The Australian Romance Readers Conference

This past weekend in Canberra was my first attendance at ARRA’s biennial conference. I was starry-eyed with the joy of being amidst romance readers and writers – ALMOST as starry-eyed as I was attending my first RWA conference in Sydney last August! Congratulations to all the winners, including Kylie Scott who was voted Australia’s favourite romance author. Click here for the complete list of winners.

Event highlights for me included:

  • Listening to the keynote addresses by Helene Young, Victoria Dahl, Sylivia Day and Kerry Armstrong.
  • Attending all the historical romance panels featuring Anne Gracie, Anna Campbell, Christina Brooke, Beverley Eikli, Ann Stuart, Suzi Love and Alyssa James (I confess to an ongoing love affair with all romances historical, but the panels on contemporary romance and rural romance were just as amazing).
  • Viewing the beautiful dresses and bling on display as the Roaring Twenties took over the Awards dinner (as well as those paraded earlier in the day).
  • Discovering and meeting new authors including the opportunity to spend the Gala Awards dinner in the company of Jennie Jones, Alissa Callen and Alison Butler.
  • Catching up with RWA member Eleni Konstantine who held the fort at the RWA stand with grace all weekend, with help from fellow committee members Diane Curran, Leisl Leighton and Imelda Evans.
  • Witnessing the generosity of RWA members including Nikki Logan (who sponsored the real coffee kiosk) and Imogene Nix (who sponsored the Romantic Suspense Award).
  • Hearing Tony Nash, CEO of Booktopia, say that they three sold three million books last year, of which 400,00 were romance titles. Doesn’t that make your heart sing?

However, the play of the weekend goes to Rachael Johns. At the awards dinner, Janette Radevski stabbed the chocolate biscuit casing of her desert with her fork, only to watch in horror as it flew up and off her plate at great speed. No worries if your dining companions include Rachael. She shot out a hand, caught the pudding deftly and placed it gently back down on Janette’s plate. Where, oh where, is a video camera when you need one?! It would seem the winning awards (Sexiest Hero) and saving deserts are all in a night’s work for this multi-tasker 🙂

Photo Gallery

Fashion Parade

Panellistsgala dinner

RWA stand and Nikki Logan coffee kiosk

Cruisin’ with RWA

Welcome back for another edition of Cruisin with RWA. It’s been a busy week out there in the world of publishing with champagne corks popping merrily at the announcement of new contracts and new releases. Congratulations to all our members on their achievements this week.

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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

Juliet has signed with literary agent Joelle Delbourgo.

Phillipa’s third book coming out in January 2014 with Momentum, titled FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY

Danielle is excited to advise that her first YA paranormal romance manuscript THE ERLANIS CHRONICLES: OF FIRE AND ROSES has been contracted by Evernight Teen with a projected electronic release date of December 2013.

Khloe has signed her ninth contract, the first with Evernight Publishing, for JAGUAR SECRETS set in Ceduna, South Australia and due for release in December 2013.

Who would have thought saving a stray cat could change your whole life? Yet that is exactly what happens when Cammi saves a black kitten from under a jetty.

Suzi is excited to announce brand new covers and edits for THE VISCOUNT’S PLEASURE HOUSE and EMBRACING SCANDAL now available on Amazon, Smashwords etc.

Shannon’s third book in her romantic suspense series, the McCormack Security Agency series, FOR HER EYES ONLY was released by Carina Press on November 4.

Sara is thrilled to announce the release of her YA IN THE BLOOD

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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.

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.

After a vegetable side dish your family will scoff down? Then Friday Feast is your destination. Australian romance author Dakota Harrison is celebrating the release of her second novel BREATHLESS with a potato recipe everyone will adore. Easy to make so more time for you to read. Yes, we know our priorities on Friday Feast!

November 5 – GOOD NEWS DAY with Kylie Griffin

November 6 – A BITE OF… With Nicola E. Sheridan’s WARLORD’S LADY

November 7 – MAGIC THURSDAY – Mel Teshco on the Magic of Publication

November 9 – Darklight on TBA

November 4 – Musa Monday with Sharon Ledwith on the 6 sales points for authors

November 6 – Writerly Wednesday – short fiction & edits

chats about 50 Books You Can’t Put Down to author Anna Romer (Thornwood House)

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

November12 – GUEST AUTHOR: Maggie Munday – one of our newly published authors.

