Friday, July 4, 2014

How to survive the RNA conference. Drink Wine, Eat Chocolate!

With only a week to go before Conference we welcome the inimitable Jane Wenham-Jones talking about her first RNA Conference

The last time I wrote about the RNA conference it was 2003 and I was a virgin. At least that’s what they told me. I arrived at that first initiation into wine-soaked kitchen parties and chocolate feasts, not knowing what to expect but somewhat hot and cross, having come off the M25 at the wrong junction, failed to find the registration desk and then spent half an hour looking for my accomodation. (You youngsters don't know you're born with your sat navs and Jan Jones's handy set of photo directions. We had it tough in those days...)

Roger Sanderson found me wandering in a car park, contemplating hysterics, and packed me off to the panel I was missing. For which, I recall, I was still dressed in my driving pyjama bottoms and an ancient pair of flip flops. (I hadn’t yet heard about The Shoes).

At dinner they ran out of wine…  “We didn’t know we’d need so much…” said the bemused woman behind the bar, as I shamelessly jumped the queue and got her in a half-nelson for the last remaining bottle. Fortunately, before mutiny erupted totally - I’d have very probably been lynched - further supplies were found stashed elsewhere. That next case emptied in minutes. Gosh, I thought, my kinda women. Then I met Catherine Jones and Katie Fforde. And discovered where it had gone.   

As the new speaker on the block, I’d been given the Sunday morning Hang Over slot (I’ve had it several times since) and all I will say is, I wasn’t the only one clutching the Nurofen. I seem to remember passing on my hot tip for a cure-all. Peanut butter, mixed with marmite, on lots of toast. I have discovered another one since: Crisps! I don’t know whether it’s the fat or the salt or the carbohydrate content but a bag of ready-salted (possibly with a small hair of the dog) will put you right in no time. Just a shame it feels wrong to eat them for breakfast.

Er – isn’t that a diet book I see she’s plugging, I hear you cry. Toast? Crisps? What’s going on? As the author of a Flab-Fighting tome, who knows all about the occupational hazard of Writers’ Bottom and indeed claims to have coined the term, (only to you, dear fellow novelists, can I admit that I put weight ON writing the damn thing), I have been busy explaining to anyone who’ll listen that the whole point of the book is not that I am stick thin (I am not) but that given the amount I drink, eat and lounge on my backside, I manage to avoid being morbidly obese.

How?  Oh dear, I’ve used up my space so, as they say, you’ll have to read it. But rest assured, it certainly involves wine and chocolate…

For a bit of a preview see 

For hot tips on how to eat, drink and be merry without ending up the size of Milton Keynes read this.

100 Ways to Fight the Flab and still have wine and chocolate by Jane Wenham-Jones is published by Accent Press in paperback at £7.99 and on Kindle and e formats

Jane will be presiding over the Sunday Sofa at the conference from 4.45pm. 
Come along, have a laugh, put your feet up. Bring your leftover wine and chocolate… J

Thank you for joining us, Jane. We always loves anything that involves wine and chocolate.

RNA blogs are brought to you by Elaine Everest and Natalie Kleinman.
If you would like to write something for the RNA blog please contact us on

No comments: