All posts by DARAAdmin

August 25th – DARA workshop! – Put Goodreads to Work for You

Goodreads Librarian

Put Goodreads to Work for You

Goodreads is the largest online community of readers in the world. This workshop will empower authors to embrace their Goodreads presence and learn to deal with negativity. Five aspects of Goodreads to be discussed are: strengthening your author profile, interacting with readers, checking your book records, using promotional tools, and seeking help. Make Goodreads work for you!

Diane Peterson is a retired school library media specialist that promotes the romance novel industry as an analyst, speaker, and reviewer. She is currently researching the history of RWA, particularly the RITA program. Diane is very active on Goodreads, tracking her own extensive library of romance books, writing reviews and following many authors and groups. A compulsive “fixer”, she uses her status as a Goodreads librarian to correct and improve book records as well as assisting authors. Diane is a member of RWA and the Missouri RWA chapter. Website:

Saturday, August 25th
Time: 9:30 a.m.

Location: Collin County Courtyard Campus

Room 214

4800 Preston Park Blvd.

Plano, TX

May 26th DARA Workshop – Panels, Plotting, & Brainstorming Oh My!

We will have four authors give a short talk on what their method of plotting is. After the panel, we will work on plotting our own stories. Get help from small groups or the whole room! Let the creativity flow!


Priya Ardis – Six Stage Story Structure

Cindy Dees – Spaghetti Bowl Plotting

Gay Kiser – Storyboarding

Sabine Watts – Combo plotting


Saturday, May 26

Time: 9:30 am

Location: Collin County Courtyard Campus
Room 214
4800 Preston Park Blvd.
Plano, TX

April 28th DARA Workshop – Series That Sell

Cheryl Etchison
Time and time again, research has proven the voracity of romance readers. Hook them with one book and they’ll be back for another, and another, and so on. Buzz around new releases that are part of a series often garner the attention of new readers, ultimately sparking a boost in backlist sales since many prefer to start from the beginning. But while writing a series might be the right marketing strategy for your story, there is major pitfall to consider– repetition. No one wants a reader to put down a book because the characters sound just the same or the conflict is identical to another book in the same series.
In this interactive workshop, we’ll discuss the various types of series and create a framework using tropes, themes, and worldbuilding that appeals to the most detailed of plotters, but still allows pantsers a significant amount of freedom.

Cheryl Etchison graduated from the University of Oklahoma’s School of Journalism and began her career as an oil and gas reporter. Bored to tears and broke as hell, it wasn’t long before she headed for the promise land of public relations. But that was nearly a lifetime ago and she’s since traded in reporting the facts for making it all up. Her debut novel, ONCE AND FOR ALL: AN AMERICAN VALOR NOVEL, was a 2017 RITA Award finalist in two categories and won for Best First Book. Currently, she lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and three girls.

March 24th DARA Workshop – Delivering Your Pops and Payoffs

Delivering Your Pops and Payoffs – Presented by Jaye Wells

Good stories don’t happen by accident. To master the art of delivering satisfying tales, writers must learn how to effectively make story promises in Act One as well as how to deliver satisfying payoffs by The End. This class will explore the types of promises you must make from the first line of your story, demonstrate a variety of tools you can use to make those promises, and offer strategies to avoid cheating your readers out of satisfying payoffs.

USA Today Bestseller Jaye Wells is a former magazine editor whose award-winning speculative fiction novels have hit several bestseller lists. She holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, and is a sought-after speaker on the craft of writing. When she’s not writing or teaching, she loves to travel to exotic locales, experiment in her kitchen like a mad scientist, and try things that scare her so she can write about them in her books. She lives in Texas.

Time: 9:30 a.m. 

Location: Collin County Courtyard Campus

Room 412

4800 Preston Park Blvd.

Plano, TX

February 24th DARA Workshop – Building Character with Word Choice

Presented by Elizabeth Essex

Elizabeth Essex’s class will present six techniques for building vivid, memorable characters that jump off the page of your novel and into your readers’ hearts and minds, including visualization, world-building, emotional truth, dialog and rhetorical devices.

Elizabeth is the award-winning author of the critically acclaimed historical romance, including the Reckless Brides, and Highland Brides series. Her books have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award and Seal of Excellence Award, and RWA’s prestigious RITA Award. The Reckless Brides Series has also made Top-Ten lists from Romantic Times, The Romance Reviews and Affaire de Coeur Magazine, and Desert Isle Keeper status at All About Romance. Her fifth book, A BREATH OF SCANDAL, was awarded Best Historical in the Reader’s Crown 2013. Her sixteenth book, MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS TO MARRY releases this month.

When not rereading Jane Austen, mucking about in her garden, or simply messing about with boats, Elizabeth can be always be found with her laptop, making up stories about heroes and heroines who live far more exciting lives than she. It wasn’t always so. Long before she ever set pen to paper, Elizabeth graduated from Hollins College with a BA in Classics and Art History, and then earned her MA in Nautical Archaeology from Texas A&M University.  While she loved the life of an underwater archaeologist, she has found her true calling writing lush, lyrical historical romance full of passion, daring and adventure.

