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!