Priscilla Oliveras teaches how to Craft Believable Characters at the March 27, 2021, meeting of DARA.

Many Keeper Shelf books land there in large part because the readers fell in love with the characters and want to revisit them. To create believable, three-dimensional characters and bring them to life on the page, you have to know them as well as you know your best friends.

This presentation explains several character-creating techniques, starting with character sketches, interviews, diary-ing/journaling, and “who, what, why,” ending with a detailed explanation of the all-important GMC, popularized in Debra Dixon’s how-to text Goal, Motivation and Conflict. GMC charts from the rom-coms “You’ve Got Mail” and “Pride and Prejudice” along with tips for using the GMC sentence to help with pitching round out the discussion, all with the end goal of providing attendees with a few new or improved additions to their writer’s toolbox.

Priscilla Oliveras

Priscilla Oliveras is a USA Today bestselling author and 2018 RWA® RITA® double finalist who writes contemporary romance with a Latinx flavor. Proud of her Puerto Rican-Mexican heritage, she strives to bring authenticity to her novels by sharing her Latinx culture with readers. She and her work have earned praise from O, The Oprah Magazine, Washington Post, New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist, among others. Since earning her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, Priscilla now serves as adjunct faculty in the program and teaches the online class “Romance Writing” for ed2go. While she’s a devotee of the romance genre, Priscilla’s also a sports fan, beach lover, and Zumba aficionado, who often practices the art of napping in her backyard hammock.

To follow along on her fun-filled and hectic life, visit her on the web at https://prisoliveras.com/books/, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/prisoliveras, or on Twitter and Instagram via @prisoliveras.

Editor and sensitivity reader Crystal Shelley discusses how to choose words with intention at the February 27, 2021, meeting of DARA.

Words have the power to do good: to uplift, to inspire, and to validate. Words also have the power to do harm: to hurt, to marginalize, and to erase. At DARA's February meeting, Crystal will discuss the concept of conscious language and how writers can use their words with intention. She'll also talk about considerations when writing about identities outside of our own and the role sensitivity reading can play in the writing process.

Everyone is welcome to join us for the Feb 27, 2021, meeting of the Dallas Area Romance Authors. Due to the pandemic, we will meet via Zoom. A brief business meeting at 9:30 a.m. will be followed by Crystal's presentation at 10 a.m. CST. To get an invite to the Zoom meeting, please contact us at dallasarearwa@gmail.com.

Crystal Shelley, Rabbit with a Red Pen

Crystal Shelley is a freelance copy editor, proofreader, and sensitivity reader who works with fiction authors, and she is also a licensed clinical social worker. She unites her love of language and social justice by providing editorial services with a focus on conscious language and representation.

Denny S. Bryce keeps us up to date about marketing in a pandemic at the January 27, 2021, meeting of DARA.

With in-person author events such as conferences, in-store launch parties, and book club gatherings on hold, how can authors do the best job possible in advertising, marketing, publicizing and engaging readers?

What’s the difference these days in publicizing and promoting for the indie book authors vs. traditionally published authors? Or has this line blurred? Let’s discuss how a 2021 marketing plan looks in light of the pandemic.

Let’s share ideas and have a frank discussion about what it takes to get the most out of social media platforms and author marketing partnerships during COVID-19!

And remember: The POWER IS IN THE PLAN!

About Denny S. Bryce

Denny S. Bryce writes historical fiction, and her debut novel, WILD WOMEN AND THE BLUES from Kensington Books will be on sale on March 30, 2021. (Editor’s Aside -- This novel is one of Bustle’s Most Anticipated Debut Novels of 2021, and one of Oprah Magazine’s Most Anticipated Historical Fictions of 2021! Congrats, Denny!)

A marketing and public relations professional, Denny spent more than 20 years running her event marketing firm. For nearly 10 of those years, she also wrote and read Buffy/Spike fan fiction. A devoted fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and Angel (the TV series), she is also a classic film buff and loves genre TV. Current favorites include Bridgerton, A Discovery of Witches; This is Us, The Flash, and Seal Team–and of course, Outlander_Starz!

Denny has taught workshops on marketing for authors and spoken on romance and historical fiction panels at the Strand Book Store and BookCon in New York City, the Baltimore Book Festival, and the Gaithersburg Book Festival, to name a few. A member of the Historical Novel Society (HSN), the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) and Novelists, Inc. (NINC), Denny also completed the 2019 TIN HOUSE WINTER WORKSHOP (a prestigious literary workshop) in Portland, Oregon, and is a 2020 PITCH WARS adult mentor.

She is represented by Nalini Akolekar at Spencerhill Associates and recently relocated from northern Virginia to Georgia.

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