November16 – SATURDAY SEVEN (My Lady Quicksilver) – Seven paragraphs from a favourite book from my shelves.

November 5 – SARA News with Eleni Konstantine

November 8 – UP CLOSE with Virginia Taylor

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

November 16 – Spotlight on Writers – all the way from Florida USA, Joanne Tailele

To celebrate the November 1 release of TEARING THE SHROUD, JM is having a month-long blog tour.

Ever wondered what goes on behind closed doors with your fellow authors? My new interview series gets up close and personal with authors to talk about the place they call home, their pets, what they’d take with them if they had to evacuate, what they’d serve us for dinner and what books and movies they’d like to enjoy. The first author to invite me over for a visit is author of THE YEARNING, Kate Belle.

has S.E Gilchrist visiting her blog.

is having a blog tour and there’s a Kindle up for grabs if you’d like to enter. Aus/NZ are eligible as well as US/UK.

November 1 – Meet Escape Author J M Bray – this is a story you won’t want to miss!

November 4 – Phoenix Johnson with a post on The Lost Art of Wooing

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. Kylie Griffin
  2. Life, Luv ‘n Laughs
  3. The Scarlet Quill
  4. Roxanne Knight
  5. Sultry Scribes
  6. Victoria Purman

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Have a great week from the Cruisin’ Chauffeurs.

Riding the Waves Conference Spotlight ~ Panel: The Shark in Your Story

Welcome to a conference spotlight from the Riding the Waves conference!

Today we have Shannon Curtis, Sandy Curtis, Bronwyn Parry and Helene Young who will be presenting their panel

THE SHARK IN YOUR STORY.

 BiosShannon Curtis (681x1024)

Shannon Curtis has worked in diverse roles such as office admin manager, customer service rep, logistics supervisor, distribution coordinator, dangerous goods handler,  event planner, switch bitch and betting agent, and decided to try writing a story like those she loves to read when she found herself at home after the birth of her first child. Now she spends entirely too much time daydreaming about hunky heroes and malicious murders – for her books, of course! She loves reading, loves writing, and loves hearing from her readers, so visit her at www.shannoncurtis.com and say hi!

Sandy CurtisSandy Curtis lives on Queensland’s Central Coast, not far from the beach where she loves to walk and think about the complex plots, hunky heroes and gutsy heroines in her novels. Her novels have been nominees in the Ned Kelly Crime Awards and two were finalists in the mainstream section of the Romantic Book of the Year Award. Her latest book, Fatal Flaw, is published by Clan Destine Press, and all her novels are available as ebooks from Amazon Kindle and Clan Destine Press. Sandy also organises WriteFest, the Bundaberg writers festival. You can find out more about Sandy’s books at http://sandycurtis.com/blog/

Bronwyn-Parry-small-3

Bronwyn Parry writes gritty romantic suspense inspired by the dramatic landscapes and resilient people of rural and outback Australia. A Golden Heart and ARRA winner and RITA and R*BY finalist, Bronwyn’s fourth novel will be published in September 2013. Despite writing about murder and crime, Bronwyn lives peacefully on 100 acres of beautiful bushland with her husband and two energetic border collies and loves to travel in Australia’s wild places.

Helene Young 2012 Author photo by Charlotte Rose (LR)Helene Young, grew up reading Enid Blyton Mysteries. While she’s moved on from the Five Find-Outers and Dog she hasn’t lost her love of suspense and intrigue. Twenty-two years later she’s a Captain with Australia’s largest regional airline, juggling flying and writing.  Her first book, Wings of Fear, won the prestigious R*BY award in 2011, and Favourite Romantic Suspense Novel, 2010. Shattered Sky, her second book, won Favourite Romantic Suspense Novel, 2011 and recently won the 2012 R*BY.

Burning Lies, the third and final book in her Border Watch series and set on the Atherton Tablelands, is out now.

Tell us about yourself in 10 words or less.

We’re Australian Romantic Suspense authors passionate about writing memorable villains!

