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Writing the Federal Agent

January 24, 2023 by in category Ages 2 Perfection Online Class, Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Events, Online Classes tagged as , , , , , , ,

Writing the Federal Agent

Presented by: John Bokal with Jennifer Bokal

Date: February 1 – 28, 2023 (one month)

Registration Closes: February 16, 2023

Pricing:  A2P Member fee: $5

Non-A2P Member fee: $10

 About the Workshop:

There’s no denying it—federal law enforcement agents and agencies have sparked the imagination of readers and writers for generations. But how can a writer really understand what it’s like to be a part of the law enforcement community?


Join retired FBI Special Agent, John P. Bokal, Jr. to discuss the various agencies tasked with investigating federal crimes and what it’s like to be a federal agent. His wife, multi-published and best-selling author Jennifer D. Bokal, will then provide exercises to help participants develop their own realistic federal agent characters.

About the Presenters:

Jennifer D. Bokal is the author of more than 20 novels and novellas. Her books include the best-selling Ancient World Historical Romance, The Gladiator’s Mistress, and novellas from the popular Contemporary Western series, Bear Creek Rodeo. But Jen spends most of her time writing for Harlequin’s Romantic Suspense line.


Her husband of more than 25 years, John P. Bokal, Jr., is retired FBI Special Agent. During his 30 years with the FBI, John worked a variety of cases including kidnappings, missing persons, and bank fraud. Jen and John live in upstate NY. They have three grown daughters and have filled their “empty nest” with several fur babies.

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Those Who Forget the Past: Using Backstory to Enhance Your Novel

January 18, 2023 by in category Ages 2 Perfection Online Class, Events, Online Classes tagged as , , ,

Presented by: Cynthia Owens

Date: February 1 – 28, 2023 (one month)

Registration Closes: February 15, 2023

Pricing:  A2P Member fee: $20

Non-A2P Member fee: $30

About the Workshop:

In Those Who Forget History: Using Backstory to Enhance Your Novel, students will examine how to use backstory effectively to enhance their stories using elements of a character’s past.

We will cover:
• What is Backstory?
• Flashbacks and How to Use Them,
• The Five Ws of Backstory—Who, What, Where, When and Why—of a character’s past.
• Prologues—how to use a prologue to provide backstory.
• Dialogue—how to manipulate your readers by using a character’s dialogue to hint at backstory.
• Weaving—how to weave backstory into your story.
• Inner Thought—revealing your character’s backstory through inner thought.
• What Do They Want?—how your character’s backstory can affect his goals.
• The New Way to Plot: Using backstory to plot your novel
Included in the workshop is a workbook with assignments, checklists, and more.

About the Presenter:

I believe I was destined to be interested in history. One of my distant ancestors, Thomas Aubert, reportedly sailed up the St. Lawrence River to discover Canada some 26 years before Jacques Cartier’s 1534 voyage. Another relative was a 17thCentury “King’s Girl,” one of a group of young unmarried girls sent to New France (now the province of Quebec) as brides for the habitants (settlers) there.

My passion for reading made me long to write books like the ones I enjoyed, and I tried penning sequels to my favorite Nancy Drew mysteries. Later, fancying myself a female version of Andrew Lloyd Weber, I drafted a musical set in Paris during WWII.

A former journalist and lifelong Celtophile, I enjoyed a previous career as a reporter/editor for a small chain of community newspapers before returning to my first love, romantic fiction. My stories usually include an Irish setting, hero or heroine, and sometimes all three.

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Creating a Living Setting

December 18, 2022 by in category Ages 2 Perfection Online Class, Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Online Classes

Creating a Living Setting

Presented by: Jeannie Moon

Date: January 21, 2023, Saturday, 9AM PT

Registration Closes: January 22, 2023

Pricing: A2P Member fee: $5

Non-A2P Member fee: $10

About the Workshop:

Settings are more than time or place to plop down your book’s characters. A setting can be a living, breathing entity, whether it’s a small town, big city or a brand new world. Settings limit or expand possibilities for your characters, are a catalyst for change, act as a pain trigger or provide comfort. The possibilities are endless.

About the Presenter:

Bestselling, award-winning author Jeannie Moon will take you through the intricacies of creating a setting that will transport your readers to a world of your creation and make them want to return again and again. This is a deep dive into the craft of using time and place to enhance the story’s depth and give readers a true sense of what your characters are experiencing.

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Scene-by-Scene Writing

December 17, 2022 by in category Ages 2 Perfection Online Class, Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Online Classes

Scene-by-Scene Writing

Presented by: Sally J. Walker

Date: January 2 – 31, 2023

Registration Closes: January 16, 2023

Pricing: A2P Member fee: $15

Non-A2P Member fee: $30

About the Workshop:

Learn the building blocks of fictional storytelling through Sessions filled with definitions, explanations and examples leading up to writing exercises with instructor analysis. In this eight-session workshop, you will see how to plan story and prevent pitfalls, one page at a time. You will discover the magic of successfully juggling main plot and subplot, Point of View, and the crisp pacing demanded in today’s fiction market. You will learn the “how to” of analyzing and achieving “Scene-and-Sequel,” the fundamental logic of story events.

Course Outline
Session One: Principles of Storytelling
Session Two: Scene as a Unit of Time
Session Three: Writing Scene
Session Four: Analysis of the Parts of Scene
Session Five: Sequel as Logical Links Carrying Forward
Session Six: Writing Sequel
Session Seven: Analysis of the Parts of Sequel
Session Eight: Plotting through Scene-and-Sequel

About the Presenter:

Sally Walker’s published credits include literary, romance and western novels, a nonfiction essay collection, several creative writing textbooks, stage plays, poetry, and many magazine articles on the craft of writing, including staff contributions to two international film magazines for 10 years. Sally has written 33 screenplays, sold 1, and has Hollywood representation.

In addition to long time active memberships in such national writing organizations as RWA, WWA, and SCBWI, she was president of a state-wide writers organization 2007-2011 and is active in the Nebraska Film Association. While keeping to a strenuous writing schedule, she worked as Editorial Director for a small publishing company for 18 years. Besides being an adjunct professor of screenwriting at a local community college, Sally has taught writing seminars, both on-site and on-line, for over 30 years and is the facilitator for the weekly meetings of the Nebraska Writers Workshop in Ralston, NE.

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So You Think You’re Ready for an Author Assistant

October 23, 2022 by in category Ages 2 Perfection Online Class, Online Classes tagged as , ,

Presented by: Sara Benedict

Date:  November 12, 2022

9AM PT/10AM MT/11AM CT/12 Noon ET

Pricing: A2P Member fee: FREE

Non-A2P Member fee: $10

About the Workshop: 
Author Assistants can make or break an author just as easily as a poorly designed cover or a badly written blurb. This forum style workshop will guide you through the potential highs and lows of hiring an author assistant. But most importantly, will leave you with the answers to the three most often asked questions:

  1. What does an author assistant do? 
  2. Do I need an author assistant?
  3. How do I find an author assistant?

About the Presenter:
Sara Benedict is an Author Assistant that works with clients in every stage of authordom, from those working on their first manuscript to NYT Best Sellers. Sara lives in upstate New York with her husband, two children, and two chocolate labs. She has a borderline unhealthy obsession with all things relevant to Irish folklore, Gilmore Girls, and 16th century Britain. Oh, and in her spare time can be found either in a kayak or anywhere in the woods. She holds BA degrees in both English and history, has a profound love of nature, and a deep passion for books. 

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