What did the ancient poet say to the historical novelist?
“Fancy meeting you here!”
I have written about the importance of writer conferences in my life and that of others, here and elsewhere (Redwood Writers June newsletter.) Today, I am just barely off the boat from the seaside San Diego fourth bi-annual conference of the Historical Novel Society in the United States. The Society began in Great Britain some fourteen years ago and has spread its wings to varied parts of the world as historical novels have flourished. This was my third conference, having missed the 2007 in Albany, NY. Like Topsy, the sessions have grown in number and relevance.
Invariably, HNS attracts the likes of Susan Vreeland, Diane Gabaldon, Cecilia Holland, and Harry Turtledove. With sessions devoted to a multitude of topics, some may be thought to favor male writers (who attended hugely!) but were found to be attractive to both sexes: World War II and Naval History. Sessions included: Historical Fiction Goes Digital with Women Writing the West’s Michelle Black, Ann Parker(also of WWW) and others spoke of Keeping a Series Fresh, and Persia Woolley (of WWW and Redwood Writers) spoke of Second Harvest: New Life for Your Earlier Works…a smattering of the 25 meetings available to 300 participants in thee days.
Famously published, debut writers, the “pre-published” met, dined and socialized with agents and editors looking for new clients. Then, there were the Friday Night Fight Scenes readings after the dinner and Turtledove’s keynote. Saturday evening’s comments by Cecilia Holland with gorgeous display of period costumes from ancient Rome to 19th century Americana found me ” too tired, dear,” to stay for the Saturday Night Sex Scene Readings.
What purpose did the conference serve me? Persia as a charming friend and roommate; meeting the incoming president of WWW, Pam Tartaglio; chats with Ann Parker, Brigitte Goldstein, and new acquaintances; immersion in the gifts and energy of other writers; free books(10?) and those I purchased.
I also gained the interest in my work by one agent and two editors. Not a bad ratio out of three pitches, hmm?
Readers: sorry I haven’t mastered the use of photos or this page wouldn’t be so gray. I will keep writing until I build that skill. Next up: travel tales and book reviews. Watch out world, Arlettawrites is back!