Monday, September 20, 2010

I don’t do detail

I was advised recently that I needed to do more world building; that I needed to let myself go, let the words flow and build pictures; all those sensory things that I’m told will draw the reader into the story.

It’s not the first time I’ve been told this. The wonderful Melissa James reviewed some of my work a while back and said the same thing.

So I am about to start revising my latest work and add some detail.

Trouble is, when it comes to detail, I always err of the side of not too much; mostly because I personally don’t read the detail in books. Whenever a paragraph starts with: ‘The house was...’, The landscape seemed...’, His hair was...’, I skip it. My interest is in the character; what they do next, what they feel, why they feel it. Where they are when they’re feeling it hardly matters to me.

So this is my dilemma. I don’t like the detail, so I don’t want to inflict it on my readers.

Does anyone else struggle with this? Or maybe you love the detail. Do tell. And any hints on where I can read more about this.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bootcampers pay it forward

For the last few years now, RWA has recognised the need for an ‘alternative’ to the annual conference; something online for those not able to attend the capital city event. (Yep, we get to participate any  here and any way we can.)

Coordinated by volunteers, the 2010 Clayton’s Conference, with Sandie Hudson at the helm (again),was an all-Bootcamp affair with Suzanne Hamilton and me - Jenn J McLeod - signing on to help out over the three-days and nights. All three agree it was a great way to pay forward to other writers after what RWA Bootcamp has done for them.

With guests from both Australia and overseas speaking on a variety of topics, it was a truly global experience for the thirty-five registered attendees - many of them new to online events.

From an agenda jam-packed with everything writerly, as well as our own awards night (requiring dress-up PJs) and conference goodie bags, the feedback from this year’s event clearly shows Claytons can be every bit as rewarding and fun as ‘the other conference.’ (No longer is it to be referred to as ‘the real conference’. (Our attendees even came up with their own slogan - “Clayton’s Conference - Keeping it Real”.)

With a chock-a-block agenda that included six tough writing challenges over the three days, organisers were amazed at the level and quality of participation.

We got to write - a lot - both seriously and just for fun with Fracture Fairytales and Ludicrous Plots contests, made our own book trailers, designed book covers, grilled our guest speakers, shared ideas AND we were invited to pitch to e-publisher Noble Romance, with several authors asked to provide full manuscripts and contracts offered.

This post is a Clayton's wrap-up (the wrap-up you have when it's not really wrapped up!) because the camaraderie continues with the 2010 Clayton’s attendees establishing their own online networking group. So Claytons 2010 will live on, just as our belief in our dreams will live on.

Special thanks to the Executive Committee of Romance Writers of Australia for recognising the need for an online conference experience for its member and for supporting the Clayton's Conference concept and growth.

If you would like more information about the 2010 RWA Clayton’s Conference, you can find out more on theRWA website or RWA Blog (including a link to our final report listing all our guest speakers, sponsors, our winners, attendee feedback and our 2010 agenda.)

Watch out next year for the 2011 extravaganza and you'll never feel lonely at conference time again.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Blog Revamp

Just a quick note to let you all know I've done a quick update of the blog. Updated the colours and background, and now it looks rather snazzy!


:-) Mon

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hands up Bootcampers

I always knew Bootcampers were special.
This week Romance Writers of Australia announced nominees for the Lynne Wilding Metorious Service Award - an annual presentation in recogniton of those who put their hands up and volunteer for our member organisation.

I'm thrilled that two of the 109'ers have been recognised. I say have been recognised becasue win or lose, just being nominated is something to be proud of ladies.

And - drum roll - in 2010 it's our own Sandie Hudson and Anita Mack. (In 2008, our great leader, Rachael, won this accolade (she deserves another one in my humble opinion).

While Sandie and Anita are still putting the spit and polish on their own works, they are shining a light for fellow RWA members.  They have their eye on their own dream of publishing, but their heart and soul focused on helping others.

On behalf of the troop - CONGRATULATIONS! We're proud of you 109'ers - and special wave to Bootcamper 101'er Helen Katsinis and other nominees: Lis Hoorweg and Serena Tatti.

Looking forward to the big announcement in August.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Oh So Great, 109 Bootcampers

This week has seen some good no great news received news for a few of our Bootcampers. On top of her placing in the Emeralds Awards Jenn McLeod, along with Fiona Gregory and Shayne Sands (penname) will all have their short stories published in this year’s Little Gem Topaz anthology. Congratulations girls, well done, so very proud of you all.

