Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Few Ways to Get a Automatic Rejection for your Query Ltr.

I'll list a few ways to get a rejection letter...but I'll also post a few ways that might help you get a request. Each agent/editor is different so what one might like the others may not.

Automatic Rejection for your Query Letter:

1.) Spell the editors/agents name incorrectly.
2.) Use all types of fonts/colors on the query letter
3.) Send the same query letter email to several editors/agents at the same time where everyone can see everyone else listed.
4.) Tell them you are the next Nora Roberts, J K Rowling, Stephanie Meyer, Dan Brown.
5.) Don't proof your query.
6.) Forgetting to include your contact info other than the email address.
7.) Telling the agent/editor how your book is the next New York best seller.
8.) Don't follow submission guidelines. (okay, I cheat a little on this one)
9.) Leaving the editor/agent without knowing the end.
10.) Tell the editor/agent you've been rejected 10 times.

There are so many reasons they can reject your query, don't give them the chance. Research how to write queries. One place I found very helpful Kristin Nelson's Agency (www.nelsonagency.com) Kristin and Sara often post loads of tips on their website...
Another helpful site is www.charlottedillon.com

Okay, so here are a few tips to make your query better.

1.) Don't go over one page for a query. Use one paragraph for the heroine, one for the hero, and one on how they came together and solve the major conflict. (Should put their goals. (what they want, why the want it, and why the can't have it.)

2.) If you've won any contests and such, put it in last. And if you have any personal experience in what you are writing about, maybe add a line about that. Example: My series is about women in construction. I work in construction, so I can relate to what I'm writing.

3.) Mention if you belong to RWA or other writing groups. If you belong to critique groups. Some of these things might help let the agent/editor know you are serious about the business.

4.) A website. Lots of people say you don't need one, but I think it is a good idea to start one now before you are published. Put your website on your query so the agent or editor can see your samples of your writing. Most editors/agents are like us, and they want to see what you are about, just like we want to see what they are about.

5.) Please research editors/agents who you are submitting to. See if they represent books that you write. One way to do that is look them up on the web and most of the time they put their authors who they represent or they will flat out tell you they don't want this genre' or that genre'.

6.) Please spell check. And please don't forget to "thank" them for their time. (this one is a biggie for me...always always thank them!!!)

I could go on and on with my list, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. I hope this helps....

Good luck staying out of the rejection pile....and remember if you do get a rejection try to learn as much as you can from it....at least you are ahead of the game for those that never ever submit.
Never give up your dream of becoming a writer....

Keep reading, keep writing, and keep submitting....

Dawn Chartier
Not An Angel, coming 2010 from The Wild Rose Press

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cooking with a Cougar ~ Sounds dangerous....

A few weeks ago I went a friend's party. Well, it was really her childrens party, but that is where I met cookbook author, Rosemary Donnelly. I actually met her many many years ago when I was a teen. I hung out with her nephew and his friends. (although she doesn't remember me.)

Well, how often is it that there are two authors at the same party when it has nothing to do with books. I think pretty darn rare.

It was such a pleasure to chat with Rosemary about her new cookbook. I enjoyed listening to her stories, such as her fun photo shoot. (You have to check out her Cougar pictures.) She has a great personality, and I know by browsing her website, it shows.

I think Cooking with a Cougar comes out right after Christmas and the only place you can purchase it is from her website. (I think? Could be wrong.)...

So if you want some great receipes, and a fun time reading. I highly recommend her "Cooking with a Cougar" cookbook.

Rosemary's website is: www.cougarinstincts.com
Wishing you luck, Rosemary!!!

Happy Holidays,
Dawn Chartier
NOT AN ANGEL, coming out in 2010 with The Wild Rose Press

Monday, December 21, 2009


TIPS FROM THE SLUSH PILE by Sara Megibow The end of the year is a nice time to celebrate success stories!In early 2007, I read a query letter in the slush pile from a writer by the name of Sarah Rees Brennan. The query letter piqued my interest and we ended up asking for sample pages and shortly thereafter for the full manuscript.

To make a long story short, THE DEMON’S LEXICON by Sarah Rees Brennan was one of our debut novels this year and was recently named one of the Best Young Adult Books of 2009 by Kirkus Magazine. I mention all this because success stories do happen — successful authors are pulled out of the slush pile, tremendous books are bought by amazing publishing houses and these gems are read by delighted fans. Sometimes the process may seem daunting or overwhelming but as a writer-on-the-agent-hunt you are already one step ahead of the person who has already quit trying.

Hopefully this tip will help. Instead of breaking down my thoughts on query letters, I’ve decided to post the original query letter by Sarah Rees Brennan. Kristin frequently posts clients’ query letters on our website, so if you want to read more, go to the Nelson Agency FAQ page.Anyway, here it is — enjoy!

Dear Ms. Nelson and Ms. Megibow:

I am a big fan of Ms. Nelson's blog and the dedication and positive attitude obvious in every post.

I would like you to consider THE DEMON'S LEXICON, my YA urban fantasy set in modern-day England. The manuscript is complete at 75, 000 words.What would be the first word to come to mind about the runaway romance between a beautiful, headstrong woman and a darkly fascinating magician?

For Nick, it's 'embarrassing', since said beautiful, headstrong woman was his mum. 16 year old Nick has been brought up on the run from the darkly fascinating magician after things really didn't work out between him and Nick's mother. He resents his mother for the predicament they're in, and he was mostly raised by his older brother, Alan.Nick has also been brought up knowing that there are certain people who have limited magical abilities. Some of them, the magicians, increase these magical abilities by summoning demons who give them more power - in return for the magicians giving them people to possess.

The other magically gifted people have considerably less power and rely on magical trinkets and information, exchanged every month at a 'goblin market.' As the only people who know about the magicians and their victims, they do try to control things, but it's an endeavour that is not going well.Nick, who can summon demons and is pretty handy with a sword, is mostly concerned with just getting by, but his life is greatly complicated by the advent of his brother's latest crush.

Not only is she a little too attractive for Nick's peace of mind, but she has a boy in tow who bears the marks of demon possession. Added to that the fact that Nick has started to suspect that Alan, the only person in his life who he trusts, has been lying to him about a few very serious things, and not only Nick, but everybody else, are in for some surprises.

I have a popular online blog, some contacts in the writing and publishing world. I want to move ahead on this with an agent, and I also want an agent for the long term, for negotiation and guidance - in fact, everything it says on the tin - that is to say, your website.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing back from you.
Yours, Sarah Rees Brennan

Sincerely,Sara Megibow

(Thanks again Sara for allowing me to post your words of wisdom!)

Good luck to all aspiring writers and authors in the year 2010!!

Happy Holidays,
Dawn Chartier
NOT AN ANGEL, coming out in 2010 with TWRP

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Recap on Sola's November Meeting with author, Robin Wells

Robin did a excellent job at our last month Sola-RWA meeting. She went over a lot of things that are so important to all writers. Here is a recap on a "few" items she mentioned.

Significant Details is something that reveals characters, such as, tapping fingers, rolling eyes, blinks too much. There are a lot of other details you can add to your story such as something that illustrates a theme to the book (symbolism) like, the weather, mountains, a streetcar, etc. or you could add something that means a lot to the character, ex: a ring the characters mother gave her. This item could trigger an emotional response.

Details can be: A thing, a person, a action or a place. But, make them important to the character. Something emotional will go a long way.

Details should be strong verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs.

Robin gave us an assignment as well, you might want to try it out.
Your character opens a closet. What does she or he find? What does it mean to them?

There are tons more details that power the significant details, but this will get you started. If ever you have the chance to buy Robin Wells books, she will give you many examples, and a enjoyable read too. Her next book I believe is How To Score.

