Friday, December 23, 2011

Las chance to register at the Early bird price!

On December 31, the price goes up, so don't wait.


DESERT DREAMS WRITERS' CONFERENCE 2012
Believe in the Power of Your Dreams
April 27 - 29, 2012
Chaparral Suites Resort - Scottsdale Arizona

Keynote Speakers:
NY Times Best Selling Author Allison Brennan
Martha Alderson, AKA The Plot Whisperer
NY Times Best-selling Author Bob Mayer

Desert Dreams Writers’ Conference provides authors of all skill levels – from beginner to multi-published – with the tools necessary to take their writing to the next level. Sessions will include general writing, career development, genre-specific, agent/publisher spotlights, as well as an agent/editor panel. There will also be one-on-one appointments with editors or agents, a book signing, and keynote addresses.

Conference registration includes:

Workshops Friday afternoon and all day Saturday
Two-hour workshop Sunday morning
One-on-one appointment with editor/agent (based on time of registration and availability)
Friday evening mixer
Dinner and keynote address on Friday
Editor/Agent panel
Saturday luncheon
Participation in Saturday book signing
Saturday evening dinner and brainstorming session
RWA early registration (through December 31, 2011) is $215.
Non-RWA early registration (through December 31, 2011) is $235.

Prices increase $20 on January 1, 2012. Registration deadline is March 15, 2012.

For more information about workshops, speakers, agents, editors, registration, hotel reservation etc. visit:
http://www.desertroserwa.org/conferences/Phoenix-Romance-Writers-Conferences.php

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, for all the latest news and updates on Desert Dreams Writers’ Conference 2012.

Hope to see you all there.

Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams Conference 2012
Blogger - Committee - Speaker

Award-winning Science-Fiction, Romance with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com/

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Speaker Tawny Weber - Courting the Muse...

Courting the Muse: Practical and Spiritual Tools for Writers


The art of recognizing, then making the most of your writing habits. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to custom create your own writing habit. One that will not only help you as you pursue your writing goals, but pull you through the frustrations you might encounter along the way. We’ll discuss setting as it applies to your writing, description as it applies to your visualization of success and conflict as it applies to the setbacks in pursuit of publishing greatness. In addition, this workshop will show you ways to use tools like aromatherapy, Feng Shui and the tarot to empower your writing, and yourself on the road to success.

The Care and Nurturing of the Critique Partner Relationship

Join Harlequin Blaze author Tawny Weber and RITA winning SuperRomance author Beth Andrews as they show how to start, nurture and maintain a critique partnership on the way to publishing success. Critique Partner relationships -- Finding what works for you. Agreeing on the CP relationship -- A test period, how will you work together, what do you expect from the relationship. Growing and maintaining your CP relationship -- Are you in it for the long haul? Career pace and jealousy. Plotting/Brainstorming and setting goals with a CP -- Two heads are better than one, how do you plot/brainstorm with a partner? Do you want to? How to use the CP relationship to help you achieve your goals. Nitty Gritty of critiquing -- Meshing voices, giving and getting feedback. Voice and how nurture your CP's style. What kind of feedback is useful, what's not. Ways to word your suggestions so they don't come across as orders, learning to read between the lines in emails and critiques (and when not to).

Tawny Weber has been writing sassy, sexy stories for Harlequin Blaze since her first book hit the shelves in 2007. In December 2011, she launched her Undercover Ops series with SEX, LIES AND MISTLETOE, followed by SEX, LIES AND MIDNIGHT in January and SEX, LIES AND VALENTINES in February. When not obsessing over deadlines, she’s shopping for cute shoes, homeschooling or hanging out on Facebook and Twitter chatting.

Come by and visit her on the web at http://www.tawnyweber.com/

Posted by Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams Blogger and speaker
Award-winning Romantic Science Fiction with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com/
http://www.romancingscifi.blobspot.com/



Monday, November 21, 2011

Alexis Walker - Strategic Career Planning for Romance Writers


With more and more editors and agents wanting career plans, it is becoming very important for writers to know where they are headed. But in order to arrive at their destination, it is essential to develop a road map for getting there. While it’s easy to say “I want to be a New York Times Best Seller,” it is a little more realistic when there is a plan in place with short-term milestones and action steps delineated to accomplish such a prestigious status. This workshop is designed to help any level writer map out her own personal plan for success. Using the strategic planning tools employed by businesses and nonprofit organizations, each writer will develop an individual career plan she can start using immediately.


Alexis Walker is a faculty member of both Grand Canyon University and the University of the Virgin Islands. She spent 18 years directing nonprofits where strategic planning is essential to survival. In addition, she also taught at Arizona State University for their Nonprofit Management Bachelor Degree program where she taught future leaders the in’s and out’s of strategic planning. Alexis quit her nonprofit profession three years ago to pursue a career in writing romances. She has three completed manuscripts. She is a member of RWA’s PRO group as well as a member of three RWA chapters. Alexis has a Bachelors degree in English from St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, a Master's degree in American Literature from Iowa State University, and did doctoral work at the University of Notre Dame where she focused on 19th Century American Women's Literature. Alexis recently moved to St. Croix, one of the US Virgin Islands. She lives there with her better half, retired fire chief Bob and her 14 lb tuxedo cat "Gizmo." Alexis likes to live in different parts of the country, but always returns to the east coast to visit her family in Maryland, Delaware, and New York. A lover of change, she rarely stays in one place for more than six years, but always returns to visit Scotland, the place she calls her home away from home.

