Smorgasbord Sunday Interview – The Ultimate Bucket List – Meeting other Writers by Darlene Foster

Welcome to the Sunday Interview post where I ask guests to share the top two items on their bucket list.  This week children’s author Darlene Foster shares her thoughts on the subject. Two that as writers are very important, one to connect with other authors and also to meet those who have been successful and learn from the best.


I have had a bucket list for a long time, well before it was known as a “bucket” list! As I reach one goal, it gets stroked off and more are added. The list never gets shorter. The two biggies were getting published and moving to another country. I am happy to say I have accomplished both of those but there are always others. I have travelled quite a bit but there is still a lot of the world I would like to see so that is always on my list, the names of the places just keep changing. Sally asked for two personal items from my list so here they are.

Attend a writer´s conference in the UK or Europe

I enjoyed attending writer´s conferences when I lived in Canada. I found them to be exciting, very motivating and I always learned something valuable. The chance to meet and chat with other writers is always wonderful and to meet well known and respected authors is awesome. I attended the Surrey International Writers Conference in British Columbia a number of times and met the most amazing people, whether well-established writers or struggling scribes like myself.

A couple of years before I was published, I booked ten minutes with Meg Tilly (Oscar winning actor and author) at the conference. She read the first two pages of Amanda in Arabia, gave me some tips to make it better and encouraged me to keep sending it out. It made all the difference as I was about to give up.

I also met and had my picture taken with Diana Gabaldon (author of the Outlander series). I miss the opportunity to rub shoulders with other authors and learn from them. So attending a Writer´s Conference somewhere in Europe or the UK would be awesome.

This is high on my bucket list and I have started to do research. If anyone knows of Writer´s Conferences on this side of the Atlantic, please let me know.

Here is a post by Bridget Whelan who attends the Brighton Writer’s Conference:

and here are the details of the 2018 conference by the organisers.

Meet more of my blogging friends in person

I love blogging! I have made so many wonderful friends the seven years I have had my blog. The thing is, I now want to meet them in person. I was fortunate to meet a blogging friend from Liverpool a few years ago when she made a trip to Canada which included a stop in Vancouver. Now I plan to visit her in Liverpool next month. I also met the delightful Sue Slaght from Travel Tales of Life when I was in Calgary in August. I found these blogging friends are just as nice in person as they are on the page. When we met, I felt like I have known them all my life. But that is only two out of the hundreds of bloggers I follow and who follow me. My wish is to meet many more. I´m working on it. Perhaps some would like to visit me in Spain.

Well here is a date for you diary Darlene.. The Blogger’s Bash 2018.  I went this year and met several of the bloggers that I was looking forward to meeting in person. Here is the link to keep an eye on proceedings:

DATE: Saturday 19th May 2018

TICKETS: To be announced

TIME: To be confirmed

LOCATION: The George IV, 185 Chiswick High Road, Chiswick, London, W4 2DR

DETAILS FOR THE DAY: To be confirmed

And you can meet some to the attendees courtesy of the video compiled by Hugh Roberts:

So there are two items from that never ending “bucket” list. Thanks Sally. I look forward to reading what’s on everyone else’s list.

Thanks to Darlene for sharing her top two bucket list items.. and I am sure that she will get those ticked off in the next year. If you have details of other conferences or blogging events, please let Darlene know in the comments.

About Darlene Foster

Darlene Foster is a writer, an employment counsellor, an ESL tutor for children, a wife, mother and grandmother. She loves travel, shoes, cooking, reading, sewing, chocolate, music, the beach and making new friends. Her 13-year-old grandson called her “super-mega-woman-supreme”.

She was brought up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she dreamt of traveling the world and meeting interesting people. She currently divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca in Spain, with her husband Paul.

“Amanda in Arabia-The Perfume Flask” was her first published novel. Once bitten by the travel bug, Amanda travels to other interesting places, sticking her nose in other people’s problems and getting herself in trouble. Read “Amanda in Spain – The Girl in the Painting”, “Amanda in England – The Missing Novel”, “Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone”, and “Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music” and “Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind”  to find out the adventures Amanda has as she travels the world.

Here is Darlene’s latest book –  Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind.

About Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind

Amanda Ross is on a school trip to Taos, New Mexico with several of her fellow creative students. Join Amanda, Cleo and their funny friend, Caleb, as they visit an ancient and beautiful landscape where a traditional hacienda, an ancient pueblo, and a haunted and spooky hotel all hold secrets to a wild and violent past. Does Cleo really see ghosts? Can Amanda escape the eerie wind that follows her everywhere? Perhaps the Day of the Dead will reveal the mysteries of Taos in this latest adventure of Amanda’s travels.

