August 2016 meeting

Join us Saturday, August 13, at the East Greenbush Public Library for our monthly meeting. This month, we will NOT have a business meeting. However, we invite members to arrive at 1pm as usual for an informal chat about the state of the industry and a chance to catch up with your fellow writers about what they’re currently working on.

At 2pm, our own KA Mitchell will present a hands-on, interactive workshop. Bring your current work in progress — no matter what stage it’s in, this workshop should have something for you!

KA Mitchell – Putting Your Characters to Work

You know your character—her flaws, goals, and deep dark past. Maybe you came to January’s workshop and analyzed your character’s enneagram and love type. But now what? How do you turn a character’s goals, flaws, and issues into a story with a happy ending that will satisfy your reader?

In this workshop you’ll learn how to use a character’s incorrect core beliefs, the hole in their soul, to poke them and drive them and their story forward.

February 2016 Member News

Congratulations to our members who are continuing to make huge strides in their careers.

  • Jeanette Grey’s book Through The Static won a Galaxy Award as one of the best Science Fiction Romances of 2015.
  • Anna C. Bowling sold two articles to Heroes and Heartbreakers.
  • Jean C. Gordon received a request from Redbud press for her Dating Service novella. She also revealed the cover for The Bachelor’s Sweetheart.
  • K.A. Mitchell’s book Getting Him Back releases on February 15, 2016. It will be available in mass market paperback in September 2016.
  • Autumn Jones Lake’s novella Kickstart My Heart was included in the ’80s Mixtape Anthology released on February 9, 2016.

We look forward to hearing about your accomplishments when we meet again in March!

January 2016 Member News

Congratulations to our members for all of their accomplishments this month!

  • Rebecca Grace Allen completed the third novella in the Portland Rebels series, The Theory of Deviance. She also accepted an offer of representation from Tara Carberry of Trident Media Group.
  • Susie Warren released  her book The Chosen Heir on January 1, 2016.
  • KA Mitchell released the audio version of Put a Ring on It. Her new book Risk Everything On It came out on January 8, 2016.
  • Kathryn R. Biel’s book Live For This is now available for pre-order. It releases March 8, 2016.
  • Autumn Jones Lake released White Heat (Lost Kings #5) on January 6, 2016.

Fall 2015 Member News

Congrats to our members for their accomplishments in September and October!

  • Ann Bowling’s article “I Cleaned Up My Dad’s Hoarder House” was published in XOJane.com
  • Carol Storm’s book Burning Captivity (Book 2 of the Charity Chronicles) is coming soon from Blushing Books.
  • K.A. Mitchell’s 20th book Put a Ring on It came out September 9, 2015.
  • Jenna Kendrick’s Make Me Believe hit #1 in LGBT short reads on Amazon. Her book Stuck with You will be released October 2016. Home for the Holidays, a Male/male anthology releases November 2015.
  • Kari Cole’s Constant Craving is a finalist in NJRW’s Put Your Heart in a Book Contest.
  • Nona Raines’ novella Write to Me released on September 16, 2015.  She received a contract from Loose Id for her trans-romance Her Kind of Man.
  • Marie Lark’s third book, Third Take is the Charm, was released the last week of August with Loose Id.
  • Jeanette Grey’s novel When The Stars Align was released on September 1, 2015. Her print debut, Seven Nights to Surrender will be released November 3!
  • Rachael Miles’ Jilting the Duke is coming out February 2016 from Kensington, Zebra.
  • Jean Gordon’s “Holiday Homecoming” is being released November 17.
  • Autumn Jones Lake has a short story in the anthology “Pink:  Hot n’ Sexy For a Cure” which became an Amazon international best seller in October.

October 2015 Meeting, Featuring Self-Publishing Panel With Autumn Jones Lake, K.A. Mitchell and Jenna Kendrick

Our meeting this month will be held on Saturday, October 10, at 1pm.

Important Note: The meeting will not be held at our usual location. It will be at the Schenectady Public Library, 99 Clinton St, Schenectady, NY 12305-2047, in the McChesney Room on the second floor, above the children’s room.

Our business meeting at one p.m. will include important information on our upcoming elections.

