Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Writers' Conference vs. Readers' Convention

We, Vicki Law and Marne Ann, are heading up to Crested Butte tomorrow for the Crested Butte Writers' Conference. I am So Excited!
We are going to learn more about the writing craft, marketing and publishing, we'll get to see friends we haven't seen in a year or more, we'll make new friends...
It's going to be phenomenal and I'm counting down the hours now.
But, this weekend is also the RomCon weekend in Denver. There will be romance readers EVERYWHERE, costume parties, author readings, and I don't know what else, because I've NEVER been to a CON before!
I know--WHAT?
Crazy, right?
So tell me, fellow blog peeps, have you ever been to a CON? Loved it? Hated it? What would you love to see from authors at a CON? (I am going to MileHiCon in October and I'm really jazzed about it...but a bit nervous, too!)
And are you going to RomCon this weekend?
Me? Like I said, I'll be learning, making friends, maybe selling a book or two, and having a grand time in Crested Butte this weekend (and yes, I'll post lots of pics!)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

RMFW June Education Event in Grand Junction

June Education Event
How to...Renovate Your Novel
Presented by Kay Bergstrom (writing as Cassie Miles)

June 9, 2012 – 8am to 4pm
Two Rivers Convention Center
159 Main Street
Grand Junction, Colorado

How to…Renovate Your Novel - Have you got a brilliant idea that will surely become an acclaimed best-selling novel as soon as you get a chance to write it down?  Is your novel stuck half-way through?  Did you complete the book and hate it?  Does everybody else hate it? 
Whether starting from a blueprint or doing major demolition on a broke-down book, the same basic skills are necessary.  Start with research and development.  Build the framework with a plot.  Use characterization to create a memorable, unique novel that you can live with.

R&D:  Developing the perfect idea for your novel isn’t easy but it’s fun.  Re-visit your favorite books and movies and analyze them.  Consider the genre, the plot, the characters and the style.  Discover your natural writing style, your voice.  (Style tip: Never use the word “suddenly” unless you’re writing for preschoolers.)

Plot: Coming up with the plot before you start writing is guaranteed to save you time and grief.  Though there are dozens of different methods of plotting, a basic structure includes set-up (thesis), complications (antithesis) and climax (synthesis).  (Plot tip: Any given situation can always get worse.) 

Characterization: Only in fiction can a writer create a character who doesn’t exist and is not bound by reality.  A character arc – necessary for every novel – is determined by the goals, passions, assets, limitations, making hard decisions and taking action.  (Characterization tip: Real people don’t often change; fictional characters always do.)   
Kay Bergstrom (writing as Cassie Miles) has sold over 70 novels of romance and suspense involving jewel heists, Elvis sightings, sexy midwives, true love, serial killers and a cross-dressing cake baker named Bernice. 

In addition to many, many books for Harlequin Intrigue, Kay has published with Harlequin Temptation and American.  She has also written for Berkley, Avon, Crown, Zebra, Kismet, Audio Entertainment and Shades of Love.
Her awards include Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer’s Writer of the Year in 2003, the Jasmine Award, Colorado Romance Writer of the Year, Affair D’Coeur Top Ten, Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, RT Top Pick, and RT WISH Best Hero.  Last year, she was on the USA TODAY Best-Seller list.
Her teaching experience in creative writing ranges from college level classes for credit to fifth grade show-and-tell.  (The fifth graders were a harder group.)

Kay has two daughters.  One is a paleo-anthropologist and grad student at Texas A&M.  The other is a senior editor at Harper-Collins.  Her grandson is a brilliant (is there any other kind?) 4-year-old.

Upcoming books: MIDWIFE COVER (April, 2012), MOMMY MIDWIFE (August, 2012) and MONTANA MIDWIFE (December, 2012). 

Speed Dating with an Author: We have three talented and knowledgeable authors who have donated their time to meet with attendees. If you’re interested in a 10 minute session with any of our guest authors, indicate your choice on your registration. Bring the first two pages of your work-in-progress for a quick critique or use your time to ask industry related questions.

Cindi Myers
Cindi worked as a newspaper reporter, travel agent and medical clinic manager before turning to writing full time. She's written both historical and contemporary romance, as well as dozens of short stories and nonfiction articles. Cindi thinks writers have the best job in the world.
Former president of San Antonio Romance Authors, Cindi is a member of Romance Writers of America, Novelists Inc., and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.
She and her husband and their two dogs live in the mountains Southwest of Denver. When she's not caught up in creating new characters and stories, Cindi enjoys reading, quilting, gardening, skiing and hiking. She's also in demand as a speaker, teaching workshops and making presentations to both local and national writing groups.
Visit Cindi on the Web:
Mark Stevens
The son of two librarians, Mark Stevens was raised in Lincoln, Massachusetts and graduated from Principia College in Illinois. He worked as a reporter for The Christian Science Monitor in Boston and Los Angeles, covering a variety of events and issues. Following a move to Denver, he worked for The Rocky Mountain News, covering City Hall for three years. When he learned that The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour was expanding its production he was lucky enough to be invited to join the team. For six years, he produced field documentaries across the United States and Latin America. After tending bar for a year on a self-financed sabbatical (and to write fiction), he joined The Denver Post to cover education, which led to a position as Director of Communications with Denver Public Schools and later the Greeley school district and the state department of education. He now works in public relations. Mark is a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (Current President); Mystery Writers of America; Sisters in Crime; Colorado Authors League; Pike’s Peak Writers; Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Visit Mark on the web:

Pamela Nowak 
Pamela's first book, CHANCES has received several honors since its release in early 2008. Winner of 2009 HOLT Medallion for Best First Book; Recipient of 2009 WILLA Finalist Award for Historical Fiction; • Named as One of the Top Ten Romance Books of 2008 by Booklist
Her pre-published manuscripts have also won attention in several national contests. CHANCES received first place honors in the historical category of the Four Seasons Awards in 2003, placed second in the 2003 Put Your Heart in a Book contest, and was a 2002 finalist in the Spring Into Romance contest, the Colorado Gold contest, and the Laurie. CHOICES was a 2001 Colorado Gold finalist entry. In 2006, CHALLENGES placed third in the Heart of the West Writers Contest and was a Spring Into Romance finalist. 
Pamela received a B.A. from South Dakota State University. She has taught school, served as a historic preservation specialist, and taught classes at a state penitentiary.
Visit Pam on the web:

For more information, please contact Vicki Law –