Thursday, December 29, 2011

Launch Party for Jaye Cherie's The Gold Digger's Club

First Coast Christian Writers
 Jaye Cherie’s
The Gold Digger’s Club

Launch Party Reception
Saturday, January 7, 2012
3 p.m. until 6 p.m. 

The Zodiac Grill
120 W. Adams Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202

Meet and greet the author - 3:00; 4:00 and 5:00
Readings by the author – 3:30; 4:30 and 5:30
Book signings by the author – 3:45; 4:45 and 5:45

Door prizes hourly

The Gold Digger’s Club will be available for sale on January 3, 2012

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Local Author Jaye Cherie Debuts January 3, 2012

As we turn over leaves and renew our vows to do really great things this year, I have some encouraging news for you. 
Go ahead and dream of seeing your name on the cover of your work in progress. The reward is coming for those long hours, days and months (or years) spent on your craft. 
Just ask FCCW members.  In fact, our very own Jaye Cherie will soon enjoy that experience, when her first novel, The Gold Digger’s Club, hits the bookshelves on January 3, 2012.   

Come and meet the author at the launch party.  Details to follow. 
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Merrillee Whren to Speak November 10, 2011

Merrillee Whren is an award-winning author who writes for Harlequin Love Inspired.  She is the winner of the 2003 Golden Heart Award for best inspirational romance manuscript presented by Romance Writers of America.  She has also been the recipient of the RT Reviewers' Choice Award and the Maggie Award.  She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of thirty plus years, and has two grown daughters.  She has lived in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas and Chicago but now makes her home on one of God's most beautiful creations, an island off the east coast of Florida.  When she's not writing or working for her husband's recruiting firm, she spends her free time playing tennis or walking the beach, where she does the plotting of her novels. 

Her most recent books include: Hometown Proposal, August 2010; Hometown Dad, February 2011 and coming soon Montana Match, January 2012.

Please visit her Web site at or connect with her on Facebook at

Remember our temporary location through the end of the year:
West Regional Library
1425 South Chaffee Road
Jacksonville, Florida  32221

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Location Change

Due to a scheduling snafu, we have a temporary location through the end of the year. 

West Regional Library
1425 Chaffee Road South
Jacksonville, FL 32221

The library is located on Chaffee Road between Normandy Boulevard and I-10.  There is a traffic light at the entrance. 

We will be meeting here from 9/29/11 through 12/15/11 with one exception.  We will meet at our regular location (Wesconnett library) on 10/6/11. 

Due to the holidays we will not meet on Thanksgiving (11/24) or the two weeks of Christmas (12/22 and 12/29).

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Critiques and Books

Our group loves critique! So we've decided that, for the time being, we're going to concentrate on that aspect with the occasional speaker.  But since education is an important part of our craft, I'd like to share some of my favorite writing books with you.

The first book I read when I started my writing journey was Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to edit yourself into print by Renni Browne and Dave King.

Both authors are professional editors; Renni Browne began The Editorial Department, a national book-editing company, in 1980 after working for various mainstream publishers including William Morrow.  Dave King works as an independent editor at and also serves as a contributing editor for Writer's Digest.

This book is a good overall guide to fiction writing with chapters on: Show and Tell, Characterization and Exposition, Point of View, Proportion (bogged down in details), Dialogue Mechanics, See How It Sounds, Interior Monologue (voices in one's head), Easy Beats, Breaking Up is Easy to Do, Once is Usually Enough, Sophistication (polished and professional), and Voice.

Each chapter has examples of typical mistakes, followed by the same passage written a better way - I could clearly see my writing in many of the first examples and easily mimic the second.  A checklist at the end of the chapters serves as a summary of important points and exercises provide an opportunity to apply the lessons.

There are books on these specific topics that will go into further depth, but this is a good introduction to all the elements of fiction writing. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Chris Berman to Speak Thursday, August 11

Chris Berman calls himself an accidental author.  He wrote his first novel, The Hive, while recovering from a biking accident.  He has since written Red Moon and Star Pirates, available at bookstores and online.  His fourth book, Das Bell, is awaiting publication. 

As a boy, Chris was influenced by science fiction authors such as Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and John Campbell.  A neighbor and amateur astronomer further fueled his passion for science and astrodynamics, and he has been an avid follower of both the US and Russian space programs. 

Chris conducted a workshop at this year's UNF Writer's Conference and will be teaching a course there this fall.  He currently lives in St. Augustine with his wife and daughters. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rik Feeney to Speak August 4, 2011

Rik Feeney adapted his love of reading, writing, and gymnastics to become a published author of more than 60 books, reports, and CD's on the sport and business of gymnastics as well as a book coach, book cover designer, and promotional expert for aspiring authors.

Rik has been traditionally published by McGraw-Hill for his book "Gymnastics: A Guide for Parents and Athletes", but then opted to start his own publishing company in 1994 called Richardson Publishing, which uses Traditional, Print-On-Demand, and Digital publishing technologies.