Visit Alexis online at http://www.alexiswalkerauthor.com/ 

Posted by Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams Blogger and speaker
Award-winning Romantic Science Fiction with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com/

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The REALIZING THE DREAM CONTEST is open!

Are you all aware that with your registration to the Desert Dreams Conference comes an opportunity to enter the coveted Desert Dream Contest?

It's time! We have 50 slots open for contest entries! For everyone who enters the Realizing the Dream contest, you are guaranteed a read by an editor/agent who's attending the 2012 Desert Dreams Conference. Remember, you MUST be registered for the conference first, then get over to the website and register for the contest. Here's the link to the information about the contest:
http://desertroserwa.org/contests/Phoenix-Romance-Writers-Realizing-The-Dream.php

Also, keep in mind that the conference fees go up on January 1, so now is the time to register for conference. We will be announcing the names of the 10 lucky people who get to sit next to an editor/agent during the Saturday luncheon in the next couple of weeks. You need to register now so you can guarantee your place with the editor/agent of your choice!

If you have any questions, email me at desertdreams@desertroserwa.org and REGISTER TODAY!

Susan Lanier
2012 Desert Dreams Conference Coordinator
April 27 - 29, 2012
http://www.desertroserwa.org/ 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Speaker Kris Tualla - BECOMING AN AUTHORPRENEUR

Becoming an Authorpreneur – Navigating a 21st-Century Career in Publishing


We will take a look at the four publishing options an author has, the pros and cons of each, and where to go from there. Topics include traditional print; traditional e-pub; independent print; independent e-pub; how to decide which book goes where; backlists are golden, so get creative; what falls on the author, no matter the route taken.

Kris Tualla, a dynamic award-winning author of historical romances, writes with a fast-paced and succinct style. Her plots are full of twists, passion, and very satisfying outcomes! Kris started in 2006 with nothing but a nugget of a character in mind, and has created a dynasty – The Hansen Series. Norway is the new Scotland! Kris is an active member of both Romance Writers of America and the Historical Novel Society. She is an enthusiastic speaker and teacher, and spearheaded Arizona Dreamin’ – Arizona’s first ever romance reader event.


Posted by Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams Blogger and Speaker
Award-winning Romantic Science Fiction with a Kick

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Speaker LINDA STYLE

Make ‘Em Laugh, Make ‘Em Cry…No, Don’t!


The most powerful weapon in your arsenal of writing techniques is the skillful use of emotion. Knowing why, when and how to use it can take your story from good to great. Emotion is at the very core of your story from characterization and setting to conflict, pacing and tension. What is emotion? How do you find it, and how do you convey it subtly for just the right feel and balance right up until that emotional POW at the end?

Linda Style’s childhood dream to become a famous novelist and travel the world didn’t garner much encouragement, so instead, she studied behavioral science and journalism. But even after working in both fields, her dream persisted and, after years of writing novels in her spare time… and four RWA Golden Heart nominations later… Linda’s last GH entry was purchased by Harlequin Superromance in 2000. Fourteen novels later, Linda’s books of romantic adventure, mystery and suspense are best known for their emotional impact , complex plots and deep characterization. Her books have been described by reviewers as "emotional, fast-paced love stories that keep you riveted until the very end." The recipient of several awards, including the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for best book of the year, Linda believes she has the best job in the world. “I get to make up stories and someone pays me to do it. It’s my fantasy come true.” Combining research with her passion for travel, Linda has traveled over a dozen countries from Australia to Turkey. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the co-founder of Bootcamp for Novelists Online where she teaches a series of writing classes.

Learn more about Linda at http://www.lindastyle.com/


Posted by Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams Blogger and Speaker
Award-winning Romantic Science Fiction with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com/
http://romancingscifi.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 28, 2011

Speaker Maggie Shayne - The Art of Collaboration

The Art of Collaboration


After more than 50 novels in her solo career, Maggie warily agreed to work with a collaborator for the first time in 2011, unsure in the extreme how it would go and worried, too, the collaborator being her daughter. But halfway through their first joint project, she says she's never had more fun writing a novel. Learn her best tips and tricks for working with a collaborator and keeping the love alive.

sanity 101

Having trouble dealing with the everyday stresses of a writer's life, feelings of competitiveness, of career envy, pressure to succeed, feeling like a fraud who'll soon be found out, angry at publishers and their terms, lashing out at the unfairness of it all, or hustling to keep up with maddening deadlines? Find out how to deal with all of these issues and more in a workshop that is more about YOU and your feelings than about the nuts and bolts of writing novels. Topics will include how to change your attitude, how to always get what you want, how to deal with stress, how and when to argue with your publisher, and how to put it all into perspective.

