Archive for the ‘Genrecon’ Category

It’s amazing how absorbed you can be in stuff and you lift your head up and realise you’ve been absent (smack, smack) from your blog for an unforgivable time. The main culprit has been the activity and effort involved in preparing my house for sale. Long nights after days at work. Weekends spent painting, packing, cleaning. Then when it’s ready there’s house hunting. My partner, Matthew Farrer, and I are moving into together. It’s a big commitment and a lot of work. Finding a house is difficult. We were gazumped on the first house, just a day or two before were were to exchange contracts. Right now we are biting nails to see if the current deal goes through. I was so active during the last couple of months that I lost 5 kilos (without the gym).  Go me. Mind you now that I’m not so active I have to watch the weight. I’m also addicted to a clean and tidy house. Imagine that. (it’s tidy because half my possessions are in storage and my study is naked of books).

I’m in the last four weeks of my Masters so I’m pretty flat out there and also in the last and important stages of my work project. At least my masters involves some writing and that story is coming along nicely. We have an intensive class tomorrow. I need to work on my presentation tonight and I have to go to work in the morning after all, beforehand.

Due to illness in the family, we’ve had to call off our trip to World Fantasy Convention in Brighton. I’m sad about that as I had been planning it for two years, but it also didn’t go well with buying and selling houses. So early Saturday morning I’m heading off to Genrecon in Brisbane. I’m looking forward to showing off my under bust corset at the Cutlass and Kimonos banquet. We hope to rebook our trip next year. There is a World SF convention on in London in late August 2014.

In writing news, I sent off the sequel to Rayessa and the Space Pirates to the editor. I guess I’ll hear in due course. This weekend I’ll be signing a contract with Alex Adsett Publishing Services. Alex is very lovely and is going to represent a few of my manuscripts. I also signed a contract with Escape for one of the paranormal romances I’ve been working on. That will be coming out under another name next year. I’ll keep you posted. It’s going under another name because my young adult stuff is under my name and the sexy paranormal has, you know, sex in it.
All in all everything is busy but positive.

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Sorry this is a bit overdue. Genrecon was at the beginning of November and now it is nearly the end of November. It’s really scary how I seem to be on a roller coaster heading smack into Christmas. My head is still firmly in fiction writing land and I picked up the paranormal romance I started in New Zealand and it’s like I’m obsessed. I want to find out how it ends. I have the outline I wrote on the way back from the Romance Writers of Australia conference, but I’m quite ready to toss it as the characters have taken off. I think perhaps I had too much plot but we’ll see.

Now back to Genrecon. What an amazing convention that turned out to be. It was a convention aimed at developing writers from crime, romance, speculative fiction, including horror writers, held in Parramatta. I’m not sure how many people were there. I’d say around 200.

We were late for the opening cocktail party as we had to drive up from Canberra after work. It was still going strong by the time we arrived. Matthew took refuge in our suite and I headed for the bar. Two panels sessions started, which I didn’t realise until I was ensconced in the bar. I caught up with people I new from SF cons, Jason Nahrung, Peter Ball , Chris McMahon, Jodi Cleghorn and others.

Breakfast was included in our room rate and when we went down, we found out it was combined with the conrate as well. (I’d booked too late to get the con rate so I got a priority awards rate instead). So the restaurant contained plenty of people we knew. Jane Virgo, Chris Andrews, Nicky Strickland and Damien Cavalchini.

My memory is a little frayed after a few weeks had passed. I remember it all worked really well. The mixture of genre writers created a new kind of tribe. Many were new to cons and others not. I caught up with Jodi Cleghorn, Abigail (@BothersomeWords) and met new people, such as the lovely Rebekah Turner @RbkhTurner, whose debut urban fantasy was released by Escape Publishing last week. To get the book ready for launch both Escape Publishing and the authors worked hard. Rebekah told me on her very quick turn around on edits and proofs. Her cover looks amazing. I met up with Kate Cuthbert (who I can now say is my publisher), Alex Adsett wonder person who gives advice on publishing contracts and is now an agent and I scored at pitching session with Ginger Clark, editor from Curtis & Brown NY.

I introduced myself to Dan O’Malley at breakfast. I’d written to him about Conflux 8 and 9 and I was hoping he would honour us with his presence. He was really nice and very popular as a panellist and the spontaneous kiss (Kate Eltham) during the debate knocked everyone’s socks off. If you caught the twitter feed people were saying he was pure gold.

At lunch I caught up with people. Here is a shot of Alan Baxter and Andrew McKeirnan.

