WisRWA Calendar

Nov 01
2017
WisRWA 2017-2018 Renewals
Renewals for the upcoming year begin November 1, 2017. Any renewal that is received after January 15, 2018 will be incur a $5.00 late fee. Click the Join tab to renew your membership. Please direct any questions to WisRWA Secretary, Stefanie Dowell.
Oct 06
2018
WisRWA 2018 Fall Workshop
Mark your calendars for the 2018 Fall Workshop on October 5-6, 2018 at the Grand Lodge Waterpark Resort, Rothschild, WI. More information coming soon can be found under the Conference tab.

Meeting Times

Dec 09
2017
Chippewa Falls
10:00-??

Chippewa Falls Area Holiday Party: Bring a dish to pass and a gift worth no more than $15 if you wish to participate in the exchange. There will be a contest to see who can write the best 100wd story to go with a picture to be provided in advance. There will be a prize for the best entry as voted on by the group. Please contact Jane Yunker, Chippewa Falls Area Contact for more details.
Dec 16
2017
Milwaukee
12:00-3:00 pm

Milwaukee Area Holiday Party: Bring a dish to pass and a gift of no more than $15 for the gift exchange. Please contact Jennifer Rupp, Milwaukee Area Contact, for details.

WisRWA Newsletter



Don’t Be Ordinary: A Look at Creativity

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
William Blake by Thomas PhillipsAnd a heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an Hour

William Blake (1757-1827) (English poet, painter and engraver) is one of the earliest and greatest figures of Romanticism. He emphasized individual, imaginative, visionary and emotional creativity. He privileged imagination over reason in the creation of both his poetry and images, asserting that ideal forms should be constructed not from observations of nature but from inner visions. He declared in one poem, “I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s.”

When I was a teenager my father gave me the talk. Not the one on sex, the one on being an individual. I remember his words like he spoke them yesterday and I am sure I might have dared to roll my eyes like my daughters did when I gave them the same speech. “If your friends jumped off the roof, would follow them? Be an individual, be unique, and do what you think is best for you.” I’m not sure he didn’t regret these words at some time in his life because I took them literally and have never followed the crowd.

What I get from Blake’s thoughts is that you should create what’s important to you. It doesn’t matter if it’s writing a story, picking up a paint brush, taking photos, creating quilts, putting together culinary delights, etc. Creativity is the key. Learn who you are. Do something that makes you unique. Don’t mindlessly follow the crowd. After you are gone, it will be your legacy – an inheritance Be creativefor your children and friends.

I grew up in a home where artistic talent was everywhere. My mother was not only an award-winning oil painter, but taught herself to play the organ, and also sewed and did needle work. My daughter Kellie inherited her painting talent. Having their artwork proves Blake’s theory. They are no longer with us, but their essence is. I take great comfort in that.

When I make a personalized quilt, each one grows from my own creativity. I can’t explain the joy I receive in making them and then hearing the squeal, feel the hug, or see the happy tears when they are received. Six of my Paradise Pines Series stories and five of my stories in my Northwoods Series are published, and there are five more to come. Now that I have books published, I have a second contribution to romanticism. I love that word now that I know what it means. I’m searching for more ways to continue doing it.

 

AP_KirkpatrickAn RWA member for almost eighteen years and WisRWA member for three, Marlene Urso (w/a Paisley Kirkpatrick) is published in historical romance. She lives in Lincoln County with her husband. She served as event coordinate for Sacramento Valley Chapter for thirteen years, which included setting up monthly meetings and welcoming members to the meetings. She has been a member of several online chapters, including From the Heart where she’s been membership chair for the last fourteen years. She is getting acquainted with the Wausau area chapter members and enjoys the monthly meetings. Marlene has always enjoyed doing volunteer work because it gives her a chance to give back to the industry that helped her to achieve her dream of being a published author.


Promotion Thursday – November Edition

Promotion Thursday - October EditionIt’s Promotion Thursday for November. Check out where you can find our WisRWA authors this month.

 

Lois Greiman will be signing her books at the Canterbury Arts and Crafts Fair in Shakopee, MN from November 9 to November 12.

Barbara Raffin will be signing her books at the Holiday Craft Fair at Holy Spirit Catholic School, Norway, MI November 18 from 9 to 5 and November 19 from 9 to 3.

 


New Release Tuesday – October Edition

NewReleaseTuesday2

 

Each month, WisRWA will announce the new books our members have published. We call it New Release Tuesday.

Congratulations to the following WisRWA members on their new releases.

