I thought you might
So here is the scoop. There might be a name or two here that you recognise...
The very first speaker we have lined up is Melbourne's own Stephanie Laurens.
Stephanie Laurens originally began writing as an escape from the dry world of professional science. Her hobby quickly became a career when her novels about the masterful Cynster cousins captivated readers, making her one of the romance world's most beloved and popular authors. She subsequently introduced the equally unforgettable members of the Bastion Club. Currently living outside Melbourne, Australia, she has been writing historical romance novels for more than 16 years and is a New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller.
For something a bit different we have invited two academics who have a special interest in romance fiction to come along and give us a bit of an overview of the romance fiction industry and how it fits into our reading culture.
Glen Thomas joined the full-time staff of Queensland University of Technology in 1997 as an Associate Lecturer in professional writing. Prior to that he was a tutor in the University of Queensland English Department in academic writing, Australian literature and American literature. Glen holds Honours, Masters and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Queensland and, in 1994, was awarded the University's Walter and Eliza Hall Travelling Scholarship. While on that scholarship, Thomas conducted research at Harvard University and Smith College in the US. His Masters thesis analysed the representation of women in post-colonial fiction and, in particular, the question of women and dual colonisation. His PhD thesis was an extended reading of four contemporary American historical novels. Glen is currently Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing and teaches the Master of Arts (Research) (Creative Industries) with a major in romance fiction.
Juliet Flesch is a History Fellow at the School of Historical Studies, the University of Melbourne. Juliet came to the study of history after a 30 year career in librarianship, principally in building research collections. This led to the creation of the only collection of mass-market collection of popular romance novels in any Australian university and sparked her own interest in her PhD topic the Australian popular romance novel of the second half of the twentieth century. She has worked since 1998 as a research assistant on projects in French history, the history of the University and sporting history. As a contribution to the work of the History program, Juliet catalogues the theses and all other additions to the Jessie Webb Library. In 2004 she published the highly acclaimed From Australia with Love: a History of Modern Australian Popular Romance Novel.
Then for the first of our international keynote speakers, we have secured (drum roll please) MaryJanice Davidson.
MaryJanice Davidson writes mostly paranormal romance, but also young adult and non-fiction. She is the creator of the popular Undead series (with the eighth book in the series due out this year) as well as the Wyndham Werewolves series, the Alaskan Royal Family series and the more recent Mermaid series. She is both a New York Times and USA Today bestseller. She won a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award in 2004 and was nominated for the same award in 2005 and again in 2007.
And we have just had confirmation this week that our other keynote speaker will be no other than the amazing Sherrilyn Kenyon.
Sherrilyn Kenyon's groundbreaking Dark-Hunter vampire novels catapulted her into superstardom, making her series one of the most eagerly awaited in publishing history. Her books were an overnight sensation that have given her an international cult following with devout fans in more than forty-five countries. A versatile, award-winning writer, Sherrilyn has carved out multiple best-selling series in numerous genres. Writing as Sherrilyn Kenyon and Kinley MacGregor, her series include: The Brotherhood of the Sword, Dark-Hunter, Hunter Legends, BAD, Lords of Avalon, Nevermore and the Sex Camp Diaries.
Not enough? Well the program is still a work in progress - we have a lot of great ideas and a lot of author panels yet to fill up. More details in the coming months...
Margaret Mason (w/a Maggie Nash)
Speaker Liaison - ARRC09 Organising Committee
Chair – Australian Romance Readers Association