I loved Leanne Shawler’s workshop about how to take your first baby steps toward overcoming shyness, called “How to Become a Trained Extrovert.” But I was surprised that her good advice came from personal experience, because I would have never pegged this smart, smiling, calm woman as shy.
“Well,” my wise friend Janet Mullany said, “Leanne’s shy for an Australian.”
Of course. Silly me. You always need to grade on a curve.
One of the great things about having our Romance Writers of America conference in San Francisco last August was the number of Australians raising the energy and perhaps even the oxygen level. Like Denise Rossetti, who sat next to me at the literacy book signing, emailed me this nice picture last week, and generally made me feel as though we’d known each other for years.
In fact, for the rest of the conference, whenever I ran into Denise, I could count on being introduced to somebody or other — amid wide smiles and waves (sometimes to people across the room), as “my friend, Pam.”
So another bit of advice for shy writers. At least at big, international conferences, find an Australian. Smile. And suddenly you’re where the action is.
Thanks, Denise, and best of luck on your forthcoming book, The Flame and the Shadow, due out this November 4, same day (how cool is this?) as The Edge of Impropriety.
And for anyone else (like me) who’s never been to Australia and wants (more than ever now) to go, you might consider attending the Brisbane Conference on Popular Romance Fiction next August 13-14, to be held in conjunction with the annual meeting of Romance Writers of Australia.
Attend or even consider speaking: featured speakers will include romance authors and academic scholars of the genre from Australia, the United States, and elsewhere. Find out more at the Teach Me Tonight Blog.