WisRWA Calendar

Apr 05
2019
WisRWA 2019 Write Touch Conference
Mark your calendars for the 2019 Write Touch Conference April 5-7, 2019 at the Milwaukee Hyatt in beautiful downtown Milwaukee. The conference will feature Maya Rodale as keynote speaker, and Lisa Cron as one of the headliners.

Registration is now open. Click the events tab for more information.
Nov 12
2018
NEW! WisRWA's 1st Virtual Meeting: Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
WisRWA member, author, and editor Cheryl Yeko will present 'Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone,' a virtual meeting covering a variety of topics including overcoming shyness, co-writing, and working with editors/critique partners. Bring your questions and join us for some helpful tips on how we can step outside our comfort zones to get the results we're looking for!

For more information, click the calendar tab.

Meeting Times

Nov 07
2018
Green Bay
11:30-3 at 1951 West 1951 Bond Street in Green Bay

2019 Planning Meeting

See the calendar tab for more details.
Nov 10
2018
Wausau
10-12:00 at 2510 Restaurant, 2510 Stewart Ave, Wausau

2019 Planning Meeting

See the calendar tab for more details.
Nov 17
2018
Milwaukee
10-12:30 at Red Oak Writing Studio 11709 W. Cleveland Ave., West Allis, WI

Sharing Writing Hacks and Eighty-Six Its

See the calendar tab for more details.
Dec 17
2018
Milwaukee
6 PM at 2321 W Cumberland Court, Mequon, WI

Holiday Party

See the calendar tab for more details.

WisRWA Newsletter



Fabulous Five Contest Author Critique: Lois Greiman

The 27th Annual Fabulous Five contest for unpublished authors and authors not published in book length fiction in the last five years is open for entries. WisRWA is pleased to be able to offer entrants of the 2018 Fabulous Five contest a chance to win one of eight detailed critiques from a published WisRWA author. We wanted to introduce everyone to each of these authors, and share a little bit about their writing journey. Without further ado, please meet our fifth author: Lois Greiman.

Headshot of Lois GreimanUSA Today bestselling author, Lois Greiman, was born on a cattle ranch in central North Dakota where she learned to ride and spit with the best of them. After graduating from high school, she moved to Minnesota to train and show Arabian horses.

She sold her first novel, a historical romance, in 1992 and has published more than fifty titles since then, including romantic comedy, children’s stories, and her fun-loving Christina McMullen mysteries. A two-time Rita finalist, she has won such prestigious honors as Romantic Times Storyteller Of The Year, MFW’s Rising Star, RT’s Love and Laughter, the Toby Bromberg for most humorous mystery, and the LaVyrle Spencer Award. Her heroes have received K.I.S.S. recognition numerous times and her books have been seen regularly among the industry’s Top Picks!

With more than two million books printed worldwide, Lois currently lives on a small farm in Wisconsin with her family, some of whom are human.

WISRWAHow long have you been writing? Can you tell us a little about your journey to publication?

LOIS: I started writing as a kid…like most of us. But I became serious about becoming published way back in the 80’s. Long before digital publishing was even a techy’s wild dream. Because traditional publishing was the only game in town, I wooed the major houses for several years before Avon Books bought my first historical romance. Since then I’ve sold about 30 others to Avon (Harper Collins), several books to Harlequin, and a few to Berkley and Kensington before beginning writing my Chrissy McMullen mystery novels for Random House. I continue to write funny mysteries about Chrissy, the crazy psychologist, but I am currently self publishing Book Cover for Unhinged by Lois Greimanthem.

WISRWAWhat is something that you learned along the way that proved to be a light bulb moment and still is relevant to your writing today?

LOIS: Writing, I learned early on, is not for the faint of heart. It’s not an easy way to make a living. Most of us don’t make barrels of money, and the life style can be rather isolated. So if you don’t truly love it, it’s probably not worth the effort it takes to become published. But if you really enjoy the journey, there’s nothing quite like sitting around in your pajamas all day and creating a universe around characters who become as real to you as your aunt Martha.

WISRWAWhat is one piece of writing or industry advice you can offer to unpublished authors?

LOIS: Don’t let yourself get discouraged. No matter how it seems, this business is difficult for everyone…or almost everyone. Write what you love. Hang in there. And believe in yourself.

WISRWAAny new books coming out in the near future?

LOIS: My next Chrissy novel, as of yet untitled, will be released in June.

