WisRWA Calendar

May 19
2017
2017 WisRWA Conference
May 19 - 21, 2017
Green Bay, Wisconsin

Featuring best-selling authors Christie Craig, Virginia Kantra, and Sarah MacLean.

Register now under the Conference tab!

Meeting Times

Mar 03
2017
Green Bay
11:30-3:00 - 1951 West Restaurant,1951 Bond St, Green Bay

The Haves and Have-Nots of Website Design for Today's Author: Join Elle J. Rossi of EJR Digital for an interactive discussion on author websites. What works? What doesn't? Learn how to get the most bang for your buck and hear new ideas on how to engage readers at your cyber home.

**Please note this is a FRIDAY, not our usual 1st Wed. of the month.**
Mar 11
2017
Chippewa Falls
10:00 to 12:30, 29 Pines at the Sleep Inn & Suites Conference Center, 5872 33rd Ave. (on Hwy 29), Eau Claire

Whether you’re drafting your first novel or making edits on your twentieth, we all battle the same enemy…TIME. How can we be expected to write with all the demands of social media, contracts and bookkeeping, day jobs and families? Come share your ideas and hear ours.
Mar 11
2017
Wausau
10:30-12:30 - Vino Latte 700 Grand Ave, Wausau

 Character Excavation, presented by Kristan Higgins, Farrah Rochon, Damon Suede from 2016 RWA National Conference: "In this session, the speakers will drill down past arcs and stereotypes into what makes fictional folks burn and shimmer on the page. They'll also unpack some helpful tools: the power of deep characterization to structure your story, how to skirt the swamps of backstory and the traps of tropes, and the source of that essential spark that brings fictional folks to life (and love) on the page."
Mar 18
2017
Milwaukee
9:00-11:30 - Mayfair Mall (Garden Suites Community Room, Lower Level)

TRENDS IN PUBLISHING: Daniel Goldin of Boswell Book Company says, “I think you can call the talk A bookseller's take on trends in publishing," and yes, he pays attention to things going on outside his bookstore. Daniel will talk about the relationships between publisher/bookstore and novelist/bookstore, as well as field questions about book launches and readings.
Apr 05
2017
Green Bay
11:30-3:00 - 1951 West Restaurant,1951 Bond St, Green Bay

Personal Branding: We all know about product branding - Nike's “Just Do It,” for example - but have you heard about personal branding? Gini Athey will present a Five-Point Personal Branding program and suggest ways to connect it to our writing and promotion of our books.

WisRWA Newsletter



Milwaukee Area

Trends in Publishing from a Bookseller’s Perspective

Daniel Goldin of Boswell Books, on Trends in Publishing
The Milwaukee Area is hosting Daniel Goldin of Boswell Book Company on Saturday, March 18. He’ll be talking about trends in publishing, from the perspective of a bookseller. He’ll be looking at the relationships between publisher/bookstore and novelist/bookstore, as well as field questions about book launches and readings. We thought you might like to get to know him a bit before his talk, so we asked him a few questions.

Q: Why do you think Boswell is thriving?
A: Honestly, I wake up every day and ask myself that question. I honestly wouldn’t say thriving, but chugging along. Every store is two mistakes away from closing. But I definitely can credit my booksellers (particularly Amie and Jason, our buyer/managers, but there’s a lot of amazing contributions), my customers, our landlords (we’ve had two), the previous owners of Schwartz, my family, publisher support, and author support too. I would say on my part, there are a few things that help:

  1. I love books and reading, which sort of gives us a sense of mission.
  2. I love retail, which means that I’ve studied what seems to work and what doesn’t all my life.
  3. I like both details and big picture.
  4. I always want to do the best job I can do. Of course, the best I can do sometimes isn’t all that great, but what can you do?
  5. I understand that I and Boswell can’t be everything to everybody.

I am also a big fan of under-promising. It’s better to be a little better than expectations than vice versa. I’ve found that’s a good character fit for Milwaukee, which also can be a little better than you’d expect.

Q: Do I read romance novels?
A: Of course I’ve read romance novels. And I can answer that question in two ways.

Firstly, many books masquerading as other genres, or no genre, are in fact romances, from YA to contemporary women’s fiction to historical and even a good amount of what poses as literary fiction (meaning that the author also teaches in an AWP program).

And secondly, in my day, I’ve read pretty serious genre. In my past life, I was a publicist at Warner Books, which had a strong group of romance writers. I would try to read one of the books so that I could talk about them more fluently. One year I even helped run our booth at the RWA convention. I was a big fan of Dorothy Garlock, and while we haven’t corresponded in many years, we continued to be pen pals (yes, this is pre-computer) for quite a while after I left publishing. I was a big fan of our two romance editors, the now-retired Fredda Isaacson, and Claire Zion, who is still editing at Berkley/NAL. One of her current authors is Renée Rosen, who is at Boswell for Windy City Blues on March 21, 1 pm. It’s a great historical about the Chicago music and Civil Rights scene in the 50s and 60s with a romance at the center.

