Authors Dish RWA 7-2-2019 with New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Cathy Maxwell, Author Tarina Deaton, and Author Tonya Burrows

Authors Dish RWA 7-2-2019 with New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Cathy Maxwell, Author Tarina Deaton, and Author Tonya Burrows

Welcome newbies and seasoned travel veterans to Authors Dish. With only three weeks until #RWA2019 I’m searching for what authors and industry professionals always include in their suitcases, what they stash in their conference bag to avoid hunger pains and the things they forget once and hopefully never again. While some of the authors contributing are not attending, we love that they want to contribute and hope their words of wisdom help to ease any anxiety you might have getting all the things in your suitcase.  

May this inspire you to plan, make your lists, and triple check so you are prepared for just about anything. If you’re heading to RWA2019 I’d love to say hi. Comment below so we can be sure to meet up in NYC.

Hopefully you won’t find yourself waking up in the middle of the night panicked that you now need the very thing you forgot to pack. Or, finding out moments before you have a meeting or fun place to go, you ran out of or forgot something essential.

Stay tuned as we’ll have plenty of tips and tricks in the upcoming weeks so check the blog daily.

Today in the cafe are New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Cathy Maxwell, Author Tarina Deaton, and Author Tonya Burrows.

Rae: What five things do you have to pack when attending a conference? 

Cathy Maxwell:

Sneaks and flats, swag, something dressy for publisher parties, lavender oil for a restful night’s sleep, and all the buttons that I’ve collected over the years of attending RWA to wear on my name badge.








Tarina Deaton:

Comfortable shoes. A notebook for notes. My plot bunny notebook (I never leave home without it). Business cards. Extra space (for all the goodies I take home).





Tonya Burrows:

1.  Comfortable shoes. (Very important!)

2. Swag and/or books depending on the conference and if I’m attending a signing. If there’s not a signing, then business cards.

3. Leggings. After a week of dressing up, by the last day I’m ready to go back to my regularly scheduled writer wardrobe.

4. Water bottle. (Hydrate, people. Seriously. You’ll thank me for this one.)

5. Alcohol. Hotel bar drinks are expensive!


Rae: What is your snack attack must haves in your day bag?

Cathy: Fruit. I keep a bag of clementines or a banana in my room.

Tarina: I’m really bad about remembering to put snacks in my bag, but it would probably be wasabi almonds because I like to crunch on things.

Tonya: I usually pack protein bars and keep a filled water bottle on hand at all times. Between all the drinking and walking, I tend to get dehydrated at conference and then I end up waking up in the middle of the night with leg cramps. No fun.




Rae:What’s the one thing you forget to pack and swear to remember next time?

Cathy: A cork screw! (And I bet I’m not the only author who has forgotten one.)

Tarina: This is only my second big conference I’m attending as an author, but the one thing I forgot last time was business cards. I had to run out to Walmart and get the printable ones so I’d at least have SOMETHING.

Tonya: I’ve been doing this conference thing for seven years now, so I’ve got packing down to an art. But at my very first RWA in 2012, I didn’t even think to pack a small sewing kit and of course the strap on my RITA dress broke. Luckily, one of my new friends came to my rescue, but I went out and bought one as soon as I got home. It lives in my suitcase now, along with a small first aid kit and a bag of safety pins. I hardly ever use it, but I’ll have it when I need it.

Rae: Thank you so much authors! Readers, what’s the ONE thing you always forget and swear to include next time when you travel? How do you make sure that you remember ;).

I’ll be keeping a running list and will post it a week before RWA2019 so that hopefully no one needs to make a quick run to the lobby market or drug store around the corner. I’ll see you soon for new authors and more ideas!


Cathy Maxwell: Cathy Maxwell is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty historical romance novels.  She never minds spending hours in front of her computer pondering the question, “Why do people fall in love?” To her, it remains the great mystery of life and the secret to happiness.   To discover more about Cathy and her books, visit

Tarina Deaton:Tarina is an award winning author who has spent her entire life in and around the military – first as a dependent and then as an enlisted Air Force member. Her debut novel, Stitched Up Heart, released in September 2016 and hit the number one spot on Amazon’s Top 100 Free Military Romance. She uses her life as inspiration for many of her stories, because truth is stranger (and funnier) than fiction.

Tarina is still active duty and a single mom of six-year-old twins. Her favorite hobby is sleep. She has delusions of retiring from the military and being a stay-at-home mom.

Tonya Burrows: Tonya Burrows wrote her first romance at age 13 and hasn’t put down her pen since. Originally from a small town in Western New York, she suffers from a bad case of wanderlust and usually ends up moving someplace new every few years. As of now, she lives in the Pacific Northwest with The Boyfriend, a diva schnoodle, a plucky pug-mix, and #writercat.

When she’s not writing about hunky military heroes, Tonya can usually be found kayaking, hiking, or road tripping across the country. She also enjoys painting and B grade disaster movies.

If you would like to know more about Tonya, visit her website at She’s also on Twitter @tonyaburrows and Facebook

In case you missed our other posts here’s the recap so far:

7-1-19: Authros Dish RWA 2019 – USA Today Bestselling Author Robin Covington, Author Kelly Maher, and Author Cate Taylor

6-30-19 USA Today Bestselling Author Naima Simone, Author Nancy Northcott, and Author Gail Z. Martin / Morgan Brice

6-29-19 Authors Dish RWA 2019 with USA Today Bestselling Author Suzanne Ferrell, Author Jeanne Adams, and Author Olivia Hardin