Fab 5 Contest Badge

 

 

For a chance to win a detailed critique by Lois, don’t forget to enter the Fabulous Five contest. She will be offering a detailed a detailed critique for one lucky entrant in the Inspirational category. For more information about the contest and to enter, click here.

 


Fabulous Five Contest Author Critique: Tessa McFionn

The 27th Annual Fabulous Five contest for unpublished authors and authors not published in book length fiction in the last five years is open for entries. WisRWA is pleased to be able to offer entrants of the 2018 Fabulous Five contest a chance to win one of eight detailed critiques from a published WisRWA author. We wanted to introduce everyone to each of these authors, and share a little bit about their writing journey. Without further ado, please meet our fourth author: Tessa McFionn.

Tessa McFionn Author HeadshotTessa is a very native Californian and has called Southern California home for most of her life, growing up in San Diego and attending college in Northern California and Orange County, only to return to San Diego to work as a teacher. Insatiably curious and imaginative, she loves to learn and discover, making her wicked knowledge of trivial facts an unwelcomed guest at many Trivial Pursuit boards.

When not writing, she can be found at the movies or at Disneyland with her husband, as well as family, friends or anyone who wants to play at the Happiest Place on Earth. She also finds her artistic soul fed through her passions for theatre, dance and music. A proud parent of far too many high school seniors and two still living house plants, she also enjoys hockey, reading and playing Words with Friends to keep her vocabulary sharp. She is currently the President Elect of the San Diego chapter of Romance Writers of America and loves spending time working with such amazingly intelligent and creative writers.

WISRWAHow long have you been writing? Can you tell us a little about your journey to publication?

TESSA: Wow. I think like most authors, I first started writing when I was in elementary school. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t tinkering with some story throughout the whole of my life. But, with regards to serious writing, I began my first novel, Spirit Fall, about eight years ago. I was standing on a ledge, looking over a very high bridge, and the world of my heroes was born in that moment. I worked on Spirit Fall for about two years, then on a virtual shelf, it sat. It sat for another Book Cover for Spirit Fall by Tessa McFionntwo years before I had the courage to send it out. Since then, I have three books in the Guardian Warriors series, with a fourth in the hands of my editor.

WISRWAWhat is something that you learned along the way that proved to be a light bulb moment and still is relevant to your writing today?

TESSA: Aside from no work is ever truly done? Actually, the best lightbulb moment happened at one of our RWA chapter meetings. The speaker was Angela James and she was giving a talk on what to do before hitting submit. Her advice was to read, or listen, to your manuscript. Brilliant! I have now listened to the mechanical computerized voice read passionate scenes for all my projects and boy, does it make a huge difference in edits.

WISRWAWhat is one piece of writing or industry advice you can offer to unpublished authors?

TESSA: Never give up. If you have stories to be told, tell them. And don’t count the number of rejections. It only takes one “yes” to change your entire life.

WISRWAAny new books coming out in the near future?

TESSA: I do. I’m fortunate to have found a wonderful new publisher who will be bringing my science fiction world to life in March. Book one, entitled To Discover a Divine, hits the shelves on March 20. This has been a true labor of love, and along with sci-fi, they will also be publishing a couple of short stories before the end of 2018. Also, the fourth book in my Guardians series is slated to be released sometime in the summer.

Fab 5 Contest Badge

 

 

For a chance to win a detailed critique by Tessa, don’t forget to enter the Fabulous Five contest. She will be offering a detailed a detailed critique for one lucky entrant in the Young Adult/New Adult category. For more information about the contest and to enter, click here.

 

 


The Biggest Book Club in the World!

Authors dressed in Hippie Theme for Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend WeekendWe all talk about book clubs as if they are one of the arteries of writers. And guess what? They are! Without book clubs, there’d be fewer forums (in person or online) to create a reading environment. Without book clubs, there would be less people reading in general. Without book clubs, there’d be no homegrown, grassroots way to get a following.

This was the second year I attended the Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend in Nacogdoches, Texas hosted by creator and founder Kathy Murphy, the ultimate book club queen and founder of the PQs.

Because most of us who belong to WisRWA live north of the Mason-Dixon line, this club and the Girlfriend Weekend event is not well-known (yet!). The Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys is the biggest book club in the world, citing over 750 chapters internationally, and thousands of members.

