Skip to content

ARRC2011 wrap up: Saturday

16 April 2011

A very early start on Saturday. Another buffet breakfast and then off to start. First was moving all the rest of the boxes out of storage and over to the Bellevue Terrace, where the book-signing would be held. Then we had to move all the goodie bags around to the ballroom, ready for when the delegates arrived. And lay out the first 20 of the prize packs for people to ooh and ahh over. Plus set up a goodie table at each side of the room – there were boxes and boxes of items from authors to set out on those tables.

By 8.00 am we were just about ready to go. There were delegates there already, and you could just tell they were excited to get started. Some delegates were already making good use of the early start to walk through the Silent Auction room. Finally it was 9.00 am and time to start. Here’s a summary of the sessions.

Anna Campbell

The convention proper kicked off with keynote Anna Campbell. Anna’s speech was about how Australian romance authors are conquering the world. Anna entertained delegates with a slide show of covers from well-known Australian romances, including the very first romance she had ever read (at the age of 8!), which was The Feel of Silk by Joyce Dingwell. For most it was a nice stroll down memory lane and there were lots of murmurs from the audience when a cover they recognised appeared.

All in all a very entertaining reflection on talented Australian authors, and a great way to start the convention.


Lexxie Couper (far right in photo) was the moderator of the Paranormal panel, joined by (L to R) Keri Arthur, Nalini Singh, Maggie Nash and Rhian Cahill. By all accounts this panel was hilarious.

Topics covered included “Why paranormal?”, “Why does the paranormal and romance go together so well?”, “How important is the Happy Ever After, or can you get away with Happy For Now?” and “Are there still new places paranormal romances can go?”.  Strangely most topics seemed to end up back at zombies and ducks – don’t ask!

Outback and In Love

This panel consisted of (L to R) Bronwyn Parry,  Michelle Douglas, Cristina Lee, Karly Lane (moderator), Amy Andrews and Fiona McArthur. The session was very enjoyable.

All the authors spoke about their love of ‘the cowboy’ and rugged station owners and the reasons they write these stories. Bronwyn Parry talked about romantic suspense set in the outback and the places that you could hide dead bodies LOL. A very enjoyable session and Christina Lee from HMB handed out a copy of Fiona McCallum’s book Paycheque to all attendees.

This one time

Led by Erica Hayes (far right in photo), this panel featured (L to R) Helene Young, Shannon Curtis, Anna Campbell and Jess Dee. They discussed real-life experiences that have ended up in one of their books, which covered a wide range of experiences from finding a dead body to listening in on other’s conversations. A hot topic was the link (or lack of one) between sex scenes and research, which lead into a discussion of what family and friends think of the sex scenes they write. Double entendres galore on this panel!

Romantic suspense

The romantic suspense panel was moderated by Bronwyn Parry (far left in photo). Joining her were (L to R) Cindy Gerard, Karlene Blakemore-Mowle, Helene Young, and Shannon Curtis.

The discussion included some of the weird of scary things they have done in the name of research – jumping off cliffs, shooting guns, being tied up and even crashing a flight simulator to see what it would feel like; as well as some of the interesting people they have been in contact with, including army and special forces personnel, gun experts, medical examiners and police.


This panel featured (L to R) Cathleen Ross, Maggie Nash, Lexxie Couper, Denise Rossetti (moderator), Jess Dee and Rhian Cahill. Topics covered included pet peeves in erotica, trends in erotica and what is too far and also a true confessions session where authors discussed their hot buttons. And somehow zombies and ducks made it into the discussion again!


Led by Melanie Milburne (far left in photo), panelists (L to R) Amy Andrews, Cristina Lee, Kandy Shepherd, Fiona McArthur and Anna Campbell explored all aspects of the publishing industry today. They talked about their own journeys to publishing, about how the time from submission to publishing can vary greatly due to a number of factors, and about how important the right release date can be.

Discussion then moved to social media and self-promotion. How much is too much (or not enough), what works and what doesn’t and how to balance your writing time with the time it can take to maintain a website, blog or other online social media.

Nalini Singh

The last talk of the afternoon was Nalini’s keynote speech. Nalini talked about writing two different ongoing series and how they differ from each other. She said that learning how to manage the ongoing arc has been challenging and that she developed a “bible” to keep all the facts for each series straight so that she didn’t contradict herself from one book to the next.

Nalini also said that she has known since the very beginning what the ending of the Psy/Changeling series will be, she just doesn’t know how many books she will be able to write in the series before she gets there.

She also confessed that even once the series has ended she will still secretly be writing about the Psy/Changeling world – that we would have to pry the keyboard out of her cold hands.

Book-signing session

Once all the speeches had ended it was time for the book-signing session. There were 34 authors signing, with plenty of opportunity to pick up a new book to try and to chat with authors and have photos taken. The crowd would thin out periodically as people headed over to the Silent Auction room to check on “their” items, but there were also queues for our international visitors as the readers took advantage of what could well be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Even new authors (some without a book to actually sign yet) had fun meeting readers and sharing preview booklets and other goodies.

  1. Aimee permalink
    15 May 2011 5:43 pm

    Fantastic day, Same as you Barbara, will have to look into cloning!

    Aimee (nonmoty)

  2. Barbara permalink
    16 April 2011 5:45 pm

    Thanks to all the authors for the panels and the book signings…. after reading this can’t wait for the recording of the panels I couldn’t go to…. should have been able to split my self into 3 LOL

  3. Maggie Nash permalink
    16 April 2011 4:20 pm

    Saturday was a busy day for me! I had a ball…thanks ARRA for putting it on, and thanks everyone who came!

  4. vikki permalink
    16 April 2011 1:23 pm

    ok want to know how to become moty lol just to pee aimee off of course!!!! loved cindy gerard, keri, nalini and all authors that attended was the best!!!!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: