Romance Rocks Presents…

2014website-banner-with-sponsor-logo

On Professional Development Day, Thursday 7th August on Track B, Session 4, Gemma Ruddick (Rachael Ruddick) will be writing strong in an informative sessions designed to encourage healthy habits as you write.

Write Strong

Run through stretches and exercises (using only your chair) that are useful for writers who spend long hours sitting, as well as learn the considerations for general health, desk set up and furniture. Participants will run through a range of exercises and stretches that really target the areas of most concern for writers. These include exercises that improve posture, as well as flexibility in those muscles that become tight from long periods of sitting (hamstrings, lower back, etcetera). The exercises would be suitable for all age groups and health status. Gemma will also provide a handbook of exercises and stretches for them to take with them.

Your Presenter – Gemma RuddickGemma Ruddick

When I decide to do something I get it done.

What prompted you to put together this workshop for “Romance Rocks”?
Item number three of my bucket List. It is nestled in amongst some gems like ‘run a 100k ultramarathon’, ‘visit all Disney parks’, ‘get a PhD’ and ‘make my own shampoo’.

What will participants take away from this session?
My session is for everybody, regardless of physical ability. It is about giving participants the practical knowledge to make sure they are fit and ready for all those long hours spent at a desk writing. I will cover exercises and stretches that you can do sitting or standing behind your chair as well as discussing desk set up and general health considerations.
I encourage everyone not to underestimate how important it is for your body, just like your mind, to be prepared to write. We all know that athletes nowadays place considerable importance on sports psychology; well for all of us who spend a considerable amount of time in our heads we can’t neglect our bodies.
Come to my session ready to move!

Which members will benefit most from this session?
Everyone knows that spending hours a day sitting at a desk is bad for your long-term health. As writers it is virtually impossible to get around this but it is important that we all have a toolbox to manage the impacts of this sedentary profession and understand what we can do to mitigate the risks.

Anything you’re particularly looking forward to at the 2014 Romance Rocks conference in Sydney?
It has been a couple of years since I have been able to make it to the conference and I am looking forward to meeting up with everyone, particularly my fellow contest coordinators. I also am looking forward to pitching and hopefully picking up some great ideas for approaching the editing phase of the writing process.

Any advice for conference first-timers?Cover_RapidHearts
Each conference I have attended has sent me in to a writing funk afterwards. After learning so much I always want to immediately apply it all to my writing which sends me down a ‘if I’m not going to do it properly I won’t to anything at all’ rabbit hole. So my advice is to make some sort of plan about going back through your conference notes each night and after the conference and planning out practical steps to apply what you have learnt to your current work in a manageable way.

What is your latest/current/upcoming book release and where can members find out more about you?
In 2014 I am releasing Climbing Into His Arms (Rachael Ruddick) a contemporary sports romance featuring a rock climbing goddess.

 

 

 

Author Spotlight: Goldie Alexander….

Welcome to the Author Spotlight, Goldie and congratulations on the release of   “Penelope’s Ghost”. You have some 80 titles to your credit, from where do you draw inspiration to write across all those genres?

I began my writing career with commissioned books for Young Adults as part of the Dolly Romance series under the pseudonym of Gerri Lapin. These small novels taught me a lot about writing. Since then I have written in almost every genre. I must be the original Jack of All Trades. Perhaps the only genres I haven’t tackled are adult movie/TV Scripts, graphic novels(can’t draw for nuts) and erotica. Interestingly, Clan Destine Press who has just published my latest YA novel, “That Stranger Next Door” has suggested I attempt one. We’ll see…

Penelope's large_cover (3)

Do you have a favourite genre or another one you can see yourself venturing into?

I am easily bored, so I tend to drift from one genre into another. That’s why I introduce myself as ‘A Publishing Slut’ as I go from one company to another. ‘Penelope’s Romance’ was my first attempt at writing adult romance. To my utter delight it was picked up in the United States almost immediately. My ‘Mentoring Your Memoir’ was self published but it is presently my best seller. It seems everyone has a story they are dying to tell.

You’ve won many awards as well, including the Australian Society of Authors mentor program 3 times. Can you tell us about that, please?

One way or another, I have been teaching Creative Writing these last 25 years; both in traditional adult writing classes and through mentoring individual authors. These are talented people who have won this opportunity via the ASA. We all learn a lot. It’s said that when you teach, you relearn that stuff all over again.

Do you write one book at a time or have many on the go at once?

I usually concentrate on one book at a time, but often other books need another draft before they are published. And then there’s the marketing….

What would we find on your book shelf / e reader?

Don’t ask! I was in a bad traffic accident 2 years ago and in hospital and rehab for 10 weeks. Thankfully, I was brought a Kindle. I have something like 300 books on it at present because I belong to 2 book-clubs, one adult and literary, the other children’s – this includes story picture books, middle range novels and Young Adult novels. And there are many books recommended by friends or reviews I become interested in. I have friends who write wonderful books for all ages such as Hazel Edwards (we have co-written a lot together). Though she is best known for her Hippo books, look her up. You will be impressed by all she has written.

large cover

Do you think that exploration of other genres helps to strengthen writer’s craft and skill?

Anything and everything improves a writer’s skills, the most important being reading! Read what other people write. And eavesdrop on conversations. Listening in on trams, buses and trains to other people on their mobiles provides excellent fodder.

Writing a memoir is different to fiction. What are the elements of a compelling memoir?

I guess an exciting memoir depends on what kind of life the memoirist has had. I wrote about my first 30 years and stopped at that point because all the people I was nasty about were safely dead and couldn’t sue me for defamation. There is really nothing different about writing a memoir than writing anything else. All use the same techniques. This is what I try to teach aspiring memoirists.

