If you’re someone who loves historical fiction, you should consider giving yourself the gift (or asking someone to give it to you! Spring birthday, anyone?) of attending the Historical Novels Society conference this June in St. Petersburg, Florida.
What is the conference? A gathering of people who love historical fiction.
Some of us will be writers, some of us will be readers, some are literary agents, some are editors with publishing houses. There are opportunities, if you’re a writer, to learn more about the craft of writing. If you have a manuscript you’re interested in pitching, you can have a free meet-up with several well-known agents and editors. If you’re a reader, there are opportunities galore to hear authors talking about their books, their research, the golden allure of the past.
I attended my first HNS conference in 2011 in San Diego. Besides listening in on panels that had so much great information I scribbled notes all over my conference brochure, I got to meet several people who are very important to me now.
And that’s the other part of conferences that’s so attractive: meeting like-minded people who form a community of people who love the past.
One was Susan Spann, then an unpublished author pitching a novel: this year, she’ll be coming as an author (and panelist) whose book will be published by Minotaur the month after the conference. Within two years, she has gotten a three-book deal and ushered the first of the series through to publication. I just met with her yesterday and saw the gorgeous galley (prepublication paperback version) of her novel Claws of the Cat.
I met Susan when we started chatting in the conference bookstore (that’s another benefit of the conference; you can get your books autographed by the authors) and then agreed to meet up for dinner. We had a great time getting to know each other and I was psyched to learn she lived in the city I was about to move to. She’s now my closest friend here, and we have loved sharing manuscripts with each other, advice, cheering on, and fellowship. I’m not claiming you’ll meet a bestie at the conference, but you will for sure be surrounded by people who love what you love, and if you can strike up a conversation you might just make a wonderful connection.
I was also excited to have the chance to meet for the first time with my former Crown editor Heather Lazare. That’s one of the oddball things about publishing; you often never meet the people who have such an effect on your life. I had lunch with her and the ever-fabulous Michelle Moran.
I had many great conversations with people throughout the conference--too many to mention, but I’m excited to see you all again in a few months!-- and was happy to be in the same ballroom with people who love to read… and love to read historical fiction in particular.
I’ll be on a panel at HNS this year, “The Witchcraft Window: Scrying the Past.” If you loved The Heretic’s Daughter, or Daughters of the Witching Hill, or The Afflicted Girls, or my novel The Witch’s Trinity, come and hear us authors talk about what drew all of us to this topic. There are many, many other fantastic panels to choose from. See the conference website where the schedule is already posted.
Registration is open now and the conference is actually quite reasonable in price. It’s $350 for the weekend which includes all meals (and there’s also a few events on Friday too). If you’re a member of HNS, it’s only $325. The guests of honor are well-known bestselling authors Anne Perry, Steve Berry and C.W. Gortner.
Please visit http://hns-conference.org/ for more information…and hopefully to register! See you there.
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