As both a reader and a blogger, I would like to thank the Australian Romance Readers Association and Debbie Phillips for the great event on Saturday in Brisbane. I had a wonderful day.
It started with helping a lady take a photo of herself then we started to have a chat. I soon learnt she was author Fiona Marsden. She was not signing but was there to meet and chat with the great authors. I attended the breakfast for the members and sat with Beth Prentice, Fiona Marsden and Fiona McArthur. What a lovely way to start the day getting to know more about two of these three authors. After we finished eating, we all sat together for a chat with the guest authors Keri Arthur (Australian) and Celeste Bradley (American). There were ten of us, Heather Kopp Deputy Chair of ARRA, Fiona Marsden (author), Beth Prentice (author), Amy Faulkner (ARRA), Anne Gracie (author), Emma Crameri (https://brisbanista.com.au/), Melanie Page (author), Fiona McArthur (author), myself and the two guest speakers. It was great to learn and have a laugh with these two authors, both of which were new to me and to which I have not read before. We got to know them a bit more as they shared their stories of how, why and when of their journey into the wonderful world of books and publishing.
Keri is an Australian author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance with strong capable women as her female characters. She is a New York Times bestseller with her Riley Jenson Guardian series. She’s received many nominations and many awards in her genres from Best Contemporary Paranormal category with the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Awards. She has won two Australian Romance Readers Awards for Blood Kissed in 2017. Favourite Sci-Fi, Fantasy or Futuristic Romance for City of Light in 2016. Nominated for Favourite Australian Romance Author, Keri has now written more than forty-one novels.
It was lovely meeting this American author who writes books about misfit heroines and the men of their dreams in the Regency Historical world and Historical and Contemporary worlds. She is a two-time RITA Nominee, and has also been the winner of the prestigious Historical Storyteller of the Year from Romantic Times Book Reviews plus many more.
I love how Celeste told us about how she keeps lists as well as the pictures she draws of her books and characters as she writes her novels. You can see where her past life as an artist plays a large part in her present career as an author.
I asked the attending authors some questions as I met with each and everyone as I got to know a little bit more about them.
If you could tell your younger writer self one thing, what would that be?
Anne Gracie:- Start earlier have faith in your own imagination and do not listen to what the market says.
Fiona McArthur:- Finish the book before it takes you 10 years as you will learn more by finishing the book than re-reading and re-writing over and over again. “Delivery Love” was her first book in 2000.
Elisabeth Carter:- Persevere with your writing and don’t take another 20 years to finally finish a book.
Celeste Bradley:- Don’t be afraid to write the book you really want to read yourself.
J M Adele:- Keep going and believe in yourself more.
Kathryn Celeste:- Try to get published sooner than I did would be my advice to myself.
T M Clark:- She wished she had written more and spent less time of the same books instead of just going on to the next book or giving the first one to an editor. To much time was spent on revision and rewriting of her first book.
How many unpublished or ½ finished books do you have?
Tracey Pedersen:- 2 books unfinished and a part of her a series she is hoping to complete very soon.
Beth Prentice:- Beth has 9 books on the go with three unpublished, five books started with one only a synopsis and one is just an outline of a story. Two are completed with one at that the editing stage and the other completed but not published as yet.
Sarah Williams:- Sarah has one book that had been again and off again for some time but she really hopes to finish it with the other 4 she is the process of completing before the end of this year.
Caitlyn Lynch:- Caitlyn said she has over 50 unfinished pieces of work unfinished, but she said that they help her with her current books as they sometimes give her ideas or a missing section she has been looking for.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing the characters of the opposite sex?
R Linda:- She loves to write her story with the male Point of view and finds it easier than some of her female characters as males are more black and white with their views, not a bitchy and catty as some of the female characters.
Leesa Bow:- Being in their heads during the sex scene is the hardest part to enable to make the male character sound and think as a real man would.
Caitlyn Lynch:- The hardest thing about writing a male POV is making them an Alpha Hero for the readers. She does not like alpha assholes as her hero characters. They must always be knocked down a peg or two before we love them.
Susanne Bellamy: - Susanne likes to use a man she knows as a guide to her male POV’s, because a man thinks differently to us women as well as they do things differently. Her characters are not based on that real-life man, but just a bit of their characters and mannerisms.
Suzi Love:- Suzi said it's hard to make the man in her books sound like a man and not to be too wimpy.
Do you read your Book Reviews? How do you process the good with the bad?
Charlotte Nash:- Charlotte doesn’t read any of her reviews as she feels that each reader has the right to feel their own thoughts about her books and that everyone will feel differently to the next. She sometimes reads reviews sent by her publisher. She does not life when a reviewer picks on a little thing and makes the whole review around that one issue.
R Linda:- She loves all review good bad or middle, she takes the bad as constructive feedback and tries to learn from it in her growth as an author.
Emma James:- Emma checks her Goodreads and then Amazon accounts every day for new reviews and reads them all. She feels she learns from them all and the comments mean the world to her that someone took the time to one: read her book, and two: they wrote about it to share with others.
Khloe Wren:- Khloe reads her reviews but stops if she finds them not constructive, she is still surprised that people read her books.
How do you come up with the names of your characters?
Alyssa J Montgomery:- Alyssa uses name books to pick names for her characters, she can never use names of people she already knows off.
Keri Arthur:- Uses baby name books and list to find names with meaning for her characters.
Sarah Williams:- Sarah keeps a list of names and whenever she hears or reads an interesting name or word of any kind she will add it to her list. So, when it’s time to make a character’s name it's her list she will go to first to find something to inspire the character within the pages of her story.
Khloe Wren:- Khloe has used all the names she would have loved to call her children but were vetoed by her husband. After using all of them she researches the year in which her character would have been born and finds the popular names of that time to use.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Jennie Kew:- Her first book was 2006 at the age of twenty-nine but was never published. She told me it would never be published and has been hidden away. It was a medieval historical romance of about 80 000 words.
Keri Arthur:- The first book was written at twelve years old as her favourite author Elyne Mitchell killed off a character in one of her books and Keri decided to rewrite the book the way she thought the books should have been written the first time around.
Megan Love:- The first book was in her mid-twenties and it will never see the light of day. So her first published book was Breaking the Cycle in 2016. Megan has a degree in journalism and with no luck with grabbing a job she found the characters in her head needed to come out to the world in her stories.
Tania Jayce:- Her first book was written in 2016 and published in 2017. Tempting Propositions - Strictly Business Book 1. She self-published at the age of thirty-eight to fulfil a bucket list item to improve her written English.
I believe it was a wonderful day for all who attended with great company mixed with wonderful stories for all of us to enjoy in the coming weeks and months. If there are any readers wanting more information about all these wonderful authors here is the link to a previous blog with their Amazon or Facebook links included. HERE
Thank you again to ARRA for the great day, and we hope that the next weekend of events is just as enjoyable as this one was to us all.
Ann-maree Reading for the Love of Books
#ARR2019 #romance #ARRA
Some great photo from the day.