Monday, November 23, 2009


I love Sara's tips (agent with Nelson Literary Agency) on query letter submissions, so here is her November tip. I hope you aspiring authors/authors learn as much as I do from her.

TIPS FROM THE SLUSH PILE by Sara Megibow Happy Thanksgiving!

I’ve been reading the query inbox for almost four years now. Hard to believe isn’t it? In that time, there is one trend that I can count on - the days right after any holiday tend to see a huge influx of query letter submissions. That’s exciting — it means there are tons of great projects on their way to my desk in the next two months! Really, it also means that writers are taking their holiday time to polish up their manuscripts, put together their agent list, and submit their work.

So, with that in mind, here’s my radical query letter suggestion for the month. Try preparing two or three different versions of your query letter. Maybe one has a lighter tone to it, maybe one includes more detail on the plot. Spend some time getting query letter help where you can (I tend to recommend evileditor.blogspot.com). Then, send the most compelling version to your top ten agents. If you are getting 2-3 requests for sample pages per 10 submissions, GREAT! If not, send version two of the query letter to your next ten top agents. See where I’m going with this? It’s a way to gauge what works best for your story.

Now, here’s the super secret insider tip that makes this exercise really worth it. If you’re not getting requests for sample pages from version one or version two — pull out version three and resubmit it to some of your top agents again. Resist the temptation to open your resubmission with, “I submitted this project to you a month ago, but I’ve revised my query letter and I would like to submit it again.” Simply resubmit it as if it were the first time.

Trust me, with 200 query letters coming in per day, I’m not likely to remember your first query letter. Also, it’s totally professional and appropriate to approach us again if it took that extra step to perfect your craft.Happy Holidays! If you choose to use the holiday breaks to write, then I look forward to seeing your work in 2010!

Sincerely,Sara Megibow

Thanks for allowing me to post this Sara.......and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!! Gobble Gobble...

Dawn Chartier
Not An Angel, coming out soon with The Wild Rose Press

Friday, November 20, 2009

Author Robin Wells at Sola's November Meeting

This Saturday, author, Robin Wells presents: "Under The Skin and Straight to the Heart--Touch Your Readers' Emotions with Significant Detail."

Here is Robin's Bio:

When Robin Wells sold her first romance novel in 1995, her family celebrated at a Chinese restaurant. Robin’s fortune cookie read, “Romance moves you in a new direction.”

And it certainly has! Robin has since written sixteen critically acclaimed romantic comedies that have been translated into seventeen languages. Her books have won the National Golden Heart Award, two National Readers’ Choice Awards, the Award of Excellence, the Golden Quill, and the Holt Medallion. In addition, her books have been listed on Waldenbooks’ Top Ten Bestseller List.

Robin’s latest book, How to Score, was published last June and was a finalist for another Readers' Choice Award and Holt Medallion. Her next book, Still the One, will hit bookshelves in May 2010.

Robin was born in Waco, Texas and holds a B.A. in liberal arts from the University of Oklahoma. Before becoming a full-time writer, Robin worked as an advertising and public relations executive for a major hotel chain. She lives with her husband, two daughters and a dog named Winnie the Poohdle in Mandeville, Louisiana.

Come and learn from Robin's presentation on Saturday November 21st. 11:00am at the East Bank Library on W. Napoleon Ave.

See ya'll there,


Monday, November 9, 2009

My favorite Louisiana TV commercial

I just wanted to share my favorite Louisiana cajun commercial. I love this man's voice.


Hope it works.
Dawn Chartier

Friday, October 30, 2009

Slinging? Something my character does in my book.

I wanted my character, Kira in my book NOT AN ANGEL to have a special ability, but nothing of the paranormal kind. Her love interest has enough of that. So, with the help of ideas from my critique group, I came up with "Slinging". Kira had lots of time on her hands growing up, while she hid from her cruel-drunk step-father. The woods became her second home, along with her friend, Todd.

Todd taught Kira how to sling. He said it was in case she ever needed to protect herself. It took awhile to get the hang of it, but once she did, she was awesome. Slinging is bascially perjecting an object, such as a rock, stone, or whatever you can find, perfecting the shot at a target, and wham! She practiced with the tons of beer cans her step-dad threw all over the floor in her home. (ya, the guy was a filthy pig).

Kira and Todd made each of them a leather braided sling, and they each wore it around their necks for protection. Each sling had a loop that attached a beautiful sleek stone, which was large enough to knock someone on their arse, if the time ever came to do so. She never took the sling necklace off. It comes in very handy when she decides to use it in the story. (I'm not going to say who she uses it against, you'll have to read NOT AN ANGEL when it comes out next year from The Wild Rose Press.)

Anyway, I found a article, it is the history on slinging and thought I'd share it with you. (I'm not sure how much is true.) Hope you enjoy. This article was written by C. Harrison.

****A Brief History of The Sling****

The origin of the sling is unknown. It seems to have developed independently worldwide. The concept is simple enough. Once people started throwing rocks (or other simple projectiles) as weapons, the sling was introduced as an extension of the arm for greater mechanical advantage.

There are many references to slings in historical documents. Most people know the story of David and Goliath. The Romans were the first civilization to effectively use slingers in large formations in their armies, but they were used by the Sumerians , Assyrians, and Egyptians as well. As bows and arrows were expensive to supply to thousands of troops. Slings were used to give Roman reserve troops a cheap long-range weapon. They used (American) football shaped lead projectiles that could supposedly pierce armor.

In general, the sling is a hard weapon to master, and because of this, few armies used the sling to the same extent as the bow or crossbow (when the were developed). Slings were used outside of the military as hunting weapons as well. There are documents describing bands of hunters killing big game with slings. Often they would use rocks from riverbeds, as they were more spherical and smooth.

The slings' use as a weapon started to dwindle in the Middle Ages because of advances in bow and crossbow design. The longbow and crossbow became increasingly accurate, out-ranged the sling, and provided more accuracy for less training. With the advent of firearms, non-gunpowder weapons became obsolete.

As the memories of simpler times faded away, people started using these older weapons as hobbies, as you can see with the popularity of archery today. Slinging remains a popular pastime in many countries today, especially in Mediterranean and Pacific islands. The last official use of the sling in war was by the allies in World War I to lob grenades.

If you want to learn more about slinging check out www.slinging.org Chris Harrison has several articles listed on that site.

Dawn Chartier
NOT AN ANGEL, coming soon from THE WILD ROSE PRESS (In 2010)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Great Marketing Tips for Aspiring Authors!!

This is a great tip from, Sara Megibow with the Nelson Agency....


This is more of a marketing tip than a query letter tip, per se. Still, I find this to be an important step for all writers who take the business of publishing seriously. Before starting your submissions (whether to agents or directly to editors), make sure your web presence is polished and up-to-date.

I know, I know — another thing to “polish” but believe me, it’s important. If I am reading sample pages that I like, the very first thing I do BEFORE asking for the full manuscript is a Google search for your website. Hopefully, you’ve included the url in your query letter but if not, I go on a hunt. No, it’s not a deal breaker if you’re not 100% web savvy, but I consider websites, blogs, etc., to be a part of the package, a part of the “resume,” so to speak. And, yes — I take it seriously.

1) If you don’t have an author website yet — get one. And get a professional one. Even if it’s a basic template, make sure it looks professional and has professional content on it.

2) If you don’t have an author blog, think seriously about starting one. Right now, blogging is a hot way to increase your own marketing. Next year maybe it will be something different, but for now, a great blog is #2 behind a great website. A few suggestions ... avoid blogging about how the book is going (i.e., avoid entries like this, “I wrote 80 pages today — yippee!” or “I am on chapter 10 and it’s giving me problems.”) The general masses aren’t going to read your blog and want to come back again and again to find out about your writing progress.

