Romance Rocks Presents…

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On Saturday 9th August on Track E, Session 1, Jenn J McLeod shares Small Town Twists and Secrets.

We’ve heard it said: “There are no new plots, just twists on well-loved tropes.” So, what can a writer do to put their own twist on a tried and true plot to make their small town secrets story a standout? With this in mind, I set out to study what makes the marriage of small towns and secrets so popular with readers (and therefore publishers). In 2010 I built a brand around small towns and finished my first novel about small towns keeping big secrets.

Your Presenter – Jenn J McLeod

Extraordinarily ordinary #countrypubdweller who (somehow) secured a four-book contract with Simon & Schuster!

Have you presented sessions at previous conferences, for RWA or other organisations? jennjmcleod_fence_web
I delivered a small version of Small Town Secrets at the 2013 Bellingen Writers Festival.
I love sharing what I’ve learned with others and this topic is very close to my heart. For me, stories about small towns and secrets are like wine and crackers – they go down so well together! Add a book and it’s happy hour heaven for me. Like wine, there are ways to infuse your story with secrets and, like your favourite mixer, adding a twist can make the experience just perfect. Developing my “small town secrets” platform was integral to securing my contract.

What will participants take away from this session?
Learn the secret to a good secret, the ways to use secrets in fiction, and what a writer can do to put their own twist on a tried and true plot by exploring:
• What makes small town stories thrive and what makes them die.
• The importance of authenticity.
• The secret to a good secret and ways to use secrets in fiction.

Which members will benefit most from this session?
Primarily focused on aspiring authors who want to avoid small town traps and clichés when plotting/writing, the information will be relevant to other writers. IMPORTANTLY: my use of the term ‘Small town’ is not solely for the remote and dusty setting. This session will be just as relevant for any fictional group dynamic (eg the small community on the coast, the sleepy out of the way town that sits quietly on a lazy river, a city suburb, or a crammed cul-de-sac. Think Wisteria Lane!)

What is the best part/aspect of conference for you?
The hugs, the buzz, the chaos of catch-ups with old and new online friends (and realising none of us look like our profile pictures!) But this year? Being a ridgy-didge author and attending the book signing alongside my peers.

Any advice for conference first-timers? Simmering-Season-Jenn-J-McLeod-lge-195x300
I know most people are busy preparing for their ‘elevator pitch’. Well, one must also be prepared for the ‘elevator hug’. (That moment you step inside the lift and discover the person you are sharing the space with is someone you’ve been dying to meet.) My first conference, first elevator hug experience, was Melbourne 2011. Right, Helene Young? *wink*

What is your latest/current/upcoming book release and where can members find out more about you?
Simmering Season – The prefect storm is heading Maggie Lindeman’s way and it will blow the lid off a lifetime of secrets. Visit www.jennjmcleod.com to find out more about my Seasons Collection of four books, to be released by Simon & Schuster.

More Session Info:

  • Beverly Eikli and Bronwyn Parry – A Lady’s Wardrobe Unlocked: Cloth and clothing in Georgian Times

Follow a day in the life of a Lady, exploring the cloth she uses for sleeping, bathing, dining and furnishings, and the layers of clothing and dressing procedures at different stages of her day. Take your historical detail to the next level with authors Beverley Eikli and Bronwyn Parry – also costume and textile historians – as they uncover some little known facts about cloth and clothing in the Georgian era. Dressed in costumes of the period, they’ll explore the Lady’s Wardrobe to reveal the many layers of clothing required by the fashionable lady, and also discuss the Linen Room and other textiles of the townhouse and castle.

  • Rachel Bailey – Conflict: The Key To Your Romance NovelRachelBailey_CounteringHisClaim

The workshop will focus on the creation of strong, believable internal and external conflict between romance heroes and heroines, maintaining that conflict through layering, reinforcing and deepening, then resolving the conflict believably without either character losing or being anti-climactic. Examples will be analyzed from both books and movies and broken down into elements that will be easy to apply in participants’ own work.Create, maintain and resolve the internal and external conflict in your romance novel.

  • Maisey Yates and Jackie Ashenden: It’s Not Just About Ripping Bodices

Learn to write loves scenes that readers just can’t skim. A good love scene should be about more than Tab A into Slot B, or there purely for titillation’s sake. It should be integral to the romance, changing the way the characters interact with each other, complicating the plot and deepening the conflict. It should be a scene that you can’t remove from the book without losing the character’s emotional arc, just as you can’t interchange it with another. Like a support beam in a house, it should hold up the structure and if removed would cause the whole thing to fall down.

  • Christina Brooke – All About Character

Make your characters memorable using techniques every writer should know. Romance novels are all about character and how the hero and heroine interact, grow and change through falling in love. Create wonderful characters and you’re more than half way to writing a fantastic romance that editors and readers want to buy. Join Christina Brooke as she analyzes what makes great romance characters and provides practical exercises to make your characters stronger and more memorable.

  • Professor Karl Roberts – Psychological Warfare

Stalking, psychopathy, domestic violence – learn about the traits and quirks of the darker personalities, and how they can be caught.

Missed any Conference info? Check the RWA Website for more:

http://www.romanceaustralia.com/p/183

 

 

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Cruisin’ with RWA

Welcome back for another edition of Cruisin with RWA. We’ve had a Ripping Start to the week! Congratulations to the finalists in the Romance Writers of Australia 2014 Ripping Start Contest:

  • Sarma Burdeu
  • Jennifer Ensor
  • Jo McAlister
  • Elvina Payet
  • Cassandra Pennington
  • Kerrie Ptolemy
  • Victoria Steele

~

Cruisin’ the News

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:

blogmistress@romanceaustralia.com

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.

Good News

is celebrating the release of her Emmy Award winning book BREATHLESS from Samhain Publishing.

has a novella CHRISTMAS AT THE GINGERBREAD CAFE due out from Carina Press in time for the festive season.

Christmas is the season the Gingerbread Café was made for…but owner Lily couldn’t be feeling less merry if she tried. She’s spent another year dreaming of being whisked away on a sleigh-ride for two, but she’s facing festive season alone – again. And, just to give her another reason to feel anything other than candy-cane perky, a new shop across the road has opened… Not only is it selling baked goods, but the owner, with his seriously charming smile, has every girl in town swooning.

is thrilled to announce the sale of her novella to Escape Publishing.

achieved her dream and signed a contract with Simon & Schuster for another two books in her Seasons Collection planned for release in 2014 and 2015.

has sold her 5th book to Escape Publishing, a small town coastal romance titled FEBRUARY OR FOREVER. It will be released February 1, 2014.

has a brand new coastal romance out called SEDUCING PHOEBE

is very excited to announce her fourth contract with Escape Publishing for a single title sci fi romance, STAR PIRATE’S JUSTICE. Due for release on February 1, 2014.

On October 30, S E will indie publish an Australian, contemporary, rural romance novella, DANCE IN THE OUTBACK.

Three of our members shone brightly like the stars they are in the Book Junkie’s Choice Awards! Congratulations to Rachael Johns (2013 Winner: Best Women’s Fiction), Sasha Cottman and Ebony McKenna.

~

Cruisin’ Member Blogs

Clint fueled up the limo and went cruisin’ the Blogging Highway for great blogs to keep you entertained. 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.

November 12 – Rhyll Biest

November 19 – Iris Blobel

November 26 – Kim Cleary

From Breathless Moment to HEA. This weekend–What moves and inspires those HEAs. Drop by and share your favourite breathless moment.

Ever wanted a peek behind the scenes of an Italian restaurant? Then come join award-winning writer and renowned freelance racing journalist Jessica Owers on Friday Feast as she guides you through the workings of her husband’s beloved La Spiaggia in Sydney’s Coogee Beach. Amazing food, colourful diners, cheffy energy, and most of all the Passion. Plus Jessica shares a few lessons she’s learned from her Italians. Buon appetito indeed!

October 26 – ENCHANTED ORB with Eleni Konstantine

October 29 – GOOD NEWS DAY with Kylie Griffin

October 31 – MAGIC THURSDAY – Scaringly good HALLOWEEN giveaway!!

November 1 – REAL LIFE PARANORMAL with Mel Teshco and special guest.

October 30 – Writerly Wednesday: The Body in the Garden Writers Festival

A&U author Josephine Moon has a tea-riffic giveaway when she drops into Calingarry Crossing pub for a bar yarn and a beer nut.

November 2 – Signs & Symptoms You Could Be An Author

November 5 – DARK SIDE DOWNUNDER: S.E.Gilchrist – come meet our Aussie & New Zealander Dark Siders!

November 9 – DARK SIDE DOWNUNDER: Christina Phillips – come meet our Aussie & New Zealander Dark Siders!

October 29 – SARA News with Eleni Konstantine

October 30 – WHAT A CHARACTER – Eleni Konstantine’s Daniel from Gateway to Hell

November 3 – Spotlight on Writers – Sandie Hudson writing as Sandie James

A peek at the characters from Paradise Beach in my current work in progress

Meet Escape Author J M Bray – this is a story you won’t want to miss!

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. Susanne Bellamy
  2. Tracey O’Hara
  3. Trish Morey
  4. Write on Track – Diane Curran
  5. The Other Side
  6. Carla Caruso

~

RWA Competitions

Selling Synopsis 2014

Opens: 1 November 2013
Closes: 22 November 2013, midnight Sydney time
 (entries sent outside these dates cannot be accepted)

Enter – via email only
Short manuscript (10K to 65K): maximum 2 pages single spaced
Long manuscript (65K and over): maximum 3 pages single spaced
Check the formatting guidelines on the entry form

Entry fee – per entry
$22 (entries within Australia. GST incl.)
$20 (entries outside Australia)

Two entries per member are permitted. RWAustralia members only.

Final judge – Joel Naoum, Publisher, Momentum, Pan Macmillan Australia

Prizes – 1st – $200, 2nd – $100 , 3rd – $ 75 (plus certificates)

Entry form/conditions
Sample scoresheet
Formatting sample

Queries – Selling Synopsis Contest Manager, Leisl Leighton sellingsynopsis@gmail.com

The Emerald Award 2014

The Emerald Award has two major points of difference from the other RWA contests.

Firstly, it is judged by keen romance readers, not writers. This gives an indication of the marketability of your story but won’t necessarily provide the sort of feedback that helps improve your writing technique.

Secondly, you must have a completed manuscript should your story make it to round 2. The turnaround time between rounds 1 and 2 is one week (5 working days) so there is no time to finish your book then.

Opens: 1 November 2013
Closes: Midnight Sydney time, 22 November 2013

Enter: The first 10,000 words of your unpublished romance or romantic elements manuscript (10K+). Entries are by email. Entrants who reach the second round will need to submit their full manuscript.

Entry fee: $38.50 incl GST per entry.

Final judges
Short: 
 Joanne Grant, Executive Editor, Harlequin UK
Long: Charlotte Ledger, Editor and Content Developer, Harper Impulse

Prizes: 1st prize in each section – $500, 2nd – $250 3rd prize – $150.

Entry criteria: unpublished RWA members only.

Questions? Contact the applicable contest manager:
Long: Gemma McBride
Short: Marnie McLane

Formatting sample

Sample score sheets:
First round (short – long)
Second round (short – long)

Have a great week from the Cruisin’ Chauffeurs.

Cruisin’ with RWA

Welcome back for another edition of Cruisin with RWA. More good news and great blogs for you again this week.

~

Cruisin’ the News

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:

blogmistress@romanceaustralia.com

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.

Good News

Nicole’s latest novel, DANCING ON AIR is due for release on November 1.

Cinderella meets Swan Lake in this Victorian-era set story about a ballet dancer, an aristocrat, and their class-crossing romance…

Tima Maria Lacoba’s debut novel, BLOODGIFTED has just been released on Amazon. She is celebrating by having a book launch at Ruby’s Cafe and Books in Umina, on the Central Coast, N.S.W. on November 10th, from 12.30-3.00pm. Tima will be giving away bookmarks and mugs to the first twenty people who purchase a copy of her book at the launch.

~

Cruisin’ Member Blogs

Clint fueled up the limo and went cruisin’ the Blogging Highway for great blogs to keep you entertained. 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.

Rachel Bailey is in the spotlight on October 26 celebrating eight books in four years and the release of COUNTERING HIS CLAIM.

Anna did a guest blog for novelist Kate Lord Brown, talking about how she writes three novels a year.

was invited back to Scarlett’s blog to discuss muses, mentors and plotting.

In need of a delicious dinner? Then look no further than this week’s Friday Feast. ASK ME FOR TOMORROW author Elise K. Ackers is sharing her favourite chicken recipe, a tried and true dish that will delight your tastebuds and stomach as much as her books captivate your heart and mind. You’ll be asking for more tomorrow, and the next day, and the next…

October 17 – MAGIC THURSDAY with Astrid Cooper

October 22 – GOOD NEWS DAY with Kylie Griffin

October 23 – A BITE OF… Cheryse Durrant

October 19 – Eleni’s Library Book Review post

October 23 – SNOOP cover revealed

You won’t believe the ‘stapler-Allen and Unwin’ yarn. Brilliant. It’s the all flying, all photographing, all writing Kathy Mexted having a Bar Yarn & Beer Nut with me at the Calingarry Crossing pub.

October 26 – CAT-URDAY! – Crazy Cats – Anyone who knows cats will relate to these…

October 29 – DARK SIDE DOWNUNDER SERIES: Cheryse Durrant – come meet our Aussie & New Zealander Dark Siders!

On the Escapades Blog, Maggie talks True Love the Old-Fashioned Way

I drove from Tenterfield to WA and back for Conference and blogged daily when Internet connections were available. Some members may enjoy browsing the record of this ‘adventure’. I also blog on ‘life’ matters and encounters.

Nicole is sharing a real-life love story over at Escape Publishing’s Escapades blog.

The wonderful Joanna Lloyd is visiting my blog and giving away an e-copy of her new release SHADOW BENEATH THE SEA to one lucky reader. All you have to do to be in the draw is leave a comment!

