Character Names

clip_image002How does a writer devise a name for a character? First, we can’t choose a name similar to the other main characters or you’ll run into people named Maria, Marilyn, and Merle. It gets confusing for the reader. So that eliminates certain sounds and letters. The character’s ethnic heritage or her role in the story may influence your choice. For example, I can’t proceed with plotting my next romance without obtaining a name for my heroine, but so far, nothing has struck my fancy. The story is based on Norse mythology so that gives me a place to start. I looked in The Writer’s Digest Character Naming Sourcebook by Sherrilyn Kenyon, an excellent resource that lists names by nationality and gives their meanings. Then I drew up a list of Norwegian female names that caught my interest. I narrowed these down to selections with a certain sound I wanted.

To visualize my characters, I cut out pix from magazines like TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly. So here is my heroine. She’s the perfect counterpart to my serious, brooding hero, Lord Magnor.

clip_image004

My female name choices:

Dagny (joy of the Danes)

Kelci (from the ship’s island) Kelsey

Mildri (mild and lovely)

Randi (lovely, goddess) Ragnfrid, Ragni

Brief character sketch: Heroine sculpts mythical figures of trolls and fairies out of natural materials and sells them online. Owns a pottery studio, wants to open a gift shop, and maybe teach children arts and crafts.

Other Women in the series: Nira, Jennifer, Lianne, Algie

Men: Zohar, Paz, Magnor, Dal, Kaj, Yaron

If I name her Dagny, I can’t call her Dag for short because one of the established heroes is Dal. So I have to keep in mind these other people when I choose her name. Mildri is cute but maybe too mild for her. Kelsey is too ordinary, although Kelci is a different spelling that might work. Ragni? Call her Rage for short? Hey, that might do. She looks kinda angry at the world, doesn’t she? I can’t nickname her Rag with a soft “g” because it would sound too much like Kaj.

What do you think? Who does she look like to you? Any other suggestions? What means do you, the writer, use to determine your character names?

Digital Rights

DIGITAL RIGHTS

“Brainstorming on the Beach” Conference with Novelists, Inc.                                                   

lunch2
Lunch Break

Panelists

Lucienne Diver, Literary Agent

Angela James, Executive Editor, Carina Press

Brian O’Leary, Magellan Media Partners

Sue Lange, Book View Café

Barbar Keiler, Author

Chris Kenneally, Copyright Clearance Center

Lou Aronica, Publisher, The Story Plant

J.A. Konrath, Author & Blogger

Here are my notes, keeping in mind this is what I heard and my interpretation.

Lucienne:  Unless you have an audience or a platform, you need a publisher.  And to reach the broadest possible audience, you need a publisher to put your book into the different formats.

Chris:  Digital publishing offers you a chance to experiment with a novella or a short story. 

Google editions may discourage piracy because people won’t share their Google accounts.

Lou doesn’t advice just putting your book up on Amazon.  They don’t put effort into marketing individual books.  Plus with so many formats, going with a publisher is better.

Joe Konrath believes consumers feel less toward digital copies than toward works in print. 

Agency Model: Publisher gets 70%, Amazon gets 30%, publisher sets price.  Out of the publisher’s share, the author may get 25%  and their agent gets 15% of that money.

Barbara:  How will mobile phones affect the art of writing?  Will readers have patience for paragraphs longer than 3 lines?  Will description be tolerated or will it be replaced by a video clip?  Will the Twitter novel become popular?  How about turning off your cell phones on airplanes? Does this mean you can’t read during takeoffs and landings?  People with shorter attention spans will want shorter books.

Brian:  Re contract clauses and reversion of rights and subrights, try for a shorter term, like 3 to 5 years, after which these items are negotiable. 

Publishers have to agree on terms of sale with eReader device providers in order to offer their stock in that format.

“Windowing” is when a hardcover comes out then the eBook comes out xx weeks later.  You have to market the book twice when this happens so it causes the author more work.  This also may happen with books that release in the U.S. market and later in the foreign markets.  You lose sales momentum.

Final Advice:                                                           

Nancy and Denise
Nancy Cohen and Five Star Editor Denise Dietz

Write more good books and write quickly.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the marketing aspects.

Spend time selling your book.  Work it into your calendar.

You don’t need an entire social media strategy.  Start with just one thing.

You can reinvent yourself.  Don’t be frightened by the prospect; be excited by it.

Be transparent for your readers; let them see who you are.

You can find a smaller, devoted audience without a blockbuster mentality.  This can be artistically liberating for writers.

