Colours of Love Speakers

International Speakers

Rachel Bailey

Rachel Bailey is a USA Today bestselling author with a PhD in English, so it’s safe to say she lives in a world of books and stories. She’s taught writing workshops at conferences, festivals and events across Australia and New Zealand, occasionally tutors in English at the University of Tasmania, and has been mentoring writers for over 10 years.

Her books have hit bestseller lists, won awards, been translated into twenty languages, and published in over twenty-eight countries. Besides books, she’s also obsessed with dogs and popcorn. Luckily, she has two dogs, a popcorn maker and overflowing bookshelves, so she’s covered on all fronts.

Becca Syme

Becca Syme holds a master’s degree in transformational leadership and has been a success coach (primarily utilizing the Gallup Strengthsfinder®) for over fifteen years. She’s coached over 5,000 individual authors and creatives through her Better-Faster Academy: six- and seven-figure authors, major award winners, midlisters, and new authors alike.

She holds membership in RWA, SCBWI, and NINC. A former communications director and consultant, she holds an undergrad degree in English and an advanced degree in Leadership and Theology. Her life followed a natural progression into writing mystery books. She writes cozy mysteries that take place in Montana with a spunky amateur sleuth who owns a small bakery in a Montana tourist town near a national park. &

Sacha Black

Sacha Black is a bestselling and competition winning author, rebel podcaster, speaker and casual rule breaker. She writes writing craft books for authors, and spicy sapphic fantasy romance as Ruby Roe. She lives in Cambridgeshire, England, with her wife and genius, giant of a son. &

Cathy Yardley

Cathy Yardley has been a published and award-winning author for the past 25 years, selling over 1.2M books for publishers like St. Martin’s, Avon, and Harlequin in addition to publishing her own indie titles. Her novel ROLE PLAYING was on the NYT’s list of best romances of 2023, as well as winning the American Library Association’s RUSA award for best romance. She is a past president of the Los Angeles and San Francisco chapters of the RWA. For the past 12 years, she has run her own editing and writing coaching business, Rock Your Writing, which helps authors figure out how to get their stories “unstuck.” She’s helped several authors in a variety of genres move on to bestseller lists and career success.

Cathy writes fun, geeky, and diverse characters who believe that underdogs can make good and sometimes being a little wrong is just right. She likes writing about quirky adventures, because she’s had plenty of her own: she had her own army in the Society of Creative Anachronism; she’s spent a New Year’s holiday on a 3-day solitary vision quest in the Mojave Desert; she had VIP access to the Viper Room in Los Angeles. Now, she spends her time writing in the wilds of Eastern Washington State, trying to prevent her son from learning the truth of any of said adventures, and riding herd on her two dogs (and one husband.)

Local Speakers

Amy Andrews

Amy is an award-winning, USA Today best-selling Aussie author whose twenty year career has produced eighty-five contemporary romances in both the traditional and digital markets. Her books bring all the feels from sass, quirk and laughter to emotional grit and scorching heat. She believes in soul mates, happily ever afters and the mighty wang.

Amy loves to travel and drink wine. Drinking wine whilst travelling makes her one very happy little vegemite. She’s lives in the pretty little coastal town of Yeppoon where she gets to stare at the ocean all day and enjoy cocktails on the deck in the evening.

Samara Parish

Samara Parish is an historical romance writer who has a very limited amount of control over her characters. She spent the better part of 2023 watching as her hero and heroine refused to kiss (they got there eventually, on their own terms). She is also a Gallup-Certified CliftonStrengths Coach with Becca Syme’s Better-Faster Academy and works with writers to help them align their writing, marketing and careers to their natural talents—both plotters and pantsers alike.

Michelle Somers

Michelle Somers is a professional killer and matchmaker, a storyteller and a romantic. Words are her power and her passion. Her heroes and heroines always get their happy ever after, but she’ll put them through one hell of a journey to get there. Michelle’s romantic suspense debut, Lethal in Love won the Romance Writers of Australia’s 2013 Valerie Parv Award and 2016 Romantic Book of the Year.