Have you presented sessions at previous conferences, for RWA or other organisations? 

We’ve all presented sessions at previous conferences and all run workshops for writing organisations around Australia. We love writing and sharing that knowledge with other writers, both emerging and established. RWA conferences are a wonderful way to give back to the organization and help other writers on their creative journey.

What prompted you to put together this workshop for “Riding The Waves”?

Compelling villains make for another layer of depth in a story. If you can make your readers care about your villains, or at the very least empathize with their motivation, then you’ve created a memorable antagonist. We believe a great villain is the key to not only riveting Romantic Suspense but to any good story. We also believe that strong villains demand strong heroes and heroines for an epic good vs evil battle, and make readers care, so that by creating a great villain you feed the quality of your protagonists, as well as your overall plot.

Will there be hands-on exercises or audience participation?

We like to see our audiences work for the session *grin*

So, while it may be a panel, there’ll be plenty of interaction, loads of examples, some exercises, and opportunity to ask questions.

 

Which members will benefit most from this session?

Anyone who is writing a character in their stories who is an antihero, villain or antagonist will benefit from this discussion on how to bring out the best or worst in a character.

 

Any advice for conference first-timers?

 Jump right in and enjoy yourselves! Ask questions, chat to people next to you in the queue at breakfast, lunch and dinner, enjoy every minute of the weekend.

Make sure you go along to the session for new members at the start of conference as you’ll meet other writers who will become life long friends and it’s great to have some familiar faces at other sessions.

 

BurningLiesFrontCoverLR-201x300 Shannon Curtis - Guarding Jess                                                                                Fatal Flaw front cover Dead Heat

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

We’re all working on new novels for release later this year.

 

Half Moon Bay’ by Helene Young will be released in June 2013

Grevious Harm’, by Sandy Curtis is due out later in 2013

Shannon Curtis has several new projects in the pipe-line for 2013

‘Darkening Skies’ by Bronwyn Parry will be released early in 2014

 

Finally, we are so delighted you’re visiting us in Western Australia. Is there anything in particular you’re looking forward to seeing or doing while you’re here?

 Drinking some of those fantastic Margaret River wines!  And checking out the beautiful beaches, lapping up the wonderful WA ambience, and diving into Freo’s fascinating history!

 

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Thank you ladies!

Our next conference spotlight will be featured Saturday 16th March.

Riding the Waves Conference Spotlight ~ Shannon Curtis & Paula Roe

Welcome to a conference spotlight from the Riding the Waves conference!

Today we have Shannon Curtis and Paula Roe who will be presenting the workshop MASTER OR COMMANDER ~ Getting from Alpha Hole to Alpha Hero.

 BiosShannon Curtis (681x1024)

Shannon Curtis has worked in diverse roles such as office admin manager, customer service rep, logistics supervisor, distribution coordinator, dangerous goods handler,  event planner, switch bitch and betting agent, and decided to try writing a story like those she loves to read when she found herself at home after the birth of her first child. Now she spends entirely too much time daydreaming about hunky heroes and malicious murders – for her books, of course! She loves reading, loves writing, and loves hearing from her readers, so visit her at www.shannoncurtis.com and say hi!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Paula Roe is an experienced workshop presenter, devising and delivering workshops for RWA, Australian Romance Readers Association, community college, the NSW Writers Centre and local writing groups for the past 13 years.  She is a founding member of TWC Press, long-standing RWA member and contest judge with over a dozen contest wins and placings (including RBY finalist and ARRA’s Favourite Short Category Romance) and a conference and workshop favourite.  When she’s not writing for Harlequin Desire or plotting her fantasy or erotic romances, she’s designing websites.  You can find her at www.paularoe.com


Tell us about yourself in 10 words or less.

Shannon: I write dark, sexy, humorous romsus…because I like to.

Paula: fickle Gemini, short attention span, retainer of obscure facts, writer.

What prompted you to put together this workshop for “Riding The Waves”?

Shannon: Paula and I were on a flight to a – well, what do you know, a RWA conference (!) – and we were discussing how it was interesting with some heroes how they could be alpha and just so damn sexy, or they could be alpha and quite the ‘A-hole’, and how it was such a fine line. Then we started to analyse what that line was, and presto, here is the workshop!

