Saturday, July 12, 2014

North Texas Romance Writers of America President's Letter July 2014

President’s Letter July

I found the old notebook I used from the very first day I walked into an NT meeting until I ran out of pages. Early 2009. Seriously? I’ve been a member that long? Sure doesn’t seem like it. Flipping through these pages brought back tons of memories. From Wendy Watson discussing black moments and Pete the forensics guy lifting our fingerprints to Judi McCoy transfixing us with the force of her personality.  I have pages of notes on Shelley Bradley giving us the rundown on what to look for in contracts and another load of notes with Ron Campbell’s guidance into taxes.  
And who can’t remember Sally Felt’s “Screw the fear, find the fun!” philosophy?
I’ve taken notes from hypnotists, dream analyzers, librarians, bookstore CRMs, a Magician/Medical Examiner, Search and Rescue Dog Trainer, social media gurus, and Editor and Agents galore all from our little room at the side of La Hacienda restaurant.  
I also have little notes for myself stuck in there like “Give Michelle Welch, Jeannie Guzman, and Nancy Connally their PRO pins”  and “New members this month: Gloria, Jamie, Karen, Sasha, Ruby, and Juliet”.  I have names written down of people who walked into our group fresh without a first novel under their belts who are now on bestseller lists.
The funniest quote I found is from Angi Platt (back before she became Angi Morgan) dated Sept. 17, 2009.
“You do have to be present to be there.”

Um? I have no memory what she was talking about but I obviously found it hilarious enough to write down.  I can see us all having a good chuckle over that slip of words as well as Angi’s sheepish grin.
 Man, we’ve had a good time together, haven’t we?   I had no idea that first meeting just how much North Texas would enrich my life or how much I would look forward to coming each month. Or how jazzed up with creative energy I’d be each month with new ideas and techniques I didn’t know before. 
I know I’ve said this before so I hope it doesn’t sound trite, but I really do love you guys. Can’t think of one person from NT I haven’t enjoyed getting to know. You’re an extremely talented and giving bunch of people. Anyway, before the violins really start sobbing in the background, let me just end with this: Thanks for being part of NT. Thanks for always being present so you can be there.


Clover Autrey

NTRWA President

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Making of a Book Cover: Viking Mine

The Killion Group orginalI'm so excited about my latest book. It's totally different than what I usually write, meaning no magic or supernatural creatures mucking about. It's a straight historical, well, as far as what history can piece together on Vikings at any rate. And it was such a joy to write also. I love these characters. Anyway, more on them later. This post is about how I made the cover.

I wanted to go with that classic historical romance style. You know the ones with a couple in a clench in front of some type of historical scene, usually a castle. I just wanted readers to know exactly what it is at a glance.

So the first thing was to find the right couple. Not so easy when I'm using stock photo. First, there aren't that many blond guys. I have no idea why, but they are few and far between. I also wanted the heroine to have dark hair.  And not completely nekkid either. I couldn't find any at my usual stock photo haunt so I went over to The Killion Group and finally found the perfect couple. The leather pants definitely need to be cropped out though. Eew.
Viking ships saturated
Viking Ships original

Next up is the historical landscape behind them. Viking book. Definitely need a Viking Dragon Ship. Dreamstime had just what I needed.

Saturated it a bit to bring out more color and lighten.

Next I put them together. It took a while to get the right placement of the ships. I ended up using the 3rd ship on the right because it fit the best beneath Rovena's the heroine's hair. I also erased some of her gown. It just flared too much. Actually the dress isn't exactly authentic for the time period but with stock photos I have to pick and choose what I can live with. Notice how I cropped out those awful leather pants? And please don't tell me they are really pleather. Gag. As you can see I started playing around with title and author name placement. I thought it looked pretty good until I decided I really wanted to go with the classic historical romance look and make it look like a drawing.
Cover pulled together
 Finding an illustration program took a little bit of work until I found one in Smart Photo Editor and ran it through. It first came out like this, which I actually love, except it made the fonts less readable. It also made their hair color almost the same. What I really liked about this couple was that her dark hair opposed to his light hair.
Well, I still have a few tricks up my sleeve. I played around with the light balance, even tried to slip her old non illustrated hair over this hair, until it dawned on  me to use the clone stamp tool and clone darker spots of her hair over the lighter spots. It worked pretty well although I may have gotten a little carried away. Except Rovena's hair in the book is pitch black and fascinates all the lighter haired Vikings so I wanted it as dark as I could get it.