Follow you own path while keeping in mind all your options.

Lunch
Enjoying Lunch
Coming Next: Writing for Worldwide Distribution

EBooks

EBOOKS

“Brainstorming on the Beach” Conference with Novelists, Inc.                                                         

Annette
Annette Mahon, Nancy Cohen, Cynthia Thomason

Here are my notes, keeping in mind this is what I heard and my interpretation.

Panelists:

Lou Aronica, Publisher, The Story Plant

Donna Hayes, Publisher and CEO, Harlequin Enterprises

Al Zuckerman, Literary Agent and Founder of Writers House

Carolyn Pittis, Senior VP, Global Author Services, HarperCollins

Heather Graham, NYT Bestselling Author

Alan Kaufman, Literary Attorney

Loriana Sacilotto, Executive VP, Editorial & Global Strategy, Harlequin Enterprises

Angela James, Executive Editor, Carina Press

“Publishers are moving toward digital publishing because consumers want it.” Ereaders will be hot over the holidays.

A digital world offers no returns, no print production, and a different distribution avenue. It’s a very big opportunity for writers and publishers. Genre readers have adapted to the technology faster than others.

Neilsen Bookscan (if I got this right) reported $40.6 million eBook sales in one month.  The Kindle is responsible for this explosion.

The competition, i.e. B&N, Borders, Amazon, and Google, are growing awareness of this product.  What will really shake things up will be Smartphones.  This is the next big opportunity.  People who don’t own dedicated eReaders will have global Smartphones.  Even eReaders may disappear in favor of these devices.  The deciding factor is how long brick and mortar stores stay open.

See this article “Verizon Wireless Brings Kindle Experience to Android Smartphones and Other Devices” at http://bit.ly/9LypQG

Lou:  He doesn’t distinguish between print or eBook writers and publishing houses re prestige.  Readers want interaction with writers.  You must connect in some significant way with your readers.  The only way you can stand out from the pack is to market yourself, no matter the publisher or the format.

Regarding whether you should self-publish or go with an epub, Lou reminds you that epubs can manage the different streams of income.  Convenience is a major factor to going with an epub for now.  If eBook sales equivocate to print sales, perhaps these epubs should begin offering advances. 

Print publishers have to set up a new infrastructure while maintaining their legacy print operation, but there may be casualties as their margins are very small.

Angela:  Digital first authors may choose to go with an epub because they want to write something different or they want to start out in a smaller market.  It doesn’t mean they’ve been rejected by the major houses as many perceive it. 

“You don’t want to just publish a book.  You want a career.” Authors are small business owners and have to market themselves. 

Carolyn:  How do pubs and authors collaborate together as partners in a new business model to sell more books?  The major houses have to figure out how to reduce costs on the print side while increasing their investment in digital.  Readers care about what reviewers think and what their own friends like.  They care about a good story.  She believes too much technology (i.e. enhanced eBooks) may interfere with this experience, at least for fiction. It might work better for nonfiction.

Alan believes things may look similar in five years if the general trade publishers acquire the eBook publishing houses.  Then those pubs may in turn be acquired by Google.

“Publishers act as gatekeepers.  This is their most important function.  If they aren’t around to do that, who knows what’ll be out there?”

Harlequin is already ahead of the game because it has Carina Press.  Angela says other issues like DRM and pricing will change the landscape.

Other issues mentioned in the panel were consumer pricing and the strong trend toward price reduction, demographics and the behavior of younger readers and their purchasing habits, and the foreign market which is hungry for content. 

Coming next: Digital Rights

I’m guest blogging today over at Fresh Fiction on Creating Memorable Villains.  Please check out my post and leave a comment: http://freshfiction.com/page.php?id=2864

Judy
Judy Fitzwater and Edie Claire

                                   

Traci
Traci Hall, Sally Schoeneweiss, Kathleen Pickering

Contracts and Copyrights

“Brainstorming on the Beach” Conference with Novelists, Inc.

 Contracts and Copyrights                                                                                                                                        panel

Panelists:

David Forrer, Literary Agent

Alan Kaufman, Literary Attorney

Carly Phillips, NYT Bestselling Author

Deb Werksman, Editorial Manager, Sourcebooks

Donna Hayes, Publisher and CEO, Harlequin Enterprises

Chris Kenneally, Copyright Clearance Center

Al Zuckerman, Literary Agent and Founder of Writers House

Brenda Hiatt, Author

Here are my notes, keeping in mind this is what I heard and my interpretation.