A recent review for Amanda in New Mexico

This is the latest installment in a series about a 6th grade girl who is lucky enough to travel, this time with many in her class on a school trip to Taos, New Mexico. They are all students who are artistic, write blogs, take photographs or express themselves in other ways that they are producing each evening after their sightseeing. Taos is a place I have visited and enjoyed so I find it exciting to see it used for the setting of a young adult novel. I also read mysteries when I was young and enjoyed the opportunity to see what is being produced today in this area,and with that hint of the paranormal.

Amanda’s character seems likable to me, smart, but not off-putting. She is also friendly and able and willing to be friends with an outsider. She is adventuresome but also loves learning. I enjoyed the way the author sprinkled the elements of education carefully throughout this novel, providing information on Taos Pueblo and the people who live there. There are also tidbits on cowboys who populated the Southwest and their culture as well as elements of the lives of the many current residents.

Were there ghosts in the Taos area? Did Amanda or her friend Cleo actually see or experience one or more? Well that’s a difficult question to answer. This story combines a good young adult adventure story with hints of the paranormal while also providing some well placed educational material lightly in the text and great ideas for other young people to aspire to.

Read the other reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

Also by Darlene Foster

Read the reviews and buy all of Darlene’s books:

and Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Darlene on Goodreads:

Connect to Darlene via her website and social media.


Thank you for dropping by and if you have news of writer’s events in Europe then please leave details in the comments for Darlene. Thanks Sally




53 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Sunday Interview – The Ultimate Bucket List – Meeting other Writers by Darlene Foster

  1. I loved reading this about you, Darlene. A writer’s conference would be a dream come true. You have met some of the great ones, and that is a gift. If we had a Blogger’s Bash in America, that would be awesome.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine -Weekly Round Up | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine -Weekly Round Up – Dionne Warwick, Thomas Crapper and Pumpkin Seeds | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  4. Darlene I commend you on your bucket list wishes, they are practical but also very endearing.
    Writing is by its nature is a lonely profession – banging away at a keyboard, with a very long period of delayed gratification (and that’s if we are lucky), and one that our nearest and dearest often don’t fully appreciate the old blood sweat and tears of taking a raw idea and chiselling it into shape (even a lot of readers don’t because the main part of writing well is making it look so damn easy!) I think it makes perfect sense to want to meet fellow writers because only they really appreciate the hell we all put ourselves yourself through to get even a far as the first draft! May your wishes come true and I wish you a happy European or UK conference!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great post, Darlene. I echo what Sally says about the Bloggers Bash – you’d love it and be made to feel right at home. One of the biggest writers’ conferences is the one at Winchester. It’s now called Winchester Writing Festival. Here’s the link: It provides opportunities to attend writing workshops in various aspects of writing plus the chance to book a one-to-one session with an editor/agent/publisher.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Darlene, we must be twin souls! These two items are on my bucket list as well. Meeting authors and bloggers in person is such a delight. Here’s a link to 30 Fantastic Writer’s Conferences for Authors, Bloggers and Freelancers:; and a link to The Ultimate List of Blog Conferences: I hope we meet one day soon 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I hope you’ll be able to make it over to the Bloggers Bash soon, Darlene. We’d love to welcome you there. Plans are already well underway for next year’s event and tickets will be going on sale very soon.

    One did take place in Chicago this year, but I’ve not heard how it went.

    Thanks so much for linking to my video of those that attended this year, Sally.
    Hugs to you both.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Pingback: Great review, a bucket list and one from the archives | Darlene Foster's Blog

  9. Anytime you decide to bring Amanda to Sri Lanka would love to meet you.

    We create five year bucket lists…goals to hopfully achieve in the next five years. Sometines we do reach those lofty goals, sometimes not. . Currently a big ine for me is to return to Africa my birthplace.


    Liked by 2 people

  10. Well, after reading this, I’ve added two more things to my (very full) bucket: (1) visit Darlene and Dot on a trip to Spain and (2) travel to London and attend The Blogger’s Bash 2018. I read so many great posts from other bloggers who attended the one in 2017.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Pingback: Winchester Writers’ Festival | Darlene Foster's Blog

I would be delighted to receive your feedback (by commenting, you agree to Wordpress collecting your name, email address and URL) Thanks Sally

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.