Is writing a memoir more difficult in regards to the feeling that you are writing facts about yourself as opposed to creating a fictional character?

Unless you terribly inhibited or ashamed of yourself, it is possibly easier, though it may bring up unpleasant/unhappy memories. The trick is to see yourself as ‘a character in a novel’. I recommend that aspiring memoirists create a character dossier describing how they might appear to others.

What do you do in your spare time, (if you have any!).

You make me sound like a ‘workaholic’ which I possibly am. But as I am a bad sleeper, I rarely work at night, confining myself to sitting at the computer most mornings. At night I like to read, go to the movies, watch TV, cook and of all things knit (It’s like Greek worry beads and soothing.)

Goldie 007 copy

Could you give us a sneaky peek at one of your favourite parts of ‘Penelope’s Ghost”, please?

 

“When Lisa Harbinger takes a job as nanny to a prestigious Australian family, she gets more than she bargained for: two spoilt children, vengeful ghosts, a long-unsolved mystery and a blazing passion she and her enigmatic boss are unable to deny. Fleeing a humiliating end to a passionless marriage, Lisa Harbinger seeks refuge in a posh summer retreat on Australia’s lush South Coast. There she finds work as a nanny for two willful children on one prestigious estate. But behind Rangoon’s ivy and red brick walls lies a mystery: What really happened to the family’s beloved Penelope?

Even more mysterious is Richard Prescott. Cold and aloof by day, Lisa’s boss heats up her nights and awakens her soul. But to have a future they both must escape their pasts. Vengeful ghosts and a generations-old curse seek to bring ruin on Richard and his family. But if Lisa can find the answers, she—and her growing love—could be the one to set him free.”

       

“He fell in love with someone else,” Richard repeated thoughtfully. “Was she a friend of yours?”

It must be time to confess. What he would think of me after that, I didn’t dare consider. “Actually, she was a he. Simon fell in love with Robert and finally admitted he was gay.”

Richard’s eyebrows shot up. “Married to someone as lovely and intelligent as you? That’s almost impossible to believe.”

Lovely? Intelligent? Not knowing how to respond to these compliments I said quickly, “I think Simon always knew he was gay. Even when he married me, he was just in denial. I was too dumb to wake up to it.”

“When you did realise, how did it make you feel?”

“Angry. Miserable. Then totally stupid,” I answered. “There were so many hints, but I kept on ignoring them.” Then I dared to venture, as the atmosphere between us was definitely pulsing, “He was never interested in sex.”

His face blank, Richard turned to the next page of the book we were sharing, then another. In the pause I heard an owl hoot and the wind rustle a branch against the window.

At last he put down the book. “Never interested in sex. That mean you’re not? Let’s find out.” With this, he placed one arm around my waist and with the other hand tilted my head so I faced him. Then he carefully and delicately placed his mouth over mine.

******

Web links

Website

Blog:www

Facebook

Twitter

Buy link: Boroughs Publishing Group.

 

 

Thank you for taking part in our Author Spotlight, Goldie!

Event Announcements

Do you have an event or workshop you’d like to share? Email your event news to cruisin@romanceaustralia.com

RWA Conference 2014 – Romance Rocks!

ARRA Book-signing event, Saturday 9 August

The Australian Romance Readers Association will be hosting a book-signing event in Sydney this August. It will be held in conjunction with the Romance Writers of Australia ARRA logo_CMYKconference, and will run from 5-6 pm on Saturday 9 August at the Pullman Hotel in Olympic Park. This is the seventh group signing we have hosted, and it is shaping up to be the biggest yet with 88 authors signing.

The list of signing authors is available here: http://australianromancereaders.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/book-signing-event-in-sydney/

The event will be open to the public, with an entry fee of $20 – or pre-purchase your tickets online for just $15. Entry will also include the opportunity to score some free books, plus the chance to win one of several prize baskets.

Remember – if you are an RWA delegate entry to the signing is NOT included in your RWA registration fee.

Buy your ticket here: http://www.trybooking.com/76424

Newbies!

We love Newbies and want to make sure your first conference is welcoming and inclusive. If you are feeling nervous and don’t know what to expect our First Timers Liaison, rwa14logoedit-light-300Donna Gallagher is here to help donnag63@iinet.net.au For everyone else, please make all newbies welcome.

If at any time during the conference you face any issues or queries, please feel free to approach the conference committee or volunteers, and we’ll work to resolve the issue.

Romancing the Festival

Byron Bay Writers Festival will reveal the realities of writing romance with multi-published and award-winning authors Amy Andrews and Jennifer St George in discussion AmyAndrews_HOFAHwith, and at the mercy of, local celebrity comedian Mandy Nolan, says Festival Director, Edwina Johnson.
Chairing the session Be Still My Beating Heart: Writing Romance, Nolan will explore the world of romance writing and discuss what it’s like to be a contemporary romance author.

Be Still My Beating Heart: Writing Romance will be held on Festival Sunday.
Where: The Festival runs at North Byron Beach Resort from 1- 3 August with workshops commencing on 28 July.JenniferStGeorge_The-Love-Deception-Love

For more Festival information or to purchase tickets visit byronbaywritersfestival.com or call 1300 368 552.

For further information or interviews contact: Jennifer St George, m: 0418 134 543, e: publicity@nrwc.org.au

Book Expo Australia

Where Books Come Alive – Books for everyone and all genres.

When: 30 – 31 August 2014

Where: Exhibition Hall 5, Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park, NSW 2127

FMI: www.bookexpoaustralia.com

Times
From 9:00am for Teachers and librarians
From 10:00am for General Public
Close at 5:30 pm Saturday and Sunday

Tickets are Now On Sale!