Ad revenues surrounding e-books will increase.  For example, books will be sold on Google with ads surrounding them.  This will be new revenue to the publishers, and authors should share in it.  Publishers have to staff up their royalty departments. 

Regarding reserves against returns, one panelist believes they should not continue beyond two royalty periods. A book having ongoing sales a year or more after it was published should not have reserves held back. Another agent agreed that if there are ongoing sales above the advance, there should no longer be reserves.

Editors defended their reserves policies. One editor said backlist books are out there for a long time.  50% sell-through is considered a success in mass-market, but there are still going to be returns.  Trade paperbacks can be returned at any time.

Regarding piracy, is it cannibalizing book sales, or would those readers not have bought the book anyway?  One way to combat piracy is through education.  Mention it in your blogs and on your website.  You should let people know, those who feel entitled to getting whatever they want off the Internet, that information is valuable and it is not free. Another solution is to write to the advertisers on pirate sites and alert them to violations.

One panelist said she thinks the used book marketplace as we know it will go away.  If publishers price eBooks reasonably, legitimate readers will buy them. 

What about the issue of returns?  Why are we still doing them at all?  Because booksellers won’t stock the books otherwise.  There have been attempts to launch imprints without returns, but the experiments failed.  Booksellers demand return policies.  There have even been eBook returns when a customer clicks on the wrong book or downloads the wrong format.

Reversion of rights and the definition of a book being in print entered the conversation.  We should try to restrict this clause to trade editions, English-language editions, or a dollar amount like $250 sold over two royalty periods.  You could also try to narrow this clause by saying the book is considered to be in print if 300 copies are sold electronically within two royalty periods.  Publishers want to hold onto your rights and they will do so forever because of the clause “in any form whatsoever” as defining a book in print. 

A similar phrase to watch out for is when a book is considered to be in print “in any format now or yet to be invented.”  This is a sticky issue today as publishers are trying to grab whatever rights they can. “They have a huge challenge coming up and are running scared.”

According to one panelist, the most important rights to keep are your foreign and film rights.  Try for a movie bonus in your contract, i.e. you get extra money if your book is optioned.  Try to get an audio rights reversion clause for six months or later so if the publisher does not exercise these subrights within the specified amount of time, the audio rights revert to the author.  50% of net is a good deal for audio rights.

Also try for a Look Back clause regarding eBook royalties.  For example, after three years, you can renegotiate your royalty rate. 

The advantage of digital first pubs: no advance but a higher royalty rate. The size of the eBook market is equivalent to 67% of mass-market sales or 55% of hardcover sales.  The Book Industry Study Group is looking to measure data but Walmart, for example, doesn’t report to them.

Copyright will be more important than anything in the future.

Some publishers are sticking a morals clause in contracts now.  This means the publisher can cancel the contract if the author behaves in an immoral manner.  Try to cross this one out.

And a final quote: “If you’re confused, you’re beginning to understand the problem.”

Panel on eBooks is coming next.

And check my Contest page for new info!

SUBRIGHTS

Books on Tape, Large Print Books, Book Club Selections, Digital Editions…Are you aware authors may have split these rights with their publishers, meaning the publisher has to pursue them? Readers often ask me why I don’t put my books into audio or why they aren’t available for a book club choice through the mail. I have to explain that it’s up to my publisher to obtain these deals. Unless my agent retains 100% of these rights in my contract, I don’t have any say in this matter.  And our retaining these rights isn’t always the best choice.        Books

Publishers deal in volume and have more widespread contacts, so they may be in a better position to sublicense those rights. Sometimes that means they’ll push their favorite authors or their bestsellers and the rest of us midlisters get dreck, but there isn’t anything we can do about it. Don’t you think all authors would love to see their books on audio, made into a film, or available to book clubs nationwide?  And even if we could pitch them ourselves, not all of us have the skill or the connections.  A bigger agency with a subrights division could do it, but they’d probably be interested in the same thing as the publisher: push their bestselling authors. And there’s a reason for that.  I once queried an audio publisher myself. Their response: they only take on bestselling novels. So it’s a self-perpetuating issue.

What can you as a reader do about it?  Write to the author’s publisher about how much you’d like the book in xxx format.  Put up good reviews on all the online reader sites.  Hand out the author’s bookmarks to your friends, libraries, and local reading groups.  Suggest their book as your local book club selection.  And keep buying the author’s newest release or insist that your librarian order it.  It’s the sales figures that count.  So if it takes a bestseller to obtain subrights, who else to better help the author get there than her fans?

