On March 27th I made the journey to Qld for the Readers and Writers Down Under Convention. This was my second year attending this event (formerly known as Indie Authors Down Under) and I had an absolute ball.
My assistant, Katrina, and I were on the road to the airport at 5am, and our plane from Sydney left the tarmac at 7.10am. We watched the sun rise from our seats as we taxied along the runway.
When we reached the Gold Coast we met up with our beautiful Aussie Owned member, Stacey, and dumped our bags in our room. Stacey and I spent the morning attending some panels. There were discussions about all sorts of things, and we enjoyed watching Aussie Owned's lovely Lauren talk on the Fine Line Between Young Adult and New Adult panel with Jay McLean.
Jay McLean and Lauren McKellar
After a relaxing lunch, a glass of wine, and a pedicure with Katrina by my side, it was back to the panels with Stacey. We got to hear Abbi Glines talk social media, and after meeting her last year, it was great to be in the same room with this inspirational woman again.
By this time I was walking dead on my feet. Being up since 4am can do that to you! But we pushed on and Stacey, Katrina and I had a lovely dinner with Bianca from Martini Times Romance. After dinner we strolled through the markets on the foreshore and were treated to an unexpected fireworks show.
It was then time to prepare for the big event the next day, and get everything ready for the signing. We finally climbed into bed at 11pm.
We were up at 6am, had a quick breakfast and fussed about with last minute preparations before we headed down to the ballroom to set up. The room buzzed with organised chaos, and the atmosphere was invigorating. At 9.30am the doors opened for the VIP guests, and at 10am it was open slather for all.
Me with my wonderful assistant, Katrina,
after we'd finished setting up
after we'd finished setting up
My wonderful assistant never left my side, and I spent the day signing books, meeting new readers, and catching up with some lovely people I’d met last year. One of the highlights was getting to meet Fiona Miller-Stevens. She was on my team for Pitcharama 2014, and since then we’ve stayed in touch. It was really nice finally being able to chat face to face.
Me with Fiona Miller-Stevens
There was no time to spend with Stacey or Lauren at the signing, so Stacey and I took the opportunity to catch up on everything over lunch.
Stacey and I at lunch
Before we knew it the day was over and it was time to get ready for the red carpet awards dinner. Lauren, Stacey and I were all nominated in several categories, so the excitement was high. Although none of us brought home an award, they all went to deserving and wonderful people. Besides, we were having too much fun in the photo booth to care about anything else!
Stacey, Katrina and I shared a table with Bianca and M.J. Stevens, and we all had a fantastic night. I fell into bed around 11pm again, and I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.
From L-R M. J. Stevens, Bianca (Martini Times Romance), Stacey Nash, K. A. Last (me), Katrina (my assistant)
On Sunday morning I think I was too tired to really process the weekend in its entirety. When Katrina and I boarded the plane at lunch time, I felt sad to be leaving, but I was so glad to be heading home to my family and my own bed. Looking back on it now, it was a fantastic weekend, and I can’t wait to do it all again next year.