Monday, August 22, 2011

Emotions Ran High at Romance Writers' Conference

Every year writers in my part of the world look forward to the RWNZ conference, which is always exciting and full of opportunities to meet amazing people, to rub shoulders with big names like Tess Gerritsen and Bob Mayer, and to schmooze with agents and editors like Jessica Faust, Sue Grimshaw, Lucy Gilmour and Angela James. It's a chance to form valuable friendships - the kind of friendships that help writers stay (even moderately) sane during the year. It's also a place where A-HA moments about our writing tend to happen, and where careers can take a whole new direction. This year all of that was overshadowed by the death of Sandra Hyatt, a warm, witty romance writer, a mother and a wife. Everybody loved her. One minute she was there - having a great time - the next day she was in hospital - and not long after that, she was gone. She is mourned by many, many people. She was such a fun person to be around.

http://desirabelles.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/sandra.jpg?w=129&h=159
The conference had to go on, people still needed to pitch their books, to listen to great speakers, and to try to concentrate on honing their craft. But we were all struggling to make sense of what happened to Sandra and reflecting on how short life can be. It has made me really stop and think - am I living life the way I really want to live it? Am I writing what I really want to write? Do I have time to do everything I want to do? Some hard questions and I don't have many of the answers. All I know is that Sandra was a person who lived life to the full. She was full of life.
Goodbye Sandra.

5 comments:

  1. I am so sorry to hear about Sandra's passing. It must have been a horrible shock to everyone, not only her family and friends, but all attending the RWNZ conference. My thoughts are with you all. You have written a lovely tribute, Cody x

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  2. Thanks Madeline. It was certainly the most emotional conference I've ever attended.

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  3. I was so saddened to hear of Sandra's passing and can only imagine how you all must have been feeling at the conf. But you are right about terrible things like this making us look at our own lives and put things in perspective.

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  4. Lovely post, Cody. It was a huge shock wasn't it? Still remember that last workshop she gave. She was just awesome and will be greatly missed.

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  5. It is sad to hear about the passing of such a seemingly influential person in the romance community

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