I'm used to it by now. The quizzically raised eyebrows, the poorly concealed snigger, the patronising, "How interesting."And so it goes whenever I tell people that next week I'm off to the RWA annual conference. The RWA stands for Romance Writers of Australia.
I don't tell many people I write romance (or fiction with romantic elements). I'm more inclined to refer to it as plain "chick lit", though that is also likely to be dismissed as lightweight formula fiction.
The truth is RWA represents a hugely diverse group of writers. Sure, category romance is well represented and the publisher Harlequin is a gold sponsor of the event (Baci is the silver sponsor - yummy).
But romance doesn't stop at category. Some of the genres and subgenres include Young Adult (YA) fiction, historical fiction, paranormal, fantasy, steam punk, single title and crime fiction.
The conference caters to this with workshops that span topics for every writer, no matter what the genre. For example, on the Friday I'm doing a goal, motivation and conflict workshop. I reckon a lot of your so-called 'literary' writers could learn a thing or two from this.
The same can be said of the weekend workshops, which cover author promotions, making the most of the web, tips for crime writers, the art of writing fight scenes and the relationship between writer and editor.
It's gonna be a big weekend.
And I don't care what the literary snobs think. I'm excited!