February 16, 2019 Meeting – The Taoist’s Guide to Staying Sane in the Writing Business

Jeffe Kennedy Feel like one more workshop on promo might send you over the edge?

Anne Lamott famously noted that while writing, as difficult as the process may be, delivers gifts publication makes people crazy. Many writers get into the business first out of love, however, love doesn’t pay the bills and it can take a while for writing to pay a living wage. The writer who has no other financial support often has no choice but to work one or more “day jobs” to keep the money coming in. The dream, of course, is quitting that day job to make a living entirely as a writer. What can happen, however, is that intense focus on bringing in money from writing – from scrutinizing the marketplace, to constantly checking Amazon rankings, to jealous obsession with other writers’ sales figures – can suck all the joy out of what was once a dream, and even reduce the art of writing into an algorithm. The Taoists believe that focusing on monetary gain instead of on their concept of virtue “maddens the mind.” Jeffe Kennedy, a comparative religious studies major who did her honors thesis on the Tao Te Ching, and a practicing Taoist for most of her life, will discuss these concepts and encourage round table discussion of people’s experiences. It’s not that money is the root of all evil, but that the love of money is. There’s nothing wrong with plying our art to gain wealth, but there are ways to refocus our attention on the core values that truly matter, such as telling a memorable story while navigating the tumultuous publishing world.

BIO:

Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author whose works include novels, non-fiction, poetry, and short fiction. 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 award-winning fantasy romance trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms hit the shelves starting in May 2014. Book 1, The Mark of the Tala, received a starred Library Journal review and was nominated for the RT Book of the Year while the sequel, The Tears of the Rose received a Top Pick Gold and was nominated for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2014. The third book, The Talon of the Hawk, won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2015. Two more books followed in this world, beginning the spin-off series The Uncharted Realms. Book one in that series, The Pages of the Mind, has also been nominated for the RT Reviewer’s Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2016 and won RWA’s 2017 RITA® Award. The second book, The Edge of the Blade, released December 27, 2016, and is a PRISM finalist, along with The Pages of the Mind. The next in the series, The Shift of the Tide, will be out in August, 2017. A high fantasy trilogy taking place in The Twelve Kingdoms world is forthcoming from Rebel Base books in 2018.

She also introduced a new fantasy romance series, Sorcerous Moons, which includes Lonen’s War, Oria’s Gambit, The Tides of Bàra, and The Forests of Dru. She’s begun releasing a new contemporary erotic romance series, Missed Connections, which started with Last Dance and continues in With a Prince.

In 2019, St. Martins Press will release the first book, The Orchid Throne, in a new fantasy romance series, The Forgotten Empires.

Her other 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; an erotic contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera; and the erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, which includes Going Under, Under 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 SFF Seven blog, on Facebook, on Goodreads and pretty much constantly on Twitter @jeffekennedy. She is represented by Sarah Younger of Nancy Yost Literary Agency.

 

November 17, 2019 Meeting – Sally meets Harry: Creating Memorable Rom-Coms from the Ground Up

Farah Heron Romantic comedies have always been popular in the movie theater, but in recent years they seem to be everywhere in bookstores, too. This trend in Romance publishing doesn’t seem to be fading anytime soon. In this workshop, Farah will delve deep into what makes a great rom-com, and help you craft them from the ground up. With tips on how to develop high-concept storylines that lend themselves to comedy, to writing biting and witty banter, and finally layering in even more laugh-out-loud one-liners. And most importantly, retaining that emotional romance arc that will keep your readers swooning between the belly laughs.

BIO:

After a childhood diet of Jane Austen, Monty Python and Bollywood, Farah Heron writes romantic comedies full of huge, loving South Asian families, loyal friends, delectable food, and most importantly, brown people falling stupidly in love.The Chai Factor, released in June by HarperCollins Canada, has been named one of the summer’s best books by The Globe and Mail, and has been praised in Book Riot, Smart Bitches Trashy Books, Bustle and more. Farah has two more rom-coms contracted with Forever/Grand Central books: The Right Spice, out early 2021, and another unnamed rom-com after that.

 

October 20, 2019 Meeting – Love Songs and Snapshots: What Romance Authors Can Learn From a Musician

Paul Pitman Musicians make frequent appearances in romance novels as main characters—what tips and tricks can you pick up from a fellow creative who uses music to tell his stories instead of novels? In this workshop, you’ll learn a few basic formats to help you write your own lyrics for use in your books. You’ll also pick up strategies to condense a feeling or mood into a single line—perfect for chapter openings, revealing a plot twist, or the last sentence in a chapter to keep your readers turning pages. We’ll talk about some ways to get beyond creative blocks and find new sources of inspiration, and have plenty of time for questions. Throughout the journey we will acquire a new understanding of how fit a grand picture into a snapshot. Be prepared to take a trip into wonderland… Well, the warped mind of an always aspiring to evolve musician.

