events

All posts in the events category

Southwest Florida Reading Festival

Published March 18, 2017 by francesothomas

logo-small

 

I just got home from the Southwest Florida Reading Festival, an event held each March in Fort Myers. When I attend, I always make a point to go to hear any romance writers who are featured. This year’s panel included Cassandra King, Susan Wiggs, and Lori Wilde.  I’ve read and reviewed Wiggs and Wilde, but King was new to me. After hearing her speak, I intend to remedy that situation.

The three women took turns introducing themselves and then answered questions from the audience. King and Wilde grew up on farms. Wiggs was born in upstate New York but grew up in various places in Europe. All three said they were from families where reading was important. King and Wiggs became teachers when told they needed to have something besides writing to earn a living. Wilde became a nurse, a profession she professes to dread ever having to go back to.

King has written five novels but also nonfiction. Wiggs’ first novel was published in March 1987. Wilde has written more than 80 books. Asked the typical question of where ideas come from, King related how she modified  her original premise for Moonrise after she rented a house to do research in the area in which the story is set. Alone in the rather spooky house, she began to read Du Maurier’s Rebecca, and the story developed from that. Wiggs wrote Family Tree during the last year of her father’s life, inspired by his unfailing optimism. Wilde wrote Christmas at Twilight when she was coming to grips with mental health issues within her family and overcoming her own need to fix everything.

None of the three does a complete outline before beginning to write although they all know the general story arc. Wilde said her characters used to keep her awake at night until she learned to give them boundaries. Wiggs motivates herself to write by rewarding herself with an M&M for each page. She writes in longhand first and then goes back later and types her manuscript. King stressed that writers must uphold their contracts and meet deadlines. Publishers don’t buy the excuse of artistic temperament.

None of the women have much say over the covers on their books. Wiggs just saw for the first time the cover of her next book to be released in August. King once had a different cover put on the paperback edition of her book than had been on the hardback. Wilde said covers are a crap shoot. What may appeal to the author might not be a cover that will sell the book.

Asked about agents, Wiggs said she’s had the same agent for decades. Wilde is on her third agent. King said her first agent didn’t do much for her. She advised authors to publish anything they can, anywhere they can to increase the possibility that an agent might find them.

I’m so grateful that this event is held every year. The authors’ back stories  are fascinating.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Southwest Florida Reading Festival

Published February 25, 2015 by francesothomas

I am eagerly awaiting the Southwest Florida Reading Festival. The Lee County Florida Library System is holding its free annual event on March 21 in downtown Fort Myers. They’ve scheduled 28 authors including Kim Boykin, Nancy Horan, Shelly King, Laura Lippman, Susan Mallery, Mary Alice Monroe, Carla Norton, Dani Pettrey, and Candis Terry.

Along with the expected panel discussions and book signings, the festival organizers also arrange for every child and teen in attendance to receive a free book. Vendors and displays fill Harborside Convention Center and nearby Centennial Park.

“Partner” events offer more opportunities to meet and greet the authors. All of the authors will be dining at the Marina at Edison Ford on March 20. The Friends of the South County Library, volunteers at one of the system’s branches, are hosting Susan Mallery at a lunch on March 23. Shelly King will speak at Fort Myers Congregational Church on March 19.

Local romance writers have their own event on March 13 at MacIntosh Book Store on Sanibel Island They will be signing copies of From Florida with Love, the group’s Florida themed romance anthology.

This is truly a family-friendly event and one I highly recommend.

SW FL Reading Festival

KissCon launching on West Coast

Published October 23, 2014 by francesothomas

I often wish I lived on the West Coast. Now I have kiss two more reasons. Avon is launching new events called KissCon.

What does KissCon entail? A group of Avon authors will be doing a signing, a Q&A, and fun, interactive events with the audience. There will be prizes and raffles. Authors attending each event will vary slightly. Attendance is free, unless you spring for a VIP ticket—which gets you in to an exclusive reception with the authors, as well as one of the featured authors’ books.

Maybe I will finish one of my own romance novels in time to be featured at a Florida KissCon someday.  Anyway, here are the locations:

KissCon Seattle (at Copperfield’s Books in San Rafael, CA, Saturday, 11/22):

Avon Books and Copperfield’s San Rafael are joining forces to bring romance readers the very first KissCon (an Avon Affair!) on November 22, 2014.  There will be a special limited-attendance VIP event, and a larger public event.  We are encouraging readers to reserve tickets for both!

Featured authors include: Ilona Andrews, Elizabeth Boyle, Rachel Gibson, Laura Kaye, TJ Kline, Julie Anne Long, Sarah MacLean, Cathy Maxwell,Jennifer Ryan and Lori Wilde.

 

KissCon Seattle (at University Bookstore, Sunday, 11/23) :

Avon Books and University Book Store are teaming up to bring Seattle area romance readers the city’s first-ever multi-author KissCon (an Avon Affair!) on November 23, 2014.  There will be a special limited-attendance VIP event, followed by a larger public event.  We are encouraging readers to reserve tickets for both!

The star-studded author line-up includes: Ilona AndrewsJennifer BernardElizabeth BoyleJulie Brannagh, Rachel Gibson,  Lorraine HeathLaura KayeSophie Jordan, Sarah MacLeanCathy Maxwell, Darlene PanzeraJulia Quinn and Lori Wilde.