#amwriting – Kickass Heroines and Wise Women in the age after Buffy, Bella and Hermione

This is my second and last follow-up post to this past weekend’s fantastic HallowRead. Writers and readers, if you’re going to be in the Maryland area next year in mid-October, be sure to check out this awesome mini-con. Rachel Rawlings does an amazing job of organizing it!!


The other panel I participated in was the “Nevertheless, She Persisted” one (such a great title, aptly referring to both creators and characters). As with the indie panel, the actual discussion was more organic, but I’m sharing the quick notes I prepared because they’re already written and because several questions during the panel touched on these ideas.

I first started writing in the heyday of urban fantasy. There’s no doubt that heroines like Buffy, Bella, Hermione and many others have left their mark and are hard acts to follow. It was also a little unsettling when the market started to change and drift toward contemporary fiction. But change is constant and that’s the way of publishing. You have two choices: change genres or continue writing what you love. If you love paranormal characters (which I assume all of you do or you wouldn’t be here), then keep creating them!

But how?

Regardless of genre, your characters should be relatable, but unique. Kind of like your story. You want to give your readers something that feels familiar — something that’s the same as what they already love — but also different.

Sympathetic characters: when you work with characters who have special powers, they still need to feel human and vulnerable. Make sure their magic isn’t so powerful your character can’t be defeated. My main character has waning magic, which is super destructive. But she’s not immortal. She suffers pain and injuries. In the beginning of the series, she’s inexperienced and naive.

Growth arc: Readers like characters who learn from their mistakes and grow over time. It’s fun, for both writers and readers, to reflect on how much a character has changed over the course of a novel or series. In each book, I try to give Noon both external and internal growth opportunities. Her external growth occurs as a result of training and increased experience. Noon’s magic allows her to shape weapons out of fire. In Dark Light of Day, she has trouble shaping anything more complicated than a fireball and she has no control or aim. As the books and her magic progress, she gets better at shaping things. And her aim improves. For her internal growth, each book has posed a question: will she embrace her true self? Can she kill in cold blood? Will she give up control over her own destiny for the greater good? Can she survive something heartbreaking and unexpected?

Unique spin: even though your character needs to be relatable, they shouldn’t be a cookie-cutter version of every heroine that has come before. It’s okay to put a little bit of yourself in the character. I value wit and knowledge as much, if not more than, physical strength, so I made Noon smart. She still does dumb things, but I give her assignments, quests, and challenges that require her to use her intellect as much as her magic.

How about you? Are you working on a WIP with a kickass heroine, a wise woman, or both? What traits do you and your character share? How is she the same as every other woman? How is she different? What are her strengths? What are her vulnerabilities?

Make your character’s obstacles feel insurmountable… and then write her/your way through them.

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HallowRead 2017 – #horror #UF #steampunk #paranormal

I’ll be at HallowRead this weekend. If you’re going to be near Ellicott City, Maryland on Saturday, come see me!

What’s HallowRead?

HallowRead is a book festival and mini-con for authors and fans of Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Steam Punk and Horror.

Multi-author event with various activities throughout the weekend including:

Writing Workshops

Ghost Tour

SteamPunk Author Tea

Author Panels

Book Signings

Paranormal Investigation

… and so much more.

Hang out with your favorite authors in our host city, the haunted and historic town of Ellicott City, Maryland!

What will I be doing there?

I’ll be watching and participating in the panels (more info on the two panels I’m on below; for a full schedule, check out HallowRead’s website. Darynda Jones is doing the Keynote Speech at 3:00.)

Indie Uprising- 12:30 The crest and subsequent ebbs and flows of the Indie market. Best practices, tips and techniques for an ever changing industry. Moderated by Bryan Nowak, with Meg Eden, C.J. Ellisson, Jill Archer, J.A. Grier and Alex Owens

Nevertheless, She Persisted- 2:15 Writing kickass heroines and wise women in the age after Buffy, Bella and Hermione. Moderated by Rebecca Rivard. With Jill Archer, Katherine McIntyre, Kathy MacMillan, Heather Elizabeth King, Misty Simon and R.A. Boyd

I’ll also be at the book signing from 4:00-6:00. If CreateSpace cooperates and sends me my books in time, I’ll have copies of Pocket Full of Tinder there. I’ll definitely have copies of the first three Noon Onyx books. I’ll have some Halloween goodies and some bookish bling to give away. Hopefully, I’ll have my new Square credit card reader, although cash always works. 😀

If you already have a copy of one of my books, bring it. I’d love to sign it!

Hope to see you there!

More Info

October 20-21, 2017
Roger Carter Center
3000 Milltowne Drive
United States
Ellicott City, MD 21043

Ann Gimpel on Seasons of Change

Just got back from a long weekend in Florida. Terrific trip but the airports were nuts. One cancelled flight due to Niko, one delay to address a maintenance issue, another due to lightning in a connecting city… so Ann’s weather-related guest post is particularly timely. Stay safe, everyone!


“Weather is a potent element in fiction.”

I’m a four-season gal, myself. I like cold winters, balmy springs where things are coming alive again, and long, languid falls with that crispness in the air that promises winter is just around the corner. The only season I’m not crazy about is summer. I’ve never liked heat much, so thirteen years ago we moved to the mountains. The first few years were great, but the advent of climate change has brought ninety degree days to the High Sierra. I’m not terribly pleased about that, but there’s not much I can do, either. One good thing is that at eight thousand feet elevation where I live, it always cools off at night.

Weather is a potent element in fiction. It can actually be a character in its own right. I’ve written some books where the weather was one of the antagonists. Quite aside from that, there’s something delightful about misty, foggy moorlands. Or rainy, blustery days. Real people have to deal with weather, so story characters should have to as well. It makes the book seem more real, at least to me.

Writing convincingly about weather is a challenge. After all, how many ways can you describe a blizzard? It turns out, there are a whole bunch of them. And what a wonderful opportunity to show the reader watery eyes, shivers, frosty whiskers, and half-frozen fingers and toes. It’s impossible to write a whole book from a “show” perspective, plus it would be exhausting to read. But there are tricks that can make a manuscript come alive to a reader’s senses. Weather is one of them. Smell is another. The world smells different after a winter rain than it does after a gentle spring shower. Writers who pay attention to their surroundings come up with the best descriptions of how their characters react to elements in their environments. Maybe it’s clichéd, but Margaret Mitchell’s description of Atlanta burning in Gone With the Wind is amazing. I could almost smell the smoke reading it as a thirteen year old long after lights-out by flashlight under the covers.

I’m not quite old enough to remember when families gathered around the radio, because TV either hadn’t been invented, or was in its infancy. I have, however, listened to some old radio programs like Mystery Theater. Radio used a lot of sound effects, many of them weather-related. There was the patter of rain, the whoosh of wind, and people huffing and puffing against a storm in progress.

How about you? What’s your favorite season and why would you pick that one? Do you have a favorite book where the weather played a significant role?

More about Ann

Ann Gimpel is a USA Today bestselling author. A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Her longer books run the gamut from urban fantasy to paranormal romance. Once upon a time, she nurtured clients. Now she nurtures dark, gritty fantasy stories that push hard against reality. When she’s not writing, she’s in the backcountry getting down and dirty with her camera. She’s published over 45 books to date, with several more planned for 2017 and beyond. A husband, grown children, grandchildren, and wolf hybrids round out her family.

Website | Blog | Amazon Page | Facebook | @AnnGimpel

More about Ann’s Latest Release

edge-of-night-cover

Edge of Night

Here’s a roadmap to Edge of Night. Welcome to an eclectic collection of nine short stories.

You’ve done time at the edge of night. Nail-biting, stomach-churning time filled with hissing snarls, menacing growls, the whoosh of unnatural wings, and the flash of hellfire. Time that lasts forever, but is over within seconds because time becomes unpredictable in places like that. You don’t want to stay, but it’s too fascinating—in a grisly, macabre, toe-curling kind of way—to turn your back on.

You recognize it, though. The place just at the threshold of darkness where it’s not quite safe anymore. Evil broke its bounds at the edge of night, or maybe it always ran free and we’ve been deluding ourselves all along.

Join me for nine supernatural tales. Monsters, demons, gods—fallen and otherwise—ghosts, aliens. A touch of science fiction. More than a splash of romance. From magical lands to a chilling glance into the past, Edge of Night has something to tempt everyone. Everyone who craves danger, that is. It takes guts to read the stuff woven into nightmares.

It’s a tough job, but you’re up to it.

Welcome to my world. A world where magic holds court and the dude next door just might be a demon. Or a shifter. Or an alien.

Click here for information and buy links

edge-of-night-banner


Thank you for guest blogging today, Ann!

Pocket Full of Tinder, Jill Archer, Noon Onyx, paranormal, fantasy

Night Owl Reviews Pocket Full of Tinder – TOP PICK!

Pocket Full of Tinder is a Night Owl Reviews TOP PICK!

Pocket Full of Tinder does not disappoint. It has all that I have come to expect from Ms. Archer… action, character building, friends (what’s a good story without the side characters), demons, couples and an arc that will leave you saying… I need to read the next book now!!!

So thankful for everyone’s interest and support! 🙂

RELEASE DAY FOR POCKET FULL OF TINDER!

Last New Year’s I celebrated with a bunch of my friends and had a really great time, but I was still inwardly bummed about 2015 and vowed this year would be different. I picked two resolutions and promised myself no matter what I’d figure out how to accomplish them. The first was to finally self-publish already! I’d been talking about it for years and it felt like this gaping hole in my author resume. Everyone was self-publishing (or so it felt to me) and I was stuck on the sidelines. 2015 was the year I published nothing, which felt really crappy. (In my defense, I was still writing and submitting, but since the proposal we’d been shopping around didn’t sell, it felt like a wasted year writing-wise even though, if it were anyone else, I would tell them ABSOLUTELY NOT – that any and all time spent in the pursuit of your passion, or which could lead to paid written work, is time well spent and… blah blah blah. I published nothing in 2015 was all I could think about.)

My second 2016 New Year’s resolution? To get a bookish job so I could afford to self-publish the way I wanted to. I started working as a librarian this past June, which has been fantastic, but TODAY, with only two weeks to spare, my #1 goal for 2016 has been met. (Yay!)

If you haven’t already bought Pocket Full of Tinder, TODAY IS THE DAY! Forget about that midnight showing of ROGUE ONE. What you really want to be doing tonight is reading PFoT!

