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August 25, 2007: Dawn Atkins – More than Tabs and Slots

Learn to write great sex scenes!
In romance writing, sex is more than sex. All shall be revealed in this one-hour talk by Dawn Atkins—”More Than Tabs and Slots: How to Write Memorable Sex Scenes.” Good love scenes reflect the personalities, flaws and strengths of your characters, reveal n, and alter your story conflict. More important than sex, however, is sexual tension. Think of it as love-scene foreplay—and we all know how important foreplay is. Dawn will offer tips to make your sex scenes fresh, meaningful and memorable.

Daphne Atkeson, writing as Dawn Atkins for Harlequin Blaze, started her writing career in the second grade. The September 2007 release of her Harlequin Blaze novel Swept Away will be her 20th published book since 1998. She won the 2005 Golden Quill Award for Best Sexy Romance, and has been a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice finalist for Best Flipside (2005) and Best Blaze (2006). A member of the Desert Rose/Phoenix RWA Chapter, Daphne lives in Paradise Valley, Arizona, with her husband, son and cat.

In the morning “Nuts & Bolts” segment, Kathleen Wells, PhD, will help us discover our possibilities and claim our power! Don’t miss this inspiring talk on how you can discover the obstacles that block your writing path. Learn how to successfully hurdle them without falling flat on your face.

Kate is a multi-published author, author’s coach, freelance editor and member of our Tucson chapter. She is passionate about helping authors do the best work they possibly can. Her graduate degrees in anthropology and psychology, as well as her work experience in these areas and university teaching, give her an effective edge as a coach and speaker.


July 28, 2007: Men With Dangerous Jobs

Get ready for some dangerous men in July!

Men With Dangerous Jobs, that is. Our afternoon guest speakers at the July 28 meeting will give us an opportunity to hone our knowledge with some background information for our suspense, mystery and action stories. A p who have dangerous jobs will talk about their typical day and answer any questions you have.

Our guests will be Officer Eugene “Spike” Walker of the Tucson Police Department motorcycle force, Special Agent Sean King of the U.S. Border Patrol, and Lt. Col. Jon Wendell of the U.S. Air Force who is an F4 test pilot stationed at Davis Monthan AFB.

In the morning “Nuts & Bolts” session, Barb Lantz and Kate Wells will give us an overview of their experience attending the 27th Annual National RWA conference in Dallas earlier this month —they’ll bring back highlights of the conference workshops, especially what publishers, editors and agents are looking for. The national conference theme this year is “Signature of Success.”


June 23, 2007: Tara Taylor Quinn – Deep Characterization

Bringing Characters to Life: How to Achieve Deep Characterization in Fiction Writing

Anyone can create a character, but if your characters don’t hold up, your story is in danger of collapsing. Learn how to craft characters into memorable heroines and heroes who will leave your readers craving more.

Guest speaker Tara Taylor Quinn will share how she creates “living” characters who have extraordinary depth. Deep character development is a hallmark of ’s work, and her characters seem to rise off the pages with deep human nd intensity to their story relationships.

With more than 40 novels published in more than 20 languages and more than five million copies sold, Tara is a USA Today bestselling author. She is a three-time finalist for the RWA Rita Award, a multiple finalist for the National Reader’s Choice Award, the Reviewer’s Choice Award, the Bookseller’s Best Award, and the Holt Medallion. A past president of Romance Writers of America, Tara served eight years on its National Board of Directors and is a member of the Desert Rose RWA Chapter in Phoenix.

During our morning session, Terry Blain from the San Diego RWA chapter will talk about “Setting as Character.” She will cover what your setting can contribute to your story, things to consider when choosing a setting, and how to utilize your setting as a character.

Terry holds an MA in History and has taught college-level American History and Western Civilization courses, romance-writing classes, and “History as Character” workshops. Her romance novel Kentucky Dream won several contests and finaled in the Golden Quill 2000 Best Historical and won the Best First Book category, and her current Western historical has placed in several contests.


May 19, 2007: Eden Robins – Twice Upon a Time

Can a classic fairytale be retold well? Many authors are intimidated when they consider creating their own contemporary fairytale based on a classic. If you’ve ever considered writing one, Eden Robins will be glad to tell you why you should do it.

Eden has published seven romance novels—three turistic, three paranormal, and a fairytale, Lost, a contemporary retelling of Peter Pan that garnered rave reviews. With the success of her futuristic, award-winning Tomorrow trilogy as well as a Romantic Times rating of 4½ stars for her preternatural After Sundown series, Eden is entrenched in the world of science fiction and paranormal romance. She loves creating new worlds and complex characters that always seem to find their way into one sticky predicament or another. She enjoys helping them get untangled from these situations only to find themselves entangled in love affairs that will last for all time. Check out her website,, for more information.

Our morning Nuts & Bolts speaker, Marilyn Johnson, will tell us how she cracked the confession-magazine market in her talk, “I Confess: Writing for the Confession Market 101.” Marilyn is an active member of our Saguaro Romance Writers chapter and a former journalist who successfully spills her secrets to national confession magazines and never gets a byline.


April 28, 2007: Brenda Novak

Brenda Novak, leading lady of intense suspense, will talk about Romantic Suspense: Why readers love it, why it’s here to stay (at least in some form), how to create a page-turner, and how to build a career in this exciting genre. Don’t miss her talk at this month’s meeting: “Dead On: The Real Truth about Writing Romantic Suspense.”