At two p.m., we’ll have a self-publishing panel. CR-RWA members and successful indie authors Autumn Jones Lake, K.A. Mitchell and Jenna Kendrick will be here to answer your questions about the ins and outs of self-publishing and the Indie road to publication. Please come prepared with questions!

August 2015 Member News

Congrats to our members on their continued successes in their writing endeavors:

  • Autumn Jones Lake released Tattered On My Sleeve (Lost Kings MC #4) on July 28, 2015.
  • Jenna Kendrick released Make Me Believe (Hawaiian Haven #1) on July 21, 2015.
  • Glen Ebisch released The Bad Actor from Five Star on July 22, 2015.
  • Anna Bowling sold an article entitled “I Cleaned Out My Hoarder Dad’s House” to XOJane.com. Her post, “Best YA Book Boyfriends” is live on HeroesAndHeartbreakers.com.
  • Frankie Y. Bailey’s second book in her near-future police procedural series set in Albany, What The Fly Saw, came out in March 2015.
  • Carol Storm has published six titles with Blushing Books since January 2014.
  • Marie Lark’s third book, Third Take Is The Charm, comes out with LooseID on August 25, 2015.
  • Jeanette Grey’s new adult romance, When The Stars Align, releases from Grand Central’s Forever Yours line on September 1, 2015.
  • The first book in K.A. Mitchell’s Ready Or Knot series, Put A Ring On It, releases September 9, 2015.

June Member News

Congratulations to our members for their accomplishments this month:

  • Anna Bowling was featured on a Buzz Feed post on caregiving.
  • Autumn Jones Lake has a cover reveal for Tattered on My Sleeve on June 25th. The book’s release will be on July 28th.
  • Jean Gordon had two requests for a historical romance that she pitched at a conference she attended in May of this year.
  • Kari Cole finished 2nd in the Chicago Fire and Ice contest and 2nd in the Cleveland Rocks contest and has received multiple requests from agents and editors.
  • KA Mitchell received two contract offers on two separate submissions. Getting Him Back will a February release. Risk Everything on It will be released with Dreamspinner.
  • Jeanette Grey’s cover reveal for Seven Nights To Surrender and When The Stars Align was featured on Dear Author. Both books release from Grand Central Publishing this fall.
  • Rebecca Grace Allen signed her fourth contract with Samhain Publishing for the third book in her Portland Rebels series, The Theory of Deviance. She also completed revisions on the first book in her Legally Bound series, His Contract. Cover reveal coming soon!

Getting Drunk (on writing) With K.A. Mitchell

Cara:  This month I had the pleasure of chatting with CR-RWA’s own K.A. Mitchell, and as usual, she had lots of interesting things to say! Read on as she takes us along her path to publication, gives us a window on her writing process (and a glimpse of her “office”), explains how CR-RWA and her critique group helped her along the way, imparts some words of wisdom (listen closely, people, she knows what she’s talking about!), and more. Welcome, K.A.!  

Available now!

Available now!

K.A.:  Hi! I’m coming at you live from my favorite place to write, what I call my summer office. (See pic) Well, actually lying on the beach is my favorite place for almost everything, but I’m not as productive there. This is a patio table with bar chairs on my 8×8 deck, under an umbrella screened in by netting. It sounds kind of tropical, but it’s just in a back yard in my city. My back yard does open on a stretch of land designated “Forever Wild” by the state, so that’s nice. I get some interesting visitors. Hello, turkey!

SummerOfficeKAMitchell

I’m lucky enough that this is my day job now, though it took about 14 books worth of back list to get to a living wage—being married to someone with health insurance is a huge help. For those who may have missed my loud mouth at chapter meetings, I write gay romance, usually contemporary. I’ve tried other genres before realizing that what I loved best about all genres was the relationship story. The only books I saw where people earned money were heterosexual romance, so despite always loving stories of same-sex couples (particularly two guys) I tried to write male-female romance, though I was always telling same-sex love stories on the side and all my books had gay characters in them, even if I was the only one who knew that.  As for what happened next, CR-RWA played a huge part in that.

