I’m just back from RWAustralia and, as usual, it was a weekend full of the 3 L’s. Love, laughter and learning. Full of catching up and networking and replenishing the well.
And Sydney sparkled in an all its winter sunshiney glory. Although, it was kinda cold outside despite the deceptive sunshine….
The Wenworth Hotel is a grand old beauty full of art deco loveliness including the most amazing chandeliers in all the publice spaces. They were stunning and I reckon I took about 500 pics of them while I was there!
The food was pretty good too.
And there was even some Karaoke!
Not to mention some very interesting day time content about consent and romance’s responsibility in the age of #metoo And a interesting talk about naming our, ummmm, lady parts… ?
And glamour and parties and fun, of course!
But now its back to reality and the WIP, refreshed and raring to go again after a weekend with my tribe.
August is definitely Romance Writers’ conference time and next up is the Australian conference which is in Sydney this year.
I know lots of authors and readers have already landed but I will be there in time for the Harlequin author afternoon and the cocktail party! I have checked in on-line for my flight and am about to start packing – as always culling shoes is the hardest part 🙂 My few days involves a cocktail party (or two), a dinner, meetings, an interview, lots of walking and an afternoon sailing on the harbour. I’m not sure that four pairs of shoes will be enough!
I’ll shortly be celebrating the release of my latest book, out in September (October in Australia), which is set in Sydney. Reunited with Her Brooding Surgeon, is one of a duo with Amy Andrews, Tempted by Mr Off-Limits. Our Nurses in the City books tell the stories of siblings, Grace and Hamish, and their search for love and happiness.
In the meantime, on behalf of all the medical authors I want to wish Fiona Lowe ‘GOOD LUCK’ for the awards ceremony. Her book, Daughter of Mine, has been nominated for the Romantic Book of the Year.
Will you be in Sydney for the conference? Have you got a costume for the Tuxedo and Tiaras cocktail party? And how many pairs of shoes have you packed!? Let me know in the comments,
I was thinking a lot about book settings while I was on holiday in the gorgeous jewel that is Sri Lanka earlier this month. Specifically, I started wondering why – with all the brilliant, exotic, exciting places I’ve visited over the years – I have set just about every one of my books in Australia. And not just Australia, but urban Australia. And not just urban Australia, but Sydney!
I’ve stepped out of the country just once – for my Harlequin medical, From Fling To Forever, which globetrotted its way from Cambodia to London. (Although, come to think of it, even that one started with a wedding in Sydney!)
As a reader, I’ve been known to obsess over a locale or two. It’s no accident that every time I revisit a Poldark novel, I find myself heading for Cornwall shortly afterwards. I’m also a sucker for anything set in ancient Egypt. And don’t get me started on the Brontes and the Yorkshire Moors.
But as a writer, something different happens once the words are flowing. The setting recedes, and all I can think about is what’s happening between the hero and the heroine. And I can always see them, so clearly, living in their Sydney terrace houses or harbour-view apartments, walking the same streets that I do, sipping coffee at my local cafés and cocktails at my favourite bars, shopping where I shop.
Now, I’m crazy about Sydney and there’s nothing I like better than sharing my wonderful city with readers – but I’m going on the record right here to say I’m going to mix it up a little here and there in the future, because I’ve had escapades worthy of some fictional attention all over the world – from Chengdu to Port Moresby to Mumbai to Abu Dhabi to Portofino to Athens.
So although I spent my Sri Lanka time sitting under a steamy sun, in a glorious villa courtyard with a couple of monkeys swinging their way around the plants, tapping out scenes set in – drum roll – Sydney? Well, watch this space…
I’d love to hear what you think! Is the setting a crucial component of your reading pleasure? Do you have any favourite places? Are you happier reading a story set in a place you’re familiar with, or do you prefer exploring other worlds?
And if you quite like a little bit of Sydney, you might be interested in taking a peek at my latest book, Wanting Mr Wrong. The heroine, not surprisingly, lives just one street away from me!
Evie Parker has never been one to swoon after celebrities – give her a neuroscientist over an actor any day! So when she develops her first movie-star crush, she’s determined to date her way out of it, starting with the next good-looking doctor she sees. Yet hovering on the fringes of her life is her gay best friend’s determined brother, Jackson J Stevens, a famous actor who comes with trailing paparazzi. The one thing worse than a celebrity in Evie’s eyes is a media circus, so Jack isn’t an option no matter how hard he flirts with her. Evie knows what she doesn’t want; Jack knows what he does. And somewhere in the middle, pheromones are making things go haywire every time they’re together.
So, I’m not here today. Yes, I know it looks like I’m here but I’m not. Thanks to modern technology I loaded this sucker last night then swanned off to Sydney today.
Yes, I’m in Sydney for a family thing and guess where we’re all having lunch?? This place –
It’s Doyle’s on Watson Bay, Sydney Harbour and has always been a bucket list kinda thing. Iconic restaurant in an iconic part of the world. Pretty damn fab, right?
And tomorrow we’ll be doing this –
Well, I won’t be cos sky diving, even when it’s not out of a perfectly airworthy plane, just seems plain nutso to be – but I’ll be watching my kids and father and nieces and nephews do it with their crazy daredevil uncle. Trust me, I’ll be having just as much fun taking the snaps though!
All in all it’ll be a nice lead in to Christmas.
Got anything special planned this holidays? And if you’re looking for some Christmas reading maybe check these babies out!