I travelled with Jen Gilroy (www.jengilroy.com) who, this year, is an RWA Golden Heart Finalist!! Their conference is in New York this week and I hope that you join with me in wishing Jen the best of luck!
Arriving in time to pick up our goody bags (you can see some of the contents in the photo), my first session was with Jane Wenham-Jones which I was looking forward to because she gives such entertaining talks. This one was a 'Wannabe a Writer We've Heard Of?' workshop, based on her book of the same name. In her inimitable style, she talked about making the perfect elevator pitch which, if it works before the publisher or agent has reached their floor, can be followed up with a good anecdote about why you wrote the book, which I found useful later in the day!
The Girl Who Came Home, and also afterwards when it was taken up by publishers, William Morrow.
After lunch, I went to Rowan Coleman's session about 'Five Reasons Novels Fail and How To Avoid Them'. I thought one of her best pieces of advice was to:
'Find the time to write 500 words each day, then they will soon add up and you'll be 'in the zone' thinking about writing the story and you'll find it easier to write each day'.
I think that I'll definitely give that a go!
Then it was 'Following your Heart' with Jane Johnson. She had a captivating tale to tell of how she met her husband in Morocco. Being Cornish, she was intrigued to hear an article on Radio 4 about the Barbary Pirates who kidnapped Cornish people as white slaves, and remembered her mother telling her tales about someone from her family who had been kidnapped. Determined to find out more, she visited Morocco to do some research for a novel and, with a friend called Bruce, to do some climbing. She found the perfect Moroccan man to base her Pirate King on, who in turn rescued Jane and Bruce when they got stuck climbing a difficult rock face. And, dear reader, she married him! You can find out more about this by reading The Tenth Gift which I'm add to my reading list!
I actually had an appointment with a publisher during this talk, and was hoping to hear what happened before I had to leave, but luckily Cristal Phillips told me what I'd missed!
At the appointment, I was able to put Jane Wenham-Jones advice to use when I was asked what other books I had written. I'd only been thinking about promoting the current one, but put on the spot, I was able to remember what Jane had said about the perfect elevator pitch!
The last session was Jenny Barden and Joanna Hickson giving an entertaining talk about 'Researching Historical Fiction'. I loved it!
I had a wonderful day at the conference. Thank you Jan, Roger and Jenny who organised it!
But, I think I'll go back to staying the weekend though, next year!