There were a number of highlights for me at the conference this year. Loved the academic stream. Professor Catherine Roach was great and both of her talks on the function of the romance narrative in culture were interesting and thought provoking. I highly recommend her book, Happily Ever After (iupress, 2016). It's an instructive read for those who read romance (and for those who don't!)
Michael Hauge's all day workshop on Friday was a lot of fun. It was a good opportunity to apply his ideas to my second novel. Now I have my heart set on a rolling black moment! And speaking of black moments, I also really enjoyed Rachael Bailey's talk on black moments. I've been to Rachael's presentations before - she is always so well prepared, and her sessions are really informative. It's amazing how much she packs into 45 minutes.
Tess Wood's and Natasha Lester's 10 steps to building an author brand was also very useful. I think I've only done a few steps so far but I'm making my way up the flight. Tess's website has some great tips and ideas for authors new to the publishing process. Now to organise that blog tour….
And most importantly, the Conference gave me many opportunities to talk to other writers. Wherever you are in your writing 'journey' - aspiring, emerging or established - this is a great forum to learn while interacting with others who write. It is a supportive, generous and educative community of people. A couple of them appear in the photo, Victoria Purman victoriapurman.com on the left, and Amy Matthews (who writes romance as Tess Le Sue) tesslesu.com on the right. They are extremely talented women!