|Diana Gabaldon and me|
I actually got up at 6 am to go exercise and swim at the hotel. I think I did it in my sleep because the water in the pool was so warm. Actually, I was trying to make up for the 1/2 piece of carrot cake I had Friday night. So, after a very healthy breakfast, I’m ready to take on day 2 of the Historical Novel Society Conference.
Lots of workshops to choose from, but I went to The Best New Historical Fiction: What to Read and Why given by Sarah Johnson, Georgine Olson and Joyce Saricks. A few books that sounded interesting to me were C. E. Murphy’s The Queen’s Bastard, Emma Bull’s Territory and YA book Seer of Shadows by Avi.
|Authors Christine Trent, Jade Lee, Christine Blevins|
I also attended A Fine Line: Historical Romance or Historical Novel? given by Gretchen Craig and Elisabeth Fairchild. They offered examples from books and movies. One thing I learned is that the choices they gave were extremely subjective because the Romance Community defines a true romance novel as having a happily ever after and personally, I didn’t think Shakespeare in Love or First Knight had happy endings.
|HNS Chair Sarah Johnson, Michelle Buonfiglio and me|
Ran into fellow blogger Michelle Buonfiglio of B(u)y the Book and swapped favorite book recommendations. At lunch I got to sit next to Trish Todd, VP at Touchstone/Simon & Schuster who was the keynote speaker. She invited me to the S&S office when I go to NY for Thrillerfest (wonder if they’ll offer me subs for lunch like Dorchester did). Trish talked about pitching to editors and how she tries not to buy books she already owns. She also offered the advice, "Can you say your book in one sentence?" That is apparently key to a great pitch.
|Me and Trish Todd|
There was a book signing and I got to meet one of my favorite authors that I’ve read for years…Diana Gabaldon and discovered I’ve been saying her name wrong all this time (it’s gab all done, not ga ball done). We had a lovely chat and she told me the story of how Outlander came to be (short version: it was a practice novel). Then she consented to a Drive By Video™which you can view below. (ahhh, Jamie)
The dinner keynote speaker was Sharon Kay Penman who explained all things medieval. Now, I enjoy reading the genre, but Sharon has really done her research and dispelled a lot of myths. I especially found it fascinating that women could leave their husbands if they had bad breath. When did that stop being a law?
There was a Historical Costume Fashion show and the outfits were all authentic for the time periods. People really get into the details.
The evening ended with the "Return of the Late-Night Sex Scene Reading" done by Margaret Frazer, Diana Gabaldon, Jade Lee and Anne Easter Smith. They were hilarious when read outloud, but I really wish they would have given the room a little more atmosphere. It just wasn’t the same with 1,000 watt bulbs glaring. Dim lighting and candles would have really made the mood. Of course, closing your eyes during the readings helped to put you into the scene. (Some times a little too much into it…but maybe that was just me)
Bottom Line: I recommend the Late-Night Sex Scene Readings for all conferences that I attend…just a suggestion.