I’m mainly known as a children’s author but last weekend I wore my other hat, as Kay Harborne, romance novelist. I’m a member of the RNA (Romantic Novelist’s Association) and attended their conference with my friend and fellow RNA member, Ann Evans, who also writes children’s books and romance novels.
It was a fun and informative weekend. We were all given a goody bag full of books, a super RNA mug, chocolates and other freebies.
I had a meeting with the publisher and editor of my latest romance novel, which was very exciting as I only signed with them last week. It was good to put a face to names and discuss the next book I’m writing for them. Ann had a very promising meeting with a publisher too, fingers crossed! There were a variety of workshops to attend, run by authors, editors and publishers. Julie Cohen shared how she used post-its to help her plot her story and colour codes them to help her keep track of different characters and subplots. You can see more information about this on her website at www.julie-cohen.com
Janie Millman (www.chez-castillon.com) showed us how to use breathing exercises before an event to stop an attack of nerves and how to project our voice (I’m still working on this!) Tamsyn Murray’s (www.tamsynmurray.co.uk ) workshop on ‘Getting to the Heart of YA’ compared three big hit YA books, The Fault in our Stars, The Hunger Games and The Year of the Rat and gave useful advice on how to write compelling YA, reminding us that whatever we write for teens we need to ‘give it heart’. There were workshops on dialogue, voice, marketing to name just a few, an info- packed weekend.
It wasn't all work, of course. On Friday night we went to the Accent Press Party and on Saturday night we all dressed up and let our hair down for the Gala Dinner, a much welcome chance to eat, drink and be merry!
More workshops on Sunday then Ann and I set off home with a bagful of new books to read, a headful of writing tips and an address book full of new contacts and friends. A great weekend. J