Today I welcome fellow TWRP author, Grace Hood.
She's got a fantastic update for us today about how writers can learn from others.
I’m just back from the New Jersey Romance Writers Conference, subtitled “Put Your Heart in a Book”, and I feel energized. Inspired.
It was a bit of a trek for me, since I live in Maine. Driving was out of the question (the traffic south of Boston would have been horrendous, and scary), and I don’t much like flying. So I took the train, along with two of my local RWA chapter mates. We had so much fun people-watching, and chatting, and brainstorming, and chatting. As soon as we got to our hotel, the real work began. All those friends to greet, all those dining and drinking plans to make – it was hard work, I tell you. Writing has got to be just about the best job in the world.
Susan Wiggs presented the pre-conference workshop, “From Idea to Printed Page”. I love her novels, the characters become so real to me. Luckily, one of our freebies was “Lakeshore Christmas”, a perfect book for the holidays. Her presentation dealt with building characters, giving them quirks and foibles. I thought Ms. Wiggs suggestion of becoming the character’s therapist was brilliant.
One of the best ways to meet people at conferences is to volunteer. I got to moderate the workshop given by Tasha Alexander, “Strategies for Effective Research”. She writes delightful historical mysteries, which require some amount of research, as you can imagine. Her first piece of advice – don’t get lost in the research! Do just enough to get grounded in your story world, then write the book. You can fill in other details during revisions. Her second piece of advice – don’t put every interesting detail you learned into your story. Your reader doesn’t need to know how medieval armour was fashioned, just that your hero was strong enough to wear it.
My head is still spinning from all I learned. The breakfast keynote speaker was Sabrina Jeffries, the luncheon speaker was Heather Graham, and we had readings from Mary Jo Putney, Susan Wiggs, May McGoldrick (the fabulous wife/husband duo of Nikoo & Jim), and Heather Graham.
Is it any wonder I’m energized and inspired?
I must say, however, that the best part for me was reconnecting with writer friends I see only at conferences. There’s nothing like hanging out with people who speak the same language, share the same fears and have the same (or similar) dreams.
What are some of your conference memories? Or if you haven’t been to one, what are you most looking forward to at your first conference?
Blurb for Coming Undone:
Career-minded Lara doesn't find forty all that fabulous. Her carefully plotted path to success is on target and she isn't about to let romance derail her. Except the hot, new advertising whiz steers her libido into overdrive.
Ryan lives to shake companies up and do whatever it takes to meet his goals. But the saucy affirmation-chanting minx challenging him awakens a more carnal desire.
A battle of wills may be what she wants, but he intends to push her boundaries until her inhibitions come undone.
Thank you for coming with your exciting news, Grace. Being at a writers' conference is not something I've done, yet, but it sounds like something I should be doing.