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Email is at Twinsies@Twinsietalk.com


Friday, May 10, 2013


Reflections of an RT Virgin.
          Recently I attended Romantic Times annual reader/author convention that was held at the Crowne Plaza Sheraton in Kansas City, MO. This was my first time attending as an author. In 2012, I went for the weekend as a reader, and it was immense fun! I even got to meet my bestie, Jo-Anna for the first time in person! (we met originally on FB).

 Attending as an author for the full convention this year was awesome! Even better, Jo came again with her sister, Shawna, and I also got to meet Angie J and Melinda, two other friends from FB! It was so much fun!!!!!!!


I learned so much at RT! I did many workshops regarding the craft of writing, strategies on how to accomplish more as a writer, and even fun interactions with readers!
I would recommend that any authors, aspiring or published, attend a conference or convention like RT.
The information is INVALUABLE!
I would say that the MOST helpful thing I did was an all day plotting class with best-selling author, Cherry Adair!  She is so much fun, as much as she is a FANTASTIC teacher! Funny, and an all-around fabulous person!

Cherry is a very organize plotter, so I took her class with the hopes I could learn her process and actually plot. Traditionally, I have always been a pantser, as in I write by the seat of my pants. Most of the time, I just sit down and write. Sometimes I know what will happen in the scene, but there are a lot of times I just go with the flow and see what I come up with.
But as you continue to move forward in this field, career, as you will, it becomes harder and harder to meet deadlines without planning books. So, I am trying to change my whimsical ways!
I learned sooooo much from spending the day with Cherry! She plots on a board. Every element of the story is represented by a different color sticky note, and they go on the board.
The idea is to start with the danger (orange) (I write Romantic Suspense, and so does Cherry, but this is not to say this can’t work with any genre) and work backwards, applying them to the board in the appropriate chapters. Then you do the villain and his henchmen (purple), also plotting backwards through the story on the board.
Hopefully you know the story well enough where you write all info on the post-it notes before you place them on the board.
For pantsers like me, this involves a lot of thinking!
The rest of the story is plotted forward, using the appropriate colors. Hero is blue, his backstory light blue. Heroine is pink, her backstory pale pink. Locations are green. Fuchia is my favorite part, the SEX!
And the most important post-it is the WHITE one, which is the “What’s the Point of the Scene” post-it. ALWAYS ask yourself this BEFORE you write.
Tough, I know, when you don’t plot.
I can’t say I will be a Cherry star pupil, but I will try. And I did learn.  If you want more info on the system, please email me. (My email is below in where to find me).
Here’s my plotting board for my WIP, Chance Collision (Crossing Forces Book Two):

Hopefully writing the book will be easy. As you can see, I didn’t finish the plotting process but I did enough to know where the book is going. Just need to work hard, like always!
I am currently in working Chapter 8, so we’ll see how I am able to continue!
This was the 30th Anniversary for RT and many pioneers of the Romance Genre, the GREATS, were there! I got to meet JULIE GARWOOD! Talk about a fangirl moment! She’s always been one of my faves and she was so sweet. Awesome and approachable! I loved talking to her!

I met some fantastic authors and readers at RT as well as got in touch with old friends. I did two signings, and got to share MY book with the world! RT was such a positive experience. I love conventions, conferences and writing. I love smoozing in the writing and reading world and wouldn’t trade it for anything!
          See you next year, everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For generations, the Ryhans, ruling family of the Province of Greenwald have been keepers of a sword rumored to possess enough magic to defeat kings. Lord Varthan, a former archduke and betrayer of the king, covets the sword and invades Greenwald.
Lady Ceralda Ryhan, daughter of the murdered duke, gains the sword and flees, trusting only her white wolf, Trikser—magically bonded to her. Cera needs nothing more to aid in her fight.
Jorrin Aldern, half elfin and half human, left his home in the mountains of Aramour to find his human father who disappeared twenty turns before, but finds Cera with Varthan and his shades on her tail instead. His dual heritage and empathic magic will tempt Cera.

Preorder: May 17, 2013
Prerelease:  May 31, 2013
General release: June 28, 2013

Badboy, married to his job FBI agent Cole Lucas always gets his man. So when the unthinkable happens and one gets away, Cole grits his teeth and hunts human trafficker Carlo Maldonado all the way to Antioch, Texas, where he collides with Detective Andi MacLaren.
Cole doesn’t do small towns and he doesn’t get involved with women he works with, but Andi tempts him in ways he doesn’t want to acknowledge.

Two murders, her partner shot and leading the investigation on her own, the last thing Andi needs is a cocky FBI agent that sees her as no more than a tagalong.
Widow and single mother Andi is used to being on her own. When Cole gets stuck without a place to stay, crashing on her couch puts them in dangerous territory.

Attraction and passion bring Andi to a place she left behind when her husband died.
Her three-year-old son quickly wiggles his way into Cole’s heart, and he starts contemplating things—family, love—that he’d never planned for himself.

Can being forced to work together make them stronger or will their differences jeopardize their case and their hearts?

CA is the author of fantasy, paranormal, romantic suspense and the occasional YA. Sword's Call (King's Riders Book One) AVAILABLE NOW from Gypsy Shadow Publishing! Collision Force (Crossing Forces Book One) releases July 1, 2013 from Total-E-Bound Publishing!
She is originally from Ohio, but got to Texas as soon as she could. She is married and has a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice.
She works with kids when she’s not writing.
She’s always wanted to be a writer and is overjoyed to share her stories with the world.

Where to find C.A. online:
Twitter: @caszarek
“I LOVE to hear from readers!” Email me: ca@caszarek.com


  1. Great informative article. I thought I was the only seat of the pants writer.

    1. LOL. Thanx Ted. No, I am defo a pantser still, even tho I would like to transition!

  2. You got me excited! I want to attend one now :) Sounds like a wonderful time and a great learning opportunity that every reader and/or writer should experience.

    Thanks for sharing it with us!

    1. Oh Lois, it was soooooo much fun. Crazy hectic as well, but I loved every moment of it! You shoudl defo make it next year! It'll be in New Orleans!

  3. Great article! I love the idea of using colored sticky notes. I'm totally a plotter and usually outline a story and then sometimes even do an excel spreadsheet or word table to organize plot threads. But the idea of using colors to make sure you're remembering key elements is awesome. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Jen, it's intense, but I think you can handle it!

  4. Okay, I'm sold. Can you say road trip for next year?

  5. You're making me really want to go to RT now. Looks like loads of fun! And thanks for the pictures. I always love pictures.

    1. RT is so much fun Clover! WE SHOULD go!!!! I have tons more pics, I will show you next weekend!

  6. RT looks like a blast. Glad you had a great time.