Category Archives: CTRWA

The Joy of Celebrating Romance Readers

I confess, I’m in a great mood despite the fact that snow is falling outside. Yes, snow in April. Needless to say, spring weather in New England is unpredictable. But I digress. My point is that I can deal with the snow because I’m still riding the high from the weekend thanks to dozens of readers, librarians, and bloggers (*waves to Heroes and Heartbreakers*).

The Pond House

The Pond House

On Saturday, my Connecticut Romance Writers of America chapter hosted its first annual “Spring into Romance” luncheon, (which was open to librarians, book sellers, and readers) at The Pond House. When we conceived of the idea months ago, we had no idea whether or not it would work. I admit, at first I had that sick feeling you get when you start to plan a party and wonder whether anyone will show up.

 

 

My beta readers

My beta readers

Luckily, we ended up with 97 guests (including some of our chapter’s authors). Those of us on the board were pleased with that turnout considering this was our first attempt to organize such an event. Our president, Jamie Pope, offered some welcoming remarks, and Kristan Higgins gave a lovely keynote address to the crowd. Spirits were high, I tell you. Of course, it probably didn’t hurt that we loosened everyone up with a complimentary cocktail.

The Three Jamies!

The Three Jamies!

Those who came enjoyed a great meal, played a fun trivia game (although my table did not fare so well in this), and mingled with other romance novel lovers, all of whom got to take home a goody bag with free books, frames, wine glasses, and more.

 

 

But while all of that is very fine and made for a pleasant afternoon, what stuck with me was the enthusiasm of so many who were interested in meeting some of their favorite authors.

Authors Kristan Higgins, Erika Kelly and guests

Authors Kristan Higgins, Erika Kelly and guests

I really can’t describe how much having a reader tell you, “I love your books” means to me. It is what makes me sit at this desk day after day. It gets me through reading a less flattering review. It helps me quiet the self-doubt that starts screaming midway through any draft.

 

So, this post, like this past weekend, is my little love note to my readers.

Authors Sadie Hartwell, Katy Lee and guests.

Authors Sadie Hartwell, Katy Lee and guests.

I wish more of you lived in Connecticut so that you could participate in some of the activities my chapter organizes. In lieu of that, I appreciate your participation on my Facebook page, and cherish every single reader email I get (including the ones that tell me what should happen next in a series).

Author Gail Chianese and guests

Author Gail Chianese and guests

 

 

I know I speak on behalf of my chapter and all of my writing friends when I say that you, dear readers, are the reason we keep writing. Thank you for spending your time with our stories!

xo-Jamie

The Journey to Publication

In April, 2011, I took my very first step toward a writing career when I sat down to write a romantic women’s fiction novel entitled “Unexpected Song.”  That story will likely remain under my bed forever, but the exercise ignited a spark that led to four additional completed manuscripts, and another in progress as I write this post.

Had I known, when I started, how difficult, competitive, frightening, and exhausting pursuing publication would be, I might not have tried.  “Ignorance is bliss” perfectly describes my first year of writing, and I couldn’t be happier.  Why?  Because had I been afraid to try, I’d have missed out on the ups and downs of entering writing contests, pursuing agents, submitting to publishers, and very soon, launching my debut novel, IN THE CARDSScreen Shot 2014-11-24 at 4.38.10 PM

I’m so grateful to all of my family, friends, the many wonderful writers, my agent, and my editor, all of whom have supported me with their encouragement, enthusiasm, and honest feedback.  I hope readers will enjoy this love story, which is rooted in themes of fate, self-discovery, and overcoming fear.

I’m donating a portion of the proceeds from the first two weeks’ sales to New Canaan CARES, so spread the word.  Also, if you’re in the area, I’m hosting a launch party (with a gift basket raffle) on Tuesday, December 9th, at Heather Gaudio Fine Art, 21 South Avenue, New Canaan, CT, from 7 – 8:30 pm.

Stop by and celebrate with me!

xo-Jamie

 

Love of Learning

When we hear the word love, we first think of relationships.  I suppose that makes sense, because the desire to love and be loved is as instinctive as the desire for food and air.  But your life can be filled with other kinds of love, too.  A love of art or music, for example.  And for many, a love of learning plays an important role in their well-being and happiness.

I’m one of them–of those who are energized by learning.  I’m not just talking about the formal education I received while pursuing my law and M.B.A. degrees, either.  I love to learn about people, places, and events (large and small).  I love to engage with others, preferably in an intimate setting, and debate six sides of the same argument.  And I love to learn more about the craft of writing from writers who are ahead of me on the learning curve.1912220_608544732590373_2952381615024029599_n

I’m eagerly anticipating a master class workshop being hosted by my Connecticut Romance Writers of America chapter this weekend, featuring best-selling author Cherry Adair.  I’m sure I’ll be inspired, personally and professionally, by the end of the weekend.  I’m also excited to contribute to the fundraising effort this year by putting together a basket of goodies for the silent auction.  I’m thinking I’ll giveaway one of these on my blog when my book releases, too.

I hope you have plans for your weekend that will invigorate you and enrich your life.  Anyone care to share?

XO-jamie