These are the titles to look out for:

Fiona Gregory–Seize the Man

Jenn J McLeod–A Penny For Your Thoughts

Shayne Sands–Finders Keepers

Here’s a peak at the cover for the Little Gem Anthology 2010 Cover designed by bootcamper 101 Helen Katsinis.

Anita Mack is in for a very busy week shortly after being selected as one of lucky participants in the RWAustralia 5DI inaugural mentoring workshop. Anita will spend a week with seven other Category Romance Writers, being mentored by Lilian Darcy.

Other mentoring sessions to run over the week include Historical and Mainstream Romance mentored by Sophia James and Paranormal and Suspense romance mentored by Fiona Brand. The best of luck to all the participants.



Friday, February 26, 2010

The thigh bone’s connected to...?

I used to think historical writers had it toughest of all.

Imagine having to make sure all the elements in your story remain true and authentic to the period. Historical writers respect their readers. They assume readers know and love the eras they set their stories in, so they make sure the details are as accurate as possible. They research, research, research.

While world building in a futuristic or paranormal story sounds easier, I’m sure ‘just making up alternate and futuristic worlds’ come with their own challenges, such as: being innovative but original and still feasible.

So what about those of us who write present day stories – the contemporary novel (set in modern times). I’m here to tell you that we have our own challenges such as: keeping up-to-date with current affairs, trends and – my big challenge – technology.

Truly...I know the thigh bone’s connected to the knee bone, but what’s my iPod connected to? Last I heard a blackberry was a fruit! Argh!

What do you write - past, present or future - and what challenges does that bring to the writing task?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bootcamp 109 - 1 Year Today!

A year ago a group of nervous ladies gathered together for an intense workout - Bootcamp style. We were whipped into shape by an outstanding line-up of fabulous presenters. After a whirlwind two days we finished with our minds bursting with new information, new friendships and a bundle of craft techniques to apply.

For me Bootcamp is the line in the sand that marks the 'before' and 'after':
* Before Bootcamp I was writing words, struggling to find my feet, thinking craft was what you did with beads and feeling my CP and I were alone in a great big ocean. * After Bootcamp I began writing stories, began to plant my feet firmly in the writing pond, had a group of friends to travel the journey with and learnt craft was there to improve your writing.

I've personally achieved more than I could imagine in the last 12 months, and it all started with that line in the sand.

Thank you to my fellow Bootcampers, the presenters and organisers who got my journey started, the BootCats who have been by my side the whole way, and especially to Rachel Bailey, who has stuck with the BootCats, giving more than was ever expected.

Bootcampers Rock!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day - Where's the Romance?

I really don't like Valentine's Day.

I know, the most romantic day of the year. But is it? The true meaning of the occasion has been lost in the commercial vacuum that today's society has become. I'm sure cardmakers, florists and chocolatiers love the day, and I bet there are people who think they do too. But why do you need a special day to show your love? Shouldn't love be a 365-day deal?

The first written Valentine's was by the imprisoned Charles, Duke of Orleans in 1415 - to his wife. He wrote over 500 poems to her, but she died before he was released, 24 years later.


Strengthen, my Love, this castle of my heart,
And with some store of pleasure give me aid,
For Jealousy, with all them of his part,
Strong siege about the weary tower has laid.
Nay, if to break his bands thou art afraid,
Too weak to make his cruel force depart,
Strengthen at least this castle of my heart,
And with some store of pleasure give me aid.
Nay, let not Jealousy, for all his art
Be master, and the tower in ruin laid,
That still, ah Love! thy gracious rule obeyed.
Advance, and give me succour of thy part;
Strengthen, my Love, this castle of my heart.

Now, that's romance.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Congratulations Jenn

It’s cheers all round for fellow Bootcamper 109 and Bootcamp Bettie, Jenn McLeod who is in the finals for the RWAus Emeralds Award Single Title category.


We’ll be cheering from the sidelines for you.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

LoveCats Downunder

If you haven't already, you should check out the LoveCats DownUnder blog. A group of newly published category authors from Australia launched their blog this week with a whole bunch of giveaways. The posts are fun and the comments have left me with a mile long list of books to track down.

Best of all, there are 3 Bootcamp gals among the 7 contributors:

Nikki Logan (Romance) - Bootcamp 101
Mel Teshco (Nocturne) - Bootcamp 209
Rachel Bailey (Desire) - Bootcamp Organiser and Mentor

Bootcampers Rock!