Thursday, June 18, 2009

HNS Conference - The Report

Okay. It's been a while. First things first:

Status Report : Working on Chapter 11. A little more than 31K words down.
And I have now published three articles on Associated Content, with another submitted last night and more to come this weekend. It's a start.

I got to attend the third North American conference of the Historical Novel Society last weekend in Chicago. What a great weekend!

In short, the weekend was fantastic. It is always great to spend time with like-minded nerds, and this convention was full of them--writers of Tudor adventure stories, Regency romances, ancient and even Biblical fiction, all talking research methods, writing techniques, the business of publication, the state of the industry. Comparing notes about weapons and their affects. Discussing whether Arthur was a real man or a myth, and whether he was king or just war-leader, and whether he lived in the fifth century or the sixth. Truly a Histry Nerd's dream.

Yeah. Are you bored yet?

I wasn't. I got to reconnect with some old contacts from the Albany conference back in 2007, and make some entirely new ones. I attended some fascinating panel discussions, from the best new historical fiction, to research methods, to convincing historical dialogue, to writing about non-Western cultures like ancient Egypt or early Islam or Native Americans. The two author guests of honor, Margaret George and Sharon Kay Penman (Edward Rutherford had to skip the conference for a family emergency), gave enjoyable and encouraging talks at the two suppers on Friday and Saturday evenings, and Trish Todd's editor address at Saturday's lunch left many of us feeling maybe publication isn't so impossible after all.

But best of all was the chance to mingle with old friends and new, to speak with writers who have lots of books in print and with those who, like me, are still struggling to get published. To meet with my friend whose second book just came out this year, and know that the last time I saw her she had just signed her book deal and a few months before that she was right where I am now--unpublished but determined.

I left energized and inspired, believing in myself and my words and confident that one day, sooner or later, I will realize this dream. And aware that I have choices ahead of me: I can wait for the dream to come to me, chase after it like a hungry dog--or hunt it down with a club.

I've got my club in my hand. Watch out, dream.