On August 28, DARA welcomes Beverly Jenkins to share with us about “Setting as Character.”

Join us for a morning presentation that will undoubtedly improve your craft. What ties your story to reality? Does your setting enhance the mood and theme of your work? Will people who know the area or the history write to you to tell you what you got wrong?

Everyone is welcome to join us for the meeting, which will be held August 28 on Zoom. We have social time at 9 am, followed by a short business meeting at 9:30 am. Our speaker starts about 10 am. All times are Central.

Guests are asked to email info@dallasarearomanceauthors.com for an invitation. There is no fee to attend this meeting.

Much of Beverly’s settings come from history, and getting things accurate is vital. “I knew when I did Night Song, which was my very first book, based on the all-black towns in Kansas after the Great Exodus of 1879, that if I was going to present this story to the public, it had to be accurate. So you wind up doing things like, what did they wear, what did they eat, how long does it take a train to go from Denver to Kansas City, where were the railroads, how were black people expected to act in public — all of those little things that all historical romance and historians do when you write fiction — you have to have it correct. I mean, you can’t just make up stuff, because it doesn’t serve your story, it doesn’t serve you as a writer, and it doesn’t serve your readers.” (LINK TO ARTICLE)

Travel and research are the keys to keeping the settings true. “I travel to historic places around the country to visually survey settings that I may be considering. I also use my local library and the Internet to research flora, fauna, average temperature, topography, the state bird or whatever else may be needed to give the setting a true feel. I’ve written a six-book series set in a small town on the plains of Kansas but have never been there.” (LINK TO ARTICLE)

She also does trips with her fans, as the Popular Romance Project chronicled in one of it’s videos of her in Charleston, SC. “I tell people I like to put my stories where African American people really walked, and I put my stories on top of that.” (LINK TO VIDEO)

One of her fans said, “Now I understand all the history she puts in her books. How it’s so accurate because she’s been there. She’s seen everything.”


Beverly Jenkins is the recipient of the 2017 Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the 2016 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for historical romance.

She has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award in Literature, was featured both in the documentary “Love Between the Covers” and on BS Sunday Morning.

Since the publication of Night Song in 1994, she has been leading the charge for multicultural romance, and has been a constant darling of reviewers, fans, and her peers alike, garnering accolades for her work from the likes of The Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, and NPR.

You can find Beverly’s website at beverlyjenkins.com.

For more interviews with Beverly Jenkins in which she discusses setting, click on any of the following links:

Tiffany Yates Martin gives her most important talk -- how to improve your writing even when you're not writing -- at the July 24, 2021, meeting of DARA via Zoom.

Writers read—it’s advice authors are given only slightly less often than “writers write.” But curling up with a good book isn’t the same as reading (or watching) analytically as a writer to understand and learn our craft. Arguably the most important, useful skill an author can learn is how to study other storytellers and analyze how they elicit reaction and engage their audience.

This course offers plenty of specific techniques for developing and deepening your knowledge of story craft that you can practice every day: how to assess a story’s strengths and weaknesses by observing its effect on you, the reader/viewer, and tracing back how the author elicited it; how to analyze and dissect specific story techniques–like creating suspense, maintaining momentum, developing character–to see what makes them effective (or not); techniques for bringing an objective, assessing eye to your own writing, and more.

Deepen your mastery of story craft and become a stronger, more skilled writer and editor—without ever touching the keyboard (or even getting off the couch!).

About Tiffany Yates Martin

Tiffany Yates Martin has spent nearly thirty years as an editor in the publishing industry, working with major publishers and New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling and award-winning authors as well as indie and newer writers, and is the founder of FoxPrint Editorial and author of the bestseller IntuitiveEditing: A Creative and Practical Guide to Revising Your Writing. She's led workshops and seminars for conferences and writers' groups across the country and is a frequent contributor to writers' sites and publications. Under the pen name Phoebe Fox, she's the author of six novels, including the upcoming The Way We Weren't (Berkley). Visit her at www.foxprinteditorial.comor www.phoebefoxauthor.com.

Vanessa Vale shares tips for smart use of your dollars and sense at the June 26, 2021, meeting of DARA via Zoom.

Be smart with your indie dollars! Don't just shop thrifty, but THINK it. From beginner to advanced, there are ways to self-publish with little to no expense. These tips aren't just 'do this and save,' but concepts and ideas to produce a strongest author foundation.

About Vanessa Vale

Vanessa Vale is the USA Today bestselling author of sexy romance novels, including her popular Bridgewater historical romance series and hot contemporary romances. With over one million books sold, Vanessa writes about unapologetic bad boys who don’t just fall in love, they fall hard. Her books are available worldwide in multiple languages in e-book, print, audio and even as an online game. When she’s not writing, Vanessa savors the insanity of raising two boys and figuring out how many meals she can make with a pressure cooker. While she’s not as skilled at social media as her kids, she loves to interact with readers.

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