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.

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.

 

March 17, 2019 Meeting – How the RITA Awards Have Shaped Romancelandia with Corrina Lawson

Corinna Lawson headshot
For the past year, Corrina Lawson has been systematically reading all the RWA RITA Award winners and examining them for trends and influences on the current day romance genre books. The Great RITA Read series can be found at the B&N Reads blog.

BIO

Corrina Lawson is a former newspaper reporter, a mom of four, and the author of nine published books, including a steampunk and a superhero series. She is currently the content director of GeekMom.com.

February 17, 2019 Meeting – Author-At-Large: Face-to-Face Marketing for Fairs, Expos, and Conferences with Satin Russell

Author-At-Large: Face-to-Face Marketing for Fairs, Expos, and Conferences

In this presentation, Satin Russell will cover how events can be a useful way to build your readership and author network, how to find various events, and tips for having a successful and profitable experience. She’ll also discuss the importance of thinking outside the box when looking for shows to attend.
BIO:
Satin Russell is the author of The Harper Sisters Series, a romantic suspense trilogy set in Bath, Maine. Other than writing, she loves getting out and meeting readers and potential fans. Last year, she did quite a few events and is eager to share what she’s learned with her fellow writers in this fun and informative workshop.

CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER [January 20, 2019 Meeting – Goal-Setting]

Goal-Setting for the New Year

Bring your best tips and tricks for goal-setting, techniques for staying on top of your goals, apps you like for writing/keeping track of timelines/word counts/etc, and any newsletters or YouTube channels you subscribe to that help keep you motivated or inspire you. We’ll share and discuss, and will collect your ideas into a page on the chapter’s website of helpful resources.