 

Fantasies R Us by Roxi Romano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fantasies R Us by Roxi Romano

 

After the Wedding by Carol Voss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the Wedding by Carol Voss


Sex With Strangers Book Fair Interview: Molly Maka

During the run of its 30th season premiere SEX WITH STRANGERS, Renaissance Theaterworks will shine a spotlight on Wisconsin authors. On Saturday, October 28th the company will host a Mini Book Fair in the Studio Theater lobby of the Broadway Theater Center from 3pm to 10pm featuring Wisconsin-based authors and members of Romance Writers of America (RWA). As an advance introduction to the organization and its authors, Renaissance conducted a series of 8 interviews. This final interview is with Molly Maka, Vice President of Communications on the WisRWA Board of Directors.

Molly MakaMolly Maka
Author of World War II Romance and a 1940’s Girl at Heart

Molly Maka is an author of World War II romantic fiction actively seeking publication. When she isn’t writing about happily ever afters on the battlefield, she can be found going on adventures with her husband and young son, sharing her love of vintage clothing and traditional wet sets, time traveling through historical reenactments, thanking any veteran she comes across (especially of the Greatest Generation variety), and singing in the stratosphere. She also proudly serves as a volunteer and Bombshell with the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.  She serves as WisRWA’s Vice President of Communications.

 

RTW: What is WisRWA and when was it established?

MOLLY: WisRWA or Wisconsin Romance Writers of America is the state charter for the national organization Romance Writers of America founded in 1982. The mission of WisRWA is to promote excellence in romantic fiction, to help writers become published and establish careers in their writing field, and to provide continuing support for writers.

Whether a beginning writer, or a seasoned, award-winning author, WisRWA supports writers through every stage of their careers. We hold monthly meetings with professional development workshops on writing craft and publishing (traditional and indie) in four areas across the state – Chippewa Falls, Green Bay, Milwaukee, and Wausau. The groups offer encouragement, industry and marketing information, and educational and critique opportunities.

Every year WisRWA hosts either an annual conference or intensive workshop where writers can learn, network, and meet with editors and agents. We also hold two writing contests each year, one for published and one for unpublished writers.

 

RTW: What does WisRWA do for local writers?

MOLLY: Some of the many benefits include:

  • Access to agents and publishers.
  • Networking with other writers.
  • Workshops on writing craft and the publishing industry.
  • Regular meetings in four locations throughout the state.
  • Matches writers with critique partners.
  • Contests for published and yet-to-be published authors.
  • A research database of subject-matter experts to help you with your character development.
  • Conferences and retreats packed with industry professionals, workshops, and opportunity.
  • Support you in every stage of your career!

RTW: Can anyone join?

MOLLY: WisRWA membership is open to any RWA® member in good standing and costs only $25 per year. You must be a member of the national organization to join, but writers of all genres are welcome and can benefit from what WisRWA has to offer.

 

RTW: If a person just wants to see what it’s all about can she/he come to a meeting and check it out?

MOLLY: If you are curious about whether WisRWA is right for you, we welcome you to attend one of our meetings as our guest. Guests are welcome to attend two meetings before being asked to join.  Please check out the calendar on our website for more information.

Photo Credit: Darlene Martin


Sex With Strangers Book Fair Interview: Bobbi Groover

During the run of its 30th season premiere SEX WITH STRANGERS, Renaissance Theaterworks will shine a spotlight on Wisconsin authors. On Saturday, October 28th the company will host a Mini Book Fair in the Studio Theater lobby of the Broadway Theater Center from 3pm to 10pm featuring Wisconsin-based authors and members of Romance Writers of America (RWA). As an advance introduction to the authors, Renaissance asked them questions related to the various issues and conflicts presented in the play SEX WITH STRANGERS by Laura Eason. Here is the seventh interview of the series.

Bobbi GrooverBobbi Groover
Historical Romance Author

Bobbi Groover is the author of SEASON OF THE SHADOW and THE INN AT LITTLE BEND. Being an accomplished equestrienne, her love of horses placed her settings in a time when horses were the mode of transportation. THE INN AT LITTLE BEND was Winner of the CBRM Blue Ribbon Award, Winner in the Published Beacon Contest, Finalist in ACRA Heart of Excellence, and a Finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. For more information and to read reviews and watch the trailers visit her website.

 

RTW: What attracts you most about writing romance novels or the romance genre in general?

BOBBI: For me the romance genre is all encompassing. I write in the timeframe of antebellum America, a time when romance was…well…romantic. There was no Internet, no emoji hearts or kisses to send with the tap of a finger. People spoke face to face. Yet in their story there can be mystery, even psychic experiences that they don’t understand and are loathe to talk about. Within the story there can be murder, intrigue and even espionage. Within the wax and wane of the romance, the writer weaves a tapestry depicting the complexities of the lovers’ day to day lives. Is it a ‘romance’ novel? Surely it is but it is not just a story of two people who find love, it is a story of the time in which they live, be it nineteenth century or present day.

What I find most attractive about writing romance is giving the reader a heartthrob or possibly a heartache. I want the reader to care about the characters, to become one with them and miss them when the story is finished. If the characters come alive for the reader, then I’ve done my job as a writer. Bottom line…just because it is classified a ‘romance’ novel doesn’t mean the story isn’t a compelling, page turner as well.

 

The Inn at Little Bend

RTW: Have you ever felt dismissed because you write romance vs ‘serious’ fiction? Have you ever been tempted to use initials to disguise your gender as a writer?

BOBBI: Quite often I have been at a social gathering, meeting new people, and someone asks what I do with my days. (Odd question but people actually do ask.) When I tell them I’m a novelist I can see the interest in their eyes. However, when I tell them I write romance, the interest dies and the smile fades. Their expression clearly states that somehow writing ‘romance’ is not really writing. “Oh, you write trashy stuff.” With that statement, I have been summarily dismissed. “No,” I respond to their blatant disinterest. “I write romance interwoven with an intriguing story.” Depending on the other person’s expression I’ve sometimes even continued. “Are my novels fine classical literature? No. Actually, they are fun, light reading, but with a powerful story and irresistible, heart stopping characters that I hope will grip you to the very last page.” At this point I sip whatever is in the glass in my hand and smile sweetly as any good romantic heroine would do. I love the romance genre and it is ‘serious’ fiction to anyone with a heart beating within them.

I can’t say that I’ve ever been tempted to use initials to disguise my gender as a writer. I’m honored to be a part of the genre. No matter what the gender of the writer, when lovers meet sparks fly. There’s a story to be told, and I feel privileged to present it.


Sex With Strangers Book Fair Interview: Nicolette Pierce

During the run of its 30th season premiere SEX WITH STRANGERS, Renaissance Theaterworks will shine a spotlight on Wisconsin authors. On Saturday, October 28th the company will host a Mini Book Fair in the Studio Theater lobby of the Broadway Theater Center from 3pm to 10pm featuring Wisconsin-based authors and members of Romance Writers of America (RWA). As an advance introduction to the authors, Renaissance asked them questions related to the various issues and conflicts presented in the play SEX WITH STRANGERS by Laura Eason. Here is the sixth interview of the series.

Nicolette PierceNicolette Pierce
Romantic Suspense Writer

Award-winning author Nicolette Pierce is a member of The Authors Guild, Moraine Writers Guild, and Romance Writers of America. She is the prolific author of the romantic suspense Nadia Wolf, Mars Cannon, and Metal Girls series, as well as the spin-off character novels that accompany the series.

 

RTW: What attracts you most about writing romance novels or the romance genre in general? 

Nicolette: I love men. They intrigue me and it’s fun to explore them through writing. My pen is law, but it’s exciting when they try to break the rules.

 

RTW: Is having your latest novel optioned for a movie something that interests you? And what do you think would be up and down sides to someone making your story into a Hollywood movie or Hallmark movie of the week?

Nicolette: That would be an interesting experience, but I’m not currently knocking on Hollywood’s door. Several fans have said they could see my books up on the big screen, yet would they maintain their flavor? I’m not sure. I rarely say no to opportunities, and that would be an amazing one.Melting Point by Nicolette Pierce

 

RTW: Do you let other people read your writing before you submit it to a publisher or an agent? 

Nicolette: Yes. I feel it’s important. I’m in a writers group and when they are through pulling my work apart, then I give it to my mom. “They” say not to give your work to family or friends because they won’t be honest with their feedback. “They” haven’t met my mom. I think she might have an evil streak in her. But I value the feedback immensely. In the near future, I might start using beta-readers as well.

 

RTW: Are you traditionally published or self-published? What do you think are the pros and cons of self-publishing?

Nicolette: I am happily self-published. That’s not to say I don’t look for growing opportunities, but I’m not stunted with self-publishing either. The path is my own, which I like very much. Pros: The sky is the limit? Nope. Not even the sky can hold you down. You are your own boss and make your own decisions. Your success or failure is completely in your hands. Cons: It’s a lot of work and a few learning curves to navigate.


