July 12, 2013

MFRW Summer Camp: Schedule and Workshops @MFRW_ORG #RLFblog #MFRWcamp

A Taste of Summer Camp 
What is MFRW? It stands for Marketing for Romance Writers, which is a peer group for authors and others in the literary community. Our motto is "Seek, teach, share, learn, succeed."
The group helps us focus on learning marketing and publicity. We seek ways to advance our careers, brainstorm new ventures and ideas, get feedback, and find others interested in working together. We provide free workshops. You can take a class or teach one.
We welcome marketing-related material that asks a question, offers a promo or idea, or is a request for help, advice, or opinions. We offer opportunities to promote and join others in promotional efforts. As fellow authors (published and not-yet), publishers, and other members of the literary community, we are your support group and co-workers. Need to buy pens, pins, or other goodies? Found a great place to do that? We hope you'll share the news.
We're open to the entire literary community. Our writing is not discussed; we focus on creating an image and using it effectively. We provide ways to learn new ideas, new skills, to gain new opportunities, and share them with others.
While promotions are not allowed on the Yahoo group, news about pitch sessions and calls for submission are. We coordinate pitch events with publishers for our members. On Facebook, we promote and share news. We link our blogs via a unique software "ribbon" in blog hops. We pin books by members on Pinterest, and show off our cover models. We share tweets on Twitter. We interview each other on BlogTalkRadio. We're about to open a Goodreads group. You are welcome to join us at all our locations. We offer assistance to our members in every way we can.

Why? Because we want you to succeed.

This is our second annual Marketing Summer Camp. This year's theme is "A Taste of Summer Camp" and we've promoted it by sharing recipes on our blogs, Facebook pages, and with tweets. We partnered with Coffee Time Romance to hold the three-day all free conference in their forum. We have volunteer speakers giving classes, and panels on how to promote books. Here is the schedule.

Friday July 12

Start -- End -- Day -- Instructor -- Class
12:00 PM -- 1:00 PM -- Friday -- Wt Prater -- Podcasting
1:00 PM -- 2:00 PM -- Friday -- Tonya Callihan -- Street Team
2:00 PM -- 3:00 PM -- Friday -- MFRW Staff -- How to Use MFRW's Promo Options
3:00 PM -- 4:00 PM -- Friday -- Trish Owen -- Who's on First? Handling POV
4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM -- Friday -- Kayelle Allen -- Blogging
5:30 PM -- 6:30 PM -- Friday -- Tina Gayle -- Cut the Crap (Editing)
6:00 PM -- 7:00 PM -- Friday -- Kristyn Phipps -- Buffer
7:00 PM -- 8:00 PM -- Friday -- Killarney Sheffield -- Everything I Don't See
8:00 PM -- 9:00 PM -- Friday -- Kristyn Phipps -- Social Media
9:00 PM -- 10:00 PM -- Friday -- Kristyn Phipps -- Paper.li 

Saturday July 13

Start -- End -- Day -- Instructor -- Class
8:00 AM -- 9:00 AM -- Saturday -- Kristyn Phipps -- Paper.li
9:00 AM -- 10:00 AM -- Saturday -- Gina Ardito -- Hips Don't Lie (Body Language)
10:00 AM -- 11:00 AM -- Saturday -- Kristyn Phipps -- Social Media
11:00 AM -- 12:00 PM -- Saturday -- Tina Gayle -- Cut the Crap (Editing)
12:00 PM -- 1:00 PM -- Saturday -- Mary Caelsto -- Guardian Muse
1:00 PM -- 2:00 PM -- Saturday -- Wt Prater -- Podcasting
2:00 PM -- 3:00 PM -- Saturday -- Kristyn Phipps -- Buffer
3:00 PM -- 4:00 PM -- Saturday -- Killarney Sheffield -- Heroes and Heroines
4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM -- Saturday -- Kayelle Allen -- Back to Basics
5:00 PM -- 6:00 PM -- Saturday -- Karen Cote -- Pinterest Game
6:00 PM -- 7:00 PM -- Saturday -- Monica -- Log Lines
7:00 PM -- 8:00 PM -- Saturday -- Ann Siracusa -- I Wish I'd Known Before I Published 

Sunday July 14

Start -- End -- Day -- Instructor -- Class
2:00 PM -- 3:00 PM -- Sunday -- Wt Prater -- Podcasting
3:00 PM -- 4:00 PM -- Sunday -- Trish Owen -- POV
4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM -- Sunday -- Tina Gayle -- Cut the Crap
5:00 PM -- 6:00 PM -- Sunday -- Ann Siracusa -- Career Planning
6:00 PM -- 7:00 PM -- Sunday -- Mary Wilson -- Query & Pitches
7:00 PM -- 8:00 PM -- Sunday -- Kristyn Phipps -- Social Media
8:00 PM -- 9:00 PM -- Sunday -- Kristyn Phipps -- Paper.li
9:00 PM -- 10:00 PM -- Sunday -- Kayelle Allen -- The Next Step

10:00 PM -- 10:30 PM -- Sunday -- Kayelle Allen -- Farewells and Next Year

Summer Camp!
How much does this cost? A lot of time and energy, but the camp itself is free. We do this for our members every year. So how much is membership? That's free too. We're a Yahoo Group of about 1800 people, from every part of the literary community. We are mostly romance writers, but we're also poets, technical writers, and bloggers. We have publisher members, cover artists, and other professionals.

Why not join us and find out what it's like? Wander over to the Coffee Time Romance forum and join up. Come by our Yahoo group and see what we're up to. We promote for our members on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, BlogTalkRadio, and we're about to open a Goodreads group. Maybe you'll find a place you feel at home. Bring your questions.

July 11, 2013

Contemporary: A Good Time @SSchroeder_ #RLFblog #amreading

Shannyn Schroeder, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, A Good Time.
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: eKensington
Cover artist: The Killion Group
Length: 291 pages
Heat rating: R
Tagline: He's got game, but can she play for keeps?
Blurb:
A passionate free spirit and a sweet-talking playboy sound like a match made in heaven—until life gets in the way of all the fun and games...
Indy Adams values her freedom above all else. She works hard to support herself, moonlighting as a waitress while she fights for her first big sale in the Chicago real estate market. The last thing she needs is to be tied down, so she doesn't think twice about declining her philandering boyfriend's marriage proposal. Besides, she just landed a new client, a wealthy lothario—exactly the kind of guy who would understand her no-strings approach...
Handsome, rich, and charitable, most women jump at the chance to even talk to video game developer Griffin Walker, let alone date him. So he can't understand why Indy wants nothing more than a few steamy nights together. Despite his romantic track record, Griffin longs for real love—complete with a home and family—and he wants it with Indy. But a blessing in disguise may lead them both to a life they never expected, and give Griffin a chance to show Indy that it's okay to want more than a good time...
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Indy (Independence) Adams – 35, real estate agent, waitress, interior decorator
Griffin Walker – 35, video game developer, CEO Walker Industries