I joined a critique group formed by some other members of CR-RWA. I was working on my fourth unsold novel, had been getting close but no thanks detailed rejections, and finalling or winning chapter contests. I wrote a lot of male-male romance to keep myself happy and sane and to not give up on writing. One of my critique partners said, “By the way, you know they’re buying that genre now. My publisher has a call out for submissions for a short story anthology.” My brain, heart and soul lit up. In three weeks I’d submitted a new short story. It sold to my wonderful editor Sasha Knight at Samhain and we’ve since worked on seventeen books together. I can say I don’t think I’d be here in my summer office, lying to make a living if it wasn’t for CR-RWA and the awesome people in it.

I’ve always been a pantser. I write stories mostly to amuse myself. I always have a bedtime story to tell myself that helps me fall asleep. If I know everything about the story before I sit down to write it, I will be too bored to do it. However, if you plan to make a living with publishers, you need to get on the schedule in advance. To do that, you have to sell on proposal, and for that, you have to have a synopsis. Most of the time I’ve found that editors don’t need every detail for a selling synopsis. If you’ve proven you can tell a complete story, they are looking to see if you have enough conflict, strong characters and a beginning, middle and plausible resolution. I can keep things vague enough to keep me happy and concrete enough to sell a book. It works for this pantser. The joy of discovery is still there.

I’ve probably gone way over the limit in answering questions. I’ve never met a word count I couldn’t exceed. (That first short story had to have 5,000 words cut from it before I could submit it and meet the criteria), but I wanted to end by sharing things that have helped me. The best piece of writing advice I know is “Change your seat.” To me that means if things aren’t working, switch it up. Write long hand, write outside, inside, in your car, on the couch, in bed. Switch point of view, setting, scene order. Do something different. The writer who to me speaks to my heart and soul as a writer is Ray Bradbury. He talks about story and fiction the way it is to me. Something I have to do, something I love to do, and something that is my job to do. I highly recommend both his work as a writer and reading his views on writing. He offers my other favorite piece of writing advice, “You must stay drunk on fiction so reality cannot destroy you.” To me that’s everything about reading and writing in a nutshell. Stay drunk, my fellow word-workers.

Contact K.A. Mitchell:

@ka_mitchell

February and March Member News

Our authors have been incredibly productive this year! We’re pleased to share some of their accomplishments.

  • Jeanette Grey’s new erotic futuristic romance Through the Static was released by Samhain 1/20/15
  • Cara Connelly’s new “Save the Date” novel, The Wedding Band was released by Avon 2/10/15
  • K.A. Mitchell signed a contract for Put a Ring on It, the first in a new series called Ready or Knot. It will be released with Dreamspinner Press in September. The print release for her novel Bad Influence received a 4 star review in RT.
  • Debby Nolan received a request from an agent for a full manuscript.
  • Glen Ebishch’s Stormy Weather was accepted for publication by Five Star.
  • Anna Bowling’s essay on creativity appeared in Eryka Perkin’s 31 Days to Jump Start Your Life.
  • Virginia Frost received a request for a full manuscript.
  • Jean Gordon’s Winning the Teacher’s Heart will be in stores in May.
  • Jenna Kendrick’s first novel Relocated will be out April 7, to be followed shortly by Reconnected.
  • Julie Lomoe’s new novel Hope Dawns Eternal will come out this month.
  • Autumn Jones Lake’s new release Strength from Loyalty (Lost Kings MC#3) released March 17, 2015.
  • Rebecca Grace Allen revealed the cover of the 2nd book in her Portland Rebels series, The Hierarchy of Needs, out July 7, 2015 from Samhain.

Congratulations to our members on their continued success in pursuing their careers as romance writers.

December Member news: Congrats to Jeanette Grey, K.A. Mitchell, Lisa Lewis, Debby Nolan, Autumn Jones Lake, and Lonnie McManus

Congratulations to our members on another successful month of achievements toward their writerly goals.

  • Jeanette Grey finished the first draft of her new novel, When the Stars Align.
  • K.A. Mitchell’s new book, Bad Behavior, the fifth in her Bad In Baltimore series, releases Tuesday, December 16, 2014.
  • Lisa Lewis’s holiday novella, Midnight Mixup, will be released Monday, December 15, 2014, from Black Lion Publishing.
  • Debby Nolan submitted her completed manuscript to an agent who had requested.
  • Autumn Jones Lake released Corrupting Cinderella (Lost Kings MC #2) on December 2, 2014.
  • Lonnie McManus submitted her completed manuscript, The Last Dark Angel.