Tag Archives: Kristan Higgins

#L&SR Saturday Seven. My “auto buy” authors

Saturday Seven

There are some authors I will put on my Amazon buy list without ever reading the blurb of the newest book they are releasing. It doesn’t matter what the book is about, I just know that it will be an enjoyable read no matter what the plotline. Truly. These women could re-write the phone book and I’d buy it.

So, this is the list of my “auto buy” authors, and why.

1.Jill Shalvis – because she always makes me laugh, and we need more laughter and love in the world.

2.Jayne Ann Krentz – (Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle, too!) I read all her books in whatever name she writes in because she is simply a wonderful writer and I’ve never read one of her books that didn’t give me a reading rush of pleasure.

3.Kristan Higgins – because her heroines are people I’d like to be BFFs with.

4.Lauren Layne – her writing style is so comfortable and easy to read and her characters are always spot-on.

5.Catherine Bybee – she’s a (former) nurse and so am I! But really, it’s because she writes such believable, relatable characters and weaves them into really good stories.

6.Nora Roberts – read any of her books and you’ll know why she’s considered The Queen of romantic fiction. ‘Nuff said.

7. JD Robb ( Okay, a little bit of a cheat here!) because Roarke. That says it all.

When I’m not reading the above authors, you can usually find me hanging out here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

Advertisements

11 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The year of YES

I did a post at the beginning of this year, telling you all that I’d made 2016 the year of saying yes for me to things I don’t usually  say yes to ( or even want to!) Thought I’d give you an update on how that’s going.

yes

I said yes to attending a woman’s expo earlier in the year as a vendor when an old friend asked me to. I was allowed to have my own “booth”, set up to sell copies of my books. This wasn’t a book conference, or a literary meeting, but an expo for women of all ages, all walks of like, and was filled with all things pertinent to, well, women.  Life style coaches, diet, exercise gurus, local and national vendors alike all converged on my local college for the day. I figured if I sold one book I’d be happy. Didn’t sell one book…sold 50. Mostly to people I didn’t know ( so that’s a plus!) Very glad I said yes to my friend when she asked me to participate. Another reason I was happy I’d said yes was when the guy at the booth next to mine told he was the sponsor of a woman’s retreat weekend, coming up this September and he would be thrilled if I participated and  maybe…wait for it…be a speaker. As a speaker, I’d also be able to sell my books during the weekend’s own trade/vendor show. Since this is the year of yes I said…Yes! I’ll let you know how it goes after it’s over next month.

yes2

Even though I retired from my job last year so I could write full time, I said yes to going back for a few months to help my old office out with a problem. Because I knew there was an end-date on that “yes” I was happy to help out and actually had a good time interacting with my old patients and my crew. I really don’t think I need to tell you how happy my husband was when I said yes to this, since I would be getting paid for my time!

yes1

I was asked to be a judge in our annual Keene Dancing with Stars and said yes – and was sosososo happy I did. I had oodles of fun and made some new friends.

I attended RWA in July ( you know that!) and this year when the call went out for volunteers to work the conference I said…yes. So glad I did because I got to chat up some of my all time favorite authors, like Jill Shalvis and Kristan Higgins, in a casual, fun-filled, no stress-sweat situation.

Remember my friend who asked me to participate in the woman’s expo? She also asked me to participate in this year’s Taste of Home Cooking show that will be happening this October at our high school, and again, I  said yes, because I get to sell my books to the 600-800 participants this event usually sees attend. More on that after October, but another good reason to say yes to something I’d rather avoid – crowds!!!

 

Here’s where you can find me when I’m not saying yes!:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

6 Comments

Filed under Author, community advocacy, Dancing with the Stars, female friends, Friends, Life challenges, love, New Hampshire, Project Graduation, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

#RWA16 the final day….Whew!

rwa16

So I’m sitting right now at the San Diego airport waiting for my flight. it’s 4 am PCT and I am TIRED with a capital T! Yesterday was a whirlwind, but I’ll try to hit the highlights.

It started with another book signing. The total now is 72.( this picture isn’t all of them!)

rwa26And I did break down and ship some of them home today. I just didn’t want to be bothered having to lug them all in my suitcase and then back home. Then off to Elizabeth Hoyt’s Emotion workshop. If you don’t know Hoyt, you don’t know historical romance. Her heat level is lava worthy. Her male characters are each and every one the type of man I could so see myself with IF I lived in Regency times. She gave an in-depth workshop on exactly what is needed to give your characters emotional depth and substance. And she should know – she’s an award-winning writing chicita with the writing chops to go with it.