Paula: what Shannon fails to tell you is after she made a stack of notes, that notebook then mysteriously disappeared in the black hole that is her house.  This is a frequent occurrence 😉

 

What will participants take away from this session? (OR what is the key outcome or take-home message?)

Participants will be able to identify when their hero is straying from “alpha hero” into “alpha hole” territory, and how to correct it.  Even better – how to prevent it.  This is getting characters past the cookie-cutter stage, and making these fantastic heroes even more heroic, and taking those dark traits that could normally be viewed as a negative and turning them into a positive to create characters that readers care about, engage with, and want to keep reading about.

 

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

We will be using examples from books, movies and TV shows – because sometimes it makes so much more sense when you see the Alpha Hero and the Alpha Hole in action. And we get to perve at some hunky material.  For educational purposes, you understand.

 

Which members will benefit most from this session?

Shannon: Any writer interested in making a great, strong hero who is confident, self-assured, master of who and what he surveys – without making him sound like a complete tosser. In essence, anyone who likes to write the alpha hero type. As opposed to a beta hero. That’s a whole other workshop! This workshop is designed for writers who want to craft characters that readers will not only love, but will want to talk about and dream over.  Maybe even squeal – but no guarantee on that one.

Paula: I have to add – this workshop doesn’t just talk about your contemporary billionaire alphas.  We aim to address alphas in all their natural settings!

 

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

Shannon:  It’s definitely the skill development. Learning something new – either about the craft or industry of writing – is always going to be beneficial.  And I love those “a-ha!” moments.

Paula: catching up with old friends and meeting new members!  Throughout my (many) years with RWA, I love seeing how we’ve grown into a large group of professional writers, seriously pursuing our love of writing and learning our craft.

 

9780373731992.indd

Shannon Curtis - Guarding Jess

Shannon Curtis - VipersKissCover

Websites 

paularoe.com

shannoncurtis.com

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Thank you, Shannon & Paula!

Our next conference spotlight will be featured on Monday 18th February.

RWA and the ARRA Awards

Yesterday the wonderful Australian Romance Readers Association published the list of finalists in their 2012 awards.

We are thrilled to see so many Romance Writers of Australia members among the finalists.  In some categories it’s ALL RWA members!  There are many well-loved authors here and quite a few appearing for the first time with their first book.  We’d like to congratulate all of them.

We’d also like to offer a big fat thank you to ARRA for supporting our Australian writers and readers of Romance.  Long may you flourish!

The list of finalists is below, but if you want to see the full post, including closing dates for voting and the covers in the cover competition, the post is HERE.

Here are the finalists. Congratulations everyone!

Favourite Paranormal Romance – proudly sponsored by Galaxy Bookshop

  • Archangel of Mercy – Christina Ashcroft
  • Archangel’s Storm – Nalini Singh
  • Blind Lust – Annie Seaton
  • Dead, Actually – Kaz Delaney
  • Kiss of the Goblin Prince – Shona Husk
  • Lothaire – Kresley Cole
  • Lover Reborn – JR Ward
  • Tangle of Need – Nalini Singh
  • The Danger with Sinners – Charity Parkerson
  • The Final Wish – Tracey O’Hara

Favourite Sci Fi, Fantasy or Futuristic Romance – proudly sponsored by Choc Lit

  • Alliance Forged – Kylie Griffin
  • Blood Kin – MJ Scott
  • Chaos Born – Rebekah Turner
  • Dragonfly – Erica Hayes
  • Fair Game – Patricia Briggs
  • Gunmetal Magic – Ilona Andrews
  • Lord’s Fall – Thea Harrison
  • Night Forbidden – Joss Ware
  • Shadow Bound – Rachel Vincent
  • Sin’s Dark Caress – Tracey O’Hara

Favourite Short Category Romance – proudly sponsored by Harlequin Australia

  • A Precious Inheritance – Paula Roe
  • Bed of Lies – Paula Roe
  • Cracking the Dating Code – Kelly Hunter
  • Defying Her Desert Duty – Annie West
  • Deserving of Her Diamonds – Melanie Milburne
  • Her Best Worst Mistake – Sarah Mayberry
  • Innocent Til Proven Otherwise – Amy Andrews
  • Suddenly You – Sarah Mayberry
  • The Cattleman’s Special Delivery – Barbara Hannay
  • Undone By His Touch – Annie West

