After two weeks, I finally got through my stack of notes, business cards, book marks, web addresses, and handouts from the Historical Novel Society Conference held in Schaumburg, Illinois from June 12 to 14.
Wow! What an education.
From the excellent and diverse panels, such as "Place as Character" and "Is Sex Necessary" and then bouncing between "We're Not in Kansas Anymore" and "Historical Boys" or "Talking the Talk" and "Historical Accuracy vs. Plot," just to mention a few, the problem became trying to choose which events to attend during the allotted time slots. As a writer, I felt energized by the quality and quantity of new ideas, and as a teacher, the pedagogical format was something I strive for. As Horace puts it, the purpose of poetry and literature is to "teach and delight," and this was seamlessly accomplished at the panels I attended.
BTW, the dinners (and cocktail parties) were just as educational. From the interesting and funny conversations--Barbarian Hotness with Dawna Rand, Exotic Erotica with Jade Lee, and submission tips by Pam Strickler-- to great insights offered by not just published authors, but successful published authors. Recommendations by Christopher Gortner (The Last Queen) on website development and promotions plus blog recommendations and writing tips left me with hours of fun research (do sign yourself up for Google Alert, it will certainly make you feel important the first time you get "alerted"). I'm looking forward to Karen Essex's (Leonardo's Swans) next project on Dracula and I believe I now have something to watch on TV after talking to Kamran Pasha, who not only wrote Mother of Believers, but scripts for Sleeper Cell and Kings. OMG! And Diana Gabaldon and Margaret George were both charming and put up with my babbling for at least a couple minutes.
I can't forget to mention the "Late-Night Sex Scene Reading"(Yikes!) and Eileen Charbonneau's revised edition of "Old Time Religion." I can't that line about Aphrodite's nightie out of my head.
I was mesmerized, but next time I must take better notes.