Romance goes mainstream at MWF 2015

At our recent conference, the RWA raised over $6,000 for the nominated conference charity, The Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Keynote speaker Anita Heiss was very eloquent on the importance of education for all, particularly children in disadvantaged communities. Thus it was interesting to read Hachette Australia co-managing director Louise Sherwin-Stark’s reflections on her her trip to the Tiwi Islands with the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

Sherwin-Stark said, ‘Most of all, I witnessed a fierce determination to nurture and support their kids through reading and education, something often missing from the news coverage about indigenous communities we see in the media.’

Books+Publishing’s Weekly Newsletter of 2 September included a detailed report on the RWA’s annual conference, Get Fresh 2015 under the headline ‘Romance goes mainstream at RWA conference 2015’. The report mentioned that the conference attracted over 400 attendees, the largest in the organisation’s 24-year history and quotes RWA president Leisl Leighton as saying the response to the conference was ‘100% positive’, with many attendees claiming it was ‘one of the best conferences they had been to’. During the AGM, the RWA also announced that membership had exceeded 1,000 writers for the first time.

Leighton said the conference ‘diversified its program this year by bringing in fresh non-romance presenters to broaden the professional development opportunities available to members’, covering ‘all elements of craft and the business of writing’.

Books+Publishing’s reporter went on to say that one of the topics discussed in-depth and over several sessions at the the conference was the stabilisation of digital sales and a return to confidence in traditional formats and outlets. The report quoted Random House editor Lex Hirst, Sourcebooks editorial director Deb Werksman and US agent Courtney Miller-Callihan on the subject.

  • Lex Hirst: ‘Ebook usage has reached a plateau.’
  • Deb Werskman: ‘Print is still ‘obust, with US sales for print romance titles exceeding 30 million dollars in 2014 … a Nielsen Bookscan report revealed that physical bookstores are the most-mentioned way of acquiring new books among romance readers … while digital sales are important for many romance subgenres, authors should be aware of all potential sales channels or risk missing significant segments of their readership.’
  • Courtney Miller Callihan: ‘The atmosphere within publishing is more positive and people are more comfortable with digital as the format has stabilised.’

On-site bookseller Dymocks Melbourne told Books+Publishing that conference-goers were ‘inspired by the words of guest speakers and presenters, and keen to read outside of their genre to glean as much insight into their craft as possible.

‘The conference committee included some great speakers such as Anita Heiss, C S Pacat and Graeme Simsion to bring some great ideas to the table this year,’ said the bookseller.

The bestsellers at the Dymocks shop were:

  1. Not Always a Saint (Mary Jo Putney, Kensington)
  2. Captive Prince (C S Pacat, Viking)
  3. The Rosie Project (Graeme Simsion, Text)
  4. Avoiding Mr Right (Anita Heiss, Bantam)
  5. Prince’s Gambit (C S Pacat, Viking)

You can read the full Books+Publishing report here:

In other news, Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) CEO and artistic director Lisa Dempster reported this year’s festival had the highest attendance on record. Dempster told Books+Publishing final figures are still being tallied but that the turn-out had exceeded expectations. International headliners at the festival, which ran from 20-30 August, included Naomi Klein (US), Jon Ronson (UK), Sarah Waters (UK), Daniel Handler (US), Antony Beevor (UK) and ‘Veronica Mars’ creator Rob Thomas (US), who were among more than 500 local and overseas guests who appeared at 531 events.

Author Spotlight and Giveaway: Leisl Leighton…

Welcome to the Author Spotlight, Leisl Leighton, and congratulations on the release of ‘Dark Moon’!  Can you tell us a little bit about it, please?

Lately, Skye Collins has been unable to shake the feeling that she’s being watched. After a lifetime spent hiding her true nature, she knows that any unusual attention is something to be wary of.  And the only attention she’s been receiving lately is from the intense and attractive Jason McVale.

Jason claims to know things about Skye that can’t be true, and it’s obvious he’s hiding secrets of his own. Yet despite herself, Skye can’t resist the attraction between them, and her surrender will set in motion a chain of events that will have consequences for everyone she holds dear.

Gradually, Jason convinces Skye that she has to trust him if she is to solve the riddle of her past and learn the truth about her power.  But believing Jason means that her entire life has been based on a lie.

As her enemies gather strength and the danger increases, Skye is forced to accept who she really is. Will she risk everything and fight for those she loves? Or save herself and let them be destroyed by the forces of darkness?

DMoon

 

Your debut novel, Killing Me Softly, was a romantic suspense, while Dark Moon is a fantasy. Do you have a soft spot for either genre over the other?

I read a number of genres: fantasy, sci-fi, historical romance, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, YA, contemporary romance, chic lit and women’s fiction, but when it comes to writing, I do tend to stick to the urban fantasy romance, paranormal romance and romantic suspense. I have tried other genres, but they just don’t flow for me as well as these three. At the moment I am writing more paranormal romance and epic urban fantasy than romantic suspense, but that’s mostly because those are the stories coming to me, not because of a preference. If I had an idea for a romantic suspense right now, that’s what I’d be writing.  

Are there any other genres you would like to venture into in the future?

Maybe sci fi with a romantic bent. I have a story in my mind that’s tumbling around – nothing specific right now, but if it plays out a bit more, I might sit down and give it a try. 

Can you tell us about your world building in Dark Moon. Talk us through the process of  building a world filled with not entirely human creatures.

I used to be an actor, so when I write, I tend to ‘become’ my characters much as I did when I was on stage and they very much tell me who they are and how they became that – which tends to mean they inform me about their world, the ‘rules’ so to speak. It’s never really a conscious thought process for me of me sitting down and making copious notes before I write and making my characters fit to that. As I write the story it all evolves more in my mind. I make lots of notes as I go and on redrafts and edits make sure those ideas and traits are played through. 

You play a large role within the RWA as a volunteer. Can you tell us how you manage your time so that everything gets done? Are you a time managing supremo?

Other people tend to tell me I am, but I can tell you, at times it doesn’t feel that way. I try to do things as they come in so I don’t get a huge built up pile of stuff to do. There are times this doesn’t work though – things do have a habit of happening at once. I keep a list of things that must be done and tick it off as I go and I put deadlines into my email calendar so every time I open up my email, it reminds me what I need to do. I try to get up early in the morning to write and I have 1 day off per week that I spend mostly writing, which means I tend to get to everything else in the afternoon/night time or in spare moments on the weekends (like now – the boys are playing computer games after having their cousin over for a few hours, all the washing is done and the hubby is out doing the shopping – so I’m answering these questions.) In regards to housework, the essentials get done every week, but non essentials tend to get left to when people are coming over.

Killing Me Softly Cover2

 

I hear you’re a lover of all things Jane Austen. Which is your favourite:

a)      JA Novel,

b)     Movie / television adaptation,

c)      Mr Darcy.

Ooh, hard one. Can I say d) all of the above? I studied Jane Austen at university and have read all her books a number of times and watched many adaptations of her works. I do love the novels – I fell in love with them first. But a good adaptation of her works is pretty special too. And Colin Firth was pretty special as Darcy – both the historical one and the modern one. 