Sex With Strangers Book Fair Interview: Mia Jo Celeste

During the run of its 30th season premiere SEX WITH STRANGERS, Renaissance Theaterworks will shine a spotlight on Wisconsin authors. On Saturday, October 28th the company will host a Mini Book Fair in the Studio Theater lobby of the Broadway Theater Center from 3pm to 10pm featuring members of WisRWA. As an advance introduction to the authors, Renaissance asked them questions related to the various issues and conflicts presented in the play SEX WITH STRANGERS by Laura Eason. Here is the fifth interview of the series.

Brenda Nelson-DavisMia Jo Celeste
Dark Worlds Ripe for Redemption
Mia Jo Celeste is from a family of English teachers and authors. After fifteen years as an English for Language Learners teacher, she is trying her hand at writing. She has completed four fantasy novels, the first of which is published by Wild Rose Press. She lives in Milwaukee with her husband and sons.

 

RTW: In the play, the character Olivia partially blames the failure of her first book on her editor’s choice in covers. How important do you think covers are to a book’s success or failure?

Mia: I believe readers really do judge books by their covers and that a compelling cover can pique a potential buyer’s interest. When my publisher hooked me up with an artist, I sent her all kinds of pictures of period gowns. I wanted to have my heroine facing off evil in a to-die-for dress and that’s exactly what I got.

RTW: Have you ever received a bad review? If so, how did you handle it? Did it ever discourage you or make you question your worth as a writer?Other Than by Mia Jo Celeste

Mia: When I first started writing, I entered a lot of contests. I would stew over critical comments from judges. One fall I entered the same 25 pages in five contests. In one contest, the pages earned an incredibly low score. In two others, they received an average score and in two others they reached first or second place with almost perfect marks. I wondered how the exact same words could inspire such diverse results? I finally figured out that writing is art and readers’ reaction to art is subjective. Opinions vary. When I get any review, I remind myself—opinions will vary.

RTW: What would it mean to you to see your book for sale in an airport terminal shop?

Mia: I’m really looking forward to this experience. I hope it happens soon and for me it’ll be a measure of success. When it happens, my friends and followers should be prepared to see pictures and selfies of me with the book. No doubt, I’ll tweet and blog about it.

RTW: Do you let other people read your writing before you submit it to a publisher or an agent?

Mia: Yes. I believe that writing is communication and I regularly ask critique partners and readers for feedback to make sure my writing conveys the message I want to get across.


Promotion Thursday – October Edition

PromotionThursday2It’s Promotion Thursday for October. Check out where you can find our WisRWA authors this month.

Sandy Goldsworthy will be at the 2017 Ozarks Indie Book Fest in Springfield, MO from October 19-22. Bringing authors, bloggers, and readers together, the Ozarks Indie Book Fest has features over exhibitors and panels for all.
Proceeds from the event benefit Companions for Heroes and Loving Paws Rescue. For more information, visit their  website.

Sara Dahmen will be at the Heartland Fall Forum in Illinois with her publisher, SillanPaceBrown Group, and speaking at the Moveable Feast on October 12 at noon, and doing a signing her book Widow and showing off her cookware on October 13 all day. She will also be at Beer & Books at the Black Kettle Eatery & Pub in Columbus, WI on November 2 at 7 PM.  Beer & Books is a reading/signing/book event.

Maxine Douglas will be signing her books at the Fall Author Festival being held at the Chickasha Public Library on October 27th, from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

Melonie Johnson will be sharing who her Book Boyfriend is in the October edition of the HEA USA Today column, on 10/27.


Sex With Strangers Book Fair Interview: DC Thome

During the run of its 30th season premiere SEX WITH STRANGERS, Renaissance Theaterworks will shine a spotlight on Wisconsin authors. On Saturday, October 28th the company will host a Mini Book Fair in the Studio Theater lobby of the Broadway Theater Center from 3pm to 10pm featuring members of WisRWA. As an advance introduction to the authors, Renaissance asked them questions related to the various issues and conflicts presented in the play SEX WITH STRANGERS by Laura Eason. Here is the fourth interview of the series.

davethome-350DC Thome

DC (David) Thome lives in Shorewood, Wisconsin. He started writing as a newspaper reporter, then as a self-employed journalist and advertising writer. Now he writes feature stories and has a weekly column on automotive technology called “Gadgets & Gizmos” that runs in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

 

RTW: What attracts you most about writing romance novels or the romance genre in general?

