RWASD Presents: Love at the Library

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Looking for a chance to meet some of our authors? Well, this weekend is a perfect opportunity!

This Saturday, May 28th, is Love at the Library! We will be downtown at San Diego’s Central Library  celebrating the genre with workshops, readings, signings, and a screening of Love Between the Covers, a documentary all about romance writers.

Our workshops will be taught by our own RWASD writers and are perfect for fledgling authors, as well as season veterans of any genre. Plus, we have twenty five of our own authors signing their books and reading excerpts.

Meet the following authors, and find a new world to dive into!

J.Q. Anderson, Marie Andreas, Karri Thompson, Lisa Kessler, Sorcha Morbray, Greg Godek, HelenKay Dimon, Christy Jeffries, Carlene Love, Regan Walker, Shirley Ann Wilder, Linda S. Rice, Cynthia Diamond, Caliente Morgan, Toni Noelle, Tameri Etherton, Georgie Lee, Sarah Richmond, Jackie Leigh Allen, Kitty Bucholtz, Linda Seed, R. Ann Siracusa, Mary Galusha,and Teresa Carpenter.

Love at the Library is from 12pm to 6pm and admission is completely free.

Workshops 

  • 12 – 1pm Writing Romance in the 21st Century – HelenKay Dimon
  • 1 – 2pm The Ins and Outs of Self Publishing – Kitty Bucholtz
  • 2 – 3pm Writing in the Digital Age – Lisa Kessler

RWASD Readings: 12pm to 3pm

RWASD Author Signing: 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Our Screening of Love Between the Covers begins at 4:30pm in the Neil Morgan Auditorium.

You can find a more detailed schedule of the day here.
Did I mention its free? Because its free!

So invite your friends and come celebrate with us! We look forward to seeing you there!

 

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Get Pumped for Nationals, Part 1: Workshops

rwa_graphicWelcome to the first installment of a five-part series entitled Get Pumped for Nationals! We couldn’t be more excited for this year’s 2016 RWA Conference, especially because they’re taking place in our hometown of San Diego! So what better way to get ourselves excited than to review all the amazing things we have to look forward to in July.

Today, we’re talking about workshops. Designed for writers in every stage of their creative and publishing journeys, there will be over 100 educational and inspiring panels, discussions, and lectures for attendees to choose from. RWA has broken them down into several different “tracks,” for people who are interested in gearing their workshop experience toward a specific topic or topics. The tracks featured this year are:

  • Craft. As writers, we can never stop striving to improve our skills. Here, you can explore the elements of fiction by delving into topics such as character building, point of view, dialogue, conflict, revisions, and “high concept.”
  • Career. Once you’ve written that book, you’ve still got to sell it. With these workshops, you can learn all about what it takes to do that, including marketing, networking, branding, organization, and productivity.
  • Research. A chance to investigate specific topics that may be of interest to romance writers, such as history, sports, and the military.
  • Self-Publishing. For all you indie and hybrid authors out there, you’ll want to check out these workshops on planning your production schedule, building an audience, and navigating self-pub options with Amazon, Kobo, and iBooks.
  • Wellness & The Writer’s Life. Being a successful writer means taking care of yourself, which is why these workshops focus on working through adversity, managing your time, and even getting out of your chair and into a Zumba workout!
  • Chat. This is your chance to ask questions of some of the biggest names in romance right now. Current authors scheduled to conduct chats include Sylvia Day, Nalini Singh, Radclyffe, and the inimitable Nora Roberts.
  • Publisher Spotlight. Editors gather to discuss what different publishing houses are looking for, what’s trending, and what they see for the future of their imprints.

As an added bonus, there will also be several workshops led by our very own RWASD members!

  • Melissa Cutler will be presenting The Total Package, in which she will walk participants through the process of writing queries and synopses to help their submissions stand out from the slush pile.
  • Lisa Kessler will be speaking about Black Moments: Make Them Earn Their Happily Ever After, which will examine how to bring conflicts to a climax in order to maximize the impact of the happily ever after.
  • Sarah Richmond will be discussing and presenting costumes from the nineteenth century in Dressing the Part: Costuming Romantic Characters of the 19th Century, a Fashion Show.
  • HelenKay Dimon will be taking part in a panel called Fast and Furious: Staying Productive When Life Gets in the Way, in which several multipublished authors will explore the challenges of writing several books every year without sacrificing quality or losing their minds.

You also have the opportunity to volunteer to moderate any number of available workshops. Moderators retrieve speaker packets from workshop rooms, set up the speaker name tents, read speaker bios and disclaimers to the audience at the beginning of each session, and may help facilitate Q&A segments. If you’re interested in being a moderator, you can check out the following list of workshops that are still in need.

