Journeys of the Heart

An author's journey

History Happening

rt 2008 redu (2)While at RomantiCon I had my first experience as a conference presenter.  Three other authors, Tracy Cooper-Posey, Ruby Storm, Mary Ann Chulick and I served on the Researching and Writing Historical Fiction panel.  (Tracy and me below)

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We had great information and covered a wide array of historical time periods in our books.  Obviously, lots to share.  The downside was we had to do it in 35 minutes which was cut to 25 minutes since we were the last session before all the authors were to set up for the big culminating book fair.  Still, we managed to pull off a decent program, considering we had no time to prepare and barely knew each other.  Best of all, we had an audience. 

The up side was that all our research didn’t go for naught.  Tracy Cooper-Posey set up a history portal on her website.  What’s a portal you ask? (I know I had to ask).  To really understand you’ll have to visit it.  It’s beautiful, easy to navigate and chock full of cool articles, hints on writing historical fiction and lists of fabulous resources.  You can find it at: 

Authors, readers and history buffs will all find something useful and informative.  So check it out.  Then let me know what you think about it.  We’re hoping to expand on it, so comments are appreciated.


October 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Awed by Alegria

rt 2008 redu (2)Ever since I first saw them on TV I’ve wanted to see a live performance by Cirque de Soleil.  Last night that dream was fulfilled.  I attended the touring road show of Cirque de Soleil Alegria at the Sovereign Center in Reading, PA.  The show, whose title means jubilation in Spanish, is a “baroque ode to the energy, grace and power of youth.”  To say it was fantastic is to use it in the form of fantastical.  The music and choreography and incredible timing of the performers as they seemingly defied the laws of physics was amazing and breathtaking as fire-dancers, contortionists, high-fliers and acrobats danced, leaped, flipped and flew across the stage.  It was almost dizzying at times to keep track of everything that was going on.  I loved every moment (most of which my sister and I spent sitting open-mouthed in awe). 

The circus as a form of entertainment had almost become extinct when Cirque de Soleil came onto the scene.  They revived the old, tired, worn-out version and turned it into a vital new art form by taking risks (figuratively and literally), by thinking outside the box and by not fearing being over the top with their performances.  All things we as writers could apply to our books.  If you’re starting to plot a new story, as I am, or have a stack of rejection letters on a current book, step back and take another look at your manuscript. Perhaps now is the time to jump out of your comfort zone.   Come at your plot, goals, motivations and conflicts from another angle.  Think outside the box and don’t be afraid to be a bit over the top.  Let your passion show.  Publishers are looking for the fresh and the new.  Take a tip from Cirque de Soleil and let your stories fly.  Alegria!

October 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Countdown to RomantiCon

rt 2008 redu (2)October 9th to 11th I’ll be attending RomantiCon in Ohio.  The event is the first conference sponsored by my publisher, Ellora’s Cave, Inc.  I’ve been registered for nearly a year.  This week the countdown begins.  My promotional materials—excerpt brochures, book marks and pens are neatly packed and ready to go.  I’ve started pulling together the proper clothing for the three day extravaganza, including something special for the Psychic Soiree welcoming party.  Can you say granny dress?  Amazingly I have an original from the 70s that still fits.  Then of course there have to be cute, but professional outfits for Author Mania (2 half hour chat sessions with readers who are attending the conference) workshops and of course, the book fair and signing on Sunday.  I also have to prepare for my first workshop as a presenter.  I’m on the Researching and Writing Historical Fiction panel.  I’ll be the presenter wearing the medieval gown.  Since my medieval, Threads of Love, debuts in print, I’ve decided to go all out and dress the part for the signing which is directly after my session.  I think it’s called marketing.  It remains to be seen if it works.  I’m sure I’ll attract attention.  The big question is whether or not that attention will translate into book sales.  I’ll let you know. 

There are a lot of firsts associated with this conference—first time conference for my publisher, first time I’ve done a workshop at a conference, and my personal favorite, first time I get to meet my editor.  Helen hales from Australia. Up to now our contact has strictly been electronic.  She’s holding a special party for all her authors, another first, where we’ll be treated to two Australian culinary staples, Vegemite sandwiches and Tim Tams (a dessert cake that she refers to as ‘food of the gods’) 

I’ll be traveling with two other Ellora’s Cave authors, Kathy Kulig ( and Cris Anson ( so packing is definitely a challenge.  I expect to have my suitcase on my lap for most of the trip.  Hmmm!  Three authors crammed into a car for six to seven hours.  Whatever will we find to talk about?

October 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments