The OCCRWA is running its annual Book Buyers Best Contest for traditional or indie romances in print or e-novel format published during 2020.
Non-refundable entry fee: $30, RWA members; $50, non-RWA.
The contest is open now and closes on April 30, 2021. We invite you to submit to our contest (and tell your non-RWA writer friends about it, too!).
Even if you’re not entering one of your books into the contest, you’re invited to be one of our judges. It’s a fun experience to be introduced to the writing of published authors you don’t know (see link below).
Follow this link to learn about contest categories rules, entry form and fee, past winners, and call for judges
Thanks, Nancy Brashear and Cathleen Armstrong, BBB Coordinators
Please contact OCC/RWA BBB Coordinators, Cathleen Armstrong and Nancy Brashear, at email@example.com
Orange County Chapter/Romance Writers of America®
Veronica Jorge is out of the office this month, so we’re running one of her columns from our archives. Hope you enjoy it!
Hispanola, which means the “Spanish island,” became the first Spanish settlement in America. It is my mother’s native country and today we know the eastern section of the island as the Dominican Republic; a fertile land abundant in mines and minerals and rich in a great variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and flowers, where the sun shines brightly year round.
The merengue, the country’s traditional music, embraces you throughout the island for dancing is an entirely social activity independent of holidays or festivals. Any gathering includes dancing because Dominican’s don’t just listen to music, they live it. Emotionally, the merengue celebrates life wherein you partake of the rhythms of love, family and friendship. The most skilled dancer moves in unity with their partner, as one.
My mother, Celina Antonia Luna de Jorge, (isn’t that lovely? Like a song in itself), left her beautiful, beloved island, and part of her heart, when she came to America at the age of seventeen. Like most of our ancestors, her family traveled to America in the hope of a better future. I’m happy to say that she found it. (She had me!).
Mom is most fully herself, most fully alive when she is surrounded by her family and cooking us all of the traditional delicious foods of her country. She fills and satisfies us with her peace and joy. And like the savory aromas that waft through the air, she makes our hearts swirl to the rhythms of her warmth and love.
And that’s what I want my writing to be like; a dance of words wherein writer and reader move in sync and taste the flavors of love, friendship, loss and new found purpose, joy and laughter. Writing that, in spite of sorrowful events or hardships, celebrates life and fills the reader with hope that today is indeed worth living.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you!
Veronica will be here next time on May 22nd.
Linda O. Johnston enjoys writing, romance, puzzles, and dogs.
A former lawyer, Linda is now a full-time writer and has published 52 books so far, including mysteries and romantic novels. More than twenty-five of them are romances for Harlequin, including Harlequin Romantic Suspense and Harlequin Nocturne. Her latest release is Colton First Responder for Harlequin Romantic Suspense.
She has also written several mystery series including. The Kendra Ballantyne Pet-Sitter Mysteries, which was a spin-off of the Pet Rescue Mysteries and The Superstition Mysteries. Pets, especially dogs, frequently show up in Linda’s novels
She is currently writing a lot of books for Harlequin. Three new Harlequin Romantic Suspense books will soon be released. The first up is Her Undercover Refuge in July 2021.
A simple Internet search can become a journey down the rabbit hole. A phrase or a word catches my eye, I click and find myself wondering down a path light years from the original intent. I was looking for info on clay pot cooking and got entranced by all the entries about things people are in praise of. Not sure how I got there, it’s a Google thing, but I couldn’t look away; all those heart felt testimonials extolling an incredible array of individual passions.
I was delighted by a man’s elegant praise of Velcro (who could argue with that?), an oratory on the simplicity of the ten penny nail (it really is an elegant and useful item), a poetic discourse on the play of sunlight on soap bubbles in the kitchen sink (I’ll take her word for it). The essays in praise of the rubber band, the sound of a child’s heartbeat in a quiet moment, the meditative smell of a crackling fire on a cold night all touched a universal human note—and I asked what I am in praise of.
Answer: writers. I write in praise of writers. I work with authors. I know something of the blood, sweat and tears invested in the books that are my passion to read. Writers are people with such a strong drive to tell stories they dive into unchartered waters and do it—despite the requirements of life. Writing is a full time occupation for a rare few. For most, the act of putting pen to paper is precious time carved out between client conferences, parenting, shift schedules, basic survival—the business of life. Amazing, praiseworthy.
Every book began as a spark in the mind of a writer. Might be an event, or a word overheard or grandmother’s lace collar that ignited the spark. With trial and error that spark becomes a premise to be populated with characters and action and goals. With more trial and error a burgeoning universe grows into a draft. More trial and error—okay, call it what it is—revisions and rewrites. Then more of same. Finally, a deep breath and first cautious preview. Writers group, spouse, beta reader, editor; it doesn’t matter who, the writer bears their soul. Feedback is absorbed (emotionally, technically, inspirationally), and it’s back to revise and rewrite, until the whole tough process results in the best effort of the writer.
That journey from idea to finished book is praiseworthy enough. That it’s just the beginning of a new sweaty effort is a fact. A book isn’t alive without readers. Reaching those readers is the next act. Even with a traditional publisher every writer has to promote their work — a fact even more vital for Indie authors. How else can the reader find your book among the 1100 new postings per day? Nothing makes me sadder than to have a client hang up their keyboard after publishing because sales are few to none. These are wonderful books, I know they are, but the author made no effort to promote. No one found the work. That wonderful book never stood a chance.
The investment of writing a book is a labor of love. Promoting and selling the book is just hard work. The effort begins with well-chosen genre categories and killer key words. An educated approach to pricing techniques, a website, blog and social media are promotional gold. Reviews are essential; consistency is key. Every author must invest the sweat equity needed to allow people to find their book. Fortunately, hundreds of Indie pros share promotional know-how, experiences and techniques on line, a lot of it free.
When I have found that ‘just right’ book I can snug up the Velcro on my slippers, hang my troubles on the ten penny nail, drain the supper dish soap and with the kid sit before the fire and travel wherever those pages take me. I am in praise of writers.
“How’d I Miss That?” (Self-Editing)
Presented by: Kathryn Jane
Date: May 1 – 31, 2021
Pricing: A2P Member fee: $15
Non-A2P Member fee: $30
About the Workshop:
Sending to a contest? Sending to an agent? Sending to an editor? Self-publishing?
No matter where your words and pages are headed, they need to be the best they can possibly be, and that means self-editing. Yep, the initial cleanup is your job and that’s why self-editing skills are so darned important.
This workshop will provide you with all the tips and tricks I wish someone had shared with me.
About the Presenter:
Kathryn Jane, author, artist, and coach, loves to share her knowledge and experience in workshops designed to assist others in every stage of their publishing adventure. Her own career has included everything from short stories and novels, to multi-book series. Whether romantic suspense or the escapades of feral cats, Kathryn’s unique voice will take you on a journey rich with pitfalls on the way to the always promised happy ending.
Trouble is coming…coming by land…coming by sea. Coming for you…and coming for me.More info →
It's a warm August morning in 1926 Los Angles . . .More info →
When Leora Ebersole sees the small plane crash in her Old Order Mennonite community, she has no idea it's a foreshadowing of things to come.More info →
Every woman is beautiful. Sometimes it just takes the right man to show you just how beautiful you are.More info →