Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Historical Novel Society London 2014

This conference took place over this past weekend and was my first HNS gathering on this side of the Pond (I am still in the UK as I write this).  My novels are a mashup of historicals and mysteries.  I usually think of myself as a mystery writer, but with the crowd in attendance here, I was one of them.  I felt it too.  What a warm and welcoming group.  Here are some pictures of the highlights:

To get to the University of Westminster each morning, I took
the Tube to the Baker Street Station and passed this guy along the way!

The proceedings were emceed by Richard Lee, founder and executive director the society.  He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the genre, with an emphasis, as you can imagine, on British writers.  Here he is holding up a winner of the Indie award

There were about 350 attendees, enough to give the conference a high energy level, but still keep
it intimate enough to feel as if everyone was accessible.  There were lots of scheduled
breaks, all with food, snacks, coffee, tea, creating a festive atmosphere.

A big highlight for me was the interview with the brilliant Lindsey Davis!
This debate was hilarious, as each participant tried to convince the audience
that his or her era was the most interesting--amid much spontaneous and side-splitting banter.

On Friday and Saturday evenings, we repaired to the nearby
Hardy's Restaurant for a lovely dinner with long tables that made
conversation easy and just about guaranteed camaraderie. 

The closing event was a historical fiction quiz that pitted these three writers/experts
against the audience with questions to see which group knew most about the subject
matter of historical novels by past and present writers.  I was GREAT fun!  The contest
was close, but in the end, the audience won.

In fact, the audience won in many ways.  I'll come back to this one!

Annamaria Alfieri


  1. Sounds like tremendous fun - and encouragement for your chosen genre! You have had a totally fascinating journey... tjs