Welcome to another of our Conference Spotlights from the DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER conference.
Nikki Logan lives on the edge of a string of wetlands south of Perth with her partner and a menagerie of animals. She writes captivating, nature-based stories full of romance in descriptive natural environments for Harlequin’s Romance/Sweet imprint. She believes the danger and richness of wild places perfectly mirror the passion and risk of falling in love. Nikki has a BA (Dbl Major – Theatre Arts; Film & Television) and has worked in the advertising, film distribution, theatre and wildlife conservation industries. She’s an accomplished vocalist and public speaker and she’s ecstatic to add ‘multi-published author’ to her list of achievements.
At Diamonds Are Forever, Nikki is presenting a workshop aimed at INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED writers called THE CHEMISTRY OF READING.
The Chemistry of Reading explores how the body reacts during the reading experience and how writers can harness that to create an unforgettable story that arouses multiple parts of the readers’ brain. It is a face-paced workshop with a mix of theory and interactive elements.
(Amended 20th March to include the full workshop blurb)
The brain is like Google. It ranks things by referrals. The most engaging books trigger a response in multiple parts of the brain and thereby get ranked more highly by it. And books that get highly ranked become ‘must buys’. The Chemistry of Reading explores how the body reacts during the reading experience and how writers can harness that to create an unforgettable story that arouses multiple parts of the readers’ brain.
This 90-minute workshop in four parts examines:
1. How the chemistry works (in digestible plain-english)
2. Why you should exploit that as a writer of commercial fiction
3. The toolkit you’ll need to do that
4. Some practical examples of the toolkit (and the theory) in action
Tell us about yourself in 10 words or less.
Passionate about wildlife and romance. Multi-published. Short and sweet. *grin*
Have you presented sessions at previous conferences, for RWA or other organisations?
I first developed and delivered this workshop for the romance stream at SWANCON in Perth under a different title. I had less than an hour that time due to the session before me running late which was pretty tight for an already packed slideshow. By the end the presenter and participants for the next workshop were creeping toward the lectern like the Stone Angels in Dr Who. Every time I looked up… I’m super pleased to have 90 mins this time so that I can give equal importance to the sciency-part, the toolkit-part and the practical-part.
What will participants take away from this session?
I hope that participants will leave the room with a much greater understanding of and appreciation for the way that the brain responds to fiction and a bunch of tools for maximizing the effectiveness of their own words in terms of impacting and arousing their reader (and by ‘arousing’ I mean in all senses).
Will there be hands-on exercises or audience participation?
The last third of the session will be a practical one in which we pull apart some popular commercial fiction and see what makes it work. Before that there are a lot of easily understood analogies and images to help make the sciencey-parts comprehensible for non-scientists.
Which members will benefit most from this session?
This definitely isn’t for the new writers amongst us. It’s challenging enough learning the basics when you’re just starting out without worrying about how your reader’s body will respond to your words. For that reason this is definitely a good one for the Intermediate and Advanced writer.
Any advice for conference first-timers?
Don’t try and do everything. Give yourself some down time to browse the bookshop or sit quietly and go through your goodie bag while everyone else is in workshops. Or skip an evening event to have some quiet alone time in your room. It can be overwhelming to fit everything in.
“Their Miracle Twins” is out this month in Australia (check out a BigW, Target or K-Mart near you!). When I wrote ‘Their Newborn Gift’ in 2010 I started out with an idea about a woman who had her (dead) sister’s orphaned embryos implanted. That story eventually changed direction but I always held onto the idea of a young woman so determined to keep what’s left of her dwindling family together she would make such a massive adjustment in her life. And then along comes an uncle to the embryos that no-one knew anything about…
You can find out about me and all my releases at www.nikkilogan.com.au. There are links there to my various homes on social network sites. (And I definitely recommend you turn your speakers on when you get to my excerpts section *grin* ) You can also download a free version of ‘Their Newborn Gift’ courtesy of Mills & Boon at: www.everyonesreading.com . Yay! Free stuff.
Thank you, Nikki.
Our next Conference Spotlight is with Amanda Ashby and Sara Hantz on 20th March.