|Exeter Writers members Margaret James and Su Bristow|
There’s something about the word ‘conference’ that sounds very dull to my mind. I immediately think of business suits, lanyards, flipcharts and graphs. But the Romantic Novelists’ Association annual conference is a very jolly affair. This year was my third. I went with my fellow Exeter Writers: Margaret James, a long-standing member of the RNA with a string of very successful novels behind her and Su Bristow, a first-timer. Su and I were on a mission. We wanted to interest a publisher in our novels.
Apart from the fun of the conference, the squeals and smiles, the frocks and the photos, there is a very serious side to it. For a whole weekend, authors and publishers come together. The industry is discussed. How is it doing? What succeeded and what didn’t? Where to next? Who will be the next Dan Brown or E.L James?
I imagine that commissioning editors dream of such a find, but they’re too canny to relay on a dream dropping in their inbox, so they offer ten-minute appointments to those with a novel to pitch. Su and I spent the train journey to Sheffield refining our blubs, elevator pitches and our author profiles.
In the event, we didn’t need them. Our opening chapters and synopses had been submitted in advance and on the strength of those and a friendly interview, we were asked to submit our books. That doesn’t mean they will be taken of course, but it’s a huge step on the precarious, pot-holey road to publication.
Watch this space…
See www.rna-uk.org for more information about the Romantic Novelists' Association.
|Exeter Writers members Cathie Hartigan and Su Bristow|