October 22 – SARA News with Eleni Konstantine

October 25 – SOUTHERN SPEAK – Before you hit send with Maggie Mundy

October 27 – Spotlight on Writers with M.A. Grant

Is sharing a short blog post on her experience of GenreCon at Brisbane.

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. Monya Mary Clayton
  2. Suzanne Brandyn
  3. The Roses of Prose
  4. Word Wenches
  5. Writing up a Storm
  6. Suzi Love

~

RWA Competitions

Selling Synopsis 2014

Opens: 1 November 2013
Closes: 22 November 2013, midnight Sydney time
 (entries sent outside these dates cannot be accepted)

Enter – via email only
Short manuscript (10K to 65K): maximum 2 pages single spaced
Long manuscript (65K and over): maximum 3 pages single spaced
Check the formatting guidelines on the entry form

Entry fee – per entry
$22 (entries within Australia. GST incl.)
$20 (entries outside Australia)

Two entries per member are permitted. RWAustralia members only.

Final judge – Joel Naoum, Publisher, Momentum, Pan Macmillan Australia

Prizes – 1st – $200, 2nd – $100 , 3rd – $ 75 (plus certificates)

Entry form/conditions
Sample scoresheet
Formatting sample

Queries – Selling Synopsis Contest Manager, Leisl Leighton sellingsynopsis@gmail.com

The Emerald Award 2014

The Emerald Award has two major points of difference from the other RWA contests.

Firstly, it is judged by keen romance readers, not writers. This gives an indication of the marketability of your story but won’t necessarily provide the sort of feedback that helps improve your writing technique.

Secondly, you must have a completed manuscript should your story make it to round 2. The turnaround time between rounds 1 and 2 is one week (5 working days) so there is no time to finish your book then.

Opens: 1 November 2013
Closes: Midnight Sydney time, 22 November 2013

Enter: The first 10,000 words of your unpublished romance or romantic elements manuscript (10K+). Entries are by email. Entrants who reach the second round will need to submit their full manuscript.

Entry fee: $38.50 incl GST per entry.

Final judges
Short: 
 Joanne Grant, Executive Editor, Harlequin UK
Long: Charlotte Ledger, Editor and Content Developer, Harper Impulse

Prizes: 1st prize in each section – $500, 2nd – $250 3rd prize – $150.

Entry criteria: unpublished RWA members only.

Questions? Contact the applicable contest manager:
Long: Gemma McBride
Short: Marnie McLane

Formatting sample

Sample score sheets:
First round (short – long)
Second round (short – long)

Have a great week from the Cruisin’ Chauffeurs.

Cruisin’ with RWA

Welcome back for another edition of Cruisin with RWA. More good news and great blogs for you again this week. Clint and Enrico are off to the AFL Grand Final this weekend. May the best team win! And speaking of winning, there are some awesome giveaways on our members’ blogs this week and a few winning new releases too!

~

Cruisin’ the News

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:

blogmistress@romanceaustralia.com

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.

Good News

Imogene Nix has 3 pieces of good news. 2 new cover reveals and a new contract.

A BAR IN PARIS releases with Beachwalk Press in November.

A STRANGER’S EMBRACE releases with TotalEBound in January 2014

And lastly, THE ILLUMINATED WITCH, sequel to THE BLOOD BRIDE, is contracted to TotalEBound. Release date to be announced.

Celebrated a five star review of her latest release, DANGEROUS DESIRE.

is celebrating the debut release of her novel DARK OIL from Escape Publishing in October.

~

Cruisin’ Member Blogs

Clint fueled up the limo and went cruisin’ the Blogging Highway for great blogs to keep you entertained. 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.

  • RWA Blog

September 25 – Author Spotlight and Giveaway: Jaye Ford

September 29 – Event Announcements

September 30 – Author Spotlight and Giveaway: Fiona Palmer

October 3 – Cruisin’ with RWA

All the World’s a Page is back from holiday this Sunday 29th September. My guest is Annie Seaton whose first romantic suspense, DANGEROUS DESIRE has just been released. Annie talks to Susanne Bellamy about changing genres and her newest novel. Call in and comment for your chance to win a free e-book of “Dangerous Desire”. Don’t forget to leave your email addy!

Dreaming of chocolatey goodness? So is this week’s Friday Feast guest Rachael Johns, which is why she’s sharing her delicious recipe for custard and white chocolate cookies. Plus reveal your favourite cookie and you could win a copy of Rachael’s new rural romance OUTBACK DREAMS, the first novel in her Bunyip Bay series. Just imagine, a cuppa, a decadent cookie and your own copy of OUTBACK DREAMS. Bliss!

In celebration of the new-improved, stain-free, all-organic, digitally-enhanced, low-carbon, user-friendly, top-rated, whizz-bang, ULTRA-SEXY Ecstasy Files website, I’m having a GIVEAWAY. Everyone who subscribes to The Ecstasy Files by Friday 4th October goes into the draw for a limited edition tote bag prize pack worth $45. Full prize details and entry here

September 20 – WHAT WE ARE READING – compiled by Shona Husk

September 24 – GOOD NEWS DAY compiled by Kylie Griffin

September 26 – MAGIC THURSDAY – with Nicola E. Sheridan

September 28 – ENCHANTED ORB with C.T. Green

September 20 – Southern Speak – conference round up with Eleni Konstantine

September 23 – SARA News with Emmeline Lock

September 22 – Super Sunday

September 23 – Eleni’s Library progress

Join Jenn at Calingarry Crossing pub for Author Bar Yarns and Beer Nuts with the one and the only – Juanita Kees, who is also giving away a copy of her book, FLY AWAY PETA.

September 28 – CAT-URDAY: Grumpy Cat 1 – My favourite one liners from GC!

October 1 – CONFERENCE: RWNew Zealand – Earthquakes, workshops & All Blacks.

October 5 – SATURDAY SEVEN (Caged Warrior) – Seven paragraphs from a favourite book from my shelves.

September 26 – This Week’s Book Choice: Wendy Knight FEUDLINGS IN FLAMES

Seanna Smythe talks Harleys and chocolate sundaes. Come and find out why Evie could never say no to Aidan in NEVER ON A SUNDAE, Edible Delights Vol 2 from Secret Cravings Publishing. Win an EDIBLE DELIGHTS VOLUME 2  gift pack.

September 30 – In the Armchair with Nora James, author of DARK OIL

October 1 – In the Armchair with Carly Drake, author of WORDS ONCE SPOKEN1013 Words Once Spoken_1400 (1) (670x1024)

October 2 – Juliet Madison is celebrating the release of her third book with Escape Publishing, STARSTRUCK IN SEATTLE, a contemporary romance novella with a touch of magic (RoMagic) plus bumper giveaway

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:SIScover

  1. Juliet Madison
  2. Mel Teshco
  3. Rhian Cahill
  4. Sandie Hudson
  5. Tamara Gill
  6. Valerie Parv

~

Have a great week from the Cruisin’ Chauffeurs.

Event Announcements

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.

Writer’s Classes, Groups, Library Events & Workshops

September 2013

If you live in or near Melbourne, Anne Gracie is taking a short course in romance writing, to be held over 4 months — a full day workshop on the first Sunday of each month. The course is being run by Writers Victoria at the Wheeler Centre in the heart of Melbourne.

