Turning the Pages of Romance:
On Saturday, April 17th, 2004, eighty fans joined with 11 authors of romance novels at the Holiday Inn in downtown Lincoln to share their love of Romance Fiction. Following opening comments by author Cynthia Rutledge, and a keynote address by Guest of Honor Victoria Alexander, participants were able to attend any of several panel discussions, purchase books and get them signed, and join in a luncheon for casual conversation with the authors. Please enjoy the following gallery of snapshots from this day-long event!
After the Conference
Turning the Pages of Romance 2004 -- Photo Gallery
[Want to know what was scheduled at the Conference? Click Here: Conference Program for a pdf copy of the schedule of events.]
Romance conference attendees gather in the main conference area before the opening comments.
Attendees look over the tables full of promotional materials provided by authors and publishers. In the foreground are the door prizes, to be given away at the end of the day.
Lincoln romance author Cynthia Rutledge serves as Mistress of Ceremonies - welcoming attendees at the beginning of the conference.
Guest of Honor Victoria Alexander presents her keynote address. The best-selling Omaha author (and former television news reporter) entertained the audience with her talk on the theme: "Why Do I Write? Because Life and Men are Hysterical!"
Linda Onumbu (standing, from Omaha Public Libraries) moderates a panel discussion on Romance Themes That Work. Featured panelists were (l to r) Kristin Gabriel, Pam Crooks, Kylie Brant and Cindy Gerard.
Participants in the Characters You Love to Hate: Villains and Antagonists panel discussion included (l to r) Leigh Michaels, Roxanne Rustand and Kylie Brant.
Guest of Honor Victoria Alexander chats and signs books for conference attendees in the book sale room.
Authors (l to r) Bobbi Smith, Kim Louise, Roxanne Rustand and Kylie Brant fielded questions from the audience during an impromptu Questions & Answers session in the afternoon.
Eiseley Branch supervisor Julie Simpson moderates the Bad Boy to Lost Soul: Male Archetypes discussion panel, featuring authors (l to r) Kim Louise, Kristin Gabriel and Julie Miller.
The authors were all available in the book sale room to sign books for attendees at various times throughout the day. Here, Leigh Michaels (behind table in background), Roxanne Rustand (in blue) and Bobbi Smith (farthest to the right) chat with readers and sign their works. [Special thanks to Lee Booksellers and the Lincoln City Library Foundation for arranging to have so many of the authors' books available for attendees.]
Throughout the day, attendees were encouraged to have all eleven authors sign their decorative "Dance Card". Those who presented a Dance Card with all 11 signatures before the closing ceremonies were eligible for the door prize drawings. Here, attendees line up to get their filled Dance Cards authenticated.
Bobbi Smith, of Saint Charles, Missouri, tells the audience about making her first romance sale back in 1982.
Omaha author Pam Crooks shares stories of her earliest successes.
Kylie Brant entertains attendees with her recollections of breaking into the business.
Cindy Gerard talks about making her first novel sale in 1981.
Roxanne Rustand shares her own tales about the road to publication.
With over 75 titles to her credit, Iowa romance author Leigh Michaels reminisces about her breakthrough sale.
Grand Island author Julie Miller talks about her first novel.
Kristin Gabriel, a rural Nebraska romance writer, recalls her early successes.
Omaha author Kim Louise amuses attendees with memories of her first sale.
Event coordinator Rebecca Lee (of Lincoln City Libraries) thanks the participants and all the staff from both the Lincoln and Omaha library systems, the members of the Lincoln City Library Foundation and the staff of Lee Booksellers for their help in pulling off the first Turning the Pages of Romance conference.
Door Prizes were given out by drawing names from among the attendees who presented a fully-completed Dance Card at the end of the day. Here (l to r) author Cynthia Rutledge and event coordinator Rebecca Lee draw the winning names, and author Leigh Michaels prepares to give a prize to the attendee who came closest to guessing the total number of books published thus far by the assembled authors. That total? 287 books!.
All the author guests gather for a group shot at the end of the day. Thanks for their part in a wonderful event go to: (l to r) Julie Miller, Victoria Alexander, Cindy Gerard, Cynthia Rutledge (in back), Kylie Brant, Roxanne Rustand, Leigh Michaels, Kim Louise, Kristin Gabriel, Pam Crooks and Bobbi Smith.
To connect to many of these authors' individual Web sites, and/or to see lists of their titles owned by the Lincoln City Libraries, please visit our Heart-Land booklist page.
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