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.
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.