Booksigning: Turn the Page Bookstore
18 North Main Street, Boonsboro MD 21713

with Nora Roberts / J.D. Robb ,
Jules Bennett, Mary Burton, Mary Ellen Taylor, Catherine Bybee, Laura Kaye and more!

I'm such a Nora fan girl, this is a big deal for me. (Plus a great way to start my holiday shopping.
Last time I visited Boonsboro, I bought books for my mom, my daughter, and my sisters-in-law, and a gorgeous seashell ornament for the tree and the prettiest earrings... Oh, wait, those were for me.) Anyway, I hope if you're in the area, you'll stop by and say hi!

Missed it?
You can still order SIGNED books here

for yourself or to give as gifts
and Turn the Page will mail them to you!

For more information, just click the bookstore links above.
Or you can contact the store directly
Call: (301) 432-4588
Guest Lecture: "Author Voice: What Are They Talking About?"
Part of the Duke University Romance Novel Class and the event series UNSUITABLE
hosted by the Forum for Scholars and Publics
Wednesday, February 25th
5:00-5:55 p.m.

011 Old Chem MAP
Admission is free and open to the public.

One of the most essential elements for any writer to master is voice. Voice is a function of both what you have to say (story, genre, theme) and your experience (vocabulary, cadence, and world view). Because no two writers have exactly the same things to say and the same experience, each author's voice is unique. This workshop examines author voice in the romance novel by looking at examples from bestselling authors with strong voices across and within subgenres and addresses the criticism that "those books" are "all the same." Virginia will also discuss the difference between author point of view and character point of view and share her four-point strategy for developing your own voice (read, write, define, refine).

MAY 2015
Workshop: "Truer than Life: Characters and Dialogue"
Heart of Carolina Romance Writers
Saturday, May 9th, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Bond Park Community Center, Cary, NC. Click here for directions to Bond Park Community Center.
JULY 2015
Booksigning: "Readers for Life" Literacy Autographing Event
Wednesday, July 22, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
New York Marriott Marquis

Hundreds of romance authors meet with and sign books for fans
in this two-hour event, with the proceeds from book sales going to literacy organizations.

This event is free and open to the public! I hope to see you there!

Workshop: "Emotion: More than Words"
Romance Writers of America 35th Annual Conference

Friday, July 24th, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location TBD

Virginia Kantra shares practical strategies to build the emotion in your story from opening conflict to final payoff. Layering emotion is more than adding adjectives and adverbs. It's about creating worthy protagonists with compelling motivations and then dragging the reader along on every step of their emotional journey through everything those characters see, say, and do. Virginia will discuss how to craft emotionally authentic and engaging stories through the use of deep point of view, dominant mood, significant, specific triggers, visceral reactions, pacing, and payoffs. Hook your readers' emotions and bring them back for more!

Connecticut Romance Writers Fiction Fest
Master Class: "Deep POV: I've Got You Under My Skin"

Friday, September 11th, 4:00 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Deep point of view (POV) is the quickest, cheapest tool in the writer's toolbox for shoe-horning your reader into your character's skin. It is driven by your characters' experience and emotions. This workshop explains how close third person POV combines the advantages of first person POV with the versatility and wider camera lens of third person POV. Elements to consider in writing deep POV include the character's gender, education level, environment, age, career, and needs and conflicts. Using first and final drafts from Virginia Kantra's own work and examples from bestselling and RITA-nominated books, this workshop will explore when and why deep POV is effective and discuss how to write it in description, narrative, and dialogue/subtext. Special attention will be paid to formatting; techniques for switching POV within a scene; and to writing in male POV, including "Virginia's Guide to Guy-Speak."