Thanks for talking with us, Daniel! We’ll see you on March 18.

Saturday’s meeting is open to all. Come visit if you’d like to see what WisRWA is about.

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Milwaukee Area February Meeting – Love Scenes with Laura Zats

Join the Milwaukee area as they welcome literary agent Laura Zats of Red Sofa Literary.  Laura will give live critiques of love scenes.  Not a WisRWA member, but interested in seeing what we’re about? You’re invited to join us too. See all the details below.

Milwaukee Area February Meeting

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Love Scenes: What Makes Them Tick for Laura Zats

Laura Zats, Literary AgentLiterary Agent Laura Zats with Red Sofa Literary Agency in the Twin Cities will facilitate a Hot Nights Critique Workshop for Milwaukee Chapter WisRWA on Saturday, February 18th from 9am to 11:30. Bring up to three pages of your love/sex scene—from sweet to scorching—to share with the group. Laura will give some feedback and we’ll chat about what makes for a great romance. Hey, it’s what makes the world go ‘round.

Jennifer Rupp, area contact for the Milwaukee area, interviewed Laura in advance to find out what makes her literary mind tick when it comes to love scenes.

J: What do you think makes a sex scene hot?

L: For me, I love to see a really seamless combination of the mental and the physical–it’s the only way to really understand the passion of the characters as a reader. Having lots of the characters thoughts interjected isn’t quite what I mean–instead, I mean the emotions, awareness of what the sex might change, or awareness of how unexpected it is. Awareness of what the other person might be thinking. It takes the fact that a character might be wrapped up in the physical sensations and amplifies it, makes it more than just physics and mechanics.

J: Is there anything you consider taboo?

L: Not a ton, honestly. I’m 100% supporting of kink as long as it’s accurately and consensually portrayed! In fact, it even makes things more fun in a lot of scenes!

J: Do you make a distinction between a love scene and a sex scene?

L: I’m not sure I’ve ever thought of a difference! Since I represent books with a high heat level, no, I don’t distinguish a difference for my list. It’s kind of all the same thing. But now that I’m chewing on it, I think I view “love scenes” as more emotional expressions–declarations of love, a first, passionate kiss. Sex is, well, sex. It definitely (and often is) an expression of emotion, but there’s chemistry and a level of communication that is added on top of that emotional output that I find really interesting, which is why my books have more of those.

J: What kinds of phrases or euphemisms make you weary?

L: Velvet-wrapped steel! No one wants a fuzzy penis. That’s mostly it for the male side of the spectrum (although I do think “length” is overused), unless a writer gets too flowery or too crude. For women, I HATE when they mewl, purr, or do anything that likens them to a housecat. I’m also not a huge fan of natural imagery for the vagina–flowers, caves, etc.

J: What kinds of settings or devices are over or under used? i.e. shower scenes, candles, etc.

L: I don’t think I’ve read a candle scene in months, so I can’t say I’m sick of them, but they’re definitely cliche–I think a more modern version of this one is a fireplace. I love a good shower scene–there’s something wonderfully utilitarian about it–but I definitely see too many hot tub scenes. You get overheated too easily and water is a terrible lubricant!  I don’t see as much oral sex as you would think, especially not to completion, which is a shame, because it has some fun power dynamics an author can play with. I would love to see more clearly-narrated protection (so many condoms just disappear or just never existed at all), and would love to see women bringing their one-night-stands home, rather than always having to make them do the walk of shame. Abs, too, are definitely over-represented, as are blue/green/gray eyes.

Laura represents:

  • Young Adult — Fiction, especially contemporary. I love funny and gritty, especially when the two go together. Interested in geekery, retellings, innovative storytelling, and authentic voices. Please no paranormal romance, contemporary romance, dystopia, Chosen One plotlines, or didacticism.
  • Middle Grade — Fiction, especially contemporary. Prefers smart, literary writing disguised as adventures. Looking for books that are heavy with STEM and will appeal to girls and boys.
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy — Must pass either the Mako Mori or Bechdel tests. Love non-traditional settings, fast-paced storytelling, anthropological elements, and smart humor. Please no high fantasy.
  • Romance/Erotica — Especially contemporary. Must be feminist, have verbal consent throughout, and feature an independent, smart heroine. Please no vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, or mermaids.
  • Wish list for every genre and category: feminism, diversity (in all forms), unconventional storytelling techniques, and voice-driven narratives.

Jennifer Trethewey

by: Jennifer 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.

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