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Da da da-da, da da da-da-da…

In precisely 137 days I’ll be packing my motion sickness medication and heading off to New York. Mmm, I can smell the hot dogs and hear those honking taxis already!

Not only will I be attending Romance Writers of America’s 31st annual conference, I’ll be presenting a workshop alongside four of my talented Ruby-Slippered Sisters: Autumn Jordon, Anne Marie Becker, Tammy Hogan and Jenn Bray-Weber. We’re going to share our know-how on finishing a novel amid life, death and other catastrophes. It’s going to be fun, interactive workshop with giveaways galore–if you’ve signed up for the conference, we’d love you to join us.

This is the foggy, blurry picture I took of the Chrysler and Empire State buildings in spring 2005. I'm hoping I get a better shot next time around.

In other workshop news, my very elegant friend Annie West will be discussing ‘Sex, Love and Passion: The Appeal of the Romance Novel’ at the Ultimo Library in Sydney this Friday, February 11. Visit her website for more details on Annie’s library appearance and her USA Today bestselling books. Ooh, and buy her latest release, Protected by the Princeit’s a stunner.


Come See How I Live

Happy weekend!

The Romance Writers of Australia blog is running a series about the daily writing lives of its members. Today it’s my turn to spout off about how I spend my day. Please drop by and say hello!

Surf, Sun, Sizzle…and now zzzzz!

A day after returning from the US, I trotted off to the RWAustralia conference in Coogee, Sydney, for a couple of days, where I held a workshop with Tracey O’Hara on Saturday, then presented my AV show for the awards festivities that night. The tag line for the conference was ‘Surf, Sun and Sizzle’, and let me tell you they should’ve added ‘sensational’, because it was just that. Now I need lots of sleep! Congrats to Cathleen Ross, Kandy Shepherd and their hardworking committee for putting on a brilliant conference.

Spare a thought for the very gracious NZ author Nalini Singh, who is now heading off to her fourth (?) writers conference since July. I somehow missed bumping into Nalini in Orlando, but I was so glad to meet her in Sydney. Anna Campbell hand-sold Nalini’s books to at least four unsuspecting conference-goers, and I’m sure they’ll be very happy with their purchases!

One of my YA books, ‘Ghost-Ridden’, was lucky enough to nab third place in the Emerald Award, which is the Aussie equiv to the Golden Heart. Historical author Alli Withers, who is not only the sweetest person ever but a fantastic writer, won first prize. Yay, Alli! Also big winners were my dear, dear friend Sharon Archer and my workshop buddy Tracey in the Ruby Award. The full list of RWAus contest placings for 2010 can be found here.

Editorial director for Harlequin Enterprises Dianne Moggy presented Sharon with her Ruby Award. Before she left the stage, Dianne whispered to me that she liked my shoes! That’s almost as good as hearing an editor say she liked my book! Dianne, if you’re reading, here are the shoes. I know you’ll thank me for not including my feet in the picture.

It was fantastic to finally meet some of my online pals in person, including author Eleni Konstantine, who did a tremendous job volunteering at the conf, and Christina Phillips, whose first book for Berkeley Heat comes out next month. Several people travelled from far and wide, including two of my fave NZ residents, Sara Hantz and Amanda Ashby. They conducted a fun and enlightening workshop on YA fiction, and also gave me serious private pep talks and hugs! Thanks, you guys!

From left, Sara, Amanda, and Christina's hair.

At the awards night, I sat with Vicki Lewis Thompson and her daughter/assistant Audrey. It turns out we’d arrived in Australia on the same plane a day earlier. Both Vicki and Audrey were so gracious, and being cat people, we got along famously. I’m so glad they came all the way out here for our conference. I just have to show you the cover of one of Vicki’s books–it features a black cat that looks remarkably like my Pinklepurr.

'Blonde with a Wand' - Vicki Lewis Thompson

Vicki and Audrey, in case you’re reading, here’s that cute piccy of my other cat:

To those who kindly attended my workshop, thanks for coming along! We had an awful tech prob and also ran out of time, so I’m grateful to all of you for persevering with us. The workshop notes are now on my website and I may post my demo book trailer here soon.

Now, after being away from home for nearly four weeks, I’m off to sort out my life! I will post more photos of the Orlando conference a little later…

Happy Monday, all!

Last Day in L.A.

I have had an enchanting time in the US, first hobnobbing with the literati in Florida and then hanging out with my dad in California. But tonight I head back to Australia, where my hunky hubby and two cats await, and the renovation has progressed from this…

The sorry scene a month or so ago...

…to this…

Ta-da! Okay, there's still a bit to do, but it won't be long before it's all done. The benchtops will be fitted next week, and hunky hubby has been waiting for me to come home and put together the kitchen drawers. We've become masters of interpreting abridged IKEA instructions, so this is actually going to be fun!

The day after I get home, I’m going to the RWAus conference, where Tracey O’Hara and I are presenting a workshop about self-promo on a writer’s budget, plus I’m doing the AV presentation for our awards night. I’m biting my new fake L.A.-style nails.

Lovely two-time RITA nominee Tina Ferraro caused pandemonium when she sent me this link to Meg Cabot’s blog, which features Tina, moi, and my 2010 GH finalists, aka the Margaritas!

A photo of a bestselling author (Meg) taken by another bestselling author (Kelley Armstrong)! That's me on the left, looking numb in the presence of greatness (Meg) and a great dress (Meg's), with the talented Shea Berkley on the other side.

My MargaRita gal Kim MacCarron and me just before the awards ceremony. Kim's pearls tried to make an escape later on but I think we recaptured them all.

I will post more random photos when I get home. I’ve gotta continue packing now. I have stacks of books, so let’s keep our fingers crossed that my bags are each within the 23kg limit.

Goin’ Loopy

Attention all Romance Writers of Australia members who write and/or are interested in YA fiction–a new Yahoo email loop has formed. To join, visit this link and click on Join This Group.

A great success story about an Aussie writer has surfaced. Rebecca James sold her first book, Beautiful Malice, to Bantam USA for a six-figure sum. On top of that, numerous lucrative foreign rights have been sold already. Read the Wall Street Journal article about her here.

Remember the trailer I did for Anna Campbell? It was my first attempt at doing anything trailer-like. If you like it, you can vote for it at You Gotta Read Reviews. Voting closes three days from now. I’m too chicken to look at the other entrants’ trailers just yet. Don’t forget to buy Anna’s book–it goes on sale in North America at the end of this month.