GenreCon recap

Our intern Elizabeth attended GenreCon as a Ninja. Here’s her round-up.

genreconI forgot to ask my amazing mentor, Kate Cuthbert, how long the withdrawal symptoms last after attending the super fabulous GenreCon conference. Duh! So far it’s taken me a week, and still counting. So, let me tell you about it.

The conference was in Brisbane, at the State Library (11-13 October), where I was a ‘Ninja’ — being a 80s child, I can now cross being a ninja off my list (Michael Dudikoff, eat your heart out!). What does a ninja do, I hear you ask? In a nutshell, you look after the Chair, the panel, and attendees making sure that everything is running on time and smoothly. One of my favourite things from ninja-ing was being among so many writers, a large number of them were romance writers, because that’s how I roll.

Yep, I was in heaven. In the amazing crowd was Christina Brooke, Amy Andrews and Sandra Antonelli, Kim Wilkins, Charlotte Nash, and Rebekah Turner — and that’s just a few! I don’t want to embarrass myself further by gushing.

I had never been to an event like this before, and I will admit to an initial shyness, but after some subtle mentoring from the wonderful Kate, I threw myself into the experience and loved every minute of it. It usually takes a little time to settle into an event, but books have a wonderful way of bypassing all the initial awkwardness. Books connect people; writers and readers alike are passionate about their genre and it is this energy that made the room sizzle.

I enjoyed every session I was in; in between writing down comments from the discussion to live Tweeting the event, I learned so many things, but my greatest takeaway from the weekend is this: at the heart of writing is romance. And, this is nowhere more evident than the way people circled the bookshop stand. Two tables stacked with books from every genre and readers, myself included, courted the table, some stalked it, others meandered around it, picking books up, reading the back blurbs, and checking out the covers, putting them back down, picking up the next book, and going through the whole process all over again. It’s a courtship, like speed dating for readers: which book will I fall in love with, which book will make my pulse pound? I love watching this process between the reader and the book. I came away with three books — I know, too few right? It’s ok, I’m going back to get more.

Hearing how writers go on their journey to create compelling stories and characters that captivate us is like eavesdropping; you want to hear as much of the love story between the writer, and their characters as you can or as much as the writer will divulge. Going to an event such as GenreCon, you want to learn from established writers and emerging writers as well. The writing process is different for everyone. There is no magic formula, just the romance of loving what you do and finding your place.

I can’t wait for next time and I hope to see you there.

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