Instead, have a hook or a spin to your blog. Is your book a Scottish Highland romance? Then, maybe your blog hosts some really fabulous in-depth information about Scottish clans and their histories! Also, at all costs, avoid blogging anything negative about your submission process (i.e., "so-and-so agent was SOOO rude" = oops.) This business is too small and interrelated to risk a blog entry like this - even if it was true.

3) Consider other social networking sites, but if you do — make them professional! My husband is a musician and he has had tremendous success with marketing through Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and youtube.com. So, check them out and see if they are right for you and if you have time to keep them up-to-date. If you go this route though, remember that agents and editors will probably take a look — so nix the drunken bikini shots from your last beach vacation. It’s a bummer, I know, to lose that kind of privacy and freedom. And, it’s just my opinion, but if you treat all these things like your resume instead of like your personal photo album, it’s a stronger professional representation of who you are.

4) Check out what other successful authors are doing. If all this information feels overwhelming, spend a few afternoons seeing what other people do, what kinds of information they post, what kinds of pictures, what kinds of questions they answer and what kinds of “spins” or “hooks” they use. Two great places to start — http://www.allycarter.com/ and http://www.sarahreesbrennan.com/.

Permission to post, by Sara Megibow
Nelson Agency

Thanks for stopping by,
Dawn Chartier

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

EPICon Conference in New Orleans March 2010

Welcome to eLiberation!

The annual conference for members of EPIC, the Electronically Published Internet Connection, is the gathering place for authors, publishers and other industry professionals to celebrate the best of the best with the EPPIE Awards, to share newest information and ideas, to hone their writing skills and explore new markets. So put this wonderful event on your calendar next March 4-7th, 2010 at the beautiful Sheraton New Orleans in New Orleans, LA.

Workshops will address the business of writing for the electronic market, promotion strategies, existing and coming technology and related issues, and genre and publisher specific topics, among others. EPIC's annual Business Meeting and the Keynote Luncheon are Friday's highlights. On Saturday our luncheon will honor the finalists of the New Voices contest for young writers, and Saturday night is the Big Event—the EPIC Awards Banquet and Ceremony.

Want to know who's buying what in these tough economic times? Come to one of our Publisher and Promotion Panels. Want to network with friends, old and new? What to do in New Orleans? Arise to breakfast of Beignet and Café au lait, take a dip in the pool, then spend the afternoon shopping on Royal Street and the famous French Market. Would you like to test your luck at the casino? It's a mere two blocks to your right. Saint Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square is six blocks away. And the famous (or infamous?) Bourbon Street is just four blocks away. Or maybe you'd rather relax on the Creole Queen Paddlewheeler, Cajun Queen Riverboat, or the John James Audubon Riverboat waiting to take you to Audubon Zoo. And we can't forget St. Louis Cemetery #1. So many stories waiting to be told.

Not a member of EPIC? Interested only in certain topics? No problem. We're offering non-member rates, and single-day rates. Or join EPIC (if you're already working in the e-book industry) and get a bargain. Best of all, we're offering reduced rates for early registration. The EPICon 2010 hotel is the Sheraton New Orleans.The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel boasts a superb location, bordering the French Quarter and just steps away from the Mississippi River. The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, the Warehouse Arts District, the Aquarium of the Americas, Bourbon Street and the Superdome are all nearby, as are major malls - including Riverwalk Marketplace and Canal Place.

e-Books are the wave of the future. So whether you're an e-author or e-publisher, EPICon 2010 will help you catch the wave and solidify your commitment to the e-book world as we forge ahead in this emerging industry. Join us in New Orleans, next March.

I'll be there....
Dawn Chartier
Not An Angel, Coming in 2010 from The Wild Rose Press

K-Con 2009 was a great time, including the cute naked butt!

K-Con started on a Friday afternoon were I had lunch with Debbie, Cheryle and Jenn at Commanders Palace. Food, service and company were all awesome.

After that, I had to run back across the river to visit my mom in ICU. She was doing well, but they wanted to watch her for a few more hours just in case.

Then I went back to the hotel, signed up, and then hung out in the hospitality suite for a few hours. I volunteered with the ladies mentioned above to help with incoming fans, etc. After our deal was over, we were in the hall way and Debbie asked a very good looking man to pose with her for our treasure hunt picture. He did along with his friend who ended up taking his pants off and mooning us. Only in New Orleans!! (What is that you ask? Um, yeah it was a nice cute butt.) Deb has pictures to prove it.

The next morning I picked up Barbara Vey, Deb, Cheryle, and Jenn and we went to Cafe' Du Monde' in the Quarter. We had messy beignets, cafe' au lait, and I had hot chocolate. Yep, we made a mess. (go to Barbara Vey's blog at publishersweekly.com and you'll see us in her pictures pigging out - de-lish..). Not sure if you know it but Barbara Vey reviews books and such, and she shares tons of info on conferences too. Her site is a must.

Next we had to rush back for Diana Love's class, we made it just in time. Barbara then announced my new contract for my novel "Not An Angel". I need to get use to this, because I know my face must have turned red, purple, blue, and red again. It was sure hot as hell.

Then there was the League party. Everyone in costumes. Think, Terminator style... Lots of assassins and such... Next up was the dinner...they had so many people show up we ended up eating in the hall, but it didn't matter, we had a blast...Sherri's just a popular gal...and by the time desert came, we had more tables in the dining room.

Once we moved into the main room, Sherri was giving little gifts to all her helpers and she called me and Deb to go up there and get our gifts. I hugged Sherri, and then Diana Love tells her the news. So then Sherrilyn proceeds to announce to approx. 200 people my book news. I know, you want to know if I fainted right?? Actually, not that I can remember....(grin) I held it together, but after that, its all a blur. (grin)...

There was Q&A's with Sherri, and she gave away some top secrets to some future novels, but we were sworn to secrecy. Then my time ended after the Dark-Hunter tour. I had to visit my mom who was now moved into the regular hospital. I didn't go back on Sunday for the brunch, too much going on, but my mom sure got a kick out of my K-Con experience as did I.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Sitting down and freehand writing

I was on a blog the other day and I noticed how many authors say they sit down and write on a note pad before they actually start typing their story on the PC They say it helps free "their voice" and makes their writing more unique to them. Hmm... I wonder if that works?

Well, today I'm going to try that and see what happens. Maybe it will get me out of this "stuck" spot in my novel. My villain decided he didn't want to be the villain anymore, and then pointed me to someone else. I mean he's still a bad-ass! But, he was right, he's not the killer....((Rewind: I just deleted a entire sentence giving away who I'm talking about and realized. Oppss... I can't do that... I've got a big freakin' mouth! haha..))

Anyway, time to get off the blog, try a new exercise by writing on a tablet. Maybe I'll figure out why my bad guy isn't my baddy after all. Could it be maybe because he's my next heroine's hero? Yikes...Stop with the spoilers...

Now go write everyone!!! (that's meant for the writers out there.)

Have a wonderful weekend.
Hugs to you on a rainy New Orleans day.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It was an honor to know, Kate Duffy!

Only four years ago did I arrive at my first writers conference.

I had no clue about any of the publishing industy. (Still trying to figure some things out.)
Anyway, I remember there was a Query letter contest and I decided what better way to learn, right? Well, I had no idea the judge would be editor Kate Duffy, with Kensington.

Well, then my second mistake was I didn't realize there was a class with Kate and she was going over everyone's query letter and giving them advice. I ran down the hall and noticed she was still sitting there with a lady who was writing a book about a woman going through a divorce. I remember that moment like it was yesterday. I was probably shaking in my shoes.