As an author, attending the Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend is outrageously awesome. Hundreds of readers pile into a big ballroom, and they actively want to hear about your book, your process, the backstory and what makes you and your book tick. The best part? It didn’t end after my speech and panels. You interact constantly with dedicated readers all weekend long, and several end up on my Christmas card list.

Sara Dahmen and Jamie Ford at the Big Ball of Hair BallWhile we Wisconsinites tend to be a little more reserved, the ladies in the south are fabulous at getting dressed up for any occasion. Each night of the event had a themed party, and the costumes were bigger and better as the weekend went on. The extra cherry on top turned out to be the personal relationships I made with fellow authors. I personally was in awe of most of them, and they were so welcoming, warm, and kind both during and after the event. Authors from around the nation and the globe attend, spending time with one another and readers alike, with fantastic keynote speakers from bestselling and local, small or first-time authors. Kathy Murphy, while selective of her reading list, is wonderful about supporting authors from the first book to their 30th, and celebrates them all the way. It is eye-opening and touching and overwhelming.

I walked away this year with more contacts, a renewed respect for what goes into coordinating a big book club bash, and rejuvenated from seeing wonderful author friends once more. Plus, seeing readers from other years, connecting with new ones, other first time authors, and wonderful established ones.

So, what’s the moral of this blog post? Book clubs rock. They’re meant to connect readers with words, and the words are yours. Make them count, connect with people through them, and create relationships. It’s a serious and real way to touch the people holding your books, to let them get a peek into who you are, why you write, and how you write. Let your inner passion for your work shine and blast onto them. Let them feel that glow, and they’ll likely fall a little more in love with your book because of it. And if that gives joy, that’s all the better.

The Pulpwood Queen Girlfriend Weekend event is always in January, so check your calendars for 2019 and consider a road trip to East Texas. If you want to read more about Kathy Murphy and the Pulpwood Queens Book Club, here are three links:  the first one is titled “Three Questions with the Founder of the World’s Largest Book Club,”,  and the second (and most recent) one is a feature article from the November 29, 2017, issue of Parade Magazine. For general information, check out www.beautyandthebook.com.

P.S. 2019’s theme is How the West Was Won. Imagine the costumes….

Sara Dahmenby Sara Dahmen

Sara Dahmen is the award-winning author of Widow 1881, a metalsmith, American cookware designer and manufacturer, and a mom. You can reach her @saradahmenbooks or at sara@saradahmen.com.


Fabulous Five Contest Author Critique: Jennifer Trethewey

The 27th Annual Fabulous Five contest for unpublished authors and authors not published in book length fiction in the last five years is open for entries. WisRWA is pleased to be able to offer entrants of the 2018 Fabulous Five contest a chance to win one of eight detailed critiques from a published WisRWA author. We wanted to introduce everyone to each of these authors, and share a little bit about their writing journey. Without further ado, please meet our third author: Jennifer Trethewey.

Jennifer is an actor-turned-writer who has moved her performances from the stage to the page. In 2013 she traveled to Scotland for the first time, where she instantly fell for the language, humor, intense sense of pride, and breathtaking landscape. Her love for Scotland was translated into her first series of historical romance novels, the Highlanders of Balforss. The sexy, adventurous first book of the series, Tying the Scot, released in November 2017.

WISRWAHow long have you been writing? Can you tell us a little about your journey to publication?

JENNIFER: I’ve been writing performance pieces for the stage since 1997 but I started writing romance novels in earnest in 2013. I had two personal discoveries and two big boosts on my journey to publication. The first discovery was that I didn’t know what I was doing. The second was that there were people out there who did know what they were doing and were happy to share their knowledge with me. The two big boosts came from the facilitators and members of Red Oak Writing Studios (where I learned buckets about writing) and from RWA and WisRWA where I learned how to craft a romance novel, found an agent, and then found a publisher. WisRWA meetings, members, workshops, conferences, retreats all helped me to find my way and they continue to help me learn and grow. That’s why it’s so important to me to give back.

 

Tying the Scot by Jennifer TretheweyWISRWAWhat is something that you learned along the way that proved to be a light bulb moment and still is relevant to your writing today?

JENNIFER: I realized early on that the more a critical remark bothered me, or raised my hackles, or just plain hurt, the more I needed to sit up and pay attention because that was the bit I was most insecure about, that was the weakest link. When I relaxed, listened, and made an adjustment, the writing always improved.

WISRWAWhat is one piece of writing or industry advice you can offer to unpublished authors?