THE PLOTTING BRAIN

You’ve put aside the first draft you have just finished so you can gain some distance on the work before tackling revisions. It’s a great time to clean your office, sort your files, and write a few blogs. But your mind starts seguing into the next story. 

 Here’s what floated into my mind, even when I’m trying to take a break:

 My next hero is a Tsuran swordsman who has been disgraced on his home world and shunned by his people. What dastardly deed did he commit? He protected a family member by taking the blame for a murder that she’d committed under duress. Thus close family ties mean a lot to him. Now bring in a heroine who is trying to escape from her family obligations. Conflict! 

Add another element. Say our hero, Lord Magnor, is protecting his sister who killed her abusive husband. After he was incarcerated, he learned that she’d been cheating on the man. Betrayal!

Now he’s a sullen, mysterious loner forced to join a team of warriors because they’re the only ones who will accept him. How will the heroine differ? She has to be a people person, outgoing, gregarious, generously reaching out to others. Maybe she gives of herself too much and has overextended her limits. Perhaps her last boyfriend left when she put her dedication to various causes before their relationship. She doesn’t want another man who’ll be so selfish and who lacks compassion. So why does this fierce warrior appeal to her?

Before I delve further into their GMC, what is the hero’s main mission for this story? He has to find the secret weapon that will destroy the evil Trolleks who’ve invaded Earth (it’s a paranormal romance). How will he proceed? Even though I have a list of plot threads from previous installments that have to be tied up in this volume, I’m stumped.

I give up and start cleaning out my files. Oh cool, here’s an article on archetypes. You know what I mean: marriage of convenience, rags to riches, twins, secret baby, prince in disguise, etc. Hey, what if I mix one of these into my story? Imagine the sparks if these two characters had to wed. What if (yes, we plotters use What If? a lot) the heroine enlists Magnor as her fake fiancé? Nah, that’s been done to death already. So how to put a modern twist on the old marriage of convenience tale in a way that would suit my story?

   ideaGenius strikes. My bad guys are using theme parks to recruit humans as their mind slaves. Magnor goes to Las Vegas to follow a lead.  What else is Vegas if not one huge theme park for adults?

I’m getting excited.  I can envision my hero striding down the Strip in his cloak and sword. He encounters a woman who drunkenly boasts to her friends that she can snag any man who walks through the door. Guess who it is?  Yep, our hapless hero.  But he doesn’t fall for her allure right away. Nope, he recognizes the watch she wears as being significant to his mission. And when they end up in a wedding chapel, our warrior from outer space has no idea what it means. They wake up the next morning together in a hotel room, and…you get the picture. Cool set up, huh?

Now I have to figure out why the Norse goddess Hel releases her “Dead Walkers” so the hero has to brave the underworld to stop her. It could be another ploy for dominance by the evil demon, Loki. He’s manipulating the Trolleks, and… well, I don’t want to give too many spoilers. In case you haven’t guessed, this series is based on Norse mythology.

As each idea comes to me, I jot it down. It’s all jumbled right now. Next I’ll sit down and do my Character Development and Romantic Conflict charts, figure out the plot progression, and write the synopsis. It just has to brew upstairs a while longer.

What do you think of my story idea so far?  Any suggestions?  When you finish a book, how long of a break do you take and how do you approach the next story to get started?

Support Your Favorite Author

TEN WAYS TO SUPPORT YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR

How can you keep your favorite authors writing the series you love so much?  How can you inspire them when the publishing world dives and drags them along for the ride?

Here are some ways you can help besides showing up at a booksigning, ordering their book in the library, or giving a copy of their book as a gift.

  • Post reviews of their books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, Facebook, Shelfari, your blog, and anywhere else that takes reader reviews. And while you’re at it, give their book five star ratings.
  • Tag their book sites on Amazon.  Scroll down on the book page to where it says Tags Customers Associate with this Product and put in your tags, i.e. keywords, or click Agree With These Tags.
  • “Like” the author’s posts on Facebook
  • Tweet their blog posts or other sites to your friends and retweet their Twitter posts.
  • Write them a message of support.  Authors need inspiration and you, the reader, are the reason why we write. 
  • If you’re really dedicated, lead a discussion group about their books.
  • Mention their books on Amazon Listmania and other favorites lists
  • Request bookmarks and pass them out to people you know who like to read.
  • Suggest their book for a book club discussion.
  • Provide links online to their website, blog, and Facebook fan page.

