APRIL 2014
Book Obsessed Chicks Book Club
Friday, April 4th
Long Island, NY

Long Island Romance Writers
All-day Workshop

Saturday, April 5th
Hilton Garden Inn
Morning Session: "Deep POV (or, I've Got You Under My Skin)"
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."

Afternoon Session:
"Style and Substance: the Role of Gender in Romance"

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"
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.

MAY 2014
New England Romance Writers' Let Your Imagination Take Flight Conference
Workshop: Reinvention: When Is It Right for Me?
with Jessica Anderson and Suzanne Brockmann

Saturday, May 3
Burlington Marriott, Burlington, MA
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)
JULY 2014
Romance Writers of America 34th Annual Conference
July 23-26
San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter & Marriott Riverwalk, San Antonio, TX
Workshop: "Reinvention: When Is It Right for Me?"
with Jessica Anderson and Suzanne Brockmann
See description above.

Workshop: "Sex, Struggle, Intimacy, and Control: It's Not (Just) About the Handcuffs"
See description above.

Lady Jane's Salon Raleigh-Durham
Wednesday, October 29, 7:00 pm

Hibernian Restaurant & Pub
1144 Kildaire Farm Rd Cary NC 27511


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

"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.

"Adding Emotion, Making a Sale"
Solid writing skills don't guarantee sales. An emotionally compelling story does. Using common phrases from rejection letters (such as "I didn't care about the characters," "I just didn't love this story enough," and "The plot overshadows the romance") Virginia Kantra translates what those phrases really mean and shares practical strategies to hook readers' and editors' emotions. Lessons will discuss how to use authenticity, voice, characters, conflict, structure, deep point of view, dominant mood, dialogue, and "pay off moments" to create emotionally engaging stories.

"Voice: What Are They Talking About?"
(Last offered at Liberty States Fiction Writers Conference, March 2013)
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 all of the above by looking at examples from bestselling authors with strong voices across and within subgenres. Virginia will also discuss the difference between author point of view and character point of view and share tips for developing your own voice.

"Who's on Top? Intimacy, Control and Conflict"
(Last offered through Kiss of Death as a month-long on-line workshop, October 2007)
Every satisfying love story charts both character growth and the growth of a relationship. Using examples from bestselling authors, this workshop explores the tension between the character arc and the romance arc; how men and women use dialogue to seek status or establish connection; and the different ways the two sexes negotiate the struggle for the right balance of intimacy and control.

"Developing an Author/Editor Relationship" with Mary-Theresa Hussey (Luna, Silhouette Books)
RWA National Conference 2003

"Writing Ongoing Series" with Suz Brockmann and Josie Litton
RWA National Conference 2003

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