Dragon Ships cover

Now that's some nice dark hair on her. I'd rather he was lighter but I didn't want to mess with him too much. The lightening I did made his moles stand out on his neck. You can really see them when they are enlarged. I almost went in with the clone stamp and got rid of them, but decided I could use them and go in and write a few sentences where Rovena is noticing the mole at the side of his neck and wanting to press a kiss there or some such.  The next step was getting the words to show up. With the ships, water and her dress there is a lot going on, which I didn't want to smear out just to see the words so I decided to enlarge the title and go with white for most of it. My name still gets a little lost in her dress but I can live with that, especially since Viking is the main theme I want to get across as well as this is a historical romance. I think the classic style of this cover will convey that fairly well.  So here it is! Tell me what you think.



Kindle                    Nook                    Other Devices 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

NTRWA President's Letter for June

My husband was reading an article on screen plays when he asked, “Did you know you should start out and leave a scene with twenty to thirty unanswered questions?”
Scrunching my forehead, I told him I didn’t know that, thinking, “That’s weird, how are you supposed to do that?” Then within hours we watched the pilot for a new show called Believe. From the teaser commercials we didn’t know anything about it except that there is a little blond girl with some sort of powers who is somehow vital to the world as a whole.
Now don’t worry about spoilers since the show has been cancelled already.
So the first scene begins with the little blond girl, Bo, singing songs with I assume her parents, driving down a dark road in a mini van. Except Bo calls these “parents” by their first names. Another car hits them, flipping the van and the woman of that car gets out, swaying, and makes her way to the overturned van, crying and visibly upset that she caused an accident. When she sees that mom and Bo are no longer in the van, she pulls out a gun and shoots the dad. She then tracks the girl and mom and is about to shoot the mom figure when a bunch of do-gooders show up to help with the accident and the woman backs off.
At this point, I know absolutely nothing. No back story or explanations have been given, but boy-oh-boy do I have questions.
Who is Bo? What’s so special about her? Are those her parents? If not, who are they? How did they know to get Bo out of the van to run? Who is the woman after her and why?
It goes right into the next scene with a priest going into a jail cell to give last rites to a man who is going to be executed within minutes. The dead man walking (Tate) shouts that he’s innocent. The priest says he can get him out of there if Tate will agree to do something for a little girl that only he can do. Tate agrees and a special unit goes into action and breaks him out.
What? I still have no idea what’s going on. Who is Tate? Is he really a murderer? Was he framed? Is he a liar? Why is he so special that the unit needs him? Who is the priest guy? What is the unit? Are they good guys or bad buys?
Less than ten minutes in and I literally know nothing. But am I hooked? You betcha. I have to keep watching to know the answers. It’s human nature and a little bit of ego to see if what I’m guessing is right.
But that got me thinking about my own openings. Am I layering question upon question? I don’t think I have been. I’ve been focused on making sure I’m getting all my goals, conflicts, and motivations in place. I’m placing in snippets of who the characters are, where they are from, and clues about where the plot will go, but…questions? I’m supposed to be laying down a trail of questions?
I feel like Heidi Klum in that shampoo commercial where she says, “All this time, we’ve been working on the wrong end of hair!”
Heck, yeah, I want to keep readers on the edge of their seats with anticipation. I want them so curious they have to keep reading. I want them to feel satisfied when they’re right or I want them to think I’m utterly brilliant when they are surprised.
Ugh, all this time I’ve been working on the wrong end of GMC. Okay, back to the plotting notebook. My new technique: In this scene, what questions do I want my readers to ask?
As always, merry writing and have a wonderful summer. For those who will be traveling over the next couple of months, have fun, be safe, we’ll miss you and will be glad to see you upon your return.
Take care,

Clover Autrey

NTRWA President

Saturday, May 17, 2014

May President's Letter

I was chatting with another author about some old books I dug out and was re-reading from years ago. You know, way back in the ice age when ebooks didn’t exist.


