Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Connections and WFWA Rising Star and Star Awards

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Connections with other writers is key to the wellbeing of the day-to-day writer. Sure, it can be a lonely business, but it doesn't need to be. Find your tribe, your buddies, your fellow genre writers. Next, figure out where you can hang out face-to-face. I promise you won't be disappointed. You'll return to your daily writing rejuvenated and energized.

Romance writers have the RWA conferences. Christian writers have the AFCW Conference. You name the genre and I predict there is a connection point for you.

If you write Women's Fiction like I do, it's the Women's Fiction Writers Association yearly retreat. We met last week in Albuquerque. I promise I'm raring to go back into my work now.

Add the announcement of the finalists of the 2016 Rising Star and the first ever STAR award to the excitement. I'm honored to be able to share these winners with you.

Albuquerque, New Mexico – September 23, 2016 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) announced the winners of the Star Award given to authors of published women’s fiction. This is the first year Star Awards have been bestowed, and are the start of an annual tradition.
The Star Award General winner is Scott Wilbanks for The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster. Wilbanks is an American living in Auckland, New Zealand.  His book was published in August 2015.
The Star Award Outstanding Debut winner is Kelli Estes for The Girl Who Wrote in Silk. Estes lives near Seattle, Washington, and her book was published in July 2015.

Albuquerque, New Mexico – September 24, 2016 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) today announced the winners of the third annual Rising Star award given to authors of unpublished women’s fiction.  This is an annual award, and agents active in acquiring women’s fiction chose the winners.
       The First Place Rising Star winner is “The Substitute Princess” by Kathleen M. Basi.  Basi lives in Columbia, Missouri.  Her book is about a woman who takes on an actress gig as the substitute princess for the Prince of Monaco’s fiancĂ©e to save her family’s deeply in debt Christmas tree farm, and learns that fairy tale love can’t replace love with family connections.
The second place Rising Star winner is “By Accident” by Laura Levin, who lives in Nyack, New Jersey.  This book reveals life’s choices that are made by a family regarding love, marriage, unintended pregnancies, guilt behind a friend’s death and the secrets that are kept as a marriage and lives are tested by a stranger’s phone call.
The third place Rising Star winner is “Shelter Me” by Gabrielle Luthy.  She lives in St. Kilda, Australia.  The character in Luthy’s book is an in-debt surrogate mother who returns to the father of her child for financial help, but entry into the financial world of investors leads to an accusation of embezzlement which forces her to make decisions regarding family, love and honor.

Here's a few pictures to give you a flavor of the conference and the connection I shared, the beauty of Albuquerque and the lovely sky of the area. Enjoy!

Next Week: the IWSG October post!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

September Links

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Don't sneer at genre fiction. Let James Preston share Three Tools for Reading and Watching Genre Fiction with you.

Kate Moretti explains why we have genres at all in Does Genre Dumb it Down or Make it Rain?

There are Craft Books for Pantsers--that's what they say. I'm still on the fence. ;-)

And another post about thinking it through or getting it down. Join Kristin Hoffman in Making a House a Home (and What It Taught Me About Writing)

Next Week: All about the WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Book Pusher for September: K. Brown, S. Chefalo, D. Gabaldon, K. Lonsdale, P. McLinn, F. North

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Read and Enjoy!

COME AWAY WITH ME Karma Brown: Women's Fiction

This vivid exploration of love and grief will make you cry, but it's worth all the tears in the end because the resulting life is more valuable than the journey.

GARBAGEBAG SUITCASE Shenandoah Chefalo: Memoir

This harrowing memoir is also helpful. Chefalo has some amazing suggestions for fixing out disaster of a foster care system. Her personal experience make them all the more important to consider.

OUTLANDER Diana Gabaldon: Historical fiction with elements of romance, SF, and adventure

Here's the book that started it all--over 12 books and a TV show. If you haven't read OUTLANDER, you should correct that now. Gabaldon's amazing universe will draw you in and keep you coming back for more.

EVERYTHING WE KEEP Kerry Lonsdale: Women's Fiction

This amazing, twisting suspense will keep you turning pages and guessing wrong. What a ride! Must read!

LAST DITCH Patricia McLinn: Mystery (Caught Dead in Wyoming #4)

Last Ditch is deliciously twisty--and it's not just the whodunit that's in play. Great characters and sharp writing are hallmarks of a McLinn mystery.

THE TURNING POINT Freya North: Women's Fiction

This is a beautiful story of deep love and longing. What love truly means and how its absence hurts is key. Go slow and savor the shifts in POV, but it's so worth the read.

Next Week: Links--you know you love them! ;-)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

IWSG: How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

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Insecure Writers Support Group
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Our Co-Sponsor's this month are: C. Lee McKenzie
Rachel Pattison
 Elizabeth Seckman
 Stephanie Faris
 Lori L MacLaughlin
Elsie Amata!

I'm baaaack! July and August were Real Life months if you know what I mean. Between my two cataract surgeries and my mother's fall and her developing congestive heart failure, I've been out of commission when it comes to IWSG. In fact, this is my first post with the new (and let me cheer this development) monthly questions.

This month's is "How do you find the time to write in your busy day?"

The short answer is: I retired from teaching ;-)

The long answer is much more complex, as it so often is. I have a fatigue syndrome and that makes my writing time limited on many days. I've found through much trial and error since I retired twelve years ago that my best time is mid morning to early afternoon. From 9 AM till 3 PM, you'll find me writing, editing, polishing, or researching. That sounds wonderful. And it is, until you factor in fixing lunch, walking dogs, and general aches and pains from various joints and the sundry migraine. That said, I've polished a MS for submission and partials are out with the two agents I pitched in February. There are four more WIPs in the works. They're at various conditions of completion. I'm still working on the sequel to the book that's out in the cold, cruel world, but know I might need to shift to one of the standalones if I can't find traction with the first.

I've yet to research a list of target agents. I'm still quaking at the thought of doing that.

How on earth do you write if you have little children and/or a full-time job? I don't know the answer. But I know a ton of productive writers who do.

Next Week: The Book Pusher's September post!