I sat down and waited, hoping she wouldn't throw me out saying I was late. She didn't. Instead, she told me my query was runner up. After that I felt like I was on cloud nine. She still had lots to say about the query letter, and I still have that query marked up by her today. Then later I pitched my first book every written. She rejected it of course because I had every begginers mistakes through out my submission. Then I saw her again and again and again at different conferences.

Every time I pitched to her, she requested my ms, and she told me to keep on submitting to her, that I should never give up. My books will eventually be published she said. She even compared my voice to one of her own authors... Boy, did that make my day... I've since become friends with this author.

And every time I saw Kate, she remembered my name. She knew I was a Louisiana girl, and she told me about her family that lived here. She told me and others how she loved the Kite Runner, and her Kindle. It's why I bought both.

Thanks being you, Kate! You were one of a kind! Your wisdom and encouragement was priceless.

We will miss you.

I hope you have loads of wonderful books in heaven with you, and don't give them cute male angels too much trouble...

If you have your own Kate story, feel free to post it here.

Romance on the rocks!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Comic Book Collectors (Spider-Man #252)

Someone at the Heather Graham's Conference was talking to me about collecting comics. I told them my parents use to own a book shop when I was growing up and they still have tons of old comics that they are interesting in getting rid of. Lots of #1's and such. I can't remember who it was that I spoke to but if you happen to read this post here is the information I promised you where you can purchase a variety of those comics. Actually, anyone who reads this can contact him if they are hunting for collector comics.


If the link doesn't work you can email him at comicsguy75@yahoo.com
He can give you a list of his comics.

I never read many of the collector editions, my favorites were Archie, Richie Rich, any of the spooky looking ones I loved. Ah, the good old days...


Thursday, September 17, 2009


Join Sola on Saturday the 19th at 11:00am for a presentation by Steven Scaffidi. The focus of the presentation will be on screen writing. The information below is from his website. Hope to see you there!!! (p.s. The meeting will be back at the library on West Napoleon)

Ghost Rider Pictures was established in 1990, with a singular vision of producing thought-provoking and entertaining films and television programs. Early on, Ghost Rider established itself as one of the leading production companies in the South, producing films for The United States Marine Corps, Pioneer Entertainment, General Motors, Monsanto Agricultural Company, Exxon, Chevron, Pan American Life and banks across America..

Company founder, Steven Scaffidi, is known for producing, directing, and shooting many award-winning films and documentaries, most recently, his documentary feature, FORGOTTEN ON THE BAYOU: Rockey’s Mission to the White House www.forgottenonthebayou.com. The film received the prestigious Humanitarian Vision Award at the Newport Beach Film Festival and won for Best Documentary Feature Film at the Moondance International Film Festival in Hollywood, the First Glance Philadelphia Film Festival and the Ozone Film Festival and was a finalist at the Palm Beach Film Festival. Steven has been represented out of Los Angeles by Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and has created and sold original programs to New Line and Atlas Enterprises.

His latest project is currently with Rebel Entertainment and in development with Emmy Award-Winning Producer Scott Messick who is one of the original producers of Survivor.Ghost Rider Pictures also produced the award-winning documentary, THE PEOPLE'S STORY: The Devastation of Central America, and was the first U.S. production company to land in Honduras following Hurricane Mitch. The film was recognized as a winner at the New York, Houston and Telluride Independent Film Festivals and was a finalist in the 2000 Academy Awards.

Steven has unique flair for storytelling and has extensive experience working with actors and real people. His latest dramatic feature film stars a real warden and a real death row inmate that pushes the envelope in casting. EXECUTION www.executionfilm.com is based on his original screenplay which follows the final seven days of a condemned man’s life on death row.

This is an extraordinary and haunting film that puts the audience closer to an actual execution by electric chair than any film ever made.

(Come join us Saturday, met Steven and learn more on screen writing....)

Dawn Chartier

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Heather Graham's Writers Conference in New Orleans

It's 11:00pm at night and I snuck home a little early. I feel like I crammed my head with so much new information on writing that I'm about to explode.

Friday it all started at 11:00ish am at the Acme Oyster House on Iberville. I met a few friends and authors at lunch then hit the registration desk after. From then on its all a blur. From one panel to the next things just started meshing together...but I am taking notes and hope to sort it out once I'm home in my comfy space.

Today was another bunch of panels and again I learned tons. I'll blog a little more when I'm not so tired.

Tomorrow is editor pitch day. I'm excited.

p.s. If there are any typo's please excuse, I'm sleeping while typing this.

Good night,

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Going to miss TrueBlood...Bill, Sam and Sookie...

Tonight I watched True Blood on the DVR and I'm so upset that we have only one episode left. Where has the time flown? Seems like it just came back on since last years season...We'll it did. I think it started in July...they need more episodes per season for sure.

In last Sunday's episode I never laughed so hard at Tara's reply to her mama'. I can't remember it exactly, but it had something to do with the devil hiding in her mama's sunday church hat. Too funny. And Jason, is a riot. I laugh everytime I hear him talk. He's so serious with his saving the world attitude.

I mean, you can't take the show serious, its as funny as they come, and thats why I love it. I mean who ever heard of vampires playing Yatzee? (sp?)

Funny stuff. Mrs. Harris sure has a wonderful imagination when it comes to her characters.

Oh, well. Night everyone. p.s. Did you notice I spelled Hurricane wrong in my prior post? Well, yes I do know how to spell it, I just didn't hit the "e" button hard enough is all...(grin)........


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hurrican Katrina 4 year Anniversary

Hurricane Katrina may have amped it up, but New Orleans tchotchkes still big after four years
by Chris Rose, Columnist, The Times-Picayune
Saturday August 29, 2009, 5:05 AM

The Times-Picayune Archive New Orleans love affair with itself didn't just start after Hurricane Katrina -- New Orleanians have always been proud folks.

New Orleans' love affair with itself is one of the historical, parochial, unifying and sometimes cloying characteristics of this city. For instance, very few of us feel the need to append any facts, statistics or evidence to the perpetual claim that is ours: "The most interesting city in America."
It's a given. Always has been. And if you live somewhere else and are generally tired of our prideful self-regard -- particularly every time the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina rolls around -- then get over it. Because it's true.

To paraphrase the late 7th Ward vaudevillian, Ernie K-Doe: Sure, we're cocky. But we're good.

And make no mistake: This is no Katrina effect, no manifesto of the "new" New Orleans. Our perpetual conceit is -- to put it in the popular lexicon -- a pre-existing condition.
After all, it was 1879 when the newspaper columnist Lafcadio Hearn took note of New Orleans' chronic states of decay, insolvency, lawlessness and prurience, yet still proclaimed: "It is better to live here in sackcloth and ashes than to own the whole state of Ohio."

Nothing against Ohio, of course. It's just... well, it's just not here.
And then.
And then one day. The unthinkable. The implausible. The impossible. They said the city -- our city -- was finished.
And we said: The hell it is.

The Times-Picayune ArchiveThe civic pride, nostalgia and general cussedness borne out of Hurricane Katrina fueled a massive and sustained commercial output of household items, textiles, novelties, songs, books, symphonies, tchotchkes and T-shirts -- lots and lots of T-shirts -- that identify New Orleans.

And in that one moment, that very big moment, the quaint expressions of our heretofore harmless vainglory -- tiny crawfish on polo shirts, Vic'n'Nat'ly, Cajun-in-Your-Pocket and the seemingly interminable productions of plays at Le Chat Noir about "ya mama an' 'em" -- shifted into a cultural, psychic and economic engine capable of delivering unto the city an organic unifying force and homegrown healing mojo that no business, government or charity could ever hope to achieve.

The civic pride, nostalgia and general cussedness borne of that moment fueled a massive and sustained commercial output of household items, textiles, novelties, songs, books, symphonies, tchotchkes and T-shirts -- lots and lots of T-shirts -- that identify New Orleans.

