Saturday, March 30, 2013

More pics from ARRA

I promised you some more photos from ARRC (The Australian Romance Readers Association Convention.) I didn't actually take many — I was too busy speaking  (on panels and on stage as well as to lovely ARRA members) to take photos, but I did manage to get a few, mainly on the awards night, where I didn't have much to do. So here's me, with the other keynote speakers, the wonderful Kristan Higgins and Rachel Vincent.
This pic was taken at the end of the Historical Romance panel. I'd brought a bunch of bright feather fans, to get us all in the mood, and at the end, when we posed for photos, well, things got a a bit silly. :) And for once, it wasn't my fault. I blame Cathy Maxwell for this one. LOL

And here's Aimée, a Melbourne ARRAite with a wicked sense of humour — appropriately attired. 

 Kristan Higgins did a wonderful job. She performed all her duties brilliantly — and still managed to get herself photographed with a bunch of firemen. If I didn't know better I'd suspect it was she who set off the fire alarm.
 Two ARRA heroines — Rose and Debbie P.
One of the features of ARRC is the "bling-off" at the awards night — everyone wears fabulous bling, and there's a competition for the best bling. Here are some of the competitors, lining up.
And here are the two joint winners — and don't they look fabulous?
It was a brilliant conference. Thank you Debbie Jay (Convention Coordinator), Debbie Phillips (ARRA Prez) and all the amazing ARRA volunteers who worked so hard to make everything go so beautifully. It was an honor and a privilege to be part of such a wonderful event.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

At the Australian Romance Readers Conference

I'm up in Brisbane, capital city of Queensland, at ARRC— that's the Australian Romance readers Conference, which is held every two years.

Friday night was just the kick off. We started with Lady Jane's Salon, which is an event that usually takes place in New York. It's a salon where romance writers read from their books, while the audience — a mixture of readers and writers and interesting blow-ins, sip wine and listen. Fun and very civilized.

I attended a New York one a few years back, taken there by Andrea Pickens/Penrose/Cara Elliot, along with Mary Jo Putney, Joanna Bourne, and Kelly Hunter. We descended into this dimly lit cellar-type room, filled with eclectic furniture and paintings and people -- masses of people. It was extra crowded because so many people were in for the RWA conference. We found seats and wine and settled in for a fun night. . .

So it was lovely to have Lady Jane's Salon held in Brisbane, and though there was no cellar, and the walls weren't red and covered with interesting artwork, there were authors reading excerpts from their books to a very appreciative audience. Here's a not-very-good photo of the participants — from left, Hope Tarr (who organized it), Amy Andrews, Keri Arthur, Anna Campbell and Cathy Maxwell.

After that came the ARRC welcome reception with drinks and nibbles, and the big surprise for me were these particular three options in the drinks menu — cocktails named in honor of the three keynote speakers, of which I was one.

So it was very cool to be drinking an "Anne Gracie" with my friends — it was a margarita, really, which happens to be one of my favorite cocktails. The "Rachel Vincent" was a mojito and it looked fabulous, stuffed with mint leaves, and the "Kristan Higgins" was an apple martini. Lots of fun!

I'll report on the rest of the conference in a few days.