Mary books

Thursday, 23 August 2012


With Narelle Atkins, Laura O'Connell
and Andrea Grigg - my generous
host for Wed and Sun nights!
Now I have come out of the rather dazed and exhausted state I was in after this wonderful conference, I’ll share a few snippets with you and a few photos.
I always come home sorry I’ve been so enthralled I forget to take that camera out of my bag but did get a few. 
This “oldie” could not help but compare this conference with past years – years I’ve enjoyed and marvelled at too! For me this will always stand out as one of the very best. There are so many reasons and I cannot possibly share them all here except to mention here :

With Judy Griffiths and Kerri
at the Friday evening 50's
dress event

Well over 400 participants (I think did hear 463 mentioned!) 
The QT Hotel venue.
The professionalism of those who organised this event.
Many representatives from so many Australian publishers.
Excellent speakers and panels.
The usual fun Friday evening cocktail party.
The launch of Harlequin’s Digital First Imprint in Australia – Harlequin Escape.
Sharing with Ray's publisher, Rochelle Manners, at her workshop.

Applauding award winners – especially our generous Tas Roadshow speaker, Fiona Lowe, for her R*by as well as her RITA.

Michelle Douglas and Judy
As well as meeting face to face with many writers only previously “known” online, over the years perhaps the thing I have enjoyed the most is renewing acquaintances with many writer friends.
These included not only those from my old Maitland writers group, Malvina Yock but Emma Darcy and Marion Lennox too this year.

Then their was the generous and lovely Helen Bianchin. What a privilege to meet her family at the Award Dinner, and join in the standing ovation as she received the inaugural Romance Writers of Australia Hall of Fame award was particularly a treasured event.

Malvina Yock -
Kerri in background
 And so, although I came home exhilerated, excited and exhausted, it was a lovely welcome home. I slept for over ten hours last Monday night!

I can only hope other exhausted writers home from the Gold Coast had as understanding husband as I did. And he had only moved one item of furniture this year - the cupboard with videos and DVDs to make room for my vase of flowers. Sorry, a standing "in-joke" that each time I go away by myself "things" are different in the house on my return!

Ray takes our 2 yr old
and 10 month old for
the wheelbarrow ride!
 Now I've caught up on stuff here at home - including sharing this with you, what am I going to do?

Sorry, but this will mean not as many posts here for the next few weeks - er...perhaps months too. However, Ray's blog is still a "work in progress" and hopefully will go public very soon.

And we are so privileged to be so involved with our beautiful grandchildren - the eldest even with Ray to welcome me home at the airport!

And Ray does have that knack of swinging that teething little darling to sleep today!

And yeah, simply couldn't resist sharing these photos of the grandcildren with you today!


Thursday, 9 August 2012

Romance Writers of Australia Conference 2012 – Part One

 Our annual conference is close, perhaps too close for attendees like myself who are still scrambling to be ready. Next Wednesday I catch my flight to the Gold Coast venue in my beautiful home state of Queensland.
 Having been a member of RWA here now for what seems like “forever”, I am looking forward so very much to many things I’ve enjoyed at past conferences.
These include:
Greeting again writer friends made over the many years at local groups and the annual conferences.
Meeting other members of RWA I have until now only “met” online and making new friends.
Getting to know other writers who are writing the kind of romance novels I enjoy reading the most
Sharing with writers also targeting the same inspirational romance sub-genre market I currently am.
The book-signing event Friday evening.
Meeting publishers and editors who publish romance.
As well as all the above, I am so looking forward to all the various sessions where other writers share their expertise in areas I know I am weaker in. I look forward to hopefully having at least one important “light bulb” moment over those four days to take back home with me. The challenge back home of course will be to try and put it into practice.

So, while it is very cold here, I know from experience it will be much warmer up north. Past time to think about dragging out clothes from Tassie’s summer days – which are so often the same temperature as the Gold Coast’s winter is right now.
There’s that Friday evening costume party on the theme of conference, Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend. I’ve never been quite convinced of the truth of that old statement but from past conferences I know it will be a night of real fun and some very clever costumes. 

What do I have that might at least look like diamonds and 1950’s clothes?
There’s that special Award Dinner on Saturday evening. What dress will be suitable for that?

So, I’ve some preparation to do.

I may not be able to post next Thursday as will be enjoying the Published Author’s day programme, but look out for RWA Conference Part Two coming soon – I hope! 

I couldn't resist searching out some old photos taken at conferences. Perhaps you may even recognise some of my writer acquaintances and friends?

Oh, and if you’ve never been to a writer’s conference, why not?
And what would your expectations be? Do share some here with us.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Five Days of Writing

Wallaby visits us and enjoys our
vegetable scraps as I stop
 writing and watch from
behind large glass windows.
 Have I been whinging too much on posts here and even on facebook at times about not writing my next manuscript? Hmm, somehow I think I have been!

I’ve been asked if this current manuscript will be another book in my Baragula series but while it does have a rural setting, afraid it is not another for that series. I started writing Her Outback Cowboy many years ago and it has sat waiting for me to finish those Baragula books.

It is still the middle of winter
in Tasmania but the wattle
 is starting to flower

 It has been much harder than I thought getting back into the plot, characters’ hearts and minds as well as researching the Texas and Queensland outback settings to try and get them correct. I also decided that the prologue I had started the story with could best have that information given to the reader throughout the first few chapters rather than as it happened years before Chapter One.
Time will tell if I succeed in making the story stronger this way.

For several reasons – mainly my inability to say “no” often enough – it has been a difficult year to try and work on this story. My wonderful husband decided we needed to get away from distractions at home. As a result, last week I had a blissful five days of writing at a special retreat cottage at Eagles Rise , owned and run by lovely Christian friends, Peter and Judy Brown.  I deliberately did not take internet connection for the laptop but did not realise there wasn’t even mobile phone coverage.

It was mostly cold and wet that week but I did manage to take these  photos. They do not do justice to the lovely warm house and beautiful bush setting.

Did I get much writing done? Not as many words as I had hoped perhaps. I certainly worked hard on the plot but know it still needs quite a bit of tweaking to try and make it a "page turner". And no, the bush, that blue wren that visited every day, the kookaburras that were fascinating to see drag those worms out of the ground and those wallabies and rabbits which did enjoy vegetable scraps did not destract me - well not too much. Besides, I did have to stretch and exercise these wrists and my back too!

Coming soon: 

Ray's own blog. It is in the process of being designed and should be made public in the near future.

Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance
Also, it is wonderful to be able to announce that this new venture is being commenced. Do check out the important information on the following blog by a writer friend of mine, Narelle Atkins.