How do you think Jane Austen’s work has shaped contemporary romance? What can romance writers learn from Jane Austen?

I think she made writers and readers see that an ordinary life and existence is special and can be written about. I think she was an expert of ‘write what you know’ and she wrote about it with fondness and love. She was also excellent at putting her characters through the wringer in regards to the lessons they had to learn to end up with their HEA. She wrote simple stories, but they were full stories. I’ve heard lecturers go on about her use of irony, and how that makes her a special social commentator – which is important because she saw her world for all its faults, and much of this brought essential humour – but for me, what shines from these stories is the fact she loves her characters and their stories and that is why they still feel real for us all these centuries later. I think that’s the most important lesson – be real to yourself and love what you write. 

Can you tell us a little about your WIP?

I am currently working on the 2nd and 3rd in the Witch-Were Chronicles, Healer Moon and Blood Moon, and am making notes for the 4th one, Ghost Moon. Healer Moon takes place directly after the Dark Moon ends and picks up the romance between two of the other characters and keeps following the overall arc in regards to the nemesis in Dark Moon. Each novel adds to the history that backs up the mythology of the series, as well as giving other characters a HEA. 

What would we find on your book shelves/ereader?

You would find all of Raymond E. Feist’s series as well as Katherine Kerr, Anne McCaffrey and some Jany Wurtz. There is also Anne Gracie, Georgette Heyer, Joanna Lindsey, LaVyrle Spencer, Austen, Bronte and Shakespeare. And for something more current, lots of Nalini Singh, M.J Scott, Rachelle Meade, Stephanie Myers, JK Rowling, Sherilyn Kenyon and a bunch of other paranormal and YA paranormal authors. Also, there is a lot of Nora Roberts and JD Robb. And all the Anne of Green Gables series – I relate strongly to that red-headed girl with the large imagination.

Leisl Headshot tweet

 

You’ve entered into a lot of writing competitions, and have done very well. How important do you think it is for writers to participate in competitions? Any tips you’d like to share?

I think it is essential to a writer’s journey – just like having a critique partner or belonging to a writing group is. You NEED to get your work written by people who are not family and friends. They will give you their honest opinion and often a much needed dose of truth (no matter how painful that may be to swallow at first). Those first few comps really helped me to leap forward with my writing and brought to my attention the mistakes I was making.

In regards to tips – enter the ones that are appropriate to what you are writing and when you begin to do better in them, enter those ones with final editor/agent judges who deal with the kind of work you are writing. Also, read the scoresheets and comments, then put them away and don’t action them right away. Knee jerk fixing is sometimes more destructive to your work than helpful. Allow your ‘hurt’ to settle down to something manageable and after a few weeks/month, try to remember what was said on those scoresheets – the things that stick are most often the things you need to work on first. 

Could you give us a sneaky peek at one of your favourite parts of Dark Moon, please?

People keep asking this, but I don’t have a favourite part. All of it is there because it is my favourite. But I will share with you part of the opening scene, because it is the first scene that ever came to me and it wouldn’t leave me alone, demanding to be written even though I was working on something else. Skye is skiing when a snowboarder crashes into her:

Despite the pain sparking through her body – damn, she was going to have some impressive bruises for show and tell on Monday – she became uncomfortably aware of the way their hips pressed together, legs tangled. She hadn’t been this close to a man in way too long. This wasn’t the way she’d imagined it happening again, though.

She tried to move. The action made his board – amazingly still attached to his feet – cut into her leg. She winced. ‘Well, this is a very charming way to meet and all, but can you get off, please? You’re crushing my legs.’

‘Sorry.’ He scrambled back.

‘Oh, fudgy-duck!’ She gasped as his board scraped over the bruise.

‘Are you hurt?’ He ran his hand ran over her leg, checking for injury.

Shivers chased across her skin that had nothing to do with the snow melting inside her jacket. Skye pulled away. ‘No. I’m fine. Just let me stretch it out.’

He shifted back. But instead of getting up and skiing off like most other people would, he stayed, kneeling beside her as she stretched out her leg.

‘I’m so sorry. I usually ski, but my brother talked me into trying out a snowboard this year.’

Rubbing her aching leg, her temper spiked at his words. Glaring at him, she snapped, ‘Are you kidding me? What the hell are you doing on Federation? It’s a black run – or didn’t you notice all the signs up the top, you irresponsible arse?’

His eyebrows rose above his sunglasses. ‘Wow. That thing about redheads and tempers is true.’

She bristled. ‘You could have killed yourself, or someone else. Namely me!’

He brushed snow from his hair. ‘For your information, I was doing okay until I hit that goddamned icy patch. I don’t know why I agreed to try a board,’ he grumbled.

He sounded so much like her twin, River, when he was pouting, that her flare of anger disappeared and she had to hide her grin.

‘So why did you go over to the dark side?’

‘My trickster of a brother said it would be a rush, but I think he just wanted to see me fall on my arse.’

Her lips twitched. ‘That would be okay, except for the fact you fell on mine.’

‘It looked softer than mine.’

She choked on a laugh. ‘Are you saying I have a fat arse?’

Rather than trying to back-pedal, his mouth curled into a lopsided smile – such a lovely mouth. ‘No. In fact, I was thinking how nice it looked before I smacked into you.’

Skye dragged her eyes from his mouth. ‘Is that why you took me for a toboggan ride, with me as the toboggan? To meet me and my nice arse?’

‘That, and the fact you stopped so suddenly.’

She snorted. ‘I thought you said there was an icy patch.’

‘Yeah.’ He laughed. ‘I did. Didn’t I?’ He pushed his sunglasses off his face to look down at her.

She gaped.

He had the most startling eyes. They were deeply blue on the edge, almost black, but lightened to an icy blue at their centre. Lightning bolt striations crazed through the iris, making it seem like his eyes glowed. They reminded her of a picture of a wolf River had put on his bedroom wall when they were young. She’d asked him to take it down. He’d thought it was because she was frightened of big dogs, but it hadn’t just been that. The wolf’s eyes had haunted her in a way that had confused her ten-year-old soul.

This man’s eyes were even more dangerous to her equilibrium. They pulled her in. Her chest ached like she’d been winded.

He broke eye contact and pushed to his feet, allowing her to catch her breath.

‘Here, let me help you up.’ He put out his hand.

Web links

Website/Blog

 

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Buy link for Dark Moon

 

Leisl is kindly gifting one Kindle copy of Dark Moon. Just answer the following question in the comments and you will go into the draw: 

‘If you were a shape shifter, what would you most like to turn into?’

This competition is open world wide and will be drawn on the 28th of March,  2014.

 

Author Spotlight: Leisl Leighton…

Hello Leisl and welcome to the Author Spotlight.

KillingMeSoftly_cover

 

Can you tell us about your journey from hobby writer to published author?

