Monday, 28 July 2008


I got a draft program copy for the Australian Romance Readers Convention. When is it? February 20 – 22 in Melbourne, Australia. If you are going to be in town then think about wandering by. Check it out here. The whole thing looks good. I believe I mentioned I would be speaking on one if the panels. Not sure what I will say but I expect it will come to me. I am generally not lost for words at any time. One thing in the brochure made me laugh. Author Speed dating. Huh? What is that? Is it a dating service for single authors? Would you have five minutes to convince each potential partner that you could indeed do what you wrote on page 2, 15, 27, some of page 42, only the upside down bits on page 63 and maybe 79 if you had enough alcohol. But seriously…I cannot do it upside down…

…back on track - the convention – author speed dating - no, it's not about romance for the dramatic and the lovelorn. It actually allows authors to have ‘their five minutes of fame’ to talk about themselves and what they write. It's an interesting concept to introduce new authors to the world. Only problem is, I wonder if an author can stop talking about themselves after 5 minutes? I suspect not. We are a long winded bunch. We cannot restrict ourselves to describing something, when asked to, in two short sentences. I have yet to meet an author who can send in a 'short' excerpt. But for all that we are an interesting bunch. How do I know? I just do. Not like I’d lie about the fabulousness of authors.

Could I tell the Amarinda Jones story in five minutes? Yeah, I could do it. Anyone who has ever worked in a call center and has had to rattle off a ridiculous amount of standard script in 3 minutes and not allow the customer to speak unless prompted to can easily blurt out their condensed life story. Will I do it? No, I'm not planning to.

So that brings me to speed dating. A bunch of men and a bunch of women get together. The women sit at tables and the men rotate and spend 5 minutes talking to each woman. Sort of like musical chairs. You get to meet a lot of people in a short time and generally if you like someone you mark a card and then some speed dating fairy hooks you up with any interested partners. If you were you looking for a man do you think you would you do it? Do you think you can get a good idea of someone in 5 frantic minutes? I am a greater believer in love at first sight. I know it happens - been there and done that – though it was really more like “you are so annoying and yet I must have you.” Ah, those were the days. So yeah, I don’t see why you cannot meet someone great in 5 minutes. You can know someone for years and suddenly think ‘crap I don’t like you’ – so time, to me, is irrelevant.

I generally write books where the heroine and hero meet and everything happens really quick and crazy and inhibitions are thrown to the wind in a what-the-heck-we'll-never-see-each-other moment. No, I don’t recommend that for everyone. It takes a certain type of madness to do that. Besides it's a fantasy and from the letters I get from readers the idea of a frantic moment with a handsome man appeals to many. So, I can see how speed dating could work for some people. And, let’s face it, our impressions are formed about someone in the first couple of minutes.

Everything in life is about time and timing isn’t? Time to meet someone and being in the right place at the right time. So why not speed dating? Sure, there is a high chance you'll meet no one special and but you will have a laugh. And who knows, you may just meet the one.

I read the top 10 speed dating tips for women. They are -

1) Laugh – be happy – well duh…
2) Give clear signals – men can be as thick as two short planks. If you are not interested tell him and hand cuffing him to your wrist is a yes
3) The big freeze; a major turn off – look friendly…another big duh.
4) Even the most beautiful woman gets rejected! So don’t giggle at her if you see that happening…but really, if he rejects you then he is clearly insane and you did not want him anyway.
5) Ooze appeal – just appeal – anything else oozing should be covered with a band aid.
6) Let your body do the talking – really? As women that would never have occurred to us.
7) Reveal your sexy glow – I have yet to meet another woman who glows. You just know a man wrote these tips.
8) Emulate Marilyn Monroe – but watch out for subway grates unless you have your good knickers on.
9) Listen up ladies – if he talks about living with his mother, his bottle top collection and the book he is writing on the body language of goldfish then consider moving on
10) Read his signs –'re putting in a lot of work here...what is he doing for you?

(Parts taken from

Before I left work this arvo, a colleague told me about a man she met chatting online. I thought to myself, this is really the way romance seems to be going. You chat for hours with someone you don’t know, you build a rapport and then you meet. It’s kind of sweetly old fashioned and who am I to say it’s not normal? After listening to her talking about him, I actually left work with a smile on my face…that doesn’t happen every day. And er, no, I’m not going to be going online any time soon…

Have an unpukeable Monday if you can
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?


barbara huffert said...

Speed dating seems as good a way as any to begin. At least you're all there for the same reason and you don't have to wonder.

Sandra Cox said...

Hey Ms Amarinda, you're pretty perky for a Monday. I like the speed dating concept and meeting on line these days does seem to be the way to go.
Hope your evening is going well.

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Speed Dating--Don't know that I'd try it myself, but sounds like a great way to start a book. On-line dating? There are those who swear by it. Takes sex out of the equation until much later--I suspect if all parties are honest then they really do get to know one another better. A pretty big IF, but there you go.

Anny Cook said...

In the US, I hear that speed dating is all the rage in the senior crowd. It's a safe way to meet as all the people are checked out. But five minutes...?

Regina Carlysle said...

Did you see The 40 Year Old Virgin? We love that movie and they have a cool scene about speed dating. You'd have to think fast and first impressions are important. I think if it leads to an innocent first "getting to know you" date that would be a neat thing. If it doesn't go anywhere, then all that's lost is a few hours of time. PLUS you can meet people in a safe environment.

The convention sounds like a blast and I'd love to see you in action on the panel.

Ashley Ladd said...

I'll have to share those speed dating tips with my 24 yo daughter. Not that she listens to me, especially about dating and men.

Congrats on your new contract.

JacquƩline Roth said...

Speed Dating just sounds scary. It should be called "How to be rejected by several men in one night".

I did the internet thing and seven years later, here the SO and I are.