Apologies in advance, this post might get rather long because I just had the BEST weekend ever at the Australian Romance Readers Convention in Brisbane. I have been to a number of romance WRITING conferences but never before have I been to a reading convention and this most definitely WON’T be my last. While I felt the buzz was similar to that at RWAus confs and many of the faces the same too 🙂 it was really good to have the focus on reading and sharing the love for romance rather than on actual craft!!
The con kicked off with the Lady Jane’s Salon all the way from New York and run by Hope Tarr. We laughed our heads off to readings by Cathy Maxwell, Amy Andrews, Anna Campbell and Keri Arthur and I hope this becomes a regular ARRC thing! Then it was the cocktail party where I accosted Kristan Higgins and had a fan girl moment! Here’s a pic of her holding my cocktail named after her.
If you haven’t read Kristan’s books, what are you waiting for? They are gorgeous small town romances – I started reading her latest THE BEST MAN on the plane home. I’ll upload more cocktail party photos on my Facebook page!
The next day things really kicked off with a keynote speech by Rachel Vincent. Having not read much paranormal I admit to never having read her before but I will be after this weekend. Rachel’s bio says she’s ‘Older than she looks and younger than she feels’ – I can SO relate to that!
There were two book launches over the weekend – Kristan’s THE BEST MAN and Nikki Logan’s M&B Sexy duo, which I’m desperate to get my hands on – both books – HOW TO GET OVER YOUR EX and MR RIGHT AT THE WRONG TIME sound brilliant!
I participated in one panel on Saturday and went to another. Ours was Location, Location, Location where Cathryn Hein and I pitched up our rural heroes against Paula Roe and Amy Andrew’s city ones. Guess who won!? I also went along to a session where eight authors talked about their reading habits and what they read. This was one of my favourite sessions and I came away with a zillion more books I MUST READ NOW!!!!
Saturday arvo was the book signing. So many readers came to the event and I got to meet a particularly special one – Annie Seaton’s aunt who loved JILTED and MAN DROUGHT so much that she wrote me a sweet note of thanks. I SO wish I’d gotten a photo with her!
Then Saturday night was the ARRA Awards. JILTED was up for this award against seven other simply fabulous books, so although I obviously hoped we’d win, I never truly imagined that we would. When Hope Tarr (who announced the award) read out my name, I could have died!! I have never felt such shocked happiness in my life! I think the acceptance speech I made – totally unprepared because I didn’t expect to win – showed this. I want to take this opportunity to again thank all the wonderful ARRA members who voted for JILTED. I hope I can keep writing books that you all love!!
And, I think I’ll save Sunday and a few more observations for another blog. Come back in a few days to read more… that’s if you want to!!