Interview

If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
If I could change one thing about my fist book, it would actually be a bunch of little changes. Although I read through that book many, many times, both before Kensington acquired it and after, once I was in the final proofing stage, I was still finding words and phrases that I wanted to change. It might be a word that I used multiple times too close together or a sentence that just reads awkwardly aloud. Overall, I love the book, but it's those little nagging things that drive me nuts.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love drafting. Drafting is sitting down to get words on the page for the first time. My characters are new and talkative in my head and I love spending time with them. I'm not much of a plotter. I have some specific scenes in my head before I start to write and I try to know my characters well, but during drafting, it's all about letting them go wherever they want. I don't worry about story structure or beautiful language. I just write as it comes.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
I would tell my younger self not to stop writing. I wrote as a teenager and straight through college. All of my electives in college went to creative writing courses. But when I became a teacher, my energy went there and I stopped writing. I'd never seriously considered a writing career. Back then, the stable paycheck was more important.
No matter what the future me might say, that wouldn't have changed, but if I had kept writing, I probably would've launched my writing career much earlier than I did. I didn't start writing again until my youngest started preschool. Then I needed to learn about the publishing business while I honed my craft.
A big part of me wishes I'd never walked away from my first love.
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
For me, writing is a job, and I try to write every day, but I'm also a realist. There are some days when it's not going to happen. I try to accept that. I set goals for myself and break those goals down into manageable steps.
For instance, my next book is due at the end of October. When the summer started, I hadn't done anything other than think about my characters. I want the draft done by the end of the summer, so I have time to set it aside before revising. That means I have to write about 1500 words a day, 5 days a week.
There are some days that I don't feel like writing, but I'll still open the laptop and look at the book. Sometimes an idea will flow, other times I have nothing. But come the end of the week, when I look at my word count total, I will make myself write something, anything to meet that goal because I can always go back and fix words as long as they're on the page.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
I use situations, not people that I know in my books. I never base characters on people I know, although I might use a trait from someone. Situations and stories from friends are things I love. Since I've been married for 17 years, I haven't dated for a really long time. I rely on my single friends to share their dating stories. When I'm done laughing, the next words out of my mouth are always, "That is so going in a book." I can't think of a specific example that I've used (they do tend to change to suit my characters), but I have a list of possibilities.
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
I worked at a hot dog stand to put myself through high school and college. After college, I jumped right into teaching, where I stayed for 10 years before having kids and staying home to raise them. At that time, I also helped my husband get his construction company off the ground and became the office end of the business. When my youngest started preschool, in addition to starting my writing, I worked as an editor at a couple of small epubs and at an education company. I'm still working for the education company because I love the job (steady paycheck and flexible hours). I also teach a few college-level academic writing courses a year for a local school.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
My go-to recommendation for contemporary romance is Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie. If I can add more, I tend to offer authors instead of titles: Julie James, Victoria Dahl, Ruthie Knox, and Jill Shalvis all exemplify what the genre is all about.
What do you think is the future of traditional publishing?
I think the future of traditional publishing is going to be in ebooks. I signed with eKensington, which is Kensington's digital first line. I read a lot of ebooks, but I still do buy some paper. I think there will always be the lure of seeing my name on the shelf at a bookstore, but since most bookstores are gone...
I talked with some bestselling authors while at RT, and I was surprised to find that the vast majority of their sales were digital. I thought having Bestselling Author after their names came from being in print, but it wasn't. I think readers have determined that digital is the place to be and traditional publishing needs to find a way to make it profitable for everyone.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
I love Christmas. First, I love to bake and my best friend and I do an all-day baking session and give cookies away. Everyone loves Christmas cookies. But my favorite part is Christmas morning, watching my kids get excited over everything. It doesn't matter how big or small the gift, their faces light up.
What good book have you read recently?
I read all the time. It's how I unwind before going to sleep, so choosing just one book is hard. I'm currently reading It Had to Be You by Jill Shalvis. I love the Lucky Harbor series. Before that, I read Sultry with a Twist by Macy Beckett, which I had sitting on my Kindle for some time. I liked it so much, I immediately downloaded the next in the series.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
I read a book or watch TV when I'm bored. I buy lots of books for my Kindle when they're on sale, so I always have something new to read. I also have my DVR set to record an obscene number of TV shows. I love to get lost in the lives of characters whether it's on the screen or on the page.
Please underline which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."
Please complete the sentences
I love pizza with pepperoni.
I'm always ready for something to throw a wrench into my plans (3 kids =chaos).
When I'm alone, I like to stay in bed and read (which never happens since I have 3 kids).
You'd never be able to tell, but I love Disney movies. I started collecting them before I had kids.
If I had a halo it would be mostly shiny, but it would sit a little crooked over my head.
If I could quit all my other jobs I'd love to write all day, every day.
I can never fall asleep quickly because I have a hard time turning off my brain.

Previous Books

More Than This (O'Learys Book 1)

Books Coming Soon

The third book in the O'Leary series will be release in January 2014.

Contest

To have a chance to win a digital copy of the first book in the O'Leary series, More Than This, tell me how you prefer to read: digital or print? (please include your email address)

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July 9, 2013

Sunday Kind of Love @CharleyDescote #RLFblog #LGBT

Charley Descoteaux, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, A Sunday Kind of Love.
Genre: M/M Contemporary Erotic Romance
Publisher: Amber Allure (Amber Quill Press)
Cover artist: Trace Edward Zaber
Length: Extended Amber Kiss (13K words)
Heat rating: 3
Blurb:
Jazz trumpeter Jake McKynnie is living a lonely existence in LA, convinced that's the best he can expect from life. He indulges in a bender to drown thoughts of missing his estranged son's high school graduation, but to his shock, finds the boy on his doorstep the next morning. DJ grew up in a small Oregon town with his mom and stepdad, but now he's come to LA with big dreams of becoming an actor. He's also not above doing a little matchmaking for his lonely father while he's at it.
Jake takes DJ to a friend's salon, where he gets a hairstyle fit for professional headshots. As they leave the salon, however, the observant DJ sends Jake back inside alone to see Mason, the sexy stylist who was checking him out, which leads to a thrilling and memorable encounter.
After their impromptu tryst, Jake can't get Mason's strong hands and hot body out of his mind. And for the first time in years, thanks to his son and Mason, he can actually imagine an exciting future when it comes to his personal life. Yet Mason's hiding something about himself, and his secret could force him to blow town at any time. Will he stick around long enough to replace the ghost of Jake's past?
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Jake McKynnie is pushing fifty, he works as a session musician by day and plays double bass and trumpet in jazz clubs by night.
Mason Hall, also pushing fifty, is currently working as a colorist in a full-service salon.

