I love attending conferences, and I love speaking at them. This one was no different. I attended great sessions that discussed family sagas, the state of historical fiction in publishing, and how to promote your book. Watch this space for notices of giveaways soon! I’ll be redesigning my webpage, and creating a cool flyer.
I was also a member of a panel on When They Were in the Closet: Writing LGBTQ Characters in Historical Fiction. One of the panelists was David Ebershoff, author of The Danish Girl and guest speaker at the conference. The five of us spoke to a group of about 50 conference goers, and it went very well. Emily Williams, my lesbian character in Under the Almond Trees, held her own with David’s transgender character, John Singer Sargent’s and Shakespeare’s bisexual relationships, a castrato in Boston, and Belle Epoch Paris with a variety of sexual relationships.
After the panel, I pitched Aloha Spirit to an agent. It’s a wonderful experience to speak in concise sentences about a story you used almost 100,000 words to tell! I met a lot of authors in various stages of writing historical fiction, as well as successful authors I admire very much like Gennifer Choldenko, Kate Forsyth, and Anne Easter Smith.
It was my first time in Portland, too. What a beautiful city! It was very hot, with snow-capped mountains in the distance and the beautiful Willamette River in the foreground. Best part of the city was a visit to Powell’s City of Books. It is the most incredible, largest bookstore I have ever seen!
Next year the Historical Novel Society Conference is in Edinburgh, Scotland. The year after that, the Northern American conference will be on the East Coast of the U.S. I hope I’ll be able to attend!
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