Conference Session Spotlight on: DENISE ROSSETTI

When Denise Rossetti was very small, she had an aunt who would tell her the most wonderful fairy tales, all original. Denise grew up, as little girls do, but the magic of story still dazzles and enthralls her. On the good days, she likes to think of herself as Scheherazade’s sister. On the bad days, not so much.  At “From Here to Eternity” Denise will discuss the good days and the bad in her Writer’s Life session: THE WRITER’S COMPASS: OR FINDING YOUR TRUE NORTH!

Denise, what does your Writer’s Compass workshop cover?

There’s a lot more to being a writer than mastering the technicalities of the craft. This workshop won’t teach you anything about how to write, but it will help you to learn how to be a writer, which is quite a different matter.

Your writing is a beautiful gift of creativity. It should be a joy and delight. Why is it then that sometimes we sit down to write feeling negative – and even worse, guilty? It’s not good for you or for the Muse.

I’m a terrible mother/wife/partner/colleague/daughter/friend. I’m so selfish. What about dinner/ballet practice/career/laundry? They just don’t understand. I wish I hadn’t…

Sound familiar?

• The four Points of the Writer’s Compass are Priorities, Personalities, Place and Space, and Permissions. Use them to orientate yourself towards your True North, the right direction for you as a person and a writer.

• Work on practical solutions to nurture both yourself and your Muse.

• Guess what? Whatever you’re feeling, you’re not alone!

Tell us about yourself in 10 words or less.

Small, noisy, loves stories and storytelling. Talks with her hands.

Have you presented sessions at previous conferences?

I’ve been an educator all my professional life. I love to see that ‘light bulb’ expression on someone’s face, the ‘aha! moment when it all comes together. I’ve presented workshops at the last two Sydney conferences, the 2009 Roadshow in Perth and a couple of online sessions for Bootcamp. I always have an absolute ball and I really really hope I’m not the only one in the room who does!

What prompted you to put together this workshop for “From Here to Eternity”?

Romance Writers of Australia has given me so much – advice, information, encouragement, confidence, fun and friendship. A workshop is one way to give back. As for The Writer’s Compass, I’ve felt for a long time that the proper nurture of our creative selves requires as much ‘craft’ as plot, character and dialogue. Every writer, published and unpublished, knows the strain of coping with competing priorities. No one’s alone in this, though it’s common to think you’re the only one. A framework for clear thinking always helps and that’s what the compass provides.

What will participants take away from this session?

Take with you from this session a clearer sense of how writing fits into your life. Leave with some significant achievable changes in mind that will energise and nurture you as a creative person. And know that you are not alone and you’re not crazy either!

Will there be hands-on exercises or audience participation?

You betcha! No one can listen to a lecture for longer than fifteen minutes and maintain concentration – it’s a scientific fact. Writers are creative people, they need to work, they like to talk and they totally have the best ideas! So yes, it’s all about audience participation- and lollies, lots of lollies.

What is the best aspect of conference for you?

Romance writers are really special people – warm, talkative and totally obsessed with what obsesses me. As far as I’m concerned, they’re the best part of the conference. Last year in Coogee, I arrived at the check in desk only to become aware of what sounded like a hundred lorikeets in a tree, all yelling at once- as they do. I couldn’t resist, because I just knew. Yep, walked around the corner into the bar and there were about ten romance writers involved in ecstatic greetings, hugs and general catching up.

The other wonderful moment is during the dinner when Anne Gracie works her way through the contests, submissions and contracts until almost everyone in the room is standing to celebrate their achievements. Makes me all proud and teary.

What is your latest book — and next release — and where can members find out more about you?

Thief of Light, Book #2 in the Four Sided Pentacle series is now available in mass market.  Book #3, The Lone Warrior will be released 3rd May 2011. I’ve almost finished another ménage for Ellora’s Cave which I hope will come out sometime later this year.

The first chapters of all my books are on my website  together with some fabulous free stories. Readers can subscribe to my monthly newsletter for free vignettes, contests and all the news, or they can follow me on Twitter – @DeniseRossetti – or Facebook or Goodreads.

Leave a comment


  1. maryde

     /  March 24, 2011

    Hi Denise,
    Your session sounds wonderful and no doubt it will not dissappoint. I am utterly disappointed that I am unable to go to the Conference this year. What with all you guys and the lovely Stephanie Laurens, (*and me a Historical writer too…) Boo Hoo.
    You are right when you say *we all feel these things* Ahmen…
    As usual I LOVE your book covers. 🙂 and I can’t wait for your E/C Menage’…
    You are an inspiration to many.
    Mary :))

  2. Aw, Mary, really? That’s such a shame – I was so looking forward to meeting you, dammit.

    And yes, I’ve truly been blessed by the cover gods – I must have been a saint in a dormer life. heh heh Speaking of which, I’m very close to finishing the menage…

  3. Uh, I meant former!

  4. Your workshop sounds just what I need right now, Denise!

    Guess I’ll just have to hang out until August… sigh…

    • I know what you mean, Helene. There always seems to be something else that needs doing, doesn’t there? I’m pretty good about saying no, but then I feel bad. *sigh* OTOH, I know for sure I’ll feel better after the validation we’re all going to get in this workshop. Go us!


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