Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Temptation Tuesday: Conferences by Kate Hardy

The RNA conference is one of the highlights of my writing life, and this year I was privileged to be at the 50th anniversary conference. Thank you very much to Jan Jones and Roger Sanderson for all their hard work in making it such a wonderful event.

So what do you do at a writers' conference?

Before you go, pack - including pretty shoes for the evening and your own teabags.

Arrive, and as soon as you see your room feel as if you're a student again.

Catch up with old friends (Kate Hardy with Kate Walker - and I don't mean that Kate W is old, just that we've been friends for a very long time)
and make new ones. Don't worry if it's your first conference, because the person sitting next to you in a lecture theatre or standing next to you in the queue for coffee is here for the same reason. Whether they're multi-published or a writing their first manuscript, they'll want to chat and make friends.

Attend talks by inspirational speakers (Kate Harrison)

who make you think seriously about your career and give you lightbulb moments for future books.

Give yourself time out to assimilate what you've been listening to (and you often end up chatting to others who've done the same, and chats often end up as brainstorming sessions, very productive for work).

Attend a posh dinner with good food, good speakers, and good wine (actually, it was too hot to drink much wine at the Gala dinner - an awful lot of water was consumed!)

Enjoy the evening lights. (That's the Dome in the middle.)

Sit drinking wine with glamorous authors (Heidi Rice - see, she DOES look like a film star) and editors.

Sign copies of your books (thank you very much to those who came up to me and asked - it was SUCH a thrill to be asked and that never grows old, no matter how many books you've had out - it's always wonderful to think that someone likes your stories, and just about every writer I know worries about whether they're still doing it right).

Sit up late in kitchens (or courtyards) chatting about writing and books and gorgeous men (we still need to find a handsome green-eyed man for Harlequin Historicals author Carol Townend - suggestions welcomed!). (This was the courtyard where Nicola Cornick, Sarah Morgan and I talked... um... rather a lot.)

Maybe give a workshop yourself... (That's me on planning and creativity.)

Arrive home tired out yet energised and absolutely raring to go. And remember to write a thank you note to those who worked really hard to organise it!

(And apologies that I might not be able to make comments – apologies also to those who’ve emailed me since my talk and are waiting for the handout, because I have problems with an intermittent email connection – the engineer is coming out but until then my connection might last for only seconds (I had to do this post in about ten bites) and the system has eaten all my mail! Just as well my deadline is next week and not this, or I would be foaming.)

Kate’s book Neurosurgeon… and Mum! is on sale in the UK right now. You can find out more about the books, and Kate, on her website (http://www.katehardy.com/) and her blog (http://katehardy.blogspot.com/)


  1. Oooh Kate, so jealous at not being able to go and meet all you fabulous authors! Argh! Ah well, there are lots down here in NZ so that's something. Looks like a fabulous time was had by all. BTW, love the sexy off the shoulder number from Heidi. ;-)

  2. Kate, it looks like such a good time. You all seem to be enjoying yourselves!Thanks for the post - and good luck with that deadline.

  3. Jackie - it was wonderful, thanks. And am sure you will have just as great a time at the NZ ones! (If you see Nat Anderson, give her a hug for me.) And yeah, Heidi is just too glamorous for her own good.

  4. Christina - it was inspirational. And a lot of fun. There was a point where Nicola, Sarah and I were almost on the floor from laughing so much! And thanks for the good luck. I'll need it!

  5. Marilyn - great company, great conversations, good food - I'm back and raring to go now.

  6. Lovely to see you at the conference, and it was every bit as exciting and studenty as you suggest. Weren't the dinner tables lovely?

    Came back to a pile of work, emails, and the usual end of term child-related nonsense. And revisions to do on my WIP after my consultation with the M&B team. So exciting to be asked to revise and submit more. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

    If only there wasn't so much bloomin' housekeeping work to do as well!

    Jane x

  7. You know that reading conference summaries is glorious and envy-inducing all at once, right????? Sigh....

    And I might have a man for Carol, but I'm not sure what the other requirements are. You can go with the military cut:

    Or with slightly more hair.


  8. The last link might not work. It's

  9. Ok darn it, it cut it off again! http://images.buddytv.com/articles/the_unit/Images/scott_foley_the_unit.jpg Maybe I need to put text after it for it to be complete. *fingers crossed*

  10. Jane - the dinner tables were utterly lovely. So was the company and the food. (But not the heat. The balcony was a blessing!)

  11. PS Jane, I meant to say congrats on your M&B meeting - go, you! (I came back to broadband that didn't work and ATE MY EMAILS. And meetings that had to be rearranged. Sigh. Not to mention housework...)

  12. Donna - yep, brings back memories of past conferences and wishes that they could happen all over again...

    And the links worked for me (cut and pasted them) so I'll tell Carol :)

  13. Oh Kate (and Jax), my head is swelling here! I should definitely make you my official photographer cos I am the most unphotogenic person on the planet usually..

    BTW, your workshop was a cracker! Gave me lots of invaluable ideas about how to become a pantser with a bit more of a plan!

  14. Heidi - LOL. (I feel a book coming on...)

    Glad the workshop was helpful. :)