 

JENNIFER:

 

Read in your genre, follow blogs that share writing advice, read craft books, get a critique partner or critique circle, and take as many workshops online and in person as you can afford. In other words, keep seeking knowledge.

 

WISRWAAny new books coming out in the near future?

 

JENNIFER: Entangled Publishing, Amara, will release my second novel in the Highlanders of Balforss series, Betting the Scot, on April 23rd.

Fab 5 Contest Badge

 

 

For a chance to win a detailed critique by Jennifer, don’t forget to enter the Fabulous Five contest. She will be offering a detailed a detailed critique for one lucky entrant in the Historical category. For more information about the contest and to enter, click here.


Fabulous Five Contest Author Critique: Tina Susedik

The 27th Annual Fabulous Five contest for unpublished authors and authors not published in book length fiction in the last five years is open for entries. WisRWA is pleased to be able to offer entrants of the 2018 Fabulous Five contest a chance to win one of eight detailed critiques from a published WisRWA author. We wanted to introduce everyone to each of these authors, and share a little bit about their writing journey. Without further ado, please meet our second author: Tina Susedik.

Tina Susedik/ Anita KidesuTina is an award-winning, multi-published author with books in both fiction and non-fiction, including history, children’s, military books and romances. Her favorite is writing romance stories where her characters live happily ever after. She lives in Northwestern Wisconsin and is a member of Romance Writers of America, Wisconsin Romance Writers of America, Wisconsin Writer’s Association, and Sisters In Crime. Tina also write spicier romances as Anita Kidesu.

WISRWAHow long have you been writing? Can you tell us a little about your journey to publication?

TINA: I’ve been writing since 1996 – but not all in romance. I have four history books and three military books that were published from 1998 to 2007. Every time I’d start a romance, I’d get hired to write a history book. In 2011 I decided it was time to get serious about putting my romances out there. I pitched two different stories at one of our WisRWA conferences that year. Lo and behold I got requests for three chapters from both publishers within two weeks of each other. Then I received requests for full manuscripts for both to them. My first book, “Riding for Love,” a romantic mystery was published in May, 2013. I was sixty-one. Since then, I’ve had ten romances published, including those in anthologies and with my pen name, Anita Kidesu. I took first place in the International Digital Awards for my historical romance, “The Trail to Love.” I also have three children’s books in print.

WISRWAWhat is something that you learned along the way that proved to be a light bulb moment and still is relevant to your writing today?

Missing my Heart by Tina SusedikTINA: One of the things I learned along the way of my publishing career is that it’s never too late. I was sixty-one before my first romance was published. I’ve also learned that writing is hard work – especially the promotional part. My lightbulb moment may have been when I realized I needed to come up with some way to keep track of my characters’ names from my different books. I kept wanting to call the young boys in my stories, Tommy. Excel is my friend.

WISRWAWhat is one piece of writing or industry advice you can offer to unpublished authors?

TINA: One piece of advice I’d give unpublished authors is to never give up and to make sure your work is well-edited. Keep learning. It doesn’t matter how many books I have published, I always learn something new. Well, I guess that was three pieces of advice.

WISRWAAny new books coming out in the near future?

TINA: I have several books coming out this year. On February 21st, “Love With the Side of Crazy” will be released. I’m part of “Deadwood Tales,” with several other authors. It’s an anthology with all the stories set in Deadwood, South Dakota. Mine is an historical. I’m currently working on “Missing Innocence,” my next book in the Chandler County stories.

Fab 5 Contest Badge

For a chance to win a detailed critique by Tina, don’t forget to enter the Fabulous Five contest. She will be offering a detailed a detailed critique for one lucky entrant in the Contemporary category. For more information about the contest and to enter, click here.


Fabulous Five Contest Author Critique: Amy Sandas

The 27th Annual Fabulous Five contest for unpublished authors and authors not published in book length fiction in the last five years is open for entries. WisRWA is pleased to be able to offer entrants of the 2018 Fabulous Five contest a chance to win one of eight detailed critiques from a published WisRWA author. We wanted to introduce everyone to each of these authors, and share a little bit about their writing journey. Without further ado, please meet our first author: Amy Sandas.

Author Headshot of Amy SandasAmy writes historical romance about dashing, and sometimes dangerous, men who know just how to get what they want and women who at times may be reckless, bold, and unconventional, but who always have the courage to embrace all that life and love have to offer.

