Home is the traveller!

I’m back! Back from Perth, back from the quite fabulous Riding the Waves Conference, put on by the Romance Writers of Australia and I’m finally getting around to telling you how it was.

(Just quietly, who ARE these people, who manage to get blog posts up WHILE THEY ARE STILL AT CONFERENCE?  Clearly people who spend less time in the bar than I do.)

So, I went to the conference and it was fab.  I cannot go any further without thanking and congratulating the quite marvellous ALL VOLUNTEER conference team, who put on such a great show.  I always enjoy the RWA conference, but this was definitely one of my favourites.Selfie at conf cropped  There are too many people to thank individually and I would hate to forget anyone, but I’d like to do a special shout out to Shannon and her Mum who came up from Bunbury to help us out.  You guys helped to make my conference!

I am terrible at taking photos (as in, I forget to do it, not I’m a terrible photographer, although probably that too! 😉 ), so I only have a few.

I’ve included this one as it is a watershed moment – my very first selfie!  (My teen friends have informed me that it is a little lame to take a selfie in a mirror, but what can I say?  I’m rocking lame!)

This was me, prepared to go to the Friday night cocktail party, complete with pirate hat, to identify me as a conference-newbie helper.  I am wearing sunglasses, not because I drank rather a lot of champagne the night before a the Destiny Romance first birthday party (although I did, it cannot be denied) but because they always live on my head and I had to move them to put on the hat.  Yes, really.  In the picture below (at the cocktail party) I seem to have found somewhere to put them, but it’s also possible that they were just knocked off by the awesomeness of Cap’n Jack.JOHNNY

I am frantically busy finishing some projects at the moment, so I won’t go into detail about all the fabulous workshops I went to here (I will be expounding on some of the things I learned in future posts, so stay tuned for that).

But I can’t leave without mentioning two visitors I met who impressed me very much.

The first is Kim Hudson, who presented the Friday workshop on The Virgin’s Promise, her quite wonderful re-imagining of story structure.  Many parts of me are delighted by her work.  My latent academic is excited by the thoroughness of her analysis and the way she has shaped it into a proper theory.  The Hero’s Journey is a wonderful tool and it has been recognised as such for so long that it is very easy to think it’s the only way of looking at story.  But of course, it isn’t and work like this can start a whole new conversation about story and archetype that has far-reaching implications for how we see ourselves and our lives, as well as how we see stories.

The storyteller in me is also thrilled by a whole new approach to what makes story.  And the writer in me can see a whole swag of ways to use this practically in planning and deepening written stories.

So that was fun!  Also, Kim is an absolute doll whose presence was a joy.  A gifted presenter and a lovely person.

The other person I must mention is Sarah Wendell, from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.  I have been a fan (along with thousands of others) of her smart, snarky, funny website and reviews, dedicated to romance, ever since I discovered them and in person she did not disappoint.  She is whip smart, very funny, a wonderful presenter, a generous and genuine supporter of romance and a barrel of fun.  I didn’t make it to all her workshops but I loved the ones I did and very much enjoyed the re-enactment of her session on romance clichés that went on in the bar afterwards (there were actions, apparently).  I had the pleasure of chatting with her a little at the conference and meeting her again in Melbourne at an event hosted by Penguin here.  I can’t tell you how impressed I was that, at the second function, she remembered my name.  There were over 300 people (most of them women) at that conference and I bet she spoke to a fair swag of them over the weekend.  I don’t suffer from false modesty, but nor do I imagine myself to be particularly fascinating.  To be remembered was delightful, of course, but also seriously flipping impressive.  The lady is a pro.  If you like romance at all and don’t already follow Smart Bitches, do yourself a favour and start!

As always, it was also a joy to see so many friends both old and those I previously only knew online.  Always fun to see who matches their avatar!

There’s so much more to say, but not enough time!  I’ll be back as soon as deadlines allow.  In the meantime, don’t forget that Playing by the Rules is coming out September 15.  There’s a link to its page at the top right of this page and that’s where you’ll find all the buy links as soon as they’re available.

So – what have you been up to while I’ve been gallivanting?

