Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Maryland Romance Writers at the Baltimore Book Festival this Weekend

This weekend, if you live anywhere near Baltimore, you’ve got a wonderful opportunity to hang out with members of Maryland Romance Writers—including me.

This year we have a fabulous location. Our tent is located right at the main entrance to the Festival, on Charles Street below the Washington Monument.

Starting Friday afternoon, we’ll be providing a wide variety of programming on the book industry, the craft of writing, and everything you need to know to succeed in fiction’s best-selling genre.

We kick off on Friday, September 28, at noon, with a meet and greet.  Come talk about books, receive promotional materials and browse the Ukazoo Bookstore!  Following are panel discussions throughout the book festival.

Getting the Courage to Write

Everything you ever wanted to know about how to get started in a fiction- writing career. Come prepared with questions! Authors include: Debra Anastasia, Robin Covington, Cheryl Klam, Sophie Perinot and Rebecca York.

On this panel I’m going to talk about what I call “the writing muscle.” The more you write, the easier it is to do it. (Not that it’s ever easy.) And I’m going to tell you everyone gets rejected—even if you’ve sold a hundred books.

On Writing Young Adult Romance Series

Authors talk about the challenges of writing engaging series and offer readings from their latest works. Giveaways/Raffles. Participating authors are Jennifer L. Armentrout, Claudia Gabel, Lea Nolan and Jeri Smith-Ready.

3 pm
Craft & Character Lessons

Authors offer advice, guidance and tricks of the trade in developing your writing craft and characterization. Authors include Miranda Neville, Jeri Smith-Ready, Rebecca York and Laura Kaye.

Some of the topics we’ll cover include:

  • Do you come up w/ character first or plot first? Why?
  • Do you plot out your story or do you “wing it”?
  • Do you develop your characters at the same time you develop your plot?
  • How do you come up with well-rounded characters?
  • What are important traits for a romance hero? Heroine?
  • Do you have favorite characters you’ve created?

4 pm
Historical Accuracy in Historical Fiction

Authors talk about their take on research and issues of accuracy in historical romantic fiction and read from their latest works. Giveaways/Raffles.  Authors include Eliza Knight, Janet Mullany, Miranda Neville, Kate Poole, Kate Quinn and Amy Villalba.

Trends and Readings In Romantic Suspense

Authors discuss what romantic suspense is, what trends define the genre, and share readings from their latest works. Giveaways/Raffles. Authors include Natalie Damschroder, Joya Fields, Caridad Pineiro and Rebecca York.

I’ll talk about exactly what my new Sourcebooks editor asked me for in my new Sourcebooks romantic suspense series.

Blood and Chocolate

Indulge your chocolate cravings with dark and delicious chocolate samples from Maryland Romance Writers, while authors talk about why vampire fiction remains hot and share readings from their latest works. Giveaways/Raffles. Authors include Debra Anastasia, Laura Kaye, Janet Mullany, Caridad Pineiro, and Amy Villalba.

Debating the Erotic and Readings

Authors talk about the differences between erotic romance, erotic fiction, and erotica and offer readings from their latest works. Giveaways/Raffles. Authors include Laura Kaye, Janet Mullany, Caridad Pineiro and Kate Poole.

Saturday, September 29 

Trends and Readings in Young Adult Romance

Authors talk about what’s hot in young adult romantic fiction and share readings from their latest works. Giveaways/Raffles. Authors include Jennifer L. Armentrout, Em Garner, Cheryl Klam, Alethea Kontis, Lea Nolan and Leanna Renee Hieber.

Moderated by Elissa Petruzzi, YA editor, RT Book Reviews Magazine

What is Women’s Fiction?

Authors talk about what defines women’s fiction, how it differs from romance, and offer readings from their latest works. Giveaways/Raffles. Authors include Stephanie Dray, Lisa Verge Higgins, Sophie Perinot, Kate Quinn and Hope Tarr.

Fantasy In Romance/Romance In Fantasy

Science fiction romance. Time travel. Ghost stories. And more! Authors discuss weaving fantasy and romantic elements together and offer readings from their latest works. Giveaways/Raffles. Authors include Debra Anastasia, Catherine Asaro, Eliza Knight, Loni Lynne, Leanna Renee Hieber and Hope Tarr.

