Though I'd left the gala dinner reasonably early (and still sober) the night before, it was an effort to drag myself out of bed and back to Queen Anne Court on Saturday morning. I should have planned my holiday for before the conference rather than after, though waking to my first ever book review (and such a fantastic one) did give me some impetus.
Another hot and sunny day began with jay Dixon's talk on Adding Colour to your Novel, which covered exactly that: the meanings and uses of colours, especially important in historicals. jay's tips on making use of colour associations, and carrying a colour through your novel (for example, to represent a secondary character) really stuck with me.
Sadly I then had to miss Nell Dixon's talk on Believable Secondary Characters as I had an appointment to meet the editor from Mills & Boon who requested a new partial from me after last year's Presents contest. (Sadly? I met my editor!) The interview went well, with the editor complimenting the interaction between my hero and heroine, and the dialogue. She also gave me a few points to ponder, so I went away with ideas tumbling through my head.
Lunch was followed by a talk by various Mills&Boon editors on 'How to increase your Page Turning Quality in the 21st Century'. Sounds like a mouthful, but really the gist was simple: they're looking for fresh voices and fresh ideas. The insight given into the new directions their contemporary lines are taking was very exciting so it was an inspirational hour.
Liz Fenwick and Kate Johnson's chat about Social Media and how to use it for promotion was a delightful end to the day, informative but not too much on top of the saturation of information in my head.
My co-Minxes and I then got so caught up in chatting that we arrived a little late at the evening barbecue where we carried on chatting ... and we carried on chatting back in our accommodation long after the barbecue. I still find it amazing that we hit it off just as well in person as we had on-line.
Below are Minxes Lorraine and Jo with Romance writer Nina Harrington at the barbecue.