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RWA Chapters — A Great Place to Meet Aspiring and Published Authors

Check out this great interview about the Yosemite Romance Writers–one of the many fantastic RWA chapters where aspiring writers and published writers get together to talk craft, marketing, and everything that matters to the writing process.

Guest Post–Vicki Batman

Today’s guest is award-winning and Amazon best-selling author, Vicki Batman, who has sold many romantic comedy works to the True magazines, several publishers, and most recently, two romantic comedy mysteries to The Wild Rose Press. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and several writing groups. An avid Jazzerciser. Handbag lover. Mahjong player. Yoga practitioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Chocoaholic. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome Hubby. Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking “What if??”

Hi, everyone! I’m Vicki Batman and I like to write romantic comedy. Releasing June 1 is “Raving Beauty,” a fun short story, from the Just You and Me boxed set:

What if the love of your life was in front of you all along?

It began innocently with a few margaritas… Kelly Stinson is persuaded to represent Yahoo! Ranch Steakhouse in the Chamber of Commerce’s beauty contest. After an unexpected swan dive off stage, her heart goes pitter patter over the orthopedic surgeon who repaired her ripped up ankle.

Daniel Ackerman has always had the hots for his twin sister’s best friend. Much to his dismay, her doctor has taken notice of the dark-haired beauty and invaded his territory. That’s about to change when he moves in to help Kelly recover physically and open her eyes to what’s been in front of her all along.

Excerpt:

“I can’t believe I let your loony brother, who’s tormented me all my life, talk me into this.” With my eye on the teenage competition, I tugged the leg opening of my swimsuit into place to better cover my hip. “Just because I did some modeling in college doesn’t make me a pageant diva. Back then, I was incredibly skinny, and clothes fit easily.”

“Daniel’s a rat. He took advantage of your third or was it your fourth margarita, Kelly?” Maggie Ackerman, my best friend and roommate, adjusted the scarlet satin sash draped across my body. Glittery stick-on letters spelled out Miss Yahoo! Ranch Steakhouse. “Hold still.”

With an old-fashioned teasing comb, she picked my brown hair into place at the crown of my head. The eerie suspicion I resembled a scary dame with Big Texas hair from the television show, Dallas, caused me to avoid looking in the mirror.

“Close your eyes.” She hit me with super freeze-it hairspray. “Now, that ain’t goin’ nowhere.”

My personal stylist needed to work on her aim, preferably with both of her eyes open. I spit-wiped the sticky spot on my right cheek. I hope nobody I know sees me like this.

“There.” The scrunch of her nose reflected how pleased she was with herself. “Feeling better?”

Like a slab of beef.

Preorder Just You and Me boxed set at:

Find Vicki at:

Dialogue: Don’t Let ’em Say What You Mean

  • Time HeatInstructor: Shannon Donnelly
  • DATES: November 1-23
  • PRICE: $20 YRW members/$25 non-members

We all know great dialogue when we read it—and the best dialogue seems effortless. But good dialogue takes work and a few key ingredients.

What do you need to get your characters talking in ways that make for riveting, exciting scenes?

  1. Your Characters’ Voices
  2. Making it Better Than Reality
  3. Subtext: Layering Under the Words
  4. Accents, Ye Olde English, and Slang 
  5. Internal Dialogue – What’s too Much?
  6. Invisible Tags and Punctuation
  7. Punch it! – Making it Matter

For more information or to register: http://www.yosemiteromancewriters.com/#!workshops/cctds

The Instructor 

Shannon Donnelly’s writing has won numerous awards, including a RITA nomination for Best Regency, the Grand Prize in the “Minute Maid Sensational Romance Writer” contest, judged by Nora Roberts, RWA’s Golden Heart, the Laurel Wreath, the Winter Rose, the Bookseller’s Best, and multiple finalists in the Holt Medallion, the Colorado ACE, the Golden Quill, and others.  Her work has repeatedly earned 4½ Star Top Pick reviews from Romantic Times magazine, as well as praise from Booklist and other reviewers, who note: “simply superb”…”wonderfully uplifting”….and “beautifully written.”

In addition to her Regency romances, she has had novellas published in several anthologies, has had young adult horror stories published and is the author of several computer games. Currently, she is a member of several chapters of RWA, and she is a past-president of the Beau Monde, Regency Chapter of RWA. She has spoken at past writer conferences, including RWA’s national conference, and regularly gives workshops online.  Her abiding passions include–besides writing–her dogs, reading, gardening, painting, belly dancing, and the ever present horses in her life.

Yosemite Romance Writers September Workshop on World Building from an Intelligence Point of View

WORLD BUILDING FROM AN INTELLIGENCE POINT OF VIEW

Instructor: Merien Grey
Dates: September 5-30
PRICE: $25*
REGISTER HERE

As writers we always look for ways to make our jobs easier.  If you are building a world from scratch you have enough on your plate.  One of the things intelligence professionals do is build country studies.  They are very similar to what an author does when they build their world.  It is very easy to take one or two country studies that have a characteristic based on something in your story and find dozens of cause and effect relationships to build conflict.  All you have to do is know where and how to look.  By the time we are done you will know how to build your own country study and how to use the ones already available.