Favourite Historical Romance – proudly sponsored by Carina Press

  • A Duchess to Remember – Christine Brooke
  • A Rogue By Any Other Name – Sarah MacLean
  • Bride By Mistake – Anne Gracie
  • Deadly Affair – Lucinda Brant
  • Gather the Bones – Alison Stuart
  • Keeper of the King’s Secrets – Michelle Diener
  • Mad About the Earl – Christina Brooke
  • Rake’s Honour – Beverley Oakley
  • Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed – Anna Campbell
  • The Ugly Duchess – Eloisa James

Favourite Contemporary Romance

  • Bella’s Run – Margareta Osborn
  • Heart of the Valley – Cathryn Hein
  • Hot for Fireman – Jennifer Bernard
  • Jilted – Rachael Johns
  • Rules are for Breaking – Imelda Evans
  • Sister Pact – Ali Ahearn and Ros Baxter
  • Somebody to Love – Kristan Higgins
  • Taming the Outback- Ann B Harrison
  • The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots – Loretta Hill
  • Zoe’s Muster – Barbara Hannay

Favourite Erotic Romance – proudly sponsored by eXtasy Books

  • A Touch of Confidence – Jess Dee
  • Ample Attraction – Melissa Craig
  • Bared to You – Sylvia Day
  • Chains of Revenge – Keziah Hill
  • Galactic Inferno – Mel Teshco
  • Love’s Rhythm – Lexxie Couper
  • Office Affair – Jess Dee
  • Red Hot – Ann B Harrison
  • The Dark Rose – Denise Rossetti
  • The Siren – Tiffany Reisz

Favourite Romantic Suspense – proudly sponsored by Love Books

  • Burning Lies – Helene Young
  • Celebrity in Death – JD Robb
  • Dead Heat – Bronwyn Parry
  • Delusion in Death – JD Robb
  • Drive Me to Distraction – Caitlyn Nicholas
  • Guarding Jess – Shannon Curtis
  • Hell on Wheels – Julie Ann Walker
  • Suspicious Ways – Lexxie Couper
  • The Witness – Nora Roberts
  • Wild Encounter – Nikki Logan

Favourite Continuing Romance Series – proudly sponsored by Harlequin Australia

  • Affair series – Annie Seaton
  • Black Knights Inc – Julie Ann Walker
  • Guild Hunters – Nalini Singh
  • In Death series – JD Robb
  • London Steampunk – Bec McMaster
  • McCormack Security series – Shannon Curtis
  • Ministry of Marriage – Christina Brooke
  • Party Games – Lexxie Couper and Rhian Cahill
  • Psy-Changelings – Nalini Singh
  • Speed series – Jess Dee

Favourite Australian Romance Author 2012 – proudly sponsored by Booktopia

  • Anna Campbell
  • Anne Gracie
  • Bec McMaster
  • Christina Brooke
  • Fiona Lowe
  • Kelly Hunter
  • Lexxi Couper
  • Margaret Osborn
  • Sarah Mayberry
  • Shona Husk

And for the Members’ Choice categories …

Best First Meeting Between Couple in a romance published in 2012

  • Bear Meets Girl – Shelly Laurenston
  • Crazy Love – Nicola Marsh
  • Defying Her Desert Duty – Annie West
  • Kiss of Steel – Bec McMaster
  • Portrait of A Scandal – Danielle Lisle
  • Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed – Anna Campbell
  • Taming the Tycoon – Amy Andrews
  • Undone by His Touch – Annie West

Best Love Scene from a romance published in 2012

  • A Touch of Confidence – Jess Dee
  • Bride by Mistake – Anne Gracie
  • Defying Her Desert Duty – Annie West
  • Kiss of Steel – Bec McMaster
  • Portrait of a Scandal – Danielle Lisle
  • Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed – Anna Campbell
  • Suddenly You – Sarah Mayberry

Favourite Cover from a romance published in 2012

  • Blood Kin – MJ Scott
  • Firelight – Kristen Callihan
  • Kiss of Steel – Bec McMaster
  • Lusting the Enemy by Mel Teshco
  • Office Affair – Jess Dee
  • Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed – Anna Campbell

Conference Spotlight ~ Romantic Suspense panel

Welcome to another of our Conference Spotlights from the DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER conference.


