Sorry for the alphabet soup in the title!
Diane already talked about the New Jersey Romance Writers conference, where she, Gail and I were fortunate enough to hang out together and celebrate Diane’s finaling in the Golden Leaf with A Marriage of Notoriety. I enjoyed the published authors’ retreat (they serve wine and chocolate pretzels), workshops on the business and craft of writing, and just being with other Regency authors (there are none in my local writing circle). Here are pics of Gail and me at the booksigning.
Gail and I also spent some time on Saturday night brainstorming individual story ideas. I’ll leave it to Gail to talk about hers when she’s ready. All I’ll say is the beginning parts she read to me were delightful! As for me, I’m feeling more ready to go ahead and write prequel and sequel novellas to Lady Em’s Indiscretion.
In fact, I think I’m going to join others in doing the National Novel Writing Month challenge. For anyone who’s unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, the idea is to draft 50,000 words of a new novel within the month of November.
There are naysayers who say it’s impossible to write 50,000 of publishable, readable fiction in one month. Actually, I know people who can do that (not me!) but for most writers, that is true. I’m sure loads of dreck is produced during NaNoWriMo. Probably some of it will make its way, unedited, into Kindle Direct Publishing but that’s no big deal, really. Others, like me, see the challenge as a fun way to generate ideas. We’re very aware that more time will be spent afterwards to rework and polish our ideas into readable fiction.
In years that I’m busy editing in the fall, I don’t do NaNoWriMo. But when it fits where I’m at in the writing–as it does this year–I join in. I admit, I love watching the progress meter rise! So wish me luck and anyone else doing the challenge, feel free to add me as a “Writing Buddy”. My NaNoWriMo ID is Elena Greene, with just a space in the middle.
Finally, something for all the historical romance lovers out there who would like to spread the word about this wonderful genre. A group of authors have created the Historical Romance Network. One project has been the creation of a video celebrating the variety of historical romance. Check it out here.
You’re all also invited to join the Fall Back in Time Facebook event. On November 1st, post a selfie taken while holding a historical romance. What a great way to celebrate historical romance (and an extra hour of sleep). 🙂
Last weekend, half of the Risky Regencies crew–Elena Greene, Janet Mullany, and I–attended the New Jersey Romance Writers’ Conference. Janet was unfortunately suffering from a cold, so her trademarked (and if it’s not, it should be) spunk was muted by sniffles. She still managed a few zingers, though. That Janet’s a trooper!
Friday night, the three of us ate dinner with several more Regency authors. In case you think all Regency authors are staid little misses wearing Empire waists and fussing about their dance cards (“do I have one or don’t I? I can’t finish this book unless I know for sure!”), I’ve included photos of Elena and me actually drinking! Oh, we sure know how to party, right?
Elena’s drink was a mammoth marguerita, while mine was a beer. If I were a Regency character, I think that drink choice would demand I be the maid-of-all-work, scrubbing the stairs in the early hours when the heroine returned from another fabulous night on the town. Good thing I’m writing in the world, not living in it. I am a horrible stair-scrubber. A darn good drinker, though, if I might be so bold.
The next day, the Conference was open to the public for a booksigning. Elena and I were seated directly across from each other, and I saw a lot of folks coming up to her table. I sold some books, too, and not all of them to people I know! That was pretty cool. I snapped pix of Elena and Janet, and someone got me, too.
This was my first booksigning, and I had a blast. It was great to meet people who like to read the kind of book I wrote, it was awesome to sign my name and think it actually meant something more than an ‘oh, I’m paying the bills’ signature. Elena and Janet actually decorated their spots on the long tables, and they looked lovely; me, I brought a pen.
The main point of the Conference, however, was the workshops. I attended quite a few, from the purpose of blogging (not, I was amazed to discover, just to tell a bunch of Virtual strangers all about my private life!), to the importance of getting the history right to increasing the sexuality of our books.
The most useful panel for me, however, was Eloisa James’ panel on Ten Things She Wished She’d Known When Starting Out in theBusiness. Eloisa James is a super-smart author, and she makes a compelling point about keeping the business of writing a business. For example, don’t share too much information with your fellow writers; share, yes, of course, make friends and further acquaintances, but don’t behave as if you’re in high school. Or maybe you should–you never know when your best friend today will be your enemy tomorrow, but instead of stealing your boyfriend, she’ll try to steal your editor. Eloisa also talked about the good parts of being an author, which includes that same camaraderie (for her demonstration, visit the Squawk Radio site. But you probably already have).
That’s one of the best things about becoming part of the Risky Regency crew: we’re getting to know each other as our visitors do, too. I’m envious of Cara’s book collection and her sprightly snark (I think mine is much more dour), Laurie’s evocative mood-altering posts, Janet’s fabulous wit, Amanda’s sassy, saucy assuredness, and Elena’s graciously lovely humor and good sense (not to mention she’s so good at the tech stuff).
After the weekend was over, I got myself and my vast collection of black clothing onto New Jersey Transit and made the trek back to Brooklyn. I went home feeling like more of a writer, like someone who was part of a community and, what was the best, as if I had learned from my peers.
Thanks for sharing in our community,
*Okay, so if you’ve never seen the “Come Vacation In New Jersey” ads from a few years ago, this doesn’t make sense. If you have, trust me, this is hysterical.