When: September 8

Time: 1:00pm – 5:00pm

Where: Writers Victoria

Cost: M $325 NM $390

FMI + bookings: http://writersvictoria.org.au/what-s-on/event/writing-romance/

WORKSHOP EVENTOpen Access: Selling Your Book in the Digital Age

with Jenn J McLeod & others incl. Kate Cuthbert – Escape Publishing. A one-day symposium focusing on how writers promote themselves and their work in the constantly changing world of publishing.

When: September 21

Time: 10am – 4pm

Where: NSW Writers’ Centre

Cost: Full Price: $90; Member (NSW WC): $65; Conc Member: $55

For writers and publishers, the challenge is always how to get a book into the hands of readers. Whether you self-publish or go with a mainstream publisher, whether it’s an ebook, print or both, the challenge of promoting yourself and launching your book into the world remains. Open Access will bring together authors, publishers, a bookseller, digital expert, and industry professionals to talk about how they do this – their hits and their misses.

FMI + Bookings: http://www.nswwc.org.au/products-page/courses/open-access-selling-your-book-in-the-digital-age/

In September, and again in November, CAE is running Beverly Eikli’s Short Course, Write Romance and Sell it:

Do you want to write a romance novel? Do you have a manuscript or two gathering dust? Multi-published and award-winning romance author Beverley Eikli will help you develop that kernel of an idea that sells a romance. Learn practical devices to improve plot, pacing and presentation, as well as how to pitch to traditional publishers, e-publishers, independents and small press. Beverley will also discuss self-publishing, changing markets and what editors are looking for.

When: September 7 – 28

Time: 10.00am-1.00pm

Cost: 4 sessions Full Fee: $320.00 | Concession: $310.00 Find out more on their website.

October 2013

If you live in or near Melbourne, Anne Gracie is taking a short course in romance writing, to be held over 4 months — a full day workshop on the first Sunday of each month. The course is being run by Writers Victoria at the Wheeler Centre in the heart of Melbourne.

When: Sunday October 6

Time: 1:00pm – 5:00pm

Where: Writers Victoria

Cost: M $325 NM $390

FMI + bookings: http://writersvictoria.org.au/what-s-on/event/writing-romance/

Mary Hawkins loves to share with other romance writers. She is presenting a workshop at this year’s CALEB Conference. The CALEB is the yearly conference for Christians who write for the general or Christian Bookshop markets. Her workshop is called Masterclass – Romance and she will be sharing what romance readers – and editors – expect and look for in sweet and inspirational romance books, and hints how the writer can give romance readers page-turning, satisfying reads.

When: October 11-12, 2013

Where: Riverglenn, Indooroopilly

FMI: http://wordswithwings.net and http://www.omegawriters.com or contact Mary via her website: http://www.mary-hawkins.com

Fiction Fundamentals – a one-day writing intensive workshop. Inform. Excite. Ignite. Register for Fiction Fundamentals

Are you committed to writing, but not sure how to get started? You have a story idea, and are overwhelmed by the complexity of the header narrowtask? Or you’ve started, maybe even published, and you want to explore and improve your craft? Perhaps you’re considering the path of self-publishing?

The Write Chicks are multi-published romance fiction authors, Shannon Curtis and Paula Roe. Together, they have over 12 years’ writing experience. They will be joined by Jennifer Brassel, published author and creative writing instructor and for one day these professional authors will share their experience and techniques for writing and publishing in an intensive seminar designed to boost your own skills and knowledge.

Whether you’re looking to learn something new, or wanting to hone your craft, this writing boot camp will deliver value for money. Three authors. Intense, comprehensive sessions. One event.

When: Saturday October 19

Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm

Where: Novotel Parramatta, 350 Church St, Parramatta.

Cost: $120

November 2013

In September, and again in November, CAE is running Beverly Eikli’s Short Course, Write Romance and Sell it:

Do you want to write a romance novel? Do you have a manuscript or two gathering dust? Multi-published and award-winning romance author Beverley Eikli will help you develop that kernel of an idea that sells a romance. Learn practical devices to improve plot, pacing and presentation, as well as how to pitch to traditional publishers, e-publishers, independents and small press. Beverley will also discuss self-publishing, changing markets and what editors are looking for.

When: November 02 – 23

Time: 10.00am-1.00pm

Cost: 4 sessions Full Fee: $320.00 | Concession: $310.00 Find out more on their website.

Online Events

Do you need help in the bedroom? If you do, Cathleen Ross is here to save you with her How To Write Erotic Romance Course. Sign up. You’ll be surprised about what you learn.

When: September 30 to October 4

Cost: BDRWA Member $25.00 BDRWA Non-Member $30.00

To Register: Black Diamond Registration Form

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

Special Events

  • Brisbane Writers Festival: 4-8 September 2013

Brisbane Writers Festival brings a page-turning experience to Brisbane from 4-8 September.

Romance Writers of Australia will launch the 2013 Little Gems Sapphire Anthology at the Brisbane Writers Festival. Enjoy readings from this annual publication that celebrates the best romantic short stories.

When: 10-11AM.Print

Date: Sunday, 8 September.

Venue: Red Box, State Library of QLD.

Tickets: Free.

Romance Writers of Australia will present popular romance blogger and critic Sarah Wendell in discussion with New York Times best-selling author, Nalini Singh at the Brisbane Writers Festival.

Time: 1-2pm, Date: Sunday, 8 September.

Venue: Auditorium 1, State Library of QLD.

Tickets: $12-$16.

RWA Conference 2014

Romance Rocks!

4 days. 30+ workshops. Over 300 writers, editors, agents and publishing industry professionals. One epic conference.  Join us in Sydney with guest speakers; thriller writer and writing craft author, James Scott Bell, along with award-winning, best-selling romantic adventure author, Cherry Adair.

When: August 7-10 2014
Where: Novotel Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush

Keep an eye out for updates on the blog and website for more information.

Contests

RWAus contest season is now open. Closing dates for the 2013-14 contest season:

Ripping Start 6 September 2013
Selling Synopsis 22 November 2013
Emerald Award 22 November 2013
Little Gems 31 January 2014
First Kiss 14 February 2014
Valerie Parv Award TBA April 2014

Awards

The EllaPrint

RWA is excited to launch a new contest for published novellas. To be known as The Ella, the romantic novella of the year award will be a reader-judged contest, and the winner will be announced at RWA’s national conference in August.

The RUBYPrint

The Romantic Book of the Year Award, affectionately known as The Ruby, is our premier award and the only one of its kind in Australia. Voted on by Australian readers, this contest is open each year to any Australian or New Zealand romance author who has published a long or short romance novel.

Cruisin’ with RWA

As Fremantle Western Australia welcomes the arrival of the RWA 2013 conference delegates, Enrico and Clint bring you this week’s Cruisin’.

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Cruisin’ the News

Share your good news with us each week and we’ll join you in your happy dance. Congratulations to all our members on their achievements this week. Have you got news or a blog to share? Send us the link to cruisin@romanceaustralia.com.

Event Announcements

Our usual Sunday post for Event Announcements will give way to breaking news this week with a post from Imelda on the winners announced at the Gala Awards Night.

