Grace's Events Calendar

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Grace at the RWA Literacy Signing
in New York City 2011.

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About Grace's Events

In a big family, she who does not learn to use words effectively might not be heard above the crowd. In a courtroom, the same goes—double. Grace has loved language—written, spoken, foreign, colloquial, you name it—since she could walk. Her passion for writing extends to judging contests, public speaking, and both presenting at, and organizing, writers' gatherings.

If you'd like to query Grace about joining your event as a presenter or speaker, please use the handy form immediately below. Following that is a List of Presentation & Workshop Descriptions of some of the talks she's given, though she's happy to prepare material in addition to the topics on the list.

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Workshops & Presentations

Nuts and Bolts of Conflict

Conflict is an essential ingredient of a well crafted novel, and yet, we seldom look at what it is, how it works, and how to resolve it. As a professional mediator and a lawyer with a master's in conflict resolution, Grace has developed insights on problem solving that apply to characters in novels as well as real life. Presentation can be tailored to work in 45-90 minutes, and has been given at RWA National and various RWA chapters.

Five Ways To Final

Grace has judged many contests and knows they can be a vital step on the path toward publication. Benefit from her experience reading myriad entries to fix the top five boo-boos she sees in entry after entry. Presentation works best in one-hour format, which allows time for some Q&A. Given at multiple RWA chapter conferences.

What I Wish I'd Known Then

In the first five years of her publishing career, Grace has put a dozen titles on the bestseller lists, finaled in the RITA® contest five times, parted ways with two agents, quit writing (several times), and been awarded Best Book of the Year honors from Publishers Weekly, The Library Journal, iBooks, and Kirkus Book Reviews. This 60-90 minute talk on lessons learned and pitfalls to avoid makes an informative or entertaining chapter conference keynote or breakout session.

In Love with the Library

Long before Grace began writing novels, she was an avid reader. Books have been her consolation and companions through most of her life, and continue to be now that she's also a published author. Reading, as it turns out, has benefits for emotional and mental health, as does writing. Grace reviews some of the scientific findings regarding the benefits of close association with books, and takes questions and answers on any topic related to her career. This 45-60 minute talk has been given at various libraries, and Grace is happy to bring signed books to donate to library promotional efforts.

Ten Tweaks to Perk Up Your Prose

The most clever plot, the most well-crafted characters, will not engage readers in great numbers if the prose is weak. Best-selling authors know this, and thus do as much revising as they do rough-drafting. In a list developed with double RITA® winner Joanna Bourne, Grace reviews the ten most common pitfalls that she finds when critiquing her own work, or that of other authors. This 45-90 minute presentation has been given at RWA National (with Jo Bourne), and also makes an excellent chapter conference breakout session.

Panel Discussions

Though Grace swears she's “a warp nine introvert,” she's also a litigating attorney, and thus has decades of experience with debate and discussion in a public setting. Grace has made bestseller lists with both traditional and indie titles, and brings both a breadth of experience and a passion for the romance novel to her panel contributions. She's served on panels at RWA National, chapter conferences, and other writers' gatherings, and would be happy to join your event as a panelist too!

What Your Crit Partners Can't Tell You

A romance novel turns on several key scenes not found in other genres, namely, the Meet, the First Intimacy, Mid-point, Big Black Moment, and Denouement. Well intentioned CPs, knowledgeable writing coaches, and even our editors don't always grasp how these scenes work in a romance setting, as opposed to how their counterparts work generally or in other genres. Get the benefit of Grace's experience as an award-winning author, workshop lurker, and avid craft reader, so that your scenes not only keep the novel moving, but grab the reader by the heart. This 45-90 minute presentation works well at writers' conferences of any size.