She lives in Northern Wisconsin where she spends her early mornings writing then heads to her “other” job, dreaming of the day she can write full-time. The rest of her time is spent trying to keep up with the kids and squeeze in some stolen moments with her husband.

 

WISRWAHow long have you been writing? Can you tell us a little about your journey to publication?

AMY: I started writing romance in little scene snippets and false starts when I was still in high school. It wasn’t until college that I finally committed to starting and finishing a complete manuscript. It took me seven years. And the story was horrible. At that time, I was not yet a member of RWA so I researched online how to write a query letter and synopsis and how to submit to agents. I received a lot of lovely rejections and tucked that poor wreck of a story into a dark corner—never to be seen again.

My next finished manuscript was better—still not great, but good enough to hook an agent. Unfortunately, she left the business while she was still shopping that title around and I was left hanging for a while. I’m positive that manuscript wouldn’t have been published as it was, but I hope someday to revise it and give it another go. The story that followed interested my current agent and was my debut novel with Samhain in 2012.

WISRWAWhat is something that you learned along the way that proved to be a light bulb moment and still is relevant to your writing today?

 

AMY: A light bulb moment for me came when I got The Call from my agent telling me we had an offer on what became Rogue Countess. I had envisioned that moment so many times in the years leading up to it that when it finally came, it was sort of a let-down. I didn’t scream or jump up and down or pop open a bottle of champagne. My only thought was “Okay. What’s next?” Because in that moment (and in all the significant moments that have come since in my writing career), my focus was on the fact that there was more to come. More to DO.

Each milestone I reach pushes my gaze forward to the next one. One novel does not make a career. And a career as a full-time author is what I have wanted from the start. For me, that pragmatic approach keeps me motivated when that ultimate goal feels so far away.

WISRWAWhat is one piece of writing or industry advice you can offer to unpublished authors?

Book Cover for The Gunslinger's Vow by Amy Sandas

AMY: Since the industry is often still a great mystery to me, I’ll offer some writing advice that continues to help me out. Whenever a story feels off and I can’t pinpoint exactly what the problem

 

is, I go back to my characters. I’m usually struggling because I am trying to force my hero and/or heroine into behaving in a way they wouldn’t.

 

So, I stop everything and complete a handful of character development worksheets that I’ve found to be helpful. I dive deep into who these people are and then I look at my story on a big scale to seen where they might have gotten off track. After that, I go through each scene to see if they are acting and reacting in a way that is true to who they are. Once those necessary adjustments are made, things tend to get rolling again.

It’s all about the characters!

WISRWAAny new books coming out in the near future?

AMY: In June 2018, the first in my Western Historical series will be coming out. The Gunslinger’s Vow kicks off my Runaway Brides series about three high society ladies from Boston who decide to take a chance on freedom, adventure, and love in the American West of the 1880’s. The second in the series, The Cowboy’s Honor, is expected to release in fall of 2018, while The Outlaw’s

Fab 5 Contest Badge

 Heart should be out in the first half of 2019.

For a chance to win a detailed critique by Amy, don’t forget to enter the Fabulous Five contest. She will be offering a detailed a detailed critique for one lucky entrant in the Paranormal category. For more information about the contest and to enter, click here.

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The Origin of Valentine’s Day

1900s Valentine PostcardI love history. I write historical fiction. I have a degree in American History. And, I’ve always been fascinated in the origin of things. St. Valentine and Cupid, one real and one a myth, are the two figures most closely associated with Valentine’s Day. Who was St. Valentine? The answer to that question is unclear.

The Catholic Church recognizes three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all martyred. One was a priest who served in the third century Roman army. Emperor Claudius II believed single men made better soldiers, men not distracted by a wife and family, so he made it illegal for his young soldiers to marry. Legend has it this soldier priest defied the decree by secretly officiating at the marriage of young soldiers who had fallen in love. When the emperor learned of this, he ordered Valentine put to death. Other legends suggest Valentine, while imprisoned and awaiting his execution, may have been killed helping Christians escape from the tortures of Roman prisons. According to another legend he actually composed and sent the first “Valentine” after falling in love with a young girl, perhaps his jailor’s daughter, who visited him regularly. He is supposed to have signed his greeting “From your Valentine”. The one thing the legends all have in common is the portrayal of Valentine as a sympathetic, romantic hero. By the Middle Ages, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.