New York Times bestselling author Maggie Shayne has published 51 novels and 23 novellas. She has written for 7 publishers and 2 soap operas, has racked up 15 Rita Award nominations and actually, finally, won the damn thing in 2005. Her advice column, “Shayne on You” runs weekly in the Norwich Evening Sun. Maggie lives in a beautiful, century old, happily haunted farmhouse named “Serenity” in the wildest wilds of Cortland County, NY, with her soulmate, Lance. They share a pair of English Mastiffs, Dozer & Daisy, a little English Bulldog, Niblet, and the wise guardian and guru of them all, the feline Glory, who keeps the dogs firmly in their places. Maggie’s a Wiccan high priestess (legal clergy even) and an avid follower of the Law of Attraction (see www.abraham-hicks.com). Maggie’s 2010 season has been huge, with the back to back releases of her summer suspense trilogy, the Secrets of Shadow Falls: KILLING ME SOFTLY in July, KILL ME AGAIN in August, and KISS ME KILL ME in September. Maggie’s Wings in the Night vampire series, known as the “twilight” series by her readers due to that word having been in nearly every title, began in 1993 and is now 17 stories long. Three of those titles will be reissued this fall: TWILIGHT HUNGER in October, EDGE OF TWILIGHT in November, and BLUE TWILIGHT in December. There will be two brand new vampire novels and one new vampire novella in 2011; TWILIGHT PROPHECY in May, VACATION WITH A VAMPIRE (anthology) in the summer, and TWILIGHT FULFILLMENT in October.

You can visit Maggie at http://www.maggieshayne.com/.
She’s also on Twitter and Facebook, and she blogs solo at http://www.shaynesshenanigans.com/
and with friends at http://www.storybroads.com/

Posted by Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams Blogger and Speaker
Award-winning Romantic Science Fiction with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com/
http://www.romancingscifi.blogspot.com/

Monday, October 24, 2011

Speaker Vijaya Schartz - The Funny Thing About eBooks

THE FUNNY THING ABOUT eBOOKS or: NAVIGATING THE eBOOK JUNGLE


Ten years ago, the established publishing industry considered eBooks a joke, a mere blip on the horizon. Now, eBooks are everywhere, and they sell more copies on the web than print books. What do you really need to know as a writer to take advantage of this mushrooming market, without losing your sanity? Are eBooks the way to publish your next novel? Or are you thinking of re-releasing your back list yourself? The proliferation of eBook publishers, eBook reading devices, eBook formats, eBook self-publishing services, has become maddening.... not to mention the different submission guidelines for eBook manuscripts... the intricacies of electronic editing, or the new ethics of this particular business. Is piracy a real threat? What are the most efficient ways to promote eBooks through networks, websites and blogs? And will you still have time to write while doing it? Learn the tricks from an experienced author published in print, eBooks, and audiobooks, who believed in eBooks from the start and has been riding that wave ever since.

Since her first book release in 2000, award-winning author Vijaya Schartz had seventeen novels and novellas published in Science Fiction, mainstream and romance, in print, audiobooks, and all eBook formats. With five different publishers, she caught the first eBook wave in 2002 and has been navigating the eBook jungle ever since, keeping abreast of this ever-expanding market.


Past President of the Arizona Authors Association for seven years, Vijaya was also the Editor in Chief of the Arizona Literary Magazine for nine years. She hosted a radio talk show about writing for four years in Arizona on KFNX 1100 AM, and internationally on BOOK CRAZY RADIO on the WEB. She is past President of the Desert Rose and the Valley of the Sun chapters of Romance Writers, present webmistress of the Valley of the Sun Romance Writers and of the Arizona Authors Association.

Vijaya speaks at national conferences, and leads her own seminars locally, on all aspects of writing, getting published, and book promotion under the brand: Write Path Seminars. More at: www.vijayaschartz.com/seminar.html. Her latest romantic science-fiction eBook series, THE CHRONICLES OF KASSOUK, from Desert Breeze Publishing, started with WHITE TIGER (2009). RED LEOPARD (2010), BLACK JAGUAR (2010), BLUE LIONESS (2011), and NOAH’S ARK (April 2012).

Visit her extensive website at:



Thursday, October 20, 2011

Speaker AMBER SCOTT - Unlock, Unblock!

Unlock, Unblock!


What do you do when you’ve lost your muse? This hands on workshop is designed to help writers get out of their own way. Using techniques that trigger then anchor creative thinking, analyzing personality types and experimenting with tips and tricks, this workshop will help any writer capture her inner fire and keep the embers burning in the face of change, stress, and more. A sensory bar filled with different activities that attendees can immediately test the class theories on to find out what works for them most will be included during the workshop.

In between naptimes and dishes, Amber Scott, escapes into her characters' addictive lives. Her interest in metaphysics and neuroscience began as research to flesh out her paranormal worlds but ended in insights she shares with her fellow authors through books, such as her Muse Food series, co-authored with Jess Macallan, and workshops. When she isn't writing, teaching or helping drive the Indie Book Collective, she is reading, playing with her kidlets and cuddling up her husband over a great flick.

Visit Amber online at AmberScottBooks.com.
Posted by Vijaya Schartz

Desert Dreams Blogger and Speaker
Award-winning Romantic Science Fiction with a kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com/
http://romancingscifi.blogspot.com/



Sunday, October 16, 2011

Speaker Caris Roane - Paranormal, Not Just Vampires

Paranormal: It’s not just vampires


Four multi-published authors will discuss the different faces of paranormal fiction and how they incorporate different elements in their novels. Panel will answer questions on trends, techniques, and publishing in general.

