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POV: Going Deep and Staying There February 2020 OCC/RWA Online Class

February 4, 2020 by in category Online Classes tagged as , , ,

February Online Workshop
POV: Going Deep and Staying There (An Interactive Workshop)
Feb. 11 – March 8

Instructor: Suzanne Johnson

About the Class:

It doesn’t matter if you write first-person narrative or third-person with multiple viewpoint characters—getting deep inside a POV character’s head is the key to writing stories that grab readers by the heartstrings, no matter what genre you’re writing. In this workshop, each participant will have a chance to examine the different expectations of POV within different genres, look at the pros and cons of each POV technique, and then take his or her own work-in-progress, a finished work, or a favorite published work and deconstruct it to take the POV deep and keep it there. Each workshop participant will receive personal feedback through a series of assignments.

Lesson 1: POV–One of the Most Important Decisions You’ll Make
Lesson 2: POV and Genre (and a few words about head-hopping)
Lesson 3: POV Options, Pros, and Cons
Lesson 4: Hands-On Tips and Tricks to Deepen POV—Part 1 of 6
Lesson 5: Hands-On Tips and Tricks—Setting and Narrative, Part 2 of 6
Lesson 6: Hands-On Tips and Tricks—Action, Part 3 of 6
Lesson 7: Hands-On Tips and Tricks—Visceral Reactions/Emotion, Part 4 of 6
Lesson 8: Hands-On Tips and Tricks—Dialogue, Part 5 of 6
Lesson 9: Hands-On Tips and Tricks—Internal Dialogue, Part 6 of 6
Lesson 10: Balancing Third-Person Multiple POVs (three or more POVs)
Lesson 11: POV Hodgepodge and Wrapup

About the Author:

Suzanne Johnson has written more than twenty urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense novels and novellas from the pastoral setting of Auburn, Alabama. She realized her dream of becoming a full-time “hybrid” author in 2017 after finally leaving a career in educational publishing that has spanned five states and six universities. She grew up halfway between the Bear Bryant Museum and Elvis’s birthplace and lived in New Orleans for fifteen years, including a firsthand introduction to Hurricane Katrina. As Suzanne Johnson, she writes the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series and other urban fantasy novellas and shorts. As Susannah Sandlin, she writes paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the award-winning Penton Legacy paranormal romance series, The Collectors romantic thriller series, and Wilds of the Bayou romantic thriller series. She also works as a professional copyeditor for other authors.


Request to join the online classroom HERE.

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RWA2018 Recap

August 5, 2018 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed tagged as , ,

Facebook Ads| Tracy Read | A Slice of OrangeI’m on vacation and trying to figure out what to talk about this month.  I really didn’t want to bore you with another RWA2018 recap, but here goes.

Last month I attended my second RWA National Conference in Denver.  Attending conference is sort of like the first day of school and a family reunion rolled together.  I know that’s a strange observation, but work with me.  

Remember your first day at a new school?  There are two groups you were eager to see: the cool older kids and the popular girls.  Like most newbies, you were excited if anyone from either group acknowledged you.  That’s how it is at conference when you meet a  “Superstar”  and they speak to you.  It’s even more exciting if they say, “I read your book.”  That alone, propels your confidence.  But when a Superstar says, “I bought your book and enjoyed it…” it’s time to call 911, because you’ve just passed out.  I experienced both and I am still in shock.

Conference is like a family reunion because you get to see people you hadn’t seen since the last “reunion”, and are excited to see them and are thrilled they remember you.  My schedule this year has prevented me from attending my local chapter meetings, so I was very excited to see people from my chapter.  It’s like we’d just seen each other.

Another plus to attending conference this year is meeting up with old friends. I was stoked about  getting to see my friend Kitty Bucholtz and her husband, John [who now live in Sweden].   Although we’re accountability partners, along with Elena Dillon and DeAnna Cameron, and talk once a week, we hadn’t physically seen each other in a couple of years.  We got to catch up in person which we both needed. Yeah!

Another favorite thing about conference was getting to talk to Mark Dawson.  I’ve taken his courses but had some questions I really wanted answered. I was delighted to get honest feedback from him.  I also enjoyed my last session of the conference on audio books.  I left that session armed and ready to tackle a new option in my writing career.

The most unexpected treat from conference was my three roommates: Christina, Joyce and Janine.  I have never attended a conference where I had one roommate, let alone three.  I have to be honest, I had college roommate horror flashbacks, but rooming with these three was so  fun.  

These ladies graciously allowed me to stay with them and I had a great time.  We shared stories, mini brainstormed and laughed past midnight.  Having a roommate[s] allowed me to experience conference in a different way.  Because of my roommate Christina, I attended a fireside write-in at Sabrina Sol’s room.  I only wrote about thirty words, because we were having so much fun chatting, but I did get some insight into a character I’m writing.  

