Upcoming Classes at RWASD!

We have some amazing classes coming up in the next two months through RWASD. It’s a perfect time to register and take advantage of the fantastic knowledge at your fingertips. I know I’ll be registering for a few.

Check out the four upcoming classes we are offering!

Medicine Before 1840: What you need to know to heal or kill your characters

Date: June 128, 2015

Instructor: Georgie Lee

Cost: RWA San Diego Chapter members: $20 Non-members: $25

Open to: All

Please register at http://rwasd.com/training/index.html

Radical changes in medicine in the mid 19th century changed the way people dealt with wounds and diseases and helped usher in the age of modern medicine. Before this time, centuries of habit, ancient texts, a lack of understanding about hygiene, germ theory, anatomy and illness dominated treatment and the training of doctors and surgeons.

This class will also offer insight into past medical practices as well as when certain medical techniques and ideas first emerged and could therefore be plausible in a story. We’ll also explore infectious disease, wounds and battlefield medicine using both firsthand accounts and contemporary sources.


A lifelong history buff, award winning author Georgie Lee hasn’t given up hope that she will one day inherit a title and a manor house. Until then, she fulfills her dreams of lords, ladies and a season in London through her stories. When not writing, she can be found reading non-fiction history or watching any movie with a costume and an accent. You can connect with her at www.georgie-lee.com.


Scrivener for Writers

Date: June 1-30, 2015

Instructor: Patrick Haggerty

Cost: RWA San Diego Chapter members: $20 Non-members: $25

Open to: All

Please register at http://rwasd.com/training/index.html

As writers, we’ve all spent time hunched over a keyboard trying to get our thoughts into some word processor. Word processors such as Word and Pages work ok when it comes to writing fiction but their focus is much more on processing your words (layout, font, headers, footers, etc) than on the creative process. Enter Scrivener.

Scrivener is the premier application for the creation of novels, novellas, and like works. It allows you to write your story the way you want and helps you integrate your research, planning, writing, etc. all into one tool. This course will teach you, the writer, how to best use Scrivener for everything from planning your scenes to generating output for your publisher.

Lectures will be presented using recorded videos so you can hear and see as your instructor explains and demonstrates everything you need to become effective with Scrivener. Each lecture will be announced through the email list and will be accompanied by a brief timeline. Students will then be able to use the same forms/list to ask questions, discuss lectures, etc.


After a failed attempt at college and four years in the USMC learning to be a better apex predator, Patrick Haggerty attended Georgia State University where he studied to be an Actuary. Not a very romantic or literary major, but a good paying one. He started consulting on software development and design in 1997 and has spent most of the time since developing and delivering technical training courses for Learning Tree International.

In 2004, while stuck reading a mediocre book in yet another hotel, Patrick decided to try his hand at writing fiction. He may not be published but these days you are much more likely to find him spending his evenings writing romance, than code. Patrick is an active member of RWAmerica, RWAustralia, RW New Zealand, and is President of the Outreach International chapter of the Romance Writers of America.


Self-Publish Your Way to PAN

Date: July 1-22, 2015

Instructor: Karen Ritter

Cost: RWA San Diego Chapter members: $20 Non-members: $25

Open to: All

Please register at http://rwasd.com/training/index.html

In this course you will learn:


Can you self publish your way to the NY Times Best Sellers List?


Editor, formatter, cover designer, etc.


Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, ARe, Kobo, Apple, /Googleplay, D2D, etc.


What is it and will it get my book in bookstores and libraries?


Tags, Description, Categories, Distribution, Royalties and much more.


How Do I Get My Book Noticed?

Why would I want to give your book away for Free?

Is 99 cents the new free

BONUS: Should you turn your books into Audible books?

Bio: Karen J. Ritter supports herself as an indie author. She has published five books to date; SANDMAN, NIGHTSCREAM, LAST SCREAM, SPIRITS IN THE TREES, SPIRITS AMONG US. All her books are on bestsellers lists for their genre. She writes under the pen name of Morgan Hannah MacDonald. Her titles are available in ebook and trade paperback as well as audio book. You can find Karen at http://www.morganhannahmacdonald.com.


Geeks and Gamers’ Guide to Worldbuilding

Date: July 6–19th, 2015

Instructor: Eilis Flynn

Cost: RWA San Diego Chapter members: $15 Non-members: $20

Open to: All

Please register at http://rwasd.com/training/index.html

No matter what you’re writing, you have to make your readers believe in the world you’re writing about. Comic books and video games (and games in general, for that matter) have been particularly successful in doing this. We’ll examine the worlds and universes that comics and games have built, why they work so well (sometimes even across media to film), and how we can use those concepts in our own writing.


Eilis Flynn has worked at a comic book company, a couple of Wall Street brokerage firms, a wire news service, and a magazine for futurists. She’s also dined with a former British prime minister and a famous economist, can claim family ties to the emperor of Japan and the president of a major telecommunications company, and met her husband when he asked her to sign a comic book. She’s written romantic fantasies and futuristics and comic books, as well as articles on finance, mortgage-backed securities, and precious metals. Her most recent book, Wear Black, was cowritten with historical romance author Heather Hiestand and is available at most online retailers. She’s also a professional editor with nearly 40 years of experience. She can be reached ateilisflynn@aol.com.


