Conference Session Spotlight on: VALERIE PARV and JENNIE ADAMS

 The Thursday conference spotlight shines today on multi-published authors Valerie Parv and Jennie Adams.  At “From Here to Eternity” they will present the Saturday morning workshop, PEELING THE ONION WITHOUT TEARS: The Art of Layering Your Romance Novel.

The Workshop  in a Nutshell:  You’ve written the first draft.  Now how do you ensure you balance story with emotional development; conflict with the unfolding relationship; external plot with internal logic; romance with sensuality; scene with mood; action with deep point of view. Based on their combined experience of writing nearly a hundred published books, Valerie and Jennie will use a range of interactive examples and discussion to help you make your book a satisfying, multi-layered reading experience.

Tell us about yourself in 10 words or less.

Valerie: I’m a romance “true believer”; that’s what keeps me writing.

Jennie: Exploring relationships and emotion through writing is my passion.

What prompted you to put together this workshop for “From Here to Eternity”?

Valerie:  Through reading the work of new writers, and mentoring Valerie Parv Award winners, I began to see how challenging writers often found the concept of layering – of giving your book emotional depth along with a compelling story and characters.

Jennie:  The topic of emotional layering is one that Valerie and I have discussed many times. I want to show how to tell stories using layers of emotion to create a full, wonderful journey that feels real and identifiable to readers everywhere. This joint workshop is the perfect chance to bring those tips to you.

What will participants take away from this session?

They will learn that the most effective romance novels are written organically.  Like the layers of an onion, you peel away story to explore the all-important emotional content- how do your characters feel? – using deep point of view, sensory cues and layers of action and reaction to the conflict between them.

Will there be hands-on exercises or audience participation?

Valerie:  I love audience participation and always include it in my workshops because it’s not only fun and involving, but a key part of learning that lasts.

Jennie:  We have some innovative activities to enhance the learning experience to give each participant a valuable learning curve from the session – another layer of depth if you will – and some fun tools as well.

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

Valerie:  My own books such as The Idea Factory, Heart and Craft, which I edited and includes a brilliant chapter by Jennie Adams, and The Art of Romance Writing were inspired by information I wish someone had given me when I started out. The occasional reference to Hugh Jackman doesn’t hurt either.

Jennie:  When it comes to the art of communicating emotional depth in my stories, I’ve had some of my biggest ‘ah ha’ moments watching movies and reading romances and How-Tos. The movie It’s Complicated is a recent example.

Which members will benefit most from this session?

If you’ve written part or all of a romance novel and can’t work out what’s missing, or an editor/critique partner says you’re telling, not showing, or your book lacks emotional depth, this is the session for you.

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

Valerie:  Heart and Craft and The Art of Romance Writing will be available at the conference bookstore. My latest romance novel is With a Little Help (Harlequin Superromances) USA March 2011. Find out more at my website.

Jennie:  My latest romance novels are Surprise: Outback Proposal March 2011 and Daycare Mum to Wife April 2011 (Mills & Boon Sweet Romance Australia) and Heart and Craft. Further information can be found at my website.

Leave a comment


  1. I am really looking forward to this workshop, this will be a great way to start my first conference I think.

  2. Hi Sandie. I hope this workshop helps to steer you forward with your writing. I’m looking forward to presenting, with Valerie, some of the tips we’ve learned that have helped each of us to add depth and strength to our stories. And best of luck with your very first conference. I hope it is absolutely magical for you!

  3. First conferences are challenging, Sandie. Come say hi to Jennie and me and you’ll already have two new friends. There are also special sessions for first timers, worth attending.

  1. Conference Spotlight on: VALERIE PARV « Romance Writers of Australia

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