 What would you add?  As an author, can you make any other suggestions?  As a reader, what can the author do for you in return?

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The Big Dark Moment

In a romance, the Big Dark Moment is the crucial juncture when all seems lost between the hero and heroine.  He stomps away and she strides in the opposite direction, and it seems as though they will never be together again.  How can they overcome their insurmountable obstacles?  Will love triumph in the end?

Of course it will.  The prerequisite for a romance is the HEA  (Happy Ever After) ending. But for this HEA to have emotional impact, our characters first must experience the painful Big Dark Moment when their relationship seems hopeless.

Tossing a cog in the story wheel isn’t the way to go about it.  This confrontation must arise naturally from the character’s internal conflicts.  Take Paz and Jen from my WIP.

elegant woman Jen is a fashion designer who looks as svelte as her models. For years, she struggled for parental approval.  Growing up in a wealthy family, she internalized her mother’s superficial values that appearance matters.  But she yearns for a man who can appreciate her for herself and not for her looks or money.                                                   

Drift Lord warrior Paz Hadar isn’t the rich businessman she’d expected to snag, but he brings out her strength and resourcefulness and admires her bravery.  Yet when she tries to discuss their future together, he clams up.  He’s planned for nothing beyond this mission, and so she figures he’ll leave her in the end.  Paz, in turn, gets angry when she pushes him for his plans, believing she can’t accept him for the person he is and wants to mold him into the ideal man. And if he’s not good enough for her, forget it. And so he stomps off.  Jen feels he doesn’t care enough about her feelings to truly confide in him.                                  angry eyes

 Thus they go their separate ways, until each one realizes how much they need the other.  But by then, Paz seeks to prove himself by attacking the enemy all on his own.  Jen rushes to his side, but it’s too late.  He’s been…well, we don’t want to give the story away.

sad woman

 

 

 

Action and reaction propels the story forward, leading to the Big Dark Moment and the final confrontation with the villain. And when Paz and Jen finally commit to each other as we know they will, we’ll heave a deep sigh of satisfaction.  Sour before sweet, despair before joy.  It makes the ending all the more Happy Ever After.  

               wedding couple

 

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LIBRARIES IN A DIGITAL WORLD

Will libraries become a relic of the past when books turn digital?  Like in a Dr. Who episode, will there be one vast library that’s a repository for the entire world, the sole remaining place holding dusty shelves? That was a cool couple of episodes with David Tennant starring, by the way. Think about the trees cut down to produce all that paper and where those once living trees might have come from. Anyway, will libraries, with reduced funding as an additional obstacle, still be viable ten years from now?                          Books

If you think of the library as a multi-media center, then I believe the answer is yes. Besides books, movies, and music, public libraries offer free classes on a variety of topics, meeting rooms, computer centers, literacy and outreach programs. And did you know you could order digital books from the library to download to your eReader?  You can probably research whatever you want by accessing library services online, too.

 A recent article in an AARP bulletin for seniors reports about how Queens Library in New York holds a phone-in discussion group twice a week.  Participants dial in at the prescribed times and chat about books, recipes, current events topics, history, and more. It’s a great way for people to keep in touch and have human contact when they can’t get about so easily. The library’s mail-in program supplies assisted living facilities and homebound individuals with reading materials, movies, and music.  These are great services for people who want to benefit from their local library but don’t have the means to get there.

It appears as though the role of the library in the future is to expand rather than to shrink. So donate your used books to your local library, join the Friends of the Library and support their fund-raisers, and give your librarian a big hug of appreciation for all her efforts.

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RWA 2010: Conclusion

REPORT ON RWA NATIONAL CONFERENCE

 Friday, July 30 and Saturday, July 31

Reinventing Yourself with bestselling author JAYNE ANN KRENTZ .

 Jayne had to reinvent herself numerous times, from writing futuristics to contemporaries to historicals.  She takes her “core story” and puts it into a marketable setting.  Names she’s written under are Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick, and Jayne Castle.

Jayne Ann Krentz
Jayne Ann Krentz

“Sooner or later, you will have to reinvent yourself.”  Jayne offered three rules for writers to heed:                                      

1.  Identify your core story: conflicts, relationships, archetypes, and themes that appeal to you as a writer.  Keep it fresh over time.  Writers who want to survive must be able to adapt.

2.   Know the market.  Be familiar with subgenres and where your core story fits in.

3.  Understand the importance of fictional landscape to readers. Each genre requires a particular landscape with conventions and reader expectations.  Adjust your core story to fit that landscape.

