Tag Archives: NHRWA

#RWA17, Are we adulting here?

Something new at RWA this year was the adult coloring wall.

Yeah…I know.

But…. it was really cool. I took some pictures of the images on day one and then tried to remember every day to take more to show you the progress. Had I been able to access good internet service in the hotel ( bah humbug!) I would have been able to update these pictures daily instead of shooting them all to you in one quick shot. Anyway…enough complaining.

So here’s day one, then day 4:

   

Now, please remember, these were up on a wall, mural sized. Getting to the top of the picture required a ladder!

This one never got finished.. .I don’t know why not. It’s a great Beverly Jenkins cover!

here are a few more:

I was surprised they didn’t all get finished. I will admit one thing, though, it was a great stress reducer! Every day I stopped by and filled in a few more colors on all of them and I actually went away feeling lighter. That whole adult coloring craze has boomed, I think, by now, but still, this was a cute idea. It’ll be fun to see what the RWA board comes up with for Denver.

When I’m not adulting you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

 

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Filed under Author, branding, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Literary characters, love, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women

On being a #writer and #publicSpeaking

So this past Saturday I gave my first ever PowerPoint presentation to my local chapter of RWA.

To say I was nervous would be to do a disservice to the knocking in my knees and the way my heart was shooting extra beats.

I’ve spoken publically before, — hell, I use to teach Nursing to undergrads! – but I haven’t spoken publically in a very long time. In fact, I haven’t done anything publically in a very long time, not since I retired and started writing full time.

I think I was nervous because  I didn’t want to screw up, be boring, or deliver a topic that didn’t appeal to the audience. I didn’t eat anything all day because I was terrified I’d hurl!

I’m sitting here to report (1) I did not hurl, (2) I was absolutely starving the minute the presentation ended! (3) my audience laughed, repeatedly and freely in all the appropriate spots (4) there was discussion about the topic – a lot of discussion, so YAY!, and (5) my audience seemed to genuinely like the presentation.

So, again, YAY!!!

Now I just have to get my nerve up again, because I’m giving this presentation again next month to another group.

But I’ll think about that…tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.

When I’m not being overly dramatic, you can find me here:

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

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

An #interview with ….me; #Author #RomanceWriter

interview2

I realized the other day that I never answered my own author interview questions, so I figured today would be a good day to do that. You can really know everything about me by just reading my BIO page on the blog, but this is a little more in-depth.

So without further ado…here’s, well,  me!

Peggy Jaeger, The Writer 

peggyjaeger

  1. What drives you to write? Writing to me is like breathing. I can’t live without taking in air and I can’t go a day without writing.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? Contemporary romance, a little humorous romance, some romantic suspense. Contemporary because I like the here and now; humor because it’s been said I can be funny at times; suspense because I love to sit on the edge of my seat when I’m being entertained.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? Obviously contemporary but I lovelovelove a good regency. All those morality rules. All those ways to break the morality rules! The clothes!!! The dancing. Love it all.
  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday? Every friggin’ day. Usually 6-8 hours. During the week I work on my romance stuff; on the weekends I work on my blog posts for the following week. Even if I am away from home I bring my laptop and write something. I am a life long diarist, so writing everyday was ingrained in me at a very young age.
  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I recently redid my writing office. It’s still on the fourth floor of my house, in a finished attic, but I went to the opposite side of the house because of a pair of annoying and loud dogs who live in the house next door – which is almost a ¼ mile away, but in the woods, so noise carries. Far.
  2. Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnelvision? Like a tomb, baby, like a tomb. Hence, the office move. Those barking dogs drove me into a funk. If I play music, I can’t write because I want to sing along.    shush
  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? I just realized after doing a gazillion interviews this is the same damn question as the # 6! After today it is eliminated from the interview.
  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? My new series, WILL COOK FOR LOVE, grew out of my love for cooking. I wanted my next batch of heroines to do something in the cooking realm. One is a famous chef, her sister, a food photographer, her cousin the producer on a food show. I have 2 more books trolling around in my brain to add to this series, but these 3 are set to go right now. The first, COOKING WITH KANDY, drops on 4.4.17 from Kensington/Lyrical. I am uberthrilled.
  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Character, always. I am an avid people watcher. No matter where I am – even in church! – I watch people. How the act, interact with others, their mannerisms, etc. It’s like voyeuristic therapy for me. Then I try to make up stories to fit their personalities.

What 3 words describes you, the writer? Dedicated; tortured; prolific

Peg – The Person

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! My left eye is significantly smaller than my right due to numerous ocular surgeries and a childhood trauma where I fell out an apartment building window and landed on my face.
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? Don’t laugh at me, but my first love was my husband and I was 24.
  3. If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and….The first time I met Nora Roberts in person. She was so gracious and funny and all I did was cry from joy at finally meeting her.
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Boxers, baby. Every friggin’ time.
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? The only way I could give up a necessary can’t live without it beauty item would be if you killed me first. So, to answer the question, nothing.
  6. What three words describes you, the person? Nervous, worrier, loyal.
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? Imagine, by John Lennon
  8. If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? I would hang out with Eve Dallas and help her solve a murder because Peabody would be off on vaca with McNabb.        me-and-nora

I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

  1. Favorite sound : babies giggling
  2. Least favorite sound :  the breaks squeaking on a car
  3. Best song every written :  Secret Agent Man, by Jonny Rivers
  4. Worst song ever written : You know, I can’t think of one!! I love music – all kinds.
  5. Favorite actor and actress  : Kevin Spacey/Dianne Lane
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead): Of course it would be Nora Roberts just so I could experience what it feels like to be a multi award winning amazeballs author!
  7. What turns you on? :  Funny. Every friggin’ time. Dry wit, sarcasm, self-deprecating humor.
  8. What turns you off? :  Condescension. We’re all the same, folks. No one is better than another because of skin color, financial status, or birth rank and place. God made us all the same inside. Think about that.
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) Well, I told you mine already!!!! The guy thought my curly waist length hair was a wig. Jerk.
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day?:  Every day is my perfect day if I get to write and cook.

So, that’s me.  Sticking to the tried and true formula I’ve used with other interviews, what follows is a blurb and excerpt from my upcoming book release and a small bio.

COOKING WITH  KANDY, Book 1 in the Will Cook For Love series, releases on 4/4/17

Blurb:

cooking-with-kandy

Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book!

Kandy Laine built her wildly popular food empire the old-fashioned way—starting with the basic ingredients of her grandmother’s recipes and flavoring it all with her particular brand of sweet spice. From her cookbooks to her hit TV show, Kandy is a kitchen queen—and suddenly someone is determined to poison her cup. With odd accidents and threatening messages piling up, strong-willed Kandy can’t protest when her team hires someone to keep her safe—but she can’t deny that the man for the job looks delicious. . .

Josh Keane is a private investigator, not a bodyguard. But with one eyeful of Kandy’s ebony curls and dimpled smile, he’s signing on to uncover who’s cooking up trouble for the gorgeous chef. As the attraction between them starts to simmer, it’s not easy to keep his mind on the job, but when the strange distractions turn to true danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep Kandy safe—and show her that a future together is on the menu. . .

Excerpt:

“Hold on to you forks folks, because today I’m making one of Grandma Sophie’s to-die-for layer cakes, guaranteed to make your sweet tooth tingle.” Kandy Laine aimed a wide, dimpled grin at the television camera.

The moment her sexy, heart-stopping smile flashed, Josh Keane knew he was in trouble.

Serious trouble.

He stood on the sidelines of the studio kitchen set where he’d been instructed to wait, visitor badge secured to his jacket, and watched the hostess of EBC’s most popular food show, Cooking with Kandy, film her season premiere.

“She’d discovered the benefit of adding pudding to the batter to increase the cake’s moisture content decades before any of the big commercial baking companies did,” Kandy told the camera.

Josh ran a hand through his thick, black hair and blew out a breath. From his concealed vantage point behind the studio equipment, he was impressed by the practiced ease with which she moved around the set kitchen, talking non-stop, explaining the details of the recipe she was preparing without the use of cue cards or even a glance at the teleprompter.

A little kick of awareness ricocheted through his midsection every time she glanced up, spoke, and looked into the camera. It was as intimate as if she were speaking to him and no one else.

