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"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel


Jun 28, 2021

Historical Novel Society 2021 Conference: The Virtual Experience


Originally scheduled to take place in San Antonio, Texas, the  2021 Historical Novel Society Conference was successfully transformed into an online event. The HNS North American Board of Directors worked hard and diligently, working with EventMobi. The result was nothing short of spectacular.

Spread across six days, the pre-conference and post-conference events resembled our in-person conferences in many respects, apart from the reliance on Zoom, the inability to hug friends and hang out in the bar together or sign books in person (the event app included an online bookstore).  We remained in our own homes, receiving glimpses of our colleagues' office space, bookshelves, and--occasionally--pets.


My responsibilities this time round consisted of hosting a Conversation Room for 20th Century historical fiction, and moderating two panel discussions: NO, REALLY, I DIDN’T MAKE THIS UP: USING THE HISTORICAL NOVELIST’S TOOLKIT TO WRITE COMPELLING NARRATIVE NONFICTION and in the closing hour THEATRICAL TECHNIQUES TO A BLOCKBUSTER NOVEL: 3 PROFESSIONAL ACTORS SHARE TIPS FOR BRINGING YOUR BOOK TO LIFE.

I attended as many sessions as I could in real time, and look forward to catching up with others of interest via the video recordings, available to registrants for 90 days.

We even had a successful Hooch Through History session, combined with Historical Trivia.

Upcoming HNS conferences include the HNS Australasia  virtual conference (22-24 October) and the HNS conference in Durham, England (early September 2022).

I'm easing back into normal life after being online from early morning till late in the evening for a solid six days. 

I look forward to spending more time at the lake cottage, resuming work on Novel #15, preparing for the launch of The Limits of Limelight, reviewing books when time permits, instigating an author newsletter, and tending my 175 rose bushes. That should keep me out of trouble!