I attended my first OCCRWA meeting last Saturday, and boy, was it a good one for my first time. To celebrate the chapter’s birthday, there was a Mardi Gras-themed party at the Embassy Suites in Brea (incidentally the site of the 2015 SoCal RWA California Dreamin’ conference) that included speakers, raffles, and a wonderful lunch. I got to meet up with Heather Bennett, the publicist and co-founder of Decadent Publishing, which is putting my debut novel out later this year, as well as see lots of familiar faces and meet some new, amazing writers.

birthday cupcake

Happy birthday, OCCRWA!

Victoria Dahl, a very funny and hot romance author, spoke on unsympathetic heroines and was extremely motivating and inspirational. Virginal, missish heroines really are a thing of the past, and I’m not talking about historicals. Real romance heroines are flawed and like sex and aren’t nice sometimes. Refreshing to hear. Heather Bennett spoke later about the anatomy of a successful romance, uncovering bit by bit a lovely photo of a cover model, and outline the latest in marketing tools and techniques. Shindig, anyone?

I had a blast, and I even won a raffle prize – a gorgeous basket of Kensington books and a Starbucks gift card besides. Lucky me!

raffle prize