September Meeting Roundup + Good News

Today’s blog post is brought to you by RWASD’s own Tessa McFionn!

 

Wow! What an amazing meeting! Our guest speaker, Callie Hutton, gave some wonderful insight about writing historical characters that appeal to today’s readers.

She got down to the nitty gritty about character traits readers are looking for:

  • Alpha males with titles;
  • Characters who reach for personal goals over more traditional roles; and
  • Subjects not covered in history books, such as interracial relationships.

And what readers are not looking for:

  • Authentic period language that relies too heavily on accents, dialog tags, and colloquialisms;
  • Spunky, one dimensional heroines that flaunt convention at every turn; and
  • So much historical facts and research that overwhelm the romantic story.

She reminded everyone that historical romance reads are not just for “old people” any longer, but market trends show that most historical readers prefer physical copies to digital media.

Next up, Callie was joined by our own Georgie Lee, Regan Walker, and Sorcha Mowbray in an engaging panel discussion about the changes and trends in historical romances. Lisa Kessler did a great job as moderator, keeping things lively and highly entertaining.

A couple important takeaways:

  • A good way to keep histories fresh is to think about using modern, social issues as seen through the lens of history.
  • Even though your story and characters are living in the past, you are still world building. So be sure to remember the rules set up by you as well as by history itself.

For September, the Member of the month was Mary Galusha for her wonderful work on “Write for the Money.”

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And the Atta Girl went to Lisa Kessler, who persevered through a difficult family trauma and met her writing deadlines.

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So much Good News!

  • Jackie Leigh Allen released Thirst for Love in July.
  • Mickey Brent received a publisher’s contract for her first novel.
  • Susan Burns had a manuscript request from an agent and editor at TOR. Also, she pitched to agents and Entangled on Savvy Authors.
  • Teresa Carpenter’s newest release, The CEO’s Surprise Family, marks her 20th!
  • Mary Galusha had a book reading and signing at the CURVES luncheon in Escondido.
  • Demi Hungerford released her second book in Regency Banquet Entrée series writing as Roxanna Haley.
  • Lisa Kessler’s Ice Moon is a finalist in both Aspen Gold and NERFA. Harvest Moon won a PRISM for Best Paranormal, which was presented at RWA Nationals. Also, Lure of Obsession released on August 1.
  • Kristen Koster’s Jack of Hearts manuscript finaled in the Pages From the Heart Contest in the unpublished historical category
  • Georgie Lee had two releases, Miss Marriane’s Disgrace in August and The Cinderella Governess in September. Also, A Debt Paid in Marriage finaled in National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Awards (NERFA) and Pirate’s Bargain also finaled in Pages From the Heart Contest.
  • Claire Marti got a request from Entangled for her historical synopsis.
  • Tessa McFionn’s Lost in Transmigration took third place in FF&P’s On The Far Side Contest. Also, she had two releases, Detours in Our Destinations in August and Spirit Song in September. Plus, she received a revise and resubmit for Lost in Transmigration.
  • Ann Siracusa released The Last Weekend in October in July. Also, she sold five books in a romantic suspense series.
  • Regan Walker double finaled in Aspen Gold, plus she finaled in The Carla, Ancient Cities Hearts of Excellence, Las Vegas I Heart Indie and the RONE Awards.

Our next meeting will be Saturday, October 15 to hear Jill Badonsky talk on Six Ways to Keep Inspiration Flowing and our own Linda Thomas-Sundstrom will give us Tips and Tricks to Keep your Body Healthy as a Writer. We will also be holding our Annual General Meeting where the new board will be announced.

Don’t forget to vote and see you in October!

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Upcoming Workshops from RWASD!

RWASD is always ready to offer quality online courses and we have two fantastic ones coming at you this fall.  These courses are open to anyone who wants to learn with us but remember, if you’re a member of RWASD, you get a discount on the class rate.

Check out what we have in store!

 

Writing Erotic Romance and Erotica

Date: October 3 – 30, 2016
Cost: $20.00 (RWA-SD members) / $25.00 (non RWA-SD members)

Ever thought about stepping up the heat in your romance novel? Considered writing a sexy story that has your readers becoming hot under the collar as they take in each word? Or maybe you’ve even wondered what it would be like to pen erotica. In this workshop, you’ll learn what exactly defines an erotic romance and erotica. Learn what separates a good one from a not so hot one. The taboos and where to draw the line. What erotica is and is not. Different kinds of erotic romances, and finally, markets for your story.

