A few weeks ago I attended the HNSA Conference — (HNSA = Historical Novel Society of Australasia) in Sydney. It was quite different from Romance Writers' conferences, which tend to be mostly about the craft of writing and business and publishing. The HNSA Conference was more about ideas — issues to do with research, fine lines to walk when writing about real people's lives, research challenges across eras, truth and lies in crime fiction, historical fiction screenwriting, sources of inspiration, and much more. You can link to the full program from here.
I loved the interview with Jackie French, a wonderfully prolific Australian author, who writes for children and adults and everyone in between, and whose historical novels I recommended on Word Wenches earlier this year. I was lucky enough to meet her in the green room, and she was as warm and charming as her books. She gave a marvelous speech about the importance of writing and representing people and telling the truth, and at the end I wanted to stand up and cheer. I restrained myself and clapped really hard instead. Her website is here.
It was both refreshing and inspiring, listening to people talk about historical writing from such varied points of view. As well, so many of the speakers and panelists were natural storytellers, and were so interesting I wanted to hear more, and so of course, bought their books. I learned things about history — mostly Australian history, but also South African and NZ and other times and places — that I knew very little about.