Monday, December 3, 2012

Ruts and Great One Liners!

There are no excuses for my behavior. I have fallen into a rut and have no way to dig my way out. I know the creative juices are still there because I keep coming up with these awesome scenarios in my head…bestselling book ideas…and these first liner ideas that are blowing me away.

And I have come to the conclusion that the holidays are a time for slumps. Maybe it’s because of the cold weather…or for the fact that I am tired of reading my own crap. Either way, I’m going to hound myself until Christmas...I hope to pump out 10k words a week. Ambitious you say? Absolutely…between watching my niece, making Christmas cookies, I stay pretty busy…lol.

On the bright side, I just learned that Miss Kentucky reads my blog. I know this because she attended our local Bowling Green Christmas Parade and when she saw me, she ran up to me and hugged me. Then confessed that she’s been keeping up with my small and minuscule writing career. I was in awe that our little local celebrity had been keeping an watchful eye. I hope I don’t disappoint!

In the next few days, I’m hoping to post quite a bit more…probably some of my one liner ideas…actually. How about I post one now? It will keep you pining for more! Here goes nothing…

“I heard the sound of metal plowing into flesh before I saw the blood on the window in my rearview mirror.”

See…great one liners. I hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Scattered, Smothered, and Covered

And no, I’m not talking about Waffle House. I’m talking about my life. In the last three weeks I haven’t had one second to breathe. It’s been my regular job, on top of being audited, on top of becoming a new step-grandmother, on top of going to evening doctor’s appointments….there hasn’t been one afternoon I’ve been able to rest or hell, to write. I haven’t read or opened my laptop in three weeks. How did that happen? And I was so motivated to do NANOWRIMO but, now I can’t. I’ve been barnstormed and derailed and there is nothing on the horizon that motivates me to get back on track.

I wonder if I’ve been too hard on myself. If maybe I’ve pushed so hard, I’ve burnt myself up. Maybe all of my creative juices have bled out through my wrist and all of the silence and ice cream in the world can make me right again. Maybe I’m going through a midlife crisis….or a mid-book crisis. But, like all of my books, I get mid-way and then I stop. I can’t seem to find the words or time to finish them. I wonder if that’s a sign. That maybe this one book isn’t the one that’s going to make me the next Stephanie Meyer.

So, now…what to do. Do I blog? Do I stop writing my current WIP (which technically I’m not writing because I haven’t found time). Or do I just wait for the riffs to calm and to be saved on the island with Robinson Crusoe? I don’t know. All I know, I better figure it out soon. Migraines, back aches, full time jobs, new grandbabies are only excuses. Persistence is key…now if I can find some…which is an entirely different story.

Oh, and P.S. OUR PAGES AREN’T NUMBERED HAS HAD 4444 PAGEVIEWS. If that isn’t karma, I don’t know what is.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Going Outside of my Comfort Zone

In my family, I am the quiet one. I come from a family of talkers. I don’t think my brother Brandon ever stops talking. My son who is two and half just started talking and he talks non-stop all day long. I like to think that I am a pretty outgoing and talkative person. I can be shy and reserved at first. The initial start up is what I have a hard time with. I don’t normally approach someone and start telling them my life story. I wait for them to approach me first before I tell them my drama.

At the COFWC (Central Ohio Fiction Writers Conference) we were told that we should confront the other editors and agents there even if we don’t have an appointment and to talk to them. Right away I got butterflies in my stomach. I could pitch when I had an appointment already set, but to go up to a stranger and try to sell my idea made me nervous.

After the morning keynote speech from Simone Elkeles, which was amazing, I saw Editor Emily Keyes go out into the lobby. I followed her. As she ate her apple I approached her and started the conversation. I ended up pitching my story and she asked for me to send her the first three chapters and synopsis of Dreamer. I conquered my fear! There was something about her demeanor that I liked. She seemed shy and apprehensive which made me like her more. I have sent her the pages and I am eagerly waiting for a reply.

I got my rejection letter from Kristin Nelson two days ago. It was a very nice rejection letter. I didn’t cry when I got this one. I knew it was coming. I am not being pessimistic on this actually. I knew after pitching to her and hearing some of the stories that she liked, I knew that we wouldn’t be a fit. So, I am OK with the rejection this time because I am very hopeful that someone else is going to fall in love with my story and my characters, just like I have.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Inspiration VLOG Part One

Okay Guys. Here it is! Let me know what you think!


Hey Peeps!

I’m going to be experimenting with Vlogging this weekend. For people who don’t know what it is that is video blogging. I’m going to sit down and rant about my inspirations, favorite authors, distractions, the trials and pitfalls of being a writer, etc. I am hoping to have it completed and posted by Monday. It might be earlier or later, depending on my complications and what edits, etcetera I decide to include in the video. After all, this is my first one.