More reviews are trickling in…

Trinitytwo at The Qwillery gave the book a fantastic review (and there’s a separate giveaway for the book there too!):

There is something for everyone in Pocket Full of Tinder: magical skirmishes, romance, espionage, betrayal, death, and redemption… Noon Onyx is a great heroine… Although powerful and extremely badass, Noon’s decisions are tempered by an admirable degree of love and compassion. I appreciate that she has a great sense of humor, is fiercely loyal to her friends and that she has one heck of a stylist… Archer has taken the series to new heights… I am a big fan of this series and hope to read about Noon’s life and adventures for years to come.

Luna Lovebooks from One Book Two called the book:

Heartbreaking… uplifting… devastating… the best Noon novel yet.

and Gikany & Una at That’s What I’m Talking About said they were:

Thrilled to be back in this unique and fascinating world… The supporting characters are just as compelling as Noon… We cannot wait to see what happens next…

I’ll continue to share positive and mixed reviews that are sent to me. I cannot thank those who have already reviewed the book enough. I’m humbled and grateful for all the kind words.

If you received an ARC and haven’t yet posted a review, TODAY’S THE DAY to share your thoughts on Goodreads, Amazon, and wherever else you hang out online.

If you pre-ordered, or buy the book today, please try to post a review by this weekend. Reviews help keep Amazon’s search algorithm juiced. I’d love to see if I can break into the Top 100 in the Fantasy New Adult category. (Is that even possible with this book? I don’t know! It’s been on pre-order for longer than it should have been, it’s a fourth book in a series where the first book is the highest priced one in the series, there’s been two years in between the last book and this one… basically, if I can break the Top 500 in my Amazon category it would be a Christmas miracle. I think in the time it took to write this post, my rank actually went down. So, for the record, if my rank tanks I’m still going to stubbornly consider this release a success because – hello?! – didn’t you read paragraph one? 😀 )

THANK YOU TO EACH OF YOU for all the shares, likes, tweets, posts, purchases, and reviews. No one can launch a book alone. I’m so grateful for your enthusiasm and support.

Jill Archer, Noon Onyx, fantasy, new adult, paranormal

FOR PRINT COPIES: CREATE SPACE eSTORE

FOR DIGITAL COPIES: Amazon | iTunes | Kobo | Nook


Release Day Blitz!

A bunch of bloggers agreed to help me spread the word about today’s release. They’ll be sharing excerpts, teasers, Q&As, and chances to win my release day giveaway: a $25 Amazon eGC + a signed set of Noon Onyx books. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada. To see the list of participating bloggers, click here. For my complete giveaway rules, click here. And to stay up to date on all of the Bewitching Book Tours blog posts, spotlights, and reviews, click here.

POCKET FULL OF TINDER: #GoodreadsGiveaway

Want a chance to win one of ten signed advance copies of Pocket Full of Tinder? Then enter the Goodreads giveaway!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Pocket Full of Tinder by Jill Archer

Pocket Full of Tinder

by Jill Archer

Giveaway ends December 01, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

In other news:

Saw Doctor Strange this weekend. Thought it was great. I’m not sure it was as cerebral as some reviewers have said (ahem, EW, I’m looking at you), but I do love a good origin story. Visually, it reminded me of Inception and Insurgent).

Also watched the first two episodes of Timeless, which was good. E loved it. I’m interested enough to keep watching.

If you’re doing NaNo this month – GOOD LUCK!!!

And… if you live in the U.S. (you know where I’m going with this last bit, right?) – Don’t forget to vote tomorrow! I can’t imagine that anyone who follows this blog won’t, but I have, on occasion, talked to people who have a false belief that their vote won’t count. Huh? Every vote counts. If you have a right to vote – exercise it. The fact that you live in a non-battleground state, the fact that you think your voice will be better heard online than in the voting box, or the fact that you’re fed up with this election aren’t good excuses. Vote!

Tomorrow, Penny, E, and I will be home watching CNN. On Wednesday, I’ll have the fabulous Suzanne Johnson here, who will be discussing the worldbuilding in her Sentinels of New Orleans series. Belle Chasse, the penultimate book, releases tomorrow, so pre-order now!

Best wishes for Monday, all!

Pocket Full of Tinder Pre-Order Links (#Fantasy #Paranormal)

I have pre-order links for Noon Onyx #4!

Pre-Order on Amazon

Pre-Order on iTunes

Pre-Order on Kobo

The digital version is $3.99 and the print version will be $12.99. That digital price is the lowest price of any book in the series so, even if you haven’t yet read a Noon Onyx book, I’m hoping it’s an easy entry price. Yes, I know it’s not $0.99 — and it likely never will be. (So, please don’t wait for it to go on sale; if you want to buy it, please pre-order it now 🙂 ).

When the book releases on December 15, 2016, it will also be available on Nook and CreateSpace.

Want a Sample Booklet?

Pocket Full of Tinder, Noon Onyx, Jill Archer, Fantasy, Paranormal

Interested in receiving a sample booklet with Pocket Full of Tinder’s prologue and first chapter? Then use my Contact Page to send me your U.S. mailing address. (While supplies last. My newsletter subscribers get first dibs.)

Have a wonderful Halloween weekend, everyone! Don’t forget to pre-order before your weekend festivities!!

Pre-Order on Amazon

Pre-Order on iTunes

Pre-Order on Kobo

THANK YOU!!!

THIS BOOK WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED WITHOUT THE AMAZING SUPPORT OF THE INDIE AUTHOR COMMUNITY, THE READERS WHO HAVE PATIENTLY WAITED FOR ME TO CONTINUE NOON’S STORY, AND MY OWN STUBBORN INSISTENCE TO KEEP WRITING IN THE FACE OF SOME VERY STRONG HEADWINDS.

TO MIX METAPHORS, I’M GOING BACK TO MY ROLLER COASTER ANALOGY — PRE-ORDER LINKS MEAN THAT WE ARE AT THE VERY TOP OF THE LIFT HILL, BALANCED FOR ONE BRIEF MOMENT (OR FOR THE NEXT 49 DAYS) BETWEEN THE MASSIVE HEAVY LIFTING THAT HAS BROUGHT US TO THIS POINT AND…

THE UNKNOWN…

Halloween, books, book convention, HallowRead, Maryland, fantasy, horror

HallowRead — Author Interviews, Schedule, and Ticket Giveaway!

Today’s post is all about HallowRead, the book festival and mini-con for authors and fans of paranormal, urban fantasy, steampunk, and horror. It’s happening on October 21-23 in Havre de Grace, Maryland. I’m giving away one ALL-INCLUSIVE TICKET (includes Friday Workshops, Saturday Panels, Ghost Tour, Book Signing, and Sunday Brunch & Wine Tasting). Details on how to win the ticket are below. For those of you who can’t make it, here’s a fun Halloween themed Q&A with me and two other HallowRead authors:

RYSA WALKER is the author of the bestselling CHRONOS Files series. Timebound, the first book in the series, was the Young Adult and Grand Prize winner in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. The CHRONOS Files has sold nearly half a million copies since 2013 and has been translated into ten languages. Rysa currently resides in North Carolina with her husband, two youngest sons, and a hyperactive golden retriever. When not working on the second book in The Delphi Trilogy, she watches shows where travelers boldly go to galaxies far away, or reads about magical creatures and superheroes from alternate timelines.  She has neither the time nor the patience for reality TV.

DYLANN RHEA was raised in a small town in Bergen County where she still lives today with her family. She has always shown a passion for writing despite the difficulty she faced in school with dyslexia. Rhea spent most of her time daydreaming and writing during her childhood with no vision of becoming an author. After attending community college for a semester, she decided to pave her own path and create the world she wished she could have read about as a young adult. She published her first two books, Tormented Soul and Fallen Warrior, in 2015.

What’s your favorite Halloween treat?

Rysa: Take5 bars that I steal from my kids’ haul on Halloween.  I don’t buy the darn things, because it’s one of the few candy bars that I will scarf down with a shameless lack of self-control.  I may have to break the no-buying rule this year, however, since my guys now insist that they are too old to trick-or-treat and it’s really not Halloween without Take5.

Dylann: What isn’t my favorite? Honestly, I eat any treat you put in front of me, however I really enjoy the classic Candy Corn. You can never go wrong with the classics.

Jill: Twizzlers and Sour Patch Kids… also caramel apples, salted caramels, Milk Duds, and Milky Ways. I don’t think I’ve ever had a Take5 though, which means I’m going to have to hunt one down now to see what I think.

What do you think this year’s most popular Halloween costume will be?

Rysa: I’m pretty sure Star Wars will top the list.  I’m guessing we’ll have about as many Reys at our door as we did Groots last year, and Harry Potters a few years back.  Those were my favorite Halloweens, because I could dress  up as Bellatrix and chase all of the little Gryffindors around the cul-de-sac shouting “I killed Sirius Black!” without the neighbors complaining.

Dylann: I wouldn’t be surprised if the ‘joke’ costume is either Trump or Hillary. The kid’s costume is always tricky, but I think this year it could be Star Wars costumes. I know I dressed up as Jarjar when I was in Kindergarten even though everyone hates him.

Jill: I’m wondering how many Harley Quinns I’ll see and if that’s a good thing or a bad thing…

Do you have a favorite horror movie?

Rysa: I love scary books, and I like some scary movies, but not gory ones.  Spewing arteries put me off my popcorn (although probably not off my Take5 bars).  My favorite is probably “IT,” especially Tim Curry’s performance as Pennywise the Clown.  I’m more than a little afraid of clowns to begin with, so he scared the bejeezus out of me. 

Dylann: Horror is one of those things that I hate, thriller movies creep me out ten times more. If I had to pick it would be Friday the 13th. Someone invading your mind is horrifying and part of me feels like it could happen one day.

Jill: I think my current favorite is Spring. Other creepy, scary, and/or Gothic movies I’ve enjoyed: Sleepy Hollow, The Village, Underworld, Crimson Peak, Jane Eyre, Edwards Scissorhands, Shaun of the Dead…

If you could be any type of monster, which would it be and why?

Rysa: It wouldn’t be a clown, that’s for sure.  Maybe a dog-shifter like Sirius Black? My golden retriever has a pretty sweet life.