Perhaps the most familiar symbol of Valentine’s Day is Cupid, that fat little winged angel with the arrows that supposedly cause their target to fall in love. This vision of Cupid, son of Venus, Goddess of Love, comes from Roman mythology. However, Greek mythology envisioned Cupid much differently.

Cupid_and_Psyche_(Boston_Public_Library)

By L. Prang & Co. (publisher) (Flickr: Cupid and Psyche) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Eros, the son of Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of Love, was a handsome young man who made the mistake of falling in love with a mortal woman, Psyche, said to be even more beautiful than his jealous mother. Aphrodite sent a plague to Earth and made it known the only way to end the suffering was to sacrifice Psyche. The King, Psyche’s father, bound her and left her to be devoured by a fearsome monster. Eros rescued Psyche and married her. His one requirement, though, was that his bride never see his face. This did not bother Psyche as she was happy with her husband who was a wonderful lover by night and left her to live in unimaginable luxury by day. Unfortunately, Psyche had two sisters who were just as jealous of their sister’s beauty as was Aphrodite. They convinced Psyche her husband must in truth be a horrible monster. So one night Psyche lit a candle to see for herself. Instead of something ugly and fearsome, she saw the face of a god. As Psyche gazed at the sleeping Eros, her candle dripped hot wax and he awoke. Angry at her betrayal, Eros flew away. Devastated, Psyche begged her mother-in-law for another chance. Aphrodite set Psyche on a quest to complete four tasks in order to win back Eros’ love. Psyche managed to accomplish the first three tasks with the help of ants, a reed, and an eagle, but the fourth task became her downfall. Aphrodite sent Psyche to the underworld to steal a box of Persephone’s beauty cream. Again with help, Psyche found the entryway to the underworld and snuck past the guards Charon and Cerberus; but, as Aphrodite predicted would happen, Psyche could not resist the temptation to open the box. Psyche reasoned that if the most perfect goddess Aphrodite could be made even more beautiful by this cream, imagine what it would do for her, an imperfect mortal. Upon opening the box, Psyche fell into a deathlike sleep. With the help of Zeus, Eros brought his sleeping wife to Olympus, where she was given nectar and ambrosia and thus made immortal. On Olympus, in the presence of the other gods, Aphrodite was forced to accept Psyche as her daughter-in-law. Psyche would soon give birth to a daughter named Pleasure.

In Latin the word Cupid means “desire”, that emotion celebrated on February 14th with cards, flowers, candy…perhaps that much-anticipated ring. Desire…it’s what romance writers struggle to create for our readers every day.

May your lives be filled with the love and desire promised by the gods, St Valentine, and Cupid. Not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day.

Jane YunkerNew to romance writing, Jane Yunker has been a WisRWA member since 2015 and the Chippewa Falls area contact since 2016. She is a blogger, published poet, and published short fiction writer. She recently completed her first full-length romance novel, “Mary Bishop,” which finaled in the 2016 Fab Five Contest historical category, and has started work on her second. She grew up in Wisconsin but spent almost thirty years living in Rochester, New York, before returning to Wisconsin in 2011. She currently lives in St Croix Falls with her husband.

Jane is also a member of the Wisconsin Writers Association (WWA), the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets (WFOP), The Northern Lakes Writers Guild, and the St Croix Falls Historical Society archival committee.

 


Promotion Thursday – February 2018

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

 

Barbara M. Britton and Laura Iding (w/a Laura Scott) will be participating in a book signing and panel about Christian fiction at the Barnes and Noble in Brookfield. The event will take place February 10 from 12-4 PM. The panel will begin at 2 PM.


New Release Tuesday – January 2018

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 this month.

 

Fight For You Book Cover by Kayla Bain-Vrba

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fight For You by Kayla Bain-Vrba

 

Fury Frayed Book Cover by Melissa Haag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fury Frayed by Melissa Haag

 

Bad Boy Billionaires Lady book cover by Mary Hughes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bad Boy Billionaire’s Lady by Mary Hughes

 

Passion on the Prairie by R. E. Stevens Book Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Passion on the Prairie by R.E. Stevens

 

Marrying a Mountainman by R. E. Stevens Book Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marrying a Mountainman by R. E. Stevens


An Interview With Nicola Martinez, Editor-In-Chief of Pelican Book Group

Headshot of Nicola MartinezFor many of us, when we consider purchasing a book, we look at the cover, read the back blurb, and scan chapter one for the hook unaware of the process and the professionals involved in creating the book. We may recognize the author or perhaps the publisher, but what role did the editor-in-chief play in the creation of the book? I had the privilege of interviewing Nicola Martinez, Editor-in-Chief of Pelican Book Group. Pelican is the premier publisher of Christian, inspirational fiction and the first publisher to dedicate an entire imprint to promoting purity.

