Tips on Reading to a Crowd: Guest blogger, Mary Galusha


Love at the Library returns! Join us at the Riford Library on November 5th to celebrate romance all afternoon! We will have workshops, signings, readings, and  ending with a screening of Love Between the Covers, a documentary all about the genre we all love.

You can find details on our awesome upcoming event here!

In May, we had  many of our authors read to new and eager readers, one of them was Mary Galusha. Today, she shares some great ideas for doing a public reading  of your book.

Take it away, Mary!

I was one of the lucky RWASD members whose name was drawn to read from my book at the Love at the Library at the Central Library. I would like to share some of the things that worked for me, and maybe some of this will work for you, too.

I had previously done a reading at a book signing at my gym and discovered some ways that made the whole thing more interesting. First of all I found that I am not only selling my book, I’m selling myself. That means I didn’t only read from my book, I did some talking, too.
I started by stating my name and the title of my book. I told what the story was about (similar to what the back blurb is) and the names of the two or three main characters.
To prepare for this, I selected scenes from the book (my favorites) to read, preferably ones with dialogue. I would recommend at least three scenes, but five would be better and seven would give you more, if you need it.
I didn’t start on the first page, I told my listeners what the first scene was about and a little of what had happened before, then I read the scene. The most important thing is to choose scenes that have a hook at the end.
A word of caution. Be sure you don’t give away your secrets (the answers to the hooks you have dropped) in the rest of the scenes. Feel free to edit your reading as you go along.
It’s important to look up and at your audience from time to time or is this makes you uncomfortable, look over their heads.
If you have a dynamite first chapter, by all means read that with gusto.
Remember to take your time. The bigger the audience, the slower you should read. They’re your words, cherish them, you worked hard for them.
When you have finished, look up and ask for questions. If there are none, don’t miss a beat and ask your own. You can say something like “I’m often asked where I got the idea for the character of Lili?” and if there are still no questions ask one more such as, “people want to know where in the world I got the idea for this book?”
If there are no other questions, you can thank you audience for listening, restate you name and the name of your book, holding it up so they can see the cover. You can add that you will be signing in the lobby.
I hope this can be helpful for those who will be reading at our next event.


Thank you Mary!

Love at the Library will be happening from 1pm to 6pm on November the 5th at the Riford Library in La Jolla (7555 Draper Ave. La Jolla, Ca. 92037). Hope to see you there!

Meet the Chapter Mates: R. Ann Siracusa

pose-2-288x288R. Ann Siracusais a long time member of RWASD with a passion for Rome, suspense, and romance. You can find more about her books at