Dylann: Do witches count as monsters? I’ve been obsessed with them ever since I watched Charmed when I was younger. Witches have a perfect balance of being on the border of human, but not. There’s something so fascinating about them, but if witches don’t count werewolf in a heartbeat. There’s something sexy about the beast within and again you’re only a werewolf once a month so you have that humanity.  

Jill: A Valkyrie or one of the Furies for sure. 😀

Are you superstitious? If so, about what?

Rysa: Usually not, although I was somewhat more superstitious when I was a kid.  I’d worry a bit about my mom if I stepped on a crack in the sidewalk, and I’d avoid walking under ladders — although the last is partly because I’m so clumsy I’d likely knock the thing down.

Dylann: Hell yes! I’m always looking up my horoscope and reading my tarot twice a day. I LOVE seeing psychics and mediums, palms readers, the whole nine. Sometimes I play back my recordings of what a psychic has said to me and try to decipher it. I don’t believe in the whole walking under a ladder thing or black cats being bad luck. I do throw salt over my shoulder if I spill it.

Jill: I’m superstitious in the most inconsistent ways. I think nothing of stepping on cracks or walking under ladders, but I try not to open umbrellas in the house or break mirrors. I knock on wood, wish on stars, wonder if things really do happen in threes…

Have you ever seen a ghost?

Rysa: I haven’t seen one, but I’ve seen evidence of one.  When I was about seven months pregnant with my middle son, we had several odd incidents in our house.  A floor lamp suddenly dipped to one side, making the dog go crazy.  A piece of stuffing from a pillow  suddenly appears in a glass of water that was clear a second before.  Several other things happened that involved water, and all of this took place within a couple of days and then ended.  The family joke is that it was my son checking us out as potential parents to make sure we had a sense of humor. 

Dylann: No and I don’t have a desire to. I already know spirits exist, but I don’t need to be scared shitless and see one.

Jill: Only on-screen or in costume.

What is your latest book about?

rysa-walker-2Rysa: The previous question was a perfect segue, since my latest book, The Delphi Effect, which launches October 11th, is–at least in part– about a ghost.  Anna Morgan has the unfortunate ability to pick up mental hitchhikers who have unfinished business.  Her current hitcher, Molly,  is a bit more insistent than most, and Anna gets pulled into the search for a serial killer and a government conspiracy that could get Anna and her friends killed…but could also help her figure out the origin of her abilities.

One of the reasons that I’m really excited for this year’s Hallowread is that it’s located in Havre de Grace, Maryland.  Havre de Grace is one of the settings of The Delphi Effect.  Some scenes are also set in nearby Port Deposit–although I guess I should really say under Port Deposit…at the site of the former Tome School.  It’s great to be able to do my first post-launch event in an area that had so much influence on the book.

Dylann: Right now I’m in the process of finishing my first trilogy The Storm Trilogy which is about a young girl named Kaden who comes from a dysfunctional family and has in turn created her own idea of family through her sister and best friend, Megan. One night while she’s out with Megan, things go awry and Megan ends up missing. Kaden is forced to work with a young man, Finley, who shows Kaden a fae world hidden within the streets of Seattle. As Kaden gets pulled further into the darkness of the world, she realizes Megan is in much more danger than she thought.

Jill: Maegester-in-Training, Noon Onyx, heads to Rockthorn Gorge to work for its new demon lord – who also happens to be her ex-boyfriend.

Where can we find it?

Rysa: You can find The Delphi Effect, along with my other books, on my Amazon page and at select book stores.

Dylann: The first book, Tormented Soul can be found here and the sequel, Fallon Warrior, can be found here. Both can be purchased through Barnes and Noble upon request.

Jill: You can add Pocket Full of Tinder to your Goodreads shelf here and subscribe to my newsletter for future ARC and pre-order info.

Where can we find you at HallowRead?

Rysa: I wouldn’t miss the Ghost Tour in Havre de Grace on Friday October 21st.  I’ll also be on two writing panels, Saturday October 22nd.  The first is “An Architect and a Gardener,” which looks at the differences between writers who are plotters and those who fly by the seat of their pants. (I’m very much in the latter category!) The second is “Suspending Disbelief,” where the group will be looking at the challenges of writing magical stories while keeping it “real” enough that the reader buys into your world. Finally, I’ll be signing copies of The Delphi Effect at the Havre de Grace Library on Saturday afternoon from 4-6 PM.

Dylann: I will be on the Urban Fantasy Round up panel and hovering around the event all weekend so come say hello!

Jill: I’ll be at the Books You Can Sink Your Teeth Into panel and the book signing and generally around all day Saturday.

Where can we find you online?

Rysa:

If you find me at Facebook or on Twitter, please tell me to get back in the Writing Cave.  I spend way too much time there.  I’m also occasionally on Goodreads and you can get updates on my books, appearances, and other information at my website. Plus, if you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll get a free CHRONOS short story.

Dylann:


More about HallowRead

Multi author event with various activities throughout the weekend including Writing Workshops, Ghost Tour, SteamPunk Author Tea, Author Panels, Book Signing, Paranormal Investigation and so much more. Hang out with your favorite authors in our new host city, the haunted and historic town of Havre de Grace, Maryland!

Local Maryland author of dark urban fantasy, Rachel Rawlings, had a crazy idea. Create a book convention for genre fiction and hold it the weekend before Halloween. Haunted and historic Ellicott City held a special place in her heart so there was no other place to take her first ever convention. The town welcomed her and HallowRead with open arms. Each ticket sold helped raise money for the Ellicott City Partnership- a coalition of residents and business owners for the betterment of the town. HallowRead raised money for projects like rain barrels which help reduce the sediment and contaminants running into the Patapsco River and fund grants for projects like Paint Main Street which helped small business owners get a much-needed fresh coat of paint improving the moral and over all appearance of the town.

Rachel is excited to take the convention on the road for 2016 and raise funds for Harford County literacy programs and the local library system! One ticket, whether it’s a $10 paranormal investigation or the full monty ticket, makes a difference for the town and the wonderful people who call it home, something Rachel is extremely proud of.

Click here to see a list of HallowRead events.

Get your tickets here.

See a list of attending authors here.

For more about HallowRead founder, Rachel Rawlings, see this previous post featuring her Maurin Kincaide UF series.


More about the Ticket Giveaway

I’m giving away one all-inclusive ticket to HallowRead. To enter to win, comment below (answer one of the questions in the Q&A above) or contact me no later than midnight EST on October 4, 2016. My complete giveaway rules are here. Hope to see you there!

Thank you to Rysa and Dylann for the Q&A. It was fun reading your answers. I’m looking forward to meeting you in person in October.

Hope everyone’s fall is off to a great start!

Author Interview: Juliette Cross on Dogs, Dragons, Romance, and Writing

My guest today is Juliette Cross, author of the paranormal/fantasy romance DRAGON IN THE BLOOD. Since Juliette and I both have labs, there are DOG PICTURES!!! I also ask her about some other fun topics: Gothic romance, worldbuilding, the biggest challenge of writing characters that are human-dragon hybrids, and the hero and heroine from her novel. She’s offering the chance to win a $25 Amazon eGC. Details below. Welcome, Juliette!


Jill: I read that you have a black lab, Kona. I have a chocolate lab puppy, Tug. Labs are known for their loyalty and their chewing tendencies, at least during the first year or two. Has Kona ever chewed anything she shouldn’t have? Feel free to share any Kona stories and a picture!

Juliette: OMG! Kona chews EVERYTHING! We’ve bought her several chew toys of her own, but she’s so playful, she loses them under furniture then steals stuffed animals and toys from my five-year-old’s room. We recently went on a family vacation and Jackson came back with a stuffed otter. The first day we were home, Kona was hiding in the corner with it. Jackson said, “Kona ate Bodie (the otter’s name) and now he can’t see anymore.” Kona chewed off the eyes first as she always does. Good thing we love her!

You’re a fan of Gothic romance. Me too! Have you written any Gothic romance stories? Any favorite Gothic romance authors or titles you can share?

Ooooo, my favorite topic. Actually, a good bit of my writing has dark elements, settings, and emotional threads, similar to Gothic literature. I’d say my historical paranormal THE DEEPEST WELL is the most Gothic of my romances that I’ve written thus far. Demons and darkness abound in that one. As for my own favorites, most of my friends already know that JANE EYRE is my favorite book ever written, and it’s also considered Gothic lit. The misty moors, the brooding hero, the unlikely heroine, the mystery in the attic—all of it appeals to my love of the Gothic romance.

I love to hear about how authors build their worlds. Are there any behind-the-scenes details you can tell us about Gladium Province, the Morgon Guard, Nightwing Security, or the Wastelands of Aria?

I think it’s important to know that while Gladium Province prides itself on its desegregation laws and mixture of the populations of humans and Morgons, just like in the real world, there are people who hate for no reason. And no law can change that. As for the Morgon Guard, I’d like readers to know this is the global police force for all Morgon provinces. However, it’s also their military. It is expected for all Morgon males to do service time in the Morgon Guard, but of course there are always rebels who don’t. Nightwing Security is a private security team started by the Nightwing family living in Gladium to protect the interests of Morgons living and working in the city. But they are now more than guns-for-hire. They work with the Gladium Precinct as well as the Morgon Guard to help maintain law and order.

As for Aria, I can tell readers that my inspiration for this frozen wasteland was the “Wild West” of America. Outlaws flee there to escape punishment and to live on the fringes of society. And just like in the old west, all those passing through must beware of dangerous predators and hostile natives.

What was one of the biggest challenges of writing characters who are Morgons—human-dragon hybrids?

The only thing I find difficult is during technical scenes where I must remember they have wings and so they move, sit, stand, even have sex differently than humans. And because of their wings, they even think differently, especially during travel. This inspired some interesting scenes, such as their conversation with the Morgon priest they meet on their first stop in Aria.

Sounds like your hero and heroine have some great chemistry! Can you tell us something about them that you haven’t yet shared?

Hmmm, I’d probably share that Valla wants nothing more than to give in to her desires for Conn, but she often resists because she’s afraid this will make her weak. She doesn’t think like most women because she never had a woman’s or a mother’s influence growing up. What she doesn’t realize (which Conn does), and it takes her a while to do so, is that Conn’s love will only make her stronger. Luckily, my heroines and heroes always learn from their mistakes.


Dragon In The Blood

More about Dragon in the Blood

When desire bites, there’s no patience for a slow burn.

While all seems quiet in Gladium Province, the Morgon Guard—the global justice force for the dragon hybrid race—knows their enemy is rebuilding its forces in the underground.

Valla Moonring, an assassin for the Order of the Morgon Guard, is ordered on a mission into the Wastelands of Aria—a formidable, icy wilderness fraught with all manner of dangers, including outlaws, deadly weather, and big-game predators.

To her great distaste, she’s partnered with a Nightwing Security operative, Conn Rowanflame, a Morgon with the aggravating ability to get under her skin. While she takes her mission seriously, Conn’s confident charm throws her off balance, a dangerous place to be in conditions like these. Especially when cold nights require close contact.

Sensual attraction binds them ever closer, igniting a passion of unexpected force—the soulfire. But when the hunters become the hunted, their bond could prove perilous. Even fatal…

DragonInTheBlood_Teaser2

Available at Amazon


More about Juliette

Juliette lives in lush, moss-laden Louisiana where she lives with her husband, four kids, and black lab, Kona. Multi-published author of paranormal and urban fantasy romance, she loves reading and writing brooding characters, mysterious settings, persevering heroines, and dark, sexy heroes. From the moment she read JANE EYRE as a teenager, she fell in love with the Gothic romance. Even then, she not only longed to read more novels set in Gothic worlds, she wanted to create her own.

You can discover more of Juliette and her books on her website.

More about the Giveaway

Juliette is giving away one tour-wide $25 Amazon eGift Certificate. To enter to win, click here for the Rafflecopter form. For my complete giveaway rules, click here.

Thanks for a great interview, Juliette!

HallowRead 2016 Book Convention Tickets On Sale Now!

Received this info from Roxanne at Bewitching Book Tours and Rachel Rawlings, HallowRead’s founder. Bought my ticket this morning! Hope to see you there!!

Halloween, books, book convention, HallowRead, Maryland, fantasy, horror

Hallowread is a book festival and mini-con for authors and fans of Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Steam Punk and Horror.

October 21-23 2016 in Havre de Grace, Maryland!

Multi author event with various activities throughout the weekend including Writing Workshops, Ghost Tour, SteamPunk Author Tea, Author Panels, Book Signing, Paranormal Investigation and so much more. Hang out with your favorite authors in our new host city, the haunted and historic town of Havre de Grace, Maryland!

Local Maryland author of dark urban fantasy, Rachel Rawlings, had a crazy idea. Create a book convention for genre fiction and hold it the weekend before Halloween. Haunted and historic Ellicott City held a special place in her heart so there was no other place to take her first ever convention. The town welcomed her and HallowRead with open arms. Each ticket sold helped raise money for the Ellicott City Partnership- a coalition of residents and business owners for the betterment of the town. HallowRead raised money for projects like rain barrels which help reduce the sediment and contaminants running into the Patapsco River and fund grants for projects like Paint Main Street which helped small business owners get a much needed fresh coat of paint improving the moral and over all appearance of the town.

Rachel is excited to take the convention on the road for 2016 and raise funds for Harford County literacy programs and the local library system! One ticket, whether it’s a $10 paranormal investigation or the full monty ticket, makes a difference for the town and the wonderful people who call it home, something Rachel is extremely proud of.

Click here to see a list of HallowRead events http://hallowread.com/events/

Get your tickets here: http://hallowread.com/tickets/

See a list of attending authors here: http://hallowread.com/authors/

Author Opportunities still available!


About the Founder of Hallowread:

Rachel Rawlings was born and raised in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. Her family, originally from Rhode Island, spent summers in New England sparking her fascination with Salem, MA. She has been writing fictional stories and poems since middle school, but it wasn’t until 2009 that she found the inspiration to create her heroine Maurin Kincaide and complete her first full length novel, The Morrigna.

When she isn’t writing, Rachel can often be found with her nose buried in a good book. An avid reader of Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Horror and Steampunk herself, Rachel founded Hallowread- an interactive convention for both authors and fans of those genres.

More information on Hallowread, its schedule of events and participating authors can be found at www.hallowread.blogspot.com

and www.facebook.com/Hallowread.

She still lives in Maryland with her husband and three children.

www.rachelrawlings.com | www.authorrachelrawlings.com | www.hallowread.com

ONLY 5 MORE DAYS TO ENTER! FFnP’s On The Far Side Contest (#SFF #Writers #GetPublished)

Unpublished writers: FF&P’s OTFS Contest gives you an opportunity for feedback and the possibility of getting your work in front of an editor. Rules, categories, and list of final round judges are below.


Futuristic, Fantasy, & Paranormal RWA chapter presents:

2016 On The Far Side Contest

Write fantasy, futuristic, or paranormal? Then the On the Far Side contest is for you!!

Welcome dragons, witches, ghosts, psychics, vampires, shapeshifters, unicorns, and any creature your imagination can conjure up in a galaxy far, far away, in a time long past, or in your very own backyard. Every category MUST contain a futuristic, fantasy, or paranormal element.

The deadline for submissions is May 15, 2016. All entries and fees must be received by the contest coordinator by this date.

Entrant Eligibility:

1st rule: Every category MUST contain a futuristic, fantasy, or paranormal element.
2nd rule: Entrant must not be published in full-length fiction (40,000+) for the genre entering/or not published in genre entering for past 5 years. To further clarify, if your current WIP or entry is a paranormal historical then you can enter even if you are published in standard paranormal, etc.

Entry Fees:

  • FF&P Members in good standing:      $20 each entry
  • Non-members:                                      $25 each entry

On The Far Side IS ALL ELECTRONIC!! NO MAILING FEES!

To Enter: Click Here
Email address for contest: otfscontest@romance-ffp.com


Rules

  • Every category MUST contain a futuristic, fantasy, or paranormal element.
  • Entrant must not be published in full-length fiction (40,000+) for the genre entering/or not published in genre entering for past 5 years. To further clarify, if your current WIP or entry is a paranormal historical then you can enter even if you are published in standard paranormal, etc.
  • Entry must begin with the first pages of your WIP, and may include a short synopsis. Entry MUST BE 20 PAGES TOTAL. This includes any synopsis pages. (Synopsis is not judged, but may help judge determine the elements of your story and offers chance to practice a very important skill). Do not send more than 20 pages even with your synopsis or your entry will be disqualified.
  • When submitting your 20-pages total, please adhere to industry standards:
    • 1” margins
    • Double-spaced
    • 12-point face type, Times New Roman
    • Optional synopsis should follow manuscript portion of entry. (If manuscript is 18 pages, then synopsis must be 2 pages)
    • Do not include illustrations, author bio/photos, vocabulary lists, or footnotes
    • The title and category should be on the top left of the page, page number on top right
  • The author’s name shall not appear on the submission. If your name appears anywhere on the submission, you will be disqualified.
  • Entry and payment for submission must be submitted by midnight Eastern Standard Time by May 15th, 2016
  • No changes may be made after the contest deadline.
  • Entries must be sent in: .doc or .docx files are preferred, but .rtf files will be accepted.
  • No more than TWO (2) entries per entrant per category.
  • ALL RULES MUST BE FOLLOWED OR YOUR ENTRY WILL BE DISQUALIFIED.

Judging:

  • First round entries will reviewed by experienced, qualified, or published judges
  • FF&P cannot guarantee commentary on every entry, however we strongly encourage our judges to provide positive, constructive feedback through track changes. However, judges will remain anonymous.
  • Entries will be judged by a minimum of FOUR (4) first round judges. Lowest score will be dropped to determine final average. Three highest score manuscripts will advance to the final round. All judged copies will be returned to non-finalist entrants Coordinator chosen date. Finalist entries will be returned after winners are announced on Coordinator chosen date.

To Enter: Click Here


Categories

Please choose category which best suits your submission. If you are unclear which suits your story best, pick closest, then an alternate.

  • ROMANTIC ELEMENTS: Any of the below categories with romantic elements (a romance plays a significant part in the story, but other themes or elements take the plot beyond the traditional romance boundaries. No HEA required. Think Gone with the Wind)
  • HARD SCIENCE FICTION/SF/FUTURISTIC: Set in the future with science fiction elements that include technological advancements; these stories may involve futuristic earth, other planets, aliens, or space travel. (Think Star Trek)
  • DARK/LIGHT/GENERAL PARANORMAL: Paranormal happenings are a major element of the plot. (Think JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood)
  • TIME TRAVEL/STEAMPUNK WITH PARANORMAL ELEMENTS: A character or characters travel back or forward in time; these stories can take place in a historical, contemporary, or futuristic setting. Steampunk should include typical steampunk elements.
  • URBAN FANTASY: Includes mythical creatures and magical/paranormal elements. Settings and time frame are current modern world.
  • FANTASY: Setting takes place in medieval world. (Think Lord of the Rings).
  • YOUNG ADULT: Novels appropriate for teen and young adult readers, typically featuring main characters in high school or college. These stories may take place in a contemporary, historical, futuristic, or otherworldly setting. Minimum word count: 40,000 words. (Think Twilight)
  • NEW ADULT: Specialty romance for readers ages 18-24.
  • HISTORICAL: Historical with paranormal elements. These stories must take place in the past – from ancient times to WWII.
  • EROTIC ROMANCE: (WITH PARANORMAL ELEMENTS): No straight erotica – this means there must be a HEA ending or at least a Happy For Now and your entry must contain a significant paranormal element (such as a futuristic setting; time travel; paranormal creatures–vampires, shape shifters, werewolves, and or any other mythical creatures or magical elements typically deemed fantasy, futuristic or paranormal in nature.)

* If you have entered the contest, you may not judge in the category you have entered.

For more information contact the Contest Coordinator, Jillian Jacobs at  otfscontest@romance-ffp.com

Coordinator will not judge contest.