Caris Roane has published over fifty Regency romance novels and novellas under the pen name, Valerie King. In 2005, Romantic Times gave her a Career Achievement award in Regency Romance. Having had a long-time love affair with vampires, Caris tackled the paranormal genre, building a world based on ascending dimensional earths. The first novel of the series, Ascension, was released December 28, 2010. Burning Skies, the second book in the series, hits the shelves in May of 2011. And the third novel, Wings of Fire, is a September release. Caris lives in Buckeye, Arizona with her two cats, Sebastien and Gizzy.

You can learn more about Caris at http://www.carisroane.com/.
Posted by Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams Blogger and Speaker
Award-winning Romantic Science Fiction with a kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com/
http://romancingscifi.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Speaker Tara Taylor Quinn - THE SUCCESSFUL BLOG TOUR

The Successful Blog Tour: planning and implementing a fifty + stop blog tour

The details of this workhop are not available yet.
Though she wrote her first story at the age of six, Tara Taylor Quinn’s professional writing career began ten years later when, at 16, she was hired as a stringer with the Dayton Daily News in Dayton, Ohio. A certified high school English teacher, Tara published several magazine articles before turning to writing as a full-time occupation. The author of more than 56 original novels, in twenty languages, Tara Taylor Quinn is a USA Today bestseller with over six million copies sold. She is known for delivering deeply emotional and psychologically astute novels of suspense and romance. Tara won the 2008 Reader’s Choice Award, is a four time finalist for the RWA Rita Award, a multiple finalist for the Reviewer’s Choice Award, the Bookseller’s Best Award, the Holt Medallion and appears regularly on the Waldenbooks bestsellers list. She has appeared on national and local TV across the country, including CBS Sunday Morning. Tara is the author of the hugely successful Chapman Files and, with her husband, recently wrote and saw the release of her own true love story, It Happened on Maple Street, from HCI books. When she’s not writing, fulfilling speaking engagements, or tending to the needs of her two very spoiled and adored four legged family members, Tara loves to travel with her husband, stopping wherever the spirit takes them. They’ve been spotted in casinos and quaint little small town antique shops all across the country.
 
Posted by Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams Blogger and Speaker
Award-winning Romantic Science Fiction with a Kick

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Speaker Erin Quinn - Practice What you Pitch

Practice What You Pitch


Are you nervous about your editor/agent appointment? Are you still trying to figure out what you're going to say? In this interactive workshop, Erin Quinn will lead participants—using their own story ideas for examples—and help them find the most exciting aspects of their story to turn into an intriguing and cohesive pitch. Come prepared to share your ideas and/or give feedback to others. Willing participants will be randomly selected to pitch. This workshop will not be recorded.

Paranormal: It’s not just vampires (panel)

Four multi-published authors will discuss the different faces of paranormal fiction and how they incorporate different elements in their novels. Panel will answer questions on trends, techniques, and publishing in general.

Erin Quinn (also known as Erin Grady) is an award winning author. Writing as Quinn, her titles include the Berkley Mists of Ireland series which just released book four, HAUNTING EMBRACE in October 2011. Writing as Erin Grady, she has three stand alone titles, also by Berkley, including WHISPERS and ECHOES. Her books have been called “riveting,” “brilliantly plotted” and “beautifully written” and have won, placed or showed in the WILLA Award for Historical fiction, the Orange Rose, Golden Quill, Best Books, Book Buyers Best, and Award of Excellence She lives in Arizona with her husband, two daughters and three dogs (all of whom have made debuts in her stories—the dogs, that is, not the husband and kids.)

Stop by http://www.erinquinnbooks.com/ to learn more about Erin’s books, contests and other fun stuff.
posted by Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams Blogger and Speaker
Award-winning Romantic Science fiction with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com/
http://www.romancingscifi.blogspot.com/

Monday, October 3, 2011

Speaker BRENDA NOVAK

Brenda's workshop will be announced soon.

Brenda Novak is the national bestselling author of 35 books. A busy wife and mother of five, Novak, who lives in Sacramento, California, calls herself the typical “soccer mom.” She juggles her writing career with daily car pools, helping her kids do homework and driving them to sports practice.

For more about Brenda, visit http://www.brendanovak.com./

Posted by Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams Blogger and Speaker
Award-winning Romantic Science Fiction with a Kick

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Speaker Jess Macallan - Unlock, Unblock!

Unlock, Unblock! (panel)


What do you do when you’ve lost your muse? This hands on workshop is designed to help writers get out of their own way. Using techniques that trigger then anchor creative thinking, analyzing personality types and experimenting with tips and tricks, this workshop will help any writer capture her inner fire and keep the embers burning in the face of change, stress, and more. A sensory bar filled with different activities that attendees can immediately test the class theories on to find out what works for them most will be included during the workshop.

Jess Macallan lives in the Inland Northwest with her husband, three children and assorted animals. When not writing urban fantasy, romance and middle grade novels, she teaches yoga, reads anything she can get her hands on, battles weeds in her garden and dreams of living somewhere sunnier.

