Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Author Appearances, Book Club Talks, and--oh yes--Giveaways!

Despite a bitterly cold March and April, I've had the good fortune to get out and about to a number of events.

Most recent, a local book club appearance where the group had chosen to read THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE. This was my first book club experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed discussing my work with readers. It was very interesting to see what they took from the book and what they saw in it. After all, a book is really a conversation between the author and the reader where both bring their unique experiences to the text on the page. Most of the time, however, they don't get to share their insights face-to-face.

Last weekend I took in the Wisconsin Romance Writers of America (WisRWA) conference in Milwaukee where I got to hobnob with my fellow romance authors. Since the conference was held in conjunction with the Barbara Vey's Reader Appreciation Luncheon, I also got to play fangirl and visit my favorite authors, including the always amazing and personable Jade Lee, long-time favorite Lori Handeland, and the generous Jeannie Lin, who stopped at my signing table and picked up a postcard on BLOODSTONE. Yay!

At the end of March I was invited to speak to a writers group at the Northern Lights Arts Council in Amery, Wisconsin. This time my objective was to explain romance to writers who didn't write in the genre and most likely still held misconceptions about it. Nonetheless, they were very welcoming, and I'm told WisRWA gained a new member from that group. It was a treat to be there even if it took me a week to get my talk ready. Here's a couple of photos:
Currently, I've launched a Goodreads Giveaway for PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE. Click on the icon on the right if you'd like to enter.

Upcoming in May is a Wine and Romance Event in Algoma, Wisconsin, along Lake Michigan. Pairing wines and books is such a no-brainer, I'm astonished I've not seen it done before. Looking forward to May 16. Maybe I'll see you there!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Happy 451st Birthday, Will!

That is, William Shakespeare, otherwise known as “The Bard of Stratford,” national treasure of England and bane of English students everywhere.

That’s unfortunate because Will Shakespeare wasn’t a literary writer, although we’ve since enshrined him as such. He was instead a writer of popular fiction, fiction designed for the masses, meant to fill the theaters for a week before the audience in London demanded something new. He was in competition with the other writers of his time, looking for his spot on the Elizabethan equivalent of the best-seller list. Over nearly two decades, he was prolific enough and popular enough to retire to the country with a small fortune.

Good old Will wrote edge-of-the-seat drama, slapstick comedy, witty repartee, and sizzling romance.
That’s right, romance. In a two hour play, using just the lines of dialogue, this Bard guy gave us all the emotional insight we need to understand how two characters who verbally rip each other apart each time they meet can find their way to admit fault, apologize, and find love. Of course it takes some prodding by meddling friends, but that’s to be expected in a romantic comedy.

And then there are the two guys who want the same girl who runs off with one of them because her father wants her to marry the other one, but then “true love never did run smooth.” Of course there’s another girl spurned by the second guy who just has to chase him while he chases the lovers. Meddling fairies literally drag them through the mud until they sort out their true affections during a harrowing night in the woods
Fun stuff. Sounds like something you’d see on “Once Upon a Time” on TV today. Definitely not what critics would call “literary.”

If you’ve not seen Much Ado about Nothing starring Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh or A Midsummer Night’s Dream featuring Michelle Pfeiffer and Kevin Kline, visit your local library today and check out their movie section.

There’s a lot we romance writers can learn from this 451-year-old guy from Stratford-upon-Avon.

You rule, Will!