Tell us a little about yourself! Who are you? What do you write?
The short dull version: My name is R. Ann Siracusa and that’s the name I use when writing. You have to guess what the R stands for. I grew up in southern California (my father was a lawyer and a State Senator), I have a degree in Architecture from UC Berkeley, and I’m retired from a 37-year career as an architect/land use planner (which makes me older than dirt). I’ve been married to the same man for 53 years, and we have three grown children and eight grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.
The more interesting version. After graduating from Berkeley, I traveled to Rome to study at the University of Rome. After I found a pensione, I went looking for an American Bar I remembered. I was dying for a hamburger after a week in England.
The café I remembered is located on a major street that intersects with Piazza Della Republica. However, there are at least five streets intersecting that piazza. I planned sit down by the fountain in the center of the piazza to figure it out.
In those pre-air-conditioner-days, the Italians, seeking relief from the summer heat, sat around the rims of the fountains in the light fountain spray. When I got there and waited for a break in the traffic to cross the street, I noticed, sitting on the rim of the fountain, a good looking man who made me think of the Italian actor, Marcello Mastroianni
I didn’t delude myself that it was the actor, but still I skipped across the street and sat next to him. After a while, he started talking to me (heh, heh, heh). He spoke a little English, I spoke a few words in Italian from one semester in college. Despite the communication problem, I learned he was a Guardia of the Pubblica Sicurezza, a state policeman, who worked in the passport office. And when he invited me to dinner, I accepted. Oh, yeah.
We found other ways to communicate, as young people usually do. Things got very friendly on the steps of the Palazzo Della Civitá, but it was dark by then—thank goodness— and we were up a million steps from street level, under the arcade.
After that, I was smitten. A couple of months later, I had to look up the word fidanzata in my Italian-English dictionary to find out I was engaged, and in December we got married in a civil ceremony.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always liked to read and write stories but, unfortunately, I never considered writing as a career because I wanted to be an architect. In my job I did a lot of non-fiction professional writing, which satisfied me for about twenty years.
My biggest regret is that I didn’t follow up on my interest in fiction writing until I was in my forties. At that point I read a romance novel that everyone was raving about and said, “Oh, man. Even I can write better than this.” So I wrote a novel. That’s when I realized writing was my calling, and I’ve considered myself a writer ever since.
P.S. My novel wasn’t better, but my feet were on the path.
What does RWASD mean to you?
Joining RWA was one of the two smartest things I did when I realized I wanted to be a writer. The other was to join a good critique group with a professional writer as our mentor.
I’ve been with RWA since the mid-eighties, almost from the beginning. After I retired in 2000, I began to write seriously with the intention of publishing and joined the San Diego Chapter. The group has been for me a never-ending and positive source of support, encouragement, and learning. Without it, I’m sure I never would have been published. RWASD is an integral part of my family whom I love very much.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced on your journey to becoming a writer?
Finding the time while working and raising a family to write in more than 10 minute segments.
From that I learned to always have something with me to work on (so waiting time isn’t wasted) and to write anywhere, including on a train with the old standard of pencil on notebook paper.
What attracted you to the genre you write? Why does it speak to you?
My genre, until now, has been romantic suspense, and I didn’t pick the genre so much as it picked me. My choice of reading material is eclectic, but I particularly enjoy complex plots and fact moving action stories. While is enjoy a good mooshy love story, am less attracted to novels that focus primarily on the development of the romance. Romantic suspense was the perfect answer.
My latest release is a murder mystery, as is the project I’m working on. I’m now into writing mysteries What I really love, and would like to write, is science fiction.
Where is the weirdest place or what is the weirdest thing that inspired an idea?
zipling-mexicoI can’t think of anything weird that has inspired me. Everything around us can inspire ideas. I listen to people’s stories and watch “incidents” that take place, particularly when I travel. Sometimes those things bring a story to mind all at once, other times I tuck it away until the right situation and/or characters come along.
This isn’t weird, but probably the most dangerous thing I’ve done was driving by myself from Messina, Sicily, to Palermo, over the Peloritani Mountains the other side of the Sicily and back. This was in the mid-eighties, and I’d gone to Sicily to do more research on my historical Mafia novel. I needed to figure out how long it would take my heroine had to drive the distance in the novel, and I wanted to see what the countryside looked like.
In retrospect, it wasn’t a very smart thing to do. If something had gone wrong, I didn’t speak Italian well enough to explain, I couldn’t have made a call from a pay phone (if there were any in the villages), etc. It wasn’t until I returned to Messina three days later that I realized how dangerous it might have been. As my father would have said, “Better luck than sense.”
Who’s a writer you would do backflips to meet and why?
Would that I could do a backflip!
There are many writers for whom I would flip if that were possible, but it would have to be Katie MacAlister, Janet Evanovich, Don Francis, or Issac Asimov. These writers have inspired me, particularly regarding how to structure and tell the story. Unfortunately, Francis and Asimov are deceased, and I’ve already met Janet E, so I guess it would be Katie..
If you could go back 20 years ago, what advice would you give yourself?
Twenty years ago? Let’s see. It would probably be “Don’t write about heroines who ann-1962-auto-correctare professionals, car racers, architects, doctors, spies, etc.”

In those days (maybe about 30 years ago) all the romance books had to be about school teachers, Nanny’s, nurses, or young women who live with their parents and do nothing. I couldn’t relate to that and wanted to use more professional heroines. Not good.
Tell us about your latest novel!
My latest novel, The Last Weekend In October, is an amateur sleuth murder mystery that takes place in Los Angeles in 2004.
Psychiatrist Mark LeBonge arrives at the group home for convicted teenage sexual abusers, where his sister has worked the night shift…and finds her murdered. When police Lieutenant Art Krantz, primary on the case, ignores Mark’s suspicions about one of the boys in the half-way house, Mark enlists his sister’s roommate, Karen Mitchell, to help him identify the murderer
 Can you share a little of your current work with us? 
I always do research before I travel, and when I was planning my trip to Antarctica, I learned a lot about the continent and the scientific research stations there. Fascinating stuff!
And I thought,What would happen if someone was murdered at one of the stations in Antarctica when winter was closing in and the station is completely isolated?
In this excerpt, Essi (the protagonist) is out on the ice shelf on a snow quad and is being stalked by someone who previously took a shot at him with a rifle. He is trying to distract the stalker so he/she won’t find the heroine who has in her possession critical evidence about the murder.