Kandy pulled the baking tins from the oven and turned them upside down to deliver two perfect rounds onto a cooling rack.      “Perfection,” she said, adding with a chuckle, “Grandma sure knew what she was talking about.”

After reading the bio her assistant had faxed to him the night before, Josh had gone to bed, his dreams filled with visions of a tiny, cherub faced, angel soaring around a kitchen.

One look at Kandy Laine in the flesh knocked that ethereal vision to hell.

At five-nine in flats, most of it was leg packed into second skin jeans. Jet-black curls tumbled down to the middle of her back, secured from her face by a flaming red headband.

And that face.

Heart-shaped, its peak descended almost to the middle of a smooth, flawless forehead. Arched eyebrows and thick eyelashes framed her eyes, the outer corners tipped upward at a slight angle, their color a blue rivaling a pale sky.

“Make sure you don’t over-beat the frosting,” Kandy instructed in a throaty voice made for seduction. “If you do, you’ll break it down and your cake will have a flat, metallic taste. Another of Grandma’s helpful hints,” she added with a wink and a devilish grin.

When her dimples emerged, that little kick tackled his insides again.

Maybe he should just forget this whole thing. Leave now while no one was looking.

Buy Links:

amazon   B&N   Kensington/Lyrical

And here’s the official 411:

peggyheadshot

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance author who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Her current titles, available now, include SKATER’S WALTZ and THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, FIRST IMPRESSIONS, and THE VOICES OF ANGELS, books 1,through 4 in her 5-book The MacQuire Women Series, published by The Wild Rose Press. Also from the Wild Rose Press is a Candy Hearts Romance titled 3 WISHES, and A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS.
Tying into her love of families, her children’s book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.
Peggy holds a master’s degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer’s Disease during her time running an Alzheimer’s in-patient care unit during the 1990s.
In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance.
A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

And when I’m not talking about myself you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Author, branding, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Historical Romance, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Literary characters, love, Lyrical Author, MacQuire Women, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, Skater's Waltz, Strong Women, The Laine Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, Wild Rose Press Authoe

The #Tao of NGUNGI

Strange title, right? Don’t worry, I’ll explain it.

See this picture?

beleive

My wonderful NHRWA Chapter President gave me that little tag. It says BELIEVE IN YOUR DREAMS. I keep it taped on my office bookshelf and look at it every so often as a reminder. Currently, I’m editing 2 books for 2 different publishers and starting to feel a little, shall we say stressed, about things like deadlines and plotholes, so I’ve moved that tag to my laptop ( as you can see in the picture) as a constant reminder of why I must press on despite wanting to play hooky or go watch a Housewives marathon for the day.

And that leads me directly to the Tao of NGUNGI. Remember a few years – okay, several years – back when The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff was published?

taopoohAt the time the literary world praised Hoff’s use of the word Tao, which means: (in Chinese philosophy) the absolute principle underlying the universe, combining within itself the principles of yin and yang and signifying the way, or code of behavior, that is in harmony with the natural order.  At its core, Tao, literally, means The Right Way. In describing Winnie the Pooh’s life as the end all be all of happiness ( and I’m taking a little literary license in describing it this way), Hoff showed the world that it’s okay to simply…be. Be who you are; be what you are. Pooh goes through life with a simple mission: get honey. Everything he says, does, and feels; every friend he makes and interacts with,  revolves around that goal. And he is happy. Eternally, internally, fundamentally, happy.

Well, I’ve developed my own Tao over the years and it’s gotten me through some pretty miserable, soul-sucking times and events: the Tao of NGUNGI, which means Never Give Up Never Give In.

Too many times in my 56 years I’ve been faced with decisions that required me to choose between two opposing thoughts or ideals. If I walked one path, my personal happiness would be forfeited; if I chose the other, the happiness and well-being of those around me would suffer. The Tao of NGUNGI has helped me center my decisions by showing me that by never giving up a desire/dream/wish and never giving in to criticism/skepticism/ridicule, I can–ultimately–have everything I want without sacrificing my ideals, desires, principles, or the happiness of others.

