Thursday, 17 September 2015
On Sunday evening I just returned from the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers' Conference in Denver, Colorado. I have to say that this was one of the most inspiring conferences I've attended. The location was incredible - the Westin at Westminster - a beautiful hotel standing on the edge of a small lake with a backdrop of mountains in the distance.
Writers of all types were there. From first-timers with a first novel in progress, to published authors - both indie and traditionally published. Since writing is such a solitary occupation, you can imagine how great it is to get together and finally talk with people who are in the same boat as you. Too often friends and family really can't identify with the writers' life, so it's great to get together and finally talk shop to someone who's interested!
A wide array of workshops and presentations were available. It was valuable to hear first hand from agents and publishers about new trends in the publishing industry. One question that really stood out in this panel discussion was when someone asked if the Big 5 publishers were operating too much "in the box", afraid to break out for fear of losing profits and therefore bent on publishing "more of the same guaranteed formula fiction". Though reps from Harper Collins denied this, they did say that trends in self-publishing and the fact that many self-publishers were "pushing the envelope" in terms of what they were putting out, had actually forced the Big 5 to keep an eye on the steadily growing list of self-published titles.
Some other amazing sessions included a workshop led by a research physicist on Scintillating Science for your Science Fiction. Also the keynote address at the Saturday banquet was delivered by none other than international bestselling author, Jeffrey Deaver, author of amazing novels like The Bone Collector. He talked about being an insecure, nerdy kid with few friends until he discovered writing at high school and found other students who shared his passion. His life changed completely. Stories like this underscore the value of creative writing programs in school. Too often those quiet kids are the ones who are forgotten. As he said, he wasn't into sports or drama. Only writing helped him find an identity. Deaver went on to become a journalist, a lawyer and finally a highly successful novelist.
I met so many new writing friends, it was a real pleasure to be there. I must say the RMFW is a warm, welcoming organization.
I have to share my discovery of a terrific bestselling mystery author, Liane Moriarty I've just motored through her new novels, Big Little Lies and The Husband's Secret. I can highly recommend them. Moriarty has an undercurrent of humour and social satire running through her stories that make them irresistible and a refreshing change from the dark, depressing nature of some current thrillers. They're also the kind of books you can't put down once you've started. I highly recommend them. You won't be sorry!
Lilah, my romantic suspense novel continues to get great reviews. The latest from D.S McKnight on her blog. Check it out here