Tag Archives: RWA

Author Fun – Book Signings

I’d like to share with you just a few pictures from my book signings for CAPTIVE (the Survival Race #1). I had a blast signing books, answering questions about CAPTIVE and about how I got published, and seeing good friends. I’m so lucky to have the support of these wonderful people – both pictured and not.

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Lisa & Jurgen came dressed in CAPTIVE colors!

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Melanie brought her copy on Kindle. (which reminds me to sign up for Authorgraph)

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Signing a copy for Katie.

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Thanks to ALL the Hellers for your support!

1010814_10201142529272897_1855511495_nI donated a copy of CAPTIVE to my local library. Librarian Karen graciously accepted the book and sent this picture to the local paper, the Readington News.

The following picture is the only one I have from last night’s book signing at my parents’ house. I’m sure my mom will email me some soon. Below is me with my aunt, Sharon Moran, who also wrote a book Daughters Of Destiny: Dramatic monologues of four Amazing American Women. I’m so blessed to have the wonderful support of my family. Aunts and cousins bought multiple copies for other family members who couldn’t make it, and I ran out of books!

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Aunt Sharon and me with our books.

I have a few more book signings on the schedule. I’ll be at RWA’s national conference in Atlanta signing at the Readers for Life Literacy signing on Wednesday, July 17th, as well as Grand Central Publishing’s signing on July 20th (my birthday!). Click on the link to see the 400+ authors who will be signing at Readers for Life.

August 4th I’ll be at A Paperback Exchange in Belmar, NJ. I hope to see you at one or more of these places!

~KM Fawcett

Write What You Know

About seven years ago at an RWA conference, I sat in on a workshop. In this workshop, attendees were asked to list every job we’ve ever had and the roles we’ve played in life throughout the years. I listed: Administrative Assistant to NY Fortune 500 Executive, Secretary in a pool of thirty, College student/graduate, receptionist at a veterinarian hospital, retail associate at a design store, owner of my own Interior Design business, Substitute teacher grades K-12, Girl Scout Leader, mother, sister, wife, daughter, godmother and aunt.

The speaker asked us to think about how we could use the professions we’ve spent time in as part of our books. Can our hero/heroine work in a field we’ve worked in? Can he/she be a parent? A scout leader? A teacher? An Admin? The speaker then went on to explain that if we took what we know and incorporated it into our books, not only would our writing voice be more genuine, but our hero/heroine would be more relatable.

Long after this workshop was over, I thought about what the speaker had said and something clicked. Yup. It was my light bulb moment. So, I took the speaker’s advice and incorporated a part of who I am into my next book, and like they say, the rest is history : )

My first book, All You Need Is Love features, Little Man, my family dog, who we lost to illness. By filling the pages of this book with his cuteness and adorable ways, he literally jumps off every page. I love dogs, always have, and through no planning of my own, a dog pops up in every book I write. It’s funny how the subconscious works, isn’t it? My critique partner says having a dog in all my books is part of my ‘brand’ and I suppose she’s right. All I know is that dog’s allow us to be vulnerable. We’re allowed to be our true selves around them without judgment and their unconditional love brightens the darkest day.

Marrying Mr. Right’s heroine, Missy Modesto, is similar to a good friend I’ve known my whole life. Missy is a strong woman with a heart of gold and although years may pass between visits, when my old friend and I that based Missy on, do meet, it feels like days not years have passed: )

Training Travis is about a divorced dad who gains custody of his fifteen year old daughter after his ex-wife’s untimely death. And even though I can’t relate to divorce, I am the mother of two girls, so I can relate to Travis’ daughter and the mood swings of a teenage girl : )

My first woman’s fiction, Pieces Of Candy, is about a menopausal, mother of two. Candy is a substitute teacher and decides she’s fed up and wants a career of her own. So begins her journey into interior design.

All of these characters/stories parallel my life in one way or another, and it isn’t by coincidence. I took the speaker’s advice at that conference long ago, and I didn’t just find my writing voice, I found out who I am as a writer because I write what I know.

Do you write what you know? And if so, how do you think your writing process has changed since you’ve started to write what you know?

Best,

Cathy Tully

Off to RWA!

It’s that time again. Time for Romance Writers of America’s National conference. Since I’m crazed getting packed for the con I thought I’d re-post a blog that can serves as a packing reminder for some of us who have ‘been there and done that’ and as tips to consider for first-timers.