Architetto -- Blocco notes by Anonymous - Notebook (or note-block?) by Francesco 'Architetto' Rollandin.She said, “Oh, so you actually read the kind of books you write.”
That took me a bit by surprise. “Well, yeah, of course.” Um?
Sure I began to write toward a trend, but it was a trend I love, have loved for as long as I’ve been reading. But the conversation made me think.
There’s a writerly saying that goes: Write what you know.
Well, I’ve never had magical powers or have time traveled to the past, so that’s a bit out of my experience range. Plus, boring. I don’t want to read what I already know. I want the fantasy of doing things I’ve never done.
Besides, even though writing is hard work, it’s also amazingly fun.
Always Write What You Love.
And then research anything you don’t know. That’s part of the enjoyment.
Let your own joy and excitement lift off the pages of your book. Readers can feel the depth of a writer’s enjoyment, even if you are gleefully taking your enjoyment writing a deranged bad guy. They will feel it. I believe that.

So that’s my hope for all of you this month. Write What You Love. Now go forth and create in this beautiful month of May.  

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Fae Ring

The Fae Ring cover 

She's always been a dutiful daughter...



Janet MacLeod has spent the last ten years dedicated to her clan, acting as the Lady of the castle—at the cost of her own happiness.

She aches every time she looks at her brothers, both happy with their wives, and wants nothing more than a love of her own.

He’s a broken soldier…


Xander, a former Fae Warrior, sacrificed his wings and magic to live in the Human
Realm and became a traitor to his people.

When he finds Janet forlorn on the beach, Xander gives her a ring he’s had since childhood, not realizing it’ll reveal her as his fated mate.

The ring’s magic activates the Faery Stones, and Janet is sucked into the Fae Realm. Her life is in immediate danger, for the Fae sense—and seek to destroy—any human who dares step into their world.

Xander is the only one who can retrieve her, but he too, wears a target.

Can he rescue his soul-mate and return with her to the Human Realm or will temptation of great magic and the rebirth of his wings force him to abandon their destiny? Duncan promises to help Claire get home, even though his desire to have her wars with his vow.
Torn between familiarity of the present and what she wants in the past, can Claire help Duncan find his brother and get back to the future? Will she even want to?
The Fae Ring cover back flap

About The Author:
Displaying photo.JPGC.A SzarekC.A. is my critique partner and I love her to death. I'm thrilled to show y'all her latest book ~~ Highland style of course. She's originally from Ohio, and has made me these to-die-for buck-eye treats. nom-nom-nom. Anyway, I'm so glad she made her way out here to Texas. She is married and has a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice.

She works with kids when she’s not writing.

She’s always wanted to be a writer and is overjoyed to share her stories with the world. C.A. is just an all around great sweet person and I know you'll love her and her stories as much as I do.

Visit her on her blog, orn TwitterFacebookGoodreads and website. She's everywhere!!!

C.A. Szarek is also author of Collision Force, Chance Collision, Sword's Call, Love's Call and The Tartan MP3 Player.
Twinsie Jo




Also, enter this giveaway for your chance to win some amazing goodies!!


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Monday, April 28, 2014

Prejudice Meets Pride book release

Prejudice Meets Pride
Prejudice Meets Pride by Rachael Anderson
After years of pinching pennies and struggling to get through art school, Emma Makie’s hard work finally pays off with the offer of a dream job. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to make a cross-country move to Colorado Springs to take temporary custody of her two nieces. She has no money, no job prospects, and no idea how to be a mother to two little girls, but she isn’t about to let that stop her. Nor is she about to accept the help of Kevin Grantham, her handsome new neighbor, who seems to think she’s incapable of doing anything on her own.
Fun, compelling, and romantic, Prejudice Meets Pride is the story of a guy who thinks he has it all figured out and a girl who isn’t afraid to show him that he doesn’t. It’s about learning what it means to trust, figuring out how to give and to take, and realizing that not everyone gets to pick the person they fall in love with. Sometimes, love picks them.