With the vehicle at full throttle, Essi kept one eye on the ice in front of him and one on his pursuer who was gaining on him from behind. Where the hell are my tracks? He’d lost sight of the marks his quad had left in the ice. He glanced around, frantically trying to find them. When he looked ahead…
A fissure!
Essi flung himself off the vehicle as it sailed across the ice and plunged into the open maw of the chasm. He followed it a second or two later, heart slamming against his ribcage.
The vehicle tumbled end-over-end into the fissure and smashed into the ice. The sound of it hitting the walls and the parts shattering rang in his ears for what seemed a long time but was only seconds.
He landed hard on the ice, momentum rolling him over the edge immediately behind the vehicle disappearing into oblivion. Frantically, he dug his gloved fingers into the snow which broke away under pressure, leaving only solid ice.
Sliding downward, he found the walls of the chasm were not vertical but sloped sharply, disfigured with a web of ledges and rough projections of ice. Gasping for air, he dug in his boots trying to find purchase. His descent slowed but he couldn’t get a firm grip on anything to halt the thrust.
What a stupid way to die!

Before you go, any advice to give to the new writers out there?
In general, my advice to aspiring authors: Run away from home!
Actually, that’s the best piece of advice I can give. Since that may not be possible, here are some practical ideas which nearly every author advocates in one form or another.
▪ Start today. Never think you’re too old or too young. Don’t put it off. The “right time” never comes.
▪ Set aside the time to write, and stick with it, in spite of your family
▪ Learn the craft of writing – Know the rules; when you break them, do it on purpose.
▪ Learn to take criticism – It’s no fun, but to learn you have to hear the bad news along with the good. But learn the difference between useful and hurtful criticism.
▪ Be persistent and never get discouraged
▪ Read, Read, Read – Write, Write, Write
▪ Be cautious who you take advice from
▪ Finish the damn book and send it out.

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.

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

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

Meet the Chapter Mates: Caliente Morgan


From technical writer to romance author, Caliente Morgan has done it all!  She also writes under the names Lady Morgan and Donnamaie White.  You can find out more about her at her website,




Tell us a little about yourself! Who are you? What do you write?
For over 30 years I wrote technical papers, conference papers, three theses, dozens of seminars, more dozens of application notes and data sheets and user manuals. I ran publishing operations for high tech companies (AMD, AMCC).
During all that time I wanted to write fiction. I wanted to be a writer when I was eight!
I finally started in 1971 by writing a Star Trek Novel that came out with names changed and self-published in 2000. (I am a Trekkie.) The long road from inception (1971) to pubbed (2000) was dotted with writing classes and writing conferences I could get to. I was into writing science fiction. For myself. The web was the breakthrough for me. In 1993 I saw eBooks and eLearning. I wrote two textbooks and one seminar in HTML 1.0—look where we are today!


When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was having a temper tantrum with my kids in the room, fed up with things stopping me from becoming a writer. I was still producing volumes of technical documents. Big documents. Family demands (they were grown!) and just stuff. While stomping around the room I had an epiphany. I have been writing my entire career. I realized, “You idiot! You ARE a writer!”



What does RWASD mean to you?

I have been in one other chapter forever and visited a few others. I like being in a room with women who read and write – as opposed to the men at work who have trouble forming intelligible sentences and can’t document their designs if their life depended on it. I mostly like speakers who bring new ideas, tricks and tips, how to do, and inspire me to run home and do something.


What is the biggest challenge you have faced on your journey to becoming a writer?
I think I said that – WORK. KIDS. I was a high-adventure Boy Scout Leader for 11+ years. Then my younger son got Leukemia. Life will interrupt you.



What attracted you to the genre you write? Why does it speak to you?
I write several genres. Because I’ve been around so long.
Whatever my mood is. I wrote SciFi to start because I was a Trekkie and had met 3everyone on that show. I wrote Jettison and outlined Kali’s Song and Hellsfire. All three will be re-released.
Then I realized I live for the PBS period pieces (Like Jane Austin – at the time the 5 hour versions) and realized I read a LOT of Regencies so I tried writing them. And have more story ideas then I will ever publish. Three of them came out last year. One came out this year.
I hooked up with Christine Feehan at SVRWA and tried Vampire stories (I have four) – I love her Vampire stories! Dark Eros has a cover and is behind the Italian Vampire.
I also wrote another Sci Fi piece, this with erotic sex all over it. Assembly Line is a novella that will come out maybe in 2017. (OK Sex toy factory on an asteroid…) (HBO ran a piece on the creation of the Real Doll full-sized sex toy. I said – why only female dolls? And there you go.)
And of course I went to the Fremont PD Citizen’s Academy and started writing Hot Cops, to the bemusement of the Captain (female) who ran the classes. Six have been released.



Where is the weirdest place or what is the weirdest thing that inspired an idea?