Keep Up with the Breaking News at RWA 2013

Social Media Tips from Imelda

Twitter: All the contest results (and no doubt other things) will be tweeted live through the official RWA Twitter account (thank you Diane!). If you’re on Twitter and not already following, hie thee hence now and do so. https://twitter.com/RWAusClint

We also have a Twitter hashtag for conference tweets, which is https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/rwaus13 ‪#‎RWAus13. So if you’re tweeting conf stuff, make sure to add it so that the peeps at home can follow!

Did you know that there is an official RWA Facebook page? It’s here: https://www.facebook.com/RomanceWritersofAustralia. Again, if you haven’t already ‘liked’ it, do so now! I’ll be posting whatever I can to that page while at the conference (in between drinks and sessions).

And for those of you who aren’t on the Tweet space, there will be a post on the blog with all the contest winners the day after the awards.

Good News

Magna has made an offer for the large print rights to Janet’s 2002 historical romance FROM THIS DAY FORTH currently available in eBook from Belgrave House. Simon & Schuster UK are talking electronic rights for Janet’s backlisted sagas.

BLOODGIFTED, Book 1 of The Dantonville Legacy series was  released as an eBook on Smashwords.

Contests

The summer is heating up, and so is the Golden Palm Contest sponsored by Florida Romance Writers. If you’re an unpublished romance writer looking to change that status you need to get your entry in. We have a hot lineup of final judges, and a track record of getting requests. So, while you’re making those summer plans, make sure to add “enter the Golden Palm Contest” to your calendar! Categories include: Single Title, Historical, Paranormal, New Adult, Young Adult and Short/Long Category.

Short/Long Category: Allison Carroll, Harlequin

Single Title Category: Patience Bloom, Senior Editor Harlequin

Historical Category: Leah Hultenschmidt, Senior Editor Sourcebooks

New Adult Category: Laurie McLean, Foreward Literary

Young Adult Category: Pam van Hylckama Vlieg, Foreward Literary

Paranormal Category: Ann-Leslie Tuttle, Senior Editor Harlequin

Entry is $20 for Florida Romance Writer members and $30 for nonmembers. All entries are read by at least one published judge and the lowest score is dropped. Contest ends August 15th.  All information to enter is on http://www.frwriters.org/contest/

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Cruisin’ Member Blogs

Clint fueled up the limo and went cruisin’ the Blogging Highway for great blogs to keep you entertained. 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.

  • RWA Blog

August 18 – RWA Award Winners Announced

August 22 – Cruisin’ with RWA

I’ve just done a blog piece for Severn House for the release of my next modern novel in October. If you want to see how the moors influenced my life and writing, you can read about it at: The moors and Anna Jacobs

A must watch marriage proposal – how to do it right! Still got tears in my eyes. I’m pleased to see romance is alive and well in the world – but us romance authors and readers already knew that!

Pining for summer? Need some tastebud stimulation? Then this week, thanks to a bit of help from a chaotic restaurant in France, I have the perfect summer seafood dish for you – Prawns in Pastis. Come and check out Friday Feast for your foodie fix. It’s good for you!

What’s on the Darkside this week? Click on the link for more…

August 13 – Tuesday Tales – Authors write a weekly story to a prompt. This week’s a picture prompt

August 15 – This Week’s Book Choice – J.F. Jenkins DISPLACED

August 18 – This Week’s Book Choice – Ruth J. Hartman ROMANCE AT THE ROYAL MENAGERIE

Meet Lynne Wilding’s daughter Karen M. Davis and win a copy of her debut, romantic suspense novel: SINISTER INTENT. While you’re there … Last chance to win Fran Cusworth’s latest: THE SPICEFIELD SISTERS

Sarah Belle & I discussed time travel in romance at the Escape blog. Sarah’s character travels to the past, & mine to the future. We talk about the pros & cons of each & how time travel isn’t only for sci-fi.

August 15 – RWAustralia conference – My first trip to Western Australia!

August 17 – CONFERENCE TIME: Memorable Moments with Anna Jacobs – an idea of what you can expect at conference!

August 20 – NEW AUTHOR SERIES: Peta Crake – our RWA/NZ newly published authors from Destiny, Escape & Momentum!

Helen is joining me to talk about her new Special Edition release, DATE WITH DESTINY. I love her hero’s Polish family in this book and Helen has a great recipe for Cabbage rolls to get us in the mood. PLUS, she’s giving away a copy of DATE WITH DESTINY to one lucky commenter.

My Guest on Browsing Bookcovers with Maryde this week is Writer Sasha Cottman.

August 11 – Spotlight on Writers – Efthalia Pegios

August 8 – A Match made in Heaven

August 10 – ON ANGELS WINGS by Heather Adams

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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. Anne Gracie
  2. Christina Phillips
  3. Historical Saga Novels
  4. Jane Quick
  5. Lily Malone
  6. M J Scott

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Have a great week from the Cruisin’ Chauffeurs.

Cruisin’ with RWA

Welcome to another bumper issue of Cruisin’ with RWA. Follow our members’ good news and blog posts and stay up to date with all the new releases and events in the world of Romance. Sit back and let our chauffeurs, Enrico and Clint, take you Cruisin’…

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Cruisin’ the News

Share your good news with us each week and we’ll join you in your happy dance. Congratulations to all our members on their achievements this week. Have you got news or a blog to share? Send us the link to cruisin@romanceaustralia.com.

Good Newscruisin_in_my_car_cartoon_stickers-p217946953741101444q0ou_400

Juliet is having a bumper year having signed yet another contract with Escape Publishing for her novella, STAR STRUCK IN SEATTLE, a contemporary romance with a magical element. a few weeks ago, Juliet signed a contract for another novella, I DREAM OF JOHNNY, a romantic comedy, which will release in September.

has signed a second contract with Entangled Publishing for three contemporaries.

Elise’s second novella in the Homeland series, ASK ME FOR MORE, is available for pre-order with less than a month until the release.

has a contemporary romance about female mechanic Billie Williams  out now on Amazon and Steam eReads’.

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Cruisin’ Member BlogsClint

Clint fueled up the limo and went cruisin’ the Blogging Highway for great blogs to keep you entertained. 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.

  • RWA Blog

June 15 – Author Spotlight on Liesl Leighton

June 16 – Event Announcements

June 17 – Claytons 2013

June 18 – Conference Spotlight on Ken Milling

June 20 – Cruisin’ with RWA

Annie Seaton celebrated the release of ITALIAN AFFAIR with Susanne Bellamy.

What do the Daintree and The Virginity Mission have in common? Find out this Sunday, 16th June with Cate Ellink on All the World’s a Page.

Summer or Winter? Night or Day? The questions you can answer to win either an Alissa Callen or an Allison Butler eBook. AND you get to read someone else’s mail.  Just pop over to the lovely Barbara DeLeo’s blog for your chance.

Grab a cuppa and settle down for some serious afternoon delight because this week Friday Feast is laying a spread! BENEATH OUTBACK SKIES author Alissa Callen has dug out the fine china and whipped up an afternoon tea that will have your tastebuds singing. So come join the fun of Friday Feast. But don’t dilly dally. Alissa’s delicious muffins and biscuits are sure to disappear fast!