If, like me, you’re itching to figure out which workshops you’re attending and when, you can download the RWA 2016 app onto your smartphone, and start planning your schedule today! (If you’re already registered for the conference, you should’ve received an e-mail from Erin Fry with instructions on how to download and login to the app. If you haven’t, or you’re having issues, please e-mail conferenceapp@rwa.org for more information.)

Stay tuned for our next installment of Get Pumped for Nationals, in which we’ll explore the vast array of networking opportunities available to you at the conference!

Meet The Chapter Mates: Linda Thomas-Sundstrom

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We’re doubling up this month with another Meet the Chapter Mates interview! This week we’re featuring Linda Thomas-Sundstrom, a paranormal romance writer who has a  passion for health and travel.

You can find out more about her at her website, LindaThomas-Sundstrom.com

 

Tell us a little about yourself! Who are you? What do you write?
I’m a teacher by day and a writer by night (and also weekends, and breaks, and at red lights when I drive). I’m faculty in the Health, Nutrition and Exercise Science Departments areas at two colleges, and I have 28 romance and urban fantasy books and novellas out, to date, all but 4 of those traditionally published. I’m one of those people who knew early on what I wanted to do, and guess what? I’m doing both of those things = teaching and writing.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I wrote my first book at age 8, and still have it. It was a Leprechaun fantasy, illustrations and all. I kept writing, on and off, from then, but not seriously. After completing two full YA fantasy manuscripts later on (2002), I got my first agent, who got an offer for them from a the well-known Dungeons and Dragons folks…. and then the editor went on maternity leave and my project never got anywhere without her. Disheartened, I stopped writing for a while until a friend challenged me to write a romance novel in my favorite romance genre, which was Gothic. So, I took up that challenge, and lo-and-behold- sold that one. I then wrote a novella and sold it to Kensington Brava… got a new agent, and my career began.
What does RWASD mean to you?
Community. New friends. Examining the business of writing romance.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced on your journey to becoming a writer?
Trends may change, but I don’t. Follow your bliss stuff, I guess. I started writing paranormals (remember that leprechaun story?), and I still am writing them and selling them. (Okay, I did get an offer from the HQN Desire line, and wrote a straight contemp Christmas book for them). My biggest challenge in writing is having the time to get to all the projects I want to do. Truly, I must have a hundred or more ideas I want to write about.
What attracted you to the genre you write? Why does it speak to you?
My family told ghost stories by the fireplace. We had to make up our own, early on. We told ghost stories when we traveled around the west by car. It was no-brainer that I’d end up writing paranormals. I’ve been immersed in the supernatural since I was a small kid. I love everything about the worlds in which I write. And I see my family in them all, and feel them with me when I write those ideas down.
Where is the weirdest place or what is the weirdest thing that inspired an idea?
For a while, I was a private travel guide in Britain, in the summers. I did a lot of personal

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research trips, and explored all of the projects on megalithic stone sites. I hung out with bonafide researchers with projects at Avebury, the Hurlers, and six other special stone circles, and wrote my first long novel by hand that pertains to those sites. That book will someday soon be published as a romance. Too bad Diana Gabaldon had beat me to it (wink).
Who’s a writer you would do backflips to meet and why?
J.R.R. Tolkien. The Lord of the Rings was my first real, true, book love. I read those books at least twelve times, starting in high school, joined the Mythopoeic Society to venerate his work. I ran a Tolkien conference, and taught a course in Tolkien at an L.A. college.
If you could go back 20 years ago, What advice would you give yourself?
Write more. Find the time. Be brave and go for it even earlier than I did.
Tell us about your latest novel!
I have a few projects out this year. My latest (April 2016) was from HQN Nocturne. “Immortal Redeemed” is a novel in my Blood Knight series about knights from Arthur’s Round Table who are still around today, in our century, continuing a quest. “Immortal Redeemed” is Galahad’s story (yep, that legendary guy). Now going by the name of Kellan Ladd, we find this sexy immortal coming to the states on a custom Harley, instead of a steed, in search of something important to him. Of course, the woman he meets will either hinder or help that quest. (Lucky woman). This book has garnered TOP PICK ratings from all of the review sites so far (I think those reviewers just want Kellan for themselves).
In July, “Half Wolf” releases from Nocturne. Human-wolf-Fae story set on a college campus . . . and the start of a Fae series for the future.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Immortal Redeemed uk cover“IMMORTAL REDEEMED”
Kellan Ladd pushed the black custom Harley to eighty miles per hour on the open road, inhaling the wind, appreciating what might be his last moments on earth.

The purr of the bike’s engine was the only sound in the dark fall night. His next stop was already a dim glow on the horizon. Out here he could breathe and see the stars. Disturbing thoughts were traded for the intricacies of pure sensation.

He liked the pungent scent of damp greenery and the faint odor of engine oil. Those things mixed well with the fragrance of his signature black leather pants and jacket.

