Love is in the air for All Blacks
As they count down to tonight's rugby test, the All Blacks might take advantage of a fortuitous opportunity to get some advice on their wooing techniques.
Wellington's InterContinental hotel, where the New Zealand team are staying, is also hosting the annual conference of the Romance Writers of New Zealand.
Some of those taking part are stars of the world of romance novels, and some have noticed their sporty fellow guests
For instance, there's American author Megan Crane, who also writes best sellers as Caitlin Crews
"The All Blacks are in this hotel. I've seen them with my own eyes and heart palpitations. In totally unrelated news, I've decided to become a sports fan. Say: of rugby," she said on her Facebook page.
Which is kind of her, given that after years of being smashed in the line of duty top rugby players are not always the prettiest guys in the room
Crane is running workshops at the conference which goes by the romantic title A Capital Affair.
She told Fairfax Media one of the rules repeated to romance writers was that they should not have sports figures in their books.
But it was a rule that was regularly broken, including in a popular series of books about a fictional American football team.
"I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people write about rugby players after this," she said.
"They are very nice. All these people keep stopping them and asking them for autographs.
While the players may have been unknown to Crane, New Zealand writer of humorous fiction Catherine Robertson is more aware of their identities
"Note that someone has already seen Richie McCaw in a towel, and another AB in the gym/pool changing room wearing no towel at all (we don't know which one it was as the woman who saw him did not have her glasses on at the time)," Robertson noted on her Facebook page
"I'm not sure the hotel may fully have appreciated the incendiary potential of 100+ romance writers within touching distance of large, sporting young men.
Then there's American Allison Brennan, best-selling writer of romantic thriller novels.
Her Facebook page give the impression she is not someone to be messed with. A picture shows someone who is probably Brennan at a firing range, looking rather comfortable shooting a handgun
In a posting she talked about sharing the hotel with the All Blacks, and included a picture of the All Blacks doing the haka from a few years ago
"Rugby isn't a huge sport in America, but it's becoming more popular. Here in NZ? It's king. I'll admit, it could get addictive ... and they play with no equipment. Fierce!" Brennan said
"There should be celebrations (tonight) because apparently the All Blacks haven't lost to the Ozzies in 100 years (or 100 games -- the girls I was talking with weren't positive, just know it's been a long time! LOL)."
Not everyone is impressed
Someone called Rebecca Askin, commenting on Brennan's page said: " Pfffft Rugby Union is weak compared to Rugby League!! Make sure you check out the NZ Warriors playing whilst you're in the neighbourhood! Love from across the 'ditch'."
As for the conference, Crane said it was wonderful
"I went to the Australian one as well a week ago. This part of the world is so welcoming."
She was enthusiastic about New Zealand writers, and pointed out that one of her favourite authors was New Zealander Nalini Singh, a writer of paranormal romance
Romance Writers of NZ president Giovanna Lee said the conference was the organisation's 20th and the first to be held in Wellington
"We have writers and speakers from the US, and editors from the US, Britain, and Australia taking pitches from authors." There was also a top American agent
It was a good opportunity for writers to bypass the pile of manuscripts sent to publishers.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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