May Meeting Roundup + Good News

Our May meeting featured award-winning author, Jennifer Ashley (also known as Allyson James, or Ashley Gardner). With over 83 novels and novellas under her belt, she had a lot to share with us regarding her writing process, her path to success, and her tips for navigating the rapidly changing world of publishing.

According to Jennifer, the business of publishing isn’t simply about printing a book; it’s about getting that book into the hands of as many readers as possible. Finding your audience, she said, is the most important piece of the sales puzzle, and it can be easy to see what people are reading by browsing some of the top bestseller lists, particularly that of Amazon. However, she stressed that even though it’s important to keep an eye on the market, you shouldn’t become obsessed. As an author, the best thing you can do for your career is to concentrate on writing your books.

Aside from listening to our fantastic guest speaker, we mingled, enjoyed lunch, and handed out our monthly awards. May’s Members of the Month were Cindy Kinnard-Diamond and Kristin Rockaway, for their recent efforts to help reinvigorate the chapter’s blog and Twitter account.

Member of the Month Kristin Rockaway (left) with RWASD President, Janet Tait.

Member of the Month Kristin Rockaway (left) with RWASD President, Janet Tait.

And here’s all the good news our chapter members had to share!

  • Susan Burns‘ A Far Far Better Thing prequel novella for the Legends of Golden paranormal series ranked in the top 100 Amazon Kindle Best Seller List in Psychic Paranormal Romance and Sci Fi Romance.
  • Laura Connors self-pubbed a short story, “No Higher Honor.”
  • Kitty Bucholtz had a full request from an editor and a partial request from an agent at the California Dreamin’ conference in Brea.
  • Christine Locksy entered the Orange Rose novella category with Giving Thanks.
  • Pamela Moran released “Dreamwalkers: Touched” in the Sexy to Go Volume 4 Anthology.
  • Margaret Taylor taught a Master Class in Law Enforcement Scenarios for Writer University.
  • Regan Walker released To Tame the Wind, a prequel to the Agents of the Crown trilogy, and was also nominated for the RONE award for The Red Wolf’s Prize.
  • Gloria Gay has a new release for Kindle, Enchanted Summer.
  • Melissa Cutler’s Game Changer was released on May 19th.
  • Demi Hungerford entered the Orange Rose contest with The Way She Moves.
  • Georgie Lee entered the Maggie Awards, the Wisconsin Reader’s Choice Awards, and self-published Lady’s Wager.

Next month, we’ll be hosting literary agent Sara Megibow, who’ll be talking about the life of an agent — and taking pitches for your completed projects! Sign up for a pitch today, and we’ll see you in June!

Why I Love RWASD Meetings.

My first RWASD meeting was only a year ago. I was brand new to the writing world, completely clueless and utterly terrified. I only showed up because a professional romance writer I chatted with on Facebook encouraged me to attend.

“Trust me,” she said. “This is one of the best things you can do if you want to become a pro.”

So I sucked it up, put down my money, and went. The drive there was nerve-wracking. I was convinced that I’d be laughed at or worse, ignored. I mean, why would all these veteran authors even acknowledge me? I barely had a manuscript finished!

So many nightmare scenarios ran through my head:

“Oh the newb is here. Ugh. I hate newbs. I bet she doesn’t even have a manuscript.”

“How DARE she invade our space!”

“She was probably born in a barn and raised by goats! We don’t allow goat children at our meetings!”

Alright so, my fear was completely irrational. But my heart was in my throat none the less when I walked through that door.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The warmth I was greeted with was overwhelming. So many welcomes! So many fantastic people introducing themselves! They asked for my name, what I write, and where I’m from…

“Oh you write paranormal? So do I! We need to chat!”

“You should sit here. This is a great place to see the speakers. Do you need a pen and paper for notes?”

“Seriously, you’re going to love these meetings. We’re happy to have you!”

These authors were genuinely interest me? A nobody? Yes, yes they were. Some were beginners like me, some were season vets, some were NY Time best sellers but all of them had a passion for telling stories. That passion was contagious. And all of them remembered their first meeting and how it felt to walk through that door, wanting to soothe that terror.

I dove in head first and never looked back.

RWASD meetings are a wonderful place for support an encouragement. Every time I attend I am reminded on why I chose this career and leave feeling inspired. The camaraderie combined with the excellent speakers and opportunities to talk with agents, best selling authors, and publishing pros give budding romance writers a unique and valuable opportunity to learn not only the craft but the industry.

If you are reading this, and are currently debating attending your first RWA meeting, I will be that encouraging voice on the internet.


Go to the meetings.

Its one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Everyone needs a support system and the people in RWASD are there just for that. And trust me, once you want through that door, you’ll want to keep coming back again and again.

Information on our upcoming meeting can be found here.

