Friday, March 3, 2017

Catching up & ARRC

The ENT thinks my ear problems are an inflammation, so I'm on anti-inflammatories and there is some improvement. So that's a good thing! :) Fingers crossed it goes away soon.

I went to ARRC after that good health news. ARRC is the Australian Romance Readers Convention, which was held in Melbourne. I hadn't been to one before, and Cate Ellink was going to stay behind but there was a cancellation and they asked me to fill in on the Sports Romance Panel, so Cate Ellink went along after some discussion about my sweet and sexy sides being both there.

You may know if you follow this blog or the Naughty Ninjas, that I've had some jealousy issues with my two writing selves. Cate Ellink, because she's all about sex, cops a lot of flak and so I try to keep my two selves separate. Going to a convention with both of me was a first and I was quite worried about it - even though the lovely ladies on the ARRA committee assured me it would be fine.

And it was! No one cared. In fact some readers who only knew my clean self, said they'd hunt up my raunchy self too. I think it's the first time my two halves have been united and happy.

I participated in the Sports Romance Panel, a speed dating session, and also the Book Signing. They were all a lot of fun!

Speed dating was 4 minutes with 10 different people to talk with, about...well, I talked about different things with each person. Book covers, travelling, writing, reading habits, juggling work and writing, the publishing industry. Some of the readers were writers too. My session was on Sunday and by then I knew most of the ladies who popped onto the chair across from me, so it was like having a speed chat to friends.

The book signing was more fun that I expected. I sat between K M Golland and Beverley Eikli / Beverley Oakley, so the company was exceptionally good. ARRC produced booklets for the signing, and I signed lots of those. I had magnets and bookmarks, merkins and postcards. I gave away a lot of magnets, especially ones with naked chests, or calendars. Next time I might do a naked chest on a calendar!!! :)

Photo with thanks to @Kaetrin67 and her tweet
The Sports Romance Panel was the best fun. Four authors, and a fabulous moderator - and the other 3 authors hated sport! I sat in my Parramatta t-shirt, so I couldn't even pretend to hate sport!! I didn't feel too bad either. I'm not ashamed of loving sport. I'm not ashamed of loving writing about sex. I realised that I write sports people who love sex, and I enjoy that!

I had a bit of a fan girl moment. In the audience was C S Pacat. I'm a fan of her Captive Prince series. She asked a question about tropes - which trope do you write about? I didn't get to answer the question, but after a lot of thought, I realised what I write. And it's not what the others write (which doesn't surprise me at all!).

I love 'serious' sports people. I'm not up for the 'bad' boy/girl who makes good. I'm up for the professional who works their arse off to get better. To be the best. To keep achieving. I write about the perfectionist.

As a sports nut, I'm not interested in sports for fame, money, 'bad boys', or popularity. I'm interested in the psychology of sports people, the sacrifices they make to be the best, they way they push themselves, and their focus.

It's not really a popular trope when the romance genre (at the moment) is in love with 'bad boys' making good, and popularity, and Beauty and the Beast tropes. That's why I write what I do (even without realising what it was I was writing!) - I struggled to find stories that were about what interested me.

It's incredible that a simple question can open up a whole new idea in your head. It can explain so much about what you write and why you write it. It can show why you're not finding what you're looking for, why you're different, and even an angle for marketing.

I've always known I write differently to most people, but I've never quite been able to work out why that is, or even what it is. One question has changed my thinking. (And if I thought I fan girled her from her books, this question made me an even bigger fan girl! I won't even go to where she spoke to me and I became a jibbering idiot!!!)

So...I had an incredible weekend at ARRC.

Now...this weekend is Round 1 of the Rugby League season.

I'm pretty much walking on air - if only my ears were perfectly happy!!! :)


  1. I'm really glad you had a good time at ARRC, and I love those photos you posted on FB, and now here. Helen Sibbritt did a good job with those snaps.
    I would have enjoyed the sports romance panel - but you knew that.
    I can't wait till footy season (ARL) not long to go now, but the family Malone did sit down in front of Channel 9s game between Broncos & Cowboys - what a game that was - Thurston again with the extra time field goal for the win. That man is amazing.
    So glad you're feeling better too!

    1. Hey Lily,
      The photos were taken by Helen Konstan. She did a super job. But you've mixed your Helens, Helen Sibbritt is a lovely reader and a mad footy fan, but she wasn't the ARRC photographer :)

      Yes, not long for AFL. I've enjoyed watching the women's games. They've been great the ones I've seen. Quite low scoring but tough games just the same - and I'll never tire of seeing women's sport on TV!

      That Cowboys v Broncos had another amazing finish. You just can't believe how closely matched those two sides are. I'd tipped Broncos but I found myself cheering for the Cowboys. There's something magnetic about JT. I have trouble not cheering for him, and waiting for his grin and laugh!

      Thanks for coming back after my huge break!

      Cate xo