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Conference roundup – Sunday workshops

22. August 2006

Last day already? Say it isn’t so!
After a not-quite-late night on Saturday celebrating everybody, Sunday started bright and early so we could be at the Pink Breakfast (a charity event to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Foundation, incidentally Harlequin Australia’s charity of choice) by 7am. Goodness, that breakfast had better be good.
And guess what? It was!
Not only did they have the most fantastic array of breakfastables, from fruit to two kinds of bacon, but we also got an exciting book and lollies bag and learned how to look for lumps.
Now ask yourself this, would you get up in front of a group of mostly bleary-eyed women and show off how to examine your boob?
And would you do it sober?

It was a very moving event.
Oh, and I won something! I never win anything, you see, but i love raffle tickets. But I won! Books! And a bottle of pink champagne. Too neat for words.

We were all running a little late for the start of the actual conference (oh yeah, we weren’t just here for the breakfast, were we?)

After some housekeeping, Miriam Kriss told us all about Urban Fantasy and where it’s headed, and how it compares to paranormal romance. I’m glad I’m flat out with projects at the moment or I would have had to try and write one right now! What can I say, I’m an idea slut.

After that, Jane Porter gave her talk entitled “Is chick lit dead?”
A great title, I thought, and I liked her take on it. Why is it that women feel the need to niche their fiction?
We don’t call fiction by male writers aimed at young affluent men dick lit, do we? (Actually, dick lit is the less popular term for lad lit, chick lit with a male protagonist, if you will).
Jane talked a lot about feminist issues and read us some reader feedback. Powerful stuff.

It was a very similar speech to her Saturday session, I thought, but I liked it much better in this context. Plus, I got a lot out of what was between the lines regarding chick lit.
I’ve enjoyed chick lit since I discovered it about 2 years ago (I’m slow), but never the sex-and-shopping variety that gets thrown around in the media so much.

Unfortunately, the ‘coming-of-age’ style chick lit novel gets usually bandied together with the former, and that’s not something people want to see.
But the voice is still well-beloved, tag or no tag. And for that, I am glad. Even if it makes it a bit harder to find authors whose voices I enjoy. But hey, word of mouth! And clever titles…

After morning tea, it was time to head to Anne Gracie‘s Feeding of Rakes session.
She’s a great speaker, and I would have gone no matter what she was talking on. But heroes and how to make them irresistible? I’m there.

It was a great workshop, even if I felt woefully underread (again), since i had no idea about pretty much any of the heroes she mentioned. Definitely a fun session, and I took quite a few notes that I need to look at later.

Our last delicious hotel lunch was great fun and might have run a tad long, but who could blame us? They had mini pavlovas! Mmmmm, drool-worthy.

The afternoon session was something I was again really looking forward to, ‘Truth, Lies and Getting Published’, with R*BY-winner Trish Morey and all-round lovely Yvonne Lindsay, who has the cutest accent.
They were talking about their long and winding roads to getting published and had a fun quiz to take us through.

These sessions are invaluable to me. I love hearing people’s experiences, it’s just so inspiring!
Some of the feedback from the audience was quite interesting, too, from fear of submission to frustration with editor feedback or lack thereof. Everyone’s experiences are so different!

After a final afternoon tea break, it was time for author chats (my favourite last year), and this time, I was going to make it, too!
I was going to the ModX one and finally get the gist of what this bloody British line is all about!
I thought it was interesting that ModX got compared to Presents so much. I never thought of comparing the two, which once more goes to show how little I know about most lines. Heh. More research!

One comment I thought was interesting was that while the line is *very* actively acquiring (to the point where they are pushing old Temptations that got shafted when the line folded into empty slots), it’s still a much smaller market than the US, and they do only have two slots a month.
I’m not quite sure what that means for me as a writer, but it felt significant.

After this very informative author chat, it was time for a Q&A with the guests of honour, which was alright, but nothing splendid. Yeah, I can never think of clever questions either. What can you do?

After some more general admin stuff, it was time to say good-bye.
A few of us decided to make a last mad dash and meet up for dinner again, but most people I wouldn’t see until the next conference (hopefully then, at least).

For dinner, we went to a lovely Mexican restaurant, which unfortunately couldn’t quite compete with what we were used to now. The service was rather lacking, and the food was severely overpriced. But the company was awesome, and after a short stroll home, it was time to pack and head off.

Today’s question:
What publishing myths have you believed in in the past, and when did you stop believing them (and why)?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    22. August 2006 6:37 am

    Kiki, you’re a blog diva!! It took me back and I was there again on the Gold Coast. Hey, and I’d forgotten that ‘slipping in old Temptations’ thing. Heck. We’d better get cracking!


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