$5.00 – Teachers and Librarians (proof of employment may be requested)
$20 – Family ticket (2 adults and 2 YA)
$8.50 – Adult
$5.00 – Children(YA) over 12 to 18
Free – Children 12 and under (proof of age may be requested)

Romancing the Pagebeing_jade_COVER_HI_res small

Contrary to popular belief, a good romance is not as simple as falling in love. Writing good quality romance requires creativity, innovation, skill and well-formed characters embroiled in believable conflict.
Explore the diversity of the genre, get tips on convincing emotional connection and sex scenes, discover what readers and publishers want, develop a winning story synopsis and killer pitch, and learn about the earning opportunities the romance genre offers.
For beginners, early & emerging writers.

When: Saturdays 6, 13, 30 and 27 September, 10am–1pm
Where: Writers Victoria, 176 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Tutor: Kate Belle (author The Yearning & Being Jade)

For more information and bookings: http://writersvictoria.org.au/what-s-on/event/romancing-the-page/

Online Events

RWA is looking to offer our members a series of online writers’ workshops in the second half of 2014 through its new Online Workshop List (OWL). OWL events will be hosted, facilitated and promoted by RWA on a 75:25 profit-share arrangement with the presenter (the greater amount being the presenter’s). We would like to invite interested RWA members and non-RWA members to apply to conduct a workshop online through RWA in the inaugural OWL calendar. Please download the proposal form http://www.romanceaustralia.com/p/89/OWLs, complete by May 1 2014 and email to owl@romanceaustralia.com

Classes are run from Margie Lawson’s website using on-line teaching software used by universities. Take a cyber tour before you start your class and introduce yourself.

Affordable forum-style writing classes

A double Golden Heart finalist in 2006, Julie Rowe has been writing for over ten years. Julie  teaches a variety of workshops and is the moderator of the Announce Online Classes email loop, which promotes online classes for writers. To subscribe to the Announce online Classes email loop, send an email to: Announceonlinewritingclasses-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Writers Festivals 2014

The Mildura Writers’ Festival brings together some of Australia’s best writers in an intimate, winter program of workshops, lectures and discussion forums.

When: July 17–20

Early Bird Tickets for Byron Bay Writers Festival are on sale. Workshops commencing on 28 July. The Early Bird tickets are only on sale until the full program is announced on 6 June, so now is the time to pick up a discounted Festival pass. For more Festival information or to purchase Early Bird tickets visit byronbaywritersfestival.com.au or call 1300 368 552.

When: August 1–3

Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) is Melbourne’s annual, two-week celebration for writers, readers and thinkers. Each year in August, the Festival celebrates the talent and ideas of hundreds of writers from Australia and around the world, through a vibrant program of storytelling, conversation and discussion, intellectual debate, educational programs, live performance, music and art events. The Festival includes events for people of all ages and more than a quarter of the program is free. Their highly regarded Schools’ Program attracts more than 15,000 students.

When: August 21–31

Details to be provided as soon as they become available.

When: September 3–7

Cruisin’ with RWA

We love celebrating success. Our members are encouraged to send in their New Release news for publishing in Hearts Talk and the New Releases blog. Don’t miss the deadline! Send in your new releases by the 8th of every month to: newreleases@romanceaustralia.com htgoodnews@romanceaustralia.com Of course, the Cruisin’ Crew don’t want to miss out on the celebrations, so drop Clint and Enrico an email with your blogs, new contract, first sale, new cover or release news at cruisin@romanceaustralia.com. Don’t forget to come back on Sunday for a list of exciting writing-related events delivered by our members.

Member News

Has been contracted for a three book print series by Pan Macmillan Australia. KAKADU SUNSET, Book 1 of the Porter Sisters series should be available in 2015.
This romantic suspense trilogy is about three sisters from rural Australia who overcome adversity in different circumstances. Set in the outback, in the tropics and on the coastal rain forest fringe.

Invites you to view the cover and storyline of SAVING SHELBY SUMMERS, her latest romance, just published by Secret Cravings Publishing.

The fifth book in the Immortal Rapture Series,  ARIELLE: IMMORTAL JOURNEY, was released on July 15.

RWA Blog

July 20 – Event AnnouncementsClint

July 22 – Author Spotlight: Goldie Alexander…

July 23 – Romance Rocks Presents…Gemma Ruddick

July 24 – Cruisin’ with RWA

Cruisin’ Member Blogs

Are you an RWA Member? Share a link and a short blurb here each week by emailing the details to us at: cruisin@romanceaustralia.com.

Romance in Exotic Places: The Attraction and Possibilities of Other Lands – Explore the potential of exotic settings this week with Susanne Bellamy.

Wrote a very serious and thoughtful post

Feeling the winter blues? Then cheer yourself up with a romantic wedding or three on Friday Feast. Award-winning Australian author Fiona Lowe is celebrating the upcoming release of her Wedding Fever trilogy with even more nuptials. An entire anthology of them! Plus there’s a delicious winter dessert to sweeten things even more. Nice!

Post on our recent workshop, Characterisation and Suspense.
Post by Tea Cooper and the wonders of using Evernote.

July 8 – Tuesday Tales with the prompt “Summer”
July 10 – Maggie Christensen BAND OF GOLD
July 13 – Sunday Snippet FRESH BEGINNINGS … another little teaser of my book which will be released early August.

Curious about a romance author’s writing space? Check out my desk – and our cats – at AusRomToday

Shared a post by writing guru Sydney Smith. What’s wrong with a passive protagonist?

Three Australian authors share their how-we-got-published stories!

Ann B Harrison was Over at Write Bytes with Keziah Hill this week. And yes, she has a messy desk!