The other highlight of my conference was an impromptu plotting session on Friday.  I know those last two words don’t really go together.  However, if you ask the ladies [Christina, Sabrina and Alexis] at Friday night’s write-in about the “Ginger shape shifting unicorn hero”, they’d say, you can’t leave conference without a good late night write-in. SMILE.  Every time I see a unicorn or a red-head man, I’m reminded of the story.  We’ve really got to write that story.

My last-minute decision to attend RWA2018 was more exciting than I had imagined.  Shout out to the LARA ladies, my second chapter home. 

Here’s a little RWA2018 trivia.  How much do 54 books weigh?  The answer…31.5 pounds.  Thank you Southwest for two free bags and the other six books I put in my carry-on.  Next year, it’ll be a toss-up between which will weigh more, the books or all of my NYC purchases.

Happy August.


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Naked Sushi, Harlequin, and Cosmo, oh my! by Jina Bacarr

September 11, 2013 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The hot, lazy days of summer heated up last month when Harlequin editors, Gail Chasan and Malle Vallik came to speak at our August OCC meeting.

I was especially thrilled to see Malle Vallik. I’ll never forget the excitement racing through me when I found out that Malle wanted my NAKED SUSHI novella for the new Cosmo Red-Hot Read line from Harlequin. Not only did the Harlequin team have to approve each manuscript, but also the team from Cosmopolitan. This was a story I loved because I used my own experiences producing video podcasts as well as working for a computer magazine and a video game company to create her character.

A selfie of Malle and me — somehow the OCC Chapter sign got reversed when I put it up on Instagram.

In Naked Sushi, Pepper O’Malley is a tech-head but under that flannel shirt, she’s just itchin’ to find the right guy and fall in love. And she wants to be a spy:

Here’s the cover copy:

A Delicious Mistake

One day I’m getting canned from my job as a computer programmer for having wild copy-room sex with a guy I thought was the new game designer. The next, I’m crashing my ex-boss’s business lunch in a creative attempt to get my job back and men are eating sushi off my naked body! 

That’s when I realize a) My ex-boss is a hiding corporate secrets b) Hot copy-room guy is an undercover FBI agent c) I would make a kick-ass spy! 

Then Special Agent Hottie brings out his cuffs, and things get really interesting…


Here’s a fun Instagram video I made with the opening lines from Naked Sushi:

Coming in October 2013 from Cosmo Red-Hot Reads from Harlequin:

NAKED SUSHI is available for pre-order on Amazon!

Copyright © 2013 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Cover copy text used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited.

Text Copyright © 2013 by Jina Bacarr
Cover Art Copyright © 2013 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited

Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved.

® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies,
 used under license. by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.”


He’s So Sexy
Dream Valley Music
Composer: Michael Stephen Decker
Publisher: Shockwave-Sound.Com
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OCC/RWA in the Raw… Video, that is by Jina Bacarr

July 11, 2012 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , , , , , , ,
Here we are in July and RWA Anaheim is two weeks away. No airports, no shuttles, no time change for OCC members this year. Yay! Whether you’re commuting to the conference or staying at a hotel, I thought it would be fun to bring back the “good old days when…
The plane was late taking off.
Late arriving.
Where the heck is the shuttle?
A cab costs how much?
My God, I’ll never get those three hours back.
Breakfast is at 7:30 a.m. but my watch says 4:30 a.m.
I haven’t slept n three days.
You did what at the _________ (fill in the blanks) party?
Can I have late check out, please? Pretty please?
So as an ode to those days of yore when OCC members didn’t have the RWA conference in their backyard, here is a short video of several of us from OCC at John Wayne Airportback in 2007 waiting to fly out to Dallas. No music, no editing,just OCC in the raw!
And I’ll see you at the RWA 2012 Conference in Anaheim!
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Happy 30th Birthday, OCC! by Jina Bacarr

October 11, 2011 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , , ,

By the time my post is up, OCC will have passed the 30 year mark. I can only imagine the whisperings and giggling and story plotting filling the hallways at the Embassy Suites this past weekend. How many bestsellers were born that weekend, we’ll never know.

How many lifelong friendships were born, well, that’s something we do know.

If you’re a member of OCC and/or a reader of this blog, then you’ve got friends. I’ve never known a more supportive group willing to share ideas, information and a hug when needed.

That’s OCC.

Now that the publishing business is in such a flux, it’s more important than ever to share ideas, whether it’s looking for a NY publisher to self-publishing. We will continue to encourage each other to follow our dreams because that’s what we do at OCC.

That’s what friends are for.

Whether it’s helping each other through a rejection (we all get them) or celebrating with a red or pink or white rose, we’re here for you.

Even when you can’t attend the meetings, the OCC newsletter is filled with encouragement and practical information for everyone from the pre-published to the published to the self-pubbed.

No one knows how all this change will work out, but one thing we do know: from print books to e-books to whatever the future will bring, OCC will always be there for its members.

I’m proud to be a member of OCC.


A bit of nostalgia: Here’s a photo I snapped at OCC’s 25th Birthday party showing our newsletters throughout the years:

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