I worked in theatre and cabaret for many years and wrote/co-wrote scripts throughout those years as well as owning my own theatre restaurant for 6 years. But after 12 years of working in that industry, I’d had enough and wanted to start a family, so closed my business down. I still needed to be creative though, so I began to write the stories I dreamed every night. My first effort was a massive fantasy tomb that when finished was 250,000 words long! I realise now that I wrote everything into that novel – character backgrounds, story backgrounds, the history of the cultures…everything – because I’m a pantser. Because I can’t stick to one thing, I wrote a bunch of other styles of novel, both single title and category, and began submitting some of them, without understanding anything about that process because I was working in the dark, alone.

A lucky meeting with Anne Gracie changed everything for me. She kindly interpreted half a dozen page long rejection letters I got and then told me in no uncertain terms that I had to join RWA and avail myself of its critique partner network and competitions to work on the technical aspects of writing I was failing at and not give up, because those rejection letters were actually telling me I had something, I just had to work at it.

I did as she suggested and was rewarded with amazing help, some wonderful friendships and a network of support you just don’t get anywhere else. I have worked on a number of manuscripts, pitched at conferences, sent to contests here and in the US (I won and placed in quite a few) and had the privilege of attending the first 5DI week. I kept submitting and got some really great encouragement from agents and editors who liked my writing but just didn’t have a place for the stories I sent them. That all changed when I met with Carol George from Destiny Romance about a manuscript I’d submitted to her. That manuscript was wrong for them, but they loved my writing and she asked to see other things I’d written as long as they had a stronger romance thread than the one I’d submitted. I submitted a romantic suspense I’d written a few years ago and the rest, as they say, is history.

Now that you are a published author, how has life changed for you?

I have been treating writing like it is my job ever since I came back from the 5DI. I spend time on my writing every day, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. I have also given myself deadlines to work towards in regards to entering competitions and have pitched at every RWA conference I’ve gone to, researched pitching, query letter and synopsis writing and have generally made it my business to know as much as I could about this industry I wanted to be a part of. So in essence, things haven’t changed on the outside. I still fit my writing in around my family and my part time work, but I find it’s the attitudes of others that have changed. People are suddenly taking my writing more seriously – without that contract, people do tend to give you indulgent looks as if to say they think you are dreaming when you say you are a writer.

Leisl Headshot tweet

How important have writing competitions been in regards to your development as a writer?

I think they have been essential. They gave me my first taste of criticism from people I don’t know and helped me see not only where I was going wrong and what I could improve, but what I was getting right. The contest dates made me work to deadlines and made me research how to write queries and synopsis, which in turn helped me to figure out elemental problems of my manuscripts – like where a plot falls into the mire of its own cleverness or where character GMC’s aren’t strong enough. They also got my work in front of agents and editors who gave me some wonderful advice and allowed me to make some good contacts. I was asked, through entering the Emerald, to become a contest manager, which has taught me even more about what good writing is, reader and judge expectations and helped me connect with some of the other wonderful volunteers in RWA who have been massively supportive of my work. But most of all, entering the competitions has taught me the most important lesson of all – You can’t please everyone.

Do you have a Critique Partner?

I belong to two different critique/writing groups, one an RWA group, the other I started with someone I met in a local writing group. There is someone in each group that I can send things to in between meetings if I need and I do the same for them. I also have had critique partners through the critique partner network, who helped me a lot, but in the end with each, life got in the way for one or other of us and we just stopped swapping work.

You write across a variety of genres: paranormal, suspense and fantasy, which is your favourite?

That’s like asking me to choose a favourite child!

I love reading those genres, so that’s why I write them. In regards to choosing what genre I’m going to write in at any one time, I write what strikes me at the time and when writing it, it evolves into one of those three genres. My characters seem to know best where they belong.

What are the essential elements in all of the above genres?

There must be mystery, high tension, and a strong, twisting plot that keeps me guessing but that doesn’t make me go ‘Huh? How did that happen?’ at the end; strong, engaging characters who are challenged by the situation they find themselves in, but also have a personal journey to make and are fully drawn so they feel like friends I can believe in even while I’m thinking, ‘how can they find their way through this?’

Other characters and little subplots can add to the mystery and tension, but aren’t always essential, although they very often help the leads find their inner strength and face their own personal demons, so I do like them to be there and real. The worlds need to be fully drawn so that I can see them and breathe them in, allowing me to feel a part of them every time I open the page and draws me right in. The world also needs to make me feel that the characters truly live there and haven’t just been dropped in for the duration of the book, that I could revisit this world to follow other characters and it would be just as alive and fulfilling as the first time because there is even more to explore. And on top of this, for paranormal and fantasy series especially, an overarching plot that will unfold a little more in each novel.

What are your top 5 all time favourite books?

Wow, that’s a really hard question to answer. I think more in terms of favourite authors, of which there are many, but I suppose my favourite books, the ones I have read over and over are: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, (and the rest of the series), Magician by Raymond E. Feist (and the subsequent series), Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts (and the subsequent series), Hummingbird by Lavyrle Spencer, Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singhe (and the subsequent series).

I have to say I also love Nora Roberts, Anne Gracie, Katherine Kerr, Anne McCaffrey, JK Rowling, Stephanie Meyers, Charlaine Harris, Sherylyn Kenyon, Richelle Meade, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Georgette Heyer… the list goes on and on.

Can you tell us a little about your next novel?

I am currently working on a few things. The first is a romantic suspense I’m rewriting that I wrote many years ago about a woman on the run for her life after witness protection failed her. The second is a paranormal romance series about Witches and Weres and a curse that threatens to tear apart the pact they created 500 years ago to save Witches from the wildness of their powers and Weres from the violence of their animals. I have written the first book for this series and am currently writing the second in the series as well as mapping out ideas for the third. And then there’s an epic paranormal fantasy about a blind witch and her vampire lover and the prophecy that threatens to tear their world apart. I’ve written the first two novels of this series and am working on ideas for redrafting them before moving further into the series (although I have the third and fourth books basically mapped out).

What does the future hold for Leisl Leighton?

Hopefully lots of time to write, lots of people loving my books and wanting more, affording me the ability to make writing what I do for my career. Although, if this weren’t to happen, writing would still be essential to my life, because I love it, I need it and it helps keep me sane in this insanely busy world. Other than that, health and happiness, friendship and love for myself, my family and friends is everything I would ask for. 

Congratulations on your debut release, ‘Killing me Softly’. Can you give us an extract?

His eyes were vibrant blue in the semi-dark room. She could feel his gaze like a touch as it skimmed over her face, came back to her eyes, remained there. How could it feel as if he were drinking her in? She cleared her throat, shifted, tore her gaze away. ‘I like to come down here at this time of the night. I like the quiet. I can work without being disturbed.’
He laughed at her gentle barb, the sound sliding up and down her spine. She stood up abruptly. ‘How come you’re up at this hour?’ She sounded defiant, almost annoyed, but she couldn’t help it. He’d thrown her with his presence.