That would be the ride in the $400,000 anti-terrorism Fremont PD Bearcat SWAT truck and taking note of the internal grab bars while sitting on my hands so I didn’t molest the adorable driver….close call.


Who’s a writer you would do backflips to meet and why?
Met quite a few at RT conferences – I try not to be a fan-girl. If I meet them I try to stay calm and polite. I am a silent supporter of my fav authors. Ann Cleeves (Vera, Shetland), Andrew Camilleri (Commissario Montalbano) – some of my favorites have died. I would have loved to have met Georgette Heyer. As a child I was groomed not to read ANY romance stories. I have been trying to make up for that.


If you could go back 20 years ago, what advice would you give yourself?
Do NOT wait until you are older. MAKE THE TIME.
You may have to put your kids to bed earlier. Or you get up before they do. Have a temper tantrum if necessary. Sooner rather than later.


Tell us about your latest novel!
2The next one up is the Italian Vampire. Drako Lanzoni Du sang – the fan club and my son were involved in his name. Fabio’s office approved.

Written for a fan club member who asked me to write her a story while she was trapped in a New England winter. I said sure – but he has to be a vampire! The fan club has been reading initial drafts and going gaga. They have space in their drawers waiting for the PRINT copy. I’m working! I’m working! The office has approved the first draft (The office is Fabio’s manager and agent – I work with him on the fan club). Eric also loves the cover.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?

The Italian Vampire
Their fear could be felt as an almost tangible thing. Their fear was justified. But he was well fed. The women were safe from him.
The women stood in the shadows, the night mists swirling about them. They would step no further. He had watched them approach, hesitant, arguing, reluctant. Beads and crosses dangled from their fingers, clicking as they chanted the rosary prayer while they walked. They were near the door to the side chapel. They refused to tread into the dark.
Dawn was coming. The birdsong had not begun, nor would it while he waited, also in shadow. Even the rustling of small creatures had stilled in his passing.
He watched them, as silent as the crypt behind him. They clung to their cloaks, coarse homespun fabric, dull colored. Servants then. All but the one.
The graveyard was silent, except for the rustling of the skirts of the one older woman who broke apart, a rich dark cape clutched tightly around her, swirling about her booted feet, she was carrying a handful of flowers, a small tribute, gripped in her free hand. Her jewels winked in and out from her fingers, and her boots were of supple leather, like his own. She was rich then, and had kept her status.
Her head was covered in the soft fabric of her cloak, and her head was bowed. She walked like she carried the weight of the world, or at least years of it, on her own shoulders. Stooped and somehow broken, she moved slowly forward. There were murmurs from the other women, clustered still in the shadows of the stone wall. Like the others, this woman had a rosary in her hands, the cross dangling from her fingers.
The church was ancient, and so was the graveyard in which they trespassed. But here and there, a newer stone glittered in the moonlight. It was to one of these that the woman walked.
It glittered in the slender moonlight that winked in and out as clouds skirted across the moon, drifted aimless in the night sky.
She came close to the headstone then, stopped and cried out, falling to her knees. She sobbed and laid the pitiful flowers on the flat grave. She touched the stone, but she did not touch the soil it rested on. She whispered a name, his name. She crossed herself and kissed her rosary cross. She murmured prayers. She raised her hands to the heavens. She cried softly.
The other women pleaded for her to return to them.
He would have called to her, but dared not. He wanted to run to her, hold her, and tell her that he was alive, that her son was still with her, still of this Earth.
But he could not because he was not.


Before you go, any advice to give to the new writers out there?

JUST DO IT! Toss all excuses to the wind and just do it. Make the time. Get into a routine. Do something for your career or your writing every single day. Don’t keep letting things get in your way (even family) or you will end up like me – staring at my 75th birthday and wondering where the time went.

Check Out Our Awesome September Classes!

We have two fantastic online classes coming up for RWASD next month that you all should check out. You don’t have to even be a member to attend! But it does help because a membership to RWASD will get you a discount.

Check out these great courses!


Contraception, Pregnancy and Childbirth in History

Date: Sept. 12–25th, 2016

Cost: RWA San Diego Chapter members: $15 Non-members: $20
Pregnancy and childbirth are a natural part of life that women of the past looked on with both excitement and fear. They never knew if it would be the beginning of a new life with a baby or the end of theirs. For those wishing to prevent a pregnancy, contraception was available, a lady just needed to know where to find it.