Rik received a Bachelor of Arts in Writing and Literature from Vermont College of Norwich University in 2003.  He is currently a columnist for answering questions in two categories: Publishing/Self Publishing, and the sport of Gymnastics.

He currently works with authors and self-publishers as a book coach, marketing coach, and publishing consultant providing insight and information to help new writers leap beyond the mundane but financially treacherous concerns of publishing. 

Rik is also the Orlando - Florida Writer's Association Group Leader and Platinum Sponsor for the FWA State Writer's Conference.

Rik Feeney has done several talks at writer's conferences and seminars throughout the Southeast and is finishing three new books, Writing Books for Fun, Fame & Fortune, Publishing for Penny-Pinchers, and Book Marketing Success for Authors on a Budget. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Hitting the Target

Our group is really growing.  Last night we had seven members attend with five bringing pieces for critique.  From Cody's futuristic Sam Spade-type novel to Top's YA fantasy and Richard's 5 Strangers screenplay, it all added up to great writing and lots of fun around the critique table.  How energizing to have so many writing and sharing - keep up the good work, y'all.

Janelle has polished off a few changes her editor suggested, and Linda has gotten a book contract! The reason we sweat and bleed over these manuscripts is for that joyful day when a publisher says, "Yes, I like what you wrote, AND I want to buy it." Congratulations to both of you on your upcoming books!

Tracy is working professionally as a ghost writer for a risk management consultant, and Lynn is busily writing content for her caregiving blog that is targeted to launch in the fall.

We start each meeting by sharing successes and end with setting goals.  This provides inspiration and accountability to keep us focused on our aims and achievements.  If you need a nudge in your writing life, we invite you to join us.  We meet every Thursday night from 6:45 to 8:45 at the Wesconnett Library on 103rd Street.  The $1.00 per week dues can be paid weekly or bi-annually in January and July. 

Happy writing!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ten Mistakes Authors Make

During Gary's visit on June 16, he shared experiences in his career as an agent, book coach and reviewer. From this I gleaned ten pitfalls for us to avoid.
1. The 'been there, done that' novice: This has to do with attitude, specifically a know-it-all attitude. Usually found in first-time authors who, even though they only possess a much-rejected manuscript, shun the advice of those who have actually travelled the road to publication. Overcome this attitude by finding an agent or a book coach who can take you through the process.
2. That's how I roll: This is the author who won't take constructive criticism from a teacher, mentor, critique partner or agent. The author wants to preserve the integrity of her words, but every suggestion deserves review and consideration of its merits.
3. #$@**!: In reviewing books, Gary has found that the use of foul language and potty humor is rampant, but is only necessary on very rare occasions. He states that good writing stands on its own.
4. The princess syndrome: This author calls daily or sends e-mails with subject lines of "second notice." Gary states this only irritates editors, reviewers and publishers. A good author knows how long the process takes and doesn't try to rush it. If no response is received after the standard time frame, a gentle request for status is certainly acceptable.
5. Putting the cart before the horse: Gary relates the marketing genius of one wannabe author. His plan was to obtain a table at a national convention and sit there. No book (because it wasn't yet written), no marketing materials to build hype for the book, just a table and a would-be author. How lame.
6. Dissing your readers: Next in line is the author who had a published book, but didn't bring any copies for his readers to buy and get autographed. His plan was to send them to his Website to make the purchase. On the flip side, Gary praises the innovation of the author who brought marketing material for his upcoming book. When people picked up the free literature he would offer, "Let me autograph that for you." That's building rapport and respecting your readers.
7. Network Profiling: Gary tells the story of an author who refused to network with anyone wearing a wedding band on the basis that they wouldn't be interested in her book on dating. How short sighted! Misery loves company, so that married person would surely want to give the book to a single friend, sister, cousin or co-worker.
8. Please don't read my book: As a professional book reviewer, Gary expressed surprise at how often authors turn down his offer to review their book. Do they not want to reach the thousands of readers from a Midwest Book Review?
9. Skipping to the 'big show': Wouldn't you prefer to find out that you constantly swivel or have some other irritating nervous habit before you've been seen by millions on national television? Gary helps his clients get booked on local radio and TV shows. This allows him to review their performance and help them improve before they make their debut on Fox and Friends.
10. Ignoring opportunity's knock: After doing the local shows and polishing your performance, don't do like one of Gary's clients and blow off your big break because you don't like the topic. Wow 'em with your professionalism and soon you'll have the pick of shows and subjects.
Happy writing!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Gary S. Roen to Speak Thursday, June 16

Gary S. Roen, syndicated book reviewer/writer, publishing consultant, author and agent, has been writing his appraisals of books for 30 years. His reviews have appeared in over hundreds of daily, weekly newspapers, and other periodicals that currently include, Midwest Book Review, St. Cloud In The News, five editions of magazines from Gage Publishing and Arrhythmic Souls. He is the resident book critic for the internet radio show The Andromeda Library and a guest on the Ed Tyll Show 810 AM WEUS Orlando.

