I promised to get to this more often and yet again I failed… And there’s only one reason: I’ve been so busy getting over the conference, getting myself up-to-date with all the biz stuff – which included signing a brand new sparkly contract – and writing!
So, the conference was amazing, as always. As wonderful as it is to have the opportunity to listen to fellow authors, or others associated with our world, like editors, agents, promoters, & marketing specialists to mention just a few, it’s honestly just as much about catching up with friends we often only see once a year – at conference! So there are late nights, and lots of grabbed coffees or glasses of wine, and also as always way too much eating! Morning AND afternoon tea as well as breakfast lunch and dinner and various cheese, fruit or cracker offerings do nothing for our waistlines. Usually, at home, I eat breakfast, snack a little bit through the day, mostly fruit and nuts, and then have dinner. Of course – and yes, I can hear you muttering in frustration – you could have said no. And you are dead right. But where’s the fun in that? Ha! This is obviously an argument I couldn’t win so I’ll chat about the actual conference.
Sat in on some great sessions – one with a group of lovely author friends, Bronwyn Parry, Cathleen Ross, Alison Stuart, Elizabeth Rolls and Beverly Eikli – with Erin Grace in the wings – entitled, Undressing the Heroine and was a fabulous hands-on look at fashion through the ages with a nod to Historical fiction.
My editor (and long-time friend) , Kelly Hunter, participated in a “What’s Hot?” segment with other editors. A former editor of mine and dear friend Rachael Donovan hosted a RURO session – a look at why Rural Romance continues to sell so well. Alison Stuart – also a dear friend – oops there’s a pattern forming here – educated us in a crime and mystery session. I booked an extra session on Friday with a half-day workshop with the incredible Rachel Bailey, extraordinary teacher and yes, a close friend.
The cocktail party theme this year was Sparkles, so we all dressed accordingly. Such incredible fun, and I met a whole swag of newcomers who were all smothered in traditional Kaz hugs – and while we still have to get to know each other, I hope these too, will result in new friendships in the years to come.
Of course the gala dinner on Saturday night was fun, and I got to present the award I’m proud to present each year. That was followed by arguably my fave night of the year – The Harlequin After-Party – where we get to dance out silly heads off to fabulous music until they kick us out. Sunday starts it all over again and there were yet more great speakers to hear.
My lovely friend Kelly described it as an extrovert’s paradise and an introvert’s energy drain. I’ve never been able to get a handle on which I am. When I’m out folk would say I’m an extrovert, but away from the lights and noise, I’m very quiet, and don’t need people around me all the time. So, I figure I’m somewhere in the middle – and there’s no category for that! It means I came home both energized AND exhausted all at the same time.
But it was everything I would want a conference to be. I had business appointments and conversations that were to my benefit, I learned stuff, I met up with precious friends and made news ones, I was fortunate to deepen relationships with some I’d known for a long time but not as well, I had time with one of my dearest friends and amazing roomie, Erin O’Hara, and I had amazing, incomparable fun. All, that’s left to say is here’s to next year which will be in the adorable City of Churches – Adelaide, right on Glenelg beach.
Take care lovely friends!
Till next time, hugs, Kaz