Find her on FB/Twitter under Jess Macallan or at http://www.jessmacallan.com/
Posted by Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams Blogger and Speaker
Award-winning Romantic Science Fiction with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com/
http://www.romancingscifi.blogspot.com/


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Speaker GINI KOCH - Networking at Conferences

Networking at Conferences – How to Get in the ‘Hive’ and Stay There


Learn successful techniques to create a wide network of published authors, editors and agents you’ll get to know and engage with in person and via email/correspondence. Learn how to apply these techniques to put yourself in a position to both meet and impress agents and editors.

Paranormal: It’s not just vampires (panel)

Four multi-published authors will discuss the different faces of paranormal fiction and how they incorporate different elements in their novels. Panel will answer questions on trends, techniques, and publishing in general.

Gini Koch lives in the American Southwest, works her butt off (sadly, not literally) by day, and writes by night with the rest of the beautiful people. Her fast-paced, fun and sexy science fiction novel, “Touched by an Alien”, written under pen name Gini Koch, released from DAW Books on April 6, 2010 to great reviews, including a starred review from Booklist, and was also named one of Booklists’ top 10 adult science fiction and fantasy novels of 2010. “Alien Tango” released on December 7, 2010; “Alien in the Family” released April 5, 2011; Alien Proliferation releases December 6, 2011, and “Alien Diplomacy” and “Alien vs. Alien” are scheduled for release in 2012. She has two releases under pen name Anita Ensal currently available in two anthologies from DAW Books -- the short story “Wanted” in “Love and Rockets”, and the short story “Being Neighborly” in “Boondocks Fantasy”. Gini speaks frequently on what it takes to become a successful author and other aspects of writing and the publishing business. You can reach her via her website, email, Twitter, or Facebook

Posted by Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams Blogger and Speaker
Award-winning Romantic Science Fiction with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com/
http://www.romancingscifi.blogspot.com/

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Speaker Cindy Kirk - THE SELLING SYNOPSIS

The Selling Synopsis


A multi-published author facilitates this interactive workshop which focuses entirely on synopses for books that have sold. After reviewing the key components of what should be included in a synopsis and the different ways synopses can be structured, participants look for these key components in the synopses they've been given utilizing Cindy's Selling Synopsis Score Sheet.

Cindy Kirk sold her first book in 1999 as a result of a contest win which garnered a critique of the entire manuscript. Patience Bloom, now Senior Editor for Romantic Suspense at Harlequin, not only critiqued the manuscript, she bought it! And she’s still Cindy’s editor today. An author of twenty-five books for Harlequin, Cindy has also written two contemporary romances for Avon. Cindy has been a Booksellers’ Best Award Winner, a finalist for the National Readers’ Choice Awards, and a Waldenbooks/Borders best seller. Her fifth and sixth books in the Rx for Love mini-series for Harlequin Special Edition are 2012 releases.

Visit Cindy online at http://www.cindykirk.com/

Posted by Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams Blogger and Speaker
Award-winning Romantic Science Fiction with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com/
http://www.romancingscifi.blogspot.com/

Monday, September 12, 2011

Speaker Erin Kellison - Paranormal, Not Just Vampires

Paranormal: It’s not just vampires (panel)


Four multi-published authors will discuss the different faces of paranormal fiction and how they incorporate different elements in their novels. Panel will answer questions on trends, techniques, and publishing in general.

Erin Kellison is the author of the Shadow Series, which includes Shadow Bound and Shadow Fall, as well as book three, Shadowman, and the e-novella Shadow Touch from Kensington Zebra. Stories have always been a central part of Erin's life. She attempted her first book in sixth grade, a dark fantasy adventure, and she still has those early hand-written chapters. She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English Language and Literature and went on for a masters in Cultural Anthropology, focusing on oral storytelling. When she had children, nothing scared her anymore, so her focus shifted to writing fiction.

For excerpts, newsletter, and giveaways, go to http://www.erinkellison.com/.

Posted by Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams Blogger and Speaker



Thursday, September 8, 2011

Speaker Elizabeth Hoyt - Sex Scene Viagra

Sex Scene Viagra


Are your love scenes limp? Do they lie there on the page, sad and pathetic, too depressed and self-conscious to get it up? Come to this workshop, learn how to write a kick ass love scene, and never have to worry about sex scene performance anxiety again!

Elizabeth Hoyt is a New York Times bestselling author of historical romance. She also writes deliciously fun contemporary romance under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in central Illinois with three untrained dogs, two angelic but bickering children, and one long-suffering husband. Elizabeth was born in New Orleans, where her mother’s family has lived for generations, but she was raised in the frigid winters of St. Paul, Minnesota. Growing up, her family traveled extensively in Britain, spending a summer in St. Andrews, Scotland, and a year in Oxford. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Wisconsin was also where she met her archaeologist husband--on a dig in a cornfield. Continuing the cornfield theme, Elizabeth and her husband live in central Illinois with their two children and three dogs. She is an avid gardener with over 26 varieties of daylilies in her multiple gardens and more hostas than any one person can count. The Hoyt family enjoys taking family vacations that invariably end up at an archaeological site.

