The last weekend of March was the super-busy crush of the California Dreamin’ Conference and it seems like I’m still recovering! Three hundred authors came together for three days in Brea, California to connect (and reconnect) with friends, industry professionals, and readers, and to learn from the best in the business.
Between the conference and the busy Easter holiday weekend, I’m bushed! So instead of a discussion of Georgian and/or Regency history or characters, I’m sharing some California Dreamin’ photos.
Author April Kihlstrom took her Book in a Week program and presented a four hour book camp for the California Dreamin’ Conference. My favorite insights:
Start your writing in a mental “state of play”. Write in a spirit of fun.
All those questions for developing characters and themes? You don’t have to have all the answers at the beginning. Ask them and move on. Your subconscious will give you the answers when you need them.
What Would Jane Austen Tweet? Isn’t that a great title for a presentation on how a romance author should use Twitter? Sarah Vance-Tompkins was awesome! My favorite line: Keep it Light, Bright, and Polite!
Author Tameri Etherton‘s mascot, Lady Dazzleton, joined us for one of the excellent California Dreamin’ dinners. (Tameri was there also!)
Anne Cleeland spoke on the oh-so-controversial subject of accuracy in historical fiction. Believe me, in writing circles, sparks fly between historical purists and the rest of us on this subject. My favorite takeaway: Know your readers, and write to their expectations.
Author Tessa Dare spoke on Hooks, High Concept, and Writing Big. Not having been born with a marketing brain, these buzzwords put me into a total brain fog. Tessa’s talk provided helpful insights, and the key one: It’s about the marketing!
The conference featured a whole self-publishing track and one of my favorite presentations was this panel on Kindle publishing. At the podium is author Debra Holland and seated are representatives from Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords and Amazon Author and Publishing Relations. Plus, the Kindle team had a special open house for one-on-one discussions and questions.
I was too blown away by Author Lisa Kessler‘s presentations on crafting Black Moments to take pictures. My takeaway: make the black moment big and bad! She spent the last part of her talk helping authors twist their characters into the necessary knots to make things more awful for them. Make them suffer! Lisa was awesome, as usual. If you are an author reading this, check out one of her workshops!
The next California Dreamin’ conference is already in the works. Mark your calendars for March, 2017!
All Images: Wikimedia and the author