Posts Tagged ‘Janet Gover’

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!

Catching Up

Receiving a lovely thank you gift from the RNA President Katie Fforde and the new Chair Eileen Ramsay

Receiving a lovely thank you gift from the RNA President Katie Fforde and the new Chair Eileen Ramsay

It’s been a hectic couple of weeks that brought a major change to my life – I am no longer the chairman of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association.  As of their AGM (on 21st May) I finished my term in office and was free to attend the RNA’s Summer Party as just another member – bliss!  As you can see from the photos here (and below), it was a fun evening as always, hosted by my successor – the lovely Eileen Ramsay!  I’m sure she’s going to be a fabulous chair and I wish her all the best!

With Gill Stewart, Janet Gover and Joss Stirling

With Gill Stewart, Janet Gover and Joss Stirling

I have enjoyed my two years as chair very much (have I told you I’m very bossy and love organising things?), but I can’t deny it’s eaten into my writing time (and other things) so it will be nice to get back to something resembling normality again.  Since the party, I have already finished off a new Regency novella I’ve been meaning to work on for ages – which will hopefully be published in the not too distant future – and have been working on edits of book three in my YA series about the teenagers at Northbrooke High, New England TLC.  With a bit of luck that will be published very soon!

BullarMeanwhile, I had a mini holiday in Sweden visiting friends and relatives and catching up on my cinnamon bun consumption – trust me, they are truly delicious!  I think I may need to do some baking very soon …

Brigid Coady - winner of the Joan Hessayon Award at the RNA party

Brigid Coady – winner of the Joan Hessayon Award at the RNA party

With Catriona Robb and Giselle Green

With Catriona Robb and Giselle Green

With Alison Morton and Gill Stewart

With Alison Morton and Gill StewartR



Travel Destinations – Janet Gover

As everyone probably knows by now, Japan is one of my all-time favourite places in the world to visit. But there are so many other wonderful destinations, so to celebrate the e-book publication of my new novel The Jade Lioness, I’ve asked some of my fellow authors to tell me what their favourite exotic (or not so exotic?) travel destinations are and to recount some of their travel tales (good or bad!). Today I welcome Janet Gover to tell us about hers:-

Janet pic 1I love wild places. I think it comes from growing up in the Australian bush. I also love history, so those are the places that attract me.

I particularly love the South West of the USA: New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Arizona. It’s wild and beautiful and unique in so many ways. My holidays there really stand out in my memories for so many reasons.

I fulfilled a life-long wish when I visited the pueblo cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde in Colorado. It’s amazing that a whole culture existed here – climbing and an out of these dwellings by simple hand holds in the rocks. There are slightly safer paths for tourists now, thank goodness!

In the middle of the New Janet pic 4Mexico desert, inside a secure missile range, is the Trinity Site where the world’s first atomic bomb was exploded. Growing up in the nuclear age, I always wanted to see that site and was thrilled to learn you can go there. The site is open to the public on just two days a year. We formed a convoy and were escorted in by military police. It was an awesome feeling to stand in a place where one event changed the whole world.

Janet pic 2The craziest place I went to was just inside the same military base. It’s officially a Missile Museum, but actually looked a lot like a spare room where you just dump everything you don’t use any more but don’t want to throw away… or rather how that room would look if you were a military superpower. The buildings and the area around them are littered with leftover missiles and bombs, looking like a child has tossed them aside after playing with them. I couldn’t help but wonder what those missiles were pointing at – just in case…..

Like you, Christina, I have been to Japan several times and do enjoy it. But my favourite place in the whole world – well, Australia of course. That’s why I set my books there. You can find out more about that on my website at

Janet coverThank you, Janet, that sounds awesome!  And I’m sure the Australian outback is equally as amazing – I hope to visit both places myself one day.

For anyone who wants to visit the Australian outback from the comfort of their sofas, Janet’s latest novel, The Wild One, is now available in e-book from all major platforms.

Please come back tomorrow to hear from Sue Moorcroft.



