by Michelle Douglas
Last Saturday I took part in a panel entitled Heart of the Matter: Writing Romance at the inaugural Newcastle Writers Festival. And it was the best fun!
The other panellists were:
Deborah Challinor, who writes gripping historical novels with strong romantic elements.
Kaz Delaney who writes wildly funny young adult romances.
Cathryn Hein, who writes the most marvellous and emotional rural romances.
The panel was very graciously, and stylishly, moderated by our own divine Ms Annie West.
|From left to right: Michelle Douglas, Cathryn Hein, Kaz Delaney, Deborah Challinor and Annie West|
All of us either live in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie area or have links there. The event itself was held in the Newcastle City Business Centre—a lovely venue. It’s the old National Bank building, and in the photo below you can see the gorgeous ceiling and chandelier.
Of course, while it’s amazing to spend time with other writers, it’s the readers that make an event like this such an amazing experience. At a rough guesstimate there would’ve been thirty attendees, so we decided to leave plenty of time for a Q & A at the end. I swear we could’ve kept going for at least another 30 minutes. And that’s a conservative guess. :-)
We were asked the most amazing questions. What did we think made romance such a popular genre? Why didn’t many men write romance when they could write such wonderful love song lyrics? What were our own enduring personal themes and/or messages?
Man, did that audience make me ponder my writing, consider my own deeper motivations and reflect upon my chosen genre. I know I wasn’t the only panellist who found it a valuable and rewarding exercise.
So my question to you is: As a reader, have you ever attended a similar event? And if you asked a question, what was it?