Web links

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Destiny Romance

STALI finalists announced

We are delighted to announce this finalists in this year’s STALI (Single Title And Loving It) competition.

Cheryl Baker

Bridget Gray

Leisl Leighton

Fiona McKenzie

Natalie Moress

Eve Moyse

Congratulations to all our finalists!

Thanks to Sandy Harris for managing the contest.

The finalists’ entries will be ranked by Sarah Fairhall, Commissioning Editor of Penguin Australia.

Cruisin’ the Blog & Members News

Another week of exciting news and fun blog spots with ‘Who’s Where and When and Who did What’. If you have any news you would like to share or have a blog event coming up you can email me anytime – cruisin@romanceaustralia.com

SPECIAL NOTICES:

Michael Hauge – The Story Mastery Seminar.

Are you looking for that one seminar or workshop that will put it all together for you and get your writing noticed?  Well 2011 is your lucky year and March is the month it will happen for you!

When: Saturday, 12th March 9:00am-5:00pm and Intensive workshop Sunday 13 March.

Where: Aspire Hotel Ultimo Sydney http://www.aspirehotel.com/

Costs: Saturday only:  RWA Members $150; Non-members $200

Sunday only:  $250 (RWA Members only) Sunday Full

Saturday and Sunday: $375

Book online at: http://www.romanceaustralia.com/seminars.html

Please note:  Places are limited for this seminar and filling fast.  RWA members need to book quickly as registration will soon open to non-members.  The Sunday hands-on workshop is now full.  If you want to do this seminar, book without delay!

The North Queensland Writers Roadshow 28th May 2011

COSTS: (Including lunch, morning and afternoon teas)

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION

14th February – 31st March 2011

Cost:    One-day Seminar        $ 130  RWA Members

Cost:    One-day Seminar        $ 150  RWA Non-Members

AUSTRALIAN ROMANCE READERS CONVENTION

Registration for ARRC2011 is now under way: for futher information please visit the ARRA website.

UPCOMING EVENT

LOVE A GOOD ROMANCE WITH AMY ANDREWS AND ANNA CAMPBELL

WHEN: 6:30pm, Friday, 25th February, 2011

WHERE: Arana Hills Library, 63 Cobbity Crescent, Arana Hills

FYI: Free (refreshments will be served)

Bookings essential: (07) 3351 3401 OR Library website

AND

WHEN: 10am, Saturday, 26th February, 2011

WHERE: Albany Creek Library, 16 Ferguson Street, Albany Creek

FYI: Free (refreshments will be served)

Bookings: (07) 3264 5267 OR Library website

CRUISIN’ THE BLOG: ~

Where Our Members are Blogging ~

Anna Campbell ~

THURS 24th February – Anna is reviewing Carola Dunn’s ‘Daisy Dalrymple’ mysteries on the Romance Dish

Dark Side DownUnder ~

TUES 22nd February – Good News Day
WED 23rd February – Winner announced for Shannah’s Envoy.
THUR 24th February – Magic Thursday (with giveaway) – Keri Arthur with Kelley
Armstrong’s Haunted
SAT 26th February – Darklight On…Fiona Gregory

Eleni Konstantine ~

Eleni’s blog turned three this week and she has a giveaway of Jennifer

Roberson’s Shapechanger’s Song (Omnibus 1 of The Chronicles of the Cheysuli)

Entries close today!!

Kylie Griffin ~

THURS 17th February – Who’s That Girl? interview with Vanessa Barneveld

SAT 19th February – “Which heroine turns the pages for you?” – a look at heroine archetypes

MON 21st February – GUEST AUTHOR: Rachel Bailey

THURS 24th February – Who’s That Girl? interview with Hope Ramsey

SAT 26th February – “Reading for Keeps” – do you have a shelf for ‘keepers’, you know the ones you’ll never given away and will be buried-with-me-when-I-die books? What makes them ‘keepers’? Come and find out.

Paula Roe ~

THU 24th February – Catch up with Paula on the ARRA blog

SAT 26th February – Paula drops by Tote Bags ‘n’ Blogs for a chat.

RWAus Blog ~

MON 21st February – Sandie Hudson – Author Spotlight – Rhian Cahill

TUES 22th February – Bronwyn Jameson – Conference Session Spotlight on – Nikki Logan

THU 24th February – Bronwyn Jameson – Conference Session Spotlight on – Jennifer Kloester

FRI 25th February – Jenn McLeod – Blog Bite – Daniel de Lorne

SAT 26th February – Sandie Hudson – February New Releases

SUN 27th February – Sandie Hudson – Cruisin’ the Blog & Members News

Member who Blog Regularly ~

Rachael Johns

Rhian Cahill

S.E Gilchrist

Sami Lee

Sandie Hudson

Sara Hantz

Blogs of Interest ~

NOTE: If you come across a blog you think will interest our members drop me a line with the details.

Thanks to Kylie Griffin for this blog suggestion.

The Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood ~

Rita Henuber gives a great blog covering all the ‘Writing Industry Acronyms and Definitions’ – a quick handy reference if you need to know something in a hurry.

The Blood-Red Pencil ~

The power of the imagination, guest blogger, Darlene Quinn chats about ‘Emerging from the Imagination: Giving Your Characters a Life of their Own’.

MEMBER’S CONTESTS and GIVEAWAYS: ~

Anna Campbell ~

Anna Campbell is celebrating the launch of her brand-new website by sharing some great prizes!

SIX lucky readers will receive a luscious reading double!  First up, your choice from Anna’s backlist (please check out her Books page http://www.annacampbell.info/books.html if you need help choosing). Each winner will also win a gorgeous hardcover Rhapsody Book Club edition of either Laura Lee Guhrke’s WEDDING OF THE SEASON or Madeline Hunter’s RAVISHING IN RED.

To be in the draw, just email Anna on anna@annacampbell.info with two pieces of information –your favourite romance read from 2010 and which book from her backlist you’d like to win. Good luck! For more information, please visit Anna’s contest page. http://www.annacampbell.info/contest.html And don’t forget to check out her great new website at http://www.annacampbell.info, including the excerpt from her forthcoming release MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION.

The contest closes 31st March, 2011.

MEMBER’S NEWS: ~

Emerald Category Second Round ~

Congratulations go to:

Janice Bridges

Jodie Clarkson

Emmie Dark

Michelle de Rooy

Anne-Louise Dubrawski

Louise Groarke

Frances Maslen x 2

Susan Rees

Joanne Robertson

Jennifer St George

Rebecca Sampson

Angela Stein

Dayle White x2

Thanks to Leisl Leighton for all her work thus far in managing the contest.

Little Gems Cover Winner ~

The winning entry of the Little Gems 2011 Garnet Cover Contest is now on the Blog. The beautiful design is by new RWA member Sheridan Kent.

Anna Campbell ~

Anna was a guest on ABC Sunshine Coast – Breakfast with John Stokes and interviewed by Mary-Lou Stephens for Valentine’s Day. Wonderful interview Anna.