I’m hoping it will be a smash. Or a wreck. Either way, it will definitely be entertaining. Who knows? I might go into spews concerning different rounds of social media, how to socialize, twitter, Facebook, and moderate different writer’s pages.

I’m excited. I hope you guys don’t get bored. But, hopefully when I’m done everyone will get a clear idea about the things I love, the reason I write, and the motivation it takes to complete a book. Until VLOG release day, I bid you adieu and hope everyone has a fantastic weekend.

Lessons Learned Part 2

Part two of what I learned at the Central Ohio Fiction Writers Conference

After three hours of driving, I arrived in Worthington Ohio at the Holiday Inn where the conference was being held. Because I hate being late, I got there early and had to wait for Stacey to get there. She is a slow driver! Coming from Michigan automatically means that I drive at least ten miles over the speed limit at all times…driving through Ohio was torture, their speed limit is only 65!

The next lesson that I learned was that I really miss my best friend!  Living 500 miles from Stacey is hard. I was so excited to hang-out with her for the weekend. I was planning on going to the conference all along, but having Stacey meet me there made it that much sweeter.

The first session that we attended was on pitching our novel to an agent or an editor. The pitch practice session was really helpful. We had a small group of seven aspiring authors and one published author. We pitched our novel to the group and then got feedback. Not only was feedback on my own pitch helpful, but listening to others helped me to hear what I was missing in my own pitch. I was really impressed with a few of the others pitches, I hope that they get published so that I can read their books.

After the pitch practice I had two hours until I was going to pitch my novel to Kristin Nelson. I made a few changes to my pitch and I practiced it a few times with Stacey and then I was ready. Well, as ready as I was going to be. I felt exactly like I was going to a job interview. That is what pitching to an agent really is. I am hoping that they will take me on as a client to help me find a publisher for my novel.

At 2:23 my time was up, I had seven minutes to sell my book idea to Kristin Nelson. I was nervous and I think my voice started out a little shaky. But, I got through my pitch. She asked a few questions and then she asked for me to send her the first 30 pages. I am pretty sure that she asks to see everyone’s first 30 who pitch to her in person, but I still have my chance to gain her interest even if I bombed in my pitch.

A week later I sent her my first 30 pages. I am still waiting to hear back. I also sent out my first three chapters of Dreamer to Emily Keyes another agent that I pitched to at the conference. I will save that for next week’s continuation of what I learned. I learned a lot at the conference, so I need to keep you all in suspense until next Friday! And hopefully I will have a positive update from an agent to share as well.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Rejection Sucks!

All forms of rejection suck except when corrective criticism is given. My latest endeavor to acquire Kristin Nelson as my literary agent was a failure. But, with failure also came criticism which is more than I could have asked for.

This is the rejection letter I received from my COFW submission:

Dear Stacey Hays:

Thank you so much for sending Nelson Literary Agency your sample pages of DEREK'S DEMISE. After a careful reading, we are sorry to say that we don't believe this project is right for our agency.

However, Kristin would like to add this note: "Thank you for letting me take a look at your work and it was lovely meeting you at the COFW conference. You have a nice YA voice here but I just didn't find myself sympathizing with your main character as much as I'd hoped. Best wishes for your agent search."

Because this business is so subjective and opinions vary widely, we recommend that you pursue other agents. After all, it just takes one "yes" to find the right match.

Good luck with all your publishing endeavors.

So, this tells me a few things. One, Derek’s voice is loud and clear. Two, he is a douche bag so she couldn’t sympathize with him when he is given his ultimatum to reap or die. With just one sentence, she gave me the extra boost I needed to make my novel better. I have to make Derek more sympathetic as a character. How do I plan on doing that? By starting at chapter one. I must create an inner struggle/outer confrontation from the beginning and weave it in and out of the existing plotline to create an organic theme.

Rejection sucks. I had to say it one more time, but, rejections like these don’t seem like real rejections at all and thank you Kristin Nelson for giving me feedback that will make my manuscript better.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Writing isn't for the Weak!

This year has been a very challenging year. It seems like a writer’s job is never done. If you aren’t plotting, writing, or editing….then you’re planning your next book. Whose great idea was it for me to become a writer?

As horrible as this sounds, I think that you can take the girl out of writing but you can’t take the writing out of the girl. I feel like this is what I was born to do. And the world will be a much better place if I can get my books out there and published. I don’t care that people can’t relate to my books, I want them to be able to fantasize about being my characters…being a part of the story, the romances and the happily-ever-after’s. Yes, this is why I write. I forgot that for a brief moment of insanity.

Okay, so I’ve been on war path in writing this week. Jennifer has been so kind to give DEREK’S DEMISE a jump start…she’s been editing it vigorously and getting it ready for submissions.

Our book KEY OF EDEN, I had to cut and rewrite the last two chapters and Becca’s mom has been Volun-told to edit that manuscript. I am very, very, very grateful for her help. She’s also been up to her eye balls in Becca’s two manuscripts.