RachaelAuthor Rachael Anderson
USA Today bestselling author Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway
Open Internationally
Ends 3/31/14
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Inspired Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

April's North Texas Romance Writers of America President's Letter

Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.
I'm going to tell you an ugly story about myself.

In my childhood it was a common occurrence to have strange kids show up in our backyard. My dad had refurbished our garage into a beautiful Chiropractic clinic, which meant that the kids of his patients could go out back to play while their parents were getting their spines cracked.

When I was around 13, my friends and I went out back to jump on the trampoline. There were these girls around our age just sitting there, staring blankly, not talking.

We tried to talk to them but they wouldn't say a word.

Here's the ugly part. Since they wouldn't talk to us, and well, were beyond weird, we started making fun of them, saying things like "why you so sad?" in baby voices. We were brats. The 3 girls never responded.

When we went inside, my mom stopped us at the door and began telling us how those poor girls just an hour before had been bike riding and saw their friend hit and dragged behind a car, instantly killed.

I've never felt more worthless than I did at that moment.


It's been close to four decades but I still remember that sharp lurch of shame. It taught me two things:

First, I never wanted to be responsible for hurting anyone like that again.
Second, I don't know a damn thing about what is going on inside another person.

Fast forward. The day I first walked into La Hacienda Ranch where the North Texas Romance Writers of America group meets, I had a chronically ill child, mounting medical bills, stupid job I hated, overwhelmed husband, and I just wanted a place I could leave that behind for a few hours. I didn't share anything about my personal life with anyone. I just wanted to be treated like a normal person.

I tell you this because you never never know what that writer smiling and sitting next to you is dealing with. Some of us will tell anybody who wants to listen. Others, like myself, keep it quiet. At North Texas, we have members dealing with divorce, with ailing parents, ailing spouses, health, emotional, or mental issues at home, cancer scares and cancer realities. We have members worried about their children, worried about finances, struggling with inadequacies when everyone around them seems successful.

We have members who have lost their spark for writing and want it back. We have members who are so hopeful their faces shine with it. We have members who have been rejected, rejected, rejected and manage to climb back up that hill.

We have members that for them our meetings are their only few hours a month where they get to feel like a normal person.

I am so inspired and impressed by you. At your sincere willingness to encourage each other. To support each other. You're truly happy for each other's successes and sad when things don't go a writer's way. I love that about North Texas. This group has unknowingly gotten me through some of the worst times of my life. I'm proud to call you friends. Keep it up for each other. Continue to be supportive and encouraging.

Let us always be hopeful and helpful.
May we continue to be kind to each other.
And when we fail in that, because we sometimes will, being human and all that, cultivate forgiveness and allow us a chance to do better. Because like I said, we don't know what is going on inside another person or what they are struggling with.

I love you guys, truly, and am honored to be counted among you.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Love a good ghost story: Hawthorne


Hawthorne cover photoHawthorne by Sarah Ballance
After a terrifying encounter with the unexplained, it takes ten years and the news of her grandmother’s passing for Emma Grace Hawthorne to return to her childhood home. She seeks peace in saying a proper goodbye, but what she finds is an old love, a sordid family history, and a wrong only she can right.
Living in the shadow of Hawthorne Manor, Noah Garrett has never forgotten about Emma Grace. In a house full of secrets, his search for missing documents reveals a truth that can cost him everything. What he finds gave Emma the freedom to walk away from the mansion, her heart free and clear, but at what price to Noah?