Jennifer Brassel ~

Jennifer’s as yet unpublished Time Travel romance ‘Secret Reflection’ won the Best Scene category of the Wallflower (FTHRW) in the US! Plus she got a request for the full from the editor. Fantastic news Jen.

Maggi Andersen ~

Maggi’s Georgian romance, ‘The Reluctant Marquess’ was part of the Valentine’s Day launch of Embrace Books, an offshoot of Salt Publishing. Great news Maggi and congratulatios.

Suzanne Brandyn ~

Suzanne was all smiles this week when she found an unknown review for ‘Heat In The Outback’, from Panic in the Lingerie receiving 5 stars. Wonderful news Suz and well deserved.

Suzi Love ~

Our Suzi has done it again winning the Wallflower Historical Single Title for ‘From the Heart’ RWUSA Chapter. Suzi also placed second in the finals of the Historical Category of ‘Finally a Bride’ Oklahoma Chapter. Huge Congratulations Suzi.

US Emily Awards Results ~

Anne-Louise Dubrawski tied for 2nd place in the Contemporary Series category.

Michelle de Rooy placed 5th in the Futuristic, Paranormal section.

WOOHOO Ladies well done.

Member’s with revamped websites ~

We had a few members showing off their re-vamped websites over the past couple of weeks, and what wonderful results they all got.

Anna Campbell

Anna Jacobs

Paula Roe

CONTESTS for 2011 ~

Our RWA 2011 contest season is quickly coming to an end if you haven’t entered any of the contests so far we have only three left. Check the closing dates below.

Valerie Parv Award

Opens:  Friday February 25, 2011

Closes: Friday April 8th, 2011

See website for details.

Challenges ~

Date for  2011 BIAW

March 28th to April 3rd

July 25th to 31st

October 24th to 30th

For more information contact Pam Collings pam@collings.id.au

UPCOMING EVENTS: ~

Friday 25 February

Love a Good Romance with Anna Campbell and Amy Andrews

When: 6:30pm, Friday, 25th February, 2011

Where: Arana Hills Library, 63 Cobbity Crescent, Arana Hills

Cost: Free (refreshments will be served)

FMI + Bookings: (07) 3351 3401 or Arana Hills Library

Saturday 26 February

Love a Good Romance with Anna Campbell and Amy Andrews

When: 10.00am, Saturday, 26th February 2011

Where: Albany Creek Library, 16 Ferguson St, Albany Creek

Cost: Free (refreshments will be served)

FMI + Bookings: (07) 3264 5267 or Albany Creek Library

Saturday 5 March

The Business of Being a Writer ~ Judith Ridge, Angelo Loukakis, Steven Miller, & Guests

When: 10:00am–5:00pm

Where: NSW Writers’ Centre

Cost: $105 M, $90 MC, $150 NM

FMI + Bookings: NSW Writers’ Centre

Tuesdays 8, 15, 22 & 29 March
The Essentials of Editing ~ Tony Spencer-Smith
When: 6:30pm–9:30pm
Where: NSW Writers’ Centre
Cost: $250 M, $215 MC, $360 NM
FMI + Bookings: NSW Writers’ Centre

Saturday 12 March

Michael Hauge – The Story Mastery Seminar.

When: 9:00am-5:00pm

Where: Aspire Hotel Ultimo Sydney

Costs: Saturday only:  RWA Members $150; Non-members $200

Sunday only:  $250 (RWA Members only)

Saturday and Sunday: $375

Book online at: RWAustralia/Seminars

Saturday 19 March

Writing Popular Fiction ~ Helene Young

When: 10:00am–4:00pm

Where: Thuringowa Library, 86 Thuringowa Drive (corner of Hinchinbrook Drive), Thuringowa Central, Qld

Cost: $85 M, $75 MC, $115 NM

Booking deadline: Friday 4 March

FMI + Bookings: Queensland Writers’ Centre OR phone (07) 3842 9922

Tuesdays 22 & 29 March, 5 & 12 April
Creative Writing 101 ~ Siboney Duff
When: 6:00pm–8:00pm
Where: SCU room, Byron Community Centre
Cost: $95 M, $125 NM
FMI + Bookings: NRWC OR email OR phone (02) 6685 5115

Sunday 27 March
Writing the Fantastical ~ Kate Forsyth
When: 10:00am–4:00pm
Where: NSW Writers’ Centre
Cost: $105 M, $90 MC, $150 NM
FMI + Bookings: NSW Writers’ Centre

Thursday 31 March
Publishing Perspectives: A Novel Relationship ~ Jo Butler, Jenny Darling & Sonia Orchard
When: 10:00am–4:00pm
Where: Victorian Writers’ Centre
Cost: $12 M, $10 MC, $15 NM
FMI + Bookings: Victorian Writers’ Centre OR (03) 9094 7855

Saturday 16 April
Story Structure Workshop ~ Kathryn Heyman
When: 11:00am–4:00pm
Where: SCU room, Byron Community Centre
Cost: $65 M, $78 NM
FMI + Bookings: NRWC OR email OR phone (02) 6685 5115

ONLINE Events

Julie Rowe, a 2006 Golden Heart double finalist, moderates the Announce Online Writing Classes list.

The Announce Online Writing Classes list notifies subscribers of around 25 to 35 workshops available each month. Most tutorials are sponsored by Romance Writers of America chapters, but on occasion, other reputable teachers are handpicked too.

Interested? Subscribe by sending an e-mail

That rounds it up for another week. Congratulations to everyone who had good news to share this week. Don’t forget to support our bloggers.

Happy Reading

Sandie

Cruisin’ the Blog & Member News

SPECIAL NOTICES:

5DI Closes Midnight – MONDAY 31st January 2011

Following the success of the first 5 Day Intensive (5DI), Romance Writers of Australia, (RWA) is running another 5 Day Intensive (5DI) Manuscript Development Workshop in 2011. The aim is to help members to polish their manuscripts and hone their writing craft under the tutelage of a published author mentor. Selection and attendance at this program does not guarantee publication.

Entries are open from January 1, 2001 until midnight January 31, 2011 Please Note: Closing date is Midnight TOMORROW

See the 5DI page on the RWA website for details.

Thank you for joining us again for another week of blogs, events and news. Please take note of the 5DI information above, this is a fantastic opportunity for members.

RWA’s Group Grant Scheme open for applications on February 1st 2011. The closing date is February 28th 2011. Please email: groupgrants@romanceaustralia.com for more info.

Michael Hauge – The Story Mastery Seminar.

Are you looking for that one seminar or workshop that will put it all together for you and get your writing noticed?  Well 2011 is your lucky year and March is the month it will happen for you!

