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2019 Preview: OCC/RWA Online Classes

December 23, 2018 by in category Online Classes tagged as

OCC/RWA’s online classes resume in February, so today I’m posting a preview of some of our upcoming 2019 classes.

Feb. 11 – Mar. 8 – Pin It! Why Romance Authors Shouldn’t Ignore Pinterest for Marketing, Elena Dillon

Mar. 11 – Apr. 5 – Self-Publishing with Rebekah Ganiere

April – no class

May 13 – June 7 – The Chunky Method with Allie Pleiter

June 10 – 21 Self-Editing with Linda Carroll-Bradd (2-week class)

July – no class

Aug. 12 – Sep. 6 – to be determined

Sept. 16 – Oct. 11 – Deep POV: Going Deep and Staying Put with Suzanne Johnson

Happy Holidays

Linda McLaughlin, OCC/RWA Online Class Coordinator

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A New World of Food: #Thanksgiving Traditions

November 23, 2018 by in category The Romance Journey by Linda Mclaughlin tagged as , ,
Roasted Turkey On Harvest Table

Roasted Turkey On Harvest Table – c. evgenyb

I hope you had a good Thanksgiving yesterday. This holiday has always been one of my favorites, if only for the wonderful food. I do love a Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and all the trimmings, but turkey is a lot of work and yields a lot of leftovers, esp. when you only have four people at dinner. So this year we opted for beef roast with some of the trimmings: mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, garlic bread, and sauteed asparagus. Plus pumpkin pie, of course. It’s my theory that if the Pilgrims had had beef, there would have been no turkey dinner. They were English, after all!

And as a history freak, I love that so much of the traditional Thanksgiving food are native to the Americas.

The food supply expanded when Europeans “discovered” the New World. Prior to Columbus’s first voyage, there were no turkeys, potatoes, yams and sweet potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkins, cranberries or maize, i.e. Indian corn, in the Middle Ages. There was a cereal grain called corn, but it’s more like wheat, not like the ears of corn we’re used to. Halloween Jack o’ Lanterns were originally made with turnips!

And there was no chocolate. Chocolate is native to the Americas, so the Spaniards were the first Europeans to encounter it. It became popular at court after the Spanish added sugar or honey to sweeten the natural bitterness. From there, chocolate spread through Europe in the 1600’s and grew into the international obsession is has become today.

Can you imagine a world without chocolate? I really wouldn’t like that at all!

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving treat?

Linda McLaughlin

Note: This is normally the day I blog about OCC/RWA online classes, but we will be dark in Dec. and Jan. Class blogs will resume in January.

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Getting Down to the Business of Writing & Publishing Romance With Mary Castillo #onlineclass @A_SliceofOrange #OCCRWA

October 23, 2018 by in category Online Classes tagged as , , , , ,


Business of Writing Graphic


About the Class:

The moment you start writing a book with the intention of publishing it – self or traditional – you are in business. And if you’ve never run a business before, you may need this class. Scratch that. You need this class. Trust me.

I’m Mary Castillo and once upon a time, I dedicated my life to writing and publishing novels. But I didn’t know how one got paid. Or, that I’d have to pay taxes on that income in quarterly payments, or that my writing career would go one way and then quickly head another way and through it all, a mission statement I wrote in a moment of frustration would keep me focused when the road got rough.

What you’ll learn in this workshop are some of the things I learned the hard way, and some of the things I did right without knowing that they were the right things to do!

Our sessions will uncover sound practices in business planning, finance and marketing that will sustain you through your career. You will learn:

  • How to create a business plan
  • Why numbers are important on deciding what to write next
  • How you can start to identify your readers and help them find your books
  • How your creative author brain makes you a powerful authorprenuer
  • Who are the leading experts in today’s publishing world and why you might want to follow them

Author Mary Castillo

About the Instructor:

It is no wonder that Mary Castillo is a  paranormal mystery and romance author. She grew up in a haunted house.

Her mom once found her in the closet talking to the nicest lady who had a daughter and two sons. Mary was the only person in the closet and the more questions her mom asked, the plainer it was that her then three-year-old child described the previous (and deceased) resident of their house!

Fast forward many years later, Mary now writes the books she loves to read—chilling, paranormal mysteries in creepy old houses with a sexy hero and kick-butt psychic heroine, Dori O. The first book in the series, Lost in the Light was a Daphne Du Maurier Award finalist and the audiobook title won the 2018 Audiobook Review Listener’s Choice Award in Mystery. It was then followed up with Girl in the Mist and Lost in Whispers (a Maggie finalist!). Mary serves as vice president of communications for OCC RWA and at the moment, does not live in a haunted house. To learn more about her and her books visit:

Enrollment Information:

This is a 4-week online course that uses email and The class is open to anyone wishing to participate. The cost is $30.00 per person or, if you are a member of OCCRWA, $20.00 per person.

