by Dana Diamond
TWO HOUSES, BOTH ALIKE IN DIGNITYâ€¦BUT WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
OCC is thrilled to welcome Abby as our afternoon speaker on May 12. Sheâ€™ll share her tips on how to know which publishing house is right for you. Itâ€™s another topic on which she is uniquely well-versed. Abby recently moved from HQN to Pocket.
â€œIâ€™m going to talk about the differences in how these two single-title publishers
acquire/edit/produce their books, and why an author might choose one over the other,â€ she said. The best news of all? Sheâ€™s actively acquiring authors, and she has agreed to raffle off a chance to rise to the top of her slush pile. An amazing opportunity to get your stuff in front of a top editor in the romance genre. Hereâ€™s what sheâ€™s looking for:
â€œIâ€™m looking for a wide variety of commercial fiction, including romance, romantic suspense, womenâ€™s fiction, historical fiction, and up-market commercial fiction in a Jodi Picoult vein. Iâ€™d also be interested in looking at straight thrillers, as long as theyâ€™re not too â€˜boy-book.â€™â€
Pocket Editor Abby Zidle originally set out to be a professor, but after writing half a dissertation on romance novels, she decided sheâ€™d rather work with them directly. She attended the Radcliffe Publishing Program and took her first job editing commercial fiction at Bantam Dell. But all the while, she longed for the chance to work with romance. She got the chance when Harlequin launched HQN and brought Abby on board as an editor. Now at Pocket, she has wise advice for unpublished writers hoping to break into the business: Just keep writing.
THE TRILOGY AND BEYOND
Three books in three months. Could you do it?
Trilogies are becoming more popular in publishing houses as a way to build buzz about an author and make a big splash in a short amount of time. Learn how to do it with OCC member and popular Harlequin author Patricia Thayer.
OCC member Patricia has sold more than 30 books and has built a loyal fan base for her stories of life on the ranch. She has been nominated for several prestigious awards, including the Rita, the National Readersâ€™ Choice Award and the Book Buyerâ€™s Best. In 1997, she won the Romantic Times Reviewerâ€™s Choice Award for Nothing Short of a Miracle. You can find her at www.patriciathayer.com.
Her latest, RAISING THE RANCHER’S FAMILY, is out now!
CHICK LIT IS DEAD! OR IS IT?
When Chick Lit burst onto the scene, critics immediately began to predict its demise. They said it was a â€œflash in the panâ€ trend that would fizzle fast. Five years later, the predictions appear to be right. Chick Lit lines are shrinking, and authors who once couldnâ€™t sell fast enough are now losing their contracts. But is Chick Lit really dead? Or has it simply evolved? Thereâ€™s no one better to answer that question than Cathy Yardley, one of the original Chick Lit writers and author of Will Write for Shoes, the definitive book on how to write for the Chick Lit market. Here, she teaches us how to stay hot in a market that has definitely cooled.
One of the original Chick Lit writers, Cathy Yardley is the author of eleven novels and novellas, including the instant Chick Lit classic, L.A. Woman. She recently compiled her expertise into a how-to book, Will Write for Shoes: How to Write a Chick Lit Novel. You can find her at www.cathyyardley.com
FEATURED ONLINE CLASS
CREATING YOUR STORY USING THE THREE-ACT SCREENWRITING STRUCTURE
If youâ€™re trying to figure out how to make that new idea work, why you canâ€™t put your finger on what is missing from your story, or how to condense your finished story into a six-page synopsis this class has the solution. Screenwriters have been using the three-act structure to create some of our most beloved movies including Casablanca, Breakfast at Tiffanyâ€™s, Working Girl, In Her Shoes, Memoirs of a Geisha and more. They have a map of plot points that they have to hit to tell a story within two hours or 90 minutes and you can use those same plot points to create your 75,000- or 100,000-word manuscript or synopsis.
OCC member Mary Castillo is the author of Hot Tamara (voted best chick lit novel of 2005 by Catalina magazine and Cosmopolitan magazineâ€™s Red Hot Read April 2005) and In Between Men. She is also a contributing author to the anthologies, Names I Call My Sister (Avon Trade May 07) and Friday Night Chicas (St Martins, April 2005). She began her writing career in screenwriting and when she was frustrated with the limitations of that format, attempted her first novel (donâ€™t ask) and has been addicted ever since.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT LORI PYNE LUV2WRITE@GMAIL.COM
THE OCC INTERVIEW
A FINE ARRANGEMENT
Everything was going according to plan for Suzanne Forster. Sheâ€™d graduated summa cum laude in psychology, and entered an accelerated doctoral program. Then she was seriously hurt in a car accident, and left facing a long and difficult recovery. A tragedy? Yep, for the field of psychology. But a blessing for romance readers. Because to overcome her pain, Suzanne started writing. And soon she sold a book . . .then another . . . and another . . .