At Diamonds Are Forever,  Helene Young is moderating a panel aimed at ALL writers (especially those targeting the romantic suspense market) called

 LOVE IN THE FACE OF DANGER: ROMANTIC SUSPENSE


WORKSHOP BLURB:

Find out how far these writers have gone in pursuit of their stories, their tips on finding unusual sources and methods of research, and what publishing avenues exist in Australia for Romantic Suspense stories. Learn what makes Romantic Suspense different to Crime novels with love stories, and how to balance romance with suspense. Uncover which careers work best for the heroes and heroines and if there’s room for ordinary people doing extraordinary things.



Love In The Face of Danger panelists


Helene Young started reading mysteries and adventure stories as a child.  Her favourites were Enid Blyton novels. She has moved on from the Five Find-Outers and Dog, but hasn’t lost her love of suspense and intrigue. Twenty two years later she’s a Captain with Australia’s largest regional airline and writes action-packed Australian romantic suspense stories.

Her first book, Wings of Fear, won the prestigious 2011 R*BY award, and Favourite Romantic Suspense Novel, 2010. Shattered Sky, the second book in her Border Watch Series, won Favourite Romantic Suspense Novel, 2011.

Her third book, Burning Lies, will be released in July, 2012.


 Bronwyn Parry writes gritty romantic suspense inspired by the dramatic landscapes and resilient people of rural and outback Australia. Bronwyn grew up surrounded by books, with a fascination for places, people and their stories, and she’s now an occasional academic, passionate about the richness, diversity, and value of popular fiction. Despite writing about murder and crime and putting her characters through daunting experiences, she lives peacefully on 100 acres of beautiful bushland with her husband and two energetic border collies and loves to travel in Australia’s wild places.


Sandy Curtis lives on Queensland’s Central Coast, close to the beach where she loves walking and thinking about the complex plots, hunky heroes and gutsy heroines in her novels. Her novels have been nominees in the Ned Kelly Crime Awards and two were finalists in the mainstream section of the Romantic Book of the Year Award. Her latest book, Fatal Flaw, is published by Clan Destine Press, and all her novels are available as ebooks from Amazon Kindle and Clan Destine Press. Sandy also organises WriteFest, the Bundaberg writers festival. You can find out more about Sandy’s books at http://sandycurtis.com/blog/


Karlene Blakemore-Mowle writes romantic suspense for American publishers, Whiskey Creek Press, and Eternal Press, with three titles released this year.

Having lived in Mt Isa, Townsville and central NSW, Karlene now calls a small town on the mid-north coast, home. In between cleaning up after her husband and children, wishing she had a housekeeper, and stupidly volunteering for tuckshop duties, she’s happiest when left to think up exciting stories with a distinctive Australian flavour but set in locations around the world.

Karlene has an ongoing rivalry with alter ego Karly Lane who writes rural fiction for Allen & Unwin.


Shannon Curtis has worked in diverse roles such as office admin manager, customer service rep, logistics supervisor, distribution coordinator, dangerous goods handler, event planner, switch bitch and betting agent, and decided to try writing a story like those she loves to read when she found herself at home after the birth of her first child. Now she spends entirely too much time daydreaming about hunky heroes and malicious murders – for her books, of course! She loves reading, loves writing, and loves hearing from her readers, so visit her at www.shannoncurtis.com and say hi!



Tell us about yourself in 10 words or less.

We’re writers who love pushing our characters off the edge!



Have you presented sessions at previous conferences, for RWA or other organisations?

We’ve all been panelists before and four of the five of us regularly run workshops for writers. Sandy even runs her own festival in Bundaberg called WriteFest! Bronwyn and Helene are both presenting workshops at “Diamonds Are Forever.”  There’s something very special about being part of an RWA conference and sharing experiences with new and established writers alike.


What prompted you to put together this workshop for “Diamonds are Forever”?