Do you know how powerful that makes me feel? And I don’t mean it externally. No, it’s internal power I’m referring to. I have a favorite saying that people who know me get a little tired of hearing, but it’s a reminder of how I  keep the TAO in perspective: “Sometimes, you have to draw a line in the sand, and sometimes, you have to cross over it.” The TAO has helped me know when to do which.

So, reading this back I realize it’s getting a tad lofty and out-there-y which wasn’t my intention with this post. No, my true intention was to get you to see that no matter what your dream/heart’s desire/wish in life is for yourself, you should never, ever, EVAH give up on it. Don’t give into the external nay-sayers. Don’t give in to the internal voice that tells you your wishes are pipe dreams that won’t come true. And never give up. Ever. EVAH.

The Tao of NGUNGI.

‘Nuff said.

When I’m not waxing existentially, you can usually find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Bribery…and why it works so well during NaNoWrimo

So this is a totally ridiculous, narcissistic blog post today. I’m going full honesty here and tell you how I stay motivated to write so much during the NANOWRIMO challenge. Be prepared…you may learn something that clouds your opinion of me forever.

Okay…Taking a huge, cleansing breath…Here goes.

I bribe myself to keep writing.

I know! How awful is that?? I should be writing because I want to, not because I’ll get a reward if I do. The 50,000+ word book SHOULD be the reward. The ONLY reward.

But no, it’s not.

I start off with a mountain of motivation each morning as I sit at my laptop, fingers flying across the keyboard, giving full vent to all the thoughts and scenes and dialogue that have been running through my brain for the previous 8 hours – the time I should be sleeping but, well,  you know. Chronic Insomnia. The brain that never shuts down. That’s me.

Anyhooooo….

I start off like a speeding train and about hour 2-3 I start to get a little fatigued, a little distracted, a little, well, bored. I know I have many more words to write – can feel them jumping out of my fingertips in their efforts to break free from my mind – but I start to wane. To keep myself glued to my chair ( figuratively, folks) I’ve developed little bribery rewards for my diligence. Here are just a few of the things I pamper myself with for my perseverance at the laptop:

  • If I get another 1000 words down, I’ll have a cup of tea and a Peppermint Patty
  • If I finish this chapter I’ll troll thru Amazon and look for new books to read
  • If I hit my 2500 minimum daily word count, I’ll schedule a facial this afternoon
  • If I can get this dialogue perfect in the next 20 minutes, I’ll go get lunch at Panera.
  • If I exceed my daily goal I’ll go shopping for makeup/skin care products/perfume, in other words, I’ll go to Sephora.

See how this works???

And isn’t it ridiculous? I didn’t raise my child to do what’s right in life by bribing her. I would  have never even thought of that. Her father and I taught her to do what is correct simply for the reward of getting it right. We didn’t say, “do you your homework and you’ll get a cookie. Get an A on a report and I’ll take you shopping.” We never even gave cash for good report cards. The end result – the good grades – was its own reward. None other was needed.

Why can’t I, then, as a fully formed and functioning adult, heed that wisdom?

See? I told you your opinion of me would get clouded.

Le sigh….

When I’m not ruminating on my hapless state or bribing myself to go on, you can find me here:

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

And if you are in need of it, here’s a little distracting motivation for you to peruse and ponder…nano23

you’re welcome………

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Dialogue, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, NaNoWriMo, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

NaNoWriMo2016 – day 3

nano

Another day….another thousand words.

So, how are you feeling this morning? Are your fingers still flying across the laptop? Are the words forming in your head faster than you can get them on the page ( or the screen!)? Are your characters pushing you, speaking to you, compelling you to get their story out to the word?

The beginning of every NaNo challenge is heady. You’ve got all this internal….STUFF… begging to come out, and you allow it to, thankfully. But think about the real reason you’re doing the challenge this year. It isn’t just to get you to finish a manuscript, or help you make a deadline. Those things are great, but NANOWRIMO is much more than that…so, hear me out.

The goal of NaNoWriMo is not simply to get you to write  50,000 words in a month. That’s a big part of it, sure. But the real underlying challenge is to instill in you the HABIT of writing every day. Of making a commitment to yourself to sit down and log in some scheduled, uninterrupted time for you to write.  We are all busy, have challenging lives, kids, dogs, life issues, you fill in the words that make it hard for you to do what you love.