Ask a Romance Writer: Misconceptions

Did anyone catch that infographic, The Reputation of Romance Novels, that was sweeping the Internet yesterday? One compact and cleverly designed image revealed so much about the widespread denigration of our beloved genre. For those of us who love romance novels – both to read them and to write them – these statistics hit a little too close to home. How many of us have been judged unfairly because we have a passion for the happy ending?

So, in this installment of Ask a Romance Writer, we’re asking the question:

What do you think is the most common misconception about the romance genre?

And our chapter members have a lot to say on the subject.

“The biggest misconception I usually hear is that romance is predictable because you know it’s going to have a happily ever after. The reality is depending on the sub-genre of romance there are usually so many twists that you’re left wondering how they will EVER find a happy ending.

I also like to remind folks that any genre fiction has reader expectations, just like romance. If you pick up a thriller, you know there will be life and death stakes. If you pick up sci-fi you know it’ll revolve around science and potentially take place in the future. Historical will be set in the past. The list goes on.

Romance means two people are going to fall in love, but there can also be global stakes, life and death consequences, and plot twists that are game changers.”

Lisa Kessler

“I don’t know if it’s the most common misconception, but what we hear the most of is people assuming romance fiction is “sexy” (or erotica, or smut or ?)

Like other genres of fiction, it has lots of different types, most of them wholesome. In fact my first published romance novel was an “inspirational” romance about characters who were committed to living a church-centered (or at least a moral) life.

But people are different, and I have no quarrel with those who prefer sex — even lots of it — in their books.”

Phyllis Humphrey

“One of the most common misconceptions about the romance genre is that it’s all about the sex. While a majority of romances include scenes of intimacy (to varying levels of explicitness), the sex in romance novels serves a deeper purpose than salaciousness. One of the cornerstones of romance novels is that they digs deep into two characters’ emotional journeys, and sexual intimacy is one of the most emotionally vulnerable states that two people can enter into. It reveals a lot about the hero and heroine’s personalities and the evolving dynamics of their relationship, and it helps deepen and strengthen the hero and heroine’s romantic bond.”

Melissa Cutler

“The biggest misconception is that the sex in romance is gratuitous. Just like real life, sex is a way to build intimacy. When done right, it advances the story and gives the characters a chance to grow.”

Sorcha Mowbray

“I think the one I hear most often working at the library is that Romance is lightweight fluff…with sex.”

— Kelly Hayes

“I actually still hear this from people when I tell them I’m a writer.

Them: Oh? You’re a writer. Great. What do you write?
Me. I write paranormal romance.
Them: You mean “bodice rippers?”
Me: *sigh*

I also often get this:
Them: Oh? You’re a writer? Great. What do you write?
Me: I write romance.
Them: Oh…. (long silence as they conclude it might not be a good idea to ask me when I’ll write a REAL book. Sometimes they just smirk instead).”

Linda Thomas-Sundstrom

“The most common misconception of the romance genre is that it is emotionally shallow. I’ve written romantic love stories all my life, even when they were sci-fi, but I did not consider myself a true fiction writer until I became involved with the romance genre and RWA.

I love conflict arising in romance novels because of the two juxtaposed intimate points of view of the hero and heroine. Even more challenging is taking a past POV limited to third person and making it as present, or maybe more present than the first person present POV.”

S.B.K. Burns

“I don’t know if it’s still true as much (or maybe it’s worse with erotica?), but it used to be if I told someone I wrote romance, they would reply with something to the effect of – you write smut? or you write sex books? I found it enormously irritating because I don’t have much or any sex in my books, I have ROMANCE in my books, and because they also gave me “that look” that says they now don’t think you are as smart as they once did.”

Kitty Bucholtz

“The women who read them are shallow, lazy, and totally unable to live their lives without these fantasies to get through the day.”

Demi Hungerford

“I believe people infer ‘Romance’ to mean one type of story. And I think that type of story differs from person to person. Some might think of contemporary romance while others think of Regency romance. In each, there is a certain set of protocol that the genre follows and for readers of those genres, that’s what they want. What they expect. Which is fabulous and awesome. But what a lot of people don’t understand is you can have romance in fantasy, or paranormal, or thrillers. Romance can happen in any story, any genre. The book might be full of suspense with a lot of cars blowing up or set on a sci-fi world with aliens attacking a city. It doesn’t matter– as long as you have a hero and heroine who end up together in the end, that’s a romance.”

Tameri Etherton

As for me? I believe the most commonly held misconception about the romance genre is that it’s nothing but fluff, a genre to be ridiculed, dismissed, and not taken seriously. That our voices don’t matter, and our stories are frivolous. And I can’t help but feel this is because it is a genre written for women, by women.* But let’s not forget: we’re a billion-dollar-a-year industry. We entertain and inspire millions of people around the world. We believe in the happy ending. If that’s not important, I don’t know what is.

* Mostly, that is. Let’s not forget the awesome men that attend our RWA meetings on a monthly basis, or that 16% of romance book buyers are men (Source: Nielsen Books and Consumer Tracker).