June 13 – MAGIC THURSDAY with Christina Phillips

June 18 – GOOD NEWS DAY with Kylie Griffin

June 29 – MAGIC THURSDAY with Shona Husk

 June 6 – UP CLOSE with Sandra O’Grady

June 11 – SARA NEWS with Emmeline Lock

June 12 – READING ADVENTURES compiled by Eleni Konstantine

Where have I been?

Jenn J McLeod ‘bales up’ Heather Garside who is giving away a copy of BREAKAWAY CREEK. Check it out here (but be warned, Jenn is having a rant!)

 Venetia Green knocked on the Manor Door to introduce her first full length novel A HAWK ENSLAVED out now from Ellora’s Cave.

kicks off her blog tour for BLOODLUST DENIED at the following stops:

June 7 – I’m over at the Australian Romance Readers Association blog, with a giveaway of a copy of BLOODLUST DENIED (this contest is open to members of ARRA only)

June 9 – Unusual Historicals chatting about my Roman/Druid romance, BETRAYED, and how historical fact forms the backdrop for Tacitus and Nimue’s story. There’s also a giveaway on offer!

June 10 – It’s my turn over at The Romance Reviews Sizzling Summer Reads. Just answer a question on BLOODLUST DENIED ( the answer can be found by reading the excerpt *on my website) and you’ll be in the draw to win a copy of the book! *Excerpt is for over 18s only*

June 10 – Partying at the fabulous Historical Hearts, my group blog where you can find wonderful historical romances from fellow Down Under authors. Today I’m chatting about Regency vampires and Pride and Prejudice! Come join in the fun and be in the running to win a copy of BLOODLUST DENIED

June 12 – In the hot seat with Sizzling Hot Books where you can discover all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff about me!

June 15 – SATURDAY SEVEN (Chloe’s Double Dare – Fiona Archer) – Seven paragraphs of a favourite book off my shelves.

June 18 – NEW AUTHOR SERIES: Juanita Kees – our RWA/NZ newly published authors from Destiny, Escape & Momentum!

Sasha decided to embark on the task of cooking some of the recipes in her historical romance writing research in Distasters from the Regency kitchen.

June 10 – Nicole Flockton celebrates the release of RESCUING DAWN

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Enrico’s Pick SixEnrico

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. Anita Joy
  2. Cats, Books & Life
  3. Historical Hearts
  4. Imogene Nix
  5. Jane Quick
  6. Kiki Fu

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Have a great week,

from the Cruisin’ Chauffeurs

Cruisin’ with RWA

We hope you had a good Easter break. There’s a lot going on out there with new releases, blogs, giveaways and more. Have you got news or a blog to share? Send us the link to cruisin@romanceaustralia.com.

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Cruisin’ the News

Share your good news with us each week and we’ll join you in your happy dance. Congratulations to all our members this week.

Good News

THE TRADER’S DREAM has been doing very nicely in the Top 100 Family Sagas and Sagas lists on Amazon.

has a new release out on April 15, ASK ME TO STAY: A Homeland Book from Destiny Romance

I’LL GET BY, released Feb 2013 was reviewed by WritingWA, the literary body for the State of western Australia. The review also appeared in the West Newspaper on February 29. This book is the third one in the World Wars’ trilogy and is preceded by book one, TALL POPPIES and book two, SECRETS AND LIES.

A HANDFUL OF ASHES, a paperback saga for Simon and Schuster published in 2004 has attracted a sale of over 7,500 copies to a book club.

SOMETHING SPOOKY. an ebook through Belgrave House.

THE GREEK, THE DOG, SHANGRI-LA, and ME is a short story (non-romance) that was a runner up in the Katherine Susannah Prichard Award is to be included in a  an American anthology with the theme I thought I’d never see you again. The anthology will be published and sold by writer’s organisation,  Novelist’s Inc.

Maree Anderson has just released a fantasy trilogy: SEER’S HOPE (Book One), SEER’S PROMISE (Book Two) and SEER’S CHOICE (Book Three).  SEER’S HOPE, a previous RWNZ Clendon Award finalist, is currently free on Smashwords.

Maree’s Clendon Award-winning book, THE CRYSTAL WARRIOR (Book One of The Crystal Warriors series), is currently also free at Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Sony, Diesel eBooks & All Romance eBooks.

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Cruisin’ Member Blogs

Clint had another busy week cruisin’ the web and inbox. Hope you enjoy his scoop. Share a link and a short blurb here each week by emailing the details to us at: cruisin@romanceaustralia.com.

  • RWA Blog

April 6 – Hearts Talk Wrap

April 7 – Event Announcements

April 9 – Riding the Waves Conference Spotlight on Kat Mayo

April 10 – Author Spotlight and Giveaway: Alison Stuart

April 11 – Cruisin’ with RWA

Kate Belle shares secret YEARNINGS this Sunday 7th on All the World’s a Page.

Annie West will be a guest on Sunday 14th April. Don’t miss out!

This week on Friday Feast we’re offering a double treat: A new voice in Australian rural fiction and blueberry-topped cheesecake! So come on over and meet Pamela Cook, whose debut release BLACKWATTLE LAKE is gathering punnetfuls of rave reviews. Plus you’ll be raving even more when you see her tried n’ true cheesecake. Indeedy, we’re in for a berry good time!

All your favourites over at DSDU this week

Visit Eleni Konstantine in the Taverna

Anna Campbell was ‘baled up’ on Author Harvest WITH giveaway (and Jenn was run down in the rush!)

Then, for someone completely different. Meet women’s fiction author Lia Weston on Author Harvest.

Oh, and, it’s Jenn’s one-month anniversary and she’s done a rundown of what that has entailed.

Has started a guest blogging segment on my site, called : Spotlight on Writers. Her first guest post was up 31 March 2013 with Sue Moorcroft

April 6 – CAT-URDAY: A Writer’s Cat

April 9 – CRAFT: Nine Points of Trust – guest blogger Paula Roe shares some crafting skills…

April 13 – SATURDAY SEVEN: Seven paragraphs of a favourite book off my shelves – SONG OF SCARABAEUS by Sara Creasy

Look out for the Monthly Blog Roundup and an excerpt of a craft article written by Ebony McKenna called Active or Passive Voice.

An electrifying experience! I’m sitting in Annie Seaton’s Chair. What do perfume and musicals have in common? Come join us and find out!

I would like to announce an exciting new Guest-Hosting Page on my Blog site. Browsing Book Covers with Maryde & Guest! What is different with Browsing Book covers is It is not just for Authors – I will be welcoming readers as well…Each Month, Guests will share thoughts about Bookcovers past & new. What better way to connect with readers than invite them into our world? So, I invite you to pass on my contact e-mail to your Mum  your cousin, sister, brother, your 80yr old aunt, (who may be deaf, but still loves to read),and I’ll contact them with a selection of simple and painless questions they just answer and return by email.  Did I mention there will be some Give-a-ways from generous Authors. Looking forward to your company!