Nicole Murphy aka Elizabeth Dunk is on Write Bytes this week. Come along and say hello!

to celebrate the upcoming September release of DRIVING IN NEUTRAL (a love story about claustrophobia), Sandra is running a blog series titled 75 Days of Phobias featuring many RWA members and romance authors.

Guest blog / promo for J L Addicoat debut novel, THE SPIRIT OF LOVE.

Guest blog / promo for Anna Hackett‘s next release, IN THE DEVIL’S NEBULA, an action, science fiction romance.

Enrico’s Pick Six

Submit your blog site link to cruisin@romanceaustralia.com to share with our readers. Enrico hand picks six blogs to showcase every week. Enrico’s Pick Six this week:Enrico

  1. Monique Wood
  2. The Pink Heart Society
  3. Whitney K-E
  4. Tima Maria
  5. Dark Side Down Under
  6. The Ecstasy Files

Have a great week and happy writing!

Romance Rocks Presents…

2014website-banner-with-sponsor-logo

On Professional Development Day, Thursday 7th August on Track B, Session 3, Susan Donovan will provide a User’s Guide to turning up the self-expressive part of the brain and turning down the impulse control part of the brain when generating ideas. 

A User’s Guide to the Creative Writer’s Brain

Understanding how to get the most out of the 2 types of creative thinking: convergent thinking (intensely focusing on a problem until the answer emerges) and divergent thinking (asking your subconscious mind targeted questions then forgetting you asked them).

Your Presenter – Susan Donovanfacebook picture Susan Donovan aka Sara Donovan (2)

I’m a wife, mother, corporate facilitator and HarperCollins author.

Have you presented sessions at previous conferences, for RWA or other organisations?
I have written and run workshops on neuroscience, communication and innovation for my corporate clients, including Novartis, Oracle and Telstra.

What prompted you to put together this workshop for “Romance Rocks”?
I utilised some of the processes I teach in my day job whenever I felt stuck or worried when writing my book (which was quite a lot – especially when writing the first draft!)
The processes were so effective and reduced my stress so much, that I wanted to share them with any of the wonderful romance writers at Romance Rocks who are interested.

What will participants take away from this session?
The take-home message is that the unconscious mind is far more powerful than the conscious mind, but it’s also very easy to block. It’s helpful to know when you’ve accidentally turned it off, how to turn it back on and how to get more out of your brain’s creative capabilities.

Will there be hands-on exercises or audience participation?COV_LoveByNumbers_CD2
There will be hands-on exercises and audience participation in this workshop.

What is the best part/aspect of conference for you?
Meeting other romance writers and having a good laugh together.

What is your latest/current/upcoming book release and where can members find out more about you?
My debut novel, Love By Numbers, a romantic comedy about love, lust and neuroscience is being published by HarperCollins digital brand, HarperImpulse in July 2014. You can find my website at www.saradonovan.com

 

 

Event Announcements

Do you have an event or workshop you’d like to share? Email your event news to cruisin@romanceaustralia.com

RWA Conference 2014 – Romance Rocks!

Audition SubmissionSydney conf logo

Do you have the X-Factor? Are you prepared to have your work presented on stage before a panel of judges on a stage, and blind the crowd with your talent?

By submitting your work to AUDITION SUBMISSION, you’ll be putting your story in front of six industry professionals all looking for the next author star, with the talent and perseverance to make it big on the world stage of publishing!

Hone your submission skills and take the challenge to find out if you have the X Factor in AUDITION SUBMISSION.

Panel of Judges

  • Kate Byrne – editor for Hodder Headline UK
  • Narelle Battersby – freelance editor for HarperImpulse
  • Malle Vallik – editor for Harlequin International
  • Lex Hirst – editor for Random Romance
  • Lucienne Diver – Agent, The Knight Agency
  • Alex Adsett – Agent, Alex Adsett Publishing Services

See judge biographies and preferences on the Editors/Agents Preferences page of the conference website.

The Audition Process
An independent reader will read anonymous manuscript pages aloud for the panel and conference delegates. During the reading, the panel will indicate where they would stop reading the submission, and later will explain why. The whole audience will benefit from understanding the submission’s strengths and weaknesses, and how they can further improve their own future submissions.

Offers of Interest
Any requests made during the AUDITION SUBMISSION are REAL. The conference team will get back to you with the contact details of the editor/agent who has requested your work. Any rejections from AUDITION SUBMISSION shouldn’t stop you from submitting in the future, but might help improve your submission through the panel’s feedback.

How to Audition
Send the first two pages of your manuscript to syd14@romanceaustralia.com by Friday, July 25th.

  • Put AUDITION SUBMISSION in the email subject line.
  • Send your first two pages (double-spaced, 1-inch margins).
  • Put your title in the head of each page – but NOT YOUR NAME.
  • Save all documents as [Your Name AUDITION SUBMISSION Title] in .RTF format and attach to email.
  • In the body of your email, please include your name, full contact details (including mobile phone number) and the title of your manuscript.

Express Year of the NovelAnnaCampbell_Rake

Make 2014 the year you finish your novel in Express Year of the Novel! Over six masterclasses, you will explore the elements of novel writing, including character and setting, theme, voice and narrative structure. With the support and feedback of your peers and acclaimed author, Anna Campbell, you’ll be equipped with the tools to complete the first draft of your manuscript by December.