BIO:

Paul Pitman is a self-described generalist with a personality that can most simply be described as eclectic. The pursuit of self-evolution and the desire to entertain has given him a diverse background in athletics, music, film, restaurants, marketing, and promotions. Paul first discovered his desire to perform and entertain at a young age by soaking in the drama, flair and athleticism of professional wrestling in addition to the bombastic sound, attitude, style and larger than life personalities of early MTV. Initially attracted to being a lyricist/ front person by the likes of Scott Weiland, Axl Rose, Steven Tyler, and Jim Morrision, he’s also inspired by the fashion and theatrics of David Bowie as well as the principles of songwriting by artists such as Tom Petty. Paul has used this combination of influences to collaborate with various local and national artists. Presently Paul is chasing his dreams and goals with more vigor than ever while balancing a sixty plus hour work week with family and friends. He’s using his creative and life experiences coupled with meeting and seeing the best and worst of people on a daily basis as fuel towards his next step in storytelling and entertaining through the medium of music.

 

September 15, 2019 Meeting – Screenwriting for Book Authors

Jill Smith-J.A. Rock Ever wanted to see your stories on the big screen? Or on a smaller screen (Call me, Netflix!)? We’ll talk about the structure of a screenplay, how it differs from a novel, how to start from scratch vs. adapting one of your existing pieces for the screen, and how the production process is different from book publishing.

BIO:

Jill Smith/J.A. Rock is a novelist, audiobook narrator, and screenwriter from Sandusky, Ohio. Her LGBTQ romance novels have received Lambda Literary, INDIEFAB, and EPIC Award nominations. She is the co-creator of Whiskey Springs, an upcoming web series based on JA Armstrong’s best-selling Open Tab novels, which she also narrated.

August 18, 2019 Meeting – Estate Planning for Authors with M.L. Buchman

M.L. Buchman A will or trust controls who inherits what. The Final Letter tells your heir(s) ways to maintain it, even make it thrive, once they’ve got it.

The challenge with an estate that includes Intellectual Property (books, stories, plays, films, etc.), is that it has a value that can last another 70 years after your death.

This class is a practical guide for educating your heir on quite what they’ve just received and what their options are to manage it. Topics include: basic vocabulary, income opportunities with Intellectual Property, the power of trusts in IP estate planning, and much more.

Estate Planning for Authors will help authors create their Final Letter as well as help the heirs whose benefactor did not create one. This is a guide on how to help your heirs make sure your legacy remains profitable for decades after you’re gone!

BIO:

M.L. Buchman started the first of over 60 novels, 100 short stories, and a fast-growing pile of audiobooks while flying from South Korea to ride his bicycle across the Australian Outback. Part of an around-the-world trip that ultimately launched his writing career in: contemporary romance, military romantic suspense, thrillers, and SF/F. Recently named in “The 20 Best Romantic Suspense Novels: Modern Masterpieces” by ALA’s Booklist, they have also selected his works three times as “Top-10 Romance Novel of the Year.” NPR and B&N listed other works as “Best 5 Romance of the Year.” As a 30-year project manager with a geophysics degree who has: designed and built houses, flown and jumped out of planes, and solo-sailed a 50’ ketch, he is awed by what’s possible.

June 23, 2019 Meeting – The Power of Author Collaboration: Working Together to Increase Discoverability in Niche Genres with T.B. Markinson

T.B. MArkinson One of the biggest mistakes that authors can make is looking at other authors in their genre as competition instead of as a powerful tool for collaboration and success. The truth is that readers are hungry to discover new books and authors, especially when they are fans of niche genres with few sources of marketing. By working closely with other authors in your sub or niche genres, it’s possible for everyone to benefit.

BIO:

T. B. Markinson is an American writer, living in England. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs, or reading. Not necessarily in that order.

May 19, 2019 Meeting – History Ever After: Fabricated Historical Chronotopes in Romance Genre Fiction with Jennifer Hallock

Jennifer Hallock headshotOver eighty percent of bestselling historical romance books published in the first half of 2018 were set in Britain, either during the 19th century or the medieval period. These two fabricated chronotopes are selectively accurate to history and narrowly focused on high ranks of the nobility—in other words, they are “escapism.” This presentation will consider what escapism means in this context, who it serves, and who it harms. While any reader can enjoy a good duke Regency every once in a while, the net impact of the most popular chronotopes may be to corrode our understanding of history, marginalize anyone writing from a wider palette of settings and characters, and exclude authors of color.

BIO:

Jennifer Hallock spends her days teaching history and her nights writing historical happily-ever-afters. She has lived and worked in the Philippines, but she currently writes at her little brick house on a New England homestead—kept company by her husband, a growing flock of chickens, and an uncooperative mutt.

Call for Goldrick Service Award Nominations

Each year at the Let Your Imagination Take Flight Conference, we present the Goldrick Service Award to a deserving New England Chapter member.

