Romantic Novelists' Association

Conference Speaker: Laura James, Magic Spells & Creative Wells, Sat 9-10am

4 August 2023

Author Laura James, shoulder length brown hair, red shirt, glasses and a big smileNot long until the 2023 RNA Conference. I’m looking forward to seeing and meeting old friends and new.

The Conference is an excellent example of one way to refill the creative well. I return home full of energy, raring to crack on with the work-in-progress. In some cases, I’ll have notes to help with structure and edits, or I might have an entire reservoir of fresh ideas as a result of the workshops, authorly chats and inspirational moments brought about by good company, excellent food, and a chilled glass of sparkling elderflower.

This year, the workshop I’m hosting asks: When a writer peers down the creative well and finds nothing but a puddle, what magic is conjured to ensure the well is refilled?

For an hour of mind-bending sorcery and inspirational moments, I’m inviting delegates to share, demonstrate, and celebrate the way we as writers of romantic fiction keep the magic going and the creativity flowing.

Do green fingers nurture the novel? Does embroidery help with tying up loose ends? Can singing show tunes bring harmony to the characters?

It’s music for me. Paloma Faith has unravelled a number of sticky plot points over the years. Something in her lyrics, or a mood conveyed in a song has sparked an idea or made me realise what was missing from the script.

For this interactive workshop, I’m excited to see what our RNA members will bring along. I’d love for attendees to show examples of their particular magic. Perhaps they will bring in their crochet, set up their painter’s easel; play a backing track to which we can sing.

Any delegates particularly fond of baking? (Here’s hoping …)

Does a good plot walk get the action moving? Are museums a muse? Does playing the piano set the tone?

Join me at Conference, where we will share, chat and maybe even demonstrate the activities and moments that keep us writing, and inspire others with what inspires you.

Starting with a blank document and creating characters who step off the page, writing a story that makes readers laugh and cry, and taking our readers along paths they’ve never imagined is, after all, in the words of Queen, a kind of magic.

Disclaimer: May involve mentions of Kate Bush, Paloma Faith, and musical theatre.

About Laura

Laura E James is married with two adult children and lives in the inspirational county of Dorset.

A writer with disabilities and chronic health conditions, Laura is a graduate of the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme, and the RNA’s Industry Awards Organiser.

Truth or Dare?, Laura’s debut novel, was shortlisted for the 2014 Joan Hessayon New Writers’ Award and the Festival of Romance Best Ebook award. Her first paperback, Follow Me Follow You, was a Lovereading editorial choice, and What Doesn’t Kill You, the third in her Chesil Series, spearheaded Choc Lit’s Dark imprint.

Laura’s short story Bitter Sweet appears in the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s anthology, Truly, Madly, Deeply.