I love to hear from readers and talk about writing, chickens, books, and alternate realities!
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Send business correspondence care of my agent:

Jennifer Jackson
Donald Maass Literary Agency
1000 Dean Street, Suite 252
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Tel: 212-727-8383


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I’m an experienced speaker to writers’ groups, book clubs, and schools about the craft and business of writing and about the worlds I create in fiction. As former adjunct faculty in the Seton Hill University MFA in Writing Popular Fiction program for 17 years, I’m also an experienced classroom speaker. Please contact me for information about my speaking fees. Currently, I’m presenting the following workshops:

Expect Success: Launch Your Indie Publishing Career (3 hours)

Whether you’re an industry veteran with a backlist or a first-time novelist, you need to know your options in the fiction market. In this workshop, you’ll learn about one of them: self publishing with online retailers like Amazon, Apple Books, Nook Press, Google Play Books, and Kobo. From market research and targeting your readers, to opening your own accounts, formatting, deciding on cover art, and marketing tools, this is a practical class with tips you can put to use right away.

The Rules of Revision (1.5 hours)

You’ve finished your book! Time to send it out, right? Wrong. Even if you’ve been editing as you go, there are several layers to work through yet to make your novel stand out from the pack. RITA Award winner and professional copyeditor Shelley Adina will take you through the “rules” of writing, what they’re really meant to accomplish, and how they can help in the revision and self-editing stages of your work. Learn what to look for and how to fix it, and whether you’re pursuing self-publishing or a traditional agent or editor, your book will shine.

World Building and Research (1 hour)

Building a world is more than paragraphs of description of a rainy forest or the mean streets of the city. It’s how your character sees your story world and how it in turn reflects him. It’s how the environment influences and changes your character—and how your character changes her environment—during the events of the plot. Discover how to build a setting from the top down and from the inside out so that your world becomes as much a character as your people. You’ll also learn how to research a believable setting, even if you’re making it all up.

The Emotional Plot (1 hour)

There are as many ways to plot a novel as there are novelists, but in this workshop, we’ll explore three: internal and external conflict, featuring ways to keep your hero and heroine apart and bring them together; the romance arc (from first glance to HEA); and the emotional journey of your couple from isolation to community. Even if you’re a pantser, you’ll discover new ways of thinking about your story and about your characters that will help you avoid the sagging middle—and prepare you to write the dreaded synopsis with ease.

Planning and Plotting a Series (1 hour)

Readers love series … but writing one means more than making up a small town and populating it. You’re building a story world your reader wants to come back to. In this workshop you’ll discover ways in which your people can create foils and contrasts for your main characters, push the plot’s emotional complexity, and then become the main characters for the next book. The author of an 18-book steampunk series, a 10-book Amish romance series, and a couple of shorter contemporary and historical romance series, Shelley will share her strategies and tips for over-arching plotlines, reappearing characters, and interlocking subplots. She’ll also touch on how to use collaborative creativity skills to work up a continuity series or in-world box set with other authors.


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