Are you stuck in your manuscript? Searching for new ideas? Anxious to talk to other writers about what you’re working on? We’ll breakup into small groups on June 26 and talk about our work. It is not necessary to bring pages, but do so if you think it will be helpful. Just be prepared to talk about your work or help someone else brainstorm theirs.
Information on NECRWA meetings
Representatives of Instafreebie (https://www.instafreebie.com/) will give a workshop on using their service to build your audience by giving away free copies.
If you write historical romance, part of what you are selling is the chance to live in someone else’s skin. Maybe your character is Marianne, a half-Jamaican hotelier seduced by a spy during the Crimean War; or Laura, a diplomat’s daughter who rescues a wounded American Marine in the Boxer Rebellion. Either way, flat descriptions from encyclopedias won’t cut it. You need to mine primary sources for the convincing details of everyday life. Where else will you learn how Marianne chased off a thief with her rusty horse pistol, primed only with coffee? Or how Laura saved her favorite white pony from becoming dinner for starving Americans in Beijing? This workshop is designed to introduce the writer to primary sources: how to find them, how to assess their reliability, and how to keep track of the information within them. The emphasis will be on free resources found online, including books, memoirs, newspaper articles, magazines, maps, photographs, and note-taking software. Any period of study is possible, but the best online materials are found for the eighteenth through twentieth centuries, including Regency, Victorian, Edwardian, British India, and American Western periods.
Jennifer Hallock is the author of the Sugar Sun Series, historical romance set during the Philippine-American War. 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 two geriatric border collie mutts. She spends her days teaching history and her nights writing historical happily-ever-afters. Before the internet made it easy, Jen worked as a fact-checker for several academic publications. She also researched and published an article on human trafficking for a peer-reviewed journal. These days she teaches generations of history students how to write research papers, and she has even helped a handful of these teenagers get their own work published.
This year, agents and editors at our conference will be reading the five pages in which your hero and heroine meet. Even if you’re not pitching, this is a great chance to get some feedback on this important moment in your book. Bring five copies of the first five pages where the heroine meets the hero.
Prior to her writing career, author Jen Malone was the New England Head of Publicity and Promotions for 20th Century Fox and Miramax Films, charged with creating localized, grassroots campaigns to compliment the mass marketing efforts of the studio. In this seminar, Jen draws on those strategies to discuss outside-the-box techniques authors can employ to get their title noticed in a cluttered marketspace. We’ll examine why the target audience influences most of the marketing decisions and unique ways to specifically reach those readers. Finally you’ll be shown examples of marketing campaigns that managed to create that elusive “buzz” and examine ways you can do the same for your title!
Jen Malone writes books for tweens and teens, including At Your Service, the You’re Invited series, and the forthcoming The Sleepover with Simon & Schuster, as well as Map to the Stars and the forthcoming Wanderlost with HarperCollins. She is a former Hollywood marketing exec who once spent a year traveling the world solo, met her husband on the highway (literally), and went into labor with her identical twins while on a rock star’s tour bus. These days she saves the drama for her books. You can learn more about Jen and her titles at www.jenmalonewrites.com.
Are you confused when we talk about “voice” in writing? Editors say it’s what they’re looking for, and agents say it can make the difference between a mid-list and a best-selling career. It’s often defined as “a writer’s personality on the page,” but how do we put it there? Is it something natural, organic, or something related to our writing craft?
This workshop will explore the integrated writing elements that make up voice, such as style, tone, and content (each with its own sub-elements) and what choices we make that affect our voices. We’ll analyze recognizable samples of strong writing voices, and through discussion and exercises, map out some ways to strengthen our own voices for greater writing success.
Award-winning author Gail Eastwood started writing stories as soon as she learned to string words together on paper. After detours into journalism and rare books, she finally found her path writing “traditional” Regency romances acclaimed for pushing the genre’s boundaries with emotional depth and innovative plots. Published by Signet and twice nominated for Romantic Times Magazine’s Career Achievement award, Gail had to put writing on hold to deal with family health issues, but honed her teaching skills in the interim. Now she is back doing what she loves best, but still enjoys helping to nurture the writing gift in others. Most of her backlist is now available and she has new books in the works.
