In about 2 days I will be sitting at a table with fellow authors at the Harlequin Authors Dinner, a preempt to the Romance Writers of New Zealand's annual conference which starts on Friday.
This is my favourite time of year. Well, besides Christmas (nothing beats Christmas). I spend all year waiting for the next conference to roll around; and finally it's here.
This year is extra exciting!
I have two books as finalists in the Koru Award, short and sexy category. The Koru award is a reader choice award, aimed at recongising excellence in published romance writing. I must add that 1) I took the description from the RWNZ website and 2) this contest is open to all published writers, not just those from New Zealand. So you can see why I'm so pleased.
I find out the results at the Awards Dinner on Saturday night. The competition is pretty amazing and I'm so happy to see my names next to theirs. They're both authors I admire and look up to. Maybe I am getting closer to my dream after all.
The two of my books that made it through to the finals are the first two in my Copeland Ranch Trilogy, I Choose You and Because of You.
Today is an exciting day. The sun is trying to peak out from behind the clouds, it's warm and the daffodils are blooming and the little lambs are bounding around the paddock.
A few weekends ago I attended the Romance Writers of New Zealand's annual conference. I see from my pictures that I spent most of my time eating. In my defense, the food was great...and I didn't have to cook it! I'm not sure if it's that, or if it's getting to network with fellow writers that I look forward to the most.
The weekend kicked off on Thursday evening August 14th with Jim Azevedo who is the Marketing Director of Smashwords. If you are not aware of what Smashwords is, it is the largest online distributor of self published books. Not only do they publish books on their own website but onto other sites as well such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Sony and Kobo, etc.
Although I am not in the self publishing gig, I did find the information very interesting and useful for my own career. Smashwords distributes more than 278,000 titles around the world. PLUS they provided all conference attendees with a USB stick loaded with over 80 novels. What's not to like about that?
Friday I was lucky enough to be James Scott Bell's minder. I'm really sure what else to call it. All I did was make sure had cups of tea and something to eat. The poor man had a sore throat so by the end of the day I think he was floating away from all the green tea with lemon I gave him.
James is the #1 Bestselling author of Plot & Structure and thrillers such as Don't Leave Me, Blind Justice, Try Dying, Watch Your Back and One More Lie. Mr Scott Bell gave wonderful workshops on The Power of Plot, The Power of Structure, Characters That Jump Off the Page and Secrets of Scenes.
Spatted about the day was more food.
And then the wonderful Courtney Milan spoke to us about how to Build a Sticky Readership. Courtney is of course the fabulous Romance author with bestselling books such as The Governess Affair, The Duchess War and The Countess Conspiracy and many, many others.
The weekend was full of breakout workshops hosted by bestselling authors from New Zealand and from around the world. We are so very lucky to have such a wonderful writer's conference in such a small country.
I am an author and this is my story.