Look around your home, your office, your car, your wardrobe and your body: Chances are you will see symbols of this city sewn, stamped, affixed, printed or engraved on something, anything, everything. (As I type this story, I see a bracelet on my left wrist engraved with Hearn's proclamation of sackcloth and ashes -- $70 at Plum boutique on Magazine Street.)

Iconography of post-storm New Orleans -- those things that, to borrow a phrase from the Hornets, represent the city's pride, passion and purpose -- has become a cottage industry in this town and a none-too-trivial one. We make stuff that represents us and then we sell it to ourselves -- an economic paradigm that allows its participants to send a message, choose a team, stake a claim, flip-off the authorities, band together, broadcast pride and generally shine.

They don't teach this business model at Harvard. It's a veritable fleur-de-phenomenon.
Consider the fleur-de-lis, the mack daddy of New Orleans iconography, that delicate little sprig of a lily, the crest of the fallen House of Bourbon, the logo of the least successful team in NFL history and the international symbol of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

The little lily that could.

What do you suppose the dollar value of this symbol is? What is it worth to the New Orleans economy? Think about that.

I stumped a couple of local economists with this question. After all, it seems such a frivolous notion. Then again: How much money will be spent on fleurs-de-lis in New Orleans this weekend?

Statistical data is tough to come by in the field of fleur-de-nomics, but we know this much: For a portion of 2007, items with fleurs-de-lis on them accounted for exactly 50 percent of the retail and online sales at Mignon Faget, the noted jewelry designer. At the other end of the market, variations of the fleur-de-lis still account for more than half of the tattoos done at the Electric Ladyland parlor in the Faubourg Marigny, according to owner Annette LaRue.

"The fleur-de-lis has helped my artists live better lives today," LaRue says.
"It saved my business," Faget says, with no equivocation.

The fleur-de-lis has transcended any derivations of French royalty, football fandom and decorative value to stand as the most ubiquitous symbol this city has ever had, maybe that any city has ever had, and one with a resounding message: This is our place. We believe in this place. We will fight for this place.

That's a big message for an umbrella, scarf, bumper sticker, flip-flops or a shot glass to carry.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but in the men's room at my office the other day, I noticed that a fleur-de-lis was stamped on the rubber mat that held the urinal mint. Talk about a captive audience.

But it's not just the fleur-de-lis, of course. It's the hurricane symbol, reproductions of the city's water meters and ceramic street tiles, refrigerators, red beans, blue roofs, the number 504, the X-codes --even "Brad Pitt for Mayor"; these are visual glyphs, tokens and representations of who we are, what happened here and how we feel about it. And the weird thing is: With a lot of this stuff, we're the only ones who even know it means.

Do you know what it means? Print that on a T-shirt or coffee mug, and someone will buy it.
That's what it means.
So the question is: Why?

Why do hundreds of thousands of us -- here and in exile -- stamp our property, our bodies and our identities with the trappings of the city we love? Isn't voting, supporting the arts and maintaining clean storm drains enough to lay claim to good citizenship? Why is it so important to wear our emotions -- sometimes literally -- on our sleeves?

"People now understand that tattoos are not just for scumbags, bikers and junkies," LaRue says. "They can be very meaningful to their owners. They help people express their feelings and their love and -- in this case -- their love for this city.

"In some cases, a tattoo is a way for people to publicly prove how much they love this city and prove how much they belong here. It's elementally tribal. Think about it: You don't see people in Des Moines (Iowa) getting Des Moines tattoos."

And that raises an interesting point: Why don't people in Des Moines -- or most everywhere else -- get Des Moines tattoos? If an enterprising jeweler in St. Louis -- a proud, historic community; we can all agree on that -- made 75,000 sterling brooches of the city's famed Gateway Arch and sold them for $25 a pop, would they sell out in three weeks?

Not likely. The reason, Faget says, is not rocket science: "They didn't almost lose St. Louis."
In the post-Katrina age, Hearn's words never have rung truer.

"There is a certain amount of defiance in that quote and I think people are still feeling that today," says Dannal Perry, the proprietor of Plum, who commissioned the sterling bracelets with the sackcloth and ashes quote and has sold around 40 of them -- a paltry figure compared to the hundreds of bracelets she has sold that ask, "Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?"

"In New Orleans, we're proud of our history, of pulling ourselves up after tragedy," she says. "And it seems that everyone wants to be identified that way. Everyone wants to own a piece of this city."

Faget echoes LaRue's theory: "I think it's tribal, I really do. People in New Orleans love to proclaim themselves. It's the same reason people wear Saints colors on Sunday. It says: We're on the team. We love New Orleans. We want to be part of the rebuilding."

There's an ironic element to all of this that Faget likes to point out.

"What I find odd," she says, "is that the fleur-de-lis originally represented royalty. The French certainly don't wear the fleur-de-lis; they had a revolution over it. And, now, here we are, using this as a symbol of our freedom. We use it to help emancipate ourselves from misery and the blow that nature dealt us."

Obviously, lots of people have lots of ideas about all of this. The Fleur-de-Phenomenon is a constant, pervasive, all-encompassing chorus of unified voices, passionate advocacy and willful relevance; a loud, resounding, unmistakably defiant, crystal-clear clarion call that says: Hell yes!
Unless you disagree with us, of course. Then it's: Hell no.

I was talking about this the other day with Andrei Codrescu, the prickly author, surrealist poet and cultural provocateur whose distinguished career has been marked by -- as much as anything else -- an overt disdain for sentimentalism and mush. Yet, the first book he published after Katrina was a collection of essays called "New Orleans, Mon Amour."
My love, indeed.

"We adorn ourselves to show off our opulence and decadence," he says. "The only other places I have seen anything like this are West Africa -- and maybe Martinique -- where art is one thread of continuity; symbols of our survival of a past catastrophe and talismans for protection against the next."

As we spoke by phone, I gave him the test I give everyone these days: I asked him to take inventory of his immediate surroundings -- the room he was in, the furniture, his clothes -- and to gauge his degree of immersion in the Fleur-de-Phenomenon.

I listened as he fished around in the pockets of his jeans. After a moment, he said: "You know, I had a pen knife with a fleur-de-lis on it but airport authorities recently relieved me of it in the name of Homeland Security."

He allowed a pregnant pause as he looked around and concluded, "That's about all I've got. But, as far as Katrina goes, I've got that tattooed on my brain."

Columnist Chris Rose can be reached at chris.rose@timespicayune.com.

I couldn't find the right words to write about Katrina, so I posted Columnist Chris Rose's column here. I love all his writings, he has a way with words when it comes to New Orleans....

I did want to add a thank you to "all" the people that have come here and helped one way or another. A special thanks to Heather Graham and Sherrilyn Kenyon, wonderful writers that have brought many people to NOLA to spend some money to help out... Thank you ladies for continuing to keep coming back!!


What other people think of the books you have in your home.

Ever wonder what other people might think about the books you have around the house?

Being a writer I have tons of books stashed every where. But some of my books aren't books that I read for just pleasure, some are for research. I have to sometimes explain to people when they see a Voodoo spell book, a sprirts books, or psychic book that I'm not a Voodoo Priestess or a psychic.

Do I believe in ghosts?

Sure, why not. I'm open-minded, at least I try to be. Now, I'm more of the type of person that wants to debunk that its not a ghost. But, if I can't explain it, then who am I to say they aren't real.

Now my horror writer books with blood drops (not real ones) on the cover make people look at me differently. "I didn't know you like that kind of stuff."

Well, honestly I do. Thats why I'm researching how to write them. Only hard part is keeping the romance in a horror story, but I'm getting there. I think the romance sortof sits in the back seat to the suspense is all.