A storyboard is a visual of your book, a quick overview, of the flow of your story. It allows you to quickly see an overview of your book without having to read paragraphs in a synopsis or notes in a notebook. It also facilitates plot brainstorming and helps keep you writing during the process. In this session, we’ll discuss how to design a storyboard that works best for you and then how to use it for plotting, revision, and brainstorming.
Ever since Megan Ryder discovered Jude Deveraux and Judith McNaught while sneaking around the “forbidden” romance section of the library one day after school, she has been voraciously devouring romance novels of all types. Now a romance author in her own right, Megan pens sexy contemporary novels all about family and hot lovin’ with the boy next door. She’s also a master procrastinator–if only her cocker spaniel mix, Josie, would let her focus on writing instead of playing ball all day!
Judith Arnold will lead a panel of authors to discuss the pros and cons of various options open to authors right now.
Judith Arnold is the USA Today bestselling author of nearly one hundred romance and women’s fiction novels. She’s been a multiple finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Rita Award
and the EPIC Award for electronic fiction, and she’s won four RT Magazine Reviewer’s Choice Awards and the New England Readers Choice Award. Publishers Weekly named her novel Love in Bloom’s one of the best books of the year.
A lifelong New England resident, Victoria Morgan lives in a suburb of Boston. There she juggles (with differing degrees of priority) a part-time job, writing, watercolor classes, her husband, a teen-ager and college student, and a mini-golden doodle with a Napoleon complex. Published with Berkley Sensation, a Penguin Random House Group, she is an insatiable reader who loves to see the magic of a world taking shape through the words of a book or the beauty of a painted picture. You can contact her through her website, Victoriamorgan.com or through FB. Leave a comment as she loves to hear from readers!
Frances Susanne Brown is an accomplished writer of both nonfiction and fiction. A graduate of NYIT, she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University. Frances began her career writing magazine articles. She is a still a regular feature contributor for Renaissance Magazine, as well as being one of their book reviewers. Her memoir, Maternal Threads, was released May 1, 2015 from High Hill Press. Writing under the pseudonym Claire Gem, her debut novel was released in February 2015. Addressing the themes of May-September romance and the heartbreak of Alzheimer’s, Phantom Traces combines a modern love story, a historical tragedy, and a spooky paranormal in a multilayered, fast-paced plot guaranteed to take the reader on an emotional ride.
Her other novels include Memories of You, Book 1 in The Lake George Series, coming soon from Lachesis Publishing. Her women’s fiction, The Phoenix Syndrome, recently won first place honors in FCRW’s The Beacon Contest. Originally from upstate New York, Frances has also lived in Florida, Texas, and North Carolina. She presently resides in Massachusetts with her husband of 36 years.
Kristen Strassel prides herself on having not one, but two of the coolest jobs in the world. She’s a makeup artist for film and television as well as an author of paranormal and contemporary romances. She writes off-beat heroines who find their happily ever after where they least expect it. Her latest novel, The Fire Dancer, a vampire dark fantasy, was released May 21.
Hannah Howell, New York Times and USA Today Bestseller, has been published for twenty-six years. She now has two Historical Romance series published by Kensington books. The 20th book in the Murray series set in medieval Scotland came out in December of last year. The other series is the Wherlockes, set in eighteenth century England. If He’s Noble, the sixth book in the Wherlocke series will be out in September
In this workshop, Hannah will speak on the importance of the words you use in your writing. How the change of one simple verb can take your sentence from adequate to powerful. Or how you can give the reader a good picture of a character with just a few well-chosen words instead of pages of description. Even how the use of such things as simile and metaphor can add texture and depth. A story has a plot and characters you hope will catch a reader’s attention but it is the words you use that will hold it fast. There will be handouts and book recommendations.
Sunday’s meeting is cancelled due to probably snow. See you all on March 15.