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OCC’s Upcoming Meeting and More

November 6, 2012 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , , , ,

I’ve missed OCC! I was unable to get to the last two meetings because of family travel plans, but I’m in town now and am delighted to say I’ll be at the Saturday meeting.

Both speakers sound interesting to me. In the morning, Tara Lain will be speaking about blog tours–and I’ve participated in quite a few. I’d love to learn other people’s perspectives about them. I try to utilize a few different social media avenues to let people know what I’m writing, and blogging is one of them.

I’ve said this before, but once upon a time, when I started writing, I thought that was all it was: you write, get published, and things are great from there on. It turns out that, yes, things are great, but there’s more to it than that. These days you write, publish and promote. As a result, I’m always eager to learn about other promotional opportunities.

For example, I’m participating in a blog hop tomorrow. Come visit my post at KillerHobbies.blogspot.com and learn more about me and this particular blog hop.

I’m delighted to say that I’ve signed up for the SoCal RWA Conference in March. Have you? I belong to two of the four participating RWA chapters and have for years. I’m really looking forward to this first SoCal RWA joint conference.

How about you? Do you blog? Are you going to the SoCal RWA Conference?

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Kiss Me or Kill Me

February 6, 2012 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston, Writing tagged as , , , ,

My OCC Online Class

What else would I be blogging about today but my upcoming online class for OCC? I’m really excited about it!

It’s called Kiss Me or Kill Me: Writing Cozy Mysteries 101 for Romance Writers, and it starts on Monday, February 13.

As I’ve been saying all along, it’s not only for romance writers, although I will be discussing some similarities and differences between the two genres. But the course will focus on the basics of writing cozy mysteries, from choosing a protagonist and theme, to starting your story, working in clues, and finishing in a satisfactory manner.

I’ve been writing cozy mysteries for a while now, along with also writing romances. Plus, I’ve taught classes in person and online. I hope to make this an especially fun one. I’ll include assignments and hope everyone will participate.

It’s not too late to join… so here’s the link, in case you’re interested! 

Hope to see you there.

By the way, I also blogged about this class, and my resulting self-analysis of my own writing, in my Killer Hobbies blog post this week. Here’s its link: Killer Hobbies 
Linda O! Johnston
Berkley Prime Crime
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Greetings, New Year’s Grinches

January 6, 2012 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , , ,

Admit it–are you a New Year’s Grinch?

Okay, I realize there really isn’t such a thing. That’s certainly not the background of the character created by Dr. Seuss who despises Christmas in the book How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
But the term Grinch has been extended somewhat in common use to mean more than that nasty, greedy and cute character. It can also mean someone whose holiday spirit is lacking.
So why not a New Year’s Grinch?

Most of us have looked forward to the New Year as a new beginning. We like to think that whatever went wrong for us in 2011, or wasn’t ideal, or even could just use some changes or tweaks, will get resolved in 2012. Sometimes it’ll just happen, and sometimes we have to work on it, but this year can definitely be better than the last.

Can’t it?

What about if you just let one year run into the next? I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, so although I may aspire to changes, mostly those that I cause, they don’t rise to the level of promises to myself the way resolutions might.

What about people who just figure January 1 is just the day after December 31? Those who may enjoy taking time off over the holidays because everyone does (well, everyone but writers) but don’t really consider the upcoming year to be different from the one that just expired?

Tell you what. All you New Year’s Grinches: since you don’t believe in the magic of the New Year, make your resolution now. This year, you’ll vow to stop Grinching and start working on changing all those things in your life that need improvement. And admit it. There are some.

Silhouette Nocturne BITES
November 2011
Like–if you haven’t read any of my Pet Rescue Mysteries or my Harlequin Nocturne Alpha Force miniseries books, that’s something thing you can start in 2012. Or if you’ve read some, pick up some more! Then there’ll also be my first Harlequin Romantic Suspense book in July…

Okay. Enough BSP. How about your own writing aspirations or career? What can you change in the upcoming year to improve wherever you are? Or what about your family life? Your home? How can you improve our environment? Help save some homeless animals? Whatever!

