Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hard to Believe Another SiWC has drawn to a close

As promised, here is the latest from my Surrey International Writers Conference 2014 experiences. The weekend goes by so fast it brings me up short when I realize it's Sunday morning and time to get ready for the last few classes of the conference. Seems like only a few hours ago I was heading for Jack Whyte's master class clutching my three pages of manuscript for class discussion. This class is always a highlight for me, only 12 people in the class and 12 excerpts from their manuscripts to be discussed. So many wonderful learning experiences come out of this exercise. As always a lively discussion ensued. Jack is bluntly honest about whether he likes something or not, which is a great help, because you know where you stand.

Friday night is costume night. This year the theme was Secrets, Lies and Bad Guys. Black Jack Randall of Outlander fame showed up, as did Belatrix LeStrange complete with Dark Mark. Carol, the Betty White of the North, was hilarious as Madame Zamboni with her crystal ball. My character, Mata Hati (big red hat LOL) gifted Madame Zamboni with a jeweled bra (actually a belly dancing skirty thing, but it worked) Afterward, I am privileged to be part of small group who has a natter with Jack Whyte over some scotch and Dundee Cake. Saturday flies by, pitches, workshops, lunch, dinner, amazing keynote speakers. Saturday night is also book signing night. The presenters and other authors gather in the Fraser Ballroom and await the hoardes who come to see Diana, Jack, Michael Slade, Anne Perry and the other highly successful authors present. Those of us who have less high profiles smile at the crowd and visit with those who stop by our table. I was pleased to be beside Sara Durham with her wonderful witch hat prop and werewolf mask. It was a blast. By far the most people lined up to have Diana sign her Outlander books. Some fans had literally armfuls of the books in the series. Diana is unfailingly gracious with a smile for everyone. The darn woman looks great in every picture taken of her (and there were many) and from any angle.

The workshops were varied and there was something for everyone in every genre. A host of volunteers ensure the event runs smoothly every year. Saturday night was also launch night for Jack Whyte's new release The Guardian - the story of Andrew Murray. Jack presided over the event with his usual panache, reading a few passages from the book. While the official release date is November 4, attendees of SiWC 2014 got to purchase the book and celebrate early. The room was jam packed, spilling out into the hallway. Slainte! Here's wishing Jack much success and many more books to come!

Once I transfer some photos from my phone to the computer I'll upload some so you can see my magnificent red hat!

Till next time


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It's October! Time for my fav conference SIWC2014

Well, it's that time of year again. The nights are drawing in, Mabon is over and we're sliding down the darkening days toward Samhain. All Hallow's Eve or Hallowe'en. Just as an aside, I hate it that they've taken the apostrophe out of Hallowe'en. it should be there as the word is a contraction of All Hallow's Eve. But enough of my ranting. LOL Every year near the end of October Surrey School Board hosts the Surrey International Writer's Conference. It's a wonderful weekend full of excitement and positive energy. The conference is for writers, everyone there is an author, some published, some not, some just embarking on the journey. I just approved my ad for the program, it's quite lovely, if I do say so myself.
I'm taking part in a Masters Class with Jack Whyte on the Thursday afternoon. It's a fun session, where each person submits 3 pages of a WIP. Jack reads it out loud and then everyone discusses it. I find it a great help to discover what works and what doesn't in a particular scene. I sent in the ending of my Jack The Ripper novel, No Absolution. I created my own Jack character, cobbled together from the profiles of different suspects and liberally spiced with my own interpretations.

SIWC 2010 with Jack Whyte for a Blue Pencil session

I'm not sure where this one will find a home as it is a departure from what I usually write. I have a Blue Pencil session with Michael Slade and I'm hoping he can tell me if what I've done is working or not. It's always a fantastic weekend and over before you know it. This year the theme for Friday Night Costume Dinner is Spies, Lies and Bad Guys. I'm going as a spy. Not quite sure how that's going to go, but hey, it's fun.

Well I am sad summer is over and my flower garden is a distant memory now, I have Surrey to look forward to and before I know it... it will be Alban Arthan and the light will begin gaining strength again. The Oak King gives up his rule to the Holly King on Mid Summer's Eve and takes it back again on the night of the Winter Solstice. This is the underlying theme of my WIP titles Oak King's Daughter, Holly King's Consort. I'm three quarters of the way through that one, but it's been on the back burner for awhile. Maybe time to dust it off and start adding some words LOL

If you are looking to connect with some great writers think about joining me in Surrey every October for the Surrey International Writers Conference.

My 2012 Flapper Costume

2013 Evil Editor Costume