It was 1996 when I attended my first RWA’s national conference. I’d just finished an 800-page behemoth of a manuscript that didn’t really fit the market and was five months pregnant with my fifth child, but it didn’t matter that my novel needed to be completely rewritten because I felt as if I’d struck gold. I’d been toiling away in every stolen moment I could manage while my husband worked and my kids napped but I didn’t know how to market what I’d written once I typed “The End”—until I found RWA.
A friend of a friend told me about the organization and their annual conference and insisted I attend, and I owe that woman a great deal of gratitude because finding RWA made all the difference. In Dallas, I attended every publisher spotlight I could fit into my schedule, gave my very first pitch to an editor and an agent, learned of the Golden Heart, a national contest which helped launch my career the following summer, and connected with the Sacramento chapter, which could offer support at home. After almost a week, I returned to my family absolutely buzzing with excitement. I could hardly think straight for the next month! I’d found all the information and contacts I needed in order to get published. Now I could see a way to make my dreams come true.
That was sixteen years ago. Since then I’ve written more than forty books, hit the USA Today as well as The New York Times, and gone to national every year except one. Thankfully, it still holds the same magic for me. What I do while I’m there has changed a bit. I’m now too busy meeting with other authors and my agent and editor to attend the fabulous workshops they provide (except the ones I give myself), but I still come home completely enthused about my career and books in general.
This year was especially fun because my editor and I were preparing for the launch of my new Whiskey Creek series and we’d just gotten a glowing review on the first book, WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES, from Publisher’s Weekly:
Gail and Simon’s heartwarming romance develops slowly and sweetly. The sex is fantastic, but the best part is how Simon and Gail tease and laugh as they grow closer.
We were also preparing for the release a 150-page digital novella, a prequel, called WHEN WE TOUCH, which is currently FREE at all e-trailers. You can download it HERE.
Many of my readers want to know if these books signal a permanent change in genre—but they don’t. I’m still writing suspense. As a matter of fact, I’m currently working on the first book in a new very chilling (pun intended
) series set in Alaska. Visit my web site for more details at brendanovak.com.
A WHISKEY CREEK NOVELLAOlivia Arnold is arranging the festivities — and it's the hardest thing she's ever done. Because she should've been marrying Kyle Houseman. They were together for two years. . . But her jealous sister, Noelle, purposely stole him away — and now she's pregnant.
All their friends in Whiskey Creek know as well as Olivia does that Kyle's making a mistake. His stepbrother, Brandon, knows it, too. But Kyle's determined to go through with it, for his child's sake.
Olivia's still devastated but surprisingly, Brandon, the black sheep of the family, is there to provide comfort and consolation. The intensity between them, both physical and emotional, shows Olivia that maybe Kyle wasn't the right man for her. . .But is Brandon?
Gail DeMarco left Whiskey Creek, California, to make a name for herself in Los Angeles. Her PR firm has accumulated a roster of A-list clients, including the biggest box office hit of all—sexy and unpredictable Simon O’Neal. But Simon, who’s just been through a turbulent divorce, is so busy self-destructing he won’t listen to anything she says. She drops him from her list—and he retaliates by taking the rest of her clients with him.
WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES is now available on.
GiveawayOne lucky commenter will receive a signed copy of WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES. Contest ends September 10th!!
Come Join My Fan ClubVisit my website at www.brendanovak.com and join my Fan Club. You will soon have the opportunity to purchase items related to the Whiskey Creek series--like a fabulous Black Gold Coffee mug and an Amos Auto Body T-shirt. There will be a town tour, a blog and much more! The fan club is open through November 8. How do you join? Simply buy WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES or WHEN SNOW FALLS and — by November 8 — email the receipt to Danita.Moon@comcast.net, or snail mail the receipt to: Danita Moon 3825 Little Rock Drive Apt 88 Antelope, CA 95843. In return, Danita will send you a pack of autographed trading cards (the first I've ever done!), featuring SIX of the main characters in my Whiskey Creek series. This offer available to NEW members only. (However, anyone can purchase these beautiful cards for a nominal price from our Whiskey Creek Store.)
***Brenda's winner is Michele L! Congrats, Michele. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your details. Thanks!***