Monday, September 12, 2011

RWNZ conference Part Two

Having spent the previous weekend at Melbourne RWAus conference I was getting the hang of Bob Mayer's Warrior Workshop - aka Write it Forward. If any of you don't know Bob or haven't attended his lectures he's a must-see guy! Have a peek at his website here:

He has invaluable information about self publishing, the digital world and writing in general. Once again, I reiterate, the most important thing I learnt from him was that I am responsible for my writing career, no-one else.

Armed with these thoughts I attacked the rest of the conference with me and my weaknesses in mind. I have a blank when it comes to conflict. Conflict between my characters, that is. So I tried to counter this blind spot by attending as many talks as I could on this subject, and on craft in general. Superromance author Molly O'Keefe had some wonderful informative points on hooking and plotting and putting conflict on every page; crime thriller writer Tess Gerritsen gave us her tips on how she begins a story - looking for the emotional jumping off points. Editor Lucy Gilmour and the very lovely Medical Romance author Sue Mackay gave us some invaluable insights into what M&B are looking for in a Medical Romance. (I concentrated very hard in this one!).

All in all it was a very informative and interesting conference with lots of food for thought. Hopefully my writing will be stronger for it!!

I can't reiterate enough how important it is to attend events such as these to help develop a writing career. Not only is it a great chance to mix and mingle, but there is a sense of kinship, of renewal and commitment to our goals. Take every opportunity, make your writing better, focus on your dream.

Until next time,

Louisa xx

Monday, September 5, 2011

RWNZ conference

So, there were just three crazy days of unpacking, washing, shopping and re-packing between RWAus conference and RWNZ!

Whilst Melbourne was exciting and new and large, there was something comforting about being in Auckland, in my own backyard with writing friends I've 'grown-up' with (ie who have followed my wobbly steps from dipping my toe in right through to contracting with M&B).

Both conferences attracted some fabulous speakers, both international and homegrown, and both conferences were warm welcoming events.

Sadly we lost one of our own during the RWNZ conference. The lovely Sandra Hyatt (Harlequin author) was taken ill on the Friday night and died on Sunday. She was a gorgeous talented author, and dedicated mother and wife. Her passing has left a hole in the lives of those who knew her that will never be filled.

So we tackled our conference with a mixture of excitement, vigour and, later, fortitude and grace. There was a real feeling that Sandra would not have wanted us to cancel, that the show very definitely should go on. But even though the room was full of wordsmiths, there didn't seem adequate words to express our sorrow.

This doesn't seem an appropriate time to talk of the amazing speakers and the wonderful lightbulb moments, so I'll pop back in a day or two to tell you my highlights!

In the meantime, don't waste a precious second of your life, hold your loved ones closer and don't be afraid to say how much you love them.

In the over-used but very apt words of William W Purkey:

You've got to dance like nobody's watching
Love like you'll never be hurt
Sing like there's nobody listening
And live like it's heaven on earth,

Keep safe,
until next time,
Louisa xx