I’m here in body and spirit, but I think I lost my brain somewhere between the Romance Writers of Australia’s 20th conference and home! It was a fabulous conference and kicked off with a stellar author’s day on Thursday. My head was spinning after great talks by Kelley Armstrong, Angela James, Stephanie Laurens and agent Kristen Nelson. The day ended with a wonderful dinner with my fellow Harlequin authors, hosted by Harlequin Australia.
Friday, I had a workshop free day, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t busy. I caught up with fellow authors Annie West, Anne Gracie and Jennifer Kloester before getting busy with my calligraphy pen for the RWAus conference team. I brainstormed with Rachael Johns as we both tried to nail the conflicts in our respective WIPS and I met debut medical romance authors Leonie Knight and Louise Groarke🙂
Friday night was the roaring twenties cocktail party and I went as Melbourne gangster, Squizzy Taylor. I met some dolls otherwise known as authors, Sarah Mayberry, Joan Kilby and Marion Lennox.
Saturday dawned and the conference kicked off with a fabulous opening speech by NYT bestselling author, Susan Wiggs and I also took her workshop, Plotting from the Inside Out which validated my process….always useful! 😉
That afternoon, DH, Boy Wonder and I took Angela James and her delightful husband to the MCG for a true Australian experience…Aussie Rules Football. Sadly, it was a very one-sided match but as Angela said, it was no hardship watching buff men in shorts chase a ball around.
The awards dinner was huge, but I managed to catch up with a few people between courses. Ebony McKenna won the best cover and fellow medical romance author, Melanie Milburne won the short category of the Romantic Book of the Year. Go Melanie and go Medical romance!
Sunday arrived and I woke up to a text from special writing pal, Nicola Marsh who told me that Boomerang Bride was a ‘top pick’ at RT book reviews with the amazing line of ‘best book this reviewer has read in a long time.’ SQUEE. I had to focus quickly though, as I was teaching a workshop soon after. My workshop topic was ‘Writing from the Male Point of View.’ I tried to stay very calm when Bob Mayer walked in and sat down! I wasn’t expecting a bloke to attend 😉 There was a lot of laughter courtesy of the BBC show, Coupling and hopefully everyone left with one lightbulb moment.
Then it was off to lunch with fellow Aussie Carina Press authors which was hosted by executive editor, Angela James. I had the lamb shanks on creamy mash (YUM!!!), followed by the lemon tart. Sadly, lunch was a clash with the Fire Fighters Charity auction so I missed seeing the fire fighters but was thrilled my ARC copy of Boomerang Bride and my goodie basket were hotly contested and raised some lovely dollars for the Otis Foundation.
Jane Porter finished the conference with some very uplifting words and then it was time to travel down the road and slowly adjust back to real life. Hmm. given how little I have achieved this morning, adjusting to real life might take some time!
My thanks go out to Romance Writers of Austalia and to the amazing conference committee for a wonderful four days!