I promised detailed conference feedback here on the blog today, but since I've only just cleared my Inbox, it's heading towards midnight as I type this, and I've just opened an email from my boss telling me to "hit the ground running" tomorrow as they've allocated me to a big project with a tight deadline, this report is NOT going to cover the entire conference, and you're going to have to keep coming back here for the rest!
The conference started for me on Friday afternoon, arriving at the train station in Penrith and meeting a veritable crowd of romance writers on the platform. We shared taxis to the campus and were soon 'checked in' and happily enjoying a cup of tea together. The noise level during the tea breaks was something to behold. Can you imagine 160 romance writers all talking at the same time?!
Just as the Irish Road Trippers (including our own Sally Clements) arrived, the conference started with the welcome talk, practical notes (including a demonstration on how to work the showers!), a sharing of general good news, and a formal handing over of the newly engraved awards presented at the Summer Party earlier this year. Jane Lovering's acceptance speech was certainly memorable!
We then had a panel discussion by four authors (Nicola Cornick, Ruth Long, Janet Gover, Henri Gyland) and agent Carole Blake. The discussion was lively and informative, focussing mostly on the differences between writing for the UK and North American markets, foreign translations (Henri's area of expertise as she translates books into Danish) as well as smaller foreign markets.
With the formal business of the day over, we Minxes retired to Minx House for a Kir Royale cocktail and a natter, before heading to the pub for a drink in the sunshine. It may well have been the last sun we saw all weekend, but at least the weather stayed dry for the conference.
Dinner was a noisy, fun affair, the food pretty good, though the late nights (the sun only set around 10pm) still threw me. After dinner, Sally and I joined the Irish Contingent in their kitchen where (unsurprisingly, since this conference could well be nick-named the Fifty Shades of Grey conference) we ended the night with a lengthy and lively discussion on BDSM. And more champagne.
Check back here next week for my report on the main day of the conference. And I'll even try to include pictures.
I will be typing up my detailed notes from the talks I attended, and
you're welcome to contact me for them, though I must include the
following disclaimer: since many of these conference speakers make a
living from teaching, I'll be very cautious about who I share insider
What is not insider information, were
the three talks I attended by various publishing houses (Ebury Press,
Mills & Boon, and Harlequin's Mira division). Fellow Minx Lorraine
Wilson has already created a blog post which will go up on the Minxes blog tomorrow sharing all the major points made by those publishers. Check it out!