Michelle loves sharing her knowledge, teaching writing craft in simple and easy to follow steps. Her SIMPLY SYNOPSIS strategy has revolutionized the way writers craft a synopsis, and now her CHARACTERISATION THROUGH NARRATION strategy is helping writers master the art of strong, character-driven storytelling.

Amanda Ashby

Amanda Ashby was born in Australia but now lives in New Zealand. She grew up on a diet of Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew; and while climbing out windows at night seems like hard work, she does enjoy writing about characters who do such things! She’s been published by Penguin/Random House US, Albert Whitman, Entangled and Boldwood.

She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland. Her debut book was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, and her first young adult book was listed by the New York Public Libraryʼs Stuff for the Teen Age. She has presented many workshops over the years as well as working with new writers as a mentor and coach.

Louisa Duval

Lou Bromley is career counsellor by day, and romance writer by day and night, as well as a former ABC Radio content creator, and mar-comms professional. She has presented workshops for the Career Development Association of Australian, spoken on industry panels, and won awards for her graduate development programs.

Lou writes as Louisa Duval, and has won and finalled in ARRA awards, published in RWA’s Sweet Treats and Spicy Bites anthologies, and was a Koru finalist. Louisa was a writer in residence with QWC in 2022. Lou also co-hosts a fan podcast about the real life locations featured in Bluey.

Enni Amanda

Enni Tuomisalo is a graphic designer and cover artist with 20+ years of experience in the creative industry. She’s currently the co-director of Hamilton-based boutique design agency Bee Creative, which operates internationally as Yummy Book Covers, focusing on illustrated cover design. They work mostly with indie authors. Enni also writes romantic comedies under the pen name Enni Amanda. and

Tanya Nellestein

Tanya Nellestein is a bestselling and award winning Australian author who has carved a niche for herself as a champion of unconventional romance narratives. She writes as Tanya Nellestein and Darcie Morgan. Tanya is also an award winning journalist, currently writing for Indie Author Magazine.

As the Founder of Ink Business, Tanya supports authors and creatives to transform their words into business through workshops, courses, and individual and group coaching.

Sadie King

Sadie King is a USA Today Best Selling author of over 120 short and steamy contemporary romance stories about ex-military mountain men and the sassy women who steal their hearts.

She lives in New Zealand with her ex-military husband and young son. When she’s not writing she loves catching waves with her son, running along the beach and drinking good wine, preferably with a book in hand.

Her first non-fiction book, Writing Short Romance for Pleasure and Profit will be released in March 2024.

Angelique Jurd

Angelique Jurd writes contemporary LGBTQIA+ romance fiction featuring characters from all walks of life. She is a full time indie author from Auckland.

Soraya Lane

Soraya M. Lane graduated with a law degree before realising that law wasn’t the career for her and that her future was in writing. She is the author of historical and contemporary women’s fiction, and her novels are Amazon Charts and international bestsellers. Soraya’s new series, The Lost Daughters, has now been translated into 22 languages and her books have sold more than 2 million copies! Soraya lives on a lifestyle property in her native New Zealand with her husband, their two sons and a collection of four legged friends. When she’s not writing, she loves to be outside playing make-believe with her children, riding her horse or snuggled up inside reading.

Fiona McArthur

Fiona McArthur draws from her background as a rural midwife and writes about the lives of women, families and healthcare professionals. With a love for the Australian landscape, her stories feature warm, multigenerational characters navigating challenges in rural and remote settings. Fiona is the author of over fifty-five books, including the non-fiction work Aussie Midwives, and has been recognized with awards including the NSW Excellence in Midwifery Award, the Australian Ruby Award and the NZ Koru Award. Her contributions span thirteen books for Penguin Australia, four for TULE Publishing, forty medical romances for Mills and Boon, along with twenty indie publications and seven Indie German translations, reflecting her versatility as an author. She’s proudly midlist.