During this two week class, participants will be taken through the ins and outs of the history of contraception, pregnancy and childbirth from medieval times up through the Victorian era, from a writer’s perspective. Lectures will cover the training and techniques of midwives and doctors, as well as the medicines, pain relief, complications and mortality rates surrounding childbirth. Period nomenclature, tools and other details necessary for writers looking to craft realistic scenes will be discussed, as well as methods of contraception available and how information about it was disseminated. Firsthand accounts from medical practitioners and their patients will help provide a full picture of pregnancy and childbirth in the time before antibiotics, epidurals and germ theory.

Instructor: Georgie Lee

Award winning author Georgie Lee was born and raised in San Diego where she also attended college, majoring in television and film production. She began her professional writing career at a local cable TV station writing marketing videos, promotional spots and public service announcements, some of which still haunt the airwaves.

Blinded by the dazzling lights of Hollywood, she headed north to Los Angeles where she earned her MA in Screenwriting, met her husband, and settled into a career in the interesting but strange world of the entertainment industry.

A lifelong history buff, Georgie 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. She writes Regency set historical romance for Harlequin Historical and Carina Press. When not writing, she can be found reading non-fiction history or watching any movie with a costume and an accent.

You can Register here.


What Reading Top-Selling Authors Can Teach You About Writing

Date: Sept. 1–28th, 2016

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

This is the course that was never offered in your English department! We will look at bestselling romance from a critical perspective and learn what these authors are doing right—and how we can do these things in our own books.

But the word “critical” sounds so negative, doesn’t it? The focus of this course will be on what is effective, not on what we do or do not like about the books. We will take apart the first chapters of four bestselling romances and learn about their approaches, figure out what make them work, and look at other readers’ responses. Then we’ll write our own versions of fan fiction, applying these writers’ strategies in short weekly writing assignments.

We’ll have fun with the process, and you’ll leave the class with the beginnings of four new stories of your own.

What people are saying about the class:

“ I learned more in this class than other more expensive ones offered online by junior colleges and writing sites” – Mary

“I had never thought to use the different lenses as a way to analyze what makes a romance work. The challenge of using bestsellers (especially not the best written ones) as models to explore how the lenses work was an eye opener.” – Zara
Note: Participants are responsible for finding and reading the first chapters of the four books on the syllabus, but I’ll give some budget tips at the beginning of the class. Participants can read these first chapters beforehand or read them as we work through the lesson.


Instructor: Rebecca Hunter

Rebecca is the author of the steamy contemporary romance series, Stockholm Diaries. She earned a Bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan and a Master’s in English Education from New York University, and she had worked as an English teacher in a wide range of schools, from a community college outside of Stockholm to a New York City public high school.

Under various names, she had published in the Colombia Review, Vestkusten, The Lansing State Journal, and BonBon Break, and she was a regular contributor to The Local, Sweden’s News in English, when she lived in Stockholm. In addition to writing, Rebecca edits books and articles, mostly academic, and she has translated everything from magazine articles to memoirs.

Rebecca grew up in Michigan, but after college, she moved around quite a bit. After their most recent move back to the San Francisco Bay Area, she and her husband swore they’re never move again. Well, probably not.

You can Register here


Meet The Chapter Mates: Linda S. Rice

LindaSRiceLinda S. Rice is a lover and writer of time travel romances with a sprinkle of steamy erotica in the mix.  She also loves music and is a fan of doing pirouettes in her kitchen. Visit her at and learn more about her books. Right now, lets learn more about her!


Tell us a little about yourself! Who are you? What do you write?
I’m 64-years-old, married for 46 years, and live in the mountains east of San Diego with my husband and four cats. I’m semi-retired, which means that I can spend a lot of time writing but I also help my husband in his mortgage and real estate business. At one time I had dreams of becoming a ballerina, and I did dance semi-professionally for a few years when I was in my 20’s, but it’s a very difficult and physically-demanding career that I had to abandon when we started a family. When no one is looking, however, I still find myself spinning around the kitchen island or leaping down the hallway while humming a Tchaikovsky tune. I currently write time-travel romance with a bit of erotica sprinkled in.


When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was 12-years-old. I was always a story-teller with an out-of-control imagination, which got me invited to a lot of slumber parties. We’d all get into our p.j’s and sit in a circle around a couple of candles and I’d make up spooky stories about haunted places.
One rainy day in gym class in 8th grade, when we all had to sit inside the locker room on benches, I started to write a story that grew into a 200-page, hand-written “book.” It was about 2 girls and their adventures with the Beatles. Today, it would be called fan fiction. As I finished each page, I passed it down the row. By the end of the school year, I had about a dozen or so followers who were anxiously awaiting the next page. I still have the hand-written version, but when I got a typewriter for my 13th birthday, I typed it up, for posterity, I guess.