Praise for Hawthorne
“This is a marvelous ghost story. The mystery, the suspense, the eeriness – all collaborate to weave a spell-binding tale . . . The story seamlessly flows to a shocking ending that is utterly brilliant.” — Coffee Time Romance
“When I finished it, honestly, all I could do was sit there – a little awestruck.” — Kick Back & Review
Hawthorne will be FREE on Amazon from April 10th to 14th 
Excerpt from Hawthorne
Noah closed in on the convertible, giving the nearby grounds a cursory look. The lawn was meticulous, the beds overflowing with sprays of purple garden phlox which trailed around the bend in the road and disappeared. A riot of white and rust-red irises backed the smaller purple flowers, their leaves deep green and glossy. Overhead, Spanish moss swayed only occasionally atop a maze of live oak, more likely a result of a passing swarm of insects than an actual air current. The land was still. If there were tourists snapping photos of the historic plantation — or doing anything else — he didn’t see them. But someone had been there. The car was certainly real, even if that too-familiar scream had been a figment of his imagination.
Wasn’t it always?
Resigned to another night alone with his memories, Noah pivoted.
And found himself nose to nose with Emma Grace.
Astounded, he opened his mouth, then closed it. He wanted to reach for her, but his arms refused the notion; they hung uselessly by his sides, the effort futile. His mouth wasn’t much on cooperation, either. Finally, he found his tongue. “Em—”
Her expression cut him off. Green eyes wide, skin pale, her small frame shaking, she spoke. “I saw her, Noah. She’s back.” The words, nearly soundless, seemed to catch in the thick air. Lingering. Threatening.
And ripping the heart from his chest.
sarah ballance
Author Sarah Ballance
Sarah and her husband of what he calls “many long, long years” live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep. She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom, she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. (As it turns out, her characters aren’t much better than the kids). When not buried under piles of laundry, she may be found adrift in the Atlantic (preferably on a boat) or seeking that ever-elusive perfect writing spot where not even the kids can find her.
She loves creating unforgettable stories while putting her characters through an unkind amount of torture—a hobby that has nothing to do with living with six children. (Really.) Though she adores nail-biting mystery and edge-of-your-seat thrillers, Sarah writes in many genres including contemporary and ghostly paranormal romance. Her ever-growing roster of releases may be found at http://sarahballance.com.
BookBlast Giveaway  $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 4/30/14
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


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d

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Death Hovers Close this Week

Mary Autrey and my boysIt's been one of those weeks, well two weeks really, that Death has been a constant presence and in my mind.

It began with my mother-in-law softly slipping away at age 85. She had been suffering from dementia,
sometimes unable to remember where she was or even how old she was without a reminder. She had been a vibrant intelligent force to be reckoned with so slipping into dementia was difficult on my husband and his siblings. She's been in California for the last five years and when my husband saw her last a little over a year ago, he said he knew then it would be the final time he saw his mother.

Then on one of my writer loops we heard about how a fellow author's sixteen-year-old son was killed in a car accident on his way to school. My heart wrenches. I can't begin to imagine watching my child walk out the door and in what had to be less than fifteen minutes later, being gone. There aren't even any words for that kind of emotion.And fear. It's too sudden, it's just too sudden. And he's so young. I don't personally know this writer, but gosh, I sorrow and grieve with her.

The romance writing community is a tight compassionate group so a memorial fund has already been set up for their family's behalf. However it is already closed. I am inserting links to her books in case anyone would like to contribute in that way by simply buying one of her books. And since most child riders on life insurance policies top off at $10k yet the average burial costs are around $20k at the low end, believe me I know, extra book sales help. Jackie Barbosa on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Also this week I learned that my dear friend Steve "Peach" Wahlquist lost his wife to cancer.  I've actually never met her either, but knowing the kind of man Peach is and the way he speaks about her, she was someone amazing.

Yesterday we received word that the four-year-old daughter of a sweet family at our church was home from Cooks Childrens Medical Center with hospice care as her lungs are failing and will live only a few more days. I was assigned to be this mother's visiting teacher a couple of years ago. In our church, we're assigned to go visit each other and make sure everyone is taken care of, whether they need help help or just someone to talk to. It's a way of everybody taking care of each other. Anyway, she was assigned to me and my friend Laurie and I have to tell you I was scared the first time we went to her home. I knew she had a terminally ill child and after losing my own child I didn't think I was emotionally stable enough to be any kind of help to her. I imagined myself losing it and just blubbering and being zero help or strength for her at all. I've never prayed so hard before a visit in my life.

