Back from the show. Some quick impressions–

What’s not to like about a convention that’s all about books? Making books, selling them, publicizing them, selling them in all possible formats (known and unknown), collecting them, reading and reviewing them.

The convention center in downtown LA is festooned with banners. The biggest is the James Patterson banner the size of a billboard, which covers the outside of the main hall and is visible for miles. Inside, there are huge banners for huge books. If you’ve reached a certain level, you get a banner that’s probably 20×40 feet, hanging in the entry way–Ted Turner looking like the Marlboro Man, a big Baldacci thriller, Debbie Macomber’s book with a great tagline “Four women. Twenty wishes.”

The booths all feature backlit posters of cover art, ARCs, a steady supply of bottled water and hard candies. I catch up with writer friends I love but almost never get to see–Linda Lael Miller, Heather Graham, Kat Martin, Carla Neggers, Ridley Pearson, Catherine Lanigan (who remembered I once came to one of her signings pushing Elizabeth in a stroller; Elizabeth just got engaged), Brenda Novak, Brenda Jackson…They all get more beautiful as the years progress. At least we wear cooler clothes. We talk about books and book tours (thumbs down from most of us), pub schedules, cover art, travel in Ireland, and the eternal, inexhaustible topic–getting the writing done. So far, I’m sad to report, no one has revealed The Secret.

The RWA booth is its usual warm, friendly self, with free totebags and books by members to give away.

Watch this space! I’ll post more later…