Well, my first romance conference anyway. For those not in the know, RNA stands for the Romance Novelists Association and I must admit I didn’t know the RNA even existed up until a few months ago.

I am so glad I know now and I had a thoroughly good time at their conference in Penrith on Saturday. Unfortunately I could only make it for the one day, I really do wish I had been able to do the full conference and will look to do that next year I think.

Now, to get there and back and to enjoy the full day, I got up at 4am. Yes, there is a 4 o’clock in the morning and honestly, I don’t fancy seeing it again any time soon. I started my journey at 5am and here I am looking particularly sleepy at the bus stop at the end of the road.

The train journey was long and I dosed off several times but when I was awake i admired the beautiful countryside that I was traveling through. It was green and lush with craggy hills and deep valleys filled with bright flowers in purples and yellows and frolicking lambs with their mothers. I was inspired to write and I’d not even reached the conference.

I was a little nervous at first, but people were smiley and friendly and even though I felt like everyone else knew each other I soon started chatting and found myself feeling more and more at home.

The first session I attended (after rifling through my wonderful bag of freebies!) was that of Victoria Connelly who talked compellingly about surviving rejection. She was great, her eyes shone every time she talked about her writing and it was clear that she was a true author, her words really mattered to her. I found it very reassuring to know that all authors had things rejected and Victoria strengthened me in my resolve. After all we all know what you should do when at first you don’t succeed!

Next up Editors for Mills&Boon Jenny Hutton and Meg Lewis talked about ‘digging deeper’. I found this session particularly eye opening. It really made me think about my characters and how I can get the maximum emotional depth from them. It was incredibly inspirational and set my mind racing with ideas.

At the coffee break I finally tracked down Total-E-Bound Publisher Claire Siemaszkiewicz. It was great to put a face to the name of the person who allays all my fears and answers all my silly questions.

After Lunch I listened to Moira Briggs a lovely foxy lady from the literary blog Vulpes Libris I thoroughly recommend you follow her around the internet, not only is she clever and entertaining she is wonderfully witty as well. I have started to follow her on twitter, you really should too.

Then in the break I bumped into the lovely Saskia Walker a fellow Total-E-Bound author and a total sweetheart. We gabbed away like old friends and settled down to listen to Jodi Thomas. Jodi is a joy to listen too and I happened to sit with her at lunch. She was a delightful luncheon companion and I am embarrassed to say I didn’t realise who she was until she walked into her “Romancing the American Markets'” Session.

Now I am a converted fan and I’m very happy to own a signed copy of the wonderfully titled ‘Tall, Dark and Texan’.

The day was passing rapidly and next was the big Total-E-Bound session I was thoroughly looking forward too. Before it started I had a good chat with Claire and Saskia and we got some photo’s before the session got started.

One of Claire and I infront of the TEB logo (Thanks Saskia)

and One of Saskia and I looking fabulous, of course!

I think we were all thrilled at the numbers who attended and it was a really good session. I don’t think we had enough time for all we wanted to say about e-publishing and the joy of erotic writing but I am happy to take any questions in comments here that anyone wants to ask me.

Then there was time for a swift drink with Claire in the good ‘ol SU bar and then I had to make my weary way home.

In conclusion, I had a brilliant day and learned so very, very much but on top of that I met some wonderful people and made some great new friends.