But…NaNo wants you to understand the necessity of making writing every single day the norm, the routine, the matter of practice of your life.

What defines a habit? Webster’s Dictionary states it like this: a habit is a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially something that is hard to give up. See those words, regular  and practice? And the ones that follow them – something that is hard to give up? This is what writing should be to you  – something you can’t give up on or let slide, no matter what.  When you take the time every single day to devote a few minutes or an hour, or several hours, to doing something you love – namely, writing – soon it will become so ingrained in you to do so, that NOT writing isn’t even an option or a thought in your head anymore.

My website tag is WRITING IS MY OXYGEN. And this is the truth. To me, writing every day is as essential and necessary to me as is breathing. If I couldn’t breathe every day, I would surely die. Well, if I don’t write every day, I feel as if I can’t breathe – emotionally, spiritually, and yes, even physically.

I once heard famed and uber-amazeballs author NORA ROBERTS liken writing every day to a muscle. She said (paraphrasing, here) “Writing is like a muscle. If you don’t exercise it, work it, use it frequently, you loose tone and substance. The muscle isn’t as strong, so you’re not as strong. You don’t function as well as you should or can.” That statement resonated with me on such a high level. And really, Nora Roberts should know about being a strong writer – the chick has over 400 books in print! She walks the walk and talks the talk like no other writer out there. It’s obvious she exercises her writing muscles daily.

So, today when you sit down to write, remember how you feel as you put your fingers to the keys. That sense of happiness, of fulfillment, of simple joy you get as you create those words on the page. Remember that feeling of elation. You’ll want to feel it again, and again, and again, and…. every day.

nano3

 

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, love, NaNoWriMo, New Hampshire, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women

NANOWRIMO 2016… Day 1

November has rolled back again – just as it does every year around this time! – and in addition to Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and snowstorms, November brings with it NANOWRIMO, or for those of you who don’t know what the initials represent, National Novel Writing Month.

nanowrimo

NANOWRIMO is a challenge  for writers across the globe  to compose a 50,000 word novel  ( or greater than 50,000 words, if you are so inclined) from 11/1- until 11/30. You catalog your daily word count on the NaNo site and  once the end of the month comes, your total is tallied and, if you reach the 50,000 words, you “Win” the challenge.

This will be my fourth year participating in the challenge and this year is somewhat special for me for a few reasons.

One, I am my RWA New Hampshire chapters’ leader in the NANOWRIMO RWA WORD WARS challenge for this year. Last year, the NHRWA chapter won word wars and I intend to keep our streak going this year for my chapter. I may not have been a cheerleader in school ( too fat, too shy) but I am a totally enthusiastic and encouraging sort and I will do my utmost best to make sure my chapter-mates feel my support!

Two, the past three years I have participated, the novels I wrote for NANO went on to be published. I know! The novel I’m writing this year has already been contracted for Kensington/Lyrical and is due out sometime in 2017/18 so I have plenty of time for edits. HaHa. This challenge is getting my writing butt in gear.

The last reason this year is so special to me is a purely selfish one. People who know me know I love an individual challenge. I’m not into team sports, don’t like to compete with others for anything. I would be one of those who would be voted off the island first! But when the challenge is just between me and myself, well, then I say, “bring it on!”

In preparation this year in my capacity as Chapter Word War Leader, I made a PINTEREST board especially for NaNoWriMo, listing motivations for writers, articles on how to proceed, writing tips and little sayings to keep us all – myself included – up for the challenge. Click on the link and see if any of the boards speak to you.

So, here’s to day 1……..

Do you NaNo? Let’s discuss…

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Filed under #RWA16, Author, Contemporary Romance, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Literary characters, love, Lyrical Author, NaNoWriMo, New Hampshire, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA

Lifetime Student

 

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Those of you who know me – either personally or through my writings in this blog – know that I lovelove love to learn new things and that I am a lifelong student of writing: techniques, story building, plotting, and grammar, just to name a few. I simply love to learn new things related to writing in all its aspects. My personal writing library has over 100 books on subjects of plotting and structure, dialogue,  character traits, etc. I refer to many of them whenever I am starting a new book or even when I a looking for guidance with a problem I incur during writing.