Workshop: "Emotion: More than Words"
Saturday, September 12th, Time TBD

Workshop: "Changing It Up: the Art of Developing Series"
with Jessica Andersen/Jesse Hayworth and Laura Moore
Saturday, September 12th, Time TBD

On-line Workshop: "Using Body Language"
October 5-9, Romance Writers of America
RWA University Forum/Listserv
Body language, nonverbal cues to feelings and intentions, is key to communication--and to romance. In this week-long on-line class, Virginia explores the elements of body language from facial expressions and gestures to touch and the use of space. Learn how to bring your characters and scenes to life by focusing on four functions of body language in fiction: revealing character, improving pacing, enriching subtext, and developing the romance. Q&A.

Other Workshops

Deadlines permitting, I enjoy speaking to writers' and readers' groups. Some of my workshops are also available as RWA conference recordings.

"Reinvention: When Is It Right for Me?"
with Jessica Anderson and Suzanne Brockmann
Last offered at Romance Writers of America 34th Annual Conference July 2014

Everybody says, "Do what's right for you," but there's no road map for writers facing tough financial and creative realities. How do you write authentically? What are the trade offs? How do you find your individual balance in your shifting personal life and the shifting world of publishing? Join three award-winning, bestselling authors as we share our process of reinvention and suggest strategies to assess your career, retool your creativity, and make right-for-you-right-now choices. Reinvention in three steps: Evaluate (where am I?); Imagine (where do I want to be?) and Act (mapping a path/getting there)

"Style and Substance: the Role of Gender in Romance"
Last offered at Midwest Fiction Writers September 2014

Gender roles are changing in society and romance, yet the differences between men and women still impact our genre. Using examples from her own work and best-selling authors, Virginia Kantra demonstrates how an understanding of gender can add credibility to our characterizations
and spark to our romance. This workshop will discuss gender roles from the standpoint of biology and genre fiction; meeting reader expectations and subverting stereotypes; and how male and female communication styles affect dialogue, point-of-view, conflict, and intimacy.

"Sex, Struggle, Intimacy, and Control: It's Not (Just) About the Handcuffs"
Last offered at Last offered at Romance Writers of America 34th Annual Conference July 2014 and Midwest Fiction Writers September 2014

Characterization, conflict, and sex-every romance novel has them. An understanding of gender and the different ways men and women negotiate for intimacy and control can deepen characterization, develop the conflict, make dialogue sparkle and sexual tension sizzle.

Every satisfying love story charts both character growth and the growth of a relationship. The hero and the heroine must grow as individuals (becoming stronger, capable, and more autonomous) and as lovers (becoming more trusting, vulnerable, and dependent on each other). Using examples from movies, bestselling authors and Virginia Kantra's own work, this workshop explores the tension between the character arc and the romance arc; using gender roles to meet reader expectations and deepen characterization; the differences in the ways men and women negotiate the struggle for intimacy and control; and what makes an ending "happy" anyway.

"Happily Ever After: Seven Secrets to Writing a Successful Romance"
RWA National defines a romance novel as "a central love story" with "an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending." To be emotionally satisfying, the romance must be true both to what the reader knows and to what the writer has to say. Good love stories are universal (tap into the readers' shared emotions and experiences) and unique (use specific, significant details that belong to the story). Using examples from bestselling authors and Virginia Kantra's own work, this workshop explores how combining universal emotion and unique detail in seven essential romance components results in love stories that are believable, memorable...and satisfying!
Last offered at BOOKMARKS Festival, Winston Salem, NC, September 2013.

Ultimate Heroes: Stand-up Guys, Real Men, and Heroes Who Make Us Go Hmm...
Last offered at Sourthwest Regional Library Festival of Romance, November 2012

"Characters Inside and Out"
"It may be possible in novel-writing to present characters successfully without telling a story: but it is not possible to tell a story successfully without presenting characters." - Wilkie Collins
Using examples from Virginia Kantra's own work, popular movies, and bestselling books, this workshop will explore the elements of characters' "inside life" and "outside life,"
the story requirements for various character roles,
the layers of character from dominant impression to dominant mood,
and how to reveal character through description, action, dialogue and point of view.

"Pillow Talk: Using Dialogue To Enhance Romance" with Sabrina Jeffries and Judith Stanton
RWA National Conference 2002