Romance and Women’s Literature Writing
Tips for Writing for the Biggest Markets in Fiction Today
Wonder how successful authors keep sending quivering arrows into the hearts of Romance and Women’s Lit fans? Our expert authors—from a variety of subgenres of these leading fields of fiction—will give you practical tips and tools to craft your book(s) in a way that engages readers’ minds, hearts and imaginations. They’ll share with you the joys of having fun writing as you live the stories, dive into what happens behind the scenes of your characters’ lives, and dangle danger, excitement and romantic scenes their way. And they’ll help you get your book to stand out, and keep it there with sequels—offering tips for creating new character developments and plots that will have fans salivating for more.
- What is Women’s Literature, and how does it differ from/relate to Romance?
- What are key tips for writing for different subgenres of romance, including paranormal, historical, mystery/thriller, sweet, edgy, forbidden, steamy, and more?
- Since diversity is, thankfully, in today, how are people of a variety of ethnic and sexual groups faring in the world of publishing and performing arts now? Is it any more open to success than it has been? How do authors not in these groups tackle various ethnic/sexual identity points of view/experiences of such characters in their writing?
- What are writing do’s and don’ts for writing books that will appeal to buyers — agents/publishers, booksellers/librarians, and readers — in these genres?
- Are there specific tips for getting an agent and publisher in Women’s Fiction and Romance? If so, what are these?
- Any possible obstacles to watch out for when seeking an agent or publisher? Success stories?
- What are the advantages for those who self-publish in Romance and Women’s Literature? Any downsides?
- What’s hot in these fields now and in the foreseeable future? What’s passé?
- How do you get your characters and stories to stand out from the crowd?
Women’s Fiction, including Romance, has been for decades — and remains — the top category of fiction book sales. This gives Women’s Literature and Romance writers a clear advantage in sales and marketing opportunities. But how do you get your stories to readers? Our experts will help you get your foot in the door if you’re new to the fields, and keep it there with sequels — offering tips for creating new character developments and plots that will have fans salivating for more.
Our panel of experts in Romance and Women’s Literature:
Susan Berger, writing as Susan B. James and Susan J. Berger
Susan Berger writes second chance romances with a touch of magic as Susan B. James and children’s books as Susan J. Berger. She writes older heroines because she enjoys creating characters who remember that change is only on the outside; inside our older shells is a much younger psyche. She writes picture books because she never grew up. Her second romance, Maybe This Time, won the 2019 Raven award for Best Contemporary, the 2019 Readers Favorite Gold medal in Time Travel and was runner-up for the 2019 RONE Award for Audiobook-General. Her third romance, Irish Magic, came out in August 2019. The audiobook came out in January 2020. Susan’s other career is acting. On IMDB She is Susan Berger. https://susanbjames.com/
Sharon Buchbinder has been writing fiction since middle school and has the rejection slips to prove it. An RN, she provided health care delivery, became a researcher, association executive, obtained a PhD in Public Health, and is a Professor and Dean in higher education. She is the author of the Hotel LaBelle Series, the Jinni Hunter Series, the Obsession Series, and four novellas in the Cat’s Paw Cove Series with sassy talking cats. When not attempting to make students and colleagues laugh or writing, she can be found walking her dogs, obeying her cats, or breaking bread and laughing with family and friends. https://www.sharonbuchbinder.com/
Elaine Ash works with private clients, helping them shape manuscripts, acquire agents, and land publishing deals. She also ghostwrites for clients who may not be experienced novelists but desire a quality manuscript suitable for publishing and film development. Elaine is the inventor of Bestseller Metrics, a system that allows novelists to compare their manuscripts to the metrics of bestselling novels. Her how-to workbook is available on Amazon, titled Bestseller Metrics: How to Win the Novel Writing Game. https://ashedits.wordpress.com/
A.G. (Andreea) Billig
A.G. Billig, author of several books and short stories, is a Women’s Literature writer whose life focus is on helping women love themselves and what they do. A former journalist (on television and as Editor-in-Chief of glossy magazines), she created and heads Self-Publishing Mastery, voted for three consecutive years one of the top blogs on self-publishing. Her latest book, Open Your Heart, Rise In Love: Six Secret Doors to a Healthy and Happy Relationship, will be released in February 2022. Currently she is working on a women’s fiction trilogy and co-writing a memoir with Nancy Rivard, the founder of Airline Ambassadors International. https://www.selfpublishingmastery.com
Tema Merback, writing as Belle Ami
Tema Merback’s Belle Ami is a #1 Amazon bestselling author of time travel romantic thrillers, international thrillers, and historical fiction. She is the author of a number of series in her genres, including the romantic suspense series THE ONLY ONE, which includes The One, The One & More, and One More Time is Not Enough. Her latest #1 historical fiction novel is The Last Daughter, based on the true story of her mother’s survival of the Holocaust. Belle’s books have won many awards including the RONE, the Raven, Readers’ Favorite Award, National Jewish Book Award, and The Book Excellence Award. When she isn’t writing Belle’s busy whipping up gourmet meals for her husband, son, daughter and regal Chihuahua, Georgio Armani. She also is an accomplished pianist, avid skier and world traveler, and loves to connect with Belle’s Journal newsletter readers: https://www.belleamiauthor.com
Sue Mac Nicol
Susan writes steamy, sexy and fun contemporary romance stories, some suspenseful, some gritty and dark and hopefully always entertaining. She’s also Editor-in-Chief at Divine Magazine, an online LGBTQ e-zine, and a member of The Society of Authors, the Writers Guild of Great Britain, and the Authors Guild in the US. Susan is an award-winning script writer, with scripts based on two of her own published works. Sight Unseen has garnered ten awards to date and her TV pilot, Reel Life, based on her debut novel, Cassandra by Starlight, was also a winner at the Oaxaca Film Fest. https://authorsusanmacnicol.com/
And Our Moderator for the Evening:
Ina Hillebrandt: After pivoting from Fortune 500 consultant to writer, editor, memoir/fiction coach, Ina wrote her first book, Amazon best seller Pawprints, sparking a literacy/kindness to animals program begun at the Jane Goodall Institute. How To Write Your Memoirs followed. IRWIN Award Winner You Are Who You Eat, The Revolutionary New Cannibal Diet lives in OSU’s Cartoon Library & Museum, and the UK’s and USA’s finest bathrooms. She’s now escaping COVID nerves by writing her first novel, about mice in love — while patting her cat Fiona and assuring her the mice are friends — and editing and coaching writers. http://InaTheMemoirCoach.com