Alan Baxter and Andrew McKeirnan


And Jodi Cleghorn and Alan Baxter

Jodi Cleghorn and Alan Baxter

There were three streams of panels during the day with main sessions combining all rooms. Genrecon had a lovely format for community partners to talk about what they  had to offer, Sisters in Crime, Australian Horror Writers Association, Romance Writers Association and Conflux. We all had 15 minutes to strut our stuff. The Conflux session was on Saturday afternoon and we had a prize draw. A stack of books, which I put together from our authors and from Angry Robot. That went off like a charm because the first person drawn preferred books to a membership. And luckily the second name was Amanda Bridgeman, who is a writer coming out with Momentum next year, won a membership. She was waiting in the wings to talk to me about coming along and wouldn’t you know she won a prize.

Later I had a pitch session with Ginger Clark. She was awesome but threw me a bit by telling me to sending her 50 pages and I’d only been there a minute. So I chatted to her about the Air NZ Hobbit themed safety video and blah, blah until the hook came to drag me off stage.

I went to the Pistols and Parasols banquet. I went to NZ so had to rush my bustle dress but I was pleased with the result. I also had a very pretty parasol. See picture that Matthew took below. I totally wanted to do ‘bustle punk’.

Me in my bustle dress

The food at the banquet was very good. The entertainment was awesome. First up Kim Wilkins, who was the MC, interview Kate Cuthbert about Harlequin’s new digital imprint Escape. Kate is awesome. She is an editor who likes to dress up!

Here is a shot of Kate Cuthbert and author Daniel O’Malley

Daniel (Fez) O’Malley and Kate (Cut throat) Cuthbert.

A shot of Alex Adsett and Dan O’Malley. Life is pretty awesome when even agents like dressing up.

Alex Adsett and Daniel O’Malley

Then Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books did an amazing talk including a cover snark of how Australia is depicted in US romance books. Absolutely awesome.

As I was leaving the banquet, I had to admire this dress. The lovely lady works for the Queensland Writers’ Centre and I think her name is Aimee (correct me if I’m wrong).

Aimee in her Edwardian gown

What was amazing about the gown, as well as looking fab, was that Aimee saw the dress in 1915 magazine and drew the pattern herself and then made it. How talented and patient. She said it took a month for her to get the pattern drawn well.


Here is a shot of Chris McMahon and one of Chris Andrews and Matthew Farrer (my Dweeb!).

Chris McMahon, author


Chris Andrews and Matthew Farrer both from Canberra

After the banquet we were moved on to the bar, except the normal people, (people from Rosehill Racecouse) were still occupying the bar. Apparently, it gets nasty and there are security guards etc. We had a letter and a pass delivered to our rooms in the morning to advise if we left the hotel we’d need a pass to get back in, because they tried to keep people out. It was very educational watching the drunk normal people behave very oddly. Eventually we got back in the bar.

While we waited I caught up with Cat Sparks.

Me and Cat Sparks

And I got to meet author, Charlotte Nash, who wore this Firefly inspired number.

Charlotte Nash

Matthew and I had to duck out because our room deal came with wine and a chocolate fondue. So we ducked up to our room and then I went back to the bar.

I snaffled a shot (a selfie) of me and Rose from @Fangbooks in the bar.

Rosie and me

Sunday it was one of the nerve wracking things were there were three panels I wanted to go to but could only get to one. I went to Sarah Wendell’s one about social media and blogs and marketing. I also went to a session on planning your writing career and copyright and contracts, which was a double header with Alex Adsett and Peter Ball. I haven’t written my plan yet but I’m onto it. Joe Abercrombie was interesting to listen to. I totally lost my smooze mojo when I spoke to him. I happened to mention that his first novel had very little romance. Things sort of dived from there and he choofed off quick and proper.

So overall a great atmosphere. It was totally catered, which I didn’t realise and I had bitched about the price so felt a tad stupid, particularly when Peter Ball told me it was all over the registration page. You don’t get that with cons normally and I wish we had enough $$$ to do at least one meal at Conflux 9. Conflux 8 did a lunch on the Saturday and it went down so well.

So thank you Genrecon for a great time. I totally enjoyed myself and thought it was very well done. The hotel was fab and the logistics of opening and shutting concertina doors was spot on. If I’m in Australia during the next one, I’ll be there. The next Genrecon will be held in Brisbane, backed once again by theQueensland Writer’s Centre and the Australian Writers’ Marketplace. Genecon you rocked.


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