When: Saturday, 12th March 9:00am-5:00pm

Where: Aspire Hotel Ultimo Sydney http://www.aspirehotel.com/

Costs: Saturday only:  RWA Members $150; Non-members $200

Sunday only:  $250 (RWA Members only)

Saturday and Sunday: $375

Book online at: http://www.romanceaustralia.com/seminars.html

The North Queensland Writers Roadshow 28th May 2011

COSTS: (Including lunch, morning and afternoon teas)

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION

14th February – 31st March 2011

Cost:    One-day Seminar        $ 130  RWA Members

Cost:    One-day Seminar        $ 150  RWA Non-Members

The end of January is here, which means the first month of 2011 is done and dusted (well almost). So let’s get on with the another week of exciting news and fun blog spots with ‘Who’s Where and When and Who did What’. If you have any news you would like to share or have a blog event coming up you can email me anytime – cruisin@romanceaustralia.com

CRUISIN’ THE BLOG: ~

Where Our Members are Blogging ~

Christina Phillips ~

FRI 28th January – Christina is over at Novel Adventurers with Alli Sinclair, chatting about A Roman Romance and the historical background to her Forbidden series. There’s a giveaway of Forbidden or Captive for one lucky commenter.

WED 2nd February – Christina is blog-swapping with Harlequin Mills and Boon author Michelle Styles – where there’s a giveaway of either Forbidden or Captive up for grabs. Michelle, meanwhile, is taking over Christina’s blog, chatting about her Roman Undone A Perfect Concubine, with a copy for one lucky commenter.

THU 3rd February – Christina’s visiting RR@H Novel Thoughts & Book Talk – with a giveaway of Forbidden.

THU 3rd February – Christina is also partying over at the Dark Side DownUnder blog – with yet another giveaway.

FRI 4th February – Christina is being interviewed by Rita at Not Another Romance Blog – with a giveaway of either Forbidden or Captive for one lucky commenter.

SAT 5th February – Christina is taking part in Monica Burns’ Pleasure Me With Romance blog party – where’s there’s a signed copy of Captive for one lucky commenter.

Dark Side DownUnder ~

TUES 2nd February  – Good News Day

WED 3rd February – Winner announced for H.C.’s giveaway

–  Part Two of a four-part series on World Building with Kylie Griffin.

THUR 4th February – Magic Thursday (with giveaway) – Christina Phillips with Captive.

SAT 6th February – Darklight On…Denise Rossetti!

Kylie Griffin ~

SAT 29th January – Sci-fi & Sci-Fi Romance Blogs – the last in the blog-link series.

MON 31st January – GUEST AUTHOR: Amanda Ashby – YA author of Queen of Newbury High. She shares her insights about writing and gives us a sneak peek at her upcoming release, FAIRY BAD DAY.

THURS 3rd February – Who’s That Girl? interview with Julieann Thomas – RWNZ writer who enjoys reading and writing military romances.

SAT 5th February – Which hero turns the pages for you? – a look at hero archetypes.

*There are some give-away goodies in store for readers in Kylie’s February line up of blog posts – KING ROLEN’S KIN trilogy from Rowena Cory Daniells, 4 special Valentine’s Day prizes and an e-copy of a SCENT OF A MAN from Maree Anderson up for grabs!

Novel Adventurers ~

Christina Phillips will be visiting the Novel Adventurers this week and blogging about her love of history and how she researched her ancient historical romances. And as a special treat, Christina will give away a copy of FORBIDDEN or CAPTIVE to one lucky commenter. Come on over!

Tracey O’Hara ~

MON 31st January – Tracey starts her blog tour with a visit to  A Great Read

TUE 1st February – Tracey makes her way over Tynga’s Reviews for a chat

TUE 1st February – A busy day for Tracey as she also drops by Book Chick City

WED 2nd February – Tracey spends some time on the Dark Faerie Tales blog.

THU 3rd February – Tracey is visiting Wicked Little Pixie. Gotta love that name.

THU 3rd February – Another big day for Tracey with a visit also to Paperback Dolls

FRI 4th February – Tracey visits the Fantasy and Paranormal review site Literary Escapism for a chat.

SAT 5th February – News, Reviews & Interview site FICTIONALL invite Tracey to join them for a chat. Check out the copy of Tracey’s cover of Death’s Sweet Embrace on their site.

SUN 6th February – Tori from the Book Faery has Tracey as her guest

RWAus Blog ~

Excitement in the blog camp with a new member joining our team. Sandra Harris steps into the new roll as our Hearts Talk Archives blogger. Watch out for Sandra’s Article Archives on the last Monday of each month.

MON 31st January – Sandra Harris – Hearts Talk Archives – Subgenre in Focus with Erica Hayes.

WED 2nd February – Jenn J McLeod – Face 2 Face with … North Queensland Romance Writers

THU 3rd February – Dana Fletcher-Scully – Michael Hauge – The Story Mastery Seminar

FRI 4th February  – Suz Hamilton  – A Day in the Writing Life of … Robyn Grady

SAT 5th February – Eleni Konstantine – Feburary HT Wrap-up

Member who Blog Regularly ~

Sami Lee

Sandie Hudson

Sara Hantz

Suzanne Brandyn

Suzi Love

Tamara Gill

Blogs of Interest ~

NOTE: If you come across a blog you think will interest our members drop me a line with the details.

Book Ends LLC ~

What’s on Jessica Faust want list? Find out here with her ‘Excited for Something New’ post.

The Blood-Red Pencil ~

Dani Greer chats about ‘Writer’s Block’ and the tools she used to overcome this problem.

Editorial Anonymous ~

I love this site and find it really hard to pick one or two posts to read, so I suggest you scroll down or check out the EA side bar for great information.

MEMBER’S CONTESTS and GIVEAWAYS: ~

Anna Campbell ~

December/January 2011 – Backlist Bounty for the New Year!

Anna is offering  TEN lucky people a chance to win an Anna Campbell novel of their choice. If you’re unsure, please visit Anna’s books page where you’ll find covers, blurbs, and excerpts to tempt you. Just email Anna and tell her which book you’d like and why and you’re in the draw. Having all Anna’s novels I can assure you, you don’t want to miss this chance.

The contest closes 31st January 2011.

Annie West ~

Annie is starting 2011 off with a Royal-Theme to her contest. Annie says whether you’re a fan of Cinderella stories or just a lover of romance, you’ll find something in her Royal Seduction Contest to tempt you.

The winner will receive:

A signed copy of Annie’s new release ‘Protected By The Prince’, plus

‘Seduced by the Prince’, an anthology of three royal stories:

‘The Prince’s Pleasure’ by Robyn Donald

‘Charming The Prince’ by Laura Wright

‘Royally Pregnant’ by Barbara McCauley

This contest runs until 9th February 2011 Australian Eastern Standard time. For more information, drop by Annie’s, contest page.

Denise Rossetti ~

What to do: Email me (well Denise) with the title of Book #3 of the Four-Sided Pentacle Series. That’s it!
The Prize: Your choice – an electronic copy of any of my Ellora’s Cave books or an autographed copy of one of my Berkley books.
Closes: Sunday 13 Feb 2011

MEMBER’S NEWS: ~

STALI Results ~

As ranked by Dianne Moggy of Harlequin congratulations go to

1st Place- Suzanne Webb (Manuscript requested)

2nd place- Rachael Blair

3rd place- Natalie Hatch

4th place- Jo McAlister

5th place- Christine Taylor

6th Place- Diane Curran

Congratulations to all our winners and those who placed, you all deserve to be proud of your achivements.

