This was one of the most delightful writers’ conferences I’ve ever attended. The very best part was meeting so many fellow members of the Historical Fiction Authors’ Cooperative: M. Louisa Locke, Libbie Hawker, Janet Oakley, Lisa Yarde, Suzanne Tyrpak, Martha Marks, Judith Starkston, Priscilla Royal, and Ann Parker. I love all of these authors’ books and am proud to be counted among their number. The breadth and originality of the works produced by HFAC authors continues to inspire and amaze me. If you love this genre, you must check it out: Historical Fiction Ebooks.
There were dozens of terrific panels at the conference, with topics ranging from midwives to mysteries. I had workshop on plotting with renowned writing coach Larry Brooks on Friday morning. Friday afternoon I took a short course in rapier and short swords with actor/author David Blixt. I am now ready to defend my manor from marauders, whilst plotting the distinction between concept and premise. Both workshops were excellent and highly recommended, if you ever get a chance.
I finally got to meet my editor, Jennifer Quinlan of Historical Editorial. She’s as charming in person as she is in email . She gave a great presentation editing historical fiction. The room was packed — literally standing room only — and the information & insights she delivered were super super useful. Jenny edits my Francis Bacon series and also does the beautiful covers. Versatile!
Another panel I found inspiring and informative was ‘Finding (and Keeping) Critique Partners’, with Margaret Rodenberg, Lorelei Brush, and Julianne Douglas. Critique groups are valuable resources, especially for indie authors, but hard to build and maintain. They had a lot of practical advice which I will incorporate into my thinking on the subject, which will emerge one of these days in the form of blog posts and local workshops.
I had a lot of fun swanning about in my Francis Bacon costume on Saturday evening. I signed four books, which I consider a great success for a new author. And on Sunday morning, many people said, “Look, there’s Francis Bacon!” even though I was back in my civvies.
Now I’m looking forward to the next meeting, which will be Oxford, U.K. in September, 2016. I won’t be carrying the costume, alas, but I will be hanging out with my tribe from HFAC. Woohoo! And a hey, nonny, nonny!