30 August 2006

New stories

I've posted a couple of links to some new stories at my web site. Gardening with Grace and Angel.

Back soon when I get my thoughts together about blogging, the intimacy of the net and some interesting stuff I've been reading.

20 August 2006

Really back this time

Boy oh boy, there's nothing like having a small cold develop into full blown bronchitis. I came home from the US on 7 August, with a tickle in my throat, went up to the Gold Coast for the Romance Writers of Australia annual conference on 10 August and by the time I got home on the 14th I was ready for bed where I stayed for most of the week. The only good think about the whole experience was obsessively reading. The huge pile of books I bought in the US or had given to me at the Atlanta and Gold Coast conferences has reduced somewhat.

What did I read?
Too Little Lies by Liz Carlyle. I love LC. I'm a sucker for sensual historicals and this didn't disappoint.

The Perfect Stranger by our own Aussie Anne Gracie. The third in the Perfect series. Great sick bed reading. Great reading any time actually.

Live Bait and Dead Run by PJ Tracy. A mother daughter team writing crime based in Minnesota. Quirky and fun.

Montana Sky by Nora Roberts. I like Nora, she rarely disappoints.

Private Demon by Lynn Viehl aka Paperback Writer. I started reading her Darkyn series in the US and am hooked.

Shadow Touch by Marjorie M Lui. Another series I started in the US. I find her writing very unusual with settings outside the US. This one was set mainly in Russia.

Below is a pic of soon-to-be-published-by-Avon Aussie author Anna Campbell accepting the Golden Heart for soon-to-be-published-by-Berkely Aussie author Christine Diehm writing as Christine Wells. The Golden Heart is an award for the best unpublished manuscript given out by the Romance Writers of America. Christine won it for the Best Short Historical. It was a great night.

09 August 2006

Real life

International travel is so bad for your health. I have a cold and my neck has gone into spasm, the result of bad pillows and schelping around heavy bags. I feel like another holiday to get over it.

But I did have a great time. America is such a diverse country. There's a lot to love and a lot to hate.

I loved:
New York. Even when it's hot and humid it's a blast. Everything is always open and buzzing. I met up with Ishmael Goat and D L King, both writers from ERWA over DL's fabulous guacamole. They were wonderfully hospitable. It was so great to chat about a whole range of subjects with like minded people.

Then I was fortunate to spend the next three days with an old friend who took me around the place. We went to museums, shopped, ate and generally had a great time, even though it was in the midst of a record breaking heat wave. It's a great town.

So is Chicago. I went with my sister and her partner and we spent the weekend we were there shopping, listening to jazz and eating. I bought lots of books which are so much cheaper in the States. The weather was great and the people friendly. In fact, Americans are wonderfully friendly. Sure, there was a lot of insincere "have a nice day"s thrown around, but on the whole they were great.

Not sure about Atlanta. I was at the Romance Writers of America conference and so didn't get to see much of the city.

What I hated:
The food and the coffee. You wouldn't think it from what I've said above but it was often hard to get good food. I guess it probably always is when you travel and maybe I just didn't know where to go, but there is an absence of good cafe food. It's either bad fast food or more up market expensive food. There didn't seem to be much in between. And the portions were huge!

Starbucks seems to be the only place to get espresso and then I had to ask for a triple shot so I could taste the coffee. Maybe it would have been different if I'd got to Little Italy in NYC.

The RWA conference was a mixed bag. On the whole the workshops were mediocre but the sessions with publishers, editors and agents were great. I didn't do enough networking because I'm fundamentally shy around people I don't know. I always feel awkward, like the person who hasn't quite worked out the rules.

It was terrific meeting a whole range of people I'd been chatting to over the net though. The Passionate Ink lunch at the Aquarium was fantastic. The look on the face of the guy behind the bar as a speaker after speaker talked in fairly graphic ways about the popularity of erotica was a delight to behold. He had a great time.

Our Christine Diehm writing as Christine Wall won a Golden Heart for Best Short Historical and while I was away she was signed up by Berkley. So keep and eye out for her. She's a terrific writer.

So is Karen Schwartz writing as Anna Campbell. She's been signed by Avon and will be out next year. It's been a good year for Aussie romance writers.

Now I'm off to the Romance Writers of Australia conference on the Gold Coast. I'll be back on Monday ready to start real life again. Back to work and back to writing.

07 August 2006

I'm baaack!

I'd hoped to do some posting while I was in the US, but life and good times took over. Los Angeles, Indiana, Chicago, Atlanta and New York. I met a whole lot of people I've been chatting with on line which was terrific. I like America even though it was incredibly hot. Going to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on one of the hottest days in living memory was quite an experience.

And I've come back to see my story Playing with Trouble is now available at eXtasy. I hope you buy it and enjoy it! When I get myself unpacked and organised I'll post some more about my American trip.