RWA

Packing for Nationals – NOW? Why not?

 

Susan-Mermaid-avatarI know, I know – the RWA National Conference is in July. So, why am I getting all het up about packing already?

Because the finalists for the Golden Heart and RITA awards are being announced on March 26th. And I am pretty sure there are some writers who, after jumping up and down, screaming, crying, calling everyone they know

and some they don’t, will suddenly have that dull, ugly lump of dread blooming in their innards: WHAT IN THE WORLD AM I GOING TO WEAR?

Back in the day (1986, to be specific) this finalist/winner wore a chic white cocktail dress she found in a bridal shop, and some very nifty gold-and-black jewelry. The dress is long gone – thank goodness shoulder pads went out of style – but the necklace still lives in my jewelry box, a beloved and respected treasure….
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Romance is Everywhere

Three Mermaids walk into a bar…

I just had to start out that way because back in July three Mermaids were in a bar. Alethea, Denny, and I were at a bar in San Antonio for a publisher’s party during the RWA Annual Conference®. When the party started dying down, we decided to walk back to our hotel. Because walking in the late-July Texas heat was our best idea? Turns out, we didn’t even notice the heat.

As we made our way along the festive, color-bursting River Walk, a young man dressed in military uniform rushed by us. He was on a mission. And if the big bouquet of beautiful flowers said anything, it was that this mission was of the romantic persuasion.

So Alethea, Denny, and I did what any normal person who writes romance novels would do. We hiked up our fancy dresses and started following him. It didn’t take long for us to realize we weren’t the only people who took…
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Hot and Humid

In 2011, I went to the RWA® National Conference in New York City and pitched a manuscript. I remember the pitching room was filled with like 427,000 agents and editors. The waiting area outside was commandeered by a mean woman who yelled at us like cattle. Really naughty cattle who had used her toothbrush. She detested us! Kerri Carpenter

I walked up to a very well-known editor wearing my specially chosen flouncy polka-dot skirt and coordinating hair accessories, which she did comment on. Yay! I knew we would be best friends. I pitched my manuscript, she liked it, and asked me to send the whole thing. Then she said the words that rocked my world.

HAVE YOU WRITTEN ANYTHING ELSE?

At the time, I was quite nervous and somewhat flustered from above mean lady yelling at me like cattle. I didn’t take the time to process her question. If I had, I would have realized she meant, do you have anything…
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Learning the Hard Way

Nov 14 RWRI received my issue of the latest Romance Writers Report yesterday (the November issue), and was thrilled to find inside its hallowed covers not only an article featuring our very own Kerri Carpenter, but a mention of the Waterworld Mermaids blog as well…WOOHOO!

The article, by Laura Kaye, is called “Getting the Call, Despite Ourselves.” Kerri, along with other seasoned romance authors such as Mindy Klasky and Jill Shalvis, volunteer some of the mistakes they made on their road to publication.

It is never easy, this thing that we do…even when it seems like we’re getting cake, we know that we’ll be running marathons to work those calories off somewhere down the line. Some of us get lucky on that first break, but even those of us who did still pay our dues at some point.

Kerri explains in the article that her path to publication took seven manuscripts and thirteen years…and that she wished she had known…
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Congratulations!!!

The Waterworld Mermaids are flipping our fins, pouring some delicious cocktails and getting the party started in our magical lagoon today. We have a lot to celebrate!

We want to congratulate 3 (yes 3!) of our very amazing, talented, beautiful Mermaids for being finalists in this year’s Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® contest. Congrats to all – well done!

Denny S. Bryce – “Chasing Damn” in Romantic Suspense

Kimberly MacCarron – “Chasing Fireworks” and “To Feel or Not to Feel” in Young Adult Romance

Pintip Dunn – “Carlie in Crisis” in Young Adult Romance and “Fit to Die” in Paranormal Romance

We’ll all be cheering you on this July when they announce the winners!!!

Who You Calling Crazy?