Your setting is a character of its own.  It can push characters to kill, love, despair, or feel great joy.  Everything in your story stems from and hinges on the world you build it in.  When the stakes are high (life, love, money, freedom) the first thing any real organization (military or private) does is do a country study or some version thereof. These studies expose where potential conflicts may arise for those wanting to travel in this new land.  As a writer you are after those potential conflicts, they ground your writing in reality and keep the cardboard out of your characters.  This course is to provide you with new insights to how everyday things can change your setting.  There are over forty key items intelligence professionals know before anyone goes near new territory.  You will be given the perspective to look at your world like an intelligence operative would.   Links to real world country studies will be provided along with how to understand them and apply that type of information gathering to your world making it fuller, more believable and roiling with conflict for you to capitalize on.

*$20 for members of Yosemite Romance Writers
Image Credit: Adobe Stock | Photocreo Bednarek

About Merien Grey:

 Merien spent eleven years in the military intelligence.  She learned a lot of things and specifically ways to pick things apart to determine what significance each tiny item has. She is always into something and curious about nearly everything. She has multiple degrees specializing in Anthropology, Sociology, English and Communications Technology. She spent a decade traveling the world as a military intelligence analyst learning and observing all manner of people and their behavior. Before becoming an author and speaker, her occupations ranged from bartender to infrared security system instructor and developer to many years as a 911 operator. She currently lives in the shadow of Mount Rainier with her husband, two dogs and a little one who rules the land with an iron hand at least until bedtime.

About Yosemite Romance Writers:

Romance AdobeStock_56168345Yosemite Romance Writers is a chapter of Romance Writers of America. All writers of romance are invited to join our San Joaquin Valley group of aspiring and published authors.

Yosemite Romance Writers offers regular and online membership. It is a group of dedicated, experienced, and fun writers to assist and encourage advancement in every stage of the writing career. For members, monthly guest speakers present on various and cross-genre topics related directly to writing.

 To learn more, visit YRW’s website.

Image Credit: Adobe Stock | aleshin

SoCal MWA Presents: From Page to Screen — Adapting Novels Into Screenplays

AN ENLIGHTENING LUNCHEON
AT THE TAM O’SHANTER

Sunday, May 22, Noon
(Doors open at 11:30)

Open to the Public, but SoCal MWA members get a discount

Featuring:
Terrill Lee Lankford
Jordan Harper
Elissa Matsueda
Richard Lange

Moderated by Eric Beetner

Join SoCal MWA for a discussion of the unique skills required, and the pitfalls awaiting, as writers adapt material, previously written for another medium, to the screen,
big and small.
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Terrill Lee Lankford has written many feature screenplays as well as Amazon’s Bosch, adapted from the Michael Connelly novels

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Jordan Harper writer-producer of such shows as The Mentalistand Gotham, sold his first novel, If All Roads Were Blind, and also the screen rights. He is currently adapting it for the screen.

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Elissa Matsueda  adapted the non-fiction story “Spare Parts” for the screen and is currently writing other projects for Lion’s Gate entertainment.

 

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Richard Lange  adapted his own novel, Angel Baby, for the screen and lived through all the promise and let down an adaptation can often bring.

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Eric Beetner is the author of more than a dozen novels. He lives in Los Angeles where he co-hosts the Noir At The Bar reading series and serves as MWA SoCal’s Treasurer.

TAM O’SHANTER RESTAURANT
2980 Los Feliz Blvd
Los Angeles 90039

Paid valet or free street parking available

You will place your food order at the Tam.
No need to pre-order.

The menu choices will include their famous Prime Rib,
plus chicken or fish, vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Members $20
Non-members $30

You may pay at the door by cash or check, but PayPal is preferred.

Online Workshop: You Are What You Say

  • AdobeStock_91900864Instructor: Kat Duncan
  • Dates: May 9-27
  • PRICE: $20 YRW members/$25 non-members 

This workshop examines the elements needed to reveal character through dialogue. Using character development techniques you already know such as goals, motivations, and backstory, learn how to reveal strong characters through their words and connect those words to other elements in your story. Successful novels have an increasing amount of dialogue over narration, forcing dialogue sequences to do more and more of the work of telling the story. Learn how to reveal important information about characters, turning thoughts, appearances, and actions into spoken words. Workshop includes lessons on using dialogue to build tension and anticipation, reveal story secrets, enhance setting and hit readers in the gut with emotion. Includes lessons on dialogue tags, and blending dialogue with narration. Examples from bestselling novels offered as models.

About the Instructor:  Kat Duncan is a creation extremist who is doing her best to identify human creativity and free it from captivity, one student at a time. As a young child, Kat once tried to confess the telling of her stories to her parish priest because she thought they fit the definition the nuns gave for telling a lie. With her lies fully sanctioned and blessed by church authorities, Kat writes stories to entertain and enlighten. She is a Fulbright Scholar who spent a year in West Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Kat has a Master’s Degree in Education and over a dozen years of experience teaching students from elementary through college and beyond. Her stories span a range from realistic historicals to quirky suspense.

For more information or to register: yosemiteromance