Friday, 13 August 2010

Toy Story 3, Daniel Craig and the Brent Library Workshop

First off just a quick heads up to say I'm over at The Pink Heart Society to talk about the wonderfulness that is Toy Story 3, so do come over and have a natter about it... And if you haven't seen it yet, get ye to a cinema pronto, it's the best Toy Story yet IMHO.

I also recall that I said I would pop back here and report on the Brent Library Workshop I did last Friday (can't believe it's been a week already). An astonishing 25 (or so) people attended and we had a good old chin-wag about the ins and outs of writing a Mills and Boon.

As with many people I see at these workshops not everyone had read a recent M&B and not all of them were romance readers (amazingly there were four blokes there!), but they were all enthusiastic writers and had some very intelligent questions to ask about everything from character-building, to conflict, to story arcs, to how to make a living as a writer right through to what my work day is like...

I had intended to use a very glamorous Powerpoint lecture with Daniel Craig prominently featured in the 'alpha male' section but unfortunately the facilities weren't available on the night (probably a good thing as I'm a Powerpoint virgin), so I stuck to the body of the lecture and embellished (rather a lot) with stories about my own writing experiences. These included some (I hope) entertaining anecdotes about how to tell your mum your first book is going to be called "Bedded by a Bad Boy" with a completely straight face; how to get inspiration out of a wet camping holiday in Cornwall; and what to do when your 14 year old son gives out copies of your book to two of his teenage girl friends without your knowledge and you then have to ring their mums to explain that your books aren't strictly speaking written for children! Should add that the wonderful romance minx (and extremely talented aspiring MH author) Lorraine Wilson showed up to give me moral support. So thanks for that Lorraine!

All in all I think a very informative evening was had by all (including me!) and a lot of myths were dispelled about what M&B is all about in the 21st century. I got some wonderful feedback and I'm hopeful that a few of the attendees are planning to enter the New Voices comp, so my work is done!

Best question of the night? What do your sons think of your books?  Answer: Not a lot actually as they'd rather have their toenails pulled out than read romantic fiction... But maybe if I had a hero who played for Spurs, a zombie or two, or  a few Pokemon in them... Now there's a thought!


Lorraine said...

Thanks Heidi, it was a really enjoyable evening :-)
I have briefly mentioned the workshop over at the Minxes blog today-
Funnily enough I thought it necessary to include a Daniel Craig photo too!!!

Lacey Devlin said...

Ooo I wish I could have gone! I would love to know how your mum reacted to your first title I'd never given any thought to that! I don't suppose you took a picture?

Your 14 year old son will keep you on your toes :)

joanne pibworth said...

have heard many good things about your talk Heidi, and any post with a picture of a shirtless Daniel Craig works for me. :o)

Aw, I loved TS3. Although I get the feeling i'm not going to love all of the merchandise so much when I can't get sodding Buzz Lightyear for love nor money come christmas time!

Jackie Ashenden said...

So jealous Lorraine got to meet you! *pout*. :-) Hope she said hi for me.
That's funny re your son! At least, it will be in a couple of years time.. ;-)

Heidi said...

Aw cheers Lorraine! You were a star for coming all that way. And yes, DC does have a habit of turning up in romance writers posts everywhere.... I wonder why!!!

Lacey and Jackie, actually he's not 14 any more he's 17 and gets very annoyed when I keep bringing up that story!! but hey I still haven't gotten over the near heart attack I had at the time so figure he deserves to have it brought up at every available opportunity!

And Joanne, Buzz Lightyear dolls not a problem for me anymore, thank goodness!! So I can now enjoy the movies without worrying about the merchandising! Yippee.

Roanne said...

Hi Heidi, it was ever so lovely to meet you at the Brent Workshop. Sorry I didn't get to introduce myself as I was a tad shy and starstruck because you're definitely an inspiration icon for me.
I found the workshop very informative and hilarious with all your little anecdotes and was completely surprised by the seriousness of everyone who came, I'm sure you'll agree there were some serious writers (to be) there. Will definitely give the New Voices comp a bash, but after the thorough insight at the workshop, all I can say is the pressure's definitely on.

Heidi said...

Roanne, you mad woman, I can't believe you were there and didn't introduce yourself!! If there's a next time I hope you will and we can have a proper chinwag. So glad you found it informative and yes, the participants all seemed very focussed and intense ( a bit like Sean Penn actually, but more on that later on this blog....)

All the best with your writing and don't let the pressure get to you. It never goes away as it happens, especially when you're published and you have the pressure of deadlines...! Argh, which reminds me I better get back to this darn book.