22 June 2013

Historical Novel Society 2013 conference - St. Petersburg, FL

Each year, the Historical Novel Society hosts an annual conference in the United Kingdom or North America. The conference is open to HNS members and non-member attendees, as well as readers and writers who share a common love of the historical fiction sub-genre. This year, the 5th annual North American conference is occurring at the gorgeous Vinoy Renaissance Resort in St. Petersburg, Florida. Unusual Historicals contributors Heather Domin, Stephanie Dray, J.S. Dunn, Kim Rendfeld and Lisa J. Yarde are on hand, enjoying the various sessions. 

The conference program is stellar. From passionate discussions about religion in historical fiction and women in history, to demonstrations of broadswords, daggers, axes and rapiers, to talks about authenticity in historical settings, the first full day has been jam-packed with great content. Wonderful authors are attending, including Gillian Bagwell, Nancy Bilyeau, David Blixt, Jay Dixon, Christy English, Diana Gabaldon, Margaret George, C.W. Gortner, Tinney Heath, Susan Higginbotham, Sherry Jones, Mitchell James Kaplan, Julie K. Rose, Kamran Pasha, Sophie Perinot, Kate Quinn and Mary Sharratt, just to name a few.  

Anne Perry opened up the conference on Friday with a banquet at which she spoke about the historical work as a gift to the world. At lunch on Saturday, C.W. Gortner spoke about the sense of community among writers of historical fiction and the all-important concept of authors paying it forward. Kudos to conference chair Vanitha Sankaran and all the members of the HNS board and volunteers for putting together such an amazing program. And, there's more to come! Unusual Historicals will have some highlights of the sessions that occurred in the coming days and some of the contributors will surely be blogging about their experiences as presenters and attendees. Stay tuned!