The RNA at Blists Hill Victorian Town

Jenny Barden and Janet Gover at Wellington Library

I have just returned from the RNA conference, which was held at Newport near Telford this year, and I’ve had a lovely time!  The weekend began with a series of reader events, first at Wellington Library where many of our authors took part in talks and activities, and then at Blists Hill Victorian Town in Ironbridge Gorge where we put on a ‘Meet-the-Author’ and book signing/selling event.  And what a fab time we had!

There were authors of historical romance, Regency romance, sagas, steampunk and alternative history, and the displays were as diverse as they were wonderful!  Visitors to the Goods Shed (where the event was being held courtesy of the lovely team at Blists Hill) could come and look at exquisite Regency fans and prints, medical instruments from the 1940’s, a model of the Roman Coliseum, Titanic and suffragettee memorabilia, Elizabethan musket balls, Georgian scents and alternative history books of the UK.  Our authors had gone to great lengths to make it all as authentic as possible, which was much appreciated.

Many of us had dressed up in costume and I loved every one of them – see photos below – although I have to say that my favourites were the steampunk ones.  But everyone looked just right for their chosen period and the attention to detail was brilliant!  I really enjoyed the day and I hope all the visitors did too.  A huge thank you to Blists Hill for hosting us!

Carol McGrath as a 12th century lady

Freda Lightfoot in her lovely outfit

Suffragette Juliet Greenwoood

Kate Johnson in her gorgeous steampunk outfit

The seriously cool Liesel Schwarz

The lovely Mary Nichols

Regency ladies Romy Gemmell and Annie Burrows

Regency authors Nicola Cornick and Anne Stenhouse

Nurse Jean Fullerton in very authentic costume

Alison Morton and the Roman Coliseum

A buzzing Goods Shed

Romantic Times Convention 2014 – New Orleans – Part I

Laissez les bon temps rouler! – let the good times roll – was a phrase I saw and heard over and over again in New Orleans during the past week, and we definitely did!  This year’s RT Convention was bigger than ever before and even more fun!  At least after we ironed out a few initial glitches (which all had to do with airlines and shipping rather than the convention itself, I have to stress) …

Having attended RT last year, I was really looking forward to going back and it was great to know what to expect this time.  I’d booked my spot in ‘promo alley’ and packed a lot of UK goodies for a gift basket to be raffled, plus I’d spent ages putting together some swag – in other words, I came prepared!  Unfortunately our flight from London was delayed and we missed our connection to New Orleans from Washington, and for some reason our bags were sent to Chicago and stayed there for two days.  Not ideal!  Just as we were beginning to despair, though, they all turned up in time with the swag intact – phew!

The Choc Lit author team this year consisted of myself, Sue Moorcroft, Janet Gover, Liz Harris, Beverley Eikli and Kate Johnson.  We had a very British table as our base and took turns to sell books there and chat to attendees, which was lovely!  I don’t suppose anyone can have missed the fact that we were from the UK, with all those flags 🙂 (and some lovely mini koalas and kangaroos to show that we had two Aussie authors as part of the group of course).

Me, Liz, Kate and Beverley

We did a panel talk about heroes & heroines and how to create a spark between them, held a ‘tea party’ for booksellers and librarians plying them with proper English tea and shortbread, and we attended lots of talks, workshops and parties between us.  It was all huge fun!  I particularly enjoyed the ‘Call my Historical Bluff’ session devised by Susanna Kearsley and her friends, which featured some fiendishly difficult words.

In between, we explored the French Quarter of the city, which was just outside the hotel, and it was so beautiful and fascinating, I’ll have to do another post with pics of that tomorrow!

I’ll just leave you with some photos from the Convention and of the view from our room – the mighty Mississippi river in daylight, at night and close up (very muddy!).  I was reminded not to go swimming in it in case I came across an alligator.  The only way I wanted to meet one of those was in a restaurant – deep fried and delicious!

Mississippi - early morning

Mississippi - at night

Muddy water of the Mississippi

Me with the lovely winner of my raffle gift basket

Preparing for the Choc Lit tea party

Saints & Sinners party

Saints & Sinners goodies

Even dogs were allowed to dress up!

Me with a dragon friend!

Gator bites!

Voodoo queen?