Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Win a mentorship with a multi-published, bestselling, award-winning author!

Sign up for the Desert Dreams conference and enter to win a critique of your query letter and the first few pages of your manuscript from Kathryne Kennedy. She will also buy the winner of the drawing a drink (coffee or champagne, your choice :), to talk about your work and answer any questions you might have about the craft or industry. She will do her best to mentor you in any way you need. So if you have a friend who writes paranormal, fantasy, historical or science fiction romance, and would like a multi-published, bestselling, award-winning author to mentor her, please spread the word to your writing groups or your blog to suggest they attend the Desert Dreams conference in Arizona this year.
Kathryne has helped a few other writers with their queries, and one landed the NY agent she wanted, and the other two sold their work to a publisher.

BIO: Kathryne Kennedy is currently published with Sourcebooks Casablanca, one of the fastest growing romance publishers in the industry. Her books have received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, have won several awards including the Golden Quill, and have been given Top Picks, a KISS award, and nominations for Reviewers Choice awards by Romantic Times. One of her books received an editor's choice pick from Library Journal, and another was chosen as a Booklist Top Ten Romance of 2011. So far, her books have foreign editions in Germany, Thailand, and Turkey, and have made many top ten bestseller lists in America and the UK.

Register for this drawing (and the conference if you haven't yet) at click on Conference at the bottom left.

Friday, March 23, 2012


2012 Desert Dreams Writers' Conference, to be held April 27 - 29 in Scottsdale, Arizona, is pleased to announce that it is able to extend registration this year past the March 31 deadline. Registration will remain open until the conference reaches the facility's capacity. There is still time to register for this incredible opportunity to meet with editors, agents and bestselling authors.

Keynote speakers include NY Times-bestselling authors Allison Brennan and Bob Mayer. Sunday workshop by Martha Alderson, The Plot Whisperer. Friday keynote is young adult author Tom Leveen. Other authors presenting workshops include Brenda Novak, Maggie Shayne, Elizabeth Hoyt and almost 20 more.

Editors and agents represent St. Martin's Press, Harlequin, Five Star, The Herman Agency, 3 Seas Literary, Waxman Literary, Spencerhill Associates, McIntosh & Otis and Cherry Weiner Literary. The founder of the Indie Book Collective will also be on hand to answer questions for those interested in indie publishing.

Registration includes Bob Mayer's 4-hour "Write It Forward" workshop on Friday afternoon, additional Friday workshops, dinner on Friday and Saturday, luncheon on Saturday, editor/agent panel on Saturday morning, workshops all day Saturday, one-on-one editor/agent meeting (as long as space is available), Sunday morning 2-hour workshop with Martha Alderson on Plotting, booksigning on Saturday afternoon. (Those planning to sign books at the booksigning must register and submit forms no later than 3/31/2012.)

Register today at  Questions? Email

Susan Lanier
2012 Desert Dreams Conference Coordinator

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What to Bring to your Editor/Agent Appointment

This is an often asked question, especially if this is your first writers conference. Here are the facts.

You only have 10 minutes. That's not time to go through everything and recite your entire first chapter. You're going to want to have your pitch down to just a couple of minutes so that you have time to discuss it with her after you pitch. Most people bring some notes with them on note cards.

You're not going to want to bring an entire query letter and you definitely don't want to bring chapters to hand over to the editor/agent during your meeting. She's not going to want it. IF she is interested, she will tell you what she wants to see - usually via email - after you get back home. This is a perfect opportunity for you to have a conversation with this industry professional. Use your time wisely.

On Friday afternoon, Erin Quinn is giving a great workshop on Pitching. She'll be using examples from the audience and discussing how to improve your pitches. It's a really great chance to get feedback and practice your pitch before you go in front of the editor or agent.

Susan Lanier
2012 Desert Dreams Conference Coordinator

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Check out this article titled MARCH 2012 THE MONTH TRADITIONAL PUBLISHNG DIED? by Bob Mayer, one of our conference speakers. Bob Mayer will give a workshop: WRITE IT FORWARD - Friday April 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm. Find his article on eBooks at:

This article caught my eye, especially since I will be speaking about the new emerging models of publishing at the Desert Dreams Writers Conference on Friday afternoon at 3 pm. One of the questions raised in the comments following this article is: What about the author who is not a fantastic self-promoter, who is not techno-savvy, and doesn't want to hire editors and book cover artists to self pubish digitally?