What does RWASD mean to you?
It means encouragement, support, and a lot of love. I have learned so much at the monthly meetings and met so many wonderful people. The events and opportunities for members sometimes blows me away! Before joining RWA, I had a publicist, but I have to say that she did nothing for me compared to RWA…Book signing at the LA Festival of Books, reading and book signing at Love at the Library. Awesome speakers at the meetings. It’s been incredible!


What is the biggest challenge you have faced on your journey to becoming a writer?

Figuring out social media, websites and how to promote myself. I tend to stick my head in the sand when it comes to all those things I know I need to do it, but all I want to really do is write.


What attracted you to the genre you write? Why does it speak to you?
Linda at 17The concept of time-travel has always fascinated me. In my teens, I read a lot of historical fiction and romance and I always felt as if I were right there, back in the past with the characters in the books. I wondered what it would be like to live in Egypt at the time of Nefertiti or in England during the Regency era or in Russia when Anna Pavlova was the greatest ballerina in the world.


Where is the weirdest place or what is the weirdest thing that inspired an idea?
Okay, this is really weird, but right after I finished writing the 5th book in “The Necklace” series several weeks ago, I kept having a dissatisfied feeling about the ending. This book was meant to be the final book in the series, and I wrote a bittersweet, happy ending that felt just right, but for some reason, the last part of the book seemed “rushed,” as if I was trying to get it over with. I procrastinated submitting it to Create Space to get published, not really knowing why. But then, I went to see a psychic who I’ve been going to for the past couple of years. I saw her last in December, 2015, but something drew me to go see her again.
When I walked in and sat down, the first words out of her mouth were, “Oh! You’re the lady who writes time travel books that have something to do with music.” When I told her, yes, that was me and that I just finished the last book in the series, number 5, she shook her head at me and said, “No, no! You’re going to write a book 6 to finish the series.” Thinking to myself that there was no way I was going to write a book 6, I tried to brush it off, but she just wouldn’t let go of it, insisting there would be a book #6.
When I got home, I looked at the manuscript for book 5 and realized that the ending really was “rushed,” and that I could easily expand upon it for a 6th book. So, I removed it and am now getting ready to write book #6.

Who’s a writer you would do backflips to meet and why?
I would love to meet Amanda Quick, aka Judith Ann Krantz. I feel very in tune with her writing style and absolutely love her characters. Her females are always feisty and her males arrogant and very sexy.


If you could go back 20 years ago, what advice would you give yourself?
I would tell myself to quite putting off my dream of writing. Year after year I put it off, thinking, “next year, next year…” It wasn’t until 2 years ago when I lost my 3rd job in a 5-year period that I finally thought, “This makes no sense. I get zero satisfaction from what I’m doing. I’m just a wage slave and every new job I get is just a dead end.” I wish I would have followed my dream sooner.


Tell us about your latest novel!
CoversMy latest novel, “The Necklace V – Strawberries & Wine,” is the 5th in “The Necklace” series. I thought it was going to be the final book, but…well, read above about the weird thing that recently happened to me.
While the first four books in the series are time-travel journeys into the past for my main character, Susan, book #5 takes place in the future. In this book, Susan has finally learned that she can’t change history to be with James, the man of her dreams and a former member of “the most famous band of all time.” She might, however, be able to make a future with him.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
“Do you know what this strawberry reminds me of, Susan?”
Suddenly she remembered the loaf of French bread he’d brought and that was sitting on the kitchen island. He’d also brought the strawberries. It didn’t take long for her mind to drift back into the past. Her voice was a mere whisper when she responded.
“French toast…with…with strawberries?”
It was what she’d made for him for breakfast out at Auntie Annabelle’s cottage, the day after their picnic and when she’d surrendered her virginity to him after almost falling into the pond. It was actually the first meal she’d ever cooked for him…all that time ago…in June, 1962…
“Well, yes…that…but it makes me think of something else as well.”
She searched her brain, but couldn’t think of anything else that would remind him of strawberries as they related to her other than he knew they were a favorite of hers.
She looked at him quizzically. “What else does it make you think of?”
He stared into the fire for a moment before looking back at her.
“The night I asked you to marry me for the first time.”
She bit her lip and looked down at her lap. It wasn’t a good memory for her. When he’d asked her to marry him in their hotel room in London, right after the band recorded what would become two of their most famous songs, she had panicked, not expecting his proposal. And, when he realized there was actually another man in her life, a red rage had taken over him and she was immediately returned to the future.
“I remember…”
‘When we were in the dining room, celebrating the recording of “Squeeze, Squeeze Me” and “From You to Me,” I asked the waiter to take a bottle of champagne and a bowl of strawberries up to our room…I knew strawberries were your favorite…”
He paused, watching her twist the chain of her ballerina necklace between her fingers, her face still focused on her lap.
“After you accepted my proposal…I had no doubts, you would, you know…I was going to open the champagne and toast to our future. And then I was going to feed you strawberries, and when you’d had enough, I was going to kiss the juice off your lips and face…”
He paused again when she looked up and into his eyes.
“Then I was going to take you to bed and make slow, sweet love to you all night long…”
She inhaled and held her breath as he moved his hand forward towards her mouth with the strawberry held between two fingers. Their eyes were locked together.
She took one bite, then another.