A quick lunch of Diet Mountain Dew and a mounds bar – honestly there is never enough time to actually sit down and eat something nutritious for lunch!! and then it was on to a talk with Kristan Higgins, Elizabeth Hoyt and  Alyssa Day titled Sex with the terrible trio… This class was a no holds barred laugh fest about how to write sex for any heat level from sweet, to  close the door, to down and dirty and hothothot.  I haven’t laughed so much nor learned so much from a lecture since I took anatomy class in nursing school and saw my very first ( dead, as in, cadaver) penis. Truly, these three would be a hoot to just hang out and have drinks with.

My last workshop of the day concerned the DARK MOMENT on your story, and I’m not referring to Voldemort’s tattoo! Lisa Kessler gave numerous examples in film and fiction of that moment in the story when all seems lost and hopeless, the h/h will never get their chance at a happily ever after and your heart is pounding. Excellent discussion on how to up  the stakes on your story to make that dark moment the one people remember..

Alas, I did not actually get to attend the RITA awards live because my shuttle bus was coming for me at oh0threehundred-dark for my flight. But I did get to watch up until Robyn Carr’s acceptance speech on my computer from the webcam streaming, so I feel like I hit the high points.

Now, as I sit here – tired, hungry, and yet elated, I am thankful to go home because really, you can eat only so much bad food for a week, and I miss my bed. And my husband – I need to say that! But I take away from this conference so many first’s as memories: My first RWA literacy signing, the first time I volunteered at RWA, the first time I moderated worskhops. The first time I really got up my gumption and talked TALKED with uberfamous and wonderful authors like Jill Shalvis ( fan girl sigh) Kristan Higgins, and Elizabeth Hoyt. My first publishing party at my new home, Kensington/Lyrical.

My fan girl moments in the hallways included a quick chat with Jayne Ann Krentz, who was walking along with all the romance rabble ( like me!) like she was just another gal getting to an elevator. I saw Nora Roberts twice – I almost wet my pants both times!! Sylvia Day, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, the amazing Brenda Novak…. so many faces for the writers I love  and worship.

In the next few days I will come down off this high and get back to the work of actually writing – I have deadlines now!!- but I will remember for years to come how wonderful, how supported, how inspired I was by everyone and everything RWA related.

Until next time…..be well, find your joy, and write your little hearts out.

Leave a comment

Filed under #RWA16, Author, Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, Kensington Publishers, Lyrical Author, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

RWA15 final thoughts…

So it’s a little less than a week since I got home from RWA15 in New York. My mind and body were depleted and yet strangely energized as well. Last year – as an RWA conference virgin – I was too excited to appreciate the networking going on around me; too excited meeting my favorite authors in the flesh; too excited to realize what an unbelievable opportunity the conference was to enhance my career.

This year was different on so many levels. Oh, I was still excited beyond belief at meeting my favorite authors- and some new ones – but I took the opportunity afforded  me and branched out in several ways to advance my writing career.

Last year the workshops I attended had more to do with seeing the well known authors presenting them. I took no classes on craft, marketing or the business of publishing. This year, those were the only classes I sat in on.

Last year I stood in line for 2 hours to get Nora Roberts’ autograph at the Literacy signing. This year I volunteered at the event and was thrilled to be assigned to one of my favorite authors of all time, Jayne Ann Krentz. I learned more from watching her  interact with her fans for just 2 hours than I could have learned in years in public relations courses. She showed me – up close and personally – what it’s like to be on the other side of the publishing/writing curtain (like that little Wizard of Oz tie-in??!). As a fan I’ve always seen just my own reaction to meeting a writer one time. Ms Krentz had to deal with hundreds of fans all individually  and uniquely excited, and wanting her to know what her writing means to them – and stay up beat, focused, and gracious, which she was to every single one of them. She never refused to have a photograph taken, or listen to a story about a particular book of hers, or even offer some advice to a fledgling author ( moi!), and her beautiful smile never slipped. By observing how she handled herself during those 2 hours I know precisely how to conduct myself during a book signing. Thank you so much, Jayne Ann Krentz!

From my PRO-retreat workshops I learned how invaluable branding, social media, and marketing are to a writer – whether she be multi-published or fledgling. Anna Alexander and Catherine Bybee were deep wells of information regarding these topics and if I came away with anything to remember during this conference it was this: “A person needs to hear your name 7-10 times before it’s recognizable to them.” Thank you, Catherine Bybee, for this gem. My tweets have increased 100-fold, as have my other social media alerts all because of this statement.

I met with my “dream” agent at a pitch session- something that put terror into my little heart. Not because of the agent, but because I was so nervous about “putting myself out there.” I don’t like to talk about myself – a dumb thing to hear from a blogger, eh?! But on paper you don’t have to look at me and I don’t have to look at you. It’s all fairly visually anonymous. I don’t get nervous when it’s on paper ( or the laptop, really). But face to face is another story entirely. Anyway. Despite my nerves, the agent was lovely, gracious and sweet. I’ll let you know in the future if things progress on this front.