This question will be answered in my workshop "The funny thing about eBooks - Navigating the eBook Jungle" on Friday April 27, 2012 at 3 pm. We will explore the new emerging opportunities, other than traditional publishing, offered to writers who only want to write and still pursue a successful career in eBook, without becoming a full time publisher. We'll also talk about the future of paperbacks. As we know although eBooks are taking over, paper will not disappear completely from our shelves.

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? 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.

Also a the conference, if you are thinking of self-publishing in eBooks, don't miss:


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.

Hope to see many of you at this exciting conference.
Hurry to register HERE, you only have until March 31, and the hotel rooms at the special price are going fast.

Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams blogger and speaker
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick

Friday, March 16, 2012

Want your book in the top 100 paid on kindle?

Want to put your book into the top 100 paid list on Kindle? Carolyn McCray has done it and she is taking appointments at Desert Dreams. This is a last minute update, but well worth a mention in this blog. I want to know how to do that.

So if you are interested, and you didn't register yet, hurry up. This is the best return for your money. The fee is only $235, and you get the same privileges and advantages as at a much larger conference. You only have a few days to register, and the block of hotel rooms at our special price is melting very fast.

Go to and click on Conference at the bottom left for information and registration.

Hope to see you there.

Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams blogger - speaker
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Registrations deadlines extended - Book your hotel now!

Time is running out to book your hotel reservations at the special conference rate! As the time has come, the hotel has agreed to extend the deadline a few days. As for registration for the conference, you only have until the end of the month! March 31! so hurry.

To register for the conference, go to:

For hotel reservation, please, go to
to book your rooms online - just follow the link and you'll go to the Chaparral Suites website to book your rooms. You can indicate the days you want to stay (most common days are to check in on 4/27 and check out on 4/29) and it will automatically give you the price. Our rate is $149 for two people in the suite. There is an additional charge for adding up to 2 additional people. If you prefer to call the hotel to book your room with a person, you can call 800-528-1456, but you must refer to the group name "2012 Desert Dreams Writer's Conference" to receive the group rate.

Why would you want to stay at the hotel even if you are local? You won't want to miss a minute of the action! We will start at noon on Friday and go until late on Friday evening. Even though the dinner ends about 9:30, the hospitality suite is open until 11 p.m. and you will find a chance to discuss your books and the industry in the suite, around the pool, or in the bar with other writers, editors, agents. Again on Saturday, we get started early and go through the dinner on Saturday evening. Again, the hospitality suite is open until 11 p.m. Sunday, we start early and go until 11:45.

Also, the hotel stay includes a full breakfast each morning. You can also enjoy the pools (there are two beautiful ones) and the rooms are all suites with a separate bedroom and living room area. It's the perfect opportunity to make this an industry weekend and dedicate the time to your career. Make your reservations now before it's too late!


Susan Lanier
2012 Desert Dreams Conference Coordinator

Monday, March 5, 2012

Time to register if you haven't yet - You don't want to miss this conference!

This is the bargain of the season, the most welcoming, the most edifying, the most prized conference in the country this spring. The price is friendly, the Chapparal hotel affordable for us, and you can share rooms. You get the same advantages as in the larger conferences, and much more. The agents and editors are relaxed, eager, ready to listen to you pitch your book. In Phoenix in the spring, everyone smiles, even the sun is friendly, the pool delicious. Definitely bring your bathing suit.

The best speakers in the country are sharing their knowledge. Don't miss Allison Brennan, Bob Mayer, Martha Alderson. Whether you are already a star in the industry or you are still learning the ropes, an abundance of workshops will help you make your book irresistible to publishers. Here is one of the many workshops offered:

The most interesting characters are the hardest to write. Beth Andrews will explore ways to create complex, layered characters who will jump off the page and into your reader’s heart. Don’t miss this workshop at the Desert Dreams Writers Conference.

Registration closes March 31, 2012
Click on Conference bottom left.

Hope to see many of you there.

Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Guns, Swords, Cats, Romance with a Kick