  • Have business cards at the ready.  They don’t need to be elaborate, just something simple with your name and contact information on it.  At this stage you’ll probably need to make them yourself unless you can get them made overnight at a local printer, but for the future maybe try GotPrint.com or VistaPrint.com. They make good quality inexpensive cards.
  • Dress professionally and comfortably. Consider wearing layers.  There is no happy medium when it comes to temperature at many of these conference sites. The best thing you can do is to have layers so that you’ll always be able to make yourself comfortable.
  • Don’t be afraid to mingle and make connections, but be sure to pay attention to social cues. You don’t want to accidentally cut in on an important discussion.
  • Even if you aren’t taking an editor/agent appointment have a pitch for your current work in progress ready to go. You never know whom you’ll wind up chatting with and what can come from that interaction. Remember editors and agents are people too. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true.
  • Be mindful of your alcohol consumption.
  • Most importantly, enjoy yourself and let your creative juices be replenished by interacting with other writers.

Navigating your way around the conference is only part of the adventure. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe en route to the conference and while staying in the event hotel.

  • If possible travel with at least one travel companion.
  • Never tell anyone that you are traveling alone. If someone persistently asks, don’t hesitate to lie.
  • If attending a conference do not wear your name badge when you leave the event hotel.
  • Wear minimal jewelry. Lots of expensive and flashy jewelry makes you an easier target for predators. Also, consider using disposable cameras instead of bringing your digital camera. Expensive cameras are popular targets for thieves.
  • Never open up your door to any stranger and use all the locks on the door while in room.
  • Don’t open the door just because someone says security or maintenance.  Get the employee’s name and call the front desk to confirm before opening the door.
  • Avoid giving out your room number to anyone you meet in the bar or the trip.
  • Avoid leaving jewelry or credit cards in the room. Thieved don’t need the actual card, just the number and security code.
  • Lock your baggage if possible. (Airline locks are fine)
  • Avoid the scam this is the front desk calling please update your credit card information.
  • Never leave the plastic keys when you checkout. They can contain personal information.
  • If possible request a room closest to the elevators, more foot traffic, less secluded, more opportunity for crook to be seen
  • Try to avoid a room above the 10th floor; fire equipment usually does not reach that high.
  • Avoid going out alone at night and as always TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS!!

If you’re going to RWA, I hope to see you there. Both Melinda and I will be signing at the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing along with hundreds of other authors. The signing takes place in the Anaheim Convention Center, Wednesday, July 25, 2012, from 5–8 p.m. PT.

I’ll be at table 103 and Melinda will be at table 200. Stop by and say hello.

Safe Travels and we’ll see you in Cali!

Rayna

Advice for New Writers

I’m tackling interview questions for my November/December blog tour.  Yes, I know its 2 months away, but I’ve told you before that I’m a geek.  I always had my homework and term papers done way ahead of time.  Otherwise I can’t think because I feel like Wile E. Coyote with an anvil poised over his head.

Anyway, the best piece of advice I can give any beginning writer is to join a writers’ organtization.   Yesterday I attended the Liberty States Fiction Writers meeting.   I can’t describe how good it felt to mingle with other writers, to have them cheer when I held up the gorgeous ARC (advanced reader copy) of my debut novel, She Can Run, to pick the brains of the experienced authors in the group. (Thank you, Caridad Pineiro, yet again.)

Writing is a solitary life, but writers need to leave their writing caves and mingle with other humans occasionally.  But books are about people and relationships and the outside world.  How do we write about these things if we’re holed up in our PJs guzzling coffee and muttering to the dogs for months on end?  Professional organizations also provide important resources to help writers in all states improve their craft, learn to promote, and talk about what happening in the business. Liberty States Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America have both been instrumental in helping me with my career.

So, that’s my big piece of advice: join a professional organization.  For those of you with experience in the writing world, what advice can you give to beginning writers?  For the newbies out there, what’s your biggest obstacle?

If anyone has other writing organizations they’d like to list here, go for it!

Clearing the Creative Channels

It seems as though there is always something trying to suck the creativity out of you. Stress with work or family, the responsibilities of day to day living, in my case school all seems to build up and make finding the motivation and inspiration to write difficult. There is always something that tugs at you, pulling you away from your writing or simply draining the creative well dry. Still, if we want to get anything finished we have to find a way to push on, recharge, and  unblock the clogged creative channels so that the stories start flowing again.

One of the things I do is go to conferences. RWA’s National Conference is always very inspirational and gives my creativity stores a huge boost.  Although I will say the strength of that recharge was seriously challenged this year. I came home to discover I had tests due in both of the classes that I’m currently taking. This amounted to four tests in the course of one week since each class requires the completion of a pretest and the actual exam. Unfortunately,  school work had  to take precedence over writing productivity. Once I got through that I jumped back in and actually started making progress.

Another creative boost for me is brainstorming with friends. I love playing the what if game and seeing where it will take me. On a smaller scale a hot shower seems to be another way to help clear the cobwebs and help me focus in on the scene I want to write. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the solution to a plot issue come to me while I’m in the shower. Seriously, I need some sort of waterproof notepad so I can jot down these ideas when they come to me.

What about you? How do you keep those creative batteries charged?