I went to a couple of workshops on Digital Publishing.  With so many Epubs popping up, writers are cautioned to evaluate them before submitting their work. Look at such things as cover art, frequency of releases, cover copy, and genre.  Read a few of their books to see how well they’re edited and if you like them. Be wary of too many releases at once because titles can get lost in the crowd and there won’t be any standout successes. The same goes for your own schedule. Readers can get overwhelmed if you release too many titles in succession. Space them out by at least 8 weeks.

 Digital pubs may pick up a series started elsewhere and may be interested in putting your backlist into digital format. The benefits of going with a digital pub instead of doing it on your own?

  • Editing
  • Cover Art
  • Promotional Tools
  • Established Reader Base

ANGELA JAMES gave a spotlight on Carina Press.  She spoke on how to submit to this digital first imprint and what they do in terms of online marketing.

Career Planning in a Changing Environment 

Issues important to authors were discussed in this seminar with agents KRISTIN NELSON, STEVE AXELROD, and KAREN SOLEM.

  •  Do we want to release simultaneously in print and in ebook?  Do ebooks cannabilize other sales?
  • Make sure you’re covered if your contract is cancelled arbitrarily (i.e. so you don’t have to pay back your advance)
  • 25% of net versus 25% of retail price—the former is harder to track.  Ebook royalty rates are still in a flux.  Consider renegotiating your current contracts re ebook royalties.
  • Classic publishing model strengths are turning into weaknesses
  • Independent bookstores are in trouble and that will jeopardize hardcover sales
  • Publishers are trying to control all rights that may come down the road someday
  • New opportunities for authors are out there.  In between print books, you could publish novellas or short stories in digital format.  You can bring your own out of print books back to life on the digital platform.
  • The biggest question is still how to get your work noticed.
  • Authors are forging direct connections with fans through social networking. The challenge here is balancing the time requirements with writing the next book.
  • If your career isn’t moving forward, it’s time to diversify.  Consider writing a bigger book. Do what you always do but in a different way.  If you decide to write in more than one genre, ask yourself if you have time, if you are prolific enough, and if publishing in more than one genre will cannibalize your own sales.

 Fight Scenes with popular author Angela Knight was a very useful workshop. I’m not going to repeat what she said here except to say I scribbled notes the entire time.  She could have used another hour to complete her presentation and have a Q&A session but what she said was helpful. Some of it was common sense like save your biggest fight scene and worst villain for last. She offered some great ideas which hopefully I can deploy.

I also attended Publisher Booksignings and collected lots of free books signed by the authors. These are great for keeping up with what’s current in a genre.  The Carina Press open house with cocktails and snacks was also fun.

Alyssa Day
Paranormal Romance Author Alyssa Day
Ann Aguirre
Science Fiction Author Ann Aguirre

The RITA and Golden Heart Awards Dinner and Ceremony was Saturday night. Everyone dressed up and excitement was in the air as we prepared to hear who’d won these prestigious awards.

RITA Awards Dinner
RITA Awards Dinner
RITA Awards Dinner
Sharon Hartley, Nancy Cohen, Allison Chase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 The Food
 What are those weird purple vegetables on the plate?

The Gathering was Friday night.  This was the FF&P (Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal chapter of RWA) Steampunk Ball and Prism Awards with music provided by bestselling science fiction author CATHERINE ASARO.  This took place at the Swan Resort, a short walk from the adjacent Dolphin. At the buffet, we had a choice of Roast Beef and Chicken, various salads, poached potatoes, roasted vegetables, and delectable desserts. The room was decorated with style and many of the folks dressed up in period attire.  It was fun watching the costume contest and meeting so many new people. This is definitely an event I’d attend again. Kiss of Death chapter also has a chocolate party that’s fun if you belong to that chapter.

The Gathering
The Gathering
Lizzie Newell
Author Lizzie Newell

 PRISM Award Winners:

Dark Paranormal: Immortal Danger by Cynthia Eden

Erotica: Secrets in Stone by Radclyff

Fantasy: The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber

Futuristic: Close Encounters by Katherine Allred

Light Paranormal: Secret Life of a Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks and Wild Blue Under by Judi Fennell

Novella: Belong the Night by Cynthia Eden

Time Travel: Viking Heat by Sandra Hill

Steampunk Ball
Steampunk Ball

Congratulations to all!  It was a great conference.  I met many new friends whom I hope to see again at future events.

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