Final Thoughts RWA 2013

My apologies for highjacking RoseAnn’s week… but I wanted to wrap up my RWA 2013 posts. As Jaye so kindly posted, I was fortunate enough to win the 2013 Golden Heart® for Best Historical manuscript.

I still can’t quite believe it.

But I guess it happened because I have the video of the speech to prove it:


Thanks to Michele Mannon for the recording.

I honestly didn’t think I had a shot at winning, which was fine. To be nominated was a thrill and a half. I never expected to ever get THAT, let alone a win. This manuscript was a challenge from the word “go” and a bit of a different tone than what I normally write. I questioned it every step of the way. So I feel very humbled by the recognition.

My amazing critique partners went one step further. Little did I know that they were all colluding to present me with the most amazing memento that any RWA conference attendee could ever hope for. Michele and Diana ran around the conference with the matte from a frame and gathered signatures on it. These range from Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, Sabrina Jeffries, Courtney Milan, Susan Elizabeth Phillips (!), Nora (!!), Jude Deveraux (!!!), and so many other wonderful authors and friends.
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Revising the Pitch—A Writer’s Show and Tell

ImageBefore I take out my humble red pencil and oversized eraser, I’ve got two exciting announcements to make.

First, the winner of Diana Quincy’s new release “Seducing Charlotte” is Nicole Doran! Congrats, Nicole!

Second, we are thrilled to announce a new member of The Violet Femmes: RoseAnn DeFranco! RoseAnn writes both Contemporary and YA Fantasy, and her wonderful, Jersey Shore-set romances are soon to be published with The Wild Rose Press. She is smart, generous, hardworking; and she makes a mean meatball, too. Suffice it to say, we are honored that RoseAnn will make us six!

Now, to work. I really struggled with the pitch for my current manuscript UnhingedEarly attempts yielded this monstrosity:

After finding herself and her teenage son nearly homeless after her rat of an ex wiped her out and then abandoned them, Evie Radnor’s entire focus revolves around creating a safe, stable, flush environment. To this end, she’s determined to both help others and grow her fledging business, which helps at risk homeless and their families secure jobs, without the help of a man. The first big turning point for her—a contract with Miller’s Markets.

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Thirteen Writing Resources for 2013

The year 2013 is well under way. I’ve decided to repeat one of my most popular posts, pay it forward once again, and share with you a dozen plus one lessons and resources from my arsenal of tools. Hopefully, you’ll find something useful for your own writing.

Thirteen may just prove to be the luckiest year yet—if you’re a believer, like me. I’m certainly wishing you a wonderful, belated 2013.

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Thirteen Writing Resources for 2013

Critique partners unite 

Ever feel like you are so caught up in revising your story that you can’t hear your characters anymore?

There are so many advantages to collaborating with critique partners who understand your voice and let you fly, but give you honest feedback when you’ve gotten into writer-gone-wild mode. Yes, it’s helpful when someone points out poor word choice or incomplete sentences but set your expectations higher when working with someone else’s manuscript and visa versa. The real challenge is in making your story sing, both beautifully and loud enough to draw attention to it. And, when your characters world gets murky and their voices sound flat, the value of good critique partners is immeasurable.
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