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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The view outside my window

The view from our hotel room was amazing!

Hey there, Happy Campers,


I’m just back from the Romance Writers of Australia Conference in Queensland (Diamonds are Forever themed) and my head is buzzing with ideas and plans for the future. Conferences are like that. Always. No matter the plans I had set in motion before the conference I’m now trying to work out how to squeeze in one more novel for next year. I’m placing the blame squarely at Eloisa James’ feet.


  
The agenda - three days of jam packed.  Workshops, dinners and socializing.

Friday’s all day screenwriting tricks workshop with Alexandra Sokoloff was brilliantly timed for brainstorming my next novel. In the afternoon, the Australian Romance Readers Association had organized book-signing for 60+ authors and their fans. Book signings are so much fun and the ARRA committee did another fantastic job with organization of the day. Thank you ladies!



This town smelled really sweet thanks to
the sugar refinery
Ms James was our keynote speaker on Saturday and boy does she know how to make an impression on a room. Her speech really pushed a lot of peoples buttons, mine included. She almost had me in tears. But it was her second session, a ‘Breakfast with Eloisa James’ (at the ungodly hour of 7am) that really made the biggest impression on me. She is one savvy lady. Very astute and very willing to share her thoughts and experiences on publishing. Hence my change of direction for next year. LOL

I’m not sure what prompted me to agree we should drive to Queensland (from north of Sydney) for the conference. It’s only about 800 kms (that’s maybe 500 miles) and there were quicker ways to get there. Flying being the main one. But my hubby wanted the car to see the sights with our youngest son and we did the trip up in two days.


My son and I at Coffs Harbour
(half-way point)
True to form, Queensland weather was beautiful one day and perfect the next. While I caught up with pals, the family hit the pool, theme parks, and that great beach near our hotel. I always feel slightly sad to watch them run off without me. However the pleasure of spending time with peeps like Tamara Gill, Jess Dee, Lexxie Couper, Rhian Cahill and (finally meeting) Sami Lee more than made up for the disappointment of being left behind at the hotel. They're a fantastic and funny group of authors.

The strange thing about conferences though is that when they’re finally over, even if I loved every second, I’m always desperate to get home. So, instead of driving home in two days, and stopping overnight, we came home in just one. Slightly mad decision but after a full three days of sessions and socializing it was fantastic to get home and fall asleep in my own bed. 


The following photos were taken on homeward journey. Here’s a peek at what Australia is like, some at 100km/hr.

Oops, who nicked the bridge!

Many rivers to cross. Lost count actually!

I always manage to find derelict houses

A bright point in the long trip
Now that the view outside my window has returned to my mundane flowerless garden, I'm looking forward to the next RW Australia conference. Next year we are in Perth (wonderful city on the opposite side of Australia than me) and the keynote speaker will be Julia Quinn. I cannot wait! 

14 comments:

  1. Heather,

    Sounds like a lot of fun. I love coming away from a conference inspired even if exhausted and I am sure you can squeeze one more novel in next year. We will nag you about it until it is done ;).

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    1. I'm counting on your subtle persuasion to get it done. LOL

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  2. So now I'm curious...what did Ms. James have to say, and/or what is changing about how you go about your career over this next year?

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    1. LOL As River Song (of Dr Who fame) says -- spoilers. If it works, I'll let you know down the track. :)

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  3. Heather,
    It sounds like you had a fantastic time. I'm jealous, even though I just attended the US RWA conference. LOL. I'm so excited to see what you do in the coming year!!! And great photos. The one of you and the little one is really good.

    I attended a session by Michael Hauge and ended up buying his book on screenwriting. It really motivated me and got me excited about writing again. I think that's what I love about conferences, too. The energy of being around other creative types drains me physically to some degree, but it also renews my creative energy for when I return home.

    You really should toss us a kernel of Eloisa's message. It's cruel to tease us like that. LOL. I'm happy to see you back.

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    1. No, no. You have to wait because the idea is only half-baked yet. Got a lot of thinking to do yet but I'm really excited if you can't tell.

      You do have the best conferences in the states and I'm always jealous that you have the chance to see everyone so easily. I did the Michael Hague session at last years RWA and really got a lot out of it, too.

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  4. Yeah, throw us a bone, Heather!;P Looks like you had a great time! Thanks for sharing. :)

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    1. Hmm, there was one thing: she said you should never be afraid to ask for more in your contracts. And that it's not authors who should be grateful, it's the agents and publishers we deal with who should be thanking us for giving them our work. I agree wholeheartedly with that one.

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  5. So glad you had a great time! I loved seeing all the pics and updates coming from the conference. Your pics of the drive are great. Getting to Australia is one of my goals!

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    1. It's amazing how often I've heard that. LOL

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  6. Fab pics! Love the landscape ones :) I'm thrilled that you had such a great time, and it's especially nice that your family could join you. Hope to see you at a state-side conference again soon!

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    1. I'm so impressed with how the shots from the car turned out. Go apple iPhone!

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  7. Heather, It sounds like you had a wonderful time! I'm jealous--I've never attended a conference, but I hope to make it to nationals next year. Think you'll be able to make that one? ;}

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    1. Conferences are such great experiences. You never know what will happen next. Not sure about Nationals. Actually, I have no clue where it is now that I think about it. LOL

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