Timeline

  • March 14th: Contest opens for entries and judges
  • May 15th: Contest closes at Midnight EST
  • May 22nd: All entries distributed to 1st round judges
  • June 19th: Deadline for 1st round judges to return entries to contest coordinator
  • July 5th: Finalists notified via email and phone.
    1. All scores/feedback returned to contestants who did not final
    2. Notify 3 finalists per category- by phone then email
    3. Finalist entries sent to final round judges
    4. Post finalist list on all formats
  • August 1st: Deadline for final round judges to return entries to contest coordinator
  • August 8th: OTFS winners notified and announced
  • September 15th: Certificates and On The Far Side pins delivered

Judges for Final Round

ROMANTIC ELEMENTS Andrea Somberg, Harvey Klinger Inc.
HARD SCIENCE FICTION/SF/FUTURISTIC Laurie McLean, FUSE
DARK/LIGHT/GENERAL PARANORMAL Peter Senftleben, Kensington
TIME TRAVEL/STEAMPUNK Robin Haseltine, Entangled Publishing
URBAN FANTASY Melissa Singer, Tor
FANTASY Chris Keeslar, Boroughs Publishing
YOUNG ADULT Becca Stumpf, Prospect Agency
NEW ADULT Samantha McMahon, Soul Mate Publishing
HISTORICAL Penny Barber, Lyrical Press
EROTICA Deelylah Mullin, Torquere Press

The Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal chapter of RWA appreciates your willingness to enter this contest. Not a member of FF&P? Find more information at www.rwa.org or visit the FF&P website:http://www.romance-ffp.com


Good luck, everyone!

Rachel Rawlings: HallowRead 2016 and her Maurin Kincaide #UF Series

Today’s guest is UF author Rachel Rawlings. Rachel is from Baltimore and, for the past four years, she’s organized HallowRead, a book festival and mini-con for fans of paranormal, UF, steampunk, and horror. She’s here to tell us a little bit about HallowRead 2016 (it’s never too early to start thinking about Halloween!) and her Maurin Kincaide series. Do any of you live near Baltimore? Interested in going? I know I am! 🙂

Welcome, Rachel!

First let me start out by thanking Jill for having me on the blog! I’m thrilled to be here talking about my other passion besides writing – HallowRead Book Convention.

HallowRead is a mini-con for fans of Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Steampunk and Horror themed around Halloween. In fact, as you already may have guessed, it’s name is a mash-up between my favorite holiday and my favorite pastime. This is our fourth annual event and man, have we come a long way. Lightning struck in January of 2013 while driving through the Fort McHenry tunnel and I knew I had to find away to make this event happen. That fall we had our first con.  From running from one banquet room to another setting up tables our first year in Ellicott City, Maryland to attracting talent like Darynda Jones and last year’s keynote speaker Kami Garcia, HallowRead and I have been very fortunate indeed.

This year we’re taking HallowRead on the road, moving from our former host town of Ellicott City to another haunted and historic town – Havre de Grace, Maryland. Situated on the Susquehanna River just at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, this quaint waterfront town is steeped in history from being raised to the ground by the British in the War of 1812, to losing the vote to become the capital of the United States by one ballot, a film set for the Netflix series House of Cards, to being the last place Edgar Allan Poe was seen alive before his mysterious death in Baltimore. Sounds perfect, right? With bed and breakfasts, restaurants and shopping all within walking distances, we couldn’t agree more. In fact, the town will be an active participant, in a throw back to our first year we are going to hold activities in different venues throughout the town.

From engaging author panels where book lovers can listen to their favorite authors talk about their books and writing process, to writing workshops, a book signing, ghost tours, awesome swag bags filled with goodies and more, we certainly have something for everyone to enjoy. HallowRead is a nonprofit event (5013c), focusing all our fundraising efforts on the arts. This year we will be donating our funds to organizations like LASOS who help children whose first language is not English learn to read and prepare for school, the Harford Library System, and the Opera House restoration in Havre de Grace, which will provide a much needed mix use presentation house for the Arts and Entertainment District of Havre de Grace.

We’re excited about HallowRead 2016 and can’t wait to see you there!

More about HallowRead

Multi author event with various activities throughout the weekend including Writing Workshops, Ghost Tour, SteamPunk Author Tea, Author Panels, Book Signing, Paranormal Investigation and so much more. Hang out with your favorite authors in our new host city, the haunted and historic town of Havre de Grace, Maryland!

Local Maryland author of dark urban fantasy, Rachel Rawlings, had a crazy idea. Create a book convention for genre fiction and hold it the weekend before Halloween. Haunted and historic Ellicott City held a special place in her heart so there was no other place to take her first ever convention. The town welcomed her and HallowRead with open arms. Each ticket sold helped raise money for the Ellicott City Partnership- a coalition of residents and business owners for the betterment of the town. HallowRead raised money for projects like rain barrels which help reduce the sediment and contaminants running into the Patapsco River and fund grants for projects like Paint Main Street which helped small business owners get a much needed fresh coat of paint improving the moral and overall appearance of the town.

Rachel is excited to take the convention on the road for 2016 and raise funds for Harford County literacy programs and the local library system! One ticket, whether it’s a $10 paranormal investigation or the full monty ticket makes a difference for the town and the wonderful people who call it home, something Rachel is extremely proud of.

http://www.HallowRead.com

More about Rachel’s

Maurin Kincaide Series

The Morrigna
The Maurin Kincaide Series
Book One

Free  at    Amazon    Audible    BN

I’m Maurin Kincaide, a psychometric, and until a few days ago I was working for Salem’s Preternatural Task Force as an interrogator. I cracked more cold cases and got more confessions than anyone else in the department. Of course that was before I traded in my badge for an ancient Celtic sword. Now, I’m the Special Liaison for the Council, the governing body of the Others, and I take my orders from witches, werewolves and vampires.

I didn’t just make a career change though. I’m not the same person I was before. I’m stronger, I can heal from wounds that would kill a normal person. I’m developing latent psychic skills at a breakneck speed. Oh yeah, and it would seem that a Pagan goddess has taken permanent residence in my body and mind. Crazy thing is, I’m starting to feel normal, like this is who I’m supposed to be.

Of course, there are those who don’t agree. Morrigan and her sisters for example. Actually, I’m pretty sure they’d like nothing more than to see me dead. And if I can’t stop them and the demons they’ve raised, they just might get their wish.

Witch Hunt
The Maurin Kincaide Series
Book Two

Available at Amazon    BN   Audible

Maurin Kincaide is back in this action packed follow up novel to The Morrigna. No longer a member of Salem’s Preternatural Task Force, Maurin is the new liaison for The Council, governing body of Others. During what should have been a routine meeting with her former Captain, Maurin is brought in on a murder investigation.

Three dead witches, three cryptic clues, no sign of the killers and the Salem coven is losing allies within the Council. If Maurin and her unlikely partner Captain Matthison can’t stop the killers, the Witch City might be without its namesake.

Wolfsbane
The Maurin Kincaide Series
Book Three

Available at  Amazon   BN   Audible

Given the choice between her sister’s wedding and witnessing the challenge for Alpha of the Salem pack, Maurin knows exactly where she’d rather be. Smack dead center in a pack of snarling werewolves wearing eau de filet mignon.

Until Francesca takes off the morning of her wedding. Being her sister’s keeper will not excuse her from her job as the Council Liaison. Torn between obligations to a family she’s avoided for almost a decade and the Council of Others, Maurin has less than twenty-four hours to set things right.

Bloodbath
The Maurin Kincaide Series
Book Four

Available at  Amazon   BN   Audible

Bodies are piling up and all signs point in one direction. Rogue vampire. Except things aren’t always what they seem, especially in a murder investigation.

With her current relationship on the rocks, her father playing match-maker and her neighbor tossing his hat in the ring, the body count isn’t the only thing on the rise. Maurin is neck deep in magic, mayhem and murder.

Can she catch the killer before the killer catches her? One things for certain, when hunting vampires there will be blood.

Ill Fated
The Maurin Kincaide Series
Book Five

Available at BN

Some things are destined to end in death. After the first attempt on her life Maurin wasn’t scared. Hell, she was almost flattered. But someone put a price on her head and things are getting complicated. Trouble is brewing in the fae courts and it’s spilling over into Salem. The UnSeelie Dark Guard have answered the call for her head on a platter and people closest to her are disappearing.

Can Maurin master court politics and find her missing men before someone claims the bounty on her head?

More about Rachel

Rachel Rawlings was born and raised in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. Her family, originally from Rhode Island, spent summers in New England sparking her fascination with Salem, MA. She has been writing fictional stories and poems since middle school, but it wasn’t until 2009 that she found the inspiration to create her heroine Maurin Kincaide and complete her first full length novel, The Morrigna.

When she isn’t writing, Rachel can often be found with her nose buried in a good book. An avid reader of Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Horror and Steampunk herself, Rachel founded Hallowread- an interactive convention for both authors and fans of those genres.

More information on Hallowread, its schedule of events and participating authors can be found at www.hallowread.blogspot.com  and www.facebook.com/Hallowread.

She still lives in Maryland with her husband and three children.

It looks like HallowRead 2016 will be on October 21-23. If you will be anywhere close, put it on your calendar! Thank you to Rachel for guest blogging today!

Anna Durand: New Year, New Risks, Plenty of Romance

My first guest blogger for 2016 is writer, librarian, and audio book addict Anna Durand. She’s here with a post about goal setting and taking risks. If you’ve somehow escaped making resolutions for 2016, NOW’S YOUR CHANCE! Use this post as your final push to write this year’s To Do List. Welcome, Anna!

Take a Risk With Your Writing This Year

At the end of every year, I start to think about what I want to accomplish the next year. I rarely make resolutions, because I prefer to set goals. Resolutions feel like something you’ve failed at if you can’t live to up to what you resolved to do for the year. Goals, on the other hand, are guideposts for your life and career. If don’t reach your goal, it somehow feels like less of a failure.

That’s why I make stepped goals — do A, if that works, do A1, and after that A2, and so on. In this way, the overarching goal becomes more attainable. If I don’t complete all of goal A or goal B this year, I know I’ve done a good job working toward my goals. This year, most of my goals revolve around my writing career. I plan on taking more risks, branching out into new subgenres of romance, both self-publishing and submitting to traditional publishers.

Last year, I set a goal to write more and write faster. I accomplished that through my self-imposed challenge to write a complete 20,000-word story in five days, as well as by self-publishing two books and contracting another with The Wild Rose Press. I also finished three more books, as yet unpublished.

This year, I’ve set more writing goals:

  • Put the final polish on my three finished manuscripts and submit them to publishers.
  • Write my first historical romance, a time travel story with witches, set in 15th-century Scotland.
  • Write a fantasy romance.
  • Write the third book in the Psychic Crossroads series.
  • Write and publish the fourth and final installment in the Reborn series.
  • And oh yeah, write more erotic romances!
  • Sign up for more guest posts on other blogs.
  • Pay for targeted advertising to boost sales of my currently published books.
  • Schedule more guests on my blog, but only three days a week now. I nearly went insane scheduling them seven days a week!

