Adrienne’s – Fairy Tale of New York

Batman in New York

My favourite superhero Batman was there to greet me – a fairy tale come true!

Summer holidays exist to be savoured long after the local wine has been drunk (why does it never taste the same?) and the freckles have faded and it’s true, memories of happy times in sunnier climes keep us going through the January gloom.

Christopher Columbus - and a blue, blue sky!

Christopher Columbus – and a blue, blue sky!

I enjoyed many special times during the summer of 2015 ‒ precious family memories to treasure forever ‒ but I also did something ridiculously, extravagantly splurging and, yes I have to admit, totally self-indulgent! I took myself off to New York to the Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference and spent an entire week being something I’ve always wanted to be, an author in one of the most exciting cities on the planet. Now seriously, what’s not to like?

I’d barely mentioned the Romance Writers of America 35th anniversary conference in New York when a couple of lovely author chums, Katherine Garbera (US Today best seller) and Eloisa James (New York Times best seller) asked their mutual friend, Erin Fry, publications editor for the RWA, if I could tag along.

Erin did better than that, she organised a special press pass, so in the blink of an eye, having raided my ‘author’ piggy bank, I booked flights, hotel and was on my way!

Times Square - the energy is palpable!

Times Square- the energy is palpable!

The fabulous Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square was base camp for nearly 2000 delegates primed and eager to make the most of nearly 200 events/workshops/signings and 1-2-1s and of course, the fabulous RITAs and Golden Hearts Awards Ceremony. Delegates could start the day at 6.30am with Pilates and/or Romance Fit Club, followed by a networking breakfast and then straight into the action.

Some of my favourites included: ‘Bollywood Basics: Romance Tips from the World’s Largest Film Industry’; ‘How to Write Sexual Tension that will Knock Their Socks Off’; ‘Dead On, Writing ‘Killer’ Romantic Suspense’; ‘Staying Fit While You’re Writing’; and ‘Oops, the Publishing World Just Changed Again’.

I squeezed into Nora Roberts’ talk, acknowledged as the bestselling author on the planet, her ‘chat’ to a packed house was refreshing, honest and hilarious. Nora has written over 200 romance novels – thirty-four Nora Roberts’ titles are sold EVERY minute – she also writes suspense under the pen name J D Robbs, these titles sell pretty well too! Awesome.

During my trip I breakfasted at Simon & Schuster and had cocktails with the team at Hachette Book Group – mixing with writers, editors and agents, all asking lots of questions about the UK and how the market is here.

St Patricks Cathedral - made it to mass and found St Anthony hidden in a corner.

St Patrick’s Cathedral – made it to mass and found St Anthony in a corner

With the sun shining and so much to see, I took time to walk, New York is easy to navigate, the natives hospitable and happy to chat. Highlights included sunbathing in Central Park with pastrami salad and iced tea whilst reading Steven King’s On Writing; Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral where the celebrant’s singing was akin to Pavarotti and enjoying the movie The Longest Ride over brunch.

Fast forward to the conference finale, the glittering RITA and Golden Heart Awards Ceremony – and I was delighted to see Jo Beverley – a member of the RWA Hall of Fame – present the Golden Heart for Historical to Sara Leyton for her novel The Reunion. I was also delighted and very proud when our own Carole Mortimer received a Lifetime Achievement Award. She has written over 200 books, yet spoke so generously and warmly, she was just delightful.

As the evening came to a close, a gorgeous girl sitting next to me asked if I would take a picture of her and her English chum – turns out the best buddies were also bestsellers, Tasmina Perry and Bella Andre. A quick snap and Bella was whisked on stage to do her presentation, talk about hanging out with the VIPs!

The RWA conference was a real eye opener, a fascinating insight into the business of being an author and what it takes to succeed and New York itself, such a special, fairy tale kind of place for me, it really was an experience to savour. You never know, one day I may return but in the meantime I can dream … after all that’s what gloomy January days are for.

The View from my 'desk' in Central Park

The view from my ‘desk’ in Central Park



About Lizzie Lamb

I write contemporary women's fiction mostly based in Scotland with hot heroes, feisty heroines and always a happy ending. Along with three other authors - Adrienne Vaughan, June Kearns and Margaret Cullingford - I formed the New Romantics Press under which our books are published. I have published six books since 2012, the latest being Harper's Highland Fling. I am currently working on #7 which I hope to publish in 2022. In the meantime, do check out my Amazon page: and click 'FOLLOW' to keep up to date with me and my news.

Posted on January 23, 2016, in Adrienne Vaughan, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. Wow! What a fab, memorable trip!

  2. Fabulous place for a writer to go.

  3. Now I’ve read the blog and seen the photos I am double ‘gutted’ that I couldn’t go along with Adrienne and hang out with the big hitters. What a fabulous occasion and Adrienne’s blog post brings it a little near to home. An unforgettable experience and hopefully Adrienne will return one day to received HER award. It’s just a matter of time.

  4. I have always wanted to go to to New York and I’m even more determined now! Thanks Adreinne for transporting me there.

    • You’ll love it when you get there, Joan similar buzz to Honkers. The thing I loved about Honkers was how tall I was!!! In New York I was small, but I had a ‘great accent’ apparently.

  5. Great post, Adrienne. Sounds as though you had a fantastic time in New York. Lots of writerly glitz and glamour! New York is a city I also love and hope to return to one day. Reading your post has brought back lots of lovely memories. Love your photos. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful experience with us 🙂 Xx

  6. Lovely post, Adrienne and fabulous pictures. You’ve really brought your whole experience, and the place to life for us. (It’s the journo in you!)

    • Well you’re the first person in the universe who has every said my pictures are good, and you should know, having trained in photography! You’re right though June, ink in the veins!

  7. Mags Cullingford

    Only one word for it, Adrienne – F A B U L O U S!

  8. Cheers Mags, I loved returning to my hotel and sitting in the bar with a cocktail and my note pad writing like crazy. Then dinner and a movie … I went native very quickly!

  9. New York is a great place for any event. I took my family there during Christmas time last year and the memories we made will last a lifetime.

  10. So beautifully written, Adrienne, it’s like being there! 🙂
    I really enjoyed it, thank you for sharing it!
    Can I come too, next time? 😉

  11. Thanks Isabella, you’d be great company on my next trip, I’d take you to Irish bars for brunch and you could show me the best Italian restaurants. Deal?

  12. Sounds like a dream trip, Adrienne! New York and a writing event combined, what a treat 🙂

  13. It was fabulous Anita, the RWA are off to San Diego this year … I’ve checked it out, looks AMAZING but I need to write a couple of best sellers before the author account could fund that trip! (Won’t stop trying though!) X

  1. Pingback: Adrienne’s Trip to the Romance Writers’ of America’s Award Ceremony | Lizzie Lamb

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