Saturday, September 03, 2005

My trip to NZ & Australia

First of all...I'll be posting tomorrow or the next day with info on ways to help with relief efforts in the aftermath of Katrina.  So, watch this space...
 
And to read Tom's (in)famous trip reports, visit here.  He covers a lot of stuff I won't because my impressions are all about the people I met.  When we arrived in New Zealand, we had a couple of days before the conference started to sightsee, but after that...I was pretty much busy with speaking and getting to know the authors, booksellers and editors I met in Auckland.  The first chance I had was at a get together the night before the conference where I met Barbara Clendon for the first time as well as the other conference coordinators and out of town authors.  I also got to sit on a couch visiting with Yvonne Lindsey for over an hour.  It was GREAT!
 
I was a little nervous about speaking at the conference because I had so many sessions, but the overwhelming welcome I received from the very first moment settled my nerves right down.  That first day, I went to lunch with the other Harlequin authors and Stuart and Rosie from the Harlequin Australia office.  We dined in a swank Italian place that would make a fabulous setting for a special dinner in a book.  Hmm...  I got to meet and talk with some of my heroes...Daphne Clair, Robyn Donald and Susan Napier.  Can you say overwhelmed with delight?  LOL  It was truly lovely and to make it even better, I had a chance to sit beside Stuart, who has a charming wit and a real insight into marketing romance novels.  Fabulous man. :)
 
Back at the conference, I met more published authors and aspiring authors and listened to some really brilliant women talk about writing.  And at the Blue Moon cocktail party that night, I had a chance to talk to Rosie (an editor out of Aus HM&B's office) and realized I had another kindred spirit at Harlequin besides my editor Kim.  I love all the editors and staff at HM&B, I really do...but Kim is special and so is Rosie.  Two truly wonderful women you can't help but enjoy in person.  Which is why I was so happy to share Kim with my family at dinner our last night in New Zealand.  I have to say they all think she is as wonderful as I do!
 
Frankly, the conference was just too short for me...I could have hung around with those Kiwi and visiting romance authors for a lot longer. :)  But we moved on to Australia and my friend Serena met us at the airport!  It was so lovely to see her smiling face and to get to chat with her in person finally!  We made it to our apartment without much mishap and got to sightsee again before the conference commenced.  But this time, we spent one of the nights having dinner with Serena and a group of writers and their husbands she introduced us to.  It was like family and we all felt so comfortable with them that everyone has agreed that night was one of the major highlights of our trip.  Tom and Ed (Serena's husband) are both sci-fi buffs.  It was hard to tell who was doing more chatting, the romance writers together as a group for the first time, or their husbands who hit it off like brothers.  Very cool!
 
The conference itself was absolutely splendid and once again I got to spend time with Kim, Rosie & Stuart...but a ton of aspiring and published authors as well.  Trish Morey was there making me feel welcome with her sweet, sweet smile and two more of my all time favorite authors and women I admire more than I can say were there too...Emma Darcy and Helen Bianchin.  Oh, it was a grand time and I could have spent hours more chatting with and listening to these ladies.  I also got a chance to get to know Melanie Milburne a bit better (as we'd met for the first time in Reno - she's really lovely) and met Carol Marinelli, whom I adore.   and I've decided that HP authors are simply a very special breed indeed.  Not that I didn't love meeting everyone else, because you've just got to know that I did!  Fiona Brand has a smile that is totally infectious and Marion Lennox has one of the kindest natures of anyone I've ever met...and Anne Dunn is just plane funny and nice!  I'm forgetting somebody and I don't mean to, but it was a whirlwind trip with more impressions in my head than it can hold sometimes. :)
 
I came home rejuvenated and truly impressed with the beauty to be found in the people connected to the genre I love so much!
 
If I could afford this expense, these are two conferences I would attend every year.
 
Hugs,
Lucy

11 comments:

Kate Davies said...

Thanks for the update! Glad to hear you're back and had such a wonderful time. Take care!

Kati

Lucy Monroe said...

Thanks, Kati...it's good to be home. It really is...but man, it was a wonderful trip! :)

Danica said...

Lucy, thanks for the update! I am so jealous of your trip. If Kim would just hurry up and buy one of my books, maybe I could afford to go. Oh yeah, I need to send it to her first. ;) (This week-definitely shooting for this week)

Danica said...

Oh, and tell Tom I loved his NZ impressions! Can't wait to hear the rest

Anonymous said...

Lucy, sounds like your trip and conference were incredible. That's wonderful! Loved Tom's travelog and news.

Welcome home, we've missed you!

Marilyn

Lucy Monroe said...

LOL Thanks for posting Danica and Marilyn...it is so nice to be back in my own office I know so well. :)

Hugs,
Lucy

Anonymous said...

Lucy, Good to have you back. You met some of my favorite authors -- I am very jealous about that.

Can't remember if I congratulated you on the Cataromance award! If not, here's a huge CONGRATULATIONS! to you.

Can't post as a blogger since my password doesn't work -- and I can't find a way to retrieve it.

Have a wonderful day!
Lidia:-)

Lucy Monroe said...

Hi, Lidia! Great to see you and don't worry about the password thing. I've been having trouble on several romance boards signing in. It's like the Internet is having a hiccup or something. Anyway, thanks for the congrats on the Cataromance award. I was really chuffed to receive it. Those folks are so nice over there!

Thanks for posting!

Hugs,
Lucy

Yvonne Lindsay said...

Lucy, did I really monopolise you for a whole hour! Gee, doesn't time fly! LOL!

Lucy Monroe said...

LOL Yvonne...I sort of saw it the other way around as me monopolising you!

Hugs,
Lucy

TJBrown said...

Lucy, hi...

My name is Teri Brown and I am the Portland Editor for NW woman Magazine... I am also the book club managing editor. Can you please contact me at tBrown@northwestwoman.com.

I would love to talk to you!
Teri