One last memory that will live with me for the rest of my career is the workshop I took with Christie Craig. I’ve mentioned in a previous blog how I think she should be the keynote speaker at next year’s conference and here’s why: this woman is an inspiration in  more than just writing. Her personal journey through life and in her writing career could be made into a must-see television movie for the Hallmark Channel. It would win its time slot for the night, week, month and year. I have always put forth my own writing TAO called NGU NGI ( never give up and never give in.) Ms Craig lives this TAO every day and boy, does it show in her success. I think we can all  use her as an example.

RWA16 will be in San Diego – a town I’ve visited before and loved, so I can’t wait to go. Maybe next year I will be an author participant in the literacy signing. If so, I will remember what I learned from Jayne Ann Krentz about how to conduct myself with fans.

Thank you RWA, Jayne Ann Krentz, Christie Craig, Kristan Higgins, Tracy Brogan, Jill Shalvis, and all the other amazing authors who presented workshops, spent a little time with me out of class to answer any questions, and to my wonderful, talented NHRWA chapter-mates who all journeyed south to NYC this year.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women

My mind is numb, but my motivation is turned on high!

RWA15 has turned into one of the best conferences I have ever attended. Ever. The diversity of the workshops is truly amazing,  today no exception.

This morning, during breakfast, I attended  a doctoral focus group gaining information on what romance novels mean to writers and  readers. The panel I was with were a widespread group of traditonally published and self-pubbed authors who brought a wide array of ideas and thoughts to the table. After that, a heartwarming speech by author Julia Quinn didn’t leave a dry eye in the house (or ballroom, if we’re being literal!)

My morning session included  workshops on how to tweak my prose, and how to zing more emotion into my writing. It seems my writing does indeed need zing after hearing these authors speak! After lunch, I pitched myself ( not literally, folks) to my dream Literary Agent. I’m keeping her name mum, but she is fabulous! Fingers, toes, and whatever else my arthritic body will let me cross, crossed. More to come on that to be sure at a later date.

The afternoon workshops had me laughing with Susan Ann Phillips as she taught a packed house how to give our characters more depth and dimension, and then on to another packed conference room where the amazing Kristan Higgins schooled us all in the care, keeping and use of  secondary characters. It seems she has a secret boyfriend named Tom Hiddleston  aka Loki, and she enjoys using images of him in her lectures. Thank you for doing so, Kristan! Both of these talented ladies had the rooms rolling with laughter.

Dinner tonight is a treat for me because I get to see my baby girl and spend some quality time with her, so I’ll sign off for now to go get ready.

Here are some pictures taken today to ponder over.

20150724_161812

today’s book haul – how the heck am I gonna get all these home…and there will be more tomorrow!!!

20150724_114541

 

Just hanging out in the hotel lobby, all decked out and waiting for someone to dance with.

And then there was this guy…I just can’t explain him.

 

20150724_111438

2 Comments

Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA

RWA15 whirlwind

I am one tired little romance writer, kids. Yesterday was an astounding day on several fronts. I won’t talk about everything, just the highlights I was able to hit.

In the morning I had my RWA PRO retreat where we played a spin on speed dating. 20 PAN members at 20 tables with 20 topics to discuss. You could visit 3 tables/authors during the retreat. I visited the ones on social media and branding – two topics I need to learn a lot more about. First, branding with author Anna Alexander  who was a weath and cavern of knowledge on what your romance “brand” should be, how to tie it in with all your promotional products, and how to develop it as your writing changes and evolves. Branding knowledge is her super power – go to her link to find out why I describe her that way!

The social media use with Catherine Bybee was a headspinner. As we were sitting, listening to her talk about all the kinds of media we should be using and involved with, she was Tweeting about what she was saying and about RWA15. The one line I took away from her talk and that will stay with me for a life time is “People need to hear your name 7-10 times before it becomes recognizable to them.” Something to really think about and work towards when your livelihood depends on book sales and you want people to know who you are.

In the afternoon I sat in on a great workshop with Kristan Higgins and Tracy Brogan on how to use humor in your romance stories. They both had the audience rolling with laughter with their witty anecdotes and heartfelt stories -humor0us of course- that they incorporate into their books.

And one final note that made my day. I met with my editor from Wild Rose Press ( and don’t I love saying that!) She is so incredibly supportive and knowledgable and I owe her a great deal of thanks for all her help,guidance, and patience with me as a new author. So, another day of workshops and networking. Here are some pix from today.

The Fabulous Kristan Higgins

20150723_135947 (1)

 

20150723_084219Book swag day 3.

20150722_103349 another random New Yorker

 

2 Comments

Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA