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Loving Multiple Genres

May 6, 2015 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , , , , ,

Those of you who know me also know that I write in multiple genres, which currently include paranormal romance, romantic suspense and cozy mysteries.  And I’m not the only one!

Last weekend I attended Malice Domestic, an annual conference held in Bethesda, Maryland, for readers and writers of cozy mysteries.  It was delightful, as always.  I was on a panel about pets in mysteries, and also participated in Malice Go Round, where readers sit at tables while authors, two at a time, sit down with them and get to talk about their work for two minutes apiece.  Exhausting, but fun!  That was in addition to parties and hanging around at the reception area talking with people and more.
One of the fun things I also got to do was to meet with several of the people who will be fellow panelists with me at July’s RWA National Conference!  Yes, we’re all attending both kinds of conferences this year.  Our RWA panel topic will be From White Collar to Red Herring, and we’ll be talking about our non-writing professional experiences not only for plotting, but also for managing our writing careers.
Come see us if you’re at RWA National this year!

Linda O! Johnston
www.LindaOJohnston.comBITE THE BISCUIT, A Barkery & Biscuits Mystery
May 2015
LOST UNDER A LADDER, a Superstition Mystery
LOYAL WOLF, an Alpha Force Harlequin Nocturne

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Catering to Special Interests

March 5, 2012 by in category Archives tagged as ,

As we’re gearing up for RWA Nationals locally in Anaheim, I wanted to share some information about “special interest” chapters that are online. Some may not know of the opportunities. In addition to OCC/RWA, I’m also a member of a number of Online chapters. One is Passionate Ink, which is for erotic romance writers (http://www.passionateink.org/).
Every year at Nationals, most of these chapters host a party (because they don’t get to meet in person during the year!). Passionate Ink recently announced that their party will be on Thursday, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The theme is “Dungeon,” and the guest speaker is Sascha Illyvich, who taught the “Writing from a Man’s POV” course for OCC in 2010. Last year, it was “Burlesque,” and it cost $25 to attend for nice appetizers and two drink tickets (plus the “show”).
Anyway, to join that chapter it costs $25.
Other special interest chapters include :
ChickLit Writers of the World — Self-explanatory
Faith, Hope and Love – Inspirational
FF&P — Future, Fantasy & Paranormal — Another great party, and I know we have a lot of members in there.
Hearts Through History
Kiss of Death – Mystery/Suspense
Rainbow Romance Writers
Those that write same-sex romance, and we have a good half-dozen OCC members in there. 
Women’s Fiction Chapter
YARWA — Young Adult RWA
I’m a special interest junkie! I belong to five other chapters. So if you have a special genre, see what’s out there, and look into joining before it gets too close. This way, you’ll have the info on the parties at National! (The YARWA event sells out every year.)
Hope to see you there!

Louisa Bacio

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Orlando! by Linda O. Johnston

August 6, 2010 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston, Writing Conferences tagged as , , , ,

A couple of months ago, my blog on A Slice of Orange discussed my angst about whether I really wanted to go to the Romance Writers of America Conference in Orlando. I wound up going. Am I glad? Yes!

I didn’t stay for the entire conference, which I regret now. But I accomplished most of what I wanted to–saw nearly all the people I hoped to see, attended most of the sessions I’d planned to, and learned about new resources and other information about publishing and promoting.

I met a number of people I’d never anticipated seeing, too. Networked and schmoozed and partied and had a great time.

I admit that the Orlando weather didn’t wow me. I have lived in L.A. long enough to be really spoiled about the minimal humidity on most hot days. Just walking between the two hotels at the Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort wilted me.
But the steaming up of my sunglasses didn’t deter me. The brief walk was worth it, plus the view was really nice, including the waterway between the two facilities.

By the way, as I mentioned in my blog last month, if you’re interested in hearing some of the things I learned at National, I’ll be sharing them at the OCC meeting on August 14. Come and ask questions–and I’ll answer whatever I can.

Linda O. Johnston

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Writer on the Verge

August 18, 2008 by in category Writer on the Verge by Kate Carlisle tagged as , , ,

More Conference Talk!

Everyone’s been sharing their conference and post-conference experiences, so I thought I’d join the crowd. And I brought photos–mostly of me, I’ll admit. But ya know, it’s my camera. 🙂
For me, this year’s conference was all about networking with fellow writers and I think I succeeded. Well, I partied a lot, anyway.
I was thrilled to finally get a chance to visit and party with my fabulous blogging group, Romance Bandits, and even had a few chance encounters with the Golden Rooster. (A long story, but visit the blog a few times and you’ll catch on!) Here’s a picture of the Cheeky Chook with Romance Bandit and Kensington debut author Jeanne Adams. Don’t they make a cute couple?
Here’s a shot of me with another Bandita and double Rita finalist, the lovely and talented Avon historical author, Anna Campbell.
Here are a few familiar OCC faces. This was taken the night of the Rita awards. It’s me, with Jennifer Apodaca and Michele Cwiertny. Don’t we all look fabulous?
And here I am with yet another Bandita, Sourcebooks Casablanca author Loucinda McGary. Her first book, The Wild Sight, is out in October and she’s already starting to garner wonderful reviews! We’re showing off our first sale ribbons!
I’ve got lots more photos but an alarming number of friends have threatened me with death if I post them here. I won’t mention any names … but some people are so touchy!
Hope your conference experience was wonderful!

Kate Carlisle’s Bibliophile mystery series from NAL debuts in February 2009 with HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER.

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SANDRA PAUL: Making the most of Conference

July 7, 2006 by in category Archives tagged as

How do you make the most of your conference experience? Well, I’ve attended five conferences in my stellar career (and even paid for at least two of them). And although the recent article in the July Orange Blossom and the editors blog on the subject covered a few of the basics, I also regret to say they missed a few. Stuff only “insiders” and “big wheelers and dealers” like me would know.

But since I love OCC, I’m willing to share. So here’s my own, personal “Seven Secrets to Making The Most of Your Conference Experience.”

1. Meet Editors

Whenever you go to conference, you should hang out with editors and only editors. (Okay, agents, too, if you’re really hard up.)

Now some people will urge you to try to meet your fellow writers, as well. Even (can you believe it?) unpublished writers. They claim by doing so you’ll have the chance to connect with others who understand what you are going through, and perhaps develop friendships that will support and last you throughout your writing career and beyond.

Well, who needs that?

What you need is to stay focused on yourself and make sure everyone else does, too. And hanging out with editors ensures people notice you. Believe me, whenever I’m with my editor Mary-Theresa Hussey of Silhouette (an executive editor, I’ll have you know!) and I wave and call out “Yoo-hoo! Hi, there!” to people passing, everyone notices me.

Now, I admit, finding editors to hang out with before you are published isn’t always easy. If you are a member of OCC, you might meet a few in the OCC suite during the Book Buyers Best Champagne and Chocolate party Wednesday night, or during the scheduled interviews with our OB editors and podcast producer. Unfortunately, during these events, members are discouraged from interrupting or promoting their own books simply because (can you believe it?) it’s rude.

So, a much better solution than going to the OCC suite or attending editor workshops is to latch on to editors in the hallways. Again, this is not always easy. They’ve obviously been taught not to make eye contact, and can become distressingly deaf when you shout out, “Hey, you! Editor! Slow down. Cuz I have the book of my heart here and–Wait! Please don’t run!”

That’s right. Editors can run really fast–and they don’t give up easily. I once had to chase my own editor down two halls and up three flights of stairs before I finally found her cowering in a crowded elevator. (Thank goodness her desperate jabs at the button stalled the thing!)

Which brings me to my second piece of expert advice:

2. Wear Appropriate Clothing

Specifically, running clothes. Forget the professional suits and dresses everyone else will be wearing. Pack sweat pants and baggy T-shirts. High-heels? Give me a break–literally. Nikes are the answer when you’re chasing an editor. Don’t argue. Just do it.

And when you catch one:

3. Be Polite

Tell her you’re sorry as you help her to her feet. Keep hold of her sleeve so she doesn’t try to run again, but let her catch her breath. After all, while she is gasping is the perfect time to tell her–line by line, detail by detail–about your 18,000 page, single-spaced manuscript. Don’t quit repeating how this book is “different, special, unlike any other” with everything marketing could want–the best “suspense, mystery, Western, Regency, inspirationally erotic, sports story with a touch of romance thrown in” she’ll ever see until she agrees to read it. While she’s at conference.

4. Be Persistent

Now, once you’ve thrust the manuscript in her arms, you might be tempted to release her. Don’t do it. Try to hang on until she offers you a meal.

You see, all editors have HUGE expense accounts they use to feed their writers. Even unpublished writers have benefited now and again. Some writers get taken out to expensive restaurants for dinner, others are invited to lunch, some to brunch, some to breakfast. My editor and I traditionally meet at a candy bar machine in the lobby on the last day right before she leaves for her plane.

And while I’m munching on my Reese’s Pieces I practice my next piece of advice:

5. Listen

Okay, editors talk a lot. We all know this. And just because they deal with hundreds of manuscripts a day, study editing and marketing for years–yada, yada, yada–they sometimes pick up a few tips about the publishing business. When they share these tidbits, you should listen–because if you don’t you won’t know when to jump in to talk about your book again.

And also, surprisingly, sometimes you might learn something. At the last conference, Mary-Theresa hosted several writers to lunch in the hotel. When I grabbed a chair to join them, I discovered Mary-Theresa was sharing with the group the questions she asks her editors to consider before they decide to buy a project.

Well, the other writers (showoffs!) were taking notes, so I decided to do so, too. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a pen, and the writer next to me (thanks a lot, Angie Ray!) was disinclined to let go when I tried to wrestle hers out of her hand. Which brings me to my next piece of advice:

6. Take a pen and paper.

Yep, this is the answer. Because napkins rip apart when written on, and lipstick blurs. In fact, when I got home and two months later decided to unpack, I could barely read what I had written.

So also don’t forget to:

7. Immediately write down after conference information you might want to use later.

Like, for example, Mary-Theresa’s number. Does anybody have that? (Angie, do you?) Because I’d kinda like to get those questions . . . . .

Sandra Paul aka Sandra Novy-Chvostal has written ten books for Silhouette and also serves as OCC Co-President with Mindy Neff. She promises to bring copies of Mary-Theresa’s lost list to the July meeting; anyone interested in receiving a copy can get one from Sandy or Mindy.

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