Tag Archives: Saguaro Romance Writers

April 22, 2017: Writing the Other

Please join the Tucson RWA for a look at writing characters that are different on April 22, 2017 at the Viscount Suites Hotel in Tucson, Arizona. Guests welcome!

Your characters can represent the essential beauty of the romance world–including its diversity.  Crafting demographically different characters means  more than just avoiding cliches.  In this class we’ll explore in-depth techniques for constructing living, breathing, sympathetic “Others” that won’t make your readers cringe.  Through exercises, lectures, and class discussions, we’ll cover the difference between stereotypes and tropes, and expand your vocabulary for describing the “Other.”

This renowned workshop is the basis for the classic text Writing the Other: A Practical Approach. In it, authors and editors Nisi Shawl and K Tempest Bradford teach students to write sensitively and convincingly about characters of diverse backgrounds. Appropriate for all fiction writers from all backgrounds and any skill level, this seminar combines lectures, discussions, and writing exercises in a safe, supportive atmosphere.

Special Event November 18, 2017: Michael Hauge

Story Mastery Workshop

During this special, all-day seminar (9 a.m. until 4 p.m.), Michael Hauge will present his unique approach to creating compelling stories for film and fiction.

Drawing on his decades as a Hollywood script consultant, author and lecturer, he will show the most powerful methods for eliciting emotion in your readers and audiences through story concept, plot structure, character development and theme.

Michael will then reveal his proven method for getting the people in power to read your manuscript.Michael Hauge

You will learn:

  • The primary goal of all story
  • Turning plot structure from a complicated concept into a simple, powerful tool you can easily apply to every story
  • The power of desire, need, longing and destiny
  • The essential conflict all characters must face
  • Novel structure vs. movie structure
  • The single key to creating character arc and theme
  • The secret to creating unique, believable and fulfilling love stories
  • The single biggest mistake writers while pitching their work
  • The key components of a powerful pitch

If you want to elevate your novels to the highest possible level, this event is a must.

This entrance fee for this event is tiered.
For Tucson RWA members, until June 30th:  $75   After: $100
For RWA members (not Tucson chapter), until June 30th: $100  After: $125
All other guests, until June 30th: $125  After: $150

March 25, 2017: Sharon Hamilton

Recent changes in Facebook (FB) and FB advertising have affected visibility. Authors today need to do more to reach out to their readers, and many are finding a “captured” email list is the only way to get their message out to their fans.

But how do you maintain a newsletter that is interesting, looks good, and is opened? I’ve grown my newsletter from just under 1000 to over 32k in a little over 3 years’ time, and not by buying leads or subscriber lists, but from a variety of sources that encourages signups. I’ll share my methods–and realistically show you what did and didn’t work for me.

If you have specific questions, please submit them to your program chairman, Amylynn Bright, so I can tailor my remarks to exactly what you want to hear. Or, if you have any other questions about Indie publishing you want answered, I’ll be there to answer those questions too if we have time.

About Sharon HamiltonSharon Hamilton

Sharon Hamilton is a NYT and USA/Today bestselling author most known for her SEAL Brotherhood series.

Her Golden Vampires of Tuscany are not like any vamps you’ve read before, since they don’t have to go to ground, and can walk around in the full light of the sun.

Sharon’s Guardian Angels struggle with the human charges they are sent to save, often escaping their vanilla world of Heaven for the brief human one. You won’t find any of these beings in any Sunday school class.

All of Sharon’s books are available on eBooks (most formats), print and Audible.

A lifelong organic gardener, Sharon lives with her husband in the Wine Country of Northern California, where most of her stories take place. When she’s not writing, she’s getting verra verra dirty in the mud, or wandering Farmer’s Markets looking for new Heirloom varieties of vegetables and flowers.

Visit Sharon on the web:
Author FB Page ** Sharon’s Blog ** Sharon’s Website ** Facebook ** Twitter  ** Goodreads
(New!)Sharon’s Online Store **Join Sharon Hamilton’s Newsletter

January 28, 2017: Sara Megibow of kt literary

Making Money in Romance Publishing

Romance readers are voracious consumers so how do you match your romance novel with a business strategy to make money in romance publishing? Agent Sara will discuss profitable business strategy by evaluating formats, distribution and subsidiary rights. What role does social media play in profit and how do authors capitalize on that? How should each writer evaluate what’s best for their career based on their personality, how quickly they write, in what sub-genre they write and their backlist? How does an agent strategize for an author’s profit?

Query Letter Cold Reads

Those who follow Sara on Twitter know that she can quickly and succinctly provide her expert opinion on query letters. Saguaro Romance Writers will take advantage of that skill by having Sara provide feedback on cold reads of several query letters from SRW members and other event attendees as time allows.

