Last night I attended my first ever Romance Writers of Australia conference event: the Harlequin-sponsored cocktail party. What? You thought I was going there to work? No, no, I signed up for all the parties!
The cocktail party is a themed event and this year it was ‘Fantasy Island’. Never say that writers aren’t a creative bunch because some of the costumes were pretty amazing. Anne Gracie was awarded the best costume prize for her fabulous Barbara Cartland.
I’m not sure what I can say about the cocktail party without sounding like a name dropper. It was an interesting experience for me because I knew so very few people by face and even fewer people whose faces I could match to names. Even for writers whose names and faces I knew, my brain just couldn’t cope with the overload and I had a minimum 3-second lag in eye-brain coordination.
I do remember the costumes, though. Some of the more memorable ones include:
- Paula Roe in full Darth Vader regalia and her roommate (who I only know as Shaz) as Princess Leia
- Kitty Bucholtz as the Contract Fairy
- Maggie Nash in a wig that caused at least a 5-second lag in putting a name to her face even though I’ve seen her many times at ARRA events
- Tracey O’Hara who rocked her Egyptian goddess costume
- Keri Arthur as a dark angel (I loved her wings!)
- Bronwyn Parry who sported headlines of romance authors winning various top literary prizes
- 2010 Golden Heart finalist Robyn Enlund as Elizabeth Bennet and who I believe made her entire costume
- A very pregnant Kate Cuthbert as the Epilogue
- Jennifer Brassel as Medusa
- Linley Maroney and her friend dressed as warriors (at one point they were brandishing swords but I was too far away to take a photo)
- The Harlequin team as the Harlequin Harlots
I came as the Vampire’s Deflowered Virgin. I didn’t get a good shot of my costume, but it basically consisted of: bed head, smudged mascara, love bites on my neck (courtesy of Kate’s artistic skills), a large man shirt with buttons done up wrong and lipstick on the collar, a red dressing gown, red suspenders and black stockings with red love hearts on it.
Tomorrow I’m hoping to drop by in the afternoon to help man the ARRA stall, and then I’m back for the R*BY Awards Dinner. I’m planning to tweet the winners live and maybe a few more photos than I was able to at the cocktail party.
If you were at the event, feel free to pimp any posts or photos related to the cocktail party by posting the link in the comments below. Also … what was your favourite costume?