Single Title Emerald 2nd Round Placegetters ~

Janice Bridges

Michelle de Rooy (x2)

Vanessa Garbin

Fiona Gregory

Suzanne Hamilton

Iona Jones

Leisl Leighton

Havva Murat-Maksuti

Rebecca Sampson

Rebecca Skrabl

Christine Taylor

Gabrielle Wade-Steiner

Suzanne Webb

Congratulations everyone and the best of luck with the second round.

Nalini Singh ~

The Book Binge reviewed Nalini’s novel Archangel Consort with Casee giving it a 4.5 out of 5 rating. Fantastic news Nalini.

Rowena Cory Daniells ~

Woohoo!  Rowena Cory Daniells fantasy, THE KING’S BASTARD (Bk 1 in the KING ROLEN’S KIN trilogy), has been nominated for a David Gemmell Legend Award for Fantasy – you can vote for your fave fantasy book here

More to add to Rowena Cory Daniells news – THE KING’S BASTARD has also been nominated for a Ravenheart Award for best fantasy cover (Thanks to Kylie Griffin for sharing this fantastic news)

Congrats & way to go, Rowena!

Susy Rogers ~

Susy won the mainstream with romantic elements category of the Golden Palm Contest. To top it off Lucy Childs of the Aaron Priest agency has requested a partial of Naked Choke. WOOHOO Suzy, congratulations.

Tracey O’Hara ~

DEATH’S SWEET EMBRACE Released on 25/01 and is getting rave reviews on the internet. Here are a few –

Preternatural Reviews ~ received an Excellent rating of 3.5 stars out a 4.

Larissa’s Life ~ Larissa says she’s really looking forward to Book 3 and gave Death’s Sweet Embrace 4.5 starts.

Night Owl Paranormal ~ Reviewer Talina says she wants more of Tracey O’Hara and her Dark Brethren Series and give Death’s Sweet Embrace 4.5 stars

Paranormal Romance.Org ~

Reviewed by J.M. Schuler and described as an edge of the seat, suspenseful urban fantasy that any thriller, mystery or romance reader will be happy to add to their library.

A great week Tracey with fantastic reviews. Congratulations and very much deserved.

CONTESTS for 2011 ~

Our RWA 20 11 contest season is quickly coming to an end if you haven’t entered any of the contests so far we have only three left. Check the closing dates below.

Litt le Gem ~

Theme Gem for 2011: Garnet

Opens: 25th Dec 2010

Closes: 4th Feb 2011 CLOSES THIS FRIDAY AT Midnight EDST

First Kiss ~

Opens: Friday 31st December 2010

Closes: Friday 11th February 2011

Valerie Parv Award

Opens:  Friday February 25, 2011

Closes: Friday April 8th, 2011

See website for details.

UPCOMING EVENTS: ~

Saturdays 5 February to 17 April
A Year of Novel Writing Phase One: Novelist’s Boot Camp ~ Alan Mills
When: 9:30am–12:30pm
Where: NSW Writers’ Centre
Cost: $640 M, $545 MC, $900 NM

FMI + Bookings: NSW Writers’ Centre
Sunday 6 February
Writing Dramatic Dialogue ~ John Harman
When: 9:30am–4:30pm
Where: Grevillea Room, University of WA
Cost: $169
FMI + Bookings: University of WA

Wednesday 9 February

A Night of Romance with Anna Campbell at Noosa Library

When: 6:30pm, 9th February, 2011

Where: Noosa Library, Wallace Park, Wallace Drive, Noosaville

Cost: Free (refreshments will be served)

FMI + Bookings: Ph: (07) 5442 4411 or Sunshine Coast Council

Thursday 10 February

Writing Romance ~ Anne Gracie

When: 10:30pm–1:30pm

Where: Dandenong Library Meeting Room, Vic.

Cost: Free

FMI + Bookings: Event Brite OR phone 1300 630 920

Monday 14 February

Library Lovers Day: Introduction to Romance Writing ~ Annie West & Cathleen Ross

When: 2:00 – 3:30pm

Where: Miranda Library 31 Wandella Rd

Cost: $5.00 afternoon tea will be provided to all attendees.

Unleash your inner Romeo and Juliet with the help of talented romance authors Annie West & Cathleen Ross. Bring along a pen, notepad and amorous imagination!

FMI: Please call Miranda Library on 9524 8217 to book a space, as numbers are limited.

Saturdays 19 February to 25 June
Popular Fiction ~ PD Martin
When: 10:00am–4:00pm
Where: Victorian Writers’ Centre
Cost: $600 M, $560 MC, $670 NM
Booking deadline: 2 February, 2011
FMI + Bookings: Victorian Writers’ Centre OR (03) 9094 7855

Sunday 19 February

Make Your Novel a Page Turner ~ Paula Vince

When: 10:00am–1:00pm

Where: SA Writers’ Centre

Cost: $55 M, $77 NM

FMI + Bookings: email OR (08) 8223 7662 OR SA Writers’ Centre

Sunday 19 February

Writing an Effective Synopsis ~ Sarah Rosetti

When: 1:00pm–4:00pm

Where: KSP Writers’ Centre, WA

Cost: $25 M, $40 NM

FMI + Bookings: KSP Writers’ Centre, WA OR email OR phone (08) 9294 1872

Saturday 19 February

Activate your passivity: the uses and abuses of the passive voice ~ Charlotte Clutterbuck

When: 10:00am–5:00pm

Where: ACT Writers’ Centre

Cost: $108 M, $90 MC, $168 NM

FMI + Bookings: ACT Writers’ Centre OR phone (02) 6262 9191

Friday 25 February

Love a Good Romance with Anna Campbell and Amy Andrews

When: 6:30pm, Friday, 25th February, 2011

Where: Arana Hills Library, 63 Cobbity Crescent, Arana Hills

Cost: Free (refreshments will be served)

FMI + Bookings: (07) 3351 3401 or Arana Hills Library

Saturday 26 February

Love a Good Romance with Anna Campbell and Amy Andrews

When: 10.00am, Saturday, 26th February 2011

Where: Albany Creek Library, 16 Ferguson St, Albany Creek

Cost: Free (refreshments will be served)

FMI + Bookings: (07) 3264 5267 or Albany Creek Library

Saturday 5 March

The Business of Being a Writer ~ Judith Ridge, Angelo Loukakis, Steven Miller, & Guests

When: 10:00am–5:00pm

Where: NSW Writers’ Centre

Cost: $105 M, $90 MC, $150 NM

FMI + Bookings: NSW Writers’ Centre

Saturday 12 March

Michael Hauge – The Story Mastery Seminar.