Sara Megibow
Sara Megibow

Sara Megibow is a Literary Agent at kt literary with over 10 years experience in publishing. She represents New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance authors including Roni Loren, Ashlyn Macnamara, Tiffany Reisz, Maggie Wells and Jane Kindred. As an agent, Sara specializes in representing debut authors who write in these genres: middle grade, young adult, romance, science fiction, and fantasy. Within the romance genre specifically, she represents absolutely all sub-genres of work, including (but not limited to!) contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, historical, erotica, new adult, young adult, and steampunk.

Director of Communications Info:
Here is a Pinterest board showing Sara’s romance authors and their books:
https://www.pinterest.com/saramegibow/saras-romance-authors-and-their-books/

Sara is on twitter @SaraMegibow where she tries hard to answer professional questions as time allows.

The kt literary website, including submission guidelines, clients, books and a helpful blog, is: www.ktliterary.com

Finally, Sara’s Publishers Marketplace site (sales, clients and more info) is here:
http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/SaraMegibow/

November 19, 2016: Liz Pelletier

Edit a Bestseller Like a Pro

I’m going to share a little secret with you… Editors typically consider the mechanics of your writing only if they’re truly horrible, but that’s only after they decide if they can sell your story, if they love your voice. In the history of publishing, I don’t think anyone has ever lost a book deal due to a missing comma or over-usage of adverbs. If you can write a story that a reader can’t put down, even despite grammatical errors… Now that’s a bestseller.

With that in mind, during this workshop we’re going to focus on both the big picture and line edits, but we’ll be focusing on concepts that will help you craft a bestseller: How to review your book through the standard three pass editing structure used by professionals, how to evaluate character growth arcs and story structure, how to peel away those bad writing habits to reveal your voice, and how to refine your writing style so a fluid and engaging story emerges. By the end of the day, I hope everyone will have the tools they’ll need to “Edit a Bestseller Like a Pro.”

Query Letter Cold Reads

Liz will bring her bestseller editor skills to practical application as she reviews query letters from Saguaro Romance Writers. These cold reads will be open to other event attendees as time allows.

About Liz Pelletier

Liz PelletierLiz Pelletier co-founded Entangled Publishing in 2011. Over the past 4 years, Entangled has gone from a small start-up to a bestselling romance publisher, with more than 17 NY Times bestsellers and 39 USA Today bestsellers. Her out-of the-box approach to everything from pricing strategies to marketing to editorial allows Entangled to be both disruptive and agile within a dynamic publishing landscape. Liz continues to disrupt the publishing business with her launching of Entangled Music in 2015, where stories come to life through the extension of music. You can find her on Twitter at@Liz_Pelletier.

 

October 22, 2016: Jessica Watterson (Special Event)

In the Trenches: Query Letters

The Saguaro Romance Writers are excited to welcome Jessica Watterson of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency to our October Special Event. She’ll provide an “in the trenches” look at all things query letters. Join us for tips, tricks and an inside look at the elements of a query letter and what makes a good one. Then she’ll put that advice into action with cold reads of several query letters from SRW members and other event attendees as time allows.

About Jessica Watterson

Jessica Watterson, Agent
Jessica Watterson
Jessica is an agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. She graduated from the University of California at Irvine with a degree in sociocultural anthropology and English. Jessica has made books a serious part of her life for many years. During college, she started an indie review blog that has featured author interviews and has reviewed several self-published books that eventually ended up on the New York Times Best Seller list. Jessica is actively building her list and is most interested in all genres of romance, especially historical, contemporary, romantic suspense, and paranormal. She greatly enjoys romance novels with strong characters that jump right off the page and a plot that stays with the reader long after the book has finished.

September 24, 2016: Pamela Tracy

War of the Words
Are adverbs really bad? And, just who gave the word “said” such a bad reputation? Besides writing for Harlequin and whoever else will snatch up her books, Pamela Tracy is an English professor who not only spends her romance writing hours wrangling with words, but she also spends her classroom hours instructing the next generation that “You can paint the world with words.” Come hear what she has to say about tags, repetition, and fragments. Wait! It’s not just what she says; the truth is in the pages of the books by our favorite authors.