Tell us all, right here. Are you a New Year’s Grinch? And are you resolving to change that?

In any event, to all of you OCC members and friends, whether you’re Grinches or not: Have a very happy and productive 2012!

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RWA National Conference–A Fun Event!

July 6, 2011 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston, Writing Conferences tagged as , ,

by Linda O. Johnston

I was one of the 2,000+ attendees at the Romance Writers of America National Conference last week. It was held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City, and the theme was Bright Lights, Big Stories. That was the saying that appeared on the tote bags we were handed upon registration–filled with the conference’s program, a thumb drive with handouts, a fill-it-in-yourself conference calendar, and lots of books!

I understand that this month’s program at OCC will be a recap of conference highlights. Unfortunately, I’m unlikely to be there, although I’m not sure how much actual information I’d be able to contribute anyway. I spent most of my time networking more than attending workshops or other events. But there’s a lot of value in that, and I’m delighted that I was there. I saw lots of writers I already know and met many more. I spoke with people who buy and promote books professionally and by word of mouth. I went to lunch with industry professionals who affect my career, and attended parties including the ones thrown by Berkley and Harlequin.

One very helpful event was Harlequin’s Digital Day. I obviously blog, and I also belong to Facebook, but I’ve been avoiding Twitter. I took lessons on how to sign up, though. I’ll probably give in and join it one of these days.

Then there was the librarians’ and booksellers’ event, where I networked with some of those pros and distributed handouts for both kinds of my books–my Alpha Force miniseries about covert military shapeshifters, for Harlequin Nocturne, as well as my Pet Rescue Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. The Literacy Signing was huge, and I also sold both genres of my books to benefit literacy.

There is a lot going on in our industry, as you undoubtedly know. Smaller publishers and e-publishing are on the rise. Traditional publishers recognize that and seem to be adapting, or at least trying to.

What will the publishing industry be like in one year? Five? No one really knows, although a lot of opinions are being expressed.

Meantime, I’ll keep on writing and try to make sure my career continues to adapt, too! Attending conferences like this one should give me some insights about how to keep it fresh.

As you probably know, the RWA National Conference will be in Anaheim next year–much easier for those of us who live in Southern California to get to. I’ll be there. Will you?

Linda’s Alpha Force miniseries from Harlequin Nocturne continues with GUARDIAN WOLF, an August 2011 release. The Pet Rescue Mysteries spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne Pet-Sitter mystery series will continue in October 2011 with THE MORE THE TERRIER. And of course, BEAGLEMANIA is still available.   Visit Linda at Linda O Johnston 

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Missing OCC

March 6, 2011 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , ,

by Linda O Johnston

I miss OCC.

I haven’t been able to attend a meeting for a while, and still won’t get there till May at the earliest. Sigh.


Well, in January I had another commitment, and in February I couldn’t get there because I was in the middle of frantically trying to meet a deadline. Plus, I was–and am still–dealing with a lot of time-consuming promotion for my new Pet Rescue Mystery series that debuted on March 1 with BEAGLEMANIA.

I won’t be there this month, either, because of a signing I’ve got lined up. In fact, I have a lot of signings scheduled. I had two last week, one at the grand reopening of the Flintridge Bookstore, and a launch party for BEAGLEMANIA at Mystery Ink in Huntington Beach. My signing on March 12, the date of the next OCC meeting, is at Mysteries to Die For in Thousand Oaks. Coming up are signings on March 19 at Vroman’s in Pasadena, and at Bookstar in Studio City on March 26. (My name is already in lights there! Bookstar is a former theater and keeps its marquee going to publicize events.)

Berkley Prime Crime

Visit Linda at LindaOJohnston.com or http://killerhobbies.blogspot.com/

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