So do you have some really odd books hanging around your house? If so, what would people who didn't know you think they were about?

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

EPICon Conference in New Orleans 2010

(From Epic's website)

NOLA Bound!

What is NOLA? NOLA is New Orleans, LA. And EPICon will be held there March 4-7, 2010. To register for the convention, please visit http://www.epic-conference.com/ Oh, and do they have some names teaching this year… Holly Jacobs, Debra Dixon, Deidre Knight, CT Adams, and even a forensic pathologist teaching 2 hours of class on the subject! To boot, if you’re an EPIC member, early registration is only $195 and $225 for non-members. That includes…

Thursday Night Mixer

Friday: Buffet Breakfast and Keynote luncheon

Saturday: Buffet Breakfast, luncheon, and awards banquet

The hotel rooms are discounted for the convention, as well. You have to mention the conference.
One more note. Membership in EPIC is $30 per year anyway. If you join EPIC while you sign up for the convention, you still pay $225 for the combination of member going to the convention and EPIC membership dues, but you get a year in EPIC to go along with it. That gets you $10 off all EPIC e-book contest entries (one more day to enter, folks!), networking on the EPIC lists, calls for submissions, a built-in place to ask research questions, industry information, and more.

So, you make out like a bear on that deal.

And you don’t want to miss the gala awards ceremony, where the new name for EPIC’s contest will be revealed this year

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Author Signings

Note to authors.

When having a book signing try not to have your friends and buddies cut the line. If they do, then put them back. We know how easy it is to get all caught up in the moment, but don't....

It's a little rude to fans who have been waiting a long time for your attention and signature. I've seen this done and I've seen fans walk off and say they'll never buy that authors books again. Not good business...

Just thought I'd share, just in case you don't realize, and when I get there one day and you see me do this, smack me one...


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dreamfever - Karen M Moning

Yippie, I just bought Dreamfever. I sooooooooo can't wait to read and post a review.

Love Mac and her friends!!!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Writers Conference In New Orleans - A must attend for all writers!

If you are a aspiring author or a established one, Heather Graham's conference is one you must attend.

Why? First its a small conference that you truly learn from.
Second, they have panels of Editors, agents and your favorite authors.
Third, they have appointments to pitch to editors and agents.
and Forth, you'll make lots of friends in the writing industry.

That's priceless.

The conference is small, but packs a huge punch. It was my very first writers conference ever, and I keep going back for more. (except last year, Hurricane)

Heather Graham invites everyone to come and have a great time in New Orleans. The price is fairly cheap, and the hotels aren't all that pricey...

To find out more info, go to www.writersforneworleans.com

Hope to see you there!!
Dawn Chartier

Friday, August 14, 2009

Gator going for a bicycle ride in Boutte, Louisiana

Every now and then I like to post funny happenings in Louisiana. Well, this is one of those that you have to scratch your head at........

Gator draped over man's shoulders attracts cops' attention in Boutte

Alligators are a common sight in St. Charles Parish waterways, but they rarely travel by bicycle.
So when sheriff's deputies saw Terron D. Ingram riding his bike down Goodchildren Street in Boutte with a 3-foot-long gator draped over his neck late Friday, they had a few questions.

Ingram dropped the reptile and his bike and ran off, but was apprehended a few blocks away.

"We don't know what his intentions were," said Sheriff's Office spokesman Capt. Pat Yoes. He said it wasn't clear where Ingram had captured the gator.

Ingram was booked with a variety of charges, including cruelty to animals by abandonment, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was being held on $15,000 bond.

All ended well for the gator, however. Alligator Control Officer Kenny Schmill said he released it into the marsh near Bayou Gauche.

by: Matt Scallan, The Times-Picayune

Go figure! Oh, and Go Saints! (Pre-season game tonight, I'll be there in the dome.)

Dawn Chartier

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sola RWA August Writers Meeting - New Orleans, LA

For the August 15th Sola meeting our presenter will be Tolley Thompson, Psychic.

Tolley will offer insight and tales from the supernatural world of psychic communication sure to stimulate many "novel" ideas.

Meeting location for August will be at Piccadilly - 2222 Clearview Pkwy - Metairie, LA

See you there.

Dawn Chartier
Fantasy on the Rocks!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Stephen Moyer visits New Orleans (or shall I say Bill Compton) True Blood

'True Blood' season 2 film crew takes over Clinton, La., then heads for New Orleans

HBO'True Blood' stars Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin took a break from season 2 location shooting in Clinton, La., to visit New Orleans.
Clinton, La. --

Standing in for fictional downtown Bon Temps, La., the blocks surrounding the East Feliciana Parish Courthouse looked like they'd been hit by a lusty tornado over the weekend.
The steamy HBO drama "True Blood" came to Clinton for several days of location shooting, and the town's streets (and trees) were strategically strewn with trash but mostly clothing, for a saucy storyline to play out in a few weeks on the show's 10th episode of the current season.
Saturday, shooting started at about noon and concluded after 2 a.m. Sunday. Wilting heat and humidity prevailed, broken occasionally by light rain.

Series leads Stephen Moyer (who portrays vampire/heartthrob/173-year-old Confederate Army veteran Bill Compton), Academy Award winner Anna Paquin (who plays Sookie Stackhouse and is Moyer's love interest on and off screen) and Ryan Kwanten (Sookie's brother Jason) were on hand for scenes as several dozen curious locals watched on from an out-of-frame.

The Louisiana-set drama, based on a series of popular vampire novels by Charlaine Harris, is mostly shot on back lots and soundstages in the Los Angeles area. Some location work for its first season was done around the Shreveport area. Scenes for three upcoming season-two episodes were shot over the weekend.

And -- incredibly, amazingly, appropriately - an ailing Clinton bat owes its life to "True Blood's" visit.
The tiny animal fell from a tree near the courthouse as the production was preparing to shoot a scene.

Crew medic Holly O'Quin, whose day job is nurse at Ochsner Health Center, leapt into action.
O'Quin called her brother, Jeff Galpin, a New Orleans stunt coordinator and animal wrangler for film-and-TV productions, who recommended that the baby bat be nursed back to health by feeding it regular doses of evaporated milk and egg whites, which O'Quin administered by needle-less syringe. Paquin, among many others on set, took great interest in the bat's recovery. (O'Quin reported Monday that the bat had recovered enough to fly away at the end of the production day.)

Dave Walker/The Times-Picayune'True Blood' crew medic Holly O'Quin tends to an ailing bat on-set in Clinton.

Sunday, on a day off from shooting, Moyer, Paquin and several production officials made a tourist trip to New Orleans. The visit culminated with a large dinner party at Galatoire's. (Deborah Ann Woll, who plays vampire conscript Jessica Hamby on the show, joined the group there.)

A couple of days earlier, Moyer made the drive into the city from the production's Baton Rouge base to wander the streets of the French Quarter - by himself - shooting pictures.
Yes, Bill Compton walked among us, only occasionally recognized.

"I saw a coffeehouse in a courtyard, and I wandered in there," said Moyer, a native of England, about his first-ever trip to New Orleans. "The coffee looked great. And sitting at the table were two New Orleans mimes, dressed in silver, having a coffee break.

"They were talking (but) went into mime (poses) as I walked past."
Moyer got his coffee and came back to the table and offered a gratuity in exchange for photographing the scene.

"This is the only thing she said," said Moyer of one of the mimes, approximating her thick "True Blood"-homage accent. " 'Anything for you, Bill Compton.'"

Article by: Dave Walker - The Times Picayune

Don't you just love it!! I sure wish I was at that coffee house.....Darn!