Helene is certain Romantic Suspense is finally gathering momentum in Australia. Hachette Australia, Clandestine Press, and now Penguin Australia have all recognized the appeal of local settings. It’s important to spread the word and grow the genre even further by making new writers aware of the opportunities. Rural romances with suspense elements are topping bestseller lists so attending the session will be a great way to learn more about the genre and sub-genres.

 

Will there be hands-on exercises or audience participation?

We definitely want an interactive panel. Feel free to ask us anything about the genre and our writing journeys. While we’ll have some topics we want to talk about there will be plenty of question time. And Bronwyn Parry always has wonderful pearls of wisdom.


Which members will benefit most from this session?

The panel is for anyone who wants to know more about romantic suspense, but we’ll also be talking about our writing styles and habits and they are relevant to writers of all levels.  And we may be biased, but have you seen Shannon Curtis on a panel before?? Don’t miss it, the lady should be doing stand up comedy. *grin*


Any advice for conference first-timers?

Karlene’s advice for first timer is chat to everyone and anyone. We all have one thing in common – the love of stories  – so that makes it easy to start a conversation. And we’d also recommend taking advantage of all the wonderful opportunities RWA provides for new members. It gives you an instant team!


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

More details on Bronwyn Parry’s DEAD HEAT, can be found at bronwynparry.com

Find Sandy Curtis and FATAL FLAW at www.sandycurtis.com

Shannon Curtis will knock your socks off at http://www.shannoncurtis.com/index.html where you’ll find links to VIPER’S KISS.

Find more about Karlene Blakemore-Mowle and OPERATION WILLO QUEST at http://karlybm.blogspot.com.au/ or http://www.karlylane.com/books.html

Helene Young’s latest release is BURNING LIES and details can be found at http://www.heleneyoung.com



Thank you, ladies.


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Our next Conference Spotlight is with Rochelle Manners on 14th April.


Face 2 Face with…The Coven

October means Halloween and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate then with an interview with this months Face-2-Face Group ‘The Coven’.

GROUP NAME: The Coven
AREA/REGION: Inner and Western Sydney
MEMBERS & GENRES: A mix of published authors in romance, short stories, erotic romance and women’s fiction 

ABOUT THE COVEN
No, we don’t sit around a cauldron and conjure up spells from eye of newt. Jenny’s kids labeled us ‘The Coven’ because we tend to cackle a lot whenever we get together.  Of course, our talented artist and potter, Bernadette, then made these fabulous badges which have since become our logo.

We are a long-standing RWA group with some recent new additions. We meet once a month at Jenny’s house as this is the most convenient and central location for everyone as we all travel from far and wide – outer west and Blue Mountains, Randwick and inner west.  With Jenny and her you-beaut coffee machine, Judy supplying the Tim Tams, Paula usually whipping up dessert, and discussion of all things writing, it’s no wonder we laugh a lot.

                 

Our members are a wonderful and varied mix of genres, styles and experience:
Paula Roe, Jenny Brassel/JA Lesley, Maggie Nash, Shannon Curtis, Keziah Hill,   Bernadette Magee,  Judy Neumann & Kitty Bucholtz.

We try to keep our meetings fairly structured and they generally include a
presentation from whomever has chosen that month’s writing topic.  In the
past we’ve covered conflict, Facebook/social media, editing, plotting, marketing, structure, conference wrap ups and how-to book reviews… pretty much anything that will help us improve our writing.  We also swap reading and research books, discuss market and industry information and drink coffee.  A lot.

Last year we had a fabulous writing retreat in Katoomba and are planning another this month.  We are also developing The Writers Coven blog and with our cumulative knowledge of  writing, editing, publishing, formatting and cover design and marketing, we’re planning to publish an anthology in 2012.  No rest for the wicked!

The Coven is a registered face-to-face RWA group, and we mail/discuss/communicate via an online Google account.  We are a closed group at this time.  Any enquiries should go to Paula Roe paula@paularoe.com

Many thanks to Paula Roe and the other wonderful ladies for agreeing to take part. And don’t forget if you’re part of a writing group, whether it’s online or you meet in person, and you’d like to see yourselves on the RWA blog then email Jane Quick at f2f@romanceaustralia.com.

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