady who attended with me. My oldest daughter, Jackie, is an avid reader and jumped at the chance to meet YA authors. When she started out, she said she wasn't sure she'd fangirl. She was just going to walk around and check things out, maybe buy a few books.
Then, my reserved child comes running up to me yelling author names and showing me swag. She had the time of her life, and I got Mom points. Score!
Note: Both of the pictures in this post are selfies, not a photo technique I feel comfortable with. There's a real art to it. I plan to perfect it by next year's UtopYA.
Round 2 of A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) ended while I was living the UtopYA dream. This round flew by. Although I accomplished so much this round, including the release of my third book, I also let a few goals slip away.
Round 3 begins July 7. If you don't know the awesomeness that is ROW80, check it out here. I can't wait to set new goals.