That’s just what I’ve thought of so far. I will add more goals as I progress with these, and each of the above goals has sub-goals. By breaking things down into bite-size chunks, my goals become more attainable and less forbidding. When I look at my list of goals, I know I can achieve them all. My 2016 will be even better than 2015.

Happy New Year, everybody! May you achieve everything you want and have fun while doing it.

More about Anna

Anna Durand
Anna Durand

Anna Durand is an award-winning writer, a freelance librarian, and an audiobook addict. She specializes in steamy romances featuring spunky heroines and hunky heroes. As a member of Romance Writers of America, she volunteers for its chapters to give back to the romance community. In her previous life as a librarian, she haunted the stacks of public libraries but never met any hot vampires hunting for magical books.

Intuition-AnnaDurandMore about Anna’s Latest Release

Torn apart by their haunted pasts, Grace Powell and her fiancé David Ransom are struggling to reclaim their passionate bond and build a normal life — one without danger and paranormal powers. But David can’t renounce his obsession with hunting down Karl Tesler, who abducts and tortures psychics. David endured Tesler’s tactics himself, but despite what Grace believes, he’s not out for revenge.

Tesler covets her unprecedented abilities and her mysterious connection to a source of limitless psychic power. David will do anything — even abandon and lie to her — to protect Grace from Tesler.

With a psychic stalker on her trail, Grace charges into a desperate mission to uncover the truth about David’s obsession. But Tesler’s agents are closing in on her, and a terrifying new enemy is rising…

As events drive Grace and David toward a battle of epic proportions, they must risk everything — their relationship, their lives, and even their souls — to defeat an enemy who wields unspeakable psychic power.

Buy Links

Thanks, Anna, for guest blogging today!

#Writing Resolutions: 5 Ways to Keep Them!

I’m over at RWA’s Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Chapter today with 5 Ways To Keep Your Writing Resolutions. Haven’t yet made a 2016 writing resolution? There are plenty of ideas. Made one but not sure how to keep it? That’s what the post is for. Made a resolution and already know how you’re going to keep it? Stop by and share your secrets!

New Year’s Lagniappe: Is your resolution to write a novel this year? I’m offering to coach one member of FF&P who hasn’t yet reached PRO/PAN. Details are in the post. Happy writing, all!

Took this at the NASW Aviation Museum in Cape May, NJ. They have all sorts of vintage 1940s stuff. I suppose, one day, my laptop will look just as dated.
Took this at the NASW Aviation Museum in Cape May, NJ. They have all sorts of vintage 1940s stuff. I suppose, one day, my laptop will look just as dated.

#Writing #Workshops for January (and new puppy pictures!)

This will be my last post as FF&P’s workshop scheduler. Starting in January, I’m going to be coordinating the new release announcements, which happens over at our chapter website. My last workshops post offers info on two great ones for the New Year: one on author newsletters and one on how to write multiple books in a year. Obviously, I could use both workshops! 😀

Also, pictures of our NEW PUPPY are below!!! It’s been almost two years since we’ve had a dog in the house and we were ready! His name is Tug (yeah, makes me laugh too. Do you know how hard it is for a family of four to agree on a pet name?! Like the Spice Cats, Tug was named by my kids.)

And are we the only ones who haven’t yet seen THE FORCE AWAKENS? We’re going tonight…

◊◊◊◊◊

Below are the online workshops being offered in January by RWA’s Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Chapter. If you are a writing instructor and are interested in teaching a workshop, please contact Jenn Windrow for available dates, rates, and proposal submission guidelines.

Author Newsletters: Adding Value to E-Newsletters to Grow Your List and Strengthen Readership Loyalty

01/04/2016 – 01/29/2016

Stumbling along the ever-changing landscape of social media?  Frustrated with posts that only reach 25% of your followers?

Drive traffic to a source you control: your e-newsletter.

In this workshop, you will learn strategies for growing your list by offering value adds to your e-newsletter subscribers.  In addition, we will take a look at tools for measuring the responsiveness of your list, what attracts readers, and what doesn’t work.  Take control of communicating with your readers.  Build an e-newsletter that works for you.

About the Presenter, Jessie Clever

Jessie Clever always wanted to be a writer.

Then she found out you had to market your books.

While she went on to write Regency romance, Jessie kept to the practical course and earned her MBA with a concentration in marketing, gaining hands on experience in companies ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to multi-channel international retailers. She now uses her knowledge and experience to help authors expand their readership and deepen the loyalty of their readers. Learn more at somedayladypublishing.com.

Cost: FFP Members:$15.00/Non-Members: $25.00

Register for This Workshop

The Book Factory: Producing Multiple Novels in One Year

01/04/2016 – 01/31/2016

  • Is life getting in the way of you completing that novel?
  • Ever think there’s not enough hours in the day to find time to write?
  • Have a full-time job distracting you from your real passion of being a novelist?
  • Are family responsibilities weighing you down and interfering with your writing goals?

I’m here to tell you that YOU CAN DO IT ALL and DO IT SUCCESSFULLY!

In 2009, I successfully managed one husband, two jobs, three children, a difficult pregnancy, AND still managed to write twelve books, sell ten of those books (including all the editing and promotion), and coped with other various life challenges thrown in just for fun!

How did I do all of that and still find time to eat and sleep?

I developed a method of writing known as “The Book Factory Method”. It does require commitment and desire to “get it done”. If you’re willing to put in the effort, you can produce multiple books in one year.

What’s the benefit of completing multiple books in one year?

The more books you have ready to submit, the more chance you’ll receive contract offers on one or more of those books.

Why shouldn’t you just focus on one book and continue polishing that book all year long?

The cold, hard truth is that you might not ever sell that one specific book. You should always have more than one project “in the works”.

Are you one of those writers who starts multiple projects but never finishes any of them?

Then this class is for you as well. We’ll talk about how to finally see those projects through to completion.

Have trouble with time management or procrastination?

We’ll address methods for getting organized and staying focused. Plus much, much more!

If you want to learn how to get started, stay on track, and get those books ready to submit…this workshop puts a method to the madness of novel writing.

About the Presenter, Kerri Nelson

Kerri Nelson survived a fifteen year career in the legal field and then took her passion for crime solving to the page. But her journey to become a mystery author took a decade long detour into the world of romance where she penned twenty-two novels and novellas in various sub-genres.

Born and raised a true southern belle, Kerri holds many useful secrets: how to bake a killer peach cobbler; how to charm suspects with proper batting of the eyelashes; and how to turn your parasol into a handy weapon.

Kerri is an active member of both Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers and as a mentor to other authors, Kerri has successfully developed her popular Book Factory Method and assisted dozens of authors achieve publication via pitches crafted in her Pitchworthy class.

She also edits professionally through her freelance editorial service, Deep Cover Edits and as a staff editor for two small presses.  Her latest writing adventure is the new #1 Bestselling Cozy Mystery series “The Working Stiff Mysteries” now available wherever books are sold.

Cost: FFP Members:$20.00/Non-Members: $25.00

Register for This Workshop

new puppy
“All you need is love… and a dog.” (And some cats…)

TUG

#Writing #Workshops for November (and my two cents on what to do if you hate the scene you’re writing)

Below are the online workshops being offered in November by RWA’s Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Chapter. If you are a writing instructor and are interested in teaching a workshop, please contact me for available dates, rates, and proposal submission guidelines.

I’m including a picture of flowers this time instead of animals… There’s also a brief bit from me at the end about a scene I’m struggling with and what I intend to do about it. For those of you who are in a hurry, here are the take aways from this post:

  • Register for workshops
  • Keep writing!
  • Carve Pumpkins
  • Eat Candy
  • Happy Halloween!! 😀

Book Covers: The Poster for your Book

11/02/2015 – 11/16/2015

If a book is a  movie in your head, a book cover is the poster to entice the crowds. Whether you’re doing your cover yourself or working with a designer, same principles can be applied to ensure a marketable poster for your book to attract a reader’s eye.

Join award-winning cover artist Fiona Jayde in a two-week course covering the joys of trends, the fun of fonts, common misconceptions, false starts, and Fiona’s driving philosophy on book covers: go big or go home.

About the Presenter, Fiona Jayde

Fiona Jayde is a space pilot, a ninth degree black belt in three styles of martial arts, a computer hacker, a mountain climber, a jazz singer, a weight lifter, a superspy with a talent for languages, and an evil genius. All in her own head.

In life, she is tinkers with images to create cover art for amazing books, possesses a brown belt in Tae Kwon Do and blue belt in Aikido, used to be a hot-shot web developer, scared to death of snakes, loves jazz piano, and can bench-press  20 pounds — with effort. She learned English reading Nora Roberts and watching Growing Pains, and when pried away from her computer, enjoys movies where things frequently blow up.

Cost: FFP Members:$10.00/Non-Members: $15.00

Register for This Workshop

Lessons of Firefly: Learning From the Works of Joss Whedon

11/02/2015 – 11/29/2015

Though Joss Whedon’s television show FIREFLY only aired through the fall months of 2002, it has continued to generate followers through word of mouth, DVD sales and an exhaustible amount of followers known as “Browncoats”.  The Romance Writers of America has many “Browncoasts” in their midst as Jacqui Jacoby learned though discussions with members at the RWA National Conference in both Atlanta and Dallas.  Many of these followers love to listen and talk about what they learned from watching the series.  Discussing dialogue is a favorite pastime, both at the conferences and online in writing loops.

FIREFLY, created by the Rod Serling of our generation, was a masterpiece of writing.  Each of its thirteen episodes taught character development, dialogue and plotting techniques.  Its motion picture sequel, SERENITY, not only touched on these subjects but added relationships, loyalties and loss to its repertoire.

In this workshop, Ms. Jacoby will reveal the lessons of FIREFLY.  By using class participation and examples from the episodes, she will translate with words what Mr. Whedon was teaching us on screen.

About the Presenter, Jacqui Jacoby

As a die-hard Firefly fan who can quote dialogue and scenes from both the series and the movie, Jacqui Jacoby knows how to get a crowd excited about the Lessons of Firefly.