Since I’m an avid knitter, it only made sense that sooner or later I would incorporate my love of yarn into my passion for storytelling. What I didnâ€™t anticipate when I wrote The Shop on Blossom Street was the overwhelming reader response to this first book set in a friendly little neighborhood in Seattle, where women became friends while learning to knit.
I hadnâ€™t anticipated writing a â€œknittingâ€ series, but I always listen to my readersâ€”
Dana Diamond is Co-Media Director for OCC/RWA, a contributor to OCC’s e-zine A Slice Of Orange, and hard at work on her next book.For Dana’s past interviews with New York Times Bestselling authors and other industry professionals visit the Orange Blossom section of OCC’s award-winning website.
By Dana Diamond
Whatâ€™s going down in The OCC?
So glad you asked!
We have CONTEST WINNERS and an inside look at the March Orange Blossom:
First and foremost, weâ€™d like to again thank all the contestants of our Worst Valentineâ€™s Day Ever contest. All of you did a wonderful job and made February a lot more fun.
But as you know, there can be only one. (Plus a second and third!)
Jen Crooks took First Place with, The Valentine’s Day Scale: Great, Good, Not So Good, Ugly and Get Off Me.
And Andrea Baker took Third Place with Slip Slidin’ Away.
INSIDE MARCH ORANGE BLOSSOM â€“
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
â€œSuccess is different things for different people,â€ Allison told the Orange Blossom in a recent interview. â€œI was a success because I continued submitting my books even in the face of rejection. I was a success when I found an agent. I was a success when I sold, and when I hit the New York Times list. As long as Iâ€™m writing, as long as Iâ€™m pursuing my dream, no matter what roadblocks or pitfalls are in the way, I am a success.â€
Allison will share the secrets of her success in March when she joins us for an afternoon discussion of â€œhow breaking the rules can break you in or break you out.â€
LIFE AS A STORYTELLER
Whatâ€™s it like to be the acclaimed, bestselling author of more than 30 novels and novellas? Join us at our March meeting to find out, when bestselling historical author Stephanie Laurens will discuss, â€œLife as a Storyteller.â€
Want to generate more sales, spend less money, and reach thousands of potential readers? Then add the words â€œvirtual book tourâ€ into your PR plan.
FEATURED ONLINE CLASS
BUILDING CHARACTER FROM THE GROUND UP
What is it about the books on your keeper shelves that make you want to read them over and over again? Characters! Great characters can touch us, move us and even change us. They make us look at ourselves differently. So how can we create characters for our own stories that do this? You have it inside you, but what will get it on the page? Join author and instructor Barbara Ankrum in this online class to find out.
THE OCC INTERVIEW
USA Today bestseller Christine Rimmer doesnâ€™t wait for her muse to cooperate. Who has time for that with four books coming out this year alone? See what she and her muse did together in Ralphieâ€™s Wives, out this month from HQN. And for a sneak peek at what else sheâ€™s working on, visit www.christinerimmer.com
BEHIND THE BOOK
TALKS ABOUT HER BOOK
ONE HOT TARGET
One day last year I was trying on some outfits at Nordstrom when the thought came to me: Wouldnâ€™t it be cool to start a book with someone getting shot in the dressing room next door? I could make the dressing rooms the type whose walls donâ€™t come all the way to the floor, so our heroine might hear a scream or a gaspâ€”no, a long, sad moanâ€”look down, and see blood from
the victim splattered on her own ankles and calves. Wow, great opening. Just then my cell phone rang, and as I was searching for it in my purse, I thought:
To find out what Diane was thinking get your copy of the March Orange Blossom today.
For more on Allison Brennan, Stephanie Laurens, and to congratulate the winners of The Worst Valentineâ€™s Day Ever contest, come to OCCâ€™s March meeting on March 10th!
Dana Diamond is Co-Media Director for OCC/RWA, a contributor to OCC’s e-zine A Slice Of Orange, and hard at work on her next book.
For Dana’s past interviews with New York Times Bestselling authors and other industry professionals visit the Orange Blossom section of OCC’s award-winning website.