Before you go, any advice to give to the new writers out there?
Yes, decide what writing style works best for you then just go for it. Write when you feel inspired; take a break when you don’t. If you’re a person who likes to do outlines and make notes before you write, stick to that. If you’re a person who writes best from “the seat of your pants,” then just let it flow out of your head onto the page. If a combination is what makes you feel comfortable, then customize it for YOU. There is no right or wrong way to get your story out there. Forget the articles that tell you that you “must” do it this way or that way. You’re an individual with imagination and talent. Just let it flow.

Meet the Chapter Mates: Kitty Bucholtz

Kitty Bucholtz Author Photo2 smallOur own Kitty Bucholtz is always full of smiles, laughter, and a joke for everyone at RWASD. She also is an accomplished writer and teaches some wonderful workshops on self-publishing as well.

You can find out even more about her at



Tell us a little about yourself! Who are you? What do you write?
I have a T-shirt that says, “I’m just a Michigan girl in a California world.” Sometimes I think that says everything about me – haha!! I’m partly practical and logical, partly whimsical and emotional, and I’m a lot about laughter and encouragement and Love. So I end up writing a very similar character most of the time – a woman who is faced with a situation she doesn’t want to or know how to deal with, but who finds it inside herself – often with a little divine inspiration – to find a way through it and learn that she’s stronger than she knew. I don’t know if I always write about her because I hope I’m her, or because I want to be her, or…I don’t know. But she’s my girl. I put her in romantic comedies, and superhero urban fantasies (with romance, of course), and supernatural suspense.


When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I remember writing stories on a chalkboard my mom leaned against the wall in the hallway at home when I was five or six. I wrote stories throughout school, but I grew up in a pragmatic, Puritan work ethic kind of culture, so artistic pursuits were considered nice hobbies. It wasn’t until I moved away from home that I first submitted my work for publication – and I was accepted my first time! I had a devotional published in 1996, and that was when it really became real to me. Once that happened, I couldn’t stop writing, couldn’t stop trying to get published!


What does RWASD mean to you?
My fabulous friend gave me a year’s membership into RWASD last year when times were tough in my life. Over time, I’ve found that she’s not the only wonderful and generous person in RWASD. 🙂 I’ve so enjoyed the laughter and encouragement at the meetings, the amazing online encouragement to write more and make our deadlines, and the amazing speakers we’ve had since I’ve joined!



What is the biggest challenge you have faced on your journey to becoming a writer?
I think the hardest thing for me is that my personality and my upbringing have mostlyKitty at Carlsbad Beach Apr16 pushed me to accept what those in authority say to be true. So when editors said chick lit is dead, I believed them and tried to think of something else to write. When agents said, don’t write other books in your series if you haven’t sold book one yet, I agreed that that sounded logical and I wrote the first book of the next series and the next. When other professional writers told me, don’t worry about writing the full book, write great proposals until you get an agent who will tell you which book they can sell, I took their advice and wrote a dozen three-chapters-and-a-proposal.

Following all of that advice not only didn’t help me sell a book (although I did get an agent), but when I decided to self-publish, I didn’t have a dozen completed books like so many other writers who chose to self-publish had ready to go. So in some ways, my biggest challenge has been trying to learn how to make wiser decisions that work for me. The number of “experts” in publishing has only grown, so it will continue to be a challenge for me to find my own way, taking into consideration what works for other professional publishers, but making decisions that will hopefully work best for me.


What attracted you to the genre you write? Why does it speak to you?
I love “love”! I love happily ever afters and great endings and good winning over evil. I also love what happens after two people in love get married, so I had to write about newlyweds in my superhero series! I’ve been married to my college sweetheart for 26 years now, and there is so much laughter and good times to tell people about, I think I’m just compelled to write it down in fiction! But I also have to write about action sometimes, and spiritual goings on, and stuff that I can’t figure out.


