Tag: Charlotte Lobb

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Back to OCC

June 6, 2013 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , , ,

I’m back! Or, rather, I’ll be back at OCC this Saturday after a two-month absence. Both of those were the result of family, or at least partially so. I had a visit from family in April, and then was in the east in May both for some writing events and to visit family.

 I will be running the PAW meeting on Saturday, delighted to do so although it will also feel bittersweet. Despite being listed on the OCC website as a co-liaison at PAW, I’m more of an assistant this year. But I previously served as a co-liaison with Charlotte Lobb. As you probably know by now, Charlotte has passed away. She was always funny and charming while running PAW meetings, as she was even when not running a meeting, and I know she will be missed by all of us at PAW as well as everywhere else. Charlotte was excellent at all she did, including promotion, and that’s a segue into our PAW topic this month: promotion tips. I’ll be eager to hear everyone’s ideas, since I’m always looking for more to try.

I’ll also be looking for published author volunteers to help out by hearing pitches and staffing tables at our July meeting to discuss writing issues. See you on Saturday!

Linda O. Johnston

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Spiced Nectarine Jam

August 10, 2012 by in category Archives tagged as , , ,

Everyone I know is going to get a jar of Spiced Nectarine Jam for Christmas this year. Again. They have for past four years.

We have a dwarf white nectarine tree in our backyard. About four years ago it started going crazy producing fruit. One year my husband, who prepares and freezes the fruit for my jam making (bless him!) saved all the pits. He had harvested FOUR HUNDRED nectarines!

Even total strangers have received the gift of Spiced Nectarine Jam. Last year I filled 25 jars; I’ll do that and more this year. Three more batches to go!

The nectarines are positively, absolutely Organic. No spray. No fertilizer. Hardly any extra water. (My husband isn’t exactly fond of gardening.)

Since it’s hard to send jam via the internet, I thought you might like the recipe. The jam’s really yummy.

Spiced Nectarine Jam

4 Cups prepared fruit
7 ½ Cups sugar
1/4 Cup lemon juice
1 tsp each of cinnamon, cloves & allspice
1 packet of Certo

Combine fruit, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, cloves and allspice in a large pan. Bring to a rolling boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add packet of Certo. Stir to cool and skim foam for 5 minutes. Pour into jars. Use either self-sealing jars or cover with melted household wax. (This recipe can be used for Spiced Peach Jam.)

Happy jam making….

What do you preserve from your garden?


Montana Love Letter, Love Inspired, 10/2012
Home to Montana, Love Inspired, 3/2013

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August Online Class

July 26, 2012 by in category Archives tagged as , , ,

“Make ‘em Laugh: Tools and Techniques for Writing Humor”
with Charlotte Lobb w/a Charlotte Carter
August 13 – September 9, 2012
COST: $20 for OCCRWA members, $30 for non-members
If you have specific questions, email occrwaonlineclass@yahoo.com
Learn from the mistress of humor and a much-published author.  This workshop will take a look at the difference between male and female humor, the basic types of humor and how to use the tools that will bring the reader a smile and add a spark to your writing.  Some of these tools include the use of contrasting main characters, adding humor through secondary characters, dialogue, deep point of view and employing funny words.  The elements of romantic comedy will also be covered as well as setting up a running joke and using props to create humor. 
Exercises will encourage participants to identify what’s funny in the works of other authors and practice using the tools of humor in their own projects with feedback provided by the instructor.

Charlotte Carter has authored fifty-six books under various pseudonyms for Harlequin American, Love & Laughter and Duets as well as Dorchester.  She is currently writing for Love Inspired and Guideposts Books.  Noted for her light-hearted touch, she is a frequent workshop presenter and has taught an online Joke Writing class.
Her honors include Best Harlequin American and Career Achievement awards from Romantic Times and the National Readers’ Choice Award.  In her spare time Charlotte performs standup comedy——G-Rated Humor for Grownups.

Enrollment Information
COST: $20 for OCCRWA members, $30 for non-members
Coming in September 2012
Deep Story Structure: What Does Nora Roberts Know That You Don’t?
with Carol Hughes
Would You Like to Reach the Same Level in Your Own Writing Career as Nora Roberts or Stephen King?  Then Come Learn How to Unlock the Simple Secrets Behind Every Best Seller Novel and Blockbuster Film. 
Check out our full list of workshop at http://www.occrwa.org/onlineclasses.html
Want to be notified personally two weeks before each class? Be sure you’re signed up for our Online Class Notices Yahoo Group! Sign up at the bottom of http://www.occrwa.org/onlineclasses.htmlor send a blank email to OCCRWAOnlineClassNotices-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
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What’s Wrong with this Cover?

