RWAust Conference: Melbourne

Not only am I back from six days in Magnificent Melbourne  ( do so love that place) but I also feel (two weeks later) like I’m finally back in the land of the living.  Man! Those conference really take it out of one. Possibly didn’t help that I closed the bar at the Hilton on the Park three nights out of six.  And that was at a very respectable one-thirtyish. And then retired to other lounge areas – or to someone’s room – or to my own with a tribe… But aha! Before you start judgment passing – let me assure you that as much as I like the pretty, sparkly things they serve in alcoholic bars, there was waaaaayyyy more talking that drinking. Waaaay more.

Trust me – I have enough problems fighting the war against rapidly dying brain cells without rocketing them to death on too many champagne cocktails. However I do admit to convincing the cheerful barguy to make me a Strawberry Marguerita or two – even though it’s not on their bar menu. Okay – so not the best SM I’ve ever had – and  yes, there are a number to choose from – but I give the guy full points for his charm; his enthusiasm and his willingness to serve his customers. Or maybe he just wanted the too-chatty, pushy blonde to leave the bar…  Either way he did it with a genuine smile – and for that I say: “Hilton – give this man a raise!”  Too many times I had over my very hard earned cash to people who almost snarl in return. It’s so nice to get service with a smile! Kudos to you barguy! I hope you do well in life.

But I digress. I kicked off  my six days with a meeting with my adored Melbourne-based agent (Jacinta di Mase) where we discussed some fun news that I hope I can share soon.  I also squeezed in a wee bit of shopping with my beautiful daughter Ree and amazing BFF Sandra Allen before buckling down the next day to the real reason for the visit.

The conference itself was fabulous. The first day day was A Day. This is a day for published authors only – a day of specific workshops and talk and focus groups where we can discuss those issues particular to being published. It’s an energising kick-off. And our speakers – international and Aussie – were amazing.

Of course, meeting friends that one can catch up with face to face but once a year is even more fabulous. Some of these friends go back 20 years to the very first conference. Those days it was a very simple affair at Macquarie Uni in Sydney. This is followed by three itense days of workshops and talks – plus cocktail parties,  formal awards dinner and various group dinners, power breakfasts and chatty lunches. Also on my agenda was a late-night PJ party for YA authors that sadly didn’t eventuate. It was one of the things I was most excited about – so I’ve got my fingers crossed for next year!

So, how we’ve grown! Now we’re a multi-city, sparkling, professional event that attracts editors,  agents and authors from all over the world. This year, the visiting editors and agents, especially those from Australia (and every major commercial publishing house was represented) , declared this conference the premier literary event in Australia. To experience it is to know what they were talking about.  And it seems every one of those publishers wants a piece of the romance pie.

Australian Outback romances, Romantic Suspense and YA  are the the main target at the moment, with each of those houses having picked up new authors for these at the past few conferences.   

So, I came home talked out – with very little voice, and wondering that in spite of all the new information flowing through my brain-cell-preserved brain, if I would ever have the energy to write again?  And I’m disturbed that indeed it took almost two weeks to feel the energy once more surging.

But hey! Lets not dwell on negatives! I’m back and raring to charge forward – so let’s just be grateful for that. Especially as I have a desk full of copy-edits for Dead, Actually (A&U March 2012)  due in – hmmmm what time is it?  

OOPs – better go! Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting photos and info I picked up at the conference. From an Aussie perspective – it wasn’t all good news.  But, you know? This too shall pass. Keep the faith and more on that in a few days!  

If YOU atttended this conference – or any conference or seminar or library talk (basically any kind of Professional Development) this year – what was the best thing you got out of it? What was the one little gem that caused you a lightbulb moment?  I’ll share mine of you share yours…

Cheers!

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4 Responses

  1. Meeting the wonderful Kaz Delaney.

  2. I’m so sad I wasn’t able to make Melbourne this year. I do miss catching up. I always feel so motivated and happy after meeting with you. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. Cannot wait to try a SM next year at the Gold Coast.

    Best wishes,
    Sandii

    • And Sandii we missed you! Thank you so much for supporting me here – and when you get to the GC next year? The SM’s are on me! That’s a promise!

      Hugs, sweetheart! xxx

  3. Oh Chris… How did I miss this? I’m both embarrassed and humbled – but so, so excited to have met (face to face at last) a beautiful new friend!

    I had such a ball this year – from a personal perspective it was one of
    the best conferences ever. And that was all down to the peeps I hung
    out with. Thank you sweetheart! xxx

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