I rewrote both of the queries for my books and resubmitted my KEY OF EDEN query to Agent Hannah Bowman for a critique. She sent it back with lots of great comments. She loves the voice. This is what I was going for.

Now, I’m working on my WITH A VENGEANCE book. It’s pretty entertaining, I keep attempting to write a sex scene but I get embarrassed and put it down, blushing like some Virgin Mary whose favorite author isn’t the Queen of Sex Scenes, Laurell K. Hamilton.

Here in the next few days I’m going to be posting some new book trailers…representing for some of my fellow-authors. Other than that, it’s going to be a weekend full of pumpkins and apple cider. God, I love fall. Okay, peeps. Have a great weekend and stay out of trouble!

Lessons Learned

Stacey and I went to the Central Ohio’s Fictions Writers Conference last weekend. I learned so much at the conference, that I want to share with everyone. On account of the fact that I learned so much, this would be a very long blog post, so I will start with what I learned on the way to the conference.

First, I learned that I need to stop rejecting technology. In the solitude of my car I felt comfortable letting loose and belting out along with Bon Jovi, when my CD skipped. Yes, you read that correctly, I said when my CD skipped. I am still listening to CD’s when I have an iphone. I only have three songs on my iphone though. I just haven’t loaded any of my music onto it. I rarely listen to music in the car. My first lesson was that I need to get rid of my CD’s and get hip with my iphone!

Actually my second realization I came to was also while listening to music. I went back to the classics and put in my Meatloaf CD. It made me miss listening to my brother Troy play the piano. He is an amazing pianist.

While listening to Meatloaf I became confused. I was listening to the song I Will Do Anything for Love. It is a great song, I was singing along to this one too, when I started to think about the words. I will do anything for love, but I won’t do that. But, he doesn’t say what that is!  It started to infuriate me! I want to know what he won’t do. What is so important or wrong or gross that it trumps love? Then it got me thinking, is there anything that I would put my foot down to and say the same thing. Haven’t we all done that already in the past? Was it worth it in the end?


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

New Pitches-Check them Out!

I’ve been working on the pitches for all of my books. Check them out and let me know what you think. Also, to find out more about my projects check out my website:

Key of Eden

Seventeen-year-old Ava always wanted a guardian angel but not one she’s required to spend 24/7 with regardless if Ethan is handsome, funny, and knows exactly what to say when everything has went to hell in a Christmas colored hand basket.

When fallen angels attack Ava, she learns that she is no average hormonal teenage girl—she is the Key to Eden and to the Gates of Hell. In other words, fallen angels are out to get her and it’s Ethan’s job to keep her safe. But taking on flesh eating demons proves easier than dealing with Ava’s drunken antics, bad judgment, and trust issues.

Desperately needing socialization outside of the angel population, Ava gains the courage to ask Ethan’s superior if she can attend prom with her best friend Erica, he agrees as long as she takes two guardian escorts. Dressed in silk with Ethan as her arm candy, what’s anticipated to be a night to remember becomes a catastrophe when the Fallen angels, disguised as high schoolers crash the prom and kidnap Erica (there goes her nomination for prom queen). Now, Ava will try anything to get her best friend back even if that means surrendering herself to the fallen’s wrath.

Complete at 70,000 words KEY OF EDEN is YA paranormal. This book is in the querying/submission process.

Derek's Demise

Beer funnels and field parties are a distant memory when sixteen-year-old high school quarterback Derek Weber awakens in a hospital bed with a reaper by his side.

The reaper gives him two options: death or an immortal gig as a reaper. Afraid of death, Derek agrees to the terms. But on his first official assignment to the underworld, two rogue reapers attack him and hijack his shipment of souls.

When Heaven’s Gatekeeper threatens war against the reaper world if the souls aren’t returned, Derek must travel to the underworld to find the culprits. He has to survive flesh-eating giants, psychotic mer-people and amnesia inducing rivers and deliver the souls back to Heaven before all Hell breaks loose.

Complete at 50,000 words, DEREK’S DEMISE is YA Paranormal Thriller. This book is in the querying/submission process.

Love with a Vengeance

Angel’s husband was murdered. But dead doesn’t have to mean gone.

Charles is back, and he wants revenge! With the ghost of Angel’s dead husband riding shotgun, they track down the culprits and torture them for information until they find out who ordered the hit. But the mob isn’t dumb. After three of their members go missing…they start asking questions.

 When they find out Angel is behind the attack, the huntsmen becomes the hunted. Now Angel’s at the bottom of the Detroit River – and it’s not just her breath that’s running out.

This is my CURRENT Work-In-Progress. Estimated date of completion November 2012.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Central Ohio Writer's Conference

The Central Ohio Writer’s Conference totally ROCKED!

