October Meeting News: Congrats to Autumn Jones Lake and Cara Connelly

Congratulations to our members on their achievements this month:

  • Autumn Jones Lake‘s new novel Slow Burn came out on October 14, 2014.
  • Cara Connelly has a reading and signing at Northshire book store in Saratoga Springs on October 30, 2014 at 6  pm. Her novel The Wedding Vow was reviewed in the Washington Post as a best romance for October.

We look forward to hearing more great news on your progress toward your writerly goals at our next meeting on November 8.


October meeting information

Join us for our upcoming meeting this Saturday, October 11. Our professional book club will meet at noon. The chapter’s business meeting with commence at 1 p.m., with important discussions about our national organization’s intentions regarding membership reclassification. We will also be discussing our upcoming board election.

At 2 p.m., regional NaNoWriMo liaison Shannon Kauderer will lead an interactive workshop on plotting.

We hope to see everyone there!

October: Interview With Autumn Jones Lake, writer of paranormal and erotic romance

October Interview with Autumn Jones Lake, by Cara Connelly





 1.  When did you join CR-RWA, and how has membership affected your career as a writer?  

I think I joined about three years ago now. Joining my local RWA is the single best thing I have done for my career as a romance writer. It’s wonderful to be surrounded by so many talented writers who are so helpful and want you to succeed.

2.  What genre do you currently write and have you considered other genres?

I am published in Paranormal Romance and Erotic Romance. I’d love to do Romantic Suspense one day. Oh, did you mean something outside of Romance? Why would I want to do that!?

3.  Tell us about your path to publication.  What have you published to date?

I started out with two short stories that were published in two different anthologies with a small press that has since gone out of business. That was a really sad time because the second anthology came out and the press closed shortly after, so no one ever saw it!


There are currently three novellas published with Breathless Press in my paranormal series: Catnip & Cauldrons. As you may have guessed the stories are about cat-shifters. The first one, Onyx Night, centers around Onyx learning about her cat-shifter heritage in the middle of a tragedy. She shifts into a black cat and it takes place around Halloween, so that story is a lot of fun. All three were recently put into one print compilation which was really nice!



My current project is a Motorcycle Club Romance series that I am self-publishing. I love MC Romances because it’s a sub-genre that is a little grittier and where it’s okay to break the “rules of romance” a little bit (or a lot!). Mine has been described as somewhere between Sons of Anarchy and The Crossfire Series, which I took as a huge compliment! Self-publishing is nice because I am a bit of a control freak, but it’s also extremely overwhelming.

5.  Do you belong to a critique group?

Yes! They are awesome. We try to meet every week. They are all such talented writers, that I’m not always sure I belong there!

6.  Do you plot your stories or wing it?

I’m a pantser and it totally bites me in the butt every time. I’ve been trying to do some minimal plotting so I at least have a guideline to pants off of, and that seems to help a lot!

7. Tell us about your latest book.

My book, Slow Burn (Lost Kings MC, Book 1) releases on October 14, 2014. It’s a Motorcycle Club Romance about an attorney who gets involved with the president of an Outlaw MC.

8. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Learn your craft! Always work on improving your writing. I cringe when I go back and read things I wrote three or four years ago. I hope I’ve improved! Honestly, I am always trying to learn new things and sharpen my writing skills. That’s the reason I enjoy my RWA chapter so much and never miss a meeting! I also attend as many conferences and craft classes as my time and budget allows. I don’t ever want to get to a point where I think “nah, I’m good enough.” I think continuing to aspire to be better at what you do is what will make you better at it.

So my advice to aspiring writers would be: Read a LOT in the genre you want to write in. Learn your craft. Surround yourself with other (supportive) writers.

9. What do you do while you work?  Do you watch TV or listen to music?

Sometimes I need to listen to music. Sometimes I need silence. It depends on what I am working on and what stage of the writing process I am in (beginning, revising, editing, etc.)

10.  How do you deal with rejection?

Not well! I have a good cry. I used to not tell anyone, but it helps to share it with other writers who understand what it’s like.

11.  What’s next for you?

To continue with the Lost Kings MC series. I have at least six books and two novellas set in this world I need to get out. These characters are very talkative and will not leave me alone!

Want to know more about Autumn’s books? Try these tidbits for a taste:

Onyx Night (Catnip & Cauldrons Book 1)

College student, Onyx Knight has yearned to leave her tiny hometown behind for years. When her family is ripped from her life, Onyx is thrust into a secret world she never knew existed and discovers something about herself she could never have imagined. The only person she can think to turn to his her Medieval History professor, Cole Radcliffe. But he has his own secrets. Against his better judgment he takes her to keep her safe. But how can he protect her if he can’t even protect her from himself?

Slow Burn (Lost Kings MC, Book 1)

 President of the Lost Kings MC, Rochlan “Rock” North, hasn’t managed to find a woman capable of making him want to curb his wild ways. Not until he meets his attorney, Hope Kendall.


Forced to represent the outlaw biker, Hope is rattled by her immediate attraction to Rock. Hope is a good girl in a good marriage. Although Rock thrills her, she’s not going to throw away everything she’s built on a fling with her criminal client.


Rock respects Hope enough to leave her alone, even as he realizes he’s become a little obsessed with her. When their connection endangers her life, he’ll have to destroy her in order to save her.


After tragedy strikes, Rock is determined to earn Hope’s forgiveness and convince her that even with their staggering differences, they’re meant to be together.






September: Lessons Learned with Frankie Y. Bailey and Anna C. Bowling


Anna C. Bowling

Anna C. Bowling

From Anna:

The changing colors of autumn mean a return to school for many, teacher and student alike. For writers, especially those with academic experience, lesson plans may bring to mind writing plans, and we look at ways we can learn to do this work we love in new and better ways. The plethora of notebooks and writing implements and shiny new electronic devices can tempt writers to strive for new heights, put our heads together and get down to business. If tasty hot beverages are involved, all the better.

No matter if our school days are still going on, are part of our pre-writing lives, or on which side of the desk we sat or sit, writing means always learning something new. This month, we turn to Frankie Y. Bailey, PhD, for a quick but important lesson on how some writerly recess may be more productive than we think:


Frankie Y. Bailey

Frankie Y. Bailey

From Frankie:

The most important thing I’ve learned is to allow myself to have fun. Because I do academic (nonfiction) writing, I needed to learn to give myself permission to “play”. My favorite bit of wisdom –something I was reminded of last weekend when I led a writing workshop for teens in my hometown in Virginia: “Before settling down to do the hard work, let your imagination have free rein. Go with whatever comes to mind and refine later.”

In the workshop I taught, the last writing exercise we did was the one that the students and I loved best. I asked the small group to collaborate and come up with two characters and a setting. In less than five minutes, they came up with two sisters, 15 and 17, who were visiting a Civil War graveyard. During the next half hour, with me at the blackboard taking notes, they roughed out the plot outline – a mystery with paranormal elements. They also decided they wanted to write a series rather than a standalone book and came up with a series arc. I was amazed by their lively imaginations. I’m hoping to hear they actually wrote that book for young adults.


Frankie, that sounds exciting. Who’s up for a little homework?

Anna C. Bowling