Miraculously I didn't break down. I'm not sure I was any help to her either any time we visited. Mostly we gave her a place to talk. I actually was kind of quiet, observing who she is and her strength in dealing with what she has to deal with in keeping her child alive, literally, on a daily basis. I remember being that way, having the strength and fortitude to just keep going even when you're beyond exhausted because there wasn't anything else to do. But from the other side of it, I also knew where this was going, how everything will change. Right now they are waiting for their precious girl to die. Cataloging every breath, the soft feel of her skin and hair, the way she smells as though they'll be able to hold onto those senses forever. Everything's surreal yet strikingly sharp and clear at the same time.

I'm not the same person I was before Chase's death. I'm not strong anymore, not like I had to be before. To be honest, it caught me off-guard how even the strength of my faith changed and the emotional ability to deal with the tiniest things is different. I don't know how my friend will be. I know everyone grieves differently, but I do know that she won't be the same as she is now.   It's hard thinking about what their family is going through today and not being able to do anything for them until afterwards. Our entire church community is waiting and grieving with them, feeling a bit helpless when we so badly want to help.

Kyle and Chase Autrey at the Dallas LDS Temple
And while death is so close this week, my thoughts were also turned toward my own children. In our faith, going to the temple and receiving instruction and sealing families together for all time and eternity is important to us. Before a young man or woman goes on a mission, they go to the temple for the first time and receive what we call an endowment, a gift from God so to speak. We also do these things by proxy for our dead. I'm not going to go into all of what that means to us here, but here's a link that shows pictures of inside our temples and a little bit more about it.

We waited until Kyle went to the temple to also go through for Chase on the same day. Again, I wasn't sure I was emotionally ready to handle it even after 3 years. If he had lived, Chase would be 18 and  ready to go on his own mission and go to the temple for himself. It's fitting that my boys went to the temple together, even if Chase was only there in spirit. My husband stood in as a proxy for Chase which was also right.

My heart sorrows today. All these deaths are so different. Some were old and suffering, some young and suffering, and Jackie's son so unexpected. If I've learned anything it is that grief and mourning and hurt and how someone deals with it, isn't something that can be compared or even judged with how it it dealt with. You simply hurt with the person going through it and comfort whoever stands in the most need of comfort at the moment you are there with them. That's all we can do really.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

March NTRWA President's Letter

I love writer conferences.

I've only been to 2 big ones. Fantasy and Scifi World Con in 2006 and our own RWA Nations last years. At WorldCon I was beside myself in the presence of the greats like L.E. Modesitt (trapped him in an elevator), Charlaine Harris, Elizabeth Moon, and Charles DeLint (found them in the elevator too. I'm telling you the elevator is the place to hang out.) And poor Marjorie Liu. I fangirled all over that sweet kid before she had a chance to check in. That's what she gets for being in line behind me and telling the clerk her name out loud. I love her! Embarrassingly enough I'm sure I'd fawn all over her again even 8 years later. Unless she remembers me and runs for it. She looks fast.

I was an ant walking among gods. But wow, was it fun.

Marjorie Liu and Clover Autrey at WorldCon 2006


I've also attended several of our local smaller conferences and love them just as much. Probably because I know more people there, or because it's smaller and not as intiidating, I'm more myself. One of the highlights for me personally, is going out to dinner at the ned of the day with a large groupof writers, old friends and new friends. It's so much fun.

This year we're lucky enough to have two RWA conferences close by. Our Two-Step conference this month and Nationals in San Antonio in July. I hope I hope I hope that all of youTexas writers are able to take advantage of at least one of these conferences this year. Better if you can go to both!!! There is nothing like the energy of being around creative people. And if you happen to see Margorie Liu...do a little fangirl flip-out on my behalf please.
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