Dawn Chartier

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Karen Marie Moning "Fever Series Fans" Lunch in New Orleans with Jericho's z-lo (not with Karen)

(sorry for posting this again, had a error on last one)

A friend of mine has set up a World Tour Z-Lo lunch for fans of the "Fever series".

Why you ask? Well she has in her hands the Z-Lo. This is Jericho Barron's version of the MacHalo. We don't know why Jericho has this Z-lo? I'm guessing the answer will be in Karen's Dreamfever book coming out on August 18th.

So if anyone wants to join us:
Place: Port-Of-Call
Date: July 11th
Time: 11:30am
Address: 838 Esplanade Avenue,
New Orleans, LA 70116

(I tried posting a link to a map, but it didn't work. Go to google maps and search the address listed above, sorry.)

Debbie D and I would love to meet other Moning fans, we will take pics with the z-lo before we send to the next lucky person.....

"Stay to the lights!"
Dawn Chartier

Sola Writers Meeting - July 18th - Self Editing Help!

For our July's writers meeting we are having author/free-lance editor, Marie Goodwin present "Beyond the Commas: The Pleasures and Perils of Self-Editing."

Marie Goodwin, a 28 year Sola-RWA member and former Program Chair, has recently launched her editing website at madaboutbooksmarie.com. Marie holds a MFA in Creative Writing from LSU. She has written the Sola Grammar Queen column for the past five years. Drawing on her expertise in writing and editing, Marie will share tips on how to write for the market in this July Sola presentation.

Hope to see you there.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Writing Contest - Deadline July 15th - Sola-RWA

Are you a new writer? Have you been writing a while but with no feedback? Are you curious what other's think about your writing, but your too scared to put your work out there?

Well, here is the great part of Sola's Writers Contest. No one needs to know it's your writing. You can enter the contest under a made up name. You'll get awesome feedback from professional writers and published authors. What more could you ask for, well if it's great then it could go in front a agent and/or a New York publisher.

All you need is the first 5 pages (that's easy!) and a 1 page synopsis (synopsis is not judged so if you don't know how to write one, then don't worry about it. Just say this is my Hero's goal, motivation and this is what stops him from getting it. Same thing with the heroine.)

So, the deadline for this contest is now July 15th 2009 - They extended because they need more entrees, that means yours has a better chance at winning!! If it doesn't win, then you still have feedback on your writing from someone who has no idea who you are..........

So there! Enter the contest..........go to www.solawriters.org and look for the Dixie Kane writers contest button and enter........Just Do It!!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Diana Rowland Book Signing in Mandeville, LA - Sola Member

On Saturday June 27, SOLA member Diana Rowland will be signing her break out novel, Mark of the Demon, at Barnes and Noble in Mandeville from 2 to 4pm.


When Homicide Detective Kara Gillian finds traces of arcane power on a body, she quickly realizes that this is no ordinary murder. The serial killer known as the Symbol Man is a nightmare that Beaulac, Louisiana thought had ended three years ago, but now he's back for an encore and leaving every indication on the flesh of his victims that he is well-versed in demonic lore.

However, Kara is a Summoner of Demons, and may be the only cop on the city's small force who can stop the killer. Able to see and interact with a world most people can't, Kara must draw on her skills as a police officer and master of the arcane to stop the Symbol Man from killing again and possibly summoning something even she can't control.

But with a demonic lord of unearthly beauty and power haunting her dreams, and a handsome yet disapproving FBI agent dogging her waking footsteps, she may be in way over her head....
Learn more about Diana on her website at http://www.dianarowland.com/index.html

I can't wait to get my hands on this book, been waiting a long time...


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Today's Sola RWA meeting - June 2009

Today we had Cally Chauvin, paranormal investigator as our monthly speaker.
Oh how do I love anything paranormal. Cally spoke of her experiences with ghost and sometimes non-ghost. (meaning she didn't find any).

She spoke of how Ormond Plantation is one haunted Plantation, I'm going to look into staying there over night. Nope, I won't sleep, I'll be up all night too afraid to close my eyes....

She said she experienced a ghost sighting in St. Francisville at a Church. I've been around that church just this past March. I'm pretty sure it's haunted, you could almost feel it walking through the grave yard. (The grave yard is HUGE!) and beautiful....

Cally passed around some equipment she uses, many items are used by electricians. I'm sure I could get my hands on one of those, but do I really want to know if a ghost is hanging around me? No. I'm a little nervous to find that out....although I would love for her to come to my home and explore the possibilities that maybe we might have a ghost or two hanging around.

I won't go into any details, but I have experienced "something", not sure what, but just something I couldn't put a finger on....know what I mean??

Anyway, our group loved listening to Cally and her experiences, and I think I might take her class at a local college along with another fellow writer....I'll keep you posted how that goes....

Now, back to writing my paranormal stories........

p.s. If anyone is still interested in Sola's writing contest, the new deadline is July 15th!!! Get your 5 pages in...........


Monday, June 8, 2009

Sola's Dixie Kane Writers Contest (only 5 pages)

Curious about your writing????

Go to http://www.solawriters.org/ website and enter the writers contest. It's only 5 pages.
You can do it!! Plus if you win it goes to a great agent and a New York editor for Kensington.

Check it out......it's a great way to get awesome feedback for your writing....(I entered last year and learned lots!)


Sola Writers - More info on June's speaker - Cally Chauvin

Sola writers presenter for June 20th is:

Cally Chauvin presents “Hauntings In Louisiana”

Cally is Bayou Spirits founder and a Nationally Board Certified Teacher in Lafourche Parish. She has led many investigations during the last 5 years and has formed this group to further her knowledge and understanding of the paranormal. Her specialty is teaching people techniques used in investigations.

The Bayou Spirits team brings over 15 years experience in the field.

Bayou Spirits is a team of professional paranormal investigators who want to get back to the basics of Ghost Hunting.

I know I won't miss this meeting. I love all things paranormal, especially hauntings..
Meeting: June 20th at 10am...
East Bank Jefferson Parish Library (W. Napoleon Ave. Metairie, LA)

See you there.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sola Writers June 2009 Meeting - Cally Chauvin - Paranormal Investigator

On June 20th (Saturday) @ 10am, Sola will present Cally Chauvin, paranormal investigator.
I will post more on the subject when I receive the details.

Writers, readers, etc. we welcome to 2 meetings for free.

Dawn Chartier

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sola's Writers May Meeting - Kathy Love and Erin McCarthy

Just wanted to thank Kathy and Erin for coming to New Orleans for the Sola writers May meeting. We all enjoyed getting to know our characters on a deeper level!

Come back and visit us soon.......


Graduation Cruise

My daughter was on the same cruise ship as the young man who went overboard was on. (Yes, I was scared when I heard a graduate went overboard, I can't wait till she comes home!)

My heart and prayers go out to his family. I can't imagine their pain, especially after just celebrating his success of graduating, and then looking forward to college.

I pray they find him soon....let a miracle happen!!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Interview regarding selling romance novels!


Check this out. Romance is selling during our trying times.... I like!!
Got this from Farrah Rochon, and she got from Gena Showalter who I had no idea would be in this interview....way to go Gena!

Revisions! Is there a right or wrong way? A better way?

I need to find a better way with revisions.
Some people like them and enjoy doing them.
I'm not one of those people, at least not yet.
I find that I keep wanting to change more than I should be.
I don't know when to stop, then I think I'm ruining it....
Any writers out there know a good trick to cure this internal editor that won't shut up.

Maybe if I just wrote a perfect book, this wouldn't be a problem...(grin, ya right!)


Thursday, May 7, 2009


If you are a member of Sola RWA, our May meeting date has been "changed" to May 23rd instead of the 16th. The time and place are the same.