I pinched this picture of the Destiny trade table at the conf from the Destiny facebook page, because I didn't think to take a picture of my own book!  PR fail!

I pinched this picture of the Destiny trade table at the conf from the Destiny facebook page, because I didn’t think to take a picture of my own book!
(Front, third from left, if you’re looking.) PR fail!




It’s Spring! So I’m all dressed up with somwhere to go…

Today I’m being featured in an Author Spotlight over on the Romance Writers of Australia blog, and there’s a chance to win a copy of my book!

I’m very chuffed about it.  It’s still a novelty for me to be interviewed as an author and on the RWA blog I’m in some very good writerly company.

I got so excited that I revamped the blog specially.  What do you think?

And to celebrate the new web look, I decided that I really need to wrap up my newsletter competition and do the draw for this pretty thing from Avalaya (who make gorgeous costume jewellery and deliver pretty much everywhere):

For those who didn’t notice first time around, I’m planning to set up a newsletter e-mailing list, to use when I have book news (something I hope will be more regular in future 🙂 ).  If you would like to be on the list, you can fill out the form below and to thank you, I’ll put you in the draw for the bracelet, a copy of Rules are for Breaking (pictured in the sidebar if you’re interested) and some surprise prizes.

So if you comment over at the RWA blog and sign up here, you will have two chances to win.  And I’ll think you’re lovely!

She’s Baaaaack!


Hello, my lovelies!  I have MISSED you!

When I decided to go dark for a few weeks to focus on finishing my manuscript, it seemed sensible.  It was, in a way, but I found I missed the blogging more than I would have though possible after such a short time of doing it.  I missed sharing what’s going on.  The twitters and the book of faces are all very well, but they don’t allow me to rabbit on as I do here and have such good conversations.

(Although by all means, join me there if you are on: https://www.facebook.com/ImeldaEvansAuthor, https://twitter.com/Imelda_Evans and now, dog help me, for I have no idea how to drive it, also on Google+ https://plus.google.com/108757084808555454255/posts)

So, I’m back.  The book isn’t quite finished (I was sick for some of my ‘dark’ time, which threw out the schedule) but it is very, very, very close and I have worked out a new time-management system that should allow me to blog AND get my wordcount done more reliably (I’ll let you know how that goes)!

Part of that is a re-jig of the blog schedule, which I will unveil next week (along with other things – I have news, I do, my pretties, stay tuned) and part of it is renewed focus and motivation.

The latter has come from a few places, but not least the wonderful Romance Writers of Australia 2012 conference.  It is always an inspiration and this time, at the risk of coming over all Juan Antonio Samaranch, it was the best ever!

There was learning, there was fun, there was hobnobbing with industry types, there was pitching and so much more, all of which you will hear about over the next few weeks (my brain it teems, with endless schemes).

There was also, for me, an active part in this year’s award dinner, as I received the above award.  It’s only a second, not a first, but I am still ridiculously proud of it.  The Single Title and Loving It award is RWA’s annual competition for the opening chapters of a full-length novel, either a romance or a story with romantic elements (mine was the latter).

It’s my highest finish in an RWA comp and given that the winner is already under contract, very encouraging!  And it happened surrounded by friends, many of whom also had wins.  It was just lovely.

But enough, for now!  I have many things still to do, after gallivanting off at conference, so I must go.  But I will be back on Monday and there will, as I hinted above, be news… (Visualise the sweeping cape and flashing, mysterious eyes for yourself. Ta. 😉  )


Wanna Write? Make friends with the Romance Writers

First, I must crave your indulgence for a little skite:

Yesterday morning, Helene Young, multi-award-wining author, tweeted a link to one of my blog posts.

A few weeks ago, Valerie Parv, whose books have been printed in their millions and who is currently Writer-in-Residence at the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writer’s Centre in Western Australia, quoted something I said in a post on ‘show, don’t tell‘ in a tweet.

Both of these events made my day.  When established, skilled writers like these take the trouble to read your posts, comment and then be nice about them, it’s an enormous boost.  It’s the kind of thing you hold up as the candle to light your way through the darkness of the days when you think you can’t write an acceptable shopping list.

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