Riding the Waves Conference Spotlight ~ Panel: The Shark in Your Story

Welcome to a conference spotlight from the Riding the Waves conference!

Today we have Shannon Curtis, Sandy Curtis, Bronwyn Parry and Helene Young who will be presenting their panel


 BiosShannon Curtis (681x1024)

Shannon Curtis has worked in diverse roles such as office admin manager, customer service rep, logistics supervisor, distribution coordinator, dangerous goods handler,  event planner, switch bitch and betting agent, and decided to try writing a story like those she loves to read when she found herself at home after the birth of her first child. Now she spends entirely too much time daydreaming about hunky heroes and malicious murders – for her books, of course! She loves reading, loves writing, and loves hearing from her readers, so visit her at www.shannoncurtis.com and say hi!

Sandy CurtisSandy Curtis lives on Queensland’s Central Coast, not far from the beach where she loves to walk and think about the complex plots, hunky heroes and gutsy heroines in her novels. Her novels have been nominees in the Ned Kelly Crime Awards and two were finalists in the mainstream section of the Romantic Book of the Year Award. Her latest book, Fatal Flaw, is published by Clan Destine Press, and all her novels are available as ebooks from Amazon Kindle and Clan Destine Press. Sandy also organises WriteFest, the Bundaberg writers festival. You can find out more about Sandy’s books at http://sandycurtis.com/blog/


Bronwyn Parry writes gritty romantic suspense inspired by the dramatic landscapes and resilient people of rural and outback Australia. A Golden Heart and ARRA winner and RITA and R*BY finalist, Bronwyn’s fourth novel will be published in September 2013. Despite writing about murder and crime, Bronwyn lives peacefully on 100 acres of beautiful bushland with her husband and two energetic border collies and loves to travel in Australia’s wild places.

Helene Young 2012 Author photo by Charlotte Rose (LR)Helene Young, grew up reading Enid Blyton Mysteries. While she’s moved on from the Five Find-Outers and Dog she hasn’t lost her love of suspense and intrigue. Twenty-two years later she’s a Captain with Australia’s largest regional airline, juggling flying and writing.  Her first book, Wings of Fear, won the prestigious R*BY award in 2011, and Favourite Romantic Suspense Novel, 2010. Shattered Sky, her second book, won Favourite Romantic Suspense Novel, 2011 and recently won the 2012 R*BY.

Burning Lies, the third and final book in her Border Watch series and set on the Atherton Tablelands, is out now.

Tell us about yourself in 10 words or less.

We’re Australian Romantic Suspense authors passionate about writing memorable villains!

Have you presented sessions at previous conferences, for RWA or other organisations? 

We’ve all presented sessions at previous conferences and all run workshops for writing organisations around Australia. We love writing and sharing that knowledge with other writers, both emerging and established. RWA conferences are a wonderful way to give back to the organization and help other writers on their creative journey.

What prompted you to put together this workshop for “Riding The Waves”?

Compelling villains make for another layer of depth in a story. If you can make your readers care about your villains, or at the very least empathize with their motivation, then you’ve created a memorable antagonist. We believe a great villain is the key to not only riveting Romantic Suspense but to any good story. We also believe that strong villains demand strong heroes and heroines for an epic good vs evil battle, and make readers care, so that by creating a great villain you feed the quality of your protagonists, as well as your overall plot.

Will there be hands-on exercises or audience participation?

We like to see our audiences work for the session *grin*

So, while it may be a panel, there’ll be plenty of interaction, loads of examples, some exercises, and opportunity to ask questions.


Which members will benefit most from this session?

Anyone who is writing a character in their stories who is an antihero, villain or antagonist will benefit from this discussion on how to bring out the best or worst in a character.


Any advice for conference first-timers?

 Jump right in and enjoy yourselves! Ask questions, chat to people next to you in the queue at breakfast, lunch and dinner, enjoy every minute of the weekend.

Make sure you go along to the session for new members at the start of conference as you’ll meet other writers who will become life long friends and it’s great to have some familiar faces at other sessions.


BurningLiesFrontCoverLR-201x300 Shannon Curtis - Guarding Jess                                                                                Fatal Flaw front cover Dead Heat

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

We’re all working on new novels for release later this year.


Half Moon Bay’ by Helene Young will be released in June 2013

Grevious Harm’, by Sandy Curtis is due out later in 2013

Shannon Curtis has several new projects in the pipe-line for 2013

‘Darkening Skies’ by Bronwyn Parry will be released early in 2014


Finally, we are so delighted you’re visiting us in Western Australia. Is there anything in particular you’re looking forward to seeing or doing while you’re here?

 Drinking some of those fantastic Margaret River wines!  And checking out the beautiful beaches, lapping up the wonderful WA ambience, and diving into Freo’s fascinating history!



Thank you ladies!

Our next conference spotlight will be featured Saturday 16th March.

Leave a comment


  1. After seeing you ladies in action at ARRC2013, I can tell this is going to be an amazing panel. Nothing like a good shark in the story.

  2. Ha, Eleni, maybe we should do some role playing again!!

  3. Bags not being the plankton.

  4. I’m very dark that I missed that panel, now, having seen the pics, so at least I have another chance!


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