Category Archives: Chapter Meetings

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.

October 28, 2006: Denise Agnew & Laurie Schnebly Campbell

Bring plenty of paper and a pen with lots of ink to take notes! In the morning session, award-winning author Denise Agnew will speak to us about electronic publishing. Denise has 18 books available at premier erotic romance publisher Ellora’s Cave, so she knows what she’s talkin’ about!

Denise’s Dangerous Intentions won the Best Romantic Suspense award from Treble Heart Book Awards, and it also placed second in the AEPRA Awards for Best Romantic Suspense. Visit her website at

In the afternoon, Laurie Schnebly Campbell will share her expertise on Character Motivation in the afternoon session. Motivation is what drives your story–what will your characters do and why? The character is going to create a plot from whatever happens, because you’ve got that person’s motivation built in from the very beginning. And the deeper you go for someone’s motivation, the more interesting they become. So let’s see how to use motivation for making your plot–and your characters–work!

Laurie Schnebly Campbell has been honored by Romantic Times in its “Best Books of the 20th Century” list and has used her Master’s in Counseling for motivating characters in her six romance novels…including one that beat out Nora Roberts for “Best Special Edition of the Year.” Visit her website at

September 30, 2006: Patricia Knoll & Hal Greeney

Do you have problems settling down to write? Do you have problems setting writing boundaries to get that book written? Hal Greeney will speak to us in the morning about disciplining yourself to get your writing done.

In the afternoon, Patricia Knoll will speak to us about pacing (how fast or slow the action happens in your novel) and how it’s a vital part of your book.

Patricia is the author of twenty-five traditional and contemporary romances published by Harlequin, Silhouette, and Zebra Books. Most of her books are romantic comedies and each one is a challenge as she tries not to be intimidated by the words of Victor Hugo who, on his deathbed, was asked by a friend if dying was very hard. Hugo answered, “Dying is easy. Writing comedy is hard.”

A native of Arizona, Patricia lives in Tucson with her family and pets and enjoys writing books featuring the colorful characters found in the west.

August 26, 2006: Self Promotion & Nationals Recap

Our August meeting is going to be jam-packed with information. From self-promotion to a re-cap of the RWA National Convention–you won’t want to miss these outstanding programs!

In the morning, Cindy Somerville will talk to us about self-promotion. Our afternoon session will be a panel recap of the National meeting.

Not able to go to National this year? No problem! Several members who attended the RWA conference will be on hand for a very interesting panel discussion.

July 22, 2006: Chapter Quickies

In the morning, we’ll get three “quickie” presentations. Elaine Charton will speak to us about how to properly format your manuscript; Frances Gross will show us how to write a query letter; and Alison Hentges will talk to us about contract clauses.

“Suspenseful. Edgy. Thrilling. Romantic. Adventurous.” All these words are used to describe the novels of award-winning, best-selling author Denise Agnew. Romantic Times Magazine called her romantic suspense novels Dangerous Intentions and Treacherous Wishes “top-notch romantic suspense”. Denise enjoys writing about a diverse range of subjects. Writing tales that scare the reader is her ultimate thrill. In the afternoon, Denise will speak with us about electronic publishing. With almost twenty books to her credit, it’s a subject she knows a lot about!

June 24, 2006: Jennifer Ashley

Multi-published author Jennifer Ashley will be our guest speaker for both sessions of our June meeting. Jennifer has historicals with Leisure and contemporaries with Dorchester. Writing as Ashley Gardner, she has her Regency mystery series with Berkley. Under her pseudonym Allyson James, she has several hot erotic romances at Ellora’s Cave.

“Tips for Staying Sane: Writing the Best Novel You Can and Getting It Published!” will be the morning presentation, and Jennifer will speak on “Print Versus E-Publishing” in the afternoon–a neutral look at the good, the bad, and the ugly in each.