Visit her online at http://www.elizabethhoyt.com/

posted by Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams Blogger and Speaker
Award-winning Romantic Science Fiction with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com/
http://www.romancingscifi.blogspot.com/

Friday, September 2, 2011

Speaker Winnie Griggs - THE WRITE FIT (Author-Agent Team)

The Write Fit – An Insider’s Look at Forming an Effective Author-Agent Team


How to find/build the right author-agent match. Author Winnie Griggs discusses the relationship from the author’s perspective (things to think about before, during and after the ‘agent hunt’, as well as how to conduct the hunt itself) and agent Michelle Grajkowski presents the agent’s perspective (what the agent looks for in a perspective client).

Winnie Griggs has written both single title and category romances and has published with three different romance lines. Her work has won a number of regional awards and has been nominated at the national level as well. Winnie has presented writing workshops on various topics at national conferences such as RWA and RT, as well as at numerous regional conferences (NJRW, Moonlight & Magnolias, Calgary, Emerald City to name a few) and smaller writers’ workshops and monthly programs. She is active in her local RWA chapter, having served on the board for 13 of the past 15 years, including a 3 year stint as chapter president.

Visit her online at http://www.winniegriggs.com/.

Posted by Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams Blogger and Speaker
Award-winning Romantic Science Fiction with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com/
http://www.romancingscifi-blogspot.com/

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Speaker Laurie Schnebly Campbell - DESCRIPTION AND DIALOGUE

The Double D’s: Description & Dialogue


What kind of dialogue makes your characters real? What kind of description works best for your voice? No two writers will use the same techniques for these key elements, but having new tools to choose from can make writing description and dialogue easier as well as more fun…not only for you, but for your readers as well. For each technique, this session will use examples from books by the conference’s best-known guests.

Laurie Schnebly Campbell combines her background in counseling with writing novels like the one that beat out Nora Roberts for “Best Special Edition Of The Year.” Her latest book is a how-to on creating characters, and she’s taught writers online and in person from L.A. to London and New Zealand to New York…recently presenting her 100th live workshop to an RWA group. Besides teaching, she enjoys writing for an advertising agency, narrating for Talking Books, and vacationing with her husband and son in Sedona, the red-rock town named for her great-grandmother. “People ask how I find time to do all that,” Laurie says, “and I tell them it’s easy: I never clean my house!”

Visit Laurie online at http://www.booklaurie.com/.

Posted by Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams Blogger and Speaker
http://www.vijayaschartz.com/
http://www.romancingscifi.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Speaker Terri Brisbin - HOOKS and How to Use Them

Hooks and How to Use Them: From First Word to Last!


A writer must grab the reader’s attention and keep it from sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph, page to page and chapter to chapter. And if that reader is an editor, hooking them from beginning to end is critical. Terri reviews the elements and importance of the first page and the first chapter and how effective hooks are used throughout your story, strengthening the pacing and structure of your book to the last word.

Terri Brisbin has been writing romance fiction since 1995 and has more than 25 historical and paranormal romance novels, novellas and short stories published since then. When not living the glamorous life of a romance author in the southern NJ suburbs (or lusting after Gerard Butler), Terri spends her time being a wife to one, mom to three as well as a dental hygienist to hundreds. A National Readers’ Choice Award finalist, three-time RWA RITA® finalist, and winner of the NJRW Golden Leaf and Desert Rose Golden Quill, Terri is now working on more romance novels and novellas for release through 2012.

You can visit her website for more info about the author and her work or to contact her: http://www.terribrisbin.com/

Posted by Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams Blogger and Speaker
http://www.vijayaschartz.com/
http://www.romancingscifi.blogspot.com/

Friday, August 19, 2011

Speaker Beth Andrews - Hard-to-Write Characters - The Easy Way!

Writing Hard-to-Write Characters – The Easy Way!


Bad boys and bitches, villains and vixens, wimps and waifs. Sometimes, the most interesting characters are the hardest to write. They push us to dig deep for those sympathetic traits that will resonate with readers, resist when we force them into growing and changing too quickly and always, ALWAYS force us to keep them real. In this workshop, we’ll explore ways to create complex, layered characters who will jump off the page and into your reader’s heart!

The Care and Nurturing of the Critique Partner Relationship (Panel) 

Join Harlequin Blaze author Tawny Weber and RITA winning SuperRomance author Beth Andrews as they show how to start, nurture and maintain a critique partnership on the way to publishing success. Critique Partner relationships -- Finding what works for you. Agreeing on the CP relationship -- A test period, how will you work together, what do you expect from the relationship. Growing and maintaining your CP relationship -- Are you in it for the long haul? Career pace and jealousy. Plotting/Brainstorming and setting goals with a CP -- Two heads are better than one, how do you plot/brainstorm with a partner? Do you want to? How to use the CP relationship to help you achieve your goals. Nitty Gritty of critiquing -- Meshing voices, giving and getting feedback. Voice and how nurture your CP's style. What kind of feedback is useful, what's not. Ways to word your suggestions so they don't come across as orders, learning to read between the lines in emails and critiques (and when not to).

Beth Andrews is a Romance Writers of America RITA® Award Winner and Golden Heart Winner. She lives in Northwestern Pennsylvania with her husband and two teenage daughters. In her free time she visits wineries, drinks wine - both for research purposes, of course - and works on perfecting her recipe for Creme Brulee. When not researching (or making fattening desserts) she can be found counting the days until her son returns home from college.

