Thursday, July 2, 2015

HNS 2015 Wrap Up!

It's Thursday and I still feel like I am riding the high of the Historical Novel Society Conference. This was second time going to this particular conference and I loved every second of it! The conference was in Denver this year, a place that is very near and dear to my heart. I was actually born in Denver and much of my family still lives in the shadows of the Rockies so I am always anxious to get out there whenever I can! Due to my little girls being back on the East Coast, I spent a very short time in Denver so I could get back home to them. I left midday Thursday and started my return trip Sunday afternoon. It was a short but fantastic time!

The wonderful thing about HNS is that I was surrounded by amazing people who are just as excited as I was about books, historical fiction, history, and a litany of other literary-minded pursuits. Everywhere I turned, there were people that I wanted to meet and talk with. It was so great to be amongst so many fantastic people.

My head is still spinning with everything I experienced and I'm still mulling over everything I heard. This conference was so energizing!

Some of my favorite memories from the conference were:
  • Hanging out with other bookish people. Seriously, it's hard to find people that get as excited about books as I do. To be at a conference filled with people of that persuasion was amazing!
  • Happening to be on the same flight as Stephanie Dray and Eliza Knight both ways (how did that happen???)!
  • I spoke on my very first panel ever! I have been on a mission to get over my fear of public speaking so I have been really trying to push myself to do things that I wouldn't normally do. Speaking on a panel was definitely one of them. I spoke about Trends in Women's Historical fiction with literary agent Kevan Lyon and authors, Kate Quinn and Eliza Knight. Sophie Perinot moderated for us. We had a packed room and a lively discussion! I couldn't ask for anything more!
Here's our panel: Sophie, Kevan, Kate, Eliza, and me!

  • Getting books signed! I was really good this year and only bought a few books! I can't wait to dive into them!
  • Karen Cushman was one of the honored guests at the conference. She wrote "Catherine Called Birdy" and many other YA HistFic books. Catherine has a special place in my heart because aside from the American Girls Doll books, "Catherine Called Birdy" was probably the first histfic book I ever read. I got a copy of Catherine signed for my Katherine and Hadley. Usually I just have to say Katherine with a K and people get it. Hadley seems to be more difficult. I started spelling Hadley and Ms. Cushman stopped me and said "Oh, like Mrs. Hemingway!" These are so my people!!!
  • Hanging out with bloggers! I actually had a lot of time to hang out with other bloggers this time around. I loved meeting Erin of Flashlight Commentary and Jenny of Let Them Read Books for the first time among others. I also loved seeing and visiting with Amy of Passages to the Past, Heather of The Maiden's Court, and Sarah of Reading the Past (sad I didn't get to spend more time with you, Sarah). These are people that I interact a lot with online so it was so nice to see them in real life! They are really amazing people!
  • We also had a really good showing from my local HNS Chesapeake Bay chapter! I even found two new members that had no idea that our chapter existed! Woot!
Many of us gathered for drinks and merriment on Friday night!

There are a couple things that I am hoping are fixed next time. There was a huge issue with the books in the conference bookstore. One of the features was a huge author book signing that was open to the public. Books were being sold onsite by a local bookstore. There was a huge SNAFU and many of the authors' books that were supposed to be there were not there. Because the book store could not get the books themselves, they were trying to get books from other stores in the area, which was not so helpful to authors who had books out for awhile, authors whose books were just about to be released, or authors published by small, indie presses.  I felt sooooo bad for the authors! It was a really horrible thing to happen and something that probably should have been rectified  before the conference. Many of those authors whose books were not able to be obtained by the bookstore could have brought the books themselves... sigh.

All in all though, the conference was really fantastic. The 2016 conference will be held in Oxford, England but unless I win the lottery, I don't think I will be going to that conference. The next conference in North America will happen in 2017 and I cannot wait!!!


  1. Sorry we didn't get to chat at the conference, Meg. You did a rocking good panel. Thanks for the recap!

  2. Excellent conference recap (I'll write one up soon). Great seeing you again at dinner Friday - we'll have to catch up more next time!


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