DC: Women are more interesting to write about than men. Even books and screenplays I’ve written that are not romances tend to have female protagonists. I’ve fallen in love with four of my female leads, including the heroine of each Fast Lane book. I mean literally fallen in love. With fake people. That I made up. After I was done writing each book, I even went through the dopey, mopey withdrawal that comes after a relationship ends. By contrast, I never feel all that close to my male heroes.

 

RTW: Are you traditionally published or self-published? What do you think are the pros and cons of self-publishing?San Fernando Dreams by DC Thome

DC: All of my novels are self-published, though The Incompetent Witch Series is part of the “Magic and Mayhem Kindle World” of best-selling author Robyn Peterman. She invited me to write novellas that use her books as a starting point and then Amazon publishes them. Experiences I had with Hollywood helped me decide to self-publish. I’d had two agents in L.A. and four of my scripts were optioned by production companies. But every time, the deal collapsed when one guy, the last stop on the way to a paycheck and a career knocked over the whole house of cards. No one can do that with my novels.

 

RTW: How heavily does “New York Times Best Seller” weigh in an author’s favor? Will that sell books?

DC: Stanford University’s Business School concluded that “the majority of book buyers seem to use the Times‘ list as a signal of what’s worth reading.” So even if it doesn’t make me a “legitimate author” in my own mind, it does in the minds of readers. And in that sense, it’s huge. It means you have a built-in audience interested in your next release.


Get Ready to Submit with Cheryl Yeko

Cheryl YekoMilwaukee WisRWA member Cheryl Yeko will be at the October meeting to work with participants on GETTING READY TO SUBMIT! This is a hands-on workshop, so bring your query letter draft, summary, synopsis, author bio, elevator speech, and pitch. We will work on tightening up the elements needed to make your novel sound publish-worthy. Cheryl is Senior Acquiring Editor at Soul Mate Publishing and accepts submissions for Romantic Suspense, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, and Erotica. Jennifer Rupp, Milwaukee area contact, asked her a few questions about her work.

JENNIFER: As an editor, what is your biggest pet peeve?

CHERYL: First, I love being an editor, but I guess the thing that bugs me the most is when I receive a submission that doesn’t follow the formatting guidelines. That’s one more step I have to take to get the manuscript in reading order. Or worse yet, they just copy and paste the submission into the email itself.

JENNIFER: Do you ever say, “Yes! This is the one,” after reading the first line of a query letter?

CHERYL: No. The query letter may grab my attention enough to ask for a submission. But it’s really the synopsis, and first chapter of the manuscript that sells the story (or not).

JENNIFER: Are there any particular tropes that you love or hate?

CHERYL: The misunderstanding trope is not my favorite. You can have misunderstandings in a manuscript, but that isn’t enough to carry the entire story, in my opinion. I love the secret baby trope. {I know, right? Don’t tell anyone.}

JENNIFER: When you meet someone at a pitch session, what are you really looking for?

CHERYL: I’m looking for a good story. Pure and simple. I assume whomever is pitching knows how to write. I don’t care if they pull out a cheat sheet and read their pitch to me. It’s all about the story.

JENNIFER: You work for Soul Mate. Did you have to submit a query letter to get your books accepted?

CHERYL: Only for my first book, PROTECTING ROSE. Now I just let Debby (my editor and owner of SMP) know I have a manuscript and send it over for her to take a look at. She’s never turned one of my books down yet . . . knock on wood.

WISRWA: If you didn’t work in the publishing industry, what would you like to do?

CHERYL: Retirement maybe? 😊 I love my work with Soul Mate Publishing and don’t want to do anything else. Besides being an author myself, and Acquiring Editor, I’m also the Cover Art Coordinator, where I get to work with all the amazing artists to make our book covers rock, as well as create the monthly newsletter, and handle all their social media promotions.
I wouldn’t change a thing!

by: Jennifer RuppJennifer Rupp

Jennifer Rupp is the Area Contact for Milwaukee Chapter of WisRWA. She writes under the name of Jennifer Trethewey. Cassie Hanjian of Waxman Leavell Literary Agency in New York represents her Highland House historical romance series. Jennifer has placed in the SOLA Dixie Kane Memorial Contest, Indiana’s Golden Opportunity Contest, and WisRWA’s Fab Five Contest. She’s a member of Wisconsin RWA, a PRO member of RWA, Red Oak Writing Studio, and Wisconsin Writers Association.