I blog about my romance writing journey. I like to think it’s an amusing blog about the journey of an aspiring writer. My latest blog talks about my experience with the RWA Little Gems comp.  I do hope you have some time to take a quick peek.

April 2ROOM SERVICE anyone? In the Armchair with Vanessa Stark
April 6 –  Going UNDER THE HOOD on Elise Ackers’ The Write Frequency
April 7 – Getting a little out-of-water action In the Armchair with Ros Baxter and her new release, FISH OUT OF WATER

March 25 – Life in a Pink Fibro – Allison Tait’s blog: Starting Out: How to make the time to write

April 1 – Australian Romance Readers Association Inc: Release day blog

April 1 – Ros Baxter Ink: Happy launch day – make like a mermaid!

April 2 – Beauty and Lace e-zine (Bookgirl Michelle) – Review

April 3 – Manga Mania Cafe: Interview and review

April 3 – Down Under Divas: Interview

April 3 – Parajunkee: Review

April 4 – The Write Frequency – Elise K Ackers’ blog: Interview

April 4 – Rachael Johns’ blog: My secret life

April 5 – Romance Readers: Blog and giveaway

April 6 – Amy Andrews on Sister Chat: Sister on sister interview

April 7 – Juanita Kees blog: Interview

April 8 – Nomi’s Paranormal Palace: Review and blog

April 9 – Nicola Marsh’s blog: The tail so far…

April 10 – Juliet Madison’s blog: Choreographing a love scene underwater (and other things your craft book never taught you)

April 11 – Kylie Griffin’s blog: Torn between two worlds

April 12 – Sami Lee’s blog:  The story behind the story 

April 15 – Nas Dean’s blog: Blog and giveaway

April 29 – Love Cats Down Under: Sisters and Books

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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. Susanne Bellamy
  2. Tracey O’Hara
  3. Trish Morey
  4. Write on Track – Diane Curran
  5. The Other Side
  6. Carla Caruso

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Riding the Waves: Writing Romance in Tempestuous Times

Things are heating up here in the west with the 22nd annual RWA conference approaching fast. So do keep an eye out for blogs and information Riding the Waveshere on the blog, on Facebook and on the Romance Writers of Australia website. If you’re planning on Riding the Waves in Freo this year, why not keep up to date and subscribe to the newsletter via email.

August 16 – 18 2013 -The Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle, Western Australia

In August 2013, for the first time, our annual national conference is heading to Western Australia. With a gorgeous heritage hotel, sunshine, sea-breezes, alfresco dining and history – Fremantle has it all. And now it has romance!

Take advantage of the Early Bird Savings and register today!

Regards Juanita

Author Spotlight with Jenn J McLeod

jennjmcleod_fence_web1. Welcome Jenn! Can you tell us a little about your book, HOUSE FOR ALL SEASONS?

Take four women—once school friends, now strangers—and force them to return to the small country town they couldn’t wait to escape twenty years earlier. Throw in unrequited love and the three ‘Rs’ (redemption, reconciliation and renewal) and you have four characters in conflict with coming home to the country, each woman as different as the seasons and each staying a season each at the century-old Dandelion House:

  • Sara, a breast cancer survivor afraid to fall in love;
  • Poppy, a tough, ambitions journo still craving her father’s approval;
  • Amber, a spoilt socialite addicted to painkillers and cosmetic procedures;
  • Caitlin, a third generation doctor frustrated by a controlling family and her flat-lining life.

House for all Seasons is a story of unravelling friendships, of country roots that run deep, and of ties that will forever bind the four women to each other and to the house.

2. How long did this book take you to write and edit to the point of submitting it?

I wrote this manuscript during NanoWriMo 2009 – 50,000 words. I finished, polished and subbed 100,000 words 12 months later, picking up an agent in the process. The next 12 months after that is a long story filled with personal complications and angst (just ask my writing group!) The short version is that I lost myself in Book Two (because that’s what everyone says to do) and then with my agent back and firing on all four cylinders, ‘we’ edited House before subbing to multiple Australian publishing houses late 2011. For the long-winded version (useful if you are having trouble getting to sleep) see this blog post: Turning Points on My Path to Publication.

3. Can you tell us a bit about your journey to publication? Was there anything you’d do differently, knowing what you know now?

That’s an interesting question. Would I do anything different? YES. I’d be brave and ask more questions to avoid unnecessary detours (like determining my genre and what the hell is ‘voice’!).  If only I’d realised earlier, that to an RWA member, no question is a dumb question.

That said, if ‘different’ meant not being where I am right now (with Simon & Schuster) then… NO. S&S were definitely worth my long, angsty, it’ll-never-happen wait. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it was meant to be. I love that S&S—the Australian division—is like a small (almost a boutique) publisher, but packing global punch as part of America’s CBS Corp! It’s like being a member of a fun family!

HFAS front cover working4. How did you feel when you saw your first book cover? Did you get any input into the design?

Did I get input into the design? No! Did I want input? Absolutely not! Is that weird?

Besides being a bad decision maker, I was happy to see someone else’s interpretation of the story. I knew what I didn’t want and I figured I could say ‘yuk’ if I didn’t like the concept. In our pre-contract conversation when my publisher, Larissa Edwards, had said how much she loved the story, she’d also said she could ‘already see the cover’. So I trusted her, and the end result was perfect. (Anyone who attended my March 1 launch celebration would have seen the amazing connection my cover had with Carli & Julie’s video clip I’d discovered way before any mention of cover design. It’s as if my cover girl is on the same country road watching Carli & Julie. Spooky!

(PS My cover copy, blurb and tag lines did stay – unchanged. Very happy about that.)

5. Do you write detailed character profiles before starting a new book, or do you find the characters come to life as you write?

For the four characters I started with the four Rs: redemption, renewal, reconciliation, recovery (changing to unrequited love part way through). Then I named the four parts after four seasons and named the four characters in the same manner to keep the seasons theme. Kitchy maybe? Too contrived? Risky? *shrug* I’d decided… this was it. Do or die. I was writing the story I wanted to write my way or not at all.

6. What advice would you give to aspiring authors out there?

Don’t take risks?! (Unless desperate and nearing your deadline – as above!) That’s the short answer. The long answer… For the next 12 months I’m doing a monthly blog post series with Aus Lit on my journey to publication. I would suggest people tune into that. Here’s January’s post. From the comments so far, I think I may be on the mark and I’m looking forward to connecting with new followers.

7. How important do you think it is for authors to be actively engaged in self promotion?

Another big question with too many variables for a short answer. An article I wrote about this for Queensland Writers Centre (March 2013 issue – if you can get your hands on it) did go into detail:

(excerpt) As authors, we should want to connect with readers, because readers these days want to connect with us. Losing ourselves in the romance of writing is no longer enough. Being an author requires heart and head. New York Times Bestselling author, Eloise James says: “To be a successful writer, you must be half businessperson and half writer. And businessperson must come first.”

In the article I then discuss:  Get blogging. Get branded. Get noticed. Get social. Get real (a.k.a be authentic). These things definitely helped seal my publishing deal. I have since reviewed and limited my social media activity to Blogging, Facebook and Twitter (& Goodreads – of course). I think less is more. Less also means quality connections and more writing time! (Besides, Google+ does my head in! Too clever for me.)

