Conference Spotlight ~ Nikki Logan

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.


WORKSHOP BLURB:

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.


What is your latest/current/upcoming book release and where can members find out more about you?

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.


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16 Comments

  1. Sue Rees

     /  March 19, 2012

    Looking forward to your presentation, Nikki. Like listening to music, for me, reading is a powerful physical experience. There is an adrenaline rush at times that comes from the written word when wielded by an expert. Words do have power, and harnessing it to engage and delight readers must be an awesome feeling for an author.

    I’m looking forward to finding out for myself what that feels like late this year.

    Reply
  2. Great to see you bringing this workshop to the Gold Coast, Nikki. It’s a fascinating subject.

    Reply
  3. I think this subject is fascinating, Nikki and I know you are a great presenter, so I expect you will see me there!

    Reply
  4. Still laughing at the image of the Stone Angels creeping toward you. Shows the power of words in one example. Your workshop sounds wonderful, I hope I get a chance to be there. Promise not to creep toward you LOL.

    Reply
  5. Morning Sue!

    Yes, music is a great analogy becuase it works on us both consciously and unconsciously to the same end. (I will never forget my body’s reaction to my first ever hearing of Barber’s Adagio for Strings, I literally had to pull over to the side of the freeway and let it all out). There are heaps of biological/chemical reasons that words work so effectively on us (and why good commercial fiction works the best).

    Reply
  6. Eleni & Imelda – I hope it’s as fascinating in fact as in premise 🙂 I know that I found it amazing, as I was researching a much simpler topic (arousal, how it works to benefit fiction writing) the subject just grew bigger and broader. I got quite engrossed. But it does explain how and why strong writing is so effective.

    I look forward to seeing you there Imelda – you always have the best, most insightful questions 😉

    Reply
  7. LOL Valerie – I should clarify that they weren’t Romance presenters doing the Stone Angel thing, just a group of rogue, hard core Spec Fic writers clearly very eager to get on with their preferred topic 🙂 Those SwanConners are a fervent bunch!

    Reply
  8. I didn’t realise that he workshop blurb wouldn’t be posted here as well, so here it is for those who have not yet found it…

    ***

    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

    Reply
  9. This topic is interesting, and I just found an article about what happens to the brain during reading certain words and phrases: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/the-neuroscience-of-your-brain-on-fiction.html
    🙂

    Reply
    • Yes, this is very closely related, Juliet. It all hinges around those mirror neurons… Back in the day a bunch of scientists testing a macaque’s brain responses to eating food (a raisin, I believe, though often misquoted as a banana, but given how often they did it that macaque would have been STUFFED with bananas…). Anyway… so there’s this macaque all hooked up to sensors etc (look away Rachel Bailey…) and a bunch of scientists are milling around discussing their results and one of them helps himself to a raisin.

      And the macaques pleasure and taste related cortex’s fire off. And it happens over and over.

      And the scientists kind of just filed it away and forgot about it.

      But then years later someone brings out those results again, realises what it meant, and the rest is history.

      Reply
  10. Such a different, fascinating topic, Nikki – I can’t wait to learn more (I’m already signed up!) 🙂

    Reply
  11. Jennifer St George

     /  March 19, 2012

    Wow Nikki – this workshop sounds amazing. Will head down to Big W this weekend to pick up Their Miracle Twins – can’t wait. Love the way you tell a story!!!

    Reply
    • Hope you enjoy Miracle Twins, Jen. Thank you!

      I’m midway through creating the workshop as a craft book so anyone who doesn’t make it in person at Gold Coast can get their hands on the text version later on (course that’s months and months extra of not knowing how to trigger cell-deep reactions in your readers…)

      Reply

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