Friday, 23 August 2013

I went to a conference, a Romance Writer's Conference.

I suppose you are all expecting me to talk about the fabulous Seminar by Kim Hudson.  A workshop entitled Virgin on the Half Shell was bound to get me to attend though I would have liked the Georgette Heyer workshops at the academic conference.

There were lots of fabulous workshops to help my writing and of course I put my name down to pitch with a couple of the publishers.  Probably the less said about that the better *mumble mumble* total stuff-up.  Whatever.

What I want to talk about is my fan-girl moments.  You may have somehow received the impression I'm a Mills and Boon fan from the dawn of time.  Near enough.  I read my first Mill's and Boon Romance in 1976 when I went to Brisbane to go to boarding school.  Now there is a stressful environment that requires total escapism.

Susan Stephens and Carole Mortimer
Anyway...this being said I've read lots of Mill's and Boon romances, from my three a day addiction while trying to forget my imprisonment *cough* educational institution to my current, never without a book at hand life.  This blog is mostly about the Harlequin Mills and Boon authors I met at the conference.  I met lots of fantastic and lovely authors of all different romance genres
but it would take a book rather than a blog to list them all.

Around the same time I started reading romance, Carole Mortimer started writing them.  She had her first book accepted in 1978 and has been writing ever since.  Needless to say I've been reading them ever since and have a large plastic box full to overflowing as she's written over 200 books.

So when I found she was coming to the RWAus13 conference in Perth with another English Mills and Boon author I've read over the years, Susan Stephens, I was naturally excited. (Understatement)  I only walked past them three times before I got up the courage to ask for a picture.  And being the lovely ladies they are they obliged.

 Of course one of my major motivations for booking for the Perth conference (apart from the very educational workshops) was that Maisey Yates was coming from her home near Seattle in the U.S.A.  Maisey is at the other end of the spectrum from Carole, a new author with Harlequin, Mills and Boon who writes stories I really love. (including a virgin hero)

With her is Jackie Ashenden from New Zealand, another new author who writes for *shhh* Samhain and Entangled with some frabulous heroes.  She just announced a new series with St. Martin's Press.

I stalked them all the way to Rottnest Island, the ARRA signing and pictured here at the costume party on the Friday night of the conference.
Caitlin Crews, Me looking smug and fangirly and Maisey Yates

Special Bonus Author from US was Caitlin Crews

Nicole Flockton

Another lovely author I met on line who writes for Crimson Romance and Escape Publishing is Nicole Flockton.  She writes lovely Mills and Boon style romances with classic alpha males and a series with a medical slant.  This is Nicole at the Awards Night on the Saturday night of the conference.  An Australian living in the U.S. she came home to visit family and attend the conference.

It was also great to meet Paula Roe, a Harlequin Mills and Boon Desire series author who I met last year and also at ARRA13 in Brisbane.  Following the Nautical and Nice theme, she came as an island complete with Palm Tree and Parrot.  Sunbaking on her golden sands is Seal, Rachael John's, who writes great Rural Romance published by Harlequin Australia.

Here we have a Medical Contingent with Fiona McArthur, Emily Forbes (Ruby Winner) and Amy Andrews.  With them is Mills and Boon Medical (and other things) Editor Sheila Hodgson who will hate me forever for this picture but she wasn't fussed on my story pitch anyway so it's all good really.

I also met Sarah Wendell from SmartBitchesTrashyBooks blog site.  Most embarrassing fangirl moment.*flails*  Yeah me speechless.  Hard to imagine but it happened.  Naturally she was thrilled to meet me.

I've run out of pictures of people I met.  My iPhone battery always died at the inconvenient moment.  Instead here is a selection of books I brought home written by authors I met at the conference.  They include Emmie Dark,  Michelle Douglas, Melanie Milburne (we shook hands), Rachel Bailey and Annie West as well as authors mentioned above.  I'm also pretty sure I saw Leah Ashton in a Nice Biscuit.


  1. Fab blog, Fiona. Loved the round up and brought back great moments from the conference. I'm with you on fan girl moment with Carol Mortimer and others too. Loved the history and buildings in Fremantle and being inspired by the energy of a 300 writers. xx Fi

  2. Brilliant stuff Fiona and so glad you could make it, did you meet Melanie Milburne (yep see now you had) and as for Carole Mortimer I have been reading her for ever as well Susan Stephens then of course Maisey, Jackie and Nicole *squeal* Have you recovered? Still on cloud nine? I would be. love all the pics and thanks for sharing. Jan xx

  3. It's great that you got to attend the conference.

  4. Thanks Maria. It was pretty special. I was lucky DH had never been to WA so we combined it as a special 30th Anniversary holiday treat (our anniversary was last October but took a while to persuade *cough* plan.

  5. Thanks Fi and Jan. TWas a great conference.

  6. Lol, Fiona!! It was such a great conference (at least I assume it was since I didn't go to any of the workshops...ahem) and it was really cool to hang out with you too! Let's do it again in Sydney, huh?

  7. I hope so Jackie. DH isn't keen on Sydney so I would have to work on going alone. Best case scenario I would be published by then. It's hard to justify the expense when I'm not.

  8. So cool to see Carole Mortimer. I devoured Harlequins when I was a teenager. Carole was one of my favorite authors.