Becca and I were full blast the entire weekend. We were completely submerged into books and writing. I loved it. When I arrived there on Friday morning we went and ate lunch then went to the first workshop about pitching. The second class was pitch practice and that’s when I realized that Becca and I both aced our pitches. Becca later pitched her book to Kristen Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency. She received a partial request for her manuscript Dreamer. I also pitched my manuscript DEREK'S DEMISE (Reaper Book) to her and received a partial request.

Saturday was full of awesomeness. It started out with breakfast and lunch with New York Best Seller Kristin Higgins. Who, by-the-way was one of the kindest, sweetest, most genuinely helpful authors I have ever met. I also got to visit with Simone Elkeles in which I did a great job convincing her that I was her twin sister. I am pretty sure we shared the womb (Sorry Tina).

Then later that night we sat down at the cafĂ© at the Holiday Inn where author Julie Cross joined us for cold beverages. She is the author of the book Tempest and is agented by Kristen Nelson.
It couldn’t get much better until kismet happened. Kristen Nelson joined us too and she showed us pictures of her nephews and talked to us about her hobbies. I was really impressed.

While we were there Becca also pitched her book to Emily Keyes with the L. Perkins agency and another Editor. She received partial requests from both. I couldn’t have been more proud.
And now, I’ll give you what everyone has been waiting for…pictures.
Me and Becca: Our first Picture from the Conference on Friday.

Friday, after dinner...reading through the slush pile workshop.

Saturday Morning at breakfast, with Kristin Higgins
Me, Simone Elkeles, Kristin Higgins, and Becca

Me and Becca, having dinner on Saturday at a bar called the Winking Lizard Tavern.
Me and Becca on the last night, at the bar with Kristen and Sarah.
All in all it was a great success and I would do it all over again!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happily Ever After...

I want to read a book with a happy ending! Just like in movies, I don’t want to be disappointed when it is over. That is how I write my books too. I think of a book or a movie as my escape from real life. I don’t know anyone who is living a happy ever after story. I do know some people that genuinely seem to be happy though. Which I think is the ultimate goal in life.

I love to read and write romance novels. What I love is the struggles that the characters have to go through to find love. Love is never an easy journey in real life or in books.

A lot of who I am goes into the characters in my books. I started writing a new book this last week. It is a contemporary romance novel. A big part of it is going to be the relationship between three women who form a bond through their struggles in relationships and are able to find love again. I am really excited about this book. I have the introduction to the three main characters finished and I am almost done with chapter one. I am thinking of making it a holiday romance, we will see where the story takes me!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

COFW Conference

2012 cofw conference
Central Ohio Fiction Writers
Presents their Annual
Writers and Readers Conference

September 28-29, 2012 * Columbus, Ohio
Conference Fees:
COFW Members: $135
Non-members: $150

Late Registration Fees (After September 1, 2012)
Conference Registration Now Open!
Become a member of COFW
Click here for Updated Conference Agenda

Featured Speakers:
Keynote Speaker: Simone Elkeles

Simone Elkeles
Simone Elkeles is the NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of over seven teen romance novels. She has won various awards and recognition for her books, including the coveted RITA award from the Romance Writers of America for her book Perfect Chemistry and being named Author of the Year by the Illinois Association of Teachers of English. She was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. Her funny way of looking at life and the world around her has an effect on the people she hangs out with. If you hear people laughing, you'll probably find Simone not far away. Simone writes about teens because she was a teen in the 80's (when spiked hair and blue eye shadow were "rad") and she loves writing about those exciting teen relationships and romances. For more information on Simone and her books, check out her website at:

Awards Luncheon Speaker: Kristan Higgins
Kristan Higgins
Kristan is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of Contemporary Romance Novels and two-time winner of RWA's Rita award. She started writing romance novels when her kids were little. She'd always been a writer of some type-public relations, advertising, research-but wanted to stay home with her bunnies. She'd been reading romance novels ever since she swiped Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss from her grandmother's night table. So, she sat down every afternoon when her kids were napping, took her lifelong love of romance novels and tried to make a career out of it. They've been living happily ever after since.
Kristan lives in a small town in Connecticut-a pretty place where there's a beautiful library and a wicked good ice cream stand. Find out more about Kristan at her website:

Featured Craft Speaker: Joanna Bourne
Joanna Bourne
Joanna Bourne: It All Depends on Your Point of View and Plotting for Pantsers
As our Featured Craft Speaker, Joanna tackles the use, importance and execution of point of view while crafting fiction in this in-depth workshop on Friday evening. On Saturday, Joanna will be doing a break-out workshop on Plotting for Pantsers, helping writers who like to follow an organic method, letting the muse dictate their stories as they write (sometimes known as "pantsers" for writing by the seat of their pants) to embrace the concept of plotting in advance.
Joanna is a nationally bestselling author and double Rita winner. She lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge with her family, a medium-sized mutt and a faux Himalayan cat. She writes Historical Romances set in England and France during the Napoleonic Wars. She's fascinated by that time and place - such passionate conviction and burning idealism...and really sexy clothes.

Industry Guests:
Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency, LLC

Kristin Nelson
Being an avid reader practically since birth, Kristin is equally happy reading a Pulitzer prize-winning literary novel for her book club or a sexy romance novel. She established Nelson Literary Agency, LLC in 2002 after the literary agent she was working for expressed dismay that Kristin wanted to represent-gasp!-genre fiction as well as literary novels. Forming NLA was absolutely the right thing to do. She currently specializes in representing commercial fiction (mainstream, women's fiction, romance, science fiction, fantasy, young adult & middle grade) and literary fiction with a commercial bent. In general, she does not handle nonfiction projects with the exception of an occasional memoir. Clients include bestselling authors Jamie Ford, Ally Carter, Marie Lu, Gail Carriger, Simone Elkeles, Courtney Milan, and RITA-award winners Sherry Thomas and Linnea Sinclair. When she is not busy selling books, Kristin loves playing Ultimate Frisbee (where she tends to be the oldest person on the team) and taking hikes with her husband and their dog Chutney. Member: AAR, RWA, SFWA, SCBWI. Please visit our website and check out Kristin's popular blog
Kristin will be doing an interactive workshop at the conference entitled, An Agent Reads the Slush Pile.

Carlie Webber
Agent at The Jane Rotrosen Agency

Carlie Webber - Agent
Carlie Webber refused to major in English in college because no one would let her read Stephen King or R.L. Stine for class. She took her love of young adult and genre fiction to the University of Pittsburgh, where she obtained a Master of Library and Information Science, and worked as a YA librarian and reviewer for publications including Kirkus Reviews. Wishing to explore her interest in the business side of books, she decided to switch from librarianship to publishing and enrolled in the Columbia Publishing Course. Now she is building her agenting career on her favorite genres: young adult, middle grade, romance, horror, mystery, suspense, thrillers, literary fiction, contemporary fantasy and women's fiction. Her ongoing submissions wishlist includes but is not limited to high-concept YA, literary suspense, grunge era nostalgia and things that go bump in the night.

Emily Keyes
Agent at the L. Perkins Agency

Emily Keyes - Agent
Emily Keyes is Contracts & Foreign Rights Manager at the L. Perkins Agency as well as an acquiring agent. She is passionate about YA and teen novels, therefore acquiring in that area. In addition, Emily is looking for a wide-range of commercial fiction including women's fiction, contemporary romance, fantasy, science fiction, paranormal and historical. Emily is actively expanding her client list and open to submissions.
As a Contracts Administrator at Simon & Schuster, Inc. and a writer for "The World Almanac for Kids," Emily forged her knowledge of many aspects of publishing, bringing that experience to her current position. She is a graduate of the NYU Publishing program and, incidentally, an expert on all things "Sweet Valley."
Follow her blog:
Twitter: @esc_key

Whitney Ross of TOR/Forge Publishing
Whitney Ross TOR
Whitney Ross is an Assistant Editor at Tor. She edits YA, Sci fi, urban fantasy, fantasy, romance and historicals. She likes books that are "not entirely dark" with hopeful endings. To learn more about TOR books and Whitney, visit

Heather Osborn/Samhain Publishing
Heather Osborn, Editorial Director, Samhain Publishing. A longtime lover of the written word, Heather has spent her entire adult life figuring out ways to surround herself with books. A former bookseller, Heather made the transition to editing 8 years ago, starting out with digital publishing, then making the move to traditional publishing by running the romance line at Tor Books, and now returning back to her digital roots by becoming the Editorial Director at Samhain Publishing.

Debby Gilbert, Editor at Soul Mate Publishing
“Where two become one”
Deborah Gilbert
Deborah Gilbert, founder and senior editor of Soul Mate Publishing, graduated from Nazareth College, magna cum laude, with a B.S. in English and an M.S. in Reading. She taught high school English for sixteen years and joined RWA in 1998. Noting the tightening New York market and the trend toward digital publishing, she opened Soul Mate Publishing in October, 2011. She is currently seeking submissions in all areas.
Soul Mate Publishing opened its door in October, 2011, and we’re steadily growing. We are a boutique publishing house specializing in romance.
Soul Mate Publishing takes a personal approach to publishing. We are dedicated to producing quality ebooks and take pride in providing authors with supportive feedback. We have top-notch editors on board to guide authors during the revising and editing process. Our contract is also author friendly. For more information go to

Sandy Sullivan - Owner of Secret Cravings Publishing
Sandy Sullivan is the owner of Secret Cravings Publishing, a full-service, royalty paying publisher of general fiction and non-fiction books, focusing on Romance and high quality Literary Fiction. We publish in electronic and paperback formats with distribution on third party websites. For more information, go to
If you have questions about the company, please feel free to email We would be more than happy to give you information about the company, our experience and our plans for promotion and distribution. You are also encouraged to email our authors and talk to them about the company and their experiences.

Friday Night Murder Mystery Party
After a day of intense craft workshops, professional meetings and promotional networking, it's time to kick back and have a bit of fun! Join Cozy Mystery Author, Duffy Brown ( for a fun, interactive murder mystery party with a Roaring Twenties theme. Duffy is sponsoring this event, so it's free to confernce attendees, but you do need to sign up for it in advance and space is limited to the first 60. If you'd like to get a feel for the theme and what to expect, click here: Mystery Party Invite. If you're interested in joining in the fun, don't forget to sign up for it on your registration form.

Basket/Critique Raffle:
May 1-5 in Kansas City, Mo
Chances to win critiques by:
Simone Elkeles, Kristan Higgins, Joanna Bourne, Whitney Ross and 20+ more!

Chances to win a one year subscription to Publisher's Weekly or RT magazine.
Many other Misc Raffles, including entry into workshops at Ohio Valley RWA, other chapter memberships, and a Kindle Fire.

Craft/Industry Workshops:
(workshops begin Friday at Noon)
Kristin Nelson: An agent reads the slush pile
Have you ever wondered how an agent reads the fiction submission slush pile? What an agent is thinking during the first opening pages? What makes an agent stop and what makes an agent read on? If you have ever wished to be a fly on the wall during that process, this workshop is your chance to get the inside scoop without metamorphosing. Literary Agent Kristin Nelson will read the "slush pile" and give honest feedback as to why she would or would not read on for the sample pages in front of her. Interested Participants can submit two copies each of the first 2 pages of their novel She will "stop" when she loses interest and then explain why to the audience. If she completes the two pages, she’ll explain why she liked it and why she'd read on. (Warning: this is not for the faint of heart. The purpose of this workshop is not to discourage anyone, but to give an honest look into the submission process. No names will be read with the submission, however submitted work will be read and critiqued by Ms. Nelson in front of the entire conference.)
Simone Elkeles: My Journey into Writing Teen Romance Novels
Come to this hilarious workshop where the 2008 Author of the Year and New York Times bestselling author of teen novels Simone Elkeles will share stories on how she got published, the funny things that happened to her along the way in her research (including going to juvenile detention centers, creating a rap video "book trailer" for her book, a "movie trailer" for a book and meeting Judy Blume) and how Perfect Chemistry, her RITA award winning teen novel about a gang member falling for the girl on the "other side of the tracks," was inspired by a real high school! She will discuss how YA romance differs from adult romance – the writing, the publishing and the fans. This workshop is a primer on the young adult romance market for those interested in writing for the 12-21 year old crowd.
Joanna Bourne: It All Depends on Your Point of View
Joanna tackles the use, importance and execution of point of view in crafting fiction.
Kristan Higgins: Chapter One, I am Born
Kristan explores the essential elements that should be in chapter one of your book.
Duffy Brown: How to Plot the Cozy Mystery
Duffy Brown loves anything with a mystery. While others girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. She now conjures up who-done-it stories of her very own for Berkley Prime Crime. Duffy writes romance as Dianne Castell and is a USAToday bestselling author.
Donna MacMeans: Putting Sizzle In Your Sex Scene
She's analyzing again! Award winning author Donna MacMeans looks at what works and what doesn't in sex scenes of various genres with an eye to improving craft in writing memorable sex scenes.
Liz Bemis: The Wizarding World of Web Promotion
Learn the ins and outs of web promotion from this seventeen-year veteran in the field of web design, Liz Bemis of Bemis Promotions.
New York vs. New World
A panel of authors, including Becky Barker and Lisa Cooke, tells us their experience as they transition from publishing houses to the new world of Indie-publishing. How difficult is it to walk away from NY to stand on your own? What are the risks and what are the rewards? (More Authors TBA)
Joanna Bourne: Plotting for Pantsers
Even if you write "by the seat of your pants" you can still plot your stories. Join a pantser who has learned the value of plotting and discover the best of both world with Joanna.
For a full list of workshops please see the agenda.

Other Conference Features:
Join us on Sept. 28 at 6 p.m. for a Free Teen Session with NY Times Bestselling Author Simone Elkeles
Free Question and Answer Session with Young Adult Author Simone Elkeles
Simone will be giving away FREE copies of her Perfect Chemistry series posters!
When: Sept. 28 at 6 p.m., book signing to follow at 7 p.m.
Holiday Inn,
7007 N High St
Worthington, OH 43085
Simone Elkeles is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Perfect Chemistry series, Leaving Paradise series and How to Ruin series. All three books in the Perfect Chemistry series have been YALSA Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers and the Illinois Association of Teachers of English named Simone 2008 Author of the Year. Simone's funny way of looking at the world shines through in novels that are bursting with sarcastic wit, edgy characters, and exhilarating drama. You can find her at

A Panel of Booksellers and Librarians discuss how to create and cultivate a relationship with bookstores and libraries
A Panel of Editors and Agents discuss the current market, and Q&A
Consultations Appointments
Web Designer/Promotion Expert, Liz Bemis -
Graphic Designer and Formatting Expert, Jeff Hentosz -
Pitch Appointments with Attending Editors and Agents

Book Sale / Author Signing on Saturday, September 29th - Public Welcome!

Hotel Information:
Holiday Inn
7007 North High Street, Worthington, Ohio 43085
614-436-0700 or 800-315-2621
A block of rooms has been reserved for this event, reducing the nightly rate to $89 for conference attendees. Make sure to use the code CF5 when making your reservation.

Cancellation Policy
For more information, contact:
Sheri Adkins:
or Natalie Vawter:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Re-Inventing Myself....

As soon as I started writing and thinking about being published someday, I started to think of a penname. I knew then I didn’t want to be published as Rebecca Stanichuk and now I don’t want to be published as Rebecca Johnson.

I have been asked by two additional editors to see the full manuscript for Sea of Passion. I was already rejected by Soulmate publishing after sending off my first three chapters. I am hopeful that someday, someone will want to publish my book. It is always fun to dream about what-if’s.

In the submission guideline for both publishing companies they ask for your real name and your penname. I am not published under any name, so I don’t know if I should include a penname or not. But, my question for everyone today is…what should my penname be?

I am sure everyone has heard of how you figure out what your porn name would be. It is your middle name and then the street that you grew up on. My “porn” name would be, Ann Lawson. Not a very sexy porn name, but not bad for an author.  So, in the running is Anne with an e, for Anne of Green Gables or Becca Lawson. I like Lawson for a last name, it is easy to remember and it is easy to pronounce.

So, I am asking for comments. What should my porn, I mean penname be?  The choices are Anne Lawson or Becca Lawson.

 NOTE: you can’t comment on the blog page unless you have a g-mail account. Or you can comment on my facebook thread. Please weigh in and let me know which name you like best!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

No Rest for the Wicked

Labor Day is coming up and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve been bombarded and bamboozled into working 70+ hour weekly shifts for the last month and I am plum exhausted. Not to mention WriteOnCon was the week before last and the Savvy Symposium was last week…I’ve been on my toes pitching and writing like a wild woman. It’s time for a nice large glass of relaxation. What does that even mean?

Here’s a funny, yesterday I worked a twelve hour shift and on our break (me and my honey work at the same place) he asked me what I was going to do when I got off. My reply was, “Probably go home and mow the grass, take a shower, do some laundry, and write on my books.”

He was like, “But, don’t you want to rest?”

My reply, “There is no rest for the wicked.” And that’s the truth. I can’t stop writing, reading, cleaning, working, etc. Even if I am plum exhausted the angel on my right shoulder is shouting quotes about persistence and dedication, blah, blah. I literally sleep, eat, work, read and write, and do it all over again. I hope one of these days it pays off.

On other news, I sent my query out to Suzie Townsend. She hasn’t sent me the critique back so I’m waiting patiently….which really feels like I’ve been waiting a million years.

I’m hopping back to work. You all have a savvy day and just remember when life gives you lemons, make lemonade or in my case add a bottle of liquor  and make Mike’s Hard Lemonade.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Signed, Sealed, Delivered...

Well actually, edited, attached, hit send! I just finished my edits on my historical romance novel to send to Char Chaffin at Soul Mate Publishing. I pitched my books to agents and editors last week on the Savvy Author website. Not all of the results are back in, but my three line pitch for Sea of Passion was requested!  I am trying to not get my hopes too far up…but too late!

After having been rejected early this summer, I went to work on using the constructive criticism to help make my writing better. This is the first test to see how I did.

 I also took a logline, pitch, and query class on-line too. It was a great class. A query letter is basically the cover letter to send out to agents and editors. I found lots of templates on line to follow, but I didn’t know which one to really go with. So, the class was extremely helpful. I had no problem writing the query, but it was lacking. It was too bare bones. I wrote it like a business letter or a history essay question. I wrote clear concise answers on what my book was about. But, I forgot a key element. This isn’t a history essay…no one likes to read history essays!  I needed to answer the questions about my book, but add in my writing style and make it sound exciting so that someone wants to read my book. So, after my class with the help from a published and successful author, I think I got that part down now.  At least it landed me a request from an editor.

 I have learned that writing a book is actually the easy part! I know I can do that, I have twice already. My next move is to finish edits on both my books and to send them out to a bunch of agents.

Keep your fingers crossed for me! I will let you know good or bad the fate for SEA OF PASSION!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I'm a Winner!

