An exciting conference

Stained glass window in Fyvie Hall

Perhaps it’s appropriate that my first blog post should be about books and writing, so I’ll take this opportunity to report back from the Historical Novel Society Conference which was held at the stunning venue of University of Westminster on the 28th to the 30thSeptember.

It was FANTASTIC, with many interesting talks featuring authors, publishers, and booksellers, and a chance to meet well-known authors, such as Barbara Erskine, Barbara Ewing, Bernard Cornwell, C W Gortner, Diana Gabaldon, Elizabeth Chadwick, Lindsey Davis, Margaret George, Philippa Gregory, and Sarah Dunant just to mention a few. There were even re-enactors present, which lent a note of authenticity to the surroundings. Here are a few photos:

Philippa Gregory

Napoleonic soldiers

Friends at the Banquet – Sue Moorcroft, Myra Kersner and Anne-Marie Ugland

Catriona Robb and myself

Gillian Bagwell, Diana Gabaldon and Bernard Cornwell reading sex scenes

On yer bike, mate!

Court jester talking loudly on his mobile in a public place (go to About Me, and you’ll know what I think of that!)

When I wasn’t in plenary session (or eating!), I attended a couple of workshops. One was “Historical Fiction for the Young Adult Market” on Saturday led by Helen Hart and V Campbell, who provided an interesting insight into this very specific market. I chose this workshop because I’m always looking for books to entice my children with.

On Sunday thriller writers VM Whitworth and Rory Clements spoke about the challenges of writing historical thrillers in the workshop “The Thrill of the Chase”. I don’t think I’ve ever learnt so much in one hour about Anglo-Saxon coins and murder most horrid in dark Tudor alleyways!

Authors Christina Courtenay, Jean Fullerton and Liz Harris signing books

Lindsey Davis gave an amusing and anecdotal closing address

To sum up, it was a fun, informative, and quite exhausting weekend. The future of historical fiction looks bright, which is good news for both readers and writers alike.

Ahem, somebody left their rifle behind by mistake…

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12 Responses to An exciting conference

  1. It was lovely to return to the conference, Henri. Thank you for your write-up about it.

    Liz X

  2. Wow! You’ve made this really come alive for those who weren’t there – great post. And so well put together I can’t believe it’s your first. More of the same, please.

  3. carol hedges says:

    Lovely! I’m glad you all had a nice time. Judging by the RNA – there is nothing more supportive (and fun) than a group of fellow writers getting together to share. (Wine helps)

  4. Henriette Gyland says:

    Thanks for your lovely comments. It was my way of revisiting the conference, and I’m glad I’ve made it come alive for those who weren’t there. Oh, and yes, I forgot to mention the food and wine – which was delicious and plentiful respectively!

  5. valo says:

    That was quite the A-list of historical writers. Philippa Gregory and Sarah Dunant are firm favourites of mine. And the pic of the court jester on his mobile – so surreal!

  6. Jan Brigden says:

    Great first post, Henri. It sounds like you all had a fab time. Lovely photos too! :) x

  7. Pingback: Remembering HNSLondon12 | Historical Novel Society

  8. Liv says:

    Thanks for sharing, Henri – you all obviously had a great time. And an impressive blog. :)

  9. Fascinating to see what you’ve all been doing! Thanks, Henri.

  10. Sounds like a great conference and a fantastic line-up of writers. Thanks for sharing on your blog! Sx

  11. Lorraine H says:

    really interesting blog. Thanks for the photos. Looked like a really good conference.
    Lorraine

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