It’s taken a bit longer than I anticipated, but the promised This Writing Life post on the recent Romance Writers of Australia annual conference is now here.
I do have a good excuse, and it goes by the name of Eddie and the Show Queen which releases in only… *takes a deep breath* nine days. I am so excited and can’t wait for you to read about Eddie and Alice’s race for the Show Queen crown, and their absolutely gorgeous romance.
Before we get into some lovely piccies, I’d also like to remind you that, in a super special promo, Summer and the Groomsman is this week’s Apple Books Free Book of the Week. Yep, you can pick up the Eddie’s brother’s story for free on Apple Books. How cool is that?
This offer ends September 7th, so grab it now if you don’t have a copy or share the freebie love by telling your romance lovin’ friends.
Right. The conference.
In one word: brilliant.
I loved it. Now, I usually say that about Romance Writers of Australia conferences because I adore catching up with writing buddies. I also always come home with some writing or business gem that I can use going forward. But, like everything, some conferences are better than others and this one was a good ‘un.
There were three highlights for me (other than the partying with friends). Nalini Singh’s Polish and Shine Beyond the First Draft was full of great tips for making books sing. It was so good I wish I’d done her session on Writing Novellas too, but I was very glad I did Melissa Storm’s workshop on Winning Ad Strategies, which was on at the same time. That was my second highlight, even though I’m still trying to get my head around the information. The final highlight was Amy Andrews’ hilarious and uplifting Closing Keynote. She had the room in stitches and earned a well-deserved ovation at the end.
My biggest takeaway was to do with advertising. It seems a ‘must’ now, rather than a ‘would like’ item for my to-do list. It’s not easy for readers to find books these days because there are simply so many. Not all of us subscribe to our favourite author’s newsletter or blog, and social media is hard when Facebook gives our page posts little reach, unless we pay to have it extended.
To be honest, the thought of advertising makes me want to curl up in a ball. I’ve dabbled a few times with Facebook and Amazon ads and not enjoyed the process, but life’s full of things we suffer rather than enjoy. Sit-ups come immediately to mind. Pap smears another.
My gripe with advertising is that it distracts me from writing. And I have to do maths. Simple maths, admittedly, but maths all the same. Yuck.
This from a girl with a science degree and a post-grad in business management.
There are three solutions. One, ignore the whole thing and just write and rely on other strategies and word-of-mouth. Two, contract it out. Three, train the man of the house, an engineer who is very good at maths and for whom spreadsheets hold no fear.
Methinks he’d rather play golf, though. So would I.
One to ponder…
My sincerest thanks to the conference co-ordinator Tanya Kean and her team Donna Munro, Joanne Dannon, Kristine Charles, Nardia Sheriff, Eliza Renton, Di Inglis, Wendy Davis, Savannah Blaize, Melanie Coles, Rachael Howlett and Alison Stuart. An excellent job done by all.
Now for the bit you’ve been hankering for: piccies!
The Cocktail Party
As always, the cocktail party was a hoot. This year’s theme was Twisted Fairy Tales. As you can see, there were some very twisted costumes indeed!
Gala Dinner and Miscellaneous
I hope you enjoyed that brief behind the scenes peek at the RWA Conference. Remember, if you’re an aspiring writer, Romance Writers of Australia conferences are the jam. Learn more about this fabulous organisation and all it offers here.
Before I go, please allow me this gratuitous plug for Eddie and the Show Queen.
Here’s what fellow author Michelle Douglas had to say about the book:
I finished this on Friday night and it was an utter dream of a story. I loved Eddie so hard, wanted to be best friends with Alice (and Paige), the opening made me laugh, and the ending made me swoon. Just…perfect. Highly recommended!
Eddie and the Show Queen releases September 10th. Pre-order your copy today from your favourite online bookstore or these retailers.
And if you’re shopping on iBooks, remember to pick up your free copy of Summer and the Groomsman, which features Eddie’s shy brother Harry.