Writing technique books are it for me, but I also live to go to writing conferences. My goal is always to learn at least one new thing at a conference and so far, that number has grown exponentially with each new conference I attend.

The reason I mention this lifetime and lifelong love of learning is because my New England chapter of RWA is hosting such a writing worshop/conference this month. An Editorial Director at Carina Press, Angela James, is presenting her wonderful  BEFORE YOU HIT SEND class for writers of all genres. You can click on the SPECIAL EVENTS toggle at the NWRWA website for details and to register, here:  NHRWA

I have taken this class twice before: one at a New England RWA conference and once on-line. Both times I learned something I hadn’t learned the time before. Nowadays, with the publishing industry changing by the second, and editors pressed for time to find the next big author, if you are a writer, you MUST, absolutely MUST submit a manuscript that is professionally polished and worthy of a complete read-through. I have been to too many conference talks to count with editors and agents who persistently and consistently only read the first page of a submission and if there is any kind of mistake ( typo, wrong grammar use, poor tense) their reading stops at the end of that page. We all want to make the best first impression we can, and  unfortunately, your first impression is usually a query letter and/or a few pages of your manuscript. If there is anything that stands out and makes you look like an amateur, it is poor spelling, grammar, and sloppy writing.

Angela James’ class BEFORE YOUR HIT SEND tells you how to avoid and prevent all those pesky problems, how to correct them when they do occur, and how to get your  manuscript as ready and as polished as it can be for an editor or agent’s eyes. You only get one shot to make a favorable first impression (What a great title for a book, btw!). Do you want to take the chance a professional will simply disregard your writing because it is riddled with mistakes? Mistakes that could have been prevented and corrected before you hit that send button?

I hope you join my chapter for this wonderful conference. If you do one thing this year to make yourself a better writer, this will be it.

Self-Editing Workshop with Angela James

Saturday, May 21, 2016

9am – 4pm

The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nashua, New Hampshire

James_pixJoin Angela James, editorial director of Harlequin’s Carina Press and developmental editor of New York Times Bestselling authors Shannon Stacey, Lauren Dane and Jaci Burton, for a day-long workshop covering ideas, tips, tricks and lessons for polishing and self-editing your manuscript.

Topics include: point of view, passive vs. active voice, show don’t tell, formalizing your manuscript, and more!

Spend the night at a special rate and have use of our meeting room for quiet self-editing/writing Sunday morning to put all you learned into practice before you head back on the road.

Conference Schedule

Saturday, May 21, 2016

  • 7:30am – 9:00am:  Check-in/Registration
  • 9:00am – 4:00pm: Workshop & Buffet Lunch

Sunday, May 21, 2016

  • Morning:  (OPTIONAL) Meeting room will be open for attendees to use for quiet self-editing/writing time.

Registration Information

  • Regular Registration for NHRWA members (3.1.16 – 4.30.16) = $90
  • Regular Registration for non-NHRWA members (3.1.16 – 4.30.16) = $100
  • Late Registration for ALL (5.1.16 – 5.14.16) = $110

Registration includes the following:

  • Admission to the Before You Hit Send workshop.
  • Saturday lunch buffet & afternoon snack.

Ready to Register?

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Editors, First Impressions, Life challenges, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA

The art of Storyboarding…

On Saturday, my New Hampshire chapter of RWA was given a treat: our chapter President, Christyne Butler, gave us a masterclass on storyboarding. What is storyboarding? I am so happy you asked.

Typically used in visual media, a storyboard is defined as such: a sequence of drawings, typically with some directions and dialogue, representing the shots planned for a movie or television production. This helps the film people plot the story, frame by frame, sequence by sequence.

But writers use storyboarding as well.

Most books are comprised of chapters, scenes within chapters, and actions within scenes. Instead of framing the novel action by scene by chapter, writers approach the storyboard a different way. Christyne showed us her way, which is how her characters are plotted out. She boards each individual character and things that might pertain to him/her when she starts to write. She has a complete visual reference for the entire book at her fingertips when she begins to write her story. She must be doing something right because she is a multi-published, very popular author!

