Ten Things I learned at the RWNZ Writers Conference

1. The sky is NOT falling. The future for authors is bright because the world will always need stories and stories never die (Randy Ingermanson).

Carol Marinelli, Frances Housden, and Amanda Antonio at the dinner

2. Eloisa James is who I’d like to be when I grow up. Inspirational and funny and shared hot NYT author bestselling tips. The most important of all being: the bigger you are the harder it gets and the harder you have to work.

3. There must be something in the water in London because every single M&B ed that I’ve met is drop-dead gorgeous. And also extremely, extremely nice.

4. Sophia James must be a long-lost writing sister because her pantsing method is exactly the same as mine! Hot tip for layering your story – make sure you have questions in the first five chapters of your book. Questions that jolt the reader with surprise, that make them curious, intrigued and want to know more about your characters.

5. That I am crap at talking myself up and telling people what I’m good at. I totally blame the fact that I’m Kiwi.

My third place certificate!

6. That no one cares about you or your book. You have to make them care. And that like it or not, you have to sell yourself because your publisher won’t do it for you these days. (Randy Ingermanson).

7. Over analysing your five minute pitch to DEATH afterwards is not helpful.

Jilted!! At the RWNZ Conference!!

8. Hotel staff blush very easily when they walk into a room to change the water just in time to hear about an  intimate sexual encounter being read aloud. Note to hotel staff – don’t run out of the room because you will be laughed at.

9. It is possible to get a coffee stain on your name badge EVEN when it is totally encased in plastic.

10. That your writer friends are awesome and belonging to your national writing organisation who puts on conferences like these is a very, very good thing indeed.

And because everything ALWAYS goes up to 11… (hands up if you’re a Spinal Tap fan?)

11. That my mother is the greatest for looking after my kids while I was at conference (in the absence of the good doctor), for putting on my electric blanket when I came home exhausted, and for making me soup so I didn’t have to cook.