Romance Rocks 2014 Presents…


On Saturday 9th August on Track C, Session 2, Kate Cuthbert and Kat Mayo will take delegates beyond the basics, over the hurdles, and into the fast-paced world of reader-author interaction.

Beyond the Basics: Dilemmas, Dangers and Dramas in the Social World

In response to requests from last year’s participants for something beyond an explanation of the different types of social media, Kate and Kat have a workshop that moves beyond the basics to discuss the more high-level issues that come with author/reader interaction.

Your Presenters – Kate Cuthbert and Kat Mayo

Editor, Publisher, Genre advocate, book reviewer, lover of romance, believer in happy endings. Kat reads the ends first. Kate thinks this is sacrilege.

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

Yes, we presented together (along with Sarah Wendell) in Perth in 2013 on reader/writer interactions, and Kate has presented a number of workshops on social media and authors.

Do you use examples (from your own books, other books, movies etc)?

Absolutely – we’ll be using examples from across the different social spaces, talking about them, discussing solutions, and presenting take-home strategies that can be adapted and adopted.

Which members will benefit most from this session?

Members who are already well-versed in social media, know their options and what works best for them. Members who are looking for a more detailed discussion of the positives and negatives of social media, who want to delve deeper into social spaces.

What is the best part/aspect of conference for you?Kat Mayo

Being in one place with a whole conference full of people who get it. It’s the highlight of my year.

Any advice for conference first-timers?

Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself. Everyone is there for the same reason you are, and everyone loves talking about books. The only opening line you need is, ‘Hi. My name is <> and I write <>. What do you write?’


Riding the Waves Conference Spotlight ~ Kat Mayo (Book Thingo)

Welcome to a conference spotlight

from the

Riding the Waves conference!

Today we have Kat Mayo who with Kate Cuthbert and Sarah Wendell will be presenting the workshop NAVIGATING THE CHOPPY WATERS OF ONLINE REVIEWS .



Kat Mayo runs Book Thingo, an Australian reader blog with a focus on romance books, Australian authors and local book industry news and events. When she is not blogging, Kat is often found on Twitter, where she is known as the fairy killer (someone who reads the ending of a book first). She co-organises Aussie Author Month, a blogging event celebrating Australian authors, and is a contributor to the Australian Women Writers Challenge blog and the Australian Romance Readers Association newsletter. She has been featured in the (sydney) magazine (pictured surrounded by stacks of Mills & Boon books) and recently curated Raunchy Romance Storytime at Customs House Library.

KateCuthbertKate Cuthbert is a reader, writer, reviewer, twitter-er, blogger, and starter of readers’ groups, all devoted (mainly) to romance novels. She’s written and reviewed for The Courier-Mail, All About Romance, Booktopia, Bookseller & Publisher Magazine, and the New York Journal of Books. She now heads up Harlequin Australia’s digital first imprint, Escape Publishing.

Sarah Wendell is author of the book Everything I Know About Love, I Learned from Romance Novels, co-author of the book, Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance Novels, and co-founder of Smart Bitches Trashy, one of the most popular blogs examining romance fiction. The site specializes in reviewing romance novels, pondering the history and future of the genre in digital form and in print, and bemoaning the enormousp revalence of bodacious pectorals adorning male cover models.


Tell us about yourself in 10 words or less.

I run Book Thingo, a blog focused on romance fiction.

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

Last year, I was a panelist at RWA Clayton’s Conference, chatting about ‘What readers want’. This is the first time I’ll be presenting in person at an RWA conference (she writes nervously).

In another first, I’m moderating an author panel for the Australian Romance Readers Conference this year (this will probably be posted after the event, so fingers crossed it went well). I also did my first ever radio interview about romance books with 2SER.

Previously, I was a panelist at Ultimo Library’s discussion on ‘Sex, love and passion – the appeal of romance novels’, and I curated ‘Raunchy Romance Storytime’ at Customs House Library.


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

Following a Twitter discussion, Nikki Logan emailed me, suggesting that an exploration of the value of reviews and how authors use and respond to them might make for a good workshop topic. I was definitely interested, but it took me some time to turn her ideas into something that I felt could be presented at the RWA conference. Sarah Wendell, Kate Cuthbert and I got to talking at last year’s GenreCon, we bounced some ideas off each other, and finally, the structure of the workshop emerged.


What will participants take away from this session? (OR what is the key outcome or take-home message?)

Our aim is to provide authors with effective strategies for dealing with ethical and professional issues they might face when dealing with online reviews. We also hope to provide some insights into the unwritten ‘rules’ that  authors should keep in mind when interacting with readers in different online communities.

Will there be audience participation?