Our presenters are: USA Today best-selling authors, Erin McCarthy and Kathy Love. The topic is, "DO I KNOW YOU?" GETTING IN TOUCH WITH YOUR CHARACTERS.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


On May 16th Sola-RWA local chapter presents authors, Erin McCarthy and Kathy Love. They are giving authors/writers advice on writing techniques. (I'll post more about them and the class in about a week, check back soon)....

This writers meeting is free to visitors (two free visits only). If you are a writer searching for a place to learn more about the craft, Sola is the place to be. Visit Solawriters.org for more information.

Thanks and hope to see you soon.

Monday, April 20, 2009


If you are thinking about entering a writing contest this is one I would recommend.
Last year I entered, and although I did not final, I received wonderful feedback.

Go to www.solawriters.org for more information.

You need to only enter 5 pages. Synopsis is optional, but helpful to judges.

Keep writing,
(sorry if I made any typo's, I'm rushing)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Author Deborah LeBlanc is speaking at Sola's writers meeting on 4/18/09

On April 18th @ 11am at our Sola-RWA meeting our speaker will be the award-winning and best-selling author, Deborah LeBlanc.

Deborah is a business owner, a licensed death scene investigator, and an active member of two national paranormal investigation teams. She's the President of the Horror Writers Association, Mystery Writers of America's Southwest Chapter, and theWriters' Guild of Acadiana. Deborah is also the creator of the LeBlanc Literacy Challenge, an annual, national campaign designed to encourage more people to read and Literacy Inc., a non-profit organization with a mission to fight illiteracy in America's teens. Her latest book is WATER WITCH. For more information go to http://www.deborahleblanc.com/ and http://www.literacyinc.com/

If you need inspiration to write, submit, or whatever it is, she is it!

Come join us at 4747 W. Napoleon in Metairie, LA (East Bank Library).

(Visitors are welcome for free)

Dawn Chartier


Monday, April 6, 2009


One thing I heard over and over again at the Jubilee conference was to make sure you start your story in the right place. When I first started writing, I had no idea what that meant. I do now, but it took a little time to understand the difference of the right place and the wrong place.

If your story doesn't really get good until on page 10, or the 2nd or 3rd chapter, then you know you started your story too early. As author, Cherry Adair says, "Jump in late, and get out early." (or something along those lines.)

This is exactly what you should do. You always weave in the back story little bites at a time. Or one sentence at a time. Now, I'm not telling you this is the right way for every single story, but it is for most. Have something exciting going on when you read the first line or paragraph, but keep true to it. Meaning don't hook us, and let us down after the first page.

During a critique session with an editor, book store owner and a author, I learned that in the first page you must connect with the character, you must know what is going on in their head. Don't just write that they went to this room, then went to that room. We want to know what is inside your characters head. Why we should keep reading about them? Make us connect to them....make sense? I hope so.

Thanks for reading, I'll keep posting as I learn too.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009


This saturday (April 4th) I am attending the Jubilee writers conference.

This is my 3rd year and I'm looking forward to it. It's a small conference, but the classes are truly helpful...many wonderful writers of all genres'....

F Paul Wilson and Heather Graham will be there, along with Cherry Adair, Deborah Leblanc and many others.........Can't wait!

If you are a writer you should attend.........


Update on NOLA STARS Conference

At the conference I received two requests.
One for my vampire novella and one for my sci-fi romance.

My novella is going through readers before I send it out to the editor. (which is getting close)

My sci-fi GENUS, I told the editor I really need to work on it because it was truly my second novel and it pretty much needs a ton of re-writing, revisions, layering, etc......but I'll send it to her when all that is done.

The conference was a lot of fun, but the food could have been a little better...maybe it was a good thing it wasn't so good, that means I didn't eat a lot..(grin)


Thursday, March 5, 2009


Argh...I still need to pack for the conference. I haven't started because I always debate on what to wear. I could dress up or I could just dress up jeans, maybe I could just could go el'cas-u-al...I know, who cares....(me!)

I've never been to Nola Stars, but a fellow Sola writer, Pamela Kopfler, said it was pretty good. I enjoy smaller conferences because you really get to meet people. Bigger conferences you tend to feel a little lost, too much of everything.

But, if I were a big time author, then that would be a totally different story! (I'll get there.)

All I want to do is learn all I can about the craft. Meet some people who like to write, and maybe meet a few agents or editors, put some feelers out there...

Anywho, gotta get my butt out of this chair and start packing for the conference. If you are going, come say hi... I'd love to meet you.

Dawn Chartier

Monday, March 2, 2009

Author Gena Showalter

Tonight I had the honor of meeting a very sweet & talented author, Gena Showalter.

I hadn't read her books yet, but I met her once before & had intentions of buying her novels. I mentioned to my sister she was in town, and she told me that she'd read probably all of her books and they were very good. So a writer friend and I went and chatted with Gena for a long while. I bought one of her Undeworld books, I believe the first one in that series and started reading it a few hours ago. Let me just say, I didn't want to put it down. She captures you in the first sentence. Here is what it she writes, "Every night death came, slowly, painfully, and every morning Maddox awoke in bed, knowing he'd have to die again later." How cool is that sentence...

What a hook! I had to keep going.....Anyway many pages later, and I'm still reading. I just wanted to stop for a moment and add a picture of her and I at the signing....I wish other authors would come to New Orleans. Thank you Gina for stopping by....Good luck on your tour...
Dawn Chartier

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sola's - RWA February 14th Writers Meeting - Featuring Writing Larger Than LIfe Heroes, by Mallory Kane

Southern Louisiana chapter of Romance Writers of America next writers workshop is titled:

"Writing Larger than Life Heroes" presented by Harlequin Intrigue Author Mallory Kane.

If you are a New Orleans locals and would like to attend this meeting all you have to do is show up. You get 2 meetings for free...

Located at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Library in Metairie, you can google directions. (we are in one of the meeting rooms)

February 14th (Yep, Valentines Day) 10:00am, speaker starts at 11am end at noon.

We hope you can make it.

Dawn Chartier
Sola Co-Program Director

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sola Writers (New Orleans, LA) Guest Speaker Charly Borenstien-Regueira

SOLA RWA writers Meeting at 10:00 Saturday (1/17/09)

Guest speaker is Charly Borenstein-Regueira, a Certified Professional Life Coach (2003), Certified
Life Coach Trainer (2005), and Neuro-Linguistic Practitioner (1999) with a thriving practice in New Orleans.
She specializes in working with leaders, artists, and executives who want to create positive, sustainable change
in their own lives and in their communities. She also provides seminars, workshops, and individual corporate
coaching services designed to shift workplace environments from places where people receive direction from
others to places where people are moved to do things that they care passionately about.
Ms. Borenstein-Regueira was Founding Director of the Orleans Parish Juvenile Drug Court, where she
pioneered a program providing in-home individual and family counseling and clinical substance abuse treatment
to youth and their family members. Her zealous advocacy for youth ultimately led to the discovery of physical
abuse of incarcerated youth at the hands of correctional officers and the subsequent closure of the Jena Juvenile
Correctional Facility in Jena, LA.
Meet…Munch…Mingle…Make it happen!

Announcement from: Janet Foret Lococo, Membership Director

Monday, January 12, 2009

Writing Groups in New Orleans

Do you want to learn the in's and out's on writing?
If you live near New Orleans there is a writers group called Sola.
Sola is a local chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America)
You don't have to write romance to belong to Sola. Any type of writer wanting to be published is welcomed to our group. We have all kinds of published and unpublished authors.

We met every 3rd Saturday of the month at 10am to 12pm. At the East Bank Library on West Napoleon off of Clearview in Metairie. We have speakers from various markets in the writing/publishing world.

You can attend twice for free.

Come and join us.
Dawn Chartier
Sola Co-Program Director