Interview

What inspired you to write this book?
This story began with a photograph and a comment by a reader on Goodreads, and took shape as a series of "What ifs".
I don't own the picture so I can't post it here, but you can see it on my Pinterest board for this book. Once I saw that picture I knew I had to write Jake's story (I'd known him for quite a while by then).
The 1st "What if": What if DJ, the boy who calls Jake "Dad", showed up at his door the morning after graduation?
#2: What if Jake took DJ to his friend's salon to get an "LA appropriate" hair cut?
#3: What if one of the stylists (the hot one who ties Jake's tongue in knots, of course) was the reason Jake hadn't been to the salon for a while?
Jake, DJ, and Mason took off with the story from there and I had to dance fast to keep up. They had control as soon as Jake and DJ entered the salon, but it took me a little longer to figure that out.

A couple of readers of my debut, Comfort and Joy, said they wanted more information about some of the supporting cast. I've felt that way after reading a story too, so I gave it serious thought and decided to fill in some of the gaps sooner rather than later. A Sunday Kind of Love does that in a roundabout way.
Which character in your current book do you think readers will like the most? Why?
I hope they like Jake. He's a little dumbfounded by DJ's arrival but does his best to rise to the occasion. Life has knocked him around a bit but he's a scrapper and even though he thinks he's given up (on a lot of things), I doubt he ever could.
When you write, what things do you want close at hand? (Coffee, water, chocolate... pictures of gorgeous hunks for inspiration...?)
I usually have a large mug of Diet Mt. Dew, too many tabs open on my browser (for "research"), and a bunch of toys cluttering my desk. Right now I have a full cast of Star Trek (TOS) Mini-Mates, and a headless Barbie-sized doll with magnets in her feet—she poses like a dream but her head keeps falling off!
Are you a plotter, or do you prefer to make it up on the spur of the moment?
I'd love to be a plotter! I'm sure there would be a lot less editing in my future if I could do that. But I just try to listen to the characters and they usually tell me what to do.
Any advice for new authors?
Write the stories you want to read and work on developing your own unique voice. Voice is the best tool a writer has, so guard yours like your favorite grandchild.
What aspect of your life do you write into your books?
The world-view I inherited from being born into a low socio-economic class. When I was a kid my family was on public assistance for many years, and I lived with a single mom in the early 1980s. I've been on my own since I was seventeen and spent some time homeless, so you'll probably never see anything too upscale in my fiction!
What other jobs have you held besides writing?
I've done a lot of different jobs over the years—sometimes two or three at a time. I've been a florist assistant and a waitress, worked in a book store and a deli, a three-person newspaper and more than one library, and spent time on both sides of a bar (cocktail waitress!). I also tried to pass as a corporate drone for a while and didn't do half bad considering I wrote sometimes when I should've been working!
What are you currently reading for fun? Anything for research?
I like a little of everything when I'm reading for fun: Stephen King to Barbara Kingsolver, Michael Cunningham to Holly Black. Lately I've been preoccupied devouring Jordan Castillo Price's backlist . Her PsyCop series is amazing, but I caught up too fast and now have to wait for the next one to come out!
Some of my latest research topics have been photographing hummingbirds, trails and hikers' camps on the Oregon coast, qualifications of a home health aide in Montana, and tattoos. Oh, and the great Lee Lofland book Police Procedure & Investigation: A Guide for Writers (Howdunit) has been on the table beside my easy chair for the past six or seven months.
If you could time travel what era would be your first stop?
I'd stop in the mid- to late-60s and spend as much time as I could just going to concerts: Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Janis, Jimi, the original lineup of The Grateful Dead—if I could, I'd keep doing that until 1991 so I could see Alice In Chains' Facelift concert in Seattle that was almost snowed out!
What kind of music do you listen to while driving? Same question when writing?
In the car it's usually jazz—it keeps my road rage in check. When I write, though, I need silence (or as close as I can get, living on a busy street!). Sometimes I'll prime the pump by listening to the soundtrack for a story before I start writing, though.
Do you play any musical instruments?
No, but I wish I did! I've spent a lot of time with musicians, and even did some singing in a bar band, but the only thing I really have the discipline to stick with is writing.
What's your favorite movie?
The Wizard of Oz. It's delightfully subversive but wrapped in a shiny package of fairy-tale normalcy. Plus, the flying monkeys are cool.
Are you the eldest, middle, baby, or only child?
I'm the elder of two girls, which is probably why I'm so bossy.

Please complete the sentence

I love pizza with salami and olives.
I'm always ready for a Romance!
When I'm alone, I write.
You'd never be able to tell, but I spent my 40th birthday in the pit at OzzFest.
If I had a halo it would be black leather with fringe.
If I could rule the world I'd make sure everyone could make a decent living doing something that gives them joy.
I can never stop writing because my characters would never let me sleep at all!

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