Absolutely. We’ll have an introduction to frame the discussion, and we’ll be guiding the session to ensure we cover the topics we’ve outlined, but I really hope the majority of the session will be interactive—more of a panel than a workshop. We’re more than happy to take questions throughout the session, and if you have specific scenarios that you’d like us to work through, I think that would make for a very interesting session.



Which members will benefit most from this session?

‘Navigating the Choppy Waters of Online Reviews’ is aimed at authors who have an online presence or are in the process of establishing one. I think it will be particularly valuable for authors in niche markets, where reader/author interactions online are more common, and authors who rely on social media to build and sustain their readership.

That said, I think that any author who reads online reviews of their books will find the workshop worthwhile. One of the things I’m very conscious of is ensuring that the workshop is author-friendly, so we can have open discussions of your biggest concerns.

Anything you’re particularly looking forward to at the 2013 Riding The Waves conference in Fremantle?

I’m not going to lie—I’ll probably be completely ridiculous when I meet Julia Quinn! That aside, I’ve been to a few RWA conferences as a bystander and each time I’ve been impressed by the vibrant atmosphere and just general feeling of goodwill among participants. This year, I get to see what it’s like from within the conference, and I’m so excited!




Thank you, Kat!

The next conference spotlight will be tomorrow.

Cruisin’ with RWA

We hope you had a good Easter break. There’s a lot going on out there with new releases, blogs, giveaways and more. Have you got news or a blog to share? Send us the link to


Cruisin’ the News

Share your good news with us each week and we’ll join you in your happy dance. Congratulations to all our members this week.

Good News

THE TRADER’S DREAM has been doing very nicely in the Top 100 Family Sagas and Sagas lists on Amazon.

has a new release out on April 15, ASK ME TO STAY: A Homeland Book from Destiny Romance

I’LL GET BY, released Feb 2013 was reviewed by WritingWA, the literary body for the State of western Australia. The review also appeared in the West Newspaper on February 29. This book is the third one in the World Wars’ trilogy and is preceded by book one, TALL POPPIES and book two, SECRETS AND LIES.

A HANDFUL OF ASHES, a paperback saga for Simon and Schuster published in 2004 has attracted a sale of over 7,500 copies to a book club.

SOMETHING SPOOKY. an ebook through Belgrave House.

THE GREEK, THE DOG, SHANGRI-LA, and ME is a short story (non-romance) that was a runner up in the Katherine Susannah Prichard Award is to be included in a  an American anthology with the theme I thought I’d never see you again. The anthology will be published and sold by writer’s organisation,  Novelist’s Inc.

Maree Anderson has just released a fantasy trilogy: SEER’S HOPE (Book One), SEER’S PROMISE (Book Two) and SEER’S CHOICE (Book Three).  SEER’S HOPE, a previous RWNZ Clendon Award finalist, is currently free on Smashwords.

Maree’s Clendon Award-winning book, THE CRYSTAL WARRIOR (Book One of The Crystal Warriors series), is currently also free at Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Sony, Diesel eBooks & All Romance eBooks.


Cruisin’ Member Blogs

Clint had another busy week cruisin’ the web and inbox. Hope you enjoy his scoop. Share a link and a short blurb here each week by emailing the details to us at:

  • RWA Blog

April 6 – Hearts Talk Wrap

April 7 – Event Announcements

April 9 – Riding the Waves Conference Spotlight on Kat Mayo

April 10 – Author Spotlight and Giveaway: Alison Stuart

April 11 – Cruisin’ with RWA

Kate Belle shares secret YEARNINGS this Sunday 7th on All the World’s a Page.

Annie West will be a guest on Sunday 14th April. Don’t miss out!

This week on Friday Feast we’re offering a double treat: A new voice in Australian rural fiction and blueberry-topped cheesecake! So come on over and meet Pamela Cook, whose debut release BLACKWATTLE LAKE is gathering punnetfuls of rave reviews. Plus you’ll be raving even more when you see her tried n’ true cheesecake. Indeedy, we’re in for a berry good time!

All your favourites over at DSDU this week

Visit Eleni Konstantine in the Taverna

Anna Campbell was ‘baled up’ on Author Harvest WITH giveaway (and Jenn was run down in the rush!)

Then, for someone completely different. Meet women’s fiction author Lia Weston on Author Harvest.

Oh, and, it’s Jenn’s one-month anniversary and she’s done a rundown of what that has entailed.

