Posts Tagged ‘Claire Watts’

The RNA Conference 2017

Anna Belfrage, Claire Watts and Gill-Marie Stewart

It’s amazing how much fun it can be to sit in a student kitchen with your friends and talk about everything under the sun!  From happy-ever-afters to religion, women’s football to social welfare, hot heroes and suitable heroines, and most of all how the writing is going …  That is the wonderful thing about the RNA conferences!  There is never a dull moment and you never run out of people to talk to and catch up with, or topics of conversation.

I must have been to at least fifteen of these conferences by now and it never gets old.  Each year it is just as much fun and there are always interesting talks on a variety of subjects.  I learn something new each time and come away feeling inspired and more enthusiastic about writing, fired up and ready to go … once I’ve had some time to recover from the late nights and early mornings.  Because who needs to sleep, when there is so much to do?  Sleeping can be done afterwards!

Anna with a member of our audience

This time I attended some great talks, among them Janet Gover’s excellent one about how to manipulate pictures using programmes like Adobe Photoshop – I am now itching to go and play around with photos to see what I can do!  There was also the brilliant and very useful talk by Ruth Long (R F Long) on how to do talks at schools.  She had some great advice and made me feel inspired to give it a try.

I also participated in talks myself – one with the lovely Anna Belfrage, where we discussed time slip vs time travel and what an author writing in these sub-genres has to bear in mind.  We had a wonderful audience who had some great suggestions when it came to finding a way to time travel that a reader could find plausible.

Then there was the talk with my fellow Paisley Piranhas (Gill-Marie Stewart, Claire Watts and Katy Haye) in which we discussed romance and relationships in YA novels.  Our audience braved the early hour (nine on a Sunday morning after the gala dinner!) and we had some fun creating a YA plot together.

The Paisley Piranhas – Claire, Gill-Marie, me and Katy

As happens every year, there were some great talks that I missed – because you just can’t be in two places at once, sadly! – and people I didn’t have time to chat to, but there is always next year and I’ll definitely be there! Huge thanks to the organisers for this time!

Claire and Gill-Marie heading off to the gala dinner with Henriette Gyland

The Piranhas in our glad rags

At the gala dinner with Henriette

You need special conference nails …

… and shoes!

YA Launch Party in Scotland

I absolutely love Scotland and will take any excuse to go there, so although it’s a very long drive, I jumped at the chance for a visit last weekend.  And I had a very good reason to go – the launch party of the Paisley Piranhas!

That might sound a bit strange and has nothing to do with fish – Paisley Piranhas is a group of YA authors (including me) who are working together to promote our teen books, and Sunday saw our official launch party at the Robert Burns Centre in Dumfries.  A fab little cinema, we were able to use it to launch our books and to have a private showing of The Princess Bride, one of our all-time favourite movies (which also happens to be mentioned in one of the books).

Claire, Gill-Marie and I (missing Katy!)

Claire, Gill-Marie and I (missing Katy!)

With sweets, snacks and drinks on offer, as well as our books of course, it was a great afternoon and we were very pleased to welcome so many lovely people.  Claire Watts, Gill-Marie Stewart and myself had a fab time and were only sorry the fourth member of our gang, Katy Haye, couldn’t be with us on the day.  Next time for sure!

The Paisley Piranha books so far are:-

Gill-Marie Stewart – Music and Lies

Claire Watts – What They Don’t Tell You About Love in the Movies

Katy Haye – The Last Gatekeeper

Pia Fenton – New England Crush

Here are some photos from the event – huge thanks to everyone who came and Gill’s and Claire’s families who went above and beyond the call of duty to help us!

(For more information about Paisley Piranha and our books, please check out our website here)

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