Pamela Tracy
Pam Tracy

Pamela Tracy is an award-winning author who lives with her husband (He claims to be the inspiration for most of her heroes) and son (He claims to be the interference for most of her writing time.) She started writing at a very young age (a series of romances, all with David Cassidy as the hero. Sometimes Bobby Sherman would interfere). Then, while earning a BA in Journalism at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, she picked up the pen again – only this time – it was an electric typewriter on which she wrote a very bad science fiction novel. First published in 1999, she has since published more than thirty books/novellas and has sold more than a million copies. She’s written contemporary, historical and suspense – all in the romance genre. Her 2007 suspense, Pursuit of Justice, was a Rita finalist. Her 2009 suspense, Broken Lullaby, won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the year award.

RWA 2016 National Conference Catch-up!

We had so many great stories to share about our experiences in San Diego that we couldn’t get to them all in August. From reader retention rates to all the swag and anything else we can squeeze into our second session, stop by and listen to more fantastic lessons from RWA 2016.

May 21, 2016: Rose Ortiz

The Art of Writing Body Language
Pulling readers into our stories is vital. We want them to fall in love with our characters and our world, because if they don’t, they won’t read what we’ve written. There are many tools we have to draw readers in, and body language is one that too many authors fail to use. Rose Ortiz will talk about body language, its components, and how writers can use it to add depth to characters, dialogue, and emotions. We will look at how other authors have used body language, and how we can use it to make our writing stronger.

About Rose OrtizRose Ortiz2b
At the age of ten, Rose was given access to the Young Adult room of the library. That’s when she fell in love with Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and—when no one was looking—Rosemary Rogers. The result was a love affair with books, especially romance novels. After retirement, Rose split her time between reading and writing. She has won awards for her writing and currently is writing two series, one contemporary set in Minnesota and the other historical set in Georgian England.

Block Busters & Creative Prompts
So far in 2016, we’ve had talks about writing active hooks & settings, about building plot bridges, about using Tarot and other cards to brainstorm, and writing reviews. For our second session in May, we’ll work as a group and at our tables to devise character arcs, plots, story ideas, and all manner of creative inspirations to keep you engaged in your writing. Come prepared to tie all this year’s meetings together with the help of chapter member facilitators.

February 27, 2016: Vicky Loebel & Michael Petersen

Plot Points for Pansters
(And the Outliners who Love Them)

Morning Session:
Are you confused by story climax and big black moments? Does rising and falling action make you want to shove your characters off a cliff? Do turning points spin your head, and does the thought of filling out pages and pages of scene lists and character questionnaires make your day job look pretty good?

Whether we’re outliners or pantsters who plot as we go, most authors reach the point sooner or later of asking “am I doing this right?” And one of the keys to evaluating your work is understanding classic three-act structure.

In our February morning session,  SRW author Vicky Loebel will draw on her history as honorary “queen of false starts” to show how mastering few basic plot concepts makes novel-writing faster. We will review the basics of plot structure (drawing from K.M Weiland’s Structuring your Novel,  Michael Hauge’s The Hero’s Two Journeys, and James Scott Bell’s Superstructure), banish sagging middles, consider ways to combine plot, character, and setting to make a story stronger, and debate the usefulness of constructing a simple plot grid.

To illustrate plot structure, we’ll do a quick analysis of Romancing the Stone, Pride and Prejudice, and (time permitting) The Wizard of Oz.

About Vicky Loebel

FB PhotoVicky Loebel began her professional life as a systems programmer for NASA and moved through successively more challenging careers before settling in as a writer of tightly-plotted romantic fiction. She lives on the slopes of Mt. Lemmon, AZ with her sister, three dogs, a rotating assortment of offspring, and a husband who has the patience of a saint.

Vicky is the author of two humorous urban fantasy/romances, Keys to the Coven and Speakeasy Dead. Her latest book, Vacation Bride, is a contemporary marriage of convenience set in the tropical paradise of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.

It was the subject of several false starts.

Michael Petersen: The Romance Writer’s Business Guide

Afternoon Session:
What is the writer’s cost-benefit analysis of traditional vs self publishing? What advertising avenues give you the best bang for your buck? What is the best price point for your novel series vs your standalone? Is it worthwhile to register as an LLC as a writer? And taxes are coming….how does a writer handle filing taxes best?

Michael Petersen will address these questions and more as he outlines the business side of a romance writer’s life.

About Michael Petersen

headshotMichael Petersen has a Bachelor of Arts from Seattle University and a Masters of Business Administration from Illinois State University. Before retiring from Microsoft at age 35, he worked in various roles including program manager, technical account manager, and technology strategist. He currently manages the business strategy, marketing and production for his wife, USA Today Bestseller Jess Michaels.


Meeting fee of $25 members $30 guests and walk-ins includes a single-entree buffet lunch.  Please let us know you’re coming by reserving on  our payments page or by emailing reservations@tucsonRWA.org no later than 8 am Wednesday before the meeting.