Visit her online at http://www.bethandrews.net/


Posted by Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams Blogger and Speaker
Award-winning Romantic Science Fiction with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com/
http://www.romancingscifi.blogspot.com/


Monday, August 15, 2011

WRITE IT FORWARD - BOB MAYER - NYT Best Selling Author

Designed to teach writers how to become successful authors in the new age of publishing. We will clearly define your writing goals and why you want to achieve them. We will discover what you fear and how that fear is sabotaging you from turning your dreams into realities. We then map out a plan for success.

NY Times bestselling author Bob Mayer has over 50 books published. He has sold over four million books and is in demand as a team-building, life-change, and leadership speaker and consultant for his Who Dares Wins: The Green Beret Way concept which he translates into Write It Forward: a holistic program teaching writers how to be authors. He is also the Co-Creator of Who Dares Wins Publishing, which does both eBooks and Print On Demand, so he has experience in both traditional and non-traditional publishing. He is actively seeking backlist & nonfiction submissions.

Born in the Bronx, Bob attended West Point and earned a BA in psychology with honors and then served as an Infantry platoon leader, a battalion scout platoon leader, and a brigade recon platoon leader in the 1st Cavalry Division. He joined Special Forces and commanded a Green Beret A Team. He served as the operations officer for 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and with Special Operations Command (Special Projects) in Hawaii. Later he taught at the Special Forces Qualification Course at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, the course which trains new Green Berets. He lived in Korea where he earned a Black Belt in Martial Arts. He’s earned a Masters Degree in Education and currently teaches writing at the University of Washington.

Bob draws on all of these experiences to write his novels and his nonfiction books, including WHO DARES WINS: The Green Beret Way to Conquer Fear & Succeed; The Novel Writer’s Toolkit: A Guide To Writing Great Fiction; and Write It Forward: From Writer to Successful Author. His novels include the bestselling Area 51 books and collaborations with Jennifer Crusie. His books have hit the NY Times, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and numerous other bestseller lists.

Bob has presented for over 1,000 organizations both in the United States and internationally, including keynote presentations, all day workshops, and multi-day seminars. He has taught organizations ranging from Maui, to Whidbey Island, to San Diego State University, to the University of Georgia, to the Romance Writers of America National Convention, to Boston SWAT, the CIA, Fortune-500, Microsoft, the Royal Danish Navy Frogman Corps, Microsoft, Rotary, IT Teams in Silicon Valley and many others. He has also served as a Visiting Writer for NILA MFA program in Creative Writing. He has done interviews for the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Sports Illustrated, PBS, NPR, the Discovery Channel, the SyFy channel and local cable shows.

For more information see http://www.bobmayer.org/

Posted by Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams Blogger and speaker
Award-winning Romantic Science Fiction with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com/
http://romancingscifi.blogspot.com/

Friday, August 12, 2011

2nd Keynote Speaker - Martha Alderson - The Plot Whisperer

Martha Alderson, AKA The Plot Whisperer, dedicates herself to teaching the structure of plot and has helped thousands of novelists, memoirists, and creative non-fiction writers master this elusive craft. The most difficult part of the writing process is the inability to see the forest for the trees. Martha, an educational expert and award-winning novelist, pushes aside the words for writers to see the "whole" of the overall story. Seven years ago, Martha introduced two innovative plot tools — the Scene Tracker and Plot Planner — for writers interested in creating a visual representation of the layers of their stories and anticipate their characters’ every move with moment-by-moment dramatic action with meaning. By effectively demonstrating the relationship between how a character's back-story affects the choices they make in the front story and plot and scene and explaining the art of story design, Martha offers writers proven techniques for creating more focused and balanced and complex plotlines.

You can visit her websites at:
http://www.blockbusterplots.com/
and plotwhisperer.blogspot.com.

Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams Blogger and speaker
Award-winning Romantic Science Fiction with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com/

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

FIRST KEYNOTE SPEAKER - ALLISON BRENNAN

New York Times and USA Today bestseller Allison Brennan is the author of thirteen novels and three short stories. A former consultant in the California State Legislature, she lives in Northern California with her husband Dan and their five children. Allison began over 100 books that she never finished. After turning 30, then giving birth to her third child, Allison decided to actively pursue a career in writing. Committing herself to write a book from beginning to end, she wrote five complete novels before selling The Prey in 2004. Two years later it was released and nudged the New York Times list at #33. The first four manuscripts have been destroyed and will never see the light of day.

http://www.allisonbrennan.com/

With her first book Allison's publisher asked if she could write two books connected in some way to The Prey. Since that book was already written and in production, plot options were limited. During the copy editing stage, she tweaked the backstory of her heroine so that she had two friends from the FBI Academy, and they became the heroines of The Hunt and The Kill. Her "Predator Trilogy" was the first of four loosely connected romantic thriller trilogies. Each story is a complete work with a separate hero, heroine, and villain with some recurring characters that can be read individually or in order.

Crime fiction, mysteries, and romantic suspense have always been Allison's favorites, so it's no surprise that her romantic thrillers have a dark suspense edge. Reviewers have called her books "terrifying," "mesmerizing," "fast-paced," "pulse-pounding," "wonderfully complex," "layered," and "a master of suspense - tops in the genre."