To sign up or for more information, go to the class page at the OCC/RWA website:

Linda McLaughlin
OCC/RWA Online Class Coordinator

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Seriously Creative with Laura Gates-Lupton OCC/RWA Online Class @A_SliceofOrange

September 23, 2018 by in category Online Classes, Writing tagged as , , , ,

OCC/RWA Online Class:

Seriously Creative: A Life Coach’s Approach to Productive Writing Success

October 15-November 9, 2018


Seriously Creative Class Graphic

About the Class:

Does your internal dialogue sound anything like this?

“I should be more disciplined. I need to be tougher on myself. I said I was going to really focus on my manuscript this week, and I haven’t even looked at it.  I need to get up early (or stay up late, or skip my lunch hour) and write.  (Insert famously productive writer’s name here) writes ten hours a day, cranks out five bestsellers a year, and still has time to tour.  I can’t even manage an hour.  I’m such a failure.”

If bullying yourself into submission (pun intended) isn’t working, then this four week course is for you.

Seriously Creative will incorporate the tools and techniques I use with my writer and illustrator clients to help them achieve higher levels of productivity and success without negative self-talk.  Using these methods, you will be able to:

-Figure out what’s really getting in your way (hint:  it isn’t a lack of discipline)

-Work effectively with the time you have, whether it’s too much or not enough

-Use two types of goals for increased motivation and keeping your work on track

-Create unique habits that work for you and your particular situation

-Understand the number one fear that holds people back from achievement, and how to dissolve it

-Conquer your inner bully, and shut down negative self-talk

By the conclusion of this course you will have a specific plan of action for getting and keeping your writing on track right now, as well as new strategies and techniques that will work for you in all the stages ahead.

About the Instructor:

Laura Gates-Lupton holds a master’s degree in clinical social work and is a Certified Professional Coach.  She has been helping people create healthier, happier, more productive lives for over 27 years.  She works with clients from all over the US and abroad, and loves seeing her writer clients get their work out into the world.  Laura is the mother of three amazing teens (whom she homeschooled, alongside her hardworking husband, until last year), and manages to do a bit of writing and freelance editing on the side.  Her mysteries have appeared in Woman’s World, Highlights and Rainbow Rumpus.  You can find Laura on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Enrollment Information:

This is a 4-week online course that uses email and Groupsio. The class is open to anyone wishing to participate. The cost is $30.00 per person or, if you are a member of OCCRWA, $20.00 per person.

To sign up or for more information, go to the class page at the OCC/RWA website:

Linda McLaughlin
OCC/RWA Online Class Coordinator

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The Secrets to Selling More Books with Penny Sansivieri OCC/RWA Online Class @Bookgal

July 23, 2018 by in category Online Classes tagged as , , , , , , ,

OCC/RWA Online Class:

August 13-24, 2018


Secrets-to-selling-books graphic


About the Class:
Week 1: How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon

Amazon is a great place to sell books, but most authors don’t realize that Amazon has an internal sales machine that will actually help you market your book, for free, if you trigger it? It’s called their internal algorithm and, not that dissimilar from ranking on Google, once Amazon’s algorithm kicks in, you could see a boatload of free promotion come your way from Amazon. Here’s what the session will cover:

  • Optimize your Amazon page: what you must do to start showing up in more searches
  • Understanding categories/themes and how to rank consistently #1 in your category.
  • Kindle Unlimited: How some authors are making a fortune here and how you can, too
  • How to quadruple the reviews you get on Amazon.
  • Why having a free book will help you sell more

Week 2: Super Fans & Street Teams- The Secrets to Selling More Books

At the end of the day, for all of the marketing we do, for all of the Tweeting, Facebook-ing, and blogging we really just want to know if it’s paying off. Does any of this sell books?

Have you ever asked yourself:

  •  How do I know if they are the right things to market my book?
  •  I don’t want to spend my life marketing, how can I get the most out of my efforts?
  •  Does giving away my book actually help sell it?
  •  Will any of this help me sell more books?

You will learn how to:

  • Identify and reach your exact right market
  • Turn fans into SUPER FANS and STREET TEAMS
  • Ignite your fans so they promote your book
  •  Use free to sell more books
  • Find and use the right social media for your book

About the Instructor:

Penny Sansevieri

Penny Sansevieri

Penny C. Sansevieri, Founder and CEO Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. She is an Adjunct Professor teaching Self-Publishing for NYU.

Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most innovative Social Media/Internet book marketing campaigns. She is the author of eighteen books, including How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload on Amazon, 5 Minute Book Marketing, and Red Hot Internet Publicity, which has been called the “leading guide to everything Internet.”

AME has had dozens of books top bestseller lists, including those of the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal.

Enrollment Information

This is a 2-week online course that uses email and The class is open to anyone wishing to participate. The cost is $15.00 per person or, if you are a member of OCCRWA, $10.00 per person.

To sign up or for more information, go to the class page at the OCC/RWA website:

Linda McLaughlin
OCC/RWA Online Class Coordinator


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