Saturday, July 12, 2008

At last - the RNA!

I'm not at all sure what happened to the last week. There was the journey back from Chichester in some appalling road conditions, there was the interview with Jen, there was catching up to do . . .lots of catching up. There were proofs to correct . . .

And then there was in internet lock out. I just could not get into my email or my web browser - so frustrating!

So now I'm back at last and it's a week since I was in Chichester and lots of other people have posted blog reports on the RNA Conference - check out Kate Hardy and Liz Fenwick for some great reports - and I'm running fast to go nowhere - so I'm just going to post a sort of mini photo-diary of the event so you can see people and get some flavour of it all from the pictures >

So here goes . . .

Starting with the wonderful, unflappable, lovely Jan Jones who organised the whole thing and always does such a brilliant job. Here she is starting off the conference with the notices and the 'Celebrations' announcements.

Next the conference proper started with the panel discussing 'What is Romantic Ficiton anyway?' In this picture are, from the left in white is Nicola Cornick, next to her is Kate Harrison, the Sara Craven, Kate Hardy and Anna Jacobs.

Later that evening, in the bar. Here I am with my friend Kate Hardy. Thanks to Mary who tok the picture and actually managed to get one of me with my eyes open - I always seem to have them shut in photos.

Firsts talk Saturday morning - the interesting and wonderfully helpful Shelf Secrets or how to get your books onto the bookshop shelves by thinking like a bookshop owner by Mark Thornton who also ran a fabulous bookstall through the conference with titles by every author there - including the 12 Point Guide 2 which sold out early on.
Mark's bookshop, Mostly Books in Abingdon won the New Bookshop of the Year 2008 award and you can find out more about that - including his blog on the conference here.

Fabulous Katie Fforde introduces An
Audience with the equally lovely and witty Jill Mansell -->

The bar where most of the - um - networking took plpace. In the centre Katie Ff is chatting with the Sunday morning speaker, Jane Wenham-Jones.

The Chapel where most of the talks were held with the beautiful huge windows.

Brand new M&B author Sabrina Philips whose first book Valenti's One-Month Mistress will be out in February 09. Sabrina has also just got married and brought some of her beautiful wedding photos with her. Congratulations on both counts Sabrina!

The Saturday night dinner and Imogen Howson received the Elizabeth Goudge trophy as the author of the best first chapter of
less than 2,000 words - on the theme 'To Have and To Hold'.
Imogen's own blog can be found here.

Anna Louise Lucia looking glamourous at her first conference as a published author. Her first book Run Among Thorns (which I have read and thoroughly enjoyed) was on sale at the conference - and I also managed to persuade her to sign a couple of copies for the Tote Bag of Books contest which is coming up soon. (I also managed to grab copies of Jan Jones' Stage by Stage for that too- and a couplpe of other books from other authors - more soon)

Nell Dixon (in white) and beyond her Fiona Harper who writes for Mills & Boon Romance. Nell's new book for Little Black Dress Blue Remembered Heels was on sale at the conference too and was the first book to sell out. I took this photograph while she was deep in conversation with the babe Magnet - so you can see why he has this nickname at the RNA!

The dining hall for the Saturday evening Conference dinner - you can practically hear the buzz of conversations!

Julie Cohen at the Saturday dinner looking bright and beautiful - the next morning the image was slightly less so after a glass or two of champagne too many as she celebrated the publication of Anna Louise Lucia's first book.

Biddy Coady who won 3rd prize in the Elizabeth Goudge contest - with only a point or so between the top three. Yes Biddy - you can write - now finish that submission for M&B!

Sunday morning - RNA CHairman Catherine Jones (who writes as Kate Lace for Little Black Dress) leads the session on publicity and plans for the RNAs 50th birthday coming up in 2010.

Jane Wenham-Jones entertains the conference on Sunday morning. Regular readers of this blog will remember that Jane is a friend and regular tutor at the wonderful Caerleon Writers' Holiday which I shall have to miss this year (sob!) because I will be in San Francisco.

Julie Cohen showing the chart of themes and events that she used to plot out her lastest Little Black Dress Girl From Mars during her workshop on Pacing. I found this fascinating as Julie's approach was so very different from the way I work - hers is far more analytical in contrast to my more instinctive approach. Which just goes to prove that there is no one 'right' way of working - and we can all learn from looking at different ways of doing things.

The last night of the weekend - most of the delegates had already gone home but some of us stayed over in order to have an early start in the morning. We all crammed into Jan Jones' flat for a drink (or two) before dinner. And I really meant to join them back there after wards too for the quiz but I made the mistake of going to my room for a moment, sat down on the bed - and fell fast asleep. Conferences are like that! Talking and learning and talking some more . . . and som e more . . . and some more - wears you out! In this photo, I'm afraid I don;t know who the lady on the left is but next to her, with the grey hair is Liz Bailey, then Joanna Maitland, Sara Craven and Amanda Grange.


Jan Jones said...

Bottom picture - On the left is Henriette Gyland - this year's Katie Fforde Bursary winner. On the far right is my dragon skirt and my hand with what appears to be a glass in it. Strange.

And if you had made it back for the quiz you might just have found yourself featured in it.

It was lovely to see you and the BM at the conf again this year and thanks again for doing your website talk. Enjoy San Francisco!

Unknown said...

Loved the report and the photos. So wonderful to catch up - had we been apart long????


Nell Dixon said...

Fab pictures and I was so engrossed with talking to Steve about hangmen I never even realised you'd taken the picture!

Liz Fielding said...

Fab report and pictures, Kate. Looking forward to hearing about plans for the RNA's 50th celebrations.

Donna Alward said...

Oh wow. It sounds like a lovely time.

And if Anna of is reading this...dang girl! You look WONDERFUL!

Great pics..and great to see a few familiar faces!


Anonymous said...

Great pictures, sounds like you all had a great time.


Kate Hardy said...

Lovely to see you there, Kate, and glad you're recovering! (I think I've just about caught up on my sleep now.)

Jan beat me to it re naming - I was going to say that's Henri! (Been doing that on some old school pics, too, this week...)


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