January 26, 2008: Jerry Simmons

What Writers Need to Know About Publishing
Writers cannot be successful in today’s
environment unless they have an understanding
of how the marketplace operates, how publishers
and booksellers compete, and how to make
intelligent decisions about the publication of
their book. Jerry Simmons brings more than 25
years of experience to writers and gives them a
glimpse of how the major publishers in this
country compete and how any author can use
this information to their advantage to maximize
the marketing dollars they spend. He provides a
unique perspective on how self-published, print-on-demand, and
small publishers can be competitive in today’s marketplace.

Jerry Simmons’s career in publishing began in 1977 as a sales
representative for Random House. In 1979 he joined the book
division at Warner Communications, where he spent more than 23
years in sales and management. During that time, the company
expanded to become the Time Warner Book Group (sold in 2006 to
Hachette Book Group USA, a French company). His sales team
distributed over a thousand titles a year from a number of large
publishing houses. He sold books to some of the largest
independent booksellers and mass merchants in the country, as
well as managing a sales force nationwide. He retired as vicepresident, director field sales in 2003.

In our morning “Nuts & Bolts” segment, outgoing president of
Saguaro RWA Cindy Somerville (Sherrill Quinn) will be our
speaker. When the day job started getting too stressful—which
meant it just wasn’t fun anymore—Sherrill took nine months off to
focus on writing. She’s written sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal and
contemporary with five electronic publishers. With a newly
acquired agent at her side, she’s looking toward New York while
still staying with her love of the electronic publishing venue.
Sherrill was raised in northeast Ohio but now calls Arizona home.

November 17, 2007: Kathleen Kirkwood – Another Time Another Place

Another Time, Another Place: Building a Believable World

Ever wonder what it takes to write good historical or time-travel fiction? In this one-hour talk, historical romance author Anita Gordon (aka Kathleen Kirkwood) will bring the craft of writing history to life. Learn how to recreate times, events and places in history accurately and evocatively; how to research facts for historically based fiction, and how to turn those facts into vivid prose that will create a believable and sensual world for your readers.

Anita Gordon is an award-winning best-selling author of six historical romance novels. Her first book, The Valiant Heart, set in the 10th century, won RWA’s 1989 Golden Heart Award, hit the bestsellers lists and went into three printings. The Defiant Heart and The Captive Heart completed the “Heart” trilogy. Anita penned two late Victorian paranormals under the name of Kathleen Kirkwood—A Slip in Time and Shades of the Past, followed by His Fair Lady, a 12th-century medieval and winner of the Golden Quill Award.

Anita has an abiding love for history, having grown up in historic southern Maryland. She studied art history and history at the University of Arizona. Long involved in theatre, Anita acted stateside and abroad on stage and television, and authored two children’s plays. Mother of three and grandmother of four, Anita and her husband recently relocated from Denver to Tucson. Currently, Anita divides her time working as a Weight Watchers leader and penning her next book, a mainstream novel set in 13th-century Wales.

Our morning “Nuts & Bolts” speaker Laura Fitzgerald will explore “How To Choose The Best Story to Tell.” Come prepared to open your mind and look at your story in a new way.

Laura Fitzgerald began writing fiction when she was a stay-at-home mom with young children. Bantam Dell bought her first novel, Veil of Roses, which was selected as a Breakout Book by Target and has gone into a third reprinting. Laura lives Tucson with her husband and two children.

October 27, 2007: Lindsay McKenna – Plucked from Darkness

Plucked From Darkness: Secrets of Writing Paranormal Fiction

In 2006, best-selling author Lindsay McKenna (Eileen Nauman) took her trademark action and suspense writing from the realm of the military to the jungles of Ecuador. Unforgiven, her first book in her paranormal series “Warriors of the Light,” was Silhouette Nocturne’s launch book. In this one-hour talk, she will unveil the secrets of balancing paranormal elements in your writing with wisdom, mysticism, and a fast-paced plot.

A writer since the age of 13, Lindsay has published more than 95 romance, historical ass-market adventure and suspense novels for Simon and Schuster, Warner, Avon, Berkley, and Harlequin/Silhouette. She has sold over 18 million books worldwide.

Lindsay joined the U.S. Navy after high school and became a meteorologist. She’s been a pilot, volunteer firefighter, registered emergency medical technician, licensed homeopathic practitioner, and flower and gem essence creator. Her experiences in the U.S. Navy are backdrops for her successful continuity Silhouette series “Morgan’s Mercenaries.”

In 2000, Lindsay received the Romantic Times Award for Best Electronic Book (Valkyrie) and was nominated for “Story Teller of the Year” at the prestigious Romantic Times Career Achievement and Reviewers Choice Awards in Houston. Her single-title Native American novel Heart of the Storm will be released by HQN in December, 2007. She lives outside Sedona, Arizona, with her husband.

In our morning “Nuts & Bolts” session, Eileen (Lindsay) will share her knowledge on the calming influence for the writer’s life emanating from flower essences, meditation and connecting with Earth. Eileen is a faculty member of the British Institute of Homeopathy and has been practicing classical homeopathy for 32 years.

September 15, 2007: Jacqui Jacoby – Tough Chicks

Tough Chicks: Heroines in Today’s Market
The evolution of the romance heroine has evolved from a woman needing a knight in shining armor to the modern chick who often wields the sword herself. What kind of women make up the tough chicks and what are they like in their everyday lives? What drives them to become tough? What kind of hero must stand beside her and what kind of villains will she face? Jacqui Jacoby’s one-hour talk will focus on tough chick heroines in today’s market, and how to build them de out in your writing. from the inside out in  your writing.

If there is one thing Jacqui knows, it’s how to be a tough chick. She has published articles on self-defense, including in June 2006’s WR Magazine. A graduate of UCLA, she lives in the Arizona mountains with her husband and their three children. Besides cruising the streets of Flagstaff on her Honda Rebel motorcycle, she is in her ninth year of martial arts and self-defense training, and currently studies sword fighting.

In our morning “Nuts & Bolts” segment, award-winning author Denise A. Agnew will present a talk on “Writer’s Block and Creativity.” Using ideas from creativity coach Eric Maisel, Denise will tell us the difference between writing superficially and writing deeply. Learn how to hush your monkey mind to find a deeper creative well than you’ve ever imagined.

Suspenseful, erotic, edgy, thrilling, romantic, adventurous. All these words describe Denise’s novels. Denise is a member of Saguaro Romance Writers and the Electronically Published Internet Connection. She is president of the Cochise County Chapter of Sisters In Crime. She lives in Arizona with her real life hero, her husband.

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, www.edenrobins.com, 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, www.brendanovak.com, 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.”

Romance Writers of America® Chapter 58