I’ve been reading audio books and when they are over, I miss the characters.

I’ve purchased two dozen audio books and have listened to some of them more than once. I’ve been lucky that the readers’ voices fit the stories.

My most recent book  Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy was a magical discovery.

Willowdean Go Big or Go Home

Willowdean Go Big or Go Home

This was the first audio book I didn’t purchase because I decided I needed to economize. Audio books can cost as much as a good hard cover book and they are available through my library and the OverDrive App.

The library has many  books available but like borrowing a popular book from the library, I’m on-hold lists for books I want to read. This book was an immediate borrow.

In the morning while I applied my makeup, ate my breakfast, and on my drives around the city, Willowdean’s story became part of my day. Because this book was about fifteen hours, that is a long time to spend listening to someone tell a story, and if I was in a place where I wanted to continue finding out what was happening in Willowdean’s life, I’d listen while I was preparing dinner and then again while I got ready for bed.

Audio books are different from print because we are using our sense of hearing and nothing feels more comforting then to have someone tell me a story.

I recommend that you give this way of reading a chance and borrowing a book from the library is a good beginning.

But if you become anxious to have a book where you are way down on the borrow list, for instance, I’m fourteenth on the list for a few books. Each patron is allowed to have the book for two weeks. That is twenty-eight weeks before I can experience The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson, and nineteen patrons will hear The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney before I do, but I am next on the list for the Giller Prize Shortlist, 13 Way of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad. You might consider investing.

This is just one screen on my audio library. Yes, an average audio book might be $22.00 but if they are 15 -18 hours long, that is just over a dollar an hour. When looking at it this way, good entertainment for a reasonable price. And then when I listen for the second time it is even less.

One screen on my audio library

One screen on my audio library





I’m off to New York to the Romance Writers Conference

New York City RWA 2015

I have decided that this year, I will attend more craft workshops and a few marketing. There seems to be a focus on self-publishing. I can learn from some of the methods used by self-published authors because all authors need to promote themselves to be noticed. There is also a focus on audio books. I would like to learn how to have Woman of Substance and Moving On as audio books.

I will post here everyday with pictures and a line or two.

I’m packed except for the jars and potions.

Monday, 9:30 pm. Time to be in bed. I need to be up at 3:00 am to go to the airport at 4:00.

Conference attendees are always in need of sustenance.

Conference attendees are always in need of sustenance.

We are preaching to the choir with swag at the Romance Writers of America conference because it is attended by writers, agents, editors and publishers. But they are also readers.

I tried a glue stick to attach my business cards, or book cover cards to packages of gum, tea and fruit snacks. But my glue stick was old. I used glue dots, double sided mounting tape and finally the little grey cells in my brain, suggested the large roll of double sided tape in my desk drawer. It worked slick.

I’m ready to  enjoy the adventure.

Checked in for flight and seats chosen.

Checked into hotel and entered to win points.

Now time to go to sleep.  ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 I’m in New York.

And we are required to be at the airport two hours before boarding.

And we are required to be at the airport two hours before boarding.


On the tarmac in Toronto on the way to New York

On the tarmac in Toronto on the way to New York

Too many planes and not enough gates at La Guardia Airport. Then an hour and a half in traffic. We had a fabulous shuttle driver and there were other writers to share the ride.

The view from my room and those are people down there. I shopped at 11:00 pm.

The view from my room and those are people down there. I shopped at 11:00 pm.

Met up with three Soul Mate Authors, we went out to Juniors for appies and dessert and beer and a walk around time square.

And now it is time for bed.

Tomorrow is another big day.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The day started slowly with coffee in my room. I gathered a third of my swag for the Goodie Room. One of my Soul Mate authors told me that a play I wanted to see Kinky Boots tickets were on sale for 1/2 price but I needed to go and line up now.

In line with a coffee hopeful I would score a ticket. I did.

In line with a coffee hopeful I would score a ticket. I did.

Went for a walk to make sure I knew how to find the theatre.

The theatre was a block and 1/2 from the hotel. The conscierge showed me the sign above his desk that pointed to 45th Street and 46 th street.

The theatre was a block and 1/2 from the hotel. The conscierge showed me the sign above his desk that pointed to 45th Street and 46 th street.