Anna Campbell’s award-winning historical romances are published internationally, including in Australia and North America. For the last four years, the Australian Romance Readers Association have voted Anna favourite romance writer. Her latest release is A RAKES’ MIDNIGHT KISS (HarperCollins). Web: www.annacampbell.info

Romancing the Festival

Byron Bay Writers Festival will reveal the realities of writing romance with multi-published and award-winning authors Amy Andrews and Jennifer St George in discussion with, and at the mercy of, local celebrity comedian Mandy Nolan, says Festival Director, Edwina Johnson.
Chairing the session Be Still My Beating Heart: Writing Romance, Nolan will explore the world of romance writing and discuss what it’s like to be a contemporary romance author.
Amy Andrews is the author of over 40 romance novels with five different publishing houses, including Harlequin Mills & Boon, US e-publisher Entangled and HarperCollins, AmyAndrews_HOFAHand has sold over 1.6 million copies of her stories worldwide. ‘There are many myths that surround the genre. Romance, like country music, is a genre which no one admits to listening to/reading but everyone has an opinion about,’ says Andrews. ‘This panel will be able to debunk these and explain the realities of the modern day romance novel.’
Andrews, whose recent novel HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO won Australian Romance Readers Association Best Contemporary Romance award, believes the key to longevity in publishing is diversification. ‘Authors have more choice than ever before. Digital publishing, self publishing, traditional publishing. And you know what? You’d be mad if you didn’t explore all your options.’
Local author Jennifer St George is thrilled to be teaming up with Nolan again. ‘Mandy launched my book SWEET SEDUCTION at Mary Ryan’s last year. I JenniferStGeorge_The-Love-Deception-Lovelaughed so hard, I could barely answer her hilarious questions. She got people so excited, the book sold out that night.’
St George says many people are unaware of the enormous popularity of the genre. ‘Romance fiction generated over $1.3 billion in sales in the US alone in 2013. It was the top-performing category on the best-seller lists in 2012 across the NYT, USA Today, and PW lists.’
Nolan can’t wait to talk heroes, heroines, love and sex. ‘Romance is to love what pasta is to sauce. It’s a delicious combination, but in the end too much makes you fat.’ The author of Boyfriends We’ve All Had (and Shouldn’t Have), Nolan writes about ‘real ordinary’ love. ‘I tell the truth about love. That’s why it’s funny. Most of us never really tell the truth.’
‘People have told me that my book is really honest – that I have been very frank – almost disarmingly so,’ says Nolan. ‘I find that a bit shocking. People were quite comfortable with Fifty Shades of Grey – a book fantasising about bondage and being tied up by a bloke in a suit- it was sold in Coles and read by women as young as 14 and older than my grandmother. I don’t get it. I don’t even mention sex dungeons. I don’t have one. I have a two car garage. It led me to this most astounding conclusion, that writing about pornographised S&M was more easily accepted than writing about ordinary, flawed and often hopeless sexual encounters.’

Be Still My Beating Heart: Writing Romance will be held on Festival Sunday.
Where: The Festival runs at North Byron Beach Resort from 1- 3 August with workshops commencing on 28 July.

For more Festival information or to purchase tickets visit byronbaywritersfestival.com or call 1300 368 552.

For further information or interviews contact: Jennifer St George, m: 0418 134 543, e: publicity@nrwc.org.au

Romancing the Pagebeing_jade_COVER_HI_res small

Contrary to popular belief, a good romance is not as simple as falling in love. Writing good quality romance requires creativity, innovation, skill and well-formed characters embroiled in believable conflict.
Explore the diversity of the genre, get tips on convincing emotional connection and sex scenes, discover what readers and publishers want, develop a winning story synopsis and killer pitch, and learn about the earning opportunities the romance genre offers.
For beginners, early & emerging writers.

When: Saturdays 6, 13, 30 and 27 September, 10am–1pm
Where: Writers Victoria, 176 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Tutor: Kate Belle (author The Yearning & Being Jade)

For more information and bookings: http://writersvictoria.org.au/what-s-on/event/romancing-the-page/

Online Events

RWA is looking to offer our members a series of online writers’ workshops in the second half of 2014 through its new Online Workshop List (OWL). OWL events will be hosted, facilitated and promoted by RWA on a 75:25 profit-share arrangement with the presenter (the greater amount being the presenter’s). We would like to invite interested RWA members and non-RWA members to apply to conduct a workshop online through RWA in the inaugural OWL calendar. Please download the proposal form http://www.romanceaustralia.com/p/89/OWLs, complete by May 1 2014 and email to owl@romanceaustralia.com

Classes are run from Margie Lawson’s website using on-line teaching software used by universities. Take a cyber tour before you start your class and introduce yourself.

Affordable forum-style writing classes

A double Golden Heart finalist in 2006, Julie Rowe has been writing for over ten years. Julie  teaches a variety of workshops and is the moderator of the Announce Online Classes email loop, which promotes online classes for writers. To subscribe to the Announce online Classes email loop, send an email to: Announceonlinewritingclasses-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Writers Festivals 2014

The Mildura Writers’ Festival brings together some of Australia’s best writers in an intimate, winter program of workshops, lectures and discussion forums.

When: July 17–20

Early Bird Tickets for Byron Bay Writers Festival are on sale. Workshops commencing on 28 July. The Early Bird tickets are only on sale until the full program is announced on 6 June, so now is the time to pick up a discounted Festival pass. For more Festival information or to purchase Early Bird tickets visit byronbaywritersfestival.com.au or call 1300 368 552.

When: August 1–3

Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) is Melbourne’s annual, two-week celebration for writers, readers and thinkers. Each year in August, the Festival celebrates the talent and ideas of hundreds of writers from Australia and around the world, through a vibrant program of storytelling, conversation and discussion, intellectual debate, educational programs, live performance, music and art events. The Festival includes events for people of all ages and more than a quarter of the program is free. Their highly regarded Schools’ Program attracts more than 15,000 students.

When: August 21–31

Details to be provided as soon as they become available.