The Goldrick, first awarded in 1996, is given in honor of the late Bob Goldrick who, along with his wife Emma, wrote as Emma Goldrick for Harlequin. They were longtime chapter members who generously volunteered their time, knowledge, and help to the chapter and their fellow members. Upon his death, it was decided to create a service award that would annually celebrate a member whose contribution to the chapter exemplified the service and cooperation among fellow writers that so characterized Bob’s legacy.

The Board encourages the membership to nominate any member they feel promotes the best of what the chapter is about, in particular those who have given their time, energy, and emotional/mental stamina to the chapter, especially those unsung members who so quietly give of themselves. Current Board members are not eligible.

The Board will review all the nominations and choose a recipient. The award will be presented to the winner in a special presentation during the conference.. There is no formal nomination submission process for the award. You can simply email or mail your nominations to any member of the board. However, please include a detailed statement as to why you have nominated a particular member since this will help the Board during the selection process.

If you have any questions, contact NECRWA’s President.

The Board looks forward to receiving your nominations.

Past award recipients are:

2017-18: Kristen Strassel
2016-17: Myretta Robens
2015-16: Sandy Tabor
2014-15: Mary Reiber
2013-14: Valerie Harris
2012-13: Myretta Robens
2011-12: Hannah Howell
2010-11: Tara Holt
2009-10: Jessica Smith
2008-09: Barbara Keiler
2007-08: Cathryn Parry
2006-07: Liana Dalton
2005-06: Jessica Andersen
2004-05: Lesley Matthews
2003-04: Barbara Wallace
2002-03: Katy Cooper and Cindy Jachrimo (joint recipients)
2001-02: Lori Lotti
2000-01: Michelle Drosos
1999-00: Betsy Eliot
1998-99: Blanche Marriott
1997-98: Terri Pino
1996-97: Neringa Bryant and Jo Ann Ferguson (joint recipients)

April 14, 2019 Meeting – How To Meet Your Biggest Writing Goals with Sarra Cannon

We all want to do big things in our careers, but in order to be a big success, we have to juggle so many different things. It can be overwhelming, and sometimes, it can feel like we’re busy all the time but not actually moving forward. In this workshop, author Sarra Cannon shows you how to focus in on the most important items on your to-do list and start conquering those big writing goals you’ve had on your vision board for years.

BIO:

Sarra Cannon is the indie author of more than twenty-five Young Adult contemporary fantasy novels, including her bestselling Shadow Demons Saga. Her novels often stem from her own experiences growing up in the small town of Hawkinsville, Georgia, where she learned that being popular always comes at a price and relationships are rarely as simple as they seem.

With close to three-quarters of a million books sold, Sarra is also passionate about helping fellow authors learn to self-publish in a way that puts joy and creativity at the forefront. She is the host of the successful YouTube channel and blog Heart Breathings, where she talks about everything from productivity to plotting. Sarra lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

 

Congratulations to 2019 New England Readers’ Choice Finalists!

Please join the New England Chapter of Romance Writers of America® in congratulating the finalists in the 2019 New England Readers’ Choice contest! At the Let Your Imagination Take Flight Conference Awards Luncheon on Saturday, April 27, 2019 we will be announcing winners in each category, as well as the winner of our Grand Prize: a $250 gift certificate from Penny Sansevieri, CEO of Author Marketing Experts!

ROMANCE SHORT STORY

*Elizabeth Chatsworth, Ten Minutes Past Teatime

Piper Malone, Fabulously Tanked

Charissa Weaks, “Silver Heart” in Once Upon the Longest Night

ROMANCE NOVELLA

Barbara Lohr, Christmas Dreams and Santa Schemes

*Jess Vonn, The Summer I Saw You

*L. A. Witt, Christmas Homecoming

EROTIC ROMANCE

V. H. Luis, Fading to Black

*L. A. Witt, Once Burned

*L. A. Witt, Sink or Swim

HISTORICAL ROMANCE

Grace Callaway, Enter the Duke

Margaret Locke, The Legendary Duke

Margaret Mallory, Kidnapped by a Rogue

ROMANCE WITH RELIGIOUS/SPIRITUAL ELEMENTS

Oliva Rae, Adoration

Laura Scott, Primary Suspect

Sherri Shackelford, No Safe Place

PARANORMAL/FANTASY/SCIFI/TIME TRAVEL ROMANCE

Cara Crescent, Wretched

Marie Johnston, A Shifter’s Second Chance

Allie Marie, Hands of the Healer

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

Toni Anderson, Cold Blooded

Bev Pettersen, Along Came a Cowboy

Cari Z. and *L. A. Witt, Double or Nothing

YOUNG ADULT ROMANCE

Kilby Blades, Friended

Julia Day, Fade to Us

*Marissa Doyle, Between Silk and Sand

SHORT CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Marie Johnston, Rancher in Training

Heather Novak, Headlights, Dipsticks, and My Ex’s Brother

Radclyffe, Dangerous Waters

LONG CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Penny Jaeger, Dearly Beloved

Sandra Owens, Just Jenny

J. N. Welsh, In Tune

* denotes a NECRWA member