Kinky Boots was terriffic with the theme that we need to be true to ourselves. Good message for me as a romance writer. I raced back to the hotel to fulfill my committment of volunteering at the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing.  

“In 2014, Romance Writers of America raised more than $53,000 to benefit literacy organizations. Since 1990, RWA has raised more than $878,000 to fight illiteracy.”

The line up of readers was phenomenal. IMG_0420

After I had taken photos of writers and readers, brought water to thirsty writers, I met with writers I have only met online. Lovely to put a face to these writers. Now it is time for zzzzzz.


Okay I’m a bit late in filling in the rest of the story.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

I meant to get up for the 6:30 am to do morning Pilates but of course I’m more thought than action in the morning.

My first event was the fabulous Breakfast Buffet. When you arrive as I did just before 8:30 am, in time to put a few things on a plate and find a many open chairs right in front of the stage.

Barbara Freethy .

Barbara Freethy a number one New York Times best-selling author.

Barbara Freethy a number one New York Times best-selling author.

Traditionally published but had to keep reinventing herself. She joined the e publishing and named Amazon KDP Bestselling author of all time. She also sold 1.5 million books on Barnes and Noble. Now she is launching into physical distribution through a venture with Ingram Publisher services under her new print imprint Hyde Street Press.

We received a copy of her first book, On a night like this as a gift.


Barbara Freethy's first print book with Ingram Publishers

Barbara Freethy’s first print book with Ingram Publisher Services








Barbara gave the audience incentive to continue exploring rather than giving up but exploring different avenues of publishing to have our stories told.

I started at the Pro Retreat.

I started with the pros and cons of publishing with a small publisher. However, I found that with my experience through my short stories as well as XoXo Publishing and Soul Mate Publishing that I was comfortable in the advantages and disadvantages. One of the disadvantages for me as a Canadian publishing with Soul Mate Publishing is accomplishing distribution for my print books in Canada. I have to work on this.

The next workshop I went to was Subtext: Not Just Another Buzzword by Sherry Thomas Sherry told us that readers like to be grounded but that subtext is that really interesting information that happens below the surface. It is subtle but planned.

When you read the link, you will note that she uses rich language.


My last workshop of the day was: Conquering High Concept by May Chen, Harper Collins Editor, Sophie Jordan, and Sarah MacLean best-selling authors.

This was another craft workshop. I attempt not to go to workshops with too many speakers. I broke my rule.

I came away with this summary: 1. Risk is inherent. 2. Whatever you write should excite you the writer. 3. The idea immediately paints a picture. “Nobody’s baby but mine.” “Friends to lovers.” That idea is what I write. Hey, I can feel a pitch coming on.

Many Soul Mate authors met and walked over to Ellen’s Stardust Diner. In 2013, Debby Gilbert, publisher and senior editor (and editor of Woman of Substance and novel number 3 to be released in 2016) went out for dinner during the RWA. Each author paid for their own meal. Debby said then she wished she could pay. I’m not sure what she did last year, but this year she bought us dinner. It indicates the growth of Soul Mate Publishing. Thank you Debby.

After dinner some Soul Mate Authors went on The Ride.

Ready to board the bus for The Ride

Ready to board the bus for The Ride









We were entertained by two professionals entertainers and the bus stopped along the way to treat us to street entertainers as well. At the end of the evening we sang.


Then it was time for more zzzzz. As it is now. To be continued.

PS: My swag basket was emptied twice before the end of Wednesday. I carried the rest of my goodies with me and passed them out at workshops.

Friday, July 24, 2015.

I made it down for breakfast again and again there was plenty of room at tables at the front of the room.

This morning Julia Quinn was the main speaker. To summarize a wonderful keynote to start off our day, she said, “You can’t please everyone.” And what writers should do, “Write the book from your heart.”  Great advice from a #1 New York Times Bestselling Romance Author who had in the United States alone, over 10 million copies of her books in print. She knows of what she speaks.

My first workshop of the day was facilitated by Joanna Bourne and Grace Burrowes.  The title of their craft workshop was: Ten Tweaks to Perk Up Your Prose: Learn the top ten tips for making good prose better and great prose unforgettable.

To be continued.