When: September 3–7

Cruisin’ with RWA

We love celebrating success. Our members are encouraged to send in their New Release news for publishing in Hearts Talk and the New Releases blog. Don’t miss the deadline! Send in your new releases by the 8th of every month to: newreleases@romanceaustralia.com htgoodnews@romanceaustralia.com Of course, the Cruisin’ Crew don’t want to miss out on the celebrations, so drop Clint and Enrico an email with your blogs, new contract, first sale, new cover or release news at cruisin@romanceaustralia.com. Don’t forget to come back on Sunday for a list of exciting writing-related events delivered by our members.

Member News

PENELOPE’S GHOST was published by Boroughs Publishing Group and appears on all standard e-book sales sites.

signed her eleventh contract with Entangled Publishing for IN TUSCANY WITH THE ITALIAN BILLIONAIRE out next April as part of a 12 book series with 12 different authors.

THE DOCTOR’S RETURN will be released by Harlequin Love Inspired Heartsong Presents in August 2014, in print.

Celebrated the release of her contemporary romance SPIRIT OF LOVE from Rogue Phoenix

was thrilled to announce the release of her debut print book, the RWA Valerie Parv Award winning story, EXHALE.

LADY BEAUCHAMP’S PROPOSAL, a Regency noir style romance, will be published with Secret Cravings Publishing on August 18. Amy has also just signed another contract for vintage historical (1950′s) novella with Steam eReads. LONG GONE GIRL is scheduled for release on September 15.

Was thrilled to receive another great review for LILY’S LEAP

The third book in the Beginnings series FRESH BEGINNINGS will be released early August.

Shared her cover reveal for HAUNTED EVER AFTER

RUBY finalist Kendall was excited to receive a 5 star review of LOST IN KAKADU

Finalized a three book contract with Escape Publishing for her Darkon Warrior science fiction romance series. She also celebrated the cover reveal for her October 1 release of WHEN STARS COLLIDE.

celebrated Release Day for SEIZING HEAVEN, a stand alone story but the follow up to CAPTURING BLISS.
Can the betrothal ring really pick his true bride? Lord Savaric Reynard is about to find out.

Trending

In the top 100 regencies

THE NORTHERN LADY
SEASONS OF LOVE

In Australian and Oceanian Historical Fiction

TRADER’S DREAM
LANCASHIRE LEGACY

RWA Blog

July 4A Day in the Writing Life of Sara Donovan

July 6Hot new Romance Writing Events on Event Announcements

July 7New title releases July 2014

July 8Author Spotlight and Giveaway: RUBY nominee, Kendall Talbot…

July 8 -Valerie Parv Award Finalists

July 9Romance Rocks Presents… Cathleen Ross and Kandy Shepherd

Cruisin’ Member Blogs

Are you an RWA Member? Share a link and a short blurb here each week by emailing the details to us at: cruisin@romanceaustralia.com.

Wrote a very serious and thoughtful post about her deepest fears over at Sandra Antonelli’s blog.

Meet sparkling debut author Stefanie London in the Romance Bandits lair and win a copy (international) of her ONLY THE BRAVE TRY BALLET!

Has posted some conference tips on her blog if it’s your first time or you’re wondering what you’ve been doing wrong.

Looking to escape the winter chill? Come visit Friday Feast where THE WICKEDEST LORD ALIVE author Christina Brooke will make you warm and fuzzy not only with her wonderful memories of comfort food, but with her gorgeous Regency romances. Plus you could win a copy of The Wickedest Lord Alive. Believe me, he’s sure to warm you up!

has enjoyed having writers talking food on her blog for the last 5 months, with Lily Malone’s curried sausages a hit, Kate Belle up as of now and Lisa Heidke up at the end of the month.

July 8 – Tuesday Tales with the prompt “Summer”
July 10 – Maggie Christensen BAND OF GOLD
July 13 – Sunday Snippet FRESH BEGINNINGS … another little teaser of my book which will be released early August.

Ruby finalist, Jennifer is talking about the Murray cod character in her latest novel, BILLABONG BEND and has dedicated a post to Guddhu, guardian of the river, charismatic fish of legend.

Visited Sandy Curtis’s blog with her new release BAND OF GOLD

Come and see why Téa Cooper’s passion for history makes her Escape’s Queen of Australian historical romance.

Pop over to Riverina Romantics to check out my new cover art, plus an interview with the cover model (who I was lucky enough to meet in person at RT in May this year).

Shared these links to blogs of interest:

Darkside Down Under Enchanted Orb with Nicole Murphy
Hunter Romance Writers has a great post on Show Not Tell by Linda Charles

 

Enrico’s Pick Six

Submit your blog site link to cruisin@romanceaustralia.com to share with our readers. Enrico hand picks six blogs to showcase every week. Enrico’s Pick Six this week:

  1. Monique McDonnell
  2. Sarah Belle
  3. The Journeyman Writer
  4. Wendy Leslie
  5. Eleni’s Tavern
  6. Sue Moorcroft

Have a great week and happy writing!

Romance Rocks Presents…

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On Saturday 9th August on Track B, Session 1, Cathleen Ross and Kandy Shepherd present the five main things a new author needs in self-publishing for beginners.

Self Publishing for Beginners

Successful “hybrid” authors can sell to publishers and self publish to gain maximum exposure and income. Learn how to become one of them by reviewing different publishing platforms, assessing the importance of editing, and how to get a great cover. This is a work for writers with limited technical skills.

Your Presenters – Cathleen Ross and Kandy ShepherdImage3-300x450

Cathleen Ross is a hybrid author who writes for Harlequin and self publishes her Forbidden Fantasy series.

Kandy Shepherd swapped a fast-paced career as a magazine editor for a life writing fun, feel-good fiction.

What prompted you to put together this workshop for “Romance Rocks”?

When Cathleen Ross self-published her first Forbidden Fantasy it started selling immediately. In the last two and a half years she’s seen her sales figures double and out earn any publisher advance she’s received. A teacher, mentor and trainer of writers, she’s determined to empower others.