Now, when I plot a new story it looks something like this:

dashboard2 dashboard

I write everything out longhand once I find pictures of my  characters. I fill entire composition books with pictures, descriptions, motivations, and backstory. It takes a while, but so far it has worked for me. With Christyne’s method – a more visual one – it seemed like it was worth a try, so I did it. Here’s where I’m at after 2 days: ( those are my feet in the bottom of the photo – damn crop app didn’t work!

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This is a three book arc. My heroines are on the left side of the board, my heroes on the right. Just from viewing this I can see I know a whole bunch more about my girls than my boys!! SO right away, this has become a valuable tool for me. Since I am character driven, I have pictures of my peeps, their bedrooms ( I always want to imagine where they sleep!), things about their careers – quotes or pictures of occupations, and the colors on their individual blocks are foils for one another. For instance, the top is black and white because those two love interests perceive everything emotionally in shades of black and white – no gray. My goal is to get them to the gray! I love assigning colors to characters because I think of them in shades of colors. It’s hard sometimes to explain how my brain works, but the black and white instance is the easiest way for me to get you to understand how I envision people/characters.

This is all after 2 days. I’m hoping ( wishing?praying?) to have it done this weekend. I’ve already written two chapters, but I feel as if now I’ll know my characters much better when I write the rest.

So, if you’re a writer, do you storyboard? Write out everything in longhand? Fly by the seat of your pants? What? let’s discuss……

New release 3 WISHES (A Candy Hearts Romance)perf5.000x8.000.indd

Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her 30th birthday, she just might get her three wishes.

Get it here: Amazon //  The Wild Rose Press // Nook//  Kobo //

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Author, Candy Hearts, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Literary characters, New Hampshire, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A visit with Author Cheri Allan

I am so pleased to have talented author and my NHRWA chapter mate CHERI ALLAN visiting me today. She’s got a brand new release out – Book 4 in her Betting on Romance series, DEAL ME IN and  today, she’s talking about what’s involved with writing a series, what to avoid, and when to say – sigh – goodbye.

Here’s Cheri…

              Don’t Kill Grandma and Other Tips for Writing a Series

DEAL ME IN, my newest humorous contemporary romance, is the fourth and final book in my ‘Betting on Romance’ series. While I won’t claim this makes me an expert on writing series books, I’ve learned a few things along the way. (Pack snacks. Travel with friends. But I digress.) So, in the spirit of ‘do what I say and not what I do’ I thought I’d share some of my tips and observations for others.