No Holds Barred with Agents and Editors

Come prepared with questions you’ve always wanted agents and editors to answer. And, for the especially daring, come with five copies of the first page of your manuscript, and the panelists offer feedback on what works and what to work on! (One-page instructions: typed, no name, place title/genre at top, double-spaced, one-inch margins and 12-point font.)  Agents and editors include Elaine English, literary agent and attorney, Elaine English Literary; Claudia Gabel, senior editor, Katherine Tegen Books (imprint of Harper Collins).

Publishing Contracts: What Authors Need to Know

An attorney and literary agent, Elaine P. English breaks down publishing contracts and offers advice on clauses to avoid, negotiations and other legal considerations for authors.

4:50 pm
Trends and Readings In Historical Fiction

Historical fiction has been making a big comeback, exploring new time periods and the lives of lesser-known historical figures. What’s behind the trend, and where is the genre going? Giveaways/Raffles. Authors include Kate Dolan, Christie Kelley, Sophie Perinot, Hope Tarr and Diane Wylie.

Sex and Historical Fiction Novelists

Authors talk about the role of romance and sex in writing and telling a story of historical fiction and offer readings from their latest works. Giveaways/Raffles. Authors include Stephanie Dray, Sophie Perinot and Kate Quinn.

Fifty Shades of Hot!: Erotic Taboos in Fiction and Readings

Authors offer readings from their latest works and talk about writing the forbidden, including identifying and pushing their erotic boundaries, where the line crosses into pornography, and how to enjoy the risks and the payoffs of writing and reading erotic taboos. Giveaways/Raffles. Authors include Stephanie Draven, Megan Hart, Eliza Knight, Caridad Pineiro and Pam Rosenthal/Molly Weatherfield.

Sunday, September 30 

Many Paths To Publication: ePublishing and Self-Publishing

Authors talk about the many options writers have to get their writing before readers and will discuss the pros and cons, the journey to publication, and the risks and rewards of epublishing and self-publishing. Authors include Christi Barth, Kate Dolan, Megan Hart, Eliza Knight, Amy Villalba and Rebecca York.

I’ll talk about how I’ve added indie publishing and e-publishing to my traditional career.

The Writing Mother

Authors discuss the challenges of and tips for how to balance a career in fiction writing with the demands of family, motherhood and other jobs. Authors include Robin Covington, Patricia Eimer, Jamie Michele, Lisa Verge Higgins and Laura Welling.

Writing Funny And Romantic

Authors talk about incorporating humor and comedic elements into romantic fiction and share readings from their latest works. Giveaways/Raffles. Authors include Debra Anastasia, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Christi Barth, Stephanie Draven, and Patricia Eimer.

Readings In Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense

Authors discuss the challenges and benefits of writing stories set in the contemporary world, talk about researching contemporary stories, and share readings from their latest works. Authors include Ann Arbaugh, Christi Barth, Robin Covington, Joya Fields, Lillie Finn, and Jamie Michele.

The Healthy Writer

Authors share the challenges of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and offer tips on how to how to stay healthy while pursuing a career in fiction writing. Authors include Sharon Buchbinder, Kate Dolan, Eliza Knight and Rebecca York.

I’ll discuss how I fit exercise into my writing life (including my new treadmill desk) plus how I keep my diet healthy.

Making Old Stories New

Authors present on how to create engaging fiction based on fairy tales, folklore, mythology, and history, and how to make those old stories new, fresh, and exciting. Giveaways/Raffles. Authors include Kate Dolan, Natalie Damschroder, Stephanie Draven, Laura Kaye, Alethea Kontis and Catherine Asaro.

Creature Feature! Trends and Readings in Paranormal Romance

Authors argue the case for their favorite paranormal creature, talk about trends in paranormal romance, and offer readings from their latest works. Giveaways/Raffles. Authors include Sharon Buchbinder, Stephanie Draven, Laura Kaye, Loni Lynne and Laura Welling.

Come meet some of your favorite authors, and get some great writing advice.


  1. Thanks for spreading the word. I'm very excited at BBF this year.

  2. This program looks fabulous; many sessions sound both informative and fun. If all this were being offered at a convention, people would have to pay a lot to attend! But I'm assuming that these sessions are either free or cost only a modest amount, right?

  3. It's going to be a great year! Looking forward to seeing everyone.


  4. Yes, it's going to be a lot of fun! And educational. Don't forget educational.

  5. I think the BBF is one of the best--it gives you a smorgasbord of delicious topics to choose from. What I like most about the panel settings is the energetic interaction between panelists and audience. Great Q and A. Interesting discussions. And I hear this year the weather will be good. Last year we had a deluge.

  6. I have my fingers crossed for good weather!

  7. I'm excited. It's going to be a great program.