Ancient City Romance Author’s Conference


It’s taken me a week to get to write this because I’m still on a high! I met the most supportive and knowledgeable bunch of published authors who have been together for over fifteen years. What an accomplishment! To have the patience to be critique partners for such a long time says a lot about their commitment to the craft, the industry, to themselves and their fellow members.

The historic town of St. Augustine was the location and as soon as my partner’s in fun, Cheryl Charles and Judy Kammeraad and I arrived we hit the beach. Just for pics and to breathe the fresh Atlantic air. If you’d like to see all of the pics please befriend me on Facebook. I’ll reciprocate! As an aside, I’ll be setting up an author page shortly.

Thursday eve we were on our own. Dinner. I craved more Cosmopolitan food. Well, St. Augustine isn’t exactly that, but the food was better than down here. We had Sushi! It was the best I had in years! Thank goodness for my GPS. Only made us turn down a deserted street once!

Then in the room we did research online. Our topic? Well keep in mind, we’re romance authors. So our topic was ‘the men that turn us on!’ For our novels. And also keep in mind our ‘heroes’ are younger than us! We looked up men online and we like different types. But no, you’re not getting who we found, out of me. I might want to approach one of them to be my cover model!

Friday morning, the conference began with a wonderful introduction by Elizabeth Sinclair. Then Nancy Quatrano gave an informative workshop on editing,formatting, and the importance of transitions, just to mention some of what she covered.

Delores Wilson, a comedian herself as well as phenomenal chef, talked about narrative voice and the tone you establish in your novel to indicate whether it’s a comedy or another genre. She also prepared a phenomenal dinner for us Friday eve. I can’t imagine how she did all of this herself but it was simply amazing.

Elizabeth Sinclair, author of The Dreaded Synopsis, spoke about exactly that. She asked the audience who didn’t mind writing one and yours truly raised her hand. Right away she thought I lied. But actually, I had some great teachings already through SSRA, my chapter of RWA so I felt confident. With the addition of what Elizabeth shared with us, I now flushed out my synopsis of Gemini to make it more than shine. Hopefully it will knock the socks off any publisher who reads it.

Sharon Sala, who has over 86 books published spoke about self-publishing and her personal journeys in the writing industry, including 10 things she wished she knew at the beginning of her career. That was a great wake up call for everyone and what we needed to hear. What an amazing and inspirational woman!

Other authors we met are Kathryn J. Bain, Connie Mann, Skye Taylor, Vicki King, Barbara Barrett and Kelly Sharpe, who also gave me great, useable feedback on the first three pages of Gemini.

The chapter arranged a trip to the Pirates Museum and that was so much fun! We loved it so much we went back Saturday eve and Sunday before we hit the road home. We ate fabulous food again and met some interesting folk. There’s a possibility of a romance novel brewing! That’s all I’m saying about that! Again see the picks on Facebook!

I did a lot of shopping. Got a colorful jacket to go with my Fall bag, and an outfit for a party we went to last Sat. eve. I went as a Renaissance wrench. When Bob and I walked in, my dear friend said to me, “You look just like yourself.” Enough said. Life does imitate art!

Enjoy the blog and feel free to leave a comment and post your web site if it’s writing related! Oh, and I’m now on Twitter. My handle is RonnieAnovelist.






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  1. Nice post, Ronnie. It was a great conference. ACRA did a fantastic job and everyone was wonderful! I enjoyed experiencing it with you and Judy as well. Gotta clarify that I’ve always preferred older men, but some of the younger ones do make nice eye candy. 😉

  2. Thank you for coming. We’re so glad you enjoyed the conference, the field trip and our town. We, the members of ACRA are pleased that word is getting out about the “Best Little Conference in Northeast Florida.” We think our casual atmosphere and serious workshops make for a great weekend. Jammed tight with activities, yet leaving time for a walk on our beautiful beach. I always come home juiced with new ideas and enthusiasm. Stay in touch and we look forward to seeing you again next year.

    • Hi Skye, You definitely will! The three of us had a wonderful time and we learned so much! I personally don’t like to reinvent the wheel. I believe in emulating successful people who’ve accomplished what I want. And you gals were surely that! Best, Ronnie

    • Hi Elizabeth, Thank you so much! The city is beautiful. I want to come back and get some of the planters I saw. Gorgeous art work. And I love the skirt and top I got. I know I’ll wear it again. The knowledge you shared with us on writing the synopsis was so useful and understandable. Best, Ronnie

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