Winner of the Booksellers Best award and nominated for Romantic Times’ “BOOKclub Magazine” Storyteller of the Year prize in 2005, Brenda writes dramatic, sophisticated, unforgettable stories. Dead Silence and Dead Giveaway, the first two books in her romantic suspense trilogy from MIRA are available now. Dead Right will hit bookstores in August.

Since her first novel came out in November 1999, Brenda has written 26 more books in between helping her five children with homework, running them to music lessons and sports events, and helping her youngest son manage his diabetes. She sponsors a growing online auction each May on her website,, to benefit diabetes research.

Brenda quit her job as a loan officer to stay home with her children After picking up one of her favorite books, looking for a brief escape from the stress and worry, she instead found the inspiration to become a writer.

In the morning “Nuts & Bolts” segment, Brenda will inspire us with a talk on “Overcoming Discouragement.”


March 24, 2007: Connie Flynn – The Hero & Heroine’s Journey

Bestselling author Connie Flynn will teach “The Hero & Heroine’s Journey—Bringing the Power of Mythic Structure to Your Writing” at our March meeting.

Since the dawn of civilization, cultures rldwide have told stories about ho leave the ordinary world, face trials, and return home transformed into heroes. This “hero’s journey,” based he work of Joseph Campbell, lies at the core of all successful plots. Understanding the universal patterns within the hero’s journey strengthens all kinds of stories by tapping into the mythological core that exists in all of us.

Connie will show us how to discover the stages of our hero’s journey, introduce us to the archetypal characters our hero encounters along the way, explore the mythic structure common to great stories around the world, and teach us how to use this structure in our work.

Connie is the bestselling author of six romance and four paranormal suspense novels. A resident of Scottsdale, she teaches creative writing at Phoenix College and is an active member of Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Our morning “Nuts & Bolts” session will focus on the publishing industry. Speakers Andrew T. Greeley and Richard DeRusso will clarify from their insiders’ perspectives how books get into the hands of customers through distributors, wholesalers and libraries. Andrew Greeley, managing member of the Literary Partners Group, has more than 25 years experience in publicity, marketing and author promotions for national booksellers, including Barnes & Nobel and Borders. Richard DeRusso is manager of the Collections and Development Department of the Tucson-Pima County Library.


February 24, 2007: Vicki Lewis Thompson & Tryshe Dhevney

Vicki Lewis Thompson knows how to use humor to liven up a manuscript—including in the love scenes. In each of her more than 80 published books, Vicki has managed to incorporate her favorite topic for hilarity—namely, the birds and the bees.

Humor helped Vicki become a New York Times bestseller when Nerd in Shining Armor caught the fancy of Kelly Ripa, who promoted it through her Reading with Ripa Book Club in 2003. Her “overnight success” crowns a 20-year career that includes many series books for Harlequin, eight finalist ns for RWA’s RITA award, and numerous awards from ter contests and Romantic Times magazine. Prior to finding her bliss as a romance writer, Vicki blew through several jobs that ranged from teaching and reporting to raspberry picking and swimming pool maintenance. None of them proved half as interesting as making up funny, sexy stories. Vicki lives in Tucson, where she has a pool but no longer cleans it herself.

Vicki will focus on the craft of comedy writing at our February meeting: “Dying is Easy, Comedy is Hard.”

In the morning Nuts & Bolts segment, Tryshe Dhevney will teach us how to use voice to awaken creativity and unexpected inspiration. Tryshe, a sound and voice specialist and award-winning actor and director, used sound and toning as a tool in her own healing from a life-threatening illness.

Tryshe will present, “Create a Joyful Noise—Sound Inspirations for the Creative Writer,” to show us how to integrate our bodies and minds for improved health and well-being as well as creativity.


January 27, 2007: Vijaya Schartz

Join us for our first meeting of 2007 when we’ll welcome our new chapter board members along with the new year. See page 16 for meeting details and reservations.

Award-winning writer of action, suspense, paranormal and sizzling romance, Vijaya Schartz will be our guest speaker. In the morning, she will present a 30-minute Nuts & Bolts segment on “Creating Great Villains” and after lunch she will address “From Book to Film: Writing the Novels Hollywood Will Love.”

Vijaya is a daredevil who enjoys writing exotic, historical, fantasy, and futuristic settings. With eight novels in print, e-books, and audio books, she has fomented film interest in Bollywood, India’s cinema industry. Her novels Relics and White Tiger placed in the Desert Rose Golden Quill contest. Her futuristic romantic suspense Anaz-voohri (Triskelion Publishing) is now available in e-book and paperback.

An active member of Desert Rose and Valley of the Sun Romance Writers RWA Chapters, Vijaya is a recipient of the 2006 Desert Rose Award. She is the current editor of Arizona Literary Magazine, and past-president of the Arizona Authors Association and of the Valley of Sun Romance Writers. She was a talk show host of Authors’ Secrets Radio for three years, and is a book reviewer for several magazines.


December, 2006: Holiday Party

It’s that time of year when we slow down just a bit to listen to the bells, watch the wonder of the season on children’s faces, be a little kinder to strangers, and savor the moments we spend with family and friends…

…because 2007 is just around the corner and we’re gonna have a rockin’ time!!!!


November 18, 2006: Barbara White Daille

Barbara White Daille will be with us all day! Come prepared to take lots of notes.

Barbara has had a variety of jobs, including secretary, writing instructor, taxi driver and insulation salesperson (don’t ask!). But she never lost sight of her desire to write and be published. Her first two novels Harlequin American Romances. Sarah and Tanner’s story, The Sheriff’s Son, is available now.