Posts Tagged ‘Nicola Cornick’

HNS Conference – Oxford 2016

photo(2)Just back from the 2016 Historical Novel Society (HNS) conference in Oxford where I had a wonderful time, as always!

The venue was superb in a truly beautiful city and I was lucky enough to have time for a quick wander round when I arrived on the Friday afternoon.  I had a look at some of the famous colleges – including one with a fierce-looking porter/guard wearing a bowler hat! – and then managed a lightning tour of the Ashmolean Museum.  I’ve wanted to see King Alfred’s jewel for ages and although it was a bit smaller than I’d expected, it was lovely.  Plus they had a lot of other interesting objects and paintings as well – I will have to go back some day for a longer

Once the conference itself got going there was no time for sight-seeing – we were kept busy with some fantastic talks, panels and workshops, and among the main speakers were Melvyn Bragg and Tracy Chevalier, both excellent.

Shield maiden? I wish!

Shield maiden? I wish!

Of the workshops, I particularly enjoyed the one led by Paula Lofting and her Regia Anglorum friends where we were taught how to build a shield wall when fighting like Anglo-Saxons.  This was fascinating stuff and I was really pleased to have a chance to hold a battle axe and a shield, both quite heavy!  (Am now also very tempted to shout ‘Ut! Ut! Ut!’ all the time LOL)

I also loved the workshop on secret Stuart marriages by Nicola Cornick and Andrea Zuvich, and the panel talk about historical YA fiction featuring C C Humphreys, Deborah Swift and Simon Scarrow.

The ‘gala’ dinner was great, with a costume pageant and a brilliant after-dinner speech by C W Gortner.  And meeting up with old friends and making new ones is always fun and I very much enjoyed chatting to various people, lots of whom had come all the way from the US – so lovely to meet them!  My thanks go to the fantastic organising committee who, I know, had worked incredibly hard to put together the programme and they made sure everything was seamless.  Huge thanks also to my workshop ‘partner’ and fellow Swede Anna Belfrage who made our own workshop run smoothly and put together our presentation.  Can’t wait for the next conference now!

Here are some of the photos I took:-

One of the very knowledgeable Regia Anglorum re-enactors (Anglo-Saxon)

One of the very knowledgeable Regia Anglorum re-enactors (Anglo-Saxon)

Ut! Ut! Ut!

Ut! Ut! Ut!

The Ashmolean

The Ashmolean

King Alfred's jewel in the spotlights

King Alfred’s jewel in the spotlights

Another gorgeous jewel

Another gorgeous jewel

Detail from a Japanese silk painting

Detail from a Japanese silk painting

A lovely Japanese inro in the museum's collection

A lovely Japanese inro in the museum’s collection

Couldn't resist the Pre-Raphaelite paintings

Couldn’t resist the Pre-Raphaelite paintings

Loved this fierce Egyptian bird!

Loved this fierce Egyptian bird!

Detail from a Dutch painting in the museum's collection

Detail from a Dutch painting in the museum’s collection

Part of St Anne's College where we were staying

Part of St Anne’s College where we were staying

One of the beautiful doors of St Anne's College

One of the beautiful doors of St Anne’s College

Chippenham Lit Fest

I had a fantastic time last night at the Chippenham Library, taking part in a panel talk which in turn was part of the Chippenham Lit Fest.  It’s always lovely to get together with fellow RNA members and much more fun when you’re not alone doing a talk!

There were six of us – Nicola Cornick, Louise Douglas, Alison Knight, Jean Burnett, Teresa F Morgan and myself – on the panel.  There were some fab questions from the librarian in charge and also from the audience, and it’s always fun to hear the varying answers of so many authors – we’re all so different in the way we approach things!

There was delicious home-made cake and other refreshments, and lots of chatting afterwards.  All in all, a really enjoyable event so huge thanks to everyone who took part and organised it!

Here are some of my photos:-

The librarians

The librarians

Me and Rosemary Ann Smith

Me and Rosemary Ann Smith


Alison Knight - organiser extraordinaire

Alison Knight – organiser extraordinaire

All the panelists (courtesy of Nicola) - from left to right - Teresa, Alison, Louise, me, Jean and Nicola

All the panellists (courtesy of Nicola) – from left to right – Teresa, Alison, Louise, me, Jean and Nicola

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