Writers Retreat – fun, productive, informative

A group of four writers, including yours truly, gathered in Florida this week for a writers retreat. We’re sharing an AirBnb rental property because the original location, the home my husband and I have, sustained a huge water leak over Christmas and remains close to uninhabitable.

In preparation we talked over Zoom about our personal objectives for gathering, discussed critical things like the kinds of wine we enjoy and foods we prefer to avoid, reviewed a potential daily schedule and decided that we wanted to be much less scheduled.

After arriving on Sunday and enjoying some casual food and wine, the group settled in easily and we were soon chatting about the novels we each have underway, shared experiences like Historical Novel Society conferences, the challenges of being indie authors, husbands, children, travel and life.

Each day we’ve begun between 7:30 and 8 with breakfast followed quickly by getting down to work, each in a separate space, although the beauty of being in Florida is that we’ve been able to work both inside and outside. After a mid-day break for lunch and some more writing, we’ve each found a way to take a break either walking to the beach, biking around the neighbourhood, or doing minor bits of shopping. At 5:00 or 5:30 the wine comes out and conversation begins again and continues over dinner. So far there have been discussions on the topic of research strategies, audio book production, and finding an agent. Did I mention the challenges of being indie authors?

Tonight’s planned topic is the full range of marketing – from author branding to book launch publicity. And we’ve found time to critique a few chapters of one another’s work, draft book blurbs and query letters.

My personal objective has been to restart a manuscript which is a sequel to Paris In Ruins and which currently sits at 45,000 words. I’m having a great time and I think the others are too.

What’s the secret to being successful?

Special thanks to my fellow retreaters: Judith Starkston, author of the upcoming Flights of Treason, Carol Cram, author of The Towers of Tuscany, and Griffin Brady, author of The Heart of a Hussar.


M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel is THE ADMIRAL’S WIFE, a dual timeline set in Hong Kong. Mary’s other novels, PARIS IN RUINS, TIME AND REGRET, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from AmazonNookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.

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Meet M.K.Tod

The historical fiction author behind A Writer of History...

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3 Responses

  1. Similar stage in writing career really resonated with me as I’ve been down the road with that one. It also helps to have similar writing categories. I once had a children’s author–lovely lady–freely admit she didn’t like historical fiction, didn’t read historical fiction and didn’t want to learn about historical fiction. Then she proceeded to give me sweeping edits and changes for my HF. Sometimes you just have to chuckle, don’t you?

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