Because of the subject matter of this workshop it’s intended for mature audiences only. Those easily offended by the discussion of sex, various sexual practices and frank language shouldn’t enroll.

Instructor: Susan Palmquist

Susan Palmquist is the author of romances, mysteries, cookbooks and instructional writing how to’s. Under her pen name, Vanessa Devereaux, she’s a bestselling author of erotic romances and erotica and writes three ongoing series, Perfect Pairing, Big Sky County and Kalispell Shifters. She’s been a writing tutor for a writing school for seven years and also teaches workshops and boot camps for many of the chapters of RWA.

www.vanessadevereaux.com

Enroll Here

 

 

Scrivener for Writers

Date: November 1 – 30, 2016
Cost: $20.00 (RWA-SD members) / $25.00 (non RWA-SD members)

 

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. Lectures will be given on both Mac and Windows versions of Scrivener wherever substantial differences in the interface are present.

Course Outline:

I opened Scrivener and it is absolutely nothing like Word

Why that’s a good thing
Getting around the interface
Learning enough to get writing now
Starting a new novel
Editing basics

I can’t just start writing, I need to plan first

Capturing your plan and synopsis
Setting up the Corkboard
Using and organizing notecards
Outlining

I need to get my chapters and scenes organized, my way

Organizing and reorganizing with the Binder
Creating parts, chapters, and scenes
Sorting things the way you want
Mapping into a template
Editing options and views

Whew, my book is ready, now how do I get it out?

Compiling to the final output
Controlling formatting
Compiling to PDF
Compiling for Kindle
Revisiting the template and formatting options

I’ve lost work before and now I’m paranoid, how can Scrivener help?

Configuring Scrivener’s automated backup
Backing up to the cloud (Dropbox) automatically

A little Lagniappe before you go.

Instructor: Patrick Haggerty

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 1995 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, is President of his local RWA chapter and Director of Virtual Meetings for Outreach International RWA.

Enroll Here

What’s Your Plan?

Do you have a business plan? If not, you aren’t alone. Many authors don’t have one, for any number of reasons. It can be scary to actually put your dreams into words. It can be intimidating to look at how much work you need to do to get to where you want to go. And it can be embarrassing to admit you haven’t a clue as to what you even want to achieve. But, according to Stephanie Bond, an MBA-holding author of over seventy mystery and romance titles, a business plan is a necessity. In her 2016 RWA Nationals workshop, “Plan for Success: Create a Motivational Business Plan for Your Writing Career,” she discussed the benefits of creating a business plan, and shared a rough outline for how to write one for yourself.Plan for Success

Perhaps writing a business plan came naturally to Stephanie, since she holds an MBA and spent many years climbing the ranks of the corporate world before quitting to write full-time. But it doesn’t have to be a formal process. According to Stephanie, we can start out by asking ourselves questions. Questions like: What do you want to do with your writing? What do you want to achieve? How do you want to affect your readers? Just forcing yourself to think about the big picture like this is an excellent tool for establishing focus and figuring out what you really want to accomplish as a writer. This is the foundation of your business plan, and allows you to lay the groundwork for the future of your writing career.

An important component of your business plan should be setting your goals and objectives, which Stephanie described as two separate things. Goals, she said, are under your control, while objectives are not. Objectives tend to be lofty and long-term – Earn enough money to live off my writing! Hit the New York Times bestseller list! – while goals are short-term and achievable – Enter that contest! Query that agent! Focus on what you can control, she said, and figure out what kinds of short-term goals you can set that might help you to achieve those lofty, long-term objectives.

She also stressed the importance of adopting a business mindset in your everyday life, and recommended paying attention to business blogs, such as Seth Godin’s, keeping CNBC on in the background as you work, and reading Entrepreneur magazine.

In my opinion, the most important takeaway from the workshop was the following sentiment:

You are a business that creates entertainment for consumption in multiple formats.

Think of yourself as a “content generator,” creating novels, blog posts, audiobooks, novellas, short stories, nonfiction articles, and more.

There was so much to this wonderful workshop, including discussion of branding strategies and instructions on how to maintain a body of work document. I came away from it inspired to create my own business plan, which has left me more motivated and inspired than ever before. If you’re an RWA member, you can purchase the audio recording at rwa.org to get all the details. The return on investment could be huge.