It was the Romantic Novelists’ Association conference and the room was full of love. It really was!
It was that time of year again. Time for the annual conference. Except excitement was mounting even more feverishly because it was going to be the first time we were able to meet in person for three years.
News of possible rail strikes and heatwaves put an edge of worry onto proceedings but, in the end, all was well.
It was the usual mix of workshops and lectures. No matter where you are in your writing career, you always learn a useful nugget or tip. Plus, it always fires up the writing mojo.
For a few of us who have been round the block for a while, the motive was socialising. It was such a treat to talk to people face to face after so long.
It can be an odd experience and overwhelming. You often spend time with the same people but completely miss others. Some are glimpsed across a crowded room but there’s not time to get chatting before the next session. And there’s always someone you really want to talk to and miss completely. Yes, I’m looking at you, Jenni Keer!
This year it was again held at Harper Adams University which is an agricultural college in Shropshire. A favourite venue because of its compact campus and good food. There was also a plastic cow. A star attraction.
It’s also my chance to catch up with an old friend made at a previous conference who always gives me a present. You know who you are, naughty lady! I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve them, but this year’s was a gorgeous pheasant mug. It goes back to a standing joke developed during a vaguely hysterical lockdown phone call and it’s now been adopted as my official writing mug!
I also always get given a new fan by pal Lynn Forth, Queen of Fannage. With temperatures rising to 30C on Sunday it came in handy.
A Gala Dinner crowned the event.
This year I’d decided to go by train and travelled up with fellow Devon resident and writer of superb cosy crime, Helena Dixon. The return journey, featuring The Suitcase of Doom, will have a blog all of its own. Watch this space …