Allison's research shelf is filled with numerous true crime and research books, such as 65 Ways to Kill Your Victim in Print, Practical Homicide Investigation, Book of Poisons, and Tales from the Morgue. Her favorite research trips included a tour of the Sacramento County Morgue - complete with autopsy - and her eight week FBI Citizens Academy course, where she competed at the gun range and won a much coveted award by the SWAT commander: the "My Characters Shoot Better!" award. All of this has been supplemented by trips to the Quantico, interviews with law enforcement officials nationwide, and conversations with experts of all kinds in fields of forensics and technology.

Crime fiction is not Allison's only interest. Growing up, she immersed herself into the more supernatural worlds of Stephen King, Dean Koontz and John Saul, reading horrific suspense, unable to put the page-turning - and rather terrifying--books aside. Before she even sold her first book, she came up with a series based on the Seven Deadly Sins - as demons released from Hell by an evil occult seeking the key to eternal mortality. After the initial success with her Predator Trilogy, Allison put the Seven Deadly Sins idea aside to pursue the crime and suspense genre exclusively. Nearly seven years after the original idea for a supernatural saga however, she finally launched her Seven Deadly Sins series in early 2010 with Original Sin. Now, her crime research books share wall space with quite different research material, from The Black Arts to An Exorcist Tells His Story; Lilith's Cave to The Encyclopedia of Hell.

The first three supernatural thrillers - Original Sin, Carnal Sin, and Mortal Sin - were released in 2010. They are contemporary and grounded in the world as it is today, with the exception that the Seven Deadly Sins are incarnate demons who, when they touch someone, that individual loses his conscience and acts on his personal worst sin - to deadly results. Forensics and police investigations also plays an important part in the series so while the series is definitely paranormal, it's grounded in criminal procedure.

Allison continues to write her trademark romantic thrillers. In early 2011, she'll launch a series starring Lucy Kincaid, a favorite character from her No Evil trilogy. The stories will tackle complex and current issues in law enforcement through the eyes of Lucy, an FBI recruit; her brother Patrick, a computer genius who's recovering from a two year coma; and Sean Rogan, a private security expert.

Writing three books a year is more than a full-time job, and so is raising five kids, but Allison believes life is too short to be bored. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, watching old movies or new television shows, driving to or attending volleyball / basketball / football / soccer games, and on occasion even makes it to the gym where she enjoys people-watching more than the exercise.

Posted by Vijaya Schartz
Blog mistress and Speaker at Desert Dreams
Award-winning Romantic Science Fiction with a Kick

Friday, July 8, 2011

Newsflash - TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EARLY REGISTRATION

Registration for the 2012 Desert Dreams Conference, April 27-29, 2012 in Scottsdale, AZ, is open!

The first 50 people who register and pay for the 2012 conference will have their names placed in a drawing and 10 lucky people will win a spot next to one of our editors or agents at the Saturday luncheon. We don’t have our full list of 10 editors and agents shown on the website yet, as we’re still confirming the last few, but you’ll have time to adjust your editor/agent appointments before conference if you register now. It’s still based on first registered/first paid basis. If you’re one of the lucky 10 to win the promotion, this gives you extra one-on-one time with an editor/agent, as it doesn’t have to be the same person you meet with for your appointment.

Register online at http://www.desertroserwa.org/  (and also take advantage of early bird pricing). Winners will have a chance to pick their lunch partner in the order in which they paid for registration.

Get registered and good luck!
Vijaya Schartz
Award-winning Science-Fiction - Romance with a kick

Sunday, June 26, 2011

WHY SHOULD YOU ATTEND THE 2012 DESERT DREAMS CONFERENCE?

It's easy. While the larger writers conferences, like RWA National accommodate some 1,200 participants, Desert Dreams offers all the same advantages, on a much smaller scale, in a relaxed setting, where you will bump into your favorite editors and agents at one of the pools, sipping cold lemonade under a parasol, or at the buffet line before the main event, or just chatting at your table while dining. Far from the stressed, overworked atmosphere of larger conferences, Desert Dreams offers a friendly ambience, an easy schedule, enough time to freshen up between events, and plenty of opportunities to meet our faculty and chat in informal settings.

Of course, you get the latest workshops and industry news, the panels, advice from NYT best-selling authors, and your personal appointments with agents and editors. We have the same slate as most larger conferences.

Guest speakers, agents, and editors alike love coming to Scottsdale in the spring. Between appearances, some get a tan by the pool while others enjoy the sights. And did I mention it's always sunny in Scottsdale, Arizona? The result? Smiling faces, friendly guests and speakers, ready to listen to your pitch with an open mind.

So far, we have a preliminary slate of agents and editors:

Brenda Chin - Editor, Harlequin
Jill Corcoran - Agent, The Herman Agency
Michele Grajkowski - Agent, 3 Seas Literary
Rose Hilliard - Editor, St. Martin’s Press
Jennifer Schober - Agent, Spencerhill Associates, Ltd.


Many more names will follow in the coming months. Pitch appointments will be assigned on a first registered first choice basis, so don't hesitate and register today. It's only $215 for RWA members, and $235 for non members, but the price will go up comes January.

For more information on workshops and keynote speakers, registration links, hotel reservation, etc. click HERE

Hope to see you in Scottsdale, Arizona, in April 2012.

Vijaya Schartz
Award-winning science fiction, Romance with a Kick