Last week was WriteOnCon and it was AWESOME! It just so happens that I won a Query critique from literary agent Suzie Townsend!!! Yes, I am psyched beyond belief. Hopefully she will contact me before the end of next week and I can email her my query so she can make it stunning!

Another great thing I got from WriteOnCon is a new critique partner. Her name is Leiann and she’s a twenty two-year-old writer from Greensboro, NC. She writes mostly fantasy, sci-fi, and suspense. She’s going to be my beta reader J Yay me!

Also, Becca and I have been really busy pitching our books on Savvy Author this week and Becca has good news but I will let her share that….I’m really excited for her.

I’ve been working some mad hours and haven’t had a lot of time to work on my manuscript for GRIM, but, I have been writing out a chapter layout/synopsis of the entire book to ensure the pacing is there and everything in it is tangible. I’m almost finished with it, it’s taking me a lot longer than I originally thought it would. But, it’s not my fault I’m a perfectionist.

Okay, back to work I go. You all have a great day!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Savvy Author Spotlight!!!

I thought it was pretty cool when I logged onto Savvy Author today I was in the Member Spotlight. Pretty Awesome!!!

See the bottom Left hand corner? Yeah!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pitch Your Novel!!!

Savvy Authors website is having a Summer Symposium, and this week only they are having fifteen different chances to pitch an agent.

Savvy Authors Summer Symposium 2012
Monday, August 20, 2012 - Sunday, August 26, 2012
Scheduled Day/Time

Workshop - Writing Adult While Writing YA - Navigating Two Worlds
Leanna Renee Hieber
Workshop - Contest Slut: It’s Not a Dirty Word
Robin Covington
Workshop - A Writer's Guide to Psychology
Sandy James
Workshop - Steam Punk Creation
Mary Wine
Workshop - HELP! MY STORY’S CRASHED! Getting Your Manuscript Rebooted When Your Muse Has a Breakdown
Beth Daniels (aka Beth Henderson, J.B. Dane)
Workshop - 25 Words from Query to Sales Success
Deborah Riley-Magnus
Workshop - Harry Potter for Writers: Mystery Plotting, Myths, and Snape
Susan (S.P.) Sipal
CHAT - How To Take Your Writing Seriously Without Taking It Seriously
Dakota Cassidy
MONDAY 8/20 - 8:00pm EST
BLOG PITCH - Andrea Hurst Literary Agency
Gordon Warnock, Agent
CHAT - Why Category Romance?
Susan Meier
TUESDAY 8/21 - 8:00pm EST
BLOG PITCH - The Seymour Agency
Mary Sue Seymour, Agent
BLOG PITCH - Soul Mate Publishing
Cindy Brannam, Editor
BLOG PITCH - Soul Mate Publishing
Char Chaffin, Editor
CHAT - From the Very First Line: Seducing the Reader into Turning the Page
Darynda Jones
BLOG PITCH - Harvey Klinger, Inc.
Andrea Somberg, Agent
BLOG PITCH - Ellora's Cave
April Chapman, Editor
CHAT - Submissions that SELL
Margaret Riley
THURSDAY 8/23 - 7:00pm EST
CHAT PITCH - Changeling Press
Margaret Riley, Editor
THURSDAY, 8/23 8:00-9:00pm (double pitch session)
CHAT PITCH - Razor's Edge Press
Bonnie Riegel, Editor
BLOG PITCH - Kensington
Alicia Condon, Editor
CHAT - What is a "Brand"?
Kris Tualla
FRIDAY 8/24 - 9:00PM EST
BLOG PITCH - Etopia Press
Jenn Fitzpatrick, Editor
CHAT - Borrowing the Flying Car - Weaving Alternate Worlds for Teens
Suzanne Lazear
SATURDAY 8/25 - 1:00pm EST
WORKSHOP CHAT - 25 Words from Query to Sales Success
Deborah Riley-Magnus
SATURDAY 8/25 - 2:00pm EST
WORKSHOP CHAT - Steam Punk Creation
Mary Wine
SATURDAY 8/25 - 8:00pm EST
BLOG PITCH - Carina Press
Alison Dasho, Editor
BLOG PITCH - Carina Press
Mallory Braus, Editor
BLOG PITCH - Carina Press
Jeff Seymour, Editor
BLOG PITCH - Carina Press
Rhonda Helms, Editor
BLOG PITCH - Carina Press
Deb Nemeth, Editor
BLOG PITCH - Musa Press
Susan Sipal/Ellen Brock, Editors
CHAT - Adventures in Writing What You Don’t Know (Guys, aliens, and other creatures)
Stacey Kade
SUNDAY 8/26 - 9:00pm EST
BLOG PITCH - Entangled Publishing
Libby Murphy, Editor

All times are in EST
Blog Pitches listed as "ALL DAY" begin at 9:00am EST and end at 11:59pm EST