What will participants take away from this session?Kandy Shepherd

Self-publishing will be demystified. Writers will learn the positives and the pitfalls of self publishing.

Will there be hands-on exercises or audience participation?

Audience participation.

Do you use examples (from your own books, other books, movies etc)?

Examples from the Forbidden Fantasy Series.

Which members will benefit most from this session?

All who choose to use it.

What is the best part/aspect of conference for you?

I love catching up with old friends and making new ones. I enjoy hearing what the editors and agents have to say about the business. The Harlequin dinner is always a highlight for me because the publisher has always been such a huge supporter of RWA.

What is your latest/current/upcoming book release and where can members find out more about you?

Highland Romances. Self Published.

 

Valerie Parv Award Finalists

With trumpets blaring, please welcome our finalists in this year’s Valerie Parv award for unpublished novelists.  This contest, for a year of mentoring with Valerie Parv, is always hotly contested and this year, so hotly that we have seven finalists, as there was a tie for 6th place.  Here they are, in alphabetical order:

Rowena Candlish
Karina Coldrick
Audrey Ford
Enisa Haines
Anne Merrick
Anne Prince
Tricia Sargant

Congratulations to all the finalists and best of luck with Valerie.  Thanks to Erica Hayes for co-ordinating the contest, to Valerie for final judging (and being the prize) and all the volunteers who make our contest season possible.

Author Spotlight and Giveaway: RUBY nominee, Kendall Talbot…

Welcome to the Author Spotlight, Kendall, and congratulations on ‘Lost In Kakadu’ making it to the RUBY finals! Can you give us the blurb, please?

An action adventure novel set in the Australian jungle where two unlikely people prove just how attractive opposites can be…

It’s pretentious socialite Abigail Mulholland’s worst nightmare when her plane crashes into an ancient Australian wilderness. Things go from bad to downright hellish when rescuers never come. As she battles to survive in an environment that’s as brutal as it is beautiful, Abigail finds herself also fighting her unlikely attraction to Mackenzie — another survivor, and a much younger man.

Mackenzie Steel is devastated by his partner’s death in the crash, the only person with whom he shared his painful past. Now, as he confronts his own demons, he finds he has a new battle on his hands: his growing feelings for Abigail, a woman who’s as frustratingly naïve as she is funny.

Fate brought them together, but they’ll need more than luck to escape Kakadu alive. Could the letters of a dead man hold the key to their survival?

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You’ve had a big year in regards to nominations for ‘Lost In Kakadu’. How has your first year as a published author impacted your life?

I’m still a bookkeeper by day and book writer at night. But my writing life has become a crazy, thrilling, whirlwind since my debut was published. I’ve learnt to twitter, post on facebook and I designed my author website. I’d never blogged before but now I do them on a regular basis. I’ve been nominated for 5 wonderful awards but haven’t managed to get any of them over the line yet. Maybe the RUBY will have my name on it. I’ve made so many new writing friends it’s a wonder I get any writing done at all. But I do and I’ve polished off 2 new manuscripts this year too.

 

Trying to work out how to promote my book has been the biggest challenge. Now after my morning workout in the gym I spend 45 minutes on social media attempting witty, inspiring and hopefully not annoying posts about my life and my book. My lunchtime is spent doing the same. I’m extremely busy but still so glad I discovered my passion for writing.

 

What was your path to publication like?

Lost In Kakadu was 8 years in the making. The first draft was written during the Year of The Novel course at the Qld Writers Centre. But it wasn’t until I spent 4 days hiking the Milford Track in New Zealand in 2011, that the story really came to life. As I lugged my own clothes, food, bedding and water up and over the Mackinnon Pass, I tried to imagine what it would be like to be lost in the jungle with no luxuries what-so-ever. That’s when my survival story was truly born. My book went through many edits in those 8 years and before I pitched it, I sought the expertise of a professional editor too.

 

At the RWA conference on the Gold Coast in 2012, I pitched my story to Escape Publishing. A few weeks later I received an email stating they were interested if I was willing to make several changes. It required another six months of editing to remove the 15 flashbacks in the manuscript and I’m so pleased I did, as the final story is so much more powerful without them. I received several rejections for Lost In Kakadu before Escape accepted it. Many said it was too controversial, and that Australia wasn’t ready for a story like this. I think my readers may disagree.

 

You live a very adventurous life.  Can you tell us about it?

My father died in a car accident when I was very young. And although I was only 4 years old at the time, it had a profound effect on the way I live my life. I believe in experiencing life, not just living it. Travel and adventure are my drugs of choice. So far I’ve been fortunate to explore 36 countries and I always have a holiday on the horizon. I’m a bit of an adventure junkie, I love hiking, scuba diving, white water rafting, snow skiing, hang gliding and basically anything that makes me scream.

 

I’m lucky I fell in love with a man who supports my passions. I’ve dragged him all over the world and talked him into many experiences he would never have tried without me. I’m proud to say my children have inherited my sense of adventure too. I have 101 things on my bucket list and so far I’ve crossed off 36. So although we may never pay off our mortgage, we will never regret the money we’ve spent on our thrills.

Camel Jockey

 

What has been your favourite, as well as your most nerve wracking experience so far?

In 2010 we spent a week holidaying in the Solomon Islands. This was the first time we scuba-dived as a family. My youngest son, Alex, was 12 and his older brother Jordan was 14. The diving was magic. The water was so warm wetsuits weren’t required and the visibility was simply amazing, you could see at least 25 metres into the deep blue. We dived down to Japanese WWII fighter planes sitting on the bottom of the ocean and one of my favourite dives was to the Kashi Maru wreck that was sunk after being hit by a bouncing bomb on 3rd July 1945. We went inside that wreck and saw things like boots with the laces still done up, an old typewriter and crockery, along with abundant marine life and colourful clams that snapped shut if you touched them.

