Firstly, it was the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference a couple of weeks ago. I’m still on a high. We had the most A-M-A-Z-I-N-G international speakers – Christopher Vogler, Stephanie Laurens and Jane Porter.
The three dove-tailed so beautifully – combining to highlight and give real validation on what we do as romance writers and reminding us why we love our genre so much. It was very inspirational – if ever you get a chance to hear any of those guys speak, LEAP at it – regardless of whether you’re a writer or a reader. It was so great to be in a room full of other writers where we were all excited and passionate and challenged to push through to the next level in our work. It was only my third conference but definitely the best for me so far – those speakers really were fabulous.
But the best thing to happen in August was just at the very end. I have the most fabulous writing buddy – we’re not actually ‘critique partners’, more each other’s support crew. We met almost five years ago and really hit if off from the start because we were both very committed to writing. She writes sweet and I write saucy. I was very fortunate to sell to Mills & Boon less than a year after we met. Meanwhile she kept on writing and writing and honing her craft. Through our respective ups and downs we’ve been each other’s head cheerleader.
We email or phone each other every day and report to each other on our progress – word count tallies and stuff. We’ve commiserated with each other on rejections and revisions and celebrated requests and reviews and crack the whip over each other when necessary.
I feel so incredibly lucky to have a someone who totally knows and understands the process and who is there simply to be a friend, ally and colleague and I love to be the same for her.
I can’t tell you how thrilled I am. Soraya has worked so hard and is such a talented writer with a huge future ahead of her with Harlequin Mills & Boon Romance. If you want to join in her party, there’s a thread over at eharlequin.com.
And be sure to keep an eye out for her first release which I *think* will be out at the end of 2011 – but I’ll be back to remind you well before then and I’m sure she’ll be here too!
Meanwhile, I hope those of you in the northern hemisphere are looking forward to the beauty of Autumn. I can tell you we’re certainly looking forward to Spring down here in New Zealand! Already we’re seeing signs with lambs in the paddocks and daffodils along the fence line and the light is lasting longer with each day – it’s bliss.