In fact, the back of his neck tingled in honor of those things. But the pleasure didn’t last. The dampness of the wind welcoming him to Seattle slipped beneath his collar to go head-to-head with the fiery burn of the intricate sigils carved into his shoulder blades…and the result wasn’t pretty.

The sizzling sound of heat versus cold was imaginary. Discomfort wasn’t. The marks on his back were as painful tonight as when he’d first received them. It was as if the scrolling tattoos were in on the secret part of his secret agenda. The temperature tug-of-war was a reminder he had never needed that after walking the surface of this planet for hundreds of years, he wasn’t like the people he’d meet in an hour.

Not even remotely like them.

 

Before you go, any advice to give to the new writers out there?
I’d give the same advice I would have given to myself, which is still relevant to me today: Write more. Find the time. Be brave and go for it. Write because you have to. Write because art is like necessary oxygen to your system. At the same time, heed today’s warnings. Don’t just “go for it” without being fully ready, crafted, edited, and aware of what it takes to have a career in this business. It’s a fabulous business, for sure! I’m in love with it! But take no no short-cuts to get there. Present your best, and then feel truly proud (and rightly so) of your accomplishments.

Meet The Chapter Mates: Rachael Davish

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Rachael Davish is one of our up and coming writers who dabbles in contemporary with a dash of paranormal. She is an active member of RWASD and whether its greeting guests or acting as our PRO liaison, she always does it with a dazzling smile.

 

Tell us a little about yourself! Who are you? What do you write?
I didn’t start out as a writer. Growing up I didn’t think I was a very good writer and definitely didn’t aspire to become a novelist. I thought I would be a professional stage manager for the Old Globe Theater. Most days I’m just a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. I write mostly contemporary romances with touches of paranormal.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first considered myself a writer when I joined RWASD. Until then it was a fun experiment to see if I could write a story that I had been dreaming about. My first meeting was an eye opener to the realities of writing. HelenKay Dimon was speaking about deep POV. I sat in my seat wondering what the heck POV and HEA meant and a ton of other terms. Everything HelenKay said not to do, I had done. At that point I knew I had a lot to learn and a writer is always learning and writing.
What does RWASD mean to you?
Community. From my very first RWASD meeting, I felt a feeling of coming home. Everyone in our chapter wants the others to succeed. We take great pride in what our fellow chapter mates accomplish. That isn’t normal in many other professional circles.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced on your journey to becoming a writer?
My own self-doubt. I’ve heard the term- my own worst enemy and I feel that way all the time.
What attracted you to the genre you write? Why does it speak to you?
I can’t really classify my writings as one particular genre. I write the stories that bang the loudest in my mind. A lot of times they cross multiple genres. I simply write the books I want to read.
Where is the weirdest place or what is the weirdest thing that inspired an idea?IMG_6953
I get most of my ideas from dreams, song lyrics, or places I visit. The weirdest place would have to be Tower of Terror at Disney California along with the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. I have a ghost story and going through the line at both rides got me wondering if my heroine runs a bed and breakfast for ghosts. I’m still in the idea of stage, but that would definitely be the weirdest place that inspired me.
Who’s a writer you would do backflips to meet and why?
Actually I already met my fan girl author, Kristan Higgins! She is a great writer and a really nice person. Her books make me laugh out loud, cry and cheer.
If you could go back 20 years ago, What advice would you give yourself?
If I could go back 20 years, I would tell myself to keep finding the joy in my interests, my friends, and my family. I would remind myself to keep looking at the positive even when things look bleak.
Tell us about your latest novel!
I’m working on edits for my December/May romance called Retrain My Heart. My heroine is a thirty-five year old divorcee who falls in love with her much younger personal trainer.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
When faced with a gorgeous hunk of a man who is ten years younger than you and totally not the right guy for you, you do whatever it takes to keep your mind off his shaggy blond hair and rippling muscles, like imagining him as a counting puppet from a favorite childhood television show. Ten. Count them with me, ten more sit ups. Ha ha ha
“Oh yeah, that’s it. Just like that. Almost there.”
“Owen, I-”
“Ssh Devi. Just keep going. You’re doing so good.” A very naughty tone crept into The Count’s voice. Shuddering at the husky tone to his words, Devorah grimaced at the dual vision of a childhood icon and her unrequited libido.
Owen was off limits and a smoking clad puppet talking about the fourth set of sit-ups wasn’t helping. Anyone walking by catching his words would think dirty thoughts. Or maybe it was just her.
Before you go, any advice to give to the new writers out there?
Keep writing the stories that you want to read. Don’t worry so much about who will or won’t buy them. Take whatever amount of time it takes you do write the best book you can. Just write! And join your local RWA chapter. 🙂