Whale Shark and Us March 2010

 

During one dive, we ascended down a coral wall and explored all the colourful nooks and caves. By this time Alex had become very confident and comfortable in the water. He would zoom off and explore anything that caught his eye. But the moment that had my heart in my throat was when I saw a blacktip reef shark swimming right toward him. The beast was bigger than Alex and although I knew it was highly unlikely anything would happen, I was worried Alex would shoot to the surface in a panic. I have never been so scared in my life. Fortunately I managed to hang onto Alex and the shark disappeared as if nothing had happened.

 

What would your ideal holiday consist of- supposing that money and time are not a consideration?

I would love to show the Greek Islands to my husband. We’d live on a luxury yacht with our own captain, and a professional chef to prepare us exotic meals. We’d watch the sunset from the upper deck while sipping Italian wine and enjoying local cheeses. Our day’s would be filled with exploring the islands, scuba diving the magical azure waters, and making love to the sound of water lapping at the sides of our multi-million dollar yacht… whoops, sorry I was swept away on the dream.

Camel Jockey

 

Can you tell us about your current Works In Progress?

I have 2 manuscripts that I’m submitting at the moment.

 

Treasured Love is a modern day treasure hunt with a good dash of romance. The story begins in Australia, hightails it over to Tuscany and ends in the Greek Islands. When Rosalina discovers a clue to a 700 year old mystery it re-unites her with Archer, the man who broke her heart. But the clue sets them on the hunt for a secret treasure that Brother Nox and his dedicated followers are willing to kill for. Archer must fight to salvage his relationship with Rosalina but their hunt for ancient treasure also plunges them into a desperate fight for their lives and Archer will stop of nothing to keep Rosalina in his arms forever.

 

My second manuscript is Double Take. It’s a gritty urban crime story with a dash of romance. Jackson Rich is fully aware of the irony in his name, because the only time Jack was rich lasted about 60 seconds and it turned out to be the worst moment of his life. Jack’s constantly reminded of how unlucky he is. But that doesn’t stop him from planning a bank robbery. His hands are tied, as far as he’s concerned anyway. His wife Candice is the only good thing that ever happened to him. And if the cash he nets from robbing a bank will save her life, then he’ll damn well do it.

 

You’ve learnt your craft via courses and workshops. How important do you think it is for writers to continue their learning journey?

My philosophy is the day you stop learning is the day you start dying. Becoming a new author has forced me to master many new computer programs. Our brains are fascinating and I’m always amazed at what I can learn. All the courses I’ve completed have been very helpful, but one of the best advantages of these classes is meeting likeminded people, who are often in similar stages of their writing life to me. I’ve made some lasting friendships and many of us are travelling this writing journey together.

 

What was the best piece of advice you’ve been given in regards to your writing?

JUST WRITE. Yep that’s it. Because you cannot publish or edit a story that isn’t written. Our lives are busy, so making a point of writing something every day is a step in the right direction. And it doesn’t have to be a lot of words. They don’t have to be a literary masterpiece. And they don’t even have to be part of your manuscript. As long as you are writing, you are improving and hopefully building a lasting habit.

Kendall Talbot public picture

 

Could you give us a peek at one of your favourite parts of ‘Lost In Kakadu’, please?

Abi walked around the plane wreck and her heart jumped to her throat at the sight of Mackenzie. He stood completely naked in front of his construction. His teeth were brilliant white against his thick beard and he looked majestic, like a tribal warrior standing proud and confident alongside his conquest.

“Get your gear off. It’s bath time.” He waved her forward. “Come on, while it’s hot.”

She wiped her hands on her pants—a pair of cargo pants she’d borrowed from Toni’s luggage. As she walked toward him, her heart pounded louder with each step and the moisture in her mouth evaporated. She couldn’t speak. Stopping before him she chewed on her bottom lip and willed herself to look into his honey-coloured eyes, searching for his thoughts and confused by her own.

“Feel it,” he said.

Her mind raced, but then she realised he was talking about the water and she swallowed hard. Control yourself, girl. She dipped her fingers into the bath. “It’s warm.” Abi couldn’t remember the last time she’d felt warm water on her body; it was a slice of heaven.

He reached toward her. “Shirt off then.”

She held her arms above her head, allowing him to remove her top and she proudly stood bare breasted before him. A tantalising shiver covered her body with goose pimples as she watched Mackenzie’s eyes, eager to see if he peeked at her. But he flung her shirt aside as if this was something they did every day, barely even glancing at her. She chided herself, realising her desires were deluded. Mackenzie wouldn’t be interested in a woman ten years older than him.

“I’ll get in first, okay?” Mackenzie held her shoulder as he climbed into the bath then he turned and shuffled to one end. Abi watched, mesmerised, as the muscles beneath his bottom cheeks moved. When he turned, she soaked up every inch of his well-toned body. His skin radiated a healthy tan, his abs rippled and the line of hair below his neatly sculpted navel drew her eyes. Heat burnt within her and it took all her might not to look any lower. He’s not interested, Abi.

 

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Website

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Buy link

 

Kendall is kindly giving away one Ecopy of her novel, ‘Lost in Kakadu’ on a very spiffy Escape Key USB. She will also include in that prize one signed copy of the first chapter of ‘Lost in Kakadu’ 

To be in the running all you have to do is answer the following question in the comments section below:

I’ve told you what my dream holiday would be, I would love to hear about yours.

This competition is open to Australian postal addresses only and will be drawn on July 16, 2014. The winner will be notified by email, so please ensure that we can contact you!

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