January 12, 2012 by in category Archives tagged as , ,

The creation of a book cover is a collaboration of the author (most of whom claim their suggestions are ignored), the editor, art department and marketing. Sometimes things go wrong.
One of the most infamous cover calamities happened to Christina Dodd, author of Castle in the Air, an historical romance. The hero on the cover is standing behind the heroine in a lovely red gown, holding her with, um, all THREE of his arms. Amazing fellow!
Jill Marie Landis, who writes western historicals circa 1880, got an early peek at one of her covers. It featured a cabin in the woods with a TV antenna. Oophs! The publisher had to reprint ALL of the covers. Boy, was that an expensive mistake.
I think my cover for Big Sky Family is both appealing and charming; the colors are positively lovely. It’s hard to beat a cowboy hero (Arnie), the heroine’s young daughter (Torie) and a golden retriever (Sheila) for getting reader attention. But there’s just one small problem.
Arnie, our hero, is sitting on the porch steps. He’s a paraplegic. In every scene in the book he is sitting in a wheelchair (with the small exception of rounding up cattle on a specially equipped ATV).
I’m guessing, and I really don’t know, that marketing has ‘discovered’ that heroes portrayed in wheelchairs don’t sell. Okay, I really want to sell lots of copies of Big Sky Family.
But what will readers think when they get to page 10 and find Arnie in his wheelchair? Will they blame me for the misleading cover and write nasty notes? Ouch!
And what about readers who read Big Sky Reunion, a previous book which featured Arnie’s brother Daniel? Won’t they remember that Arnie was a paraplegic in that book? When they see the cover will they think he’s been cured? And write nasty notes? Oh dear . . .
So do you think marketing is right? Would you be more or less likely to buy a book with the hero on the cover in a wheelchair?
Let me know.
Happy reading…….
Big Sky Family, Love Inspired, available 10/19/2011
Written With Love, working title, Love Inspired, 10/2012
Books that leave you smiling by
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Between the Lines with Charlotte Lobb (writing as Charlotte Carter)

November 13, 2011 by in category Interviews tagged as , ,

A multi-published author of more than fifty romance, cozy mystery and inspirational titles, Charlotte Carter lives in Southern California with her husband of forty-nine years and their cat Mittens—an equal opportunity lap cat. They have two married daughters and five grandchildren. When she’s not writing, Charlotte does a little stand-up comedy—G-Rated Humor for Grownups—and teaches workshops on the craft of writing.


Single mom Ellie James has returned to Montana for a fresh start and a new job at a local school. She sure could use the support of hometown rancher Arnie O’Brien, especially when she faces the opportunity to step up as director. But this cowboy still holds a grudge from when Ellie left him behind eight years ago. Can Arnie trust God’s plan and take a second chance on the girl who got away? He and Ellie will have to put aside the past to face the future together.

Q. You’ve written SO many books. How do you keep yourself motivated to write?
I’m compulsive! Maybe it’s because I started late in this writing business, but writing, discovering a story, soothes me (when it’s going well, of course). And there’s always another story to tell lurking somewhere in the back of my mind. So little time, so many stories……
Q. You’ve written in several different subgenres. Do you stick with one genre at a time or do you switch it up and change from book to book to keep it interesting?
The vast majority of my books have been romance novels. Now, however, I’m writing for two publishers: inspirational romance for Love Inspired  and cozy mystery continuities for Guideposts Books. I try to alternate between publishers, which is somewhat dependent on my schedule for the Guideposts books in whatever series is current.

Q. What is your writing process like? Linear or dot-to-dot? Planner or pantser? Do you write long hand or on the computer? etc.
I’m definitely linear and a planner, although the characters have been known to give me a surprise now and then. I start off plotting with a pen and college-lined notebook paper. (You can tell  how high-tech I am – Not!)  I establish who the characters are and their goals, diagram a W plot and  work through the hero’s journey.  At that point I can usually write a synopsis, which I do on the computer as well as the rest of the manuscript.

Q. What is your most reliable “go to” tool when you realize your story is broken and needs fixing?
For many years, my favorite “go to” tool was Mindy Neff and Susan Phillips, my critique partners. More recently I’ve been whining to Karen Leabo (aka Kara Lennox), who is great with the ‘black moment.’ If they aren’t handy, I may take a second look at Save the Cat by Blake Synder, do Debbie Macomber’s list of 20, or let my subconscious solve the problem while I sleep. I will say, by chapter 3 I pretty well can tell if the story is going to work.

Q. How have you managed to brand yourself, given the different genres you have written in?
I’ve never quite understood this ‘branding’ business, but I do have a motto and a promise that I make to readers: Books that leave you smiling….by Charlotte Carter.  When I was writing for Harlequin American (as Charlotte Maclay) I wrote warm, family stories. Now, with Love Inspired (w/a Charlotte Carter) I’m writing warm, family stories but with a more emotional tone and characters who are dealing with serious problems — a heart transplant recipient, loss of family members, and in my current book, Big Sky Family, a hero who is paraplegic.

Q. You have a wonderful sense of humor that serves you well when speaking publicly. How does your humor serve you in your writing career?
I wish I could say my sense of humor allows me to laugh at copy editors, but that would be a lie. In my writing, humor tends to worm it’s way into the story via children, who are always unpredictable, or by creating a ‘fish out of water’ story for the hero or heroine. Often it’s the reaction of a ‘straight’ character to a humorous situation that can make a reader smile.

Q. What authors and genres do you like to read?
I most often read suspense and romantic suspense, single title romance, legal thrillers, and the like. I’ve recently read James Patterson (Alex Cross story), John Grisham, Iris Johansen, and Rachel Lee books. And to my delight, our own Deb Mullins and Tessa Dare (Eve Ortega) have brought me back to historical romance, my first love.

Q. What piece of advice do you consider most important sharing with an aspiring author?
Write! Write! And write some more. I was very fortunate when I joined OCC and RWA that I could come home from a meeting and immediately use whatever information I’d gleaned  in my work-in-progress.. It’s impossible, in my view, to learn to write without having somehow finished a story.  My various critique groups have also been invaluable. (My technique is to be the dumbest one in the group so I can learn the most; so far I’ve achieved that goal..) I continue to learn by attending workshops and taking online classes in the hope of improving my craft. As Susan Macias said at our October Birthday Bash, “The only guarantee that you won’t sell is if you quit writing.”
Find more information about Charlotte and her books at: CharlotteCarter.com 
Interview is conducted by Brenna Aubrey, aspiring author whose first publication, a short story, “The Love Letter” was recently published in the Jane Austen Made Me Do It anthology, currently available.

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