My love for Mary Jo Putney grew exponentially this month when I heard her speak at RWA Nationals. She received the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award and gave one of the best speeches about the writing life that I’ve ever heard. My favorite line? This one:

You don’t have to be crazy to be a writer, but it sure helps.

*Cue lots of knowing laughter.*

Ah, the writing life. It makes us all a bit batty even if we weren’t before. Why? Well for us planners it’s because we work things out in our heads (or our forrest-killing line of Post-It notes) and then this happens:

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If you’re a freak like me that makes you do this:

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But that never gets the job done, so I suck it up and make a new plan. This is what I tell my characters:

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I Heart Sherrilyn Kenyon & Super Fabulous Dark-Hunter Giveaway!

Happy Friday Fishy Friends!  I’m completely excited about today’s post because I’m giving away one very special Sherrilyn Kenyon Dark-Hunter novels collection set.  *Giveaway info at the end of this post*Mermaid Carlene

But first I’d like to share a fun story with you.  So, I firmly believe that if you love something, you should love it well.  Just always remember that love is respectful.

So, a few years ago, I was still relatively new to the DC area, settling into my home and continuing to quietly work on writing.  I was so new to it back then that I had no idea about writers groups, contests, or conferences.  But I was VERY familiar with Sherrilyn Kenyon’s books and had become a huge fan since being given “Seize the Night” at the 2008 San Diego Comic Con.   During a regular check of her upcoming appearances in my area, I saw that she was going to be doing a…
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RWA2012 – Workshops, BDSM, and Seriously!

I am not a prude, I am not a prude, I swear I am not a prude, but…I am respectful of all genres, which means I don’t think I’ll write any BDSM anytime soon. I will admit, it would be a spanking new subject for me to explore, and one thing I learned at the fabulous talk at the Passionate Ink Party last night — you can’t fake writing BDSM–it will show:). The Passionate Ink’s RWA conference events are always excellent. They bring in expert guest speakers and in particular, this year, it was the cutting-edge topic (50 Shades of Grey Trilogy sold 20 percent of all books last month, if I remember the stat as stated).  So when The Darker Side of Pleasure author Eve Berlin (aka Eden Bradley, a self-proclaimed mid-list author who is getting better deals said Shades is leading a change in the industry that is very good for erotic romance writers), and an academic…
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It’s RWA 2012 Week: Schedule, Schedule, Schedule

You know how it goes. You get all excited about attending a conference because of the friends you haven’t seen in a year, or brilliant keynote speakers, or the chance to be a fan girl when you run into one of your favorite authors in the cafe shop, in the elevator, or who knows where. Nothing but fun. Until you sit down and examine the schedule.

I love conferences and I love workshops, spotlights and author chats, and I appreciate tracks – craft, career, or research. But there’s always one day, and one time slot, where I swear the RWA 2012 programmers are plotting against me.

I call it schedule wars, and I have found my Waterloo for 2012 – Friday, July 27 between 9:45 and 10:45. On average there are 10 options for each hour time block, so it’s not unusual to find at least two or three programs you want to attend in the same block of…
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Happy Fourth of July!!!

July 4th is my favorite holiday. I could watch fireworks on a nightly basis. Perhaps my love of glitter and sparkles has something to do with it.

Plus, the Fourth of July is fun. There is no present-buying-stress like Christmas. Sure, you may get some picnic or barbecue food together, but that doesn’t seem to be as stressful as a huge Thanksgiving dinner.

Instead, July 4th is easy. It’s summer, the weather is (hopefully) beautiful and you can just relax and celebrate with friends and family. Again, hopefully with fireworks.

But the real reason why this is my favorite holiday is the meaning. Let’s take a moment to remember the significance of this day; what it represents and why we celebrate it. The Fourth of July is about freedom.

I’ve been thinking about my love for this relaxing holiday and how it makes me feel. Interesting that that same easiness and carefree feeling used to be applied to my writing. Before I learned about publishing contracts, query letters, protecting your…
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