Surrounded by history at the Historical Novel Society Conference

Moonlighting has never been so much fun!

Nor has it ever (at least for me) ranged from medieval times to the Renaissance, swinging on to the Gilded Age and speeding up to the Roaring 20s and the post-WWI world. Exhausting and exhilarating at the same time!

Yes, you can find all that and more at the annual Historical Novel Society Conference.

This was an amazing discovery for me. I only joined the Historical Novel Society this year, and was thrilled to learn that its annual conference was to be virtual this year.

Since the venue was San Antonio, Texas, the hours worked in my favor and I could log into sessions at the end of my work day – although I admit I could never make it to the 2 am, 3 am or 4 am sessions (European time, that is. Texas time was all normal-people hours!)

Still, as an attendee you have access to the taped sessions, so I’ll be able to pick up some of those sessions my sleep-addled mind simply couldn’t handle last week.

I also signed up for two Master classes during the week – and they were worth their weight in gold. I had an interesting class on Upping the Ante, which addressed how to build up tension and conflict in your work (a.k.a Make your characters suffer!) and an absolutely incredible session on Making it in Historical Fiction. Hybrid author Libbie Hawker taught this gem of a class. My hands are still cramped from the copious notes I was scribbling as she so generously shared her experiences as both an indie and traditionally published author in the genre … and the lessons learned from each. I walked away from that class feeling my brain must certainly have expanded with all the amazing wisdom gleaned from those productive three hours.

Then there were all the amazing sessions ranging from dual timeline novels to modern takes on Jane Austen. I dropped in on conversations about Italian history – with fellow Italy afficionados – and the 19th century. Then, of course, there were sessions dedicated to research and craft.

I can’t underestimate how exciting it is to be surrounded by fellow historical fiction writers and readers … so if you fall into either of thse categories, consider a future session of the Historical Novel Society Conference.

It is held in the US in odd-numbered years, and the UK in even-numbered years. Definitely looking forward to making this an annual tradition! And to all my fellow historical fiction writers and readers – hope you’ll join me in this stimulating journey into the past next year in the UK!

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