Has started a guest blogging segment on my site, called : Spotlight on Writers. Her first guest post was up 31 March 2013 with Sue Moorcroft

April 6 – CAT-URDAY: A Writer’s Cat

April 9 – CRAFT: Nine Points of Trust – guest blogger Paula Roe shares some crafting skills…

April 13 – SATURDAY SEVEN: Seven paragraphs of a favourite book off my shelves – SONG OF SCARABAEUS by Sara Creasy

Look out for the Monthly Blog Roundup and an excerpt of a craft article written by Ebony McKenna called Active or Passive Voice.

An electrifying experience! I’m sitting in Annie Seaton’s Chair. What do perfume and musicals have in common? Come join us and find out!

I would like to announce an exciting new Guest-Hosting Page on my Blog site. Browsing Book Covers with Maryde & Guest! What is different with Browsing Book covers is It is not just for Authors – I will be welcoming readers as well…Each Month, Guests will share thoughts about Bookcovers past & new. What better way to connect with readers than invite them into our world? So, I invite you to pass on my contact e-mail to your Mum  your cousin, sister, brother, your 80yr old aunt, (who may be deaf, but still loves to read),and I’ll contact them with a selection of simple and painless questions they just answer and return by email.  Did I mention there will be some Give-a-ways from generous Authors. Looking forward to your company!

I blog about my romance writing journey. I like to think it’s an amusing blog about the journey of an aspiring writer. My latest blog talks about my experience with the RWA Little Gems comp.  I do hope you have some time to take a quick peek.

April 2ROOM SERVICE anyone? In the Armchair with Vanessa Stark
April 6 –  Going UNDER THE HOOD on Elise Ackers’ The Write Frequency
April 7 – Getting a little out-of-water action In the Armchair with Ros Baxter and her new release, FISH OUT OF WATER

March 25 – Life in a Pink Fibro – Allison Tait’s blog: Starting Out: How to make the time to write

April 1 – Australian Romance Readers Association Inc: Release day blog

April 1 – Ros Baxter Ink: Happy launch day – make like a mermaid!

April 2 – Beauty and Lace e-zine (Bookgirl Michelle) – Review

April 3 – Manga Mania Cafe: Interview and review

April 3 – Down Under Divas: Interview

April 3 – Parajunkee: Review

April 4 – The Write Frequency – Elise K Ackers’ blog: Interview

April 4 – Rachael Johns’ blog: My secret life

April 5 – Romance Readers: Blog and giveaway

April 6 – Amy Andrews on Sister Chat: Sister on sister interview

April 7 – Juanita Kees blog: Interview

April 8 – Nomi’s Paranormal Palace: Review and blog

April 9 – Nicola Marsh’s blog: The tail so far…

April 10 – Juliet Madison’s blog: Choreographing a love scene underwater (and other things your craft book never taught you)

April 11 – Kylie Griffin’s blog: Torn between two worlds

April 12 – Sami Lee’s blog:  The story behind the story 

April 15 – Nas Dean’s blog: Blog and giveaway

April 29 – Love Cats Down Under: Sisters and Books


Enrico’s Pick Six

Submit your blog site link to to share with our readers. Enrico hand picks six blogs to showcase every week.

Enrico’s Pick Six this week:Enrico

  1. Susanne Bellamy
  2. Tracey O’Hara
  3. Trish Morey
  4. Write on Track – Diane Curran
  5. The Other Side
  6. Carla Caruso


Riding the Waves: Writing Romance in Tempestuous Times

Things are heating up here in the west with the 22nd annual RWA conference approaching fast. So do keep an eye out for blogs and information Riding the Waveshere on the blog, on Facebook and on the Romance Writers of Australia website. If you’re planning on Riding the Waves in Freo this year, why not keep up to date and subscribe to the newsletter via email.

August 16 – 18 2013 -The Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle, Western Australia

In August 2013, for the first time, our annual national conference is heading to Western Australia. With a gorgeous heritage hotel, sunshine, sea-breezes, alfresco dining and history – Fremantle has it all. And now it has romance!

Take advantage of the Early Bird Savings and register today!

Regards Juanita

  • Subscribe by email

  • Subscribe by Feeder

  • Recent News

  • Blog Posts by Category

  • Archives

  • Our Team

    Blogmistress: Imelda Evans

    Blog Editor: Juanita Kees

    A Day in the Writing Life of... Keziah Hill

    Author Spotlights: Sarah Belle

    Cruisin' the Blogs: Juanita Kees

    New Releases: Laura Boon

    Blog Bites: Thea George

    Hearts Talk Wrap: Ainslie Paton

    Cover Contest: Eleni Konstantine

  • Your say:

    Eewang on BLOG BITE with Paula Roe
    Consultoria Seo on February New Releases
    Marsha Atkins on 2017 Ruby finalists
    Alex on 2017 Ruby finalists
    Alex on 2017 Ruby finalists
  • RWAus Tweets

  • Pages