Confereganza

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President Leisl Leighton & Admin Assistant Shannon Curtis

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Annie West

 

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Helene Young and me

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Claire Boston & Belinda Williams

 

Thank you Romance Writers of Australia for the best conference yet.  We were in Adelaide  with seas like chopped onion and huge gusts of wind rattling the windows as I sat entranced listening to the keynote speaker, Keri Arthur.

I met Keri six years ago at my first conference and had no idea she was then a New York Times best selling author. And that was because I didn’t know anything about the industry at that time….On Saturday Keri told us, warts and all, of her trials and tribulations and amazing successes. I felt so honored to be there as she calmly  and succinctly relayed her first contract story and then the ups and downs of living as a published author. It was very inspiring. Keri writes paranormal and urban fantasy, with her most famous heroine being Riley Jensen,  part vampire, part werewolf. This was published in 2006 before vampires had taken their hold on the modern romance genre.

Once again being savvy and professional was reinforced,  as it was the whole weekend, time and time again. It’s hard to describe the excitement of being part of this amazing industry and being friends with this group of women who band together under the banner of romance writers. Very few people are aware of just how big the genre of Romance is in the book industry. Over half of all books printed every year shelter under that umbrella. Romance Writers of Australia is a ‘not for profit’ organisation, that runs this conference solely for the education and furthering the careers of their members. We also meet other writers, publishers and agents. I get such a thrill from looking round the table and recognizing  the names on the name tags. Names you see in bookshops and libraries and K mart and your bookshelves at home.

Oh and we have a very good time.

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