8. Complete this sentence: When I’m not writing, I’m…

… mopping floors and making beds in my dog-friendly B&B, and even then I’m still writing—in my head. Everything has the potential to be a story, or be in a story. Then theres Facebook and Twitter, etc. I can spend too much time on social media (but that is still writing… isn’t it?)

9. What’s next for you and what are you working on now?

I had written two books before submitting to Simon & Schuster. The Simmering Season will be released March 2014. I am currently working on Book Three of my Seasons Collection.

Thanks for taking part in the author spotlight Jenn! 🙂

>>You can visit Jenn at her website, facebook, twitter, and at her publisher’s House For All Seasons page.

Cruisin’ with RWA

Hello and welcome back for another great line up of news, views and interviews. I hope you’re all having a productive writing week now that contest season is upon us. There are loads of exciting writing opportunities out there.

Have you got a new release, cover, contract, website or blog to share? Send us the link to cruisin@romanceaustralia.com.

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Cruisin’ the News

Share your good news with us each week and we’ll join you in your happy dance. Congratulations to all our members this week. Share your new release, new cover, contest win, new contract, new website and more good news with us at cruisin@romanceaustralia.com

Upcoming Contests

  • The RWA West Houston Chapter’s contest ‘The Emily’ is open for submissions from Saturday, September 1st, 2012 and closes at midnight, September 30, 2012.For more information and to enter: http://whrwa.com/emily/ * All Electronic ~ Fee: $30 (WHRWA members $20) * No synopsis ~ maximum of 7,000 words * Three first-round judges ~ lowest score dropped * Open to published authors (not published in category for three years) * Multiple entries allowed * Entries capped at the first 240 entries received
  • HARLEQUIN / MILLS & BOON SO YOU THINK YOU CAN WRITE CONTEST

Visit the Contest Website for instructions on how to enter by completing a submission form and uploading one (1) eligible first chapter.

RWA Contests

  • New Logo Contest

RWA has launched a contest to find a new logo.

Opens: September 1st 2012,

Closes: Midnight Sydney time September 30th 2012

  • Closing dates for the 2012-13 contest season
HM&B High Five 14 September 2012
STALI 5 October 2012
Selling Synopsis 23 November 2012
Emerald Award 23 November 2012
Little Gems 1 February 2013
First Kiss 15 February 2013
Valerie Parv Award TBA April 2013

New Releases and Contracts

  • S E Gilchrist’s erotic fantasy novella, BOUND BY LOVE, tied in 2nd  place in the Music City Minuet of Love contest.
  • View Cheryl Wright’s book trailer for her romantic suspense novel RUNNING SCARED
  • NYT bestselling author Keri Arthur has contracted FIRE BORN from her new series about a phoenix, a fire spirit capable of taking on human form who is also cursed with the ability to foresee death via her dreams, to Danielle Perez at NAL, in a two-book deal, by Miriam Kriss at the Irene Goodman Agency (World English). Her next two books in the DARK ANGELS series, featuring a half-werewolf/half-Aedh, have also been contracted to Danielle Perez at NAL, by Miriam Kriss at the Irene Goodman Agency (World English).
  • Steampunk novella, COURTING TROUBLE by Jenny Schwartz is due for release on October 1 from Carina Press.
  • DOUBLE EXPOSURE by Charmaine Ross was launched with Destiny Romance this month.

Keeping Up Appearances

  • Mary Hawkins is presenting a two hour workshop on “Getting the novel structure right” and will be also in the “Editing Room” at The Word Writers Getaway 12-14 October at The Sunshine Coast. FMI: http://www.thewordwriters.com/index.php?
  • Juanita Kees will be enjoying a little African hospitality with her book signing event at Kalahari – A Taste of Africa on Saturday from 10am. Come along for a chat, a cup of coffee and some African delights, and pick up your copy of FLY AWAY PETA.

When: Saturday September 29 from 10am

Where: Kalahari – A Taste of Africa, Unit 4/27 Augusta Street, Willetton, Perth

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Cruisin’ Member Blogs

Share a link and a short blurb here each week by emailing the details to us at: cruisin@romanceaustralia.com

This week on Jenn’s Author Harvest meet Alison Stuart – a fabulous author, with appalling taste in cookies and a possum problem!

Jenn also shares news about another Simon & Schuster author she met recently who has…let’s just say…a strong family connection to RWA.

Coming soon – Helen Ellis. (Now don’t let Helen’s little ol’ granny look fool you! How this lady can write!!! (It’s the chocolate affair you must have!)

This week on Friday Feast:

We’re moaning a lot and walking a bit stiffly on Friday Feast this week, and it’s not from over-exercise. Thanks to Australian author Kylie Scott and her debut release, FLESH, the Zombie Apocalypse has arrived!

To fortify you through the coming hardship, Kylie’s sharing a healthy and delicious salad recipe, while for those who prefer brain-sustenance, we have that covered too. Simply tell us your best zombie-fighting food or weapon and you’ll go into the draw to win an e-book copy of FLESH. So stumble on over!

September 27 – MAGIC THURSDAY – Bec McMaster with giveaway of  Kiss of Steel

September 29 – DARKLIGHT ON… Anna Hackett

September 30 – Weekly Overview

October 2 – GOOD NEWS DAY

October 3  – A BITE OF… With Nicole Murphy

October 4 – MAGIC THURSDAY – Cathleen Ross

September 27 – SERIES: Ellora’s Cave author – Lacey Savage – come discover the world of paranormal erotic romance!

September 29 – MONTH OF HOT HEROES: Finalists – vote for the hunkiest TV/ movie heroes and see who ends up the HOTTEST one of all.

October 2 – TOPIC: Why Enter Writing Contests? – what can writing contests do for you?

October 4 – SERIES: Ellora’s Cave author – Rhyll Vallis – come discover the world of paranormal erotic romance!

October 6 – MONTH OF HOT HEROES: Champion – you voted! Now check out who the HOTTEST one of all is!

  • RWA Blog

September 28 – A Day in the Writing Life of Daniel de Lorne – Suzanne Hamilton

September 28 – New Releases with Nicole Flockton

September 30 – Event Announcements – Juanita Kees

October 4 –  Cruisin’ with RWA – Juanita Kees

Booked for the weekend: 8 Aussie authors with a special offer for readers this long weekend.

September 26 – Nicole Hurley-Moore celebrates the release of her latest book, UNTIL THE STARS BURN COLD, a paranormal romance set in ancient Persia and modern day rural Australia. Nicole has kindly donated a copy to one lucky visitor so please drop in and say hi and don’t miss out!

September 27 – Review of THE UNFINISHED JOURNALS OF ELIZABETH D – Nichole Bernier
September 28 – In the Armchair with Suzi Love talking historical romance
October 1 – In the Armchair with Nicole Hurley-Moore and a post on researching your novel
October 5 – Fabianistic Fun with Zombies – the blog journey begins…

~

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. Wendy Leslie
  2. Yvonne Lindsay
  3. Anne Whitfield
  4. Cats, Books & Life
  5. Elisabeth Rose
  6. Historical Hearts

Have a great week!

Regards Juanita

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