This weekend, I am attending my first conference for the Romance Writers of Australia. It’s an action-packed program with something for everyone. I’m looking forward to the networking and to all that I will learn – not just about the craft of writing but about the industry.
I am pitching to four new publishers, and have spent today collating thoughts and information. I’ve also gone back to the manuscript for The Red Heart to give it another read through. It is amazing that even after I have read it numerous times, and spell-checked and edited, and even after the editor engaged by the publisher reviewed the manuscript, that I have still found a couple of typos and grammatical glitches. As I have read, I also tweaked and done the odd nip and tuck, taking out words or descriptors that really do not add anything of value to the story. I am embarrassed now thinking of the clumsiness of the original text. At least I am improving.
I have also added a new thread running throughout the story, expanding on the conflict between the key characters and which will also lead into book two in which I tell Sarah’s story.
The cocktail event on Friday night should be a blast. I don’t often have an opportunity to bring out the bling but sure will for this occasion. It will set the rest of the conference off with a bit of pizzazz. Perhaps I’ll even come up with some new story lines. I’ll have a drink for you.
There have been a few valleys and troughs in recent months. My publisher decided to cease operations and that was a disappointment. Rights to The Red Heart have reverted to me however, so I am free to seek another publisher. That is exactly what I will do when attending the Melbourne conference of the Romance Writers of Australia. This is the first time that I have attended a writers’ conference and the program looks to be really rewarding. I am so looking forward to it, and of course to the networking, new friends and new learnings that I am sure will result.
Another event in my life has been the end of my day job, due to the role being made redundant. This is both scary(where is the money going to come from now) and exciting because I am going to have the time to do new and more challenging things – like complete the second book and start a new business. Yes I am doing both.
The second book, so far nameless, picks up Sarah’s story. If you have read The Red Heart, you will know that Sarah welcomes Kathy on her arrival in Alice Springs and becomes a close friend, with both women working in the same company. We don’t have the opportunity to learn much about Sarah in this story though, and book two fills in some of the background to why she is on her own in Alice Springs, and the challenges that she faces. I am so pleased to now have more time for dedicated writing, and of course the looming conference has given me renewed enthusiasm.
The new business harnesses life skills that have been acquired over the decades, and fine-tuned with further training. Through Work Life Junction, I will provide life coaching services. Specifically, I am focussing on transitional coaching, working with people who are confronted by life choices and work choices and who need some assistance in clarifying their goals and strategies. If you slip on over to www.worklifejunction.com.au (still a work in progress) you will get a broader understanding.
In general, life is frantically busy but also exciting right now. I look forward to giving updates on my success at pitching to a new publisher at the conference, and also on progress with Sarah’s story.