  • Is it a series? What kind? First, know what you’re writing at the outset, because there is a difference between a serial (one story arc told in many parts) and a series (stories which may or may not stand alone but each having a unique story arc and conclusion.) My books are stand-alone novels interconnected by characters and the fictional setting of Sugar Falls, NH. Each book has its own couple, story arc and secondary plot lines, which make this a loosely connected series. However, I do have four match-making, poker-playing grandmothers who appear in each novel. Some authors choose to have a series arc–an overarching plot line–that carries through the series and resolves in the final book. I chose not to do this for two reasons: a.) that’s a heck of a lot of plotting for this pantser and b.) I didn’t want my debut stories linked too closely together in case I decided to pop off in another direction after book two. Promising a series resolution that never comes would be worse than never planning one to begin with. Happily, this also leaves me open to add another book in there at a later date. Keep those options open, people!
  • Who’s on first? It was about book three that it occurred to me that despite how intimately I knew my characters as I wrote each book, by the third book, I couldn’t remember a random character I’d mentioned in book one and now wanted to refer to. Now, I keep a master list of every character that appears in each book and a short phrase of who they’re related to or other distinguishing feature. Not only does it keep me from naming too many characters Ed (a distinct possibility), it saves a lot of flipping through old books trying to remember what I’ve named someone’s pet dog. (Max, as it turns out.)
  • My hero: Ned? Speaking of throw-away names, be careful of what you name those characters you think are only popping on screen for a moment. I was very cavalier in the first book about naming secondary characters only to realize by book two one of them would be a future hero. And I didn’t entirely love his name. (It was fine, but it was no ‘Levi.’) I’ve made peace with that, but unless you want a hero named Ned, choose carefully. Or be prepared to come up with a charming nickname.
  • Let each book have its own voice. You may be the ultimate plotter with color-coded sticky notes and a series bible with sheet protectors (you know who you are), but I’m here to tell you that over the course of writing two, three, or four books, your writing voice will find its rhythm, but your books may not always cooperate. When you think about it, it’s only natural that each book will have its own character. The story with the shy heroine or nerdy hero will have a different vibe than the one about the tough and snarky girl or wounded hero with PTSD. DEAL ME IN gave me heart palpitations half way through writing, because I realized this story was naturally more emotional than the others. Yes, there’s humor and grandmothers, but it has its own tone. And that’s okay. My voice is consistent, and unless I pop out of subgenre and introduce werewolves into my contemporary romance, readers will be okay with it, too. I’m growing and changing as a writer with each book, and so are you. Don’t sweat it.
  • But don’t kill grandma, either. There’s a limit to how much you can deviate from reader expectations. If you’ve set up a series where the reader feels safe, amused and somewhat insulated from the ‘real world’ (for instance) be careful how much of that real world you allow to intrude into your story arc. It may feel like you need to shake things up by series end, but if you deviate too far from established reader expectations (Werewolves! Ebola outbreak!), you’ll hear about it. I could, for instance, never bring myself to kill off a grandmother. These characters represent enduring friendship and unconditional love, and they’ve been there, shepherding other characters and my readers through four books with their poker, meddling and homemade cookies. They deserve to ride into the sunset on golf carts sipping cocktails, and I plan to let them.
  • Know when it’s time to say goodbye. For the very reason I can’t kill off grandma, I knew the length of this particular series was finite. They won’t live forever! I also don’t want the story premise to grow stale. That being said, I’ve grown fond of Sugar Falls, and with every fictional event and landmark I’ve brought into being, I’ve grown to love spending time there. So, I will. With a new But without grandmothers this time. They’re off playing with their great-grandbabies anyway.

So, tell me, what have you learned from writing your own series? As a reader, what is it about series you enjoy? What makes them feel stale? Discuss!

BLURB:
Is the game of love worth the price?

Deal Me In cover kindle

Grace McIntyre never planned to lose her virginity in a seedy motel to the hottie with the eagle tattoo, but she knew he was The One–until a heart-wrenching goodbye proved he wasn’t.

Despite three tours of duty and one heroic mountain-top rescue, Army veteran Jeff Dayton no longer dreams of a career in search-and-rescue. Two years ago, his politically-ambitious sister needed help spiffing up the family image to win a seat in the state senate, so Jeff returned home to Sugar Falls, New Hampshire, to walk the straight-and-narrow and take a job as a small-town cop. Now his tattoos are covered, his rock-n-roll father is under wraps, and Jeff should be bored out of his mind… but he never figured on reconnecting with his free-spirited high school sweetheart, Grace McIntyre.

Grace and Jeff have managed to dance around their rocky past since he’s come back to Sugar Falls, but when they’re both assigned to the town’s Harvest Festival planning committee, their attraction sparks to life, igniting both old passions and burning regrets. New revelations help them see each other in a new light, but it takes a small-town festival calamity–complete with a llama petting zoo, a female empowerment “demonstration,” and Jeff’s rocker dad on the main stage–to force these two to let go of the past and find the strength to forgive. Because half the fun of the game of love is winning… and the other half is deciding to play.

*** Mild sexual content; Mild language; No violence ***

BUY LINKS:

Amazon ///Kobo /// Nook // Google Play  //

Bio

cheri

Cheri Allan writes hopeful, humorous contemporary romances. She lives in a charming fixer-upper in rural New Hampshire with her husband, two children, two dogs, five cats and an excessive amount of optimism. She’s a firm believer in do-it-yourself, new beginnings and happily-ever-afters, so after years of wearing suits, she’s grateful to finally put her English degree to good use writing romance. When not writing, you might find her whizzing down the slopes of a nearby mountain or inadvertently killing perennials in her garden.

Betting on romance… because every woman deserves to get lucky.

 

 You can find Cheri here, or as she calls them, at her STALKER LINKS:

Facebook // Facebook,Author // Twitter // Website  //GoodReads

 

 

BETTING ON ROMANCE ( Books 1-3)

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Friends, Life challenges, love, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books