She is a workshop teacher who has appeared both live and online to give such classes as “From Austin to Aliens: How to Create Classic Tough Chicks” and “Behind the Scenes: The Research Before the Book.”

Winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award in Excellence, as well as the Suzannah and the Dixie for her books, Ms. Jacoby’s articles have appeared worldwide.  Lessons From The Giants ran in publications in the United States, Canada and Australia.  Her article, Tough Chicks: Heroines in Today’s Market ran in the June 2006 RWR Magazine.

A graduate of UCLA, Ms. Jacoby lives in the Arizona mountains with her husband of twenty-four years and their three children.  Besides studying martial arts and sword fighting, Ms, Jacoby has recently returned to school to achieve her second Bachelor of Arts, this one in Modern Languages.

Cost: FFP Members:$15.00/Non-Members: $25.00

Register for This Workshop

"I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers." - Claude Monet "I always like to have flowers on the table. I think they make it look special." -Ina Garten My older daughter made this bouquet in her Ag Science class. I love that class. Assignments are often practical, hands-on, and creative. This project was part of their floriculture unit.
“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” – Claude Monet
“I always like to have flowers on the table. I think they make it look special.” -Ina Garten
My older daughter made this bouquet in her Ag Science class. I love that class. Assignments are often practical, hands-on, and creative. This project was part of their floriculture unit.

What to do if the scene you’re writing sucks 😀

So Noon #4 is going well. I recently finished a big, emotional scene and I love how it turned out. It made me smile and laugh and, you know, feel stuff. But then I got to the next scene and everything started C-R-A-W-L-I-N-G… like Glacial Pace City. At first, I thought it was bc I’d just come from a big scene and, in comparison, this scene felt small and slow. Not every scene can be a Big Scene, right? Well, sorta but also sorta not.

Every scene doesn’t have to be BIG, but every scene has to have meaning and move the story forward. Every scene can’t be full of non-stop action (at least not in my books), BUT it has to be full of tension. I want readers engaged in the experience of each and every scene. I want them to want to turn the page. So when *I* start to feel kind of blah about a scene, I know readers probably will too.

So what to do about this little bit of blah in my manuscript?

1. “Houston, we have a problem.” The first step in fixing a problem, is knowing you have a problem. If you find your attention drifting when writing, editing, or reviewing your work, it might be a sign that the scene lacks tension, which is a problem that needs to be fixed. How?

2. Make a list of the things that you know are wrong with the scene: When your problem is lack of tension, it’s hard to know how to fix it without digging deeper. One of the things I hate about the scene I’m working on is the dialog. It meanders. I think it’s because I need to better understand exactly what I want the scene to do. The scene also features a secondary character I haven’t 100% figured out yet.

3. Make a list of things that might fix the scene. I’m a big fan of brainstorming lists. Someone once gave me this advice: when you’re stuck, make a List of 20. Twenty things that might work. The trick is to not hold back. Put crazy ideas on that list. The first five will be crap so the more ideas you put on your list, the better. For my current scene, I could: (a) make the secondary character scarier, meaner, nastier; (b) add other characters (sometimes just adding another person to a two person scene changes the dynamic and makes it more interesting); (c) build a more suspenseful set (the place where the scene takes place); (d) fix a possible timing issue (maybe the scene needs a ticking clock… or more room to breathe?); (e) change what the characters are doing (add more action and/or give them something else to do while talking that serves a purpose or has greater meaning). (See? I told you the first five are always crap. 😉 )

4. DON’T PANIC. Don’t let one scene undermine your confidence or give you temporary writer’s block. If you need to, step away from your keyboard for a moment. (That works wonders for me). Know, deep in your heart (because it’s true!), that this scene will get fixed eventually.

5. Do your best and move on.

–OR–

6. Rip it out and start it over (just that scene though!!) If you find yourself endlessly repeating step #6, go back to #5. I’ll admit that #5 is probably the most efficient way of writing a first draft. And for fast first draft fans, the only way. For me, it’s hard though. I tend to build each scene from the scenes that have come before. So if I have a scene I know is weak, it’s hard to move on. To me, it feels like I’m building a house of cards without one of the bottom cards — or a beach house without one of the stilts.

In the end, the advice is always the same: Keep Writing! Only by continuously writing will you be able to know your writing style and what works for you.

BEST WISHES, EVERYONE!!!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

TO ANYONE STARTING NANO ON SUNDAY — GOOD LUCK!!!

#Writing #Workshops for October (#indiepub #selfpub and cross-genre #fantasy)

Below are the online workshops being offered in October by RWA’s Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Chapter. If you are a writing instructor and are interested in teaching a workshop, please contact me for available dates, rates, and proposal submission guidelines. (I just signed up for the self-pub one. Come join me! 🙂 Not in the mood for a workshop? There’s a cat pic below. Enjoy! 😀 )

Self-Publishing Part 2: Self-Publishing Your Manuscript

10/01/2015 – 10/22/2015

This workshop is Part 2 of a two-part, five-week self-publishing workshop designed to teach students about the business of self-publishing books digitally and in print. (Part 1 is not required to take Part 2.)

Self-publishing provides an amazing opportunity for authors to take control of their own publishing career. It’s also a lot of hard work. Authors must build successful, long-running businesses and supervise their own production and distribution process.

Part 2 covers:

  • Finding and working with freelance editors, formatters and cover artists
  • Distributing directly to retailers vs using aggregators or publishing services
  • Self-publishing audio books and foreign translations
  • Where and how to sell your book
  • Building a basic timeline and budget
  • Best practices for building your self-published book
  • Understanding metadata and how and where it’s used
  • Is self-publishing really for you?

Workshop Goals include:

  • For students to gain a clearer understanding of how to self-publish
  • For students to take ownership of their publishing career path
  • For students to gain perspective on the financial and artistic reasons to choose self-publishing
  • For students to gain knowledge and tools to help them embark on self-publishing their work
  • For students to discover trustworthy resources for further research

About the Presenter, Kelli Finger

Kelli Finger is published under her pseudonym Abbey MacInnis and publishes books under her sole-proprietorship publishing company. Kelli recently added a certification in grant writing to her writing experience. A classically-trained vocalist with a Masters of Social Work, Kelli is a strong advocate for people with disabilities and has worked for over six years as a Braille proofreader. Having faced the challenges of developing her own self-publishing career, she’s eager to help others save time and understand their many options.

Cost: FFP Members:$20.00/Non-Members: $25.00

Register for This Workshop

Defying Gravity: Writing Cross-Genre and Succeeding Anyway

10/18/2015 – 10/31/2015

Genre definitions have a profound influence on writers’ careers. From the first queries where we must specify the book’s genre to long-term decisions about pursuing or giving up on a “dead” genre, dealing with what feels like a false construct is a necessary skill. However, following our hearts and inspiration often means tossing aside these considerations.

Or chopping them to pieces in a murderous rage.

But shedding conventions can be what sets a book apart. That’s what takes a writer’s career from midlist to break-out. So… how do you know? More—how do we find the courage to embrace a bold move?

In Wicked, the heroine Elphaba is faced with that crucial decision, of whether to choose the safe path or to risk flying on her own. This workshop will explore genre definitions and how Jeffe Kennedy went from being a “Crack Ho” – being told that her work fell in the cracks between genres – to receiving a nomination for Book of the Year and an RT Seal of Excellence for the one title each month that stands out from all the rest by an innovative twist on a familiar story or pushing genre boundaries. Participants will discuss their experiences with genre—both coloring inside the lines and stepping across them—and will leave inspired to take risks and follow their hearts.

Everyone deserves a chance to fly!

About the Presenter, Jeffe Kennedy

Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author whose works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook.

Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and an erotic  contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera. A fourth series, the fantasy trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms, hit the shelves starting in May 2014 and book 1, The Mark of the Tala, received a starred Library Journal review and has been nominated for the RT Book of the Year while the sequel, The Tears of the Rose, has been nominated forbest fantasy romance of the year. Two more books will follow in this world, beginning with The Pages of the Mind in Summer 2016. A fifth series, the erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, started with Going Under, followed byUnder His Touch and Under Contract.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com, every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog, on Facebook, on Goodreads and pretty much constantly on Twitter @jeffekennedy. She is represented by Connor Goldsmith of Fuse Literary.

Cost: FFP Members:$10.00/Non-Members: $15.00

Register for This Workshop

Nutmeg Back to School
WHO SAID CATS ARE TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL?

#Writing #Workshops for September (and a goat picture)

Interrupting this irregularly scheduled interruption: I almost made it! 😀

As many of you know, I took a break from blogging this summer. My goal was to take the month of August off, at least. It’s been weird but good. I definitely feel out of touch at times, but it’s also been nice to double down on Noon #4 (I shared a fun snippet on FB over the weekend. Check it out if you missed it!) But I wanted to do a quick post today to let everyone know about FF&P’s upcoming September workshops.

Are any of you planning on either pitching a book or self-publishing soon? If so, check out the classes below. Kerri Nelson’s Pitchworthy class starts tomorrow. Now’s your chance to practice those pitches! Good luck and best wishes, all!!

(Oh, and the goat pic is at the bottom this time. Why a goat? Uh…. Truth is, I have a bizarre habit of posting animal pics when I post these workshop reminders… Enjoy!!)

◊◊◊◊◊

Below are the online workshops being offered in September by RWA’s Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Chapter. If you are a writing instructor and are interested in teaching a workshop, please contact me for available dates, rates, and proposal submission guidelines.

Are You Pitchworthy?

All You Need to Know to Score Big with your Book’s Pitch

09/01/2015 – 09/28/2015

Want to practice your pitch for an upcoming pitch session to an agent or editor?  Need help refining your pitch to include in a query letter?  Well, practice makes perfect!

Sign on for this handy pitch practice workshop, taught by multi-published romantic suspense author, Kerri Nelson.

During class you’ll get to practice your pitch (up to 4 drafts with suggested revisions); view examples of the good versus the bad; and polish your skills on developing the elusive perfect sales hook for your book.

Over the past five years, Kerri has pitched more than thirty different books in every imaginable genre (from erotica to young adult) to multiple agents and editors with a tremendous success rate for follow-up requests for both partial and full manuscripts.  She has sold twenty-two novels and novellas in the last three years after perfecting her pitch process.

In this intensive interactive course, Kerri offers up the secrets to nailing your pitch, how to score a home run with editors, and how not to stop short of getting the results you want!

Finally get the contract you’ve been waiting for!

Students from prior classes have sold multi-book deals to publishers, been offered representation by agents, and many other successes after perfecting their pitch with Kerri.

About the Presenter, Kerri Nelson

Kerri Nelson survived a fifteen year career in the legal field and then took her passion for crime solving to the page. But her journey to become a mystery author took a decade long detour into the world of romance where she penned twenty-two novels and novellas in various sub-genres.

Born and raised a true southern belle, Kerri holds many useful secrets: how to bake a killer peach cobbler; how to charm suspects with proper batting of the eyelashes; and how to turn your parasol into a handy weapon.

Kerri is an active member of both Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers and as a mentor to other authors, Kerri has successfully developed her popular Book Factory Method and assisted dozens of authors achieve publication via pitches crafted in her Pitchworthy class.

She also edits professionally through her freelance editorial service, Deep Cover Edits and as a staff editor for two small presses.  Her latest writing adventure is the new #1 Bestselling Cozy Mystery series “The Working Stiff Mysteries” now available wherever books are sold.

Cost: FFP Members:$20.00/Non-Members: $25.00

Register for This Workshop

Self-Publishing Part 1: Creating Your Self-Publishing Business

09/16/2015 – 09/30/2015

This workshop is Part 1 of a two-part, five-week self-publishing workshop designed to teach students about the business of self-publishing books digitally and in print.

Self-publishing provides an amazing opportunity for authors to take control of their own publishing career. It’s also a lot of hard work. Authors must build successful, long-running businesses and supervise their own production and distribution process.

Part 1 covers:

  • Basics of self-employment models: sole proprietor, LLC, corporation
  • Protecting your privacy if you write under a pseudonym
  • Registering your copyright
  • Obtaining ISBNs and when they’re necessary
  • Creating a preliminary budget

Workshop Goals include:

  • For students to gain a clearer understanding of how to self-publish
  • For students to take ownership of their publishing career path
  • For students to gain perspective on the financial and artistic reasons to choose self-publishing
  • For students to gain knowledge and tools to help them embark on self-publishing their work
  • For students to discover trustworthy resources for further research

About the Presenter, Kelli Finger

Kelli Finger is published under her pseudonym Abbey MacInnis and publishes books under her sole-proprietorship publishing company. Kelli recently added a certification in grant writing to her writing experience. A classically trained vocalist with a Masters of Social Work, Kelli is a strong advocate for people with disabilities and has worked for over six years as a Braille proofreader. Having faced the challenges of developing her own self-publishing career, she’s eager to help others save time and understand their many options.

Cost: FFP Members:$20.00/Non-Members: $25.00

Register for This Workshop

What would Sam-I-Am say?
What would Sam-I-Am say? My younger daughter and I spied these Green Goats chomping away on all sorts of pesky greenery on the hill beside our local Wal-Mart. Ingenious, environmentally friendly way to mow steep slopes, huh? Turns out goats will even eat poison ivy. (Why couldn’t Ladew Gardens have hired these beasties back in July? :-))

What other animals have pimped FF&P’s classes?

Hope everyone’s doing well!

#Writing #Workshops for June (and a cat pic this time)

Below are the online workshops being offered in June by RWA’s Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Chapter. If you are a writing instructor and are interested in teaching a workshop, please contact me for available dates, rates, and proposal submission guidelines.

NUTMEG
NUTMEG

Advanced WordPress

06/01/2015 – 06/28/2015

Now that you have your website or blog set up, it’s time to get creative. This course will focus on advanced customizing of WordPress sites such as installing WordPress on your home computer, creating a webhost server that is not connected to the internet so that you can test ideas in a risk-free environment, troubleshooting your site when it crashes, creating custom menus, importing and exporting content from different sources, creating user-friendly permalinks, search engine optimization, and using the WordPress community forum. The class lasts four weeks.

Lessons include:

  1. Setting up WP on your home computer: working with local host for both Mac and PC.
  2. Working with menus: creating custom menus, putting menus in your sidebar.
  3. Playing around in the WP Content Folder and troubleshooting: what to do if you crash your site.
  4. Fun things you can do with your site: embedding videos and adding images from the web.
  5. Optimizing your site for search engines.
  6. Uploading your practice site to the web.
  7. Going live.

About the Presenter

Pepper O’Neal has a doctorate in education and has taught a number of adult education classes on many different subjects. She currently works as a freelance researcher and author. When she was told by both of her publishers that she needed to have a website, she realized she needed to finally join the age of technology. She also realized she had two options. She could pay someone to design the site for her, or she could to do it herself. As she hates depending on others for things involving her career, she decided to learn how to use the free web-design software WordPress and Joomla. She took classes, hired experts for tutors, and picked the brains of her web-designer friends. After designing her own websites, she decided she liked doing it, and now she designs websites for others.

Cost: FFP Members:$20.00/Non-Members: $25.00

Click here to register for this workshop.

The Never Ending Plot / Subplot Resource

06/01/2015 – 06/26/2015

Polti’s principle of 36 situations shows “There are no new stories.” This 8-session workshop from Sally Walker takes the writer through his situations and explains how to apply, twist and spark every story and its characters into unpredictable freshness, even with genre expectations.

About the Presenter

She eventually graduated from Papillion (NE) High School then nursing school at the University of Albuquerque and, eventually received a BFA in Creative Writing back at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  That degree was accomplished while working full-time as a Critical Care/ER nurse and raising a very active family of three daughters with her engineer husband.  Adeptly juggling family, nursing, civic and Episcopal church responsibilities, Sally founded in 1985 and has conducted the weekly meetings of the eclectic Nebraska Writers Workshop to feed her own hunger for in-depth knowledge and skills. The Workshop has grown from a few tentative to over 50 confidently publishing and produced writers. Her own goal-oriented writing ethic has resulted in a vitae packed with novels, short stories, poetry, magazine articles, stage plays, screenplays and a variety of writing seminars.  In 2000 she was hired as part-time Editorial Director at The Fiction Works and Script Superviser for the affiliated Misty Mountain Productions. After retiring from her nursing career of over 30 years, she was elected President of the prestigious Nebraska Writers Guild, serving 2007-2011.

Cost: FFP Members:$20.00/Non-Members: $25.00

Click here to register for this workshop.

#Writing #Workshops for May (oh, and a chipmunk pic, bc why not?)

Below are the online workshops being offered in May by RWA’s Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Chapter. If you are a writing instructor and are interested in teaching a workshop, please contact me for available dates, rates, and proposal submission guidelines.

What does a chipmunk have to do with writing or workshops? Absolutely nothing. We caught this little guy (girl?) in our house earlier this week. No idea how it got in, which is somewhat disturbing. Not that I would have wanted them to go after it, but my cats showed zero interest. We let it go in the backyard.
What does a chipmunk have to do with writing or workshops?
Absolutely nothing.
We caught this little guy (girl?) in our house earlier this week. No idea how it got in, which is somewhat disturbing. Not that I would have wanted them to go after it, but my cats showed zero interest. We let it go in the backyard.

Beginning WordPress

05/04/2015 – 05/31/2015

This class will focus on understanding the basic functions of WordPress such as making posts and pages, adding images, copying and pasting from one post or page to another, creating links, connecting your social media links for Facebook, Twitter, etc., using plugins, widgets, and themes, creating parent and child pages, using menus, and customizing the look and feel of your site. In short, everything you need to create a website or blog and make it uniquely yours. The class lasts four weeks.

Lessons include:

  1. Navigating the Back End of WordPress
  2. Understanding Themes: Changing the Look of Your Site Through Themes
  3. Customizing the Themes: Changing the Header and Background
  4. Understanding the Difference Between Posts & Pages: What They Are; How to Use Them
  5. Adding Images & Links
  6. Things you can do to Jazz up your site. Using Asides and Widgets
  7. Working with Plugins: Understanding Plugins, Some Plugins You Must Have, Setting Up FB & Twitter Links on Your Site
  8. Some Things You Need to Know About the Web and Websites

About the Presenter, Pepper O’Neal

Pepper O’Neal has a doctorate in education and has taught a number of adult education classes on many different subjects. She currently works as a freelance researcher and author. When she was told by both of her publishers that she needed to have a website, she realized she needed to finally join the age of technology. She also realized she had two options. She could pay someone to design the site for her, or she could to do it herself. As she hates depending on others for things involving her career, she decided to learn how to use the free web-design software WordPress and Joomla. She took classes, hired experts for tutors, and picked the brains of her web-designer friends. After designing her own websites, she decided she liked doing it, and now she designs websites for others.

Cost: FFP Members:$20.00/Non-Members: $25.00

Register for This Workshop

Beware the Info Dump, My Child

05/04/2015 – 05/17/2015

Say you’re starting work on your latest story. You’ve just done a ton of research to get all the details right, down to the outer ridge of your heroine’s left boot. You are proud of what you’ve done, and who could blame you? Inspired, you want to bring the reader into the story and you want him or her to be as fascinated and intrigued by it as you are. But you make a small tactical error. Just a small one. You dump all this stuff at the beginning of your story so they can get started on the wonderfulness that is your story… And you are left scratching your head when the readers don’t come, or they read the first couple of pages…and wander away, choosing not to continue.

What happened? Why weren’t they fascinated? What’s wrong with them?!

How much research is just right? What’s the tidbit to work in? What isn’t?

This class will teach you some tricks and tips to keep in mind when it comes to making the best use of your research, along with examples.

About the Presenters, Elizabeth Flynn and Heather Hiestand

Elizabeth MS Flynn has written fiction in the form of comic book stories, romantic fantasies, urban fantasies, historical fantasies and short stories, a young adult novel, and a graphic novella (most published under the name of Eilis Flynn). She’s also a professional editor and has been for more than 35 years.

Heather Hiestand wrote her first story at age seven and went on to major in creative writing at the University of Washington. Her first published fiction was a mystery short story, but since then it has been all about the many flavors of romance. Heather’s first published romance short story was set in the Victorian period and she continues to return, fascinated by the rapid changes of the nineteenth century. The author of many novels, novellas, and short stories, she is a bestseller at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. With her husband and son, she makes her home in a small town and supposedly works out of her tiny office, though she mostly writes in her easy chair in the living room. She also writes as Anh Leod.

Cost: FFP Members:$20.00/Non-Members: $25.00

Register for This Workshop