Time: 9:30 a.m. 

Location: Collin County Courtyard Campus

Room 214

4800 Preston Park Blvd.

Plano, TX

January 27th DARA Workshop – The Ins & Outs of Traditional Publishing

The Ins and Outs of Traditional Publishing – Bestselling author Lorraine Heath will discuss various aspects of traditional publishing, including control (what do you control, what do you not), licensing rights, key contract clauses, how earnings are paid out, and how to determine if traditional publishing is right for you.

Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals and computer code, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she became not only hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards including RWA’s RITA®. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists.

October Workshop

Join us on Saturday for our October meeting!

Join us for an exciting workshop covering common errors writers make when writing military and police heroes with Kendra Williams, owner of Tactical Writers. She’s bringing Joe (LAST NAME REDACTED), a former Navy SEAL. He’ll take over to discuss basic operations tactics in a war theater, moving into common arms and explosives in war theater. Questions welcome, he will answer everything he can within national security boundaries. He isn’t big on publishing his photos online, so you’ll have to come to the meeting to find out what he looks like.

Joe was in the Navy and teams for 13 years and medically retired a few years ago. His missions were numerous and included all major theaters including both Iraq and Afghanistan, and many more that you’ve likely seen a movie about in the last few years. He still works in his skill set with his own private security company taking both government and private sector jobs and details.

Kendra has been a proof reader as well as line and copy editor for a handful of years. Now she only works with a handful of authors because she’s a harsh editor that gives honest revisions regarding plot, story, authenticity, and especially continuity.

We’ll meet on Saturday, October 28 at our fabulous Collin College Courtyard Campus location at 9:30.

May DARA Meeting

Mark your calendars and plan to join us (of course you’ll get reminders closer to the date).

Our May meeting will be on the 27th at 11 am at Aqua Fit. We’ll welcome the always-interesting Suzanne Ferrell!!

Address: Aqua Fit in Plano. 1400 Summit Ave , Ste D-2, Plano, Tx 75074

You’ve written your book. Congratulations! Now you have to capture the attention of readers in an ever expanding market. Learn eight key marketing secrets for a highly successful book release. Discover three techniques for turning your newsletter into a powerful sales catalyst for your launch. Whether you’re brand new, a midlist or multi-published author this workshop will show you how and when to optimize your social media campaign to get the most attention while your book is as cute and shiny as a brand new baby.

Workshop Description:

Participants will learn what marketing tools you should have up and running on the day you launch your book, which tools you can do ahead of time, and how to get you new book in front of your readers in order to get the best new book sales possible. With independent publishing now a solid platform for all authors, an organized way to launch a book by using your cover design, website, social media sites, graphics, author dashboards at vendor sites and newsletters will help you launch your books with a greater chance of being seen by readers.

The Emotion Thesaurus Workshop

Special All Day Workshop

With Becca Puglisi

Co-author of The Emotion Thesaurus series

April 22, 2017

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Richardson Civic Center; 411 W. Arapaho Rd., Richardson, TX

Lunch included in registration fee

Session One (3 hours): Larger Than Life Characters: Building a Hero From The Ground Up: An in-depth look at character creation by discussing personality traits, character psychology and motivation, emotional sensitivities and wounds, and how to ground characters in the real world to facilitate empathy and reader fascination.

Session Two (3 hours): Show, Don’t Tell: Sharing Characterization & Emotions Without Telling or Info Dumps: Examining how to take deep level character planning and put it on the page through showing, not telling. Attendees learn how to convey their character’s physical descriptions, emotions, motivation, personality and backstory in ways that pull readers deeper into the story and the character’s inner world.

Registration closes at 5 pm April 15 or earlier if event sells out. Seating is limited to 80 so register HERE early to guarantee your spot.

Any refund requests must be made by April 1. Registration fee will be refunded minus a $19 processing fee. No refund requests will be accepted after April 1.



Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter

Marketing For Authors!

Our March meeting is Saturday 11-1 at Aqua Fit in Plano. 1400 Summit Ave , Ste D-2, Plano, Tx 75074, Plano, TX 75074

Join us for Audra Lewandowski’s presentation on marketing for authors and lunch at BJ’s afterwwards.


Yes, Facebook is your friend.

There are several key things every author needs to be successful. This month will we will learn what they are.

Mia London (we can call her Audra) has 5 books indie published in romance. However, her background is business. Her degree is in Business Administration, she runs a design firm (going on 14 years), and she’s started a non-profit in 2008. Marketing is second nature to her.

Did you know Facebook has 1.79 Billion visitors a month worldwide? This is a number that cannot be denied. If you have only one presence on social media, pick Facebook.

Do not worry that the information will be over your head (or under). There will be something for everyone. Also, she will give us other tips (secrets) on Marketing our businesses, and ultimately sell more books!

So load up your laptops and notepads, and get ready to learn all the insight she can give us in an hour. Audra is high-energy, gregarious, and wants this talk to be interactive. Bring your Facebook questions.