Where is the weirdest place or what is the weirdest thing that inspired an idea?
LOL! My husband knows this story, so I don’t mind putting it in print again. I was mad at him one day because he spent all of his free time playing Xbox, reading comic books, playing D&D, and hanging out with people who did the same. I was bored and lonely and irritated (and probably wrong about how much time he actually spent doing those things!), and I came up with a story about a woman whose husband was doing all this and ignoring her, and she created her own superhero who would be there for her. Eventually it morphed into Unexpected Superhero, about a woman who not only marries a superhero (unbeknownst to her), but discovers she has a super power as well. So I guess the moral of the story is – sometimes being mad at your husband turns out well in the end. Haha!


Who’s a writer you would do backflips to meet and why?
Ooo, that’s a hard one because I’ve met three of my favorite writers already! I met Jennie Crusie at RWA in New York, and another fan took a terribly fuzzy picture of us that I still have. Haha! I met and was able to have a conversation with Jim Butcher twice in the last few years. And I met my all-time favorite graphic novel writer, Mark Waid, author of Kingdom Come, and had a terribly embarrassing fan girl moment that turned into a memorable, lovely conversation. I’d LOVE to spend more time with any of the three of them!


If you could go back 20 years ago, What advice would you give yourself?
Listen to others, weigh their advice, and trust yourself to make the decisions that work best for you. Then don’t stop writing!


Tell us about your latest novel!
COVER_FINALI’m so excited about this one! Love at the Fluff and Fold has been a long time coming. It’s book one of The Strays of Loon Lake romantic comedy series, and I expect to have it out in the fall (working on the edits now). The prequel short story, “Welcome to Loon Lake,” was formerly published as “Rescue at Loon Lake” in the anthology Moonlit Encounters, but I’ll be re-issuing it this month as a freebie to introduce the series. I’m also working on book two, Love at the Sea and Ski, right now. I hope to have that out by the end of the year.

The most fun part of this series is that I set it in the real location of the little lake community where I grew up, combined with some larger nearby towns. Then I added in all the fun things that make up quirky towns with funny characters, and I added some rather ridiculous plot twists. The point of this series is good, clean fun! I’ve had a blast writing it.


Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here is the first meet between Danny and Cassie after a long time apart near the beginning of Love at the Fluff and Fold:

His steps slowed as he came around the corner of the building and looked up the stairwell. She’d heard him coming. Her feet flew down the steps and she jumped the last two to land in arms.
There wasn’t anything he could do but crush her to him, pulling her back into his heart where she belonged.
A voice in his head told him he was a dead man. No pun intended. If it wasn’t for Uncle Wille, this would be the Worst. Idea. Ever.
But for now…


Before you go, any advice to give to the new writers out there?
Keep writing. Enjoy yourself. Write what makes you happiest. You’ll do your best work that way, and other people will be most likely to enjoy it!

May Meeting Round Up + Good News

Wow! What a fantastic meeting!

In the morning we had a fascinating talk with forensic pathologist, Dr. Judy Melinek. She and her husband, writer T.J. Mitchell, told us all about the ins and outs of “Getting Your Murder Scene Right”. The two discussed the differences between coroners and medical examiners, what exactly Dr. Melinek’s job entails, and the details of what goes on during an autopsy.

Continuing on our crime themed meeting, Detective Tenaya Webb spoke on “How Police Solve Murders”. Ms. Webb filled us in on the ins and outs of police procedures, what really happens during a crime scene, and what TV and movies get wrong and what they get right.

Our Member of the Month was Eleanor Nystrom. Ellie has been working hard behind the scenes for quite some time, quietly making sure everything at out meetings run smooth without anyone even noticing she’s there. She is also one of our main forces behind our RWASD Sprinter’s group, and helps our writers put words down almost every.

Our Atta Girl/Guy went to Cynthia Diamond, who has kept writing during a very tough couple of months of life exploding.


Eleanor Nystrom with President-Elect Tami Vahalik.



Cynthia Diamond with President-Elect Tami Vahalik.

We also had Good News!

  • Linda Rice released Book #5 of “The Necklace” series on 5/20
  • Regan Walker release Rebel Warrior, Book three in her Medieval Warriors series
  • S.B.K Burns pitched her erotic romance, space opera, and steampunk books to the agents of Savvy Authors
  • Kitty Bucholtz entered 3 entries int the California Hooker Contest
  • Kristen Bentz received four requests for manuscripts from the SDSU Writers Conference
  • Shirley Wilder finished writing “Double Vision.”

Our June meeting will feature “How to Quietly Make Six Figures Self-Publishing” with NYT Bestselling Author Angie Fox  and “Best Practices for Self-Publishing from a Book Seller’s Standpoint” with Lori James.

You can sign up here! Hope to see you there!

RWASD Presents: Love at the Library

Love at the Library (1)

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.


  • 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!