Ain’t Love Grand!

The Romance Writers of Australia Conference 2016 held at the Stamford Grand, Glenelg in Adelaide has come and gone.

As usual this conference was a combination of head exploding “aha” moments, terrifying times of despondency that I am not doing enough to further my career, too much creative lubrication (read “massive amounts of South Aussie wines”- coz when in Rome? still drink South Aussie wine!) And the best part, . . .  the love and support of all the friends and talented and giving authors I have met over the last three years of attending conferences and being part of this fantastic Romance Writers of Australia organisation.

This year was busier than usual for me as not only did I pitch my finished Australian historical romance based around the Eureka Stockade to two publishers, running in and out of the fabulous story mastery session run by Michael Hauge – screenplay consultant to the Hollywood stars – shoving Tim Tams into my mouth or taking cleansing walks along the beach after each pitch to calm my poor nerves BUT, I also presented the “Microsoft Word Tips & Tricks for Authors” session.

Working as an IT Trainer in my average joe life prepared me for all the things that can go wrong on the day. Technology is a cruel mistress and she will mess you around at every opportunity. We had a few ups and downs but I think I managed to get across to the attendees what was important. Feedback was wonderful and thanks to those who made a special effort to come up to tell me so after the session, it is so appreciated.

But what wasn’t on the handouts I provided after the session (see below for links to said handouts) was this important author Microsoft Word tip: If you are going to submit your manuscripts to publishers, LEARN how to use TRACK CHANGES. Yes, Track Changes. That beast, that ugly red strikeout, blue underscore, purple formatting, delete, deleted, comments-in-the-margin-horror of a MS Word tool that we all despise, but that every author NEEDS to know. LEARN IT.  Am I wrong authors? It will save you much stress.

Anyway, I digress. I shall leave you with a few fun images of the weekend and since I had so many people request my notes when I put the opportunity out to Romance Writers of Australia members, I have decided to upload the notes from my “Microsoft Word Tips & Tricks for Authors” session here (both PC and mac). I hope that you find them useful if you are an aspiring author. They are tips that I use in my writing life and hope that perhaps some of them will make your life easier too.

Peace, love and may the muse be with you.

Microsoft Word Tips & Tricks for authors – PC version

Microsoft Word Tips & Tricks for Authors – mac version




Rural Romance Q&A with cousin Peter

When I was about eleven years old my cousin left his family in the Northern Territory and came to live with us while he attended high school in Adelaide.

Recently I caught up with him at my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. We got talking about books and I discovered that he is a rural romance fan. Naturally I put him onto my own rural romance novels and the Australian Rural Romance website.

Male readers of rural romance are most definitely out there and I think it is always interesting to get their perspective on what it is they love about the rural romance genre. So I asked Peter to join us on the Australian Rural Romance website and answer a few probing questions about family, life on the land and loving rural romance.

Read more here . . .