Friday, June 28, 2013

A Newby at the Historical Novel Conference

Me with Kate Quinn and Stephanie Dray. These gals rock!
     I attended my first Historical Novel Society conference last weekend and, y'all, I have found mah people! Seriously, it was so awesome to be around folks who don't roll their eyes when you start talking history but actually share your obsession. Plus, I got to be on a panel about writing fiction set in the ancient world with the incomparable Stephanie Dray, Kate Quinn, and Margaret George. Me! On a panel. With them! Still boggles.
Margaret George and Gillian Blackwell at the costume contest.
     We had a quizz/giveaway contest after our panel but ran out of time, leaving us with leftover prizes that we really didn't want to have to lug home. I saw Margaret George taking away her offering (a cool Greek costume) and on impulse held up my book and asked, "Want to trade?"
     Amazingly, she said, "Yes." And there I was, giving Margaret George my novel in exchange for her costume. Guys, Margaret George has my novel! And she said she wanted to read it. She was probably just being polite, but still. 
Kris Waldher with her fake absinthe.
     The best part of the conference was meeting up with so many wonderful people, especially my uber-talented cousin, Kris Waldherr. Here she is in a pre-Raphaelite tea dress that she sewed herself in her spare time. You know, when she wasn't writing fascinating novels, illustrating gorgeous goddesses, hosting art salons, or being a mom.
Teralyn as a pregnant Vestal Virgin brought the house down.
     I also loved meeting Teralyn Pilgrim, who won the costume contest as a pregnant Vestal Virgin. How awesome is that? 
     Teralyn also hosted a fascinating panel on religion in historical fiction featuring Sophie Perinot, Kamaram Pasha, Mary Sharratt, and Stephanie Dray. The talent on that panel was ridiculous. The conference was chock full of fascinating presentations and it was hard figuring out which one to attend (first world problems--having an overabundance of intellectually stimulating presentation options!).
     Saturday night, after the banquet, Diana Gabaldon
Bestselling author Diana Gabaldon on writing great sex scenes.
(yes, that Diana Gabaldon) hosted a "sex scene" reading. Many wonderful authors shared their work, leaving the audience alternately sighing, giggling, fanning themselves or laughing out loud--the latter with one brilliantly comic scene read by author Erika Mailman.

     I am forever grateful to Stephanie Dray who initially invited me to participate on the fiction in the ancient world panel. The experience has definitely motivated me to become more involved with HNS!


Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

It sounds AWESOME!!!! But where is the photo of YOU in your toga???? :) e

Stephanie Thornton said...

I wish I could have been there, but I've already got plans for 2015!

Judith Geary said...

Love the HNS conference. I've been as an editor and an author but not for several years. I hope to be able to go again some time. Glad you had such a good time. Maybe we'll hit there the same year sometime.

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

Thanks for commenting, e. Stephanie and Judith, maybe I'll see you in 2015!