When: 9:00am-5:00pm

Where: Aspire Hotel Ultimo Sydney

Costs: Saturday only:  RWA Members $150; Non-members $200

Sunday only:  $250 (RWA Members only)

Saturday and Sunday: $375

Book online at: RWAustralia/Seminars

Saturday 19 March

Writing Popular Fiction ~ Helene Young

When: 10:00am–4:00pm

Where: Thuringowa Library, 86 Thuringowa Drive (corner of Hinchinbrook Drive), Thuringowa Central, Qld

Cost: $85 M, $75 MC, $115 NM

Booking deadline: Friday 4 March

FMI + Bookings: Queensland Writers’ Centre OR phone (07) 3842 9922

ONLINE Events

Julie Rowe, a 2006 Golden Heart double finalist, moderates the Announce Online Writing Classes list.

The Announce Online Writing Classes list notifies subscribers of around 25 to 35 workshops available each month. Most tutorials are sponsored by Romance Writers of America chapters, but on occasion, other reputable teachers are handpicked too.

Interested? Subscribe by sending an e-mail

That rounds it up for another week. Congratulations to everyone who had good news to share this week. Don’t forget to support our bloggers.

Happy Reading

Sandie

July Hearts Talk

The latest edition of Hearts Talk is here. This is available only to members, but here is a little peek….

R*BY Finalists!!

Short Sweet

Sharon Archer – Single Father: Wife and Mother Wanted

Sharon Archer – Marriage Reunited: Baby on the Way

CC Coburn – Colorado Christmas

Emily Forbes –  Wanted: A Father for Her Twins

Short Sexy

Amy Andrews  – A Doctor, A Nurse: A Christmas Baby

Robyn Grady – Bedded by Blackmail

Kelly Hunter – Playboy Boss, Live-in Mistress

Tessa Radley – Billion-Dollar Baby Bargain

Long Romance

Sophia James – Mistletoe Magic

Stephanie Laurens – Temptation and Surrender

Stephanie Laurens – Mastered by Love

Christine Wells – Wicked Little Game

Romantic Elements

Fleur McDonald – Red Dust

Tracey O’Hara – Night’s Cold Kiss

Bronwyn Parry – Dark Country

Katherine Scholes – The Hunter’s Wife

For full article, go to our website. For members only.

The Natural Order of Things by Nikki Logan

As an author, it’s not enough to assume that your engagement with your story will translate to readers. Ask anyone who’s had a low competition score or a stinging rejection whether they lacked interest in their story. They didn’t.

If you want readers to buy your characters’ emotion you have to make them feel it.

For full article, go to our website. For members only.

Conference Update – Pitching to Jennifer Schober?

Jennifer shares her pitch preferences.

“I look for a really strong story with amazing characters and a fresh vibrant hook. When someone is pitching in person, I look for their ability to articulate the story they are pitching and I also look for an author that ‘knows’ her market, and how her work fits into the market. I love enthusiasm for the work too… through experience I have found that authors that are enthusiastic for their work tend to reach me more in their writing. What turns me off is not knowing what I am taking, what I represent and pitching work that is not complete. Always research the agent by way of their website to see the most up to date and credible info on what they are looking for.”

Thanks to Tracey O’Hara for sharing part of her interview with Jenn Schober. For full interview: http://lovecatsdownunder.blogspot.com/2010/06/interview-with-jennifer-schober-of.html

Silver Auction – Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation

Please donate items for auction at Sun, Surf & Sizzle—RWA 2010 Conference Silver auction/raffle hybrid to raise money for the cancer that takes one Australian woman every 10 hours.

| giftware | services | book packs | tools | character in next release | hamper | crits| lunch with the author

Please present items in silver and with full description and bring to conference with you.

Contact nikki@nikkilogan.com.au for more info or to let her know you’re donating something.

Writers’ Weekends by Emily Gee

Writing is a solitary pursuit—it’s just you and your laptop and the characters in your head—so why not take a little time out from your routine and go on a writers’ weekend? The company of other writers for a few days can be invigorating and productive—and an opportunity to laugh a lot!

I’ve participated in two different types of writers’ weekends; for simplicity’s sake, let’s call them type 1 and type 2. They’re quite different in terms of what we set out to achieve, but they’re both all about writing and they’re both loads of fun.

For full article, go to our website. For members only.

That’s A Wrap: Romancing The Novel. The Adelaide Roadshow by Helen Katsinis

Romancing the Novel, the second Adelaide Roadshow event promised to be an exciting day and it didn’t disappoint. It was a roaring success!

Over 40 people gathered at the SA Writers’ Centre on the 15th May to have a day of talkingshop. Bliss! People who understand the passion for writing. Double bliss! People who did not think it strange I have voices in my head—priceless!

For full information, go to our website. For members only.

Romance in Ancient & Unusual Historical Periods by Christina Phillips

Historical romance is alive, well and hot! But is there a market for this sub-genre outside of the enormously popular Regency era and the increasingly popular Victorian period? Do agents want authors who write in more unusual time frames and are editors buying romances set in ancient civilizations?

OK, but what exactly is an Ancient Historical Romance?

Very broadly speaking, ancient history is often referred to the period known as Classical Antiquity, the beginning of recorded Greek history in about 776 BC. By happy chance this roughly coincides with the traditional founding of Rome in 753 BC. Western scholars use the fall of the Roman Empire in AD 476 as the end of ancient European history and the start of the Middle Ages.

For full article go to our website. For members only.

Helen Bianchin’s Amazing Writerly Life by Marion Lennox

This month, breathless with awe, I’m talking to someone I suspect is Australia’s best loved romance writer, about her truly amazing writer’s life.

Helen, your first novel, The Willing Heart, was published in 1975. Can you tell us what was the impetus to sit down and write.

I guess you could say … A very different slant on life from my very normal upbringing in New Zealand. At age 21, I embarked on a working holiday to Australia, beginning with Melbourne, working there for over a year to fund a trip that encompassed several states before finishing up in Cairns with the intention to find work to fund the final leg to Sydney and then home. Instead I ended up in the tobacco farming community of Mareeba where I met and married my Italian husband … and my life took a 180 degree turn from legal secretary to sharefarmer’s wife, cooking for men during the season, rearing chickens, stringing tobacco, becoming acquainted with Italian, Yugoslav, Greek, Albanian friends, observing their differing cultures, and the number of arranged and convenient marriages where like and friendship came first, and burgeoned into love after marriage. It took a few years and a return to New Zealand before the idea to write a book was born.

For full article go to our website. For members only.

Of course don’t forget our regular columns:

From the Prez with Alison Ahearn

Market Watch with Pam Collings

Contest Page with Deb Bennetto

The Last Word with Christina Phillips

Member News & Releases with Rachel Blair

Member Spotlights with Doreen Sullivan – This month featuring Leisl Leighton

Events Calendar with Doreen Sullivan

Practicalities, Technicalities with Michelle Wood – This month featuring Emily Gee’s article (as above)

Ask Auntie Fi with Fiona Lowe

For full columns, go to our website. For members only.

Enjoy!!

Not a member? Please view our sample issue from February 2010.

You can join to receive our wonderful monthly newsletter.  Please go to our Join RWA page on our website for details.


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