Here I am in Virginia Beach! EPICon, the annual conference for EPIC members, was held within driving distance of New Jersey this year so hubby and I packed up our suitcases and cruised down Route 13 to Virginia. On the way we discovered that the Delmarva pennisula is very flat--which could make for a boring drive save for the fact that there are a number of large antique stores along the way. Our drive to Virginia Beach took longer than we anticipated due to a few of those antique stores. :^)
The conference was held at the Surfside Inn. We had a lovely room facing the beach with a private balcony. Friday morning we were greeted by the dawn. On the way to breakfast, I met Janet Lane Walters--who is also a New Concepts Publishing author. She gave me a hug, but I think she was just so glad to see me because I had signed up for the first shift in the bookstore. :^)
The keynote speaker was Sherrilyn Kenyon. Her talk was terrific! Hubby and I shared a table with Lorna and Larry Collins as well as P. June Diehl. The conference was considerably smaller than the one run by the New Jersey Romance Writers--but that made it easy to get to know a lot of other writers.
Hubby went to a few talks with me and our favorite was TJ Glenn's "Bruise and Consequence: How to Build a Better Beating." My heroines are always getting into some kind of trouble so I figured I ought to know how to get them out of it. To keep a good reference handy, I bought Teel's book, Them's Fightin' Words!
The highlight of the conference was the EPPIE banquet. I sat next to Jane Toombs--a lovely lady and a prolific author. I am hoping that some of her talent rubbed off on me. Jeff Strand was the emcee--and he was hilarious. There were so many categories this year, but Jeff held everyone's attention with his over-the-top writer's humor.
I did not take photos of all the winners. However, I had to take a picture of my fellow Awe-Struck author, Sherry Derr-Wille. She was the winner in the inspirational category this year for her book, The Outlaw's Daughter.
Another winner was Linda Bleser for her book East of Eden.
By the way, the above photos can be viewed larger just by clicking on them!
It was a great conference. Next year it will be in Portland, Oregon! Start saving now. :^)