In this article, Nicola provides an insight into her world in producing Christian fiction books, and how her faith is an integral part every step of the way.

Tell us about your path in becoming an editor-in-chief

I started acquiring Christian fiction for a publisher in 2006 as an editor for their inspirational imprint, White Rose. In 2009, I purchased White Rose from that company, and started the journey of publishing as an independent. White Rose Publishing became an imprint of Pelican Book Group, and over the years, we added new imprints.

Can you describe a typical day in the office?

After personal morning devotions, I spend time answering emails. Depending on deadlines and other schedules, I might spend more or less time getting through emails. I’ve gotten it down to a routine of answering emails only twice per day unless there’s something time-sensitive or pressing. With my morning email stint finished, I work through my to-do list, which could include office/accounting work or editing tasks, considering requests for contract, figuring out cover art, working on marketing either in-house or coordinated with the distributor.

Just before midday, I’ll stop to get together with staff to pray. We pray daily for the needs of the company and our authors and staff and for any special requests we receive through the prayer submission form we have on our website. Pelican is a ministry first, so our prayer time could be an hour or sometimes longer. We deliberately don’t put a time-frame on that part of our day. (You know what they say: If you’re too busy to pray, you’re too busy!)

Once a week, I’ll conference with our marketing director. We take that time either to consider current marketing strategies or to brainstorm ideas and discuss/decide upon the opportunities passed along to us through our distributor or PR.

In May 2017 we launched a weekly TV show, and so a couple days a week, working on that production is in my schedule.

How many different hats do you wear?

Only about four hundred, or so. 🙂 As publisher as well as editor-in-chief, I’m responsible for the business side of everything from contracts to accounting, etc. Because I feel a strong responsibility to the Gospel, I also try to vet every story we publish, so I do a good deal of reading and evaluating manuscripts as the final step before offering a contract. When I can’t read a manuscript an editor would like to acquire, that editor and I have discussions about what should be acquired.  Then there’s editing and coordinating marketing efforts with our marketing team, coordinating releases with the distributor, working on subsidiary rights…the list goes on.

What do you look for in new writing?

I’m always looking for passion. Be enthusiastic about your story—believe in getting your message out there through the entertaining word—so much that it rubs off on others.
I want to see great story-telling. Make me laugh out loud, empathize with your character, hate your villain, and to fall in love with Christ a little bit more.

Don’t “tell” me your mission. “Show” me. For example: If you have to repeat the same thing three different ways (over-writing) or explain in minute detail why a character is doing something or saying something (over-simplifying), rather than having that information flow naturally, then you’ve missed the opportunity to immerse me in the reality you’ve created.

What excites you about the publishing industry?

I get excited when authors get excited, when they are so happy to see their work come to fruition, when they are raring to get their book into the hands of readers. As an author myself, I still remember what it feels like to get that contract offer, to see edits for the first time, to receive a release date, to see the cover art and the final product. It’s exciting! And I love getting to share that with authors.

On a more company-centric note, I’m excited that we’re seeing more of our books in audio.

Can you share any trends with us?

We’ve been hearing about it for a little while now, but audio is definitely on the rise. It’s one of the reasons we’ve made the decision in 2018 to produce more of our current and favorite titles in audio.

 

Christine Schimpf HeadshotBy: Christine Schimpf

Christine Schimpf was born and raised in a small town in southeastern Wisconsin, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and is an award winning essayist.  Her debut novel, Nick, The Journey of a Lifetime  is based on the life of her grandfather-in-law. Five years after its release, the book remains the #1 best seller in her hometown at a local book store and gift shop. Christine is a member of the national and local chapters of the American Christian Fiction Writers Association and the Romance Writers of America. She lives on five acres in the country with her husband and golden retriever and is now fortunate to devote most of her time to writing. She always has a work-in-progress, but in her spare time, she enjoys golf, tennis, kayaking and simply being outdoors as that is her source of inspiration. Her advice to those wanting to take the leap into writing is to join a writing/critique group, read as often as you can, and study the craft.