His articles have appeared in publications such as Strange New Worlds, City Limits, Florida Card and Comic Trader, Alley Cat Magazine, Crime Book Digest, and Eleven Magazine Backstage Pass Extreme, Xcitement, Nightmoves and V2.

Over the many years of his career Roen has been the Promotion/Sales Representative for several publishing houses. He was a talk show host on the Rollins College radio station incorporating interviews, reviews and news on current book releases. He was co-host on a weekly radio talk show on "Desperate and Dateless" WGT 540 AM, and he was also the roving reporter for "The Tourist Breakfast Travel Show" on station WOKB 1600 AM. He frequently appeared on The Michelle Valentine show on cable. He also works for numerous companies in the field of market research in the Central Florida area as an independent contractor.

Roen is the author of two books of poety, "Look at Me World", Chataeu Publishing, "Made By Man", Nest Egg Publications; his poems have also been published in other small magazines. He is now writing short fiction and publishing in numerous publications. Computer Legends Lies and Lores Ageless Press, Anotherealm SF magazine, and Mercury Sky online. He has also published short fiction for Nest Egg Publications. He is also the author of a satirical play entitled "Vamp". He is a member of Science Fiction Poets of America (SFPA). His short fiction fantasy/sf has been published in numerous publications. He is in the process of putting together a collection of his short fiction for publication. He is the co-author of "Cats, Cats and More Cats", Royal Fireworks Press.

He is a book agent with clients who write in the following genres: true crime, horror, fantasy, sf, and non fiction. He is consultant to authors and publishers to avoid costly mistakes.

On Thursday, June 16, Roen will talk to First Coast Christian Writers about hiring an agent and dealing with reviewers.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Kia Ricchi to Speak Thursday, April 28

Kia Ricchi (aka The Contractress) is a Florida-licensed building contractor. Since earning her licensure in 1998, Kia has completed numerous residential and commercial projects including several for the State of Florida.

Kia Ricchi has written articles for national publications such as Fine Homebuilding, Remodeling, and Image.

She is also a frequent guest on NPR and other nationally syndicated radio show.

Avoiding The Con in Construction has won the 2010 Indie Excellence Book Award and the Independent Publisher’s Living Well Award. Her book is endorsed by the Building Officials Association of Florida and the National Association of Contractor Licensing. The Library Journal review stated:

"In this extremely useful book, Ricchi, a woman building contractor, introduces property owners to construction contracting in understandable language. She discusses how to avoid common pitfalls and survive the entire process. The purpose here is not to defame contractors but to make readers knowledgeable customers. Planning, pricing, and many other important factors are neatly explained. This specialized book is highly recommended."

For free information about your next remodeling project, visit

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Speakers Provide Valuable Information

On March 31, Rebekah Hunter Scott and Michael Ray King shared their perspectives on query letters.

Rebekah, author of Motherhood is Easy, provided tips for writing successful query letters and explained the synergy of the publishing industry. From her blog came a book, that made editors want her magazine articles, those marketed her book and blog, and that launched the writing of a second see the possibilities.

"Know your goals and then research publishers to find a good fit for those goals," advises publisher Michael Ray King of ClearView Press, Inc. When you find the right publisher, be sure to follow submission guidelines to the letter. Not doing so almost certainly guarantees your submission a home in the publisher's circular file. He expressed surprise at how few authors abide by this simple caveat. Mike has just three submission guidelines: write one paragraph each about yourself, your project, and your niche market and marketing plan. He reminded us that to be successful, writing is 10 percent, but marketing is 90 percent. In that vein, he suggested that all writers have a 30-second synopsis of their project memorized for conferences and chance meetings.

We don't want people to steal our work, but we must be equally vigilant not to steal the work of others. On April 7, Lucille Ponte, professor of law at Florida Coastal School of Law, made a PowerPoint presentation on the ins and outs of copyright law. Downloading video and music from the internet or too closely mirroring a scene from a book or movie could be intentional or unintentional copyright infringement, she warned. To know what is and isn't allowed she directed us to the federal government's web site, or if you prefer video tutorials, visit Cornell University.

To protect our own rights, she recommends consulting an attorney certified in intellectual property before signing any contracts for your work. Attorneys can be found through the Florida Bar.

Our next speaker will be Kia Ricchi on Thursday, April 28, 2011.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The ABCs of Copyright - April 7, 2011

Lucille Ponte, Professor of Law, Florida Coastal School of Law, will present an educational talk on the basics of copyright. She will discuss what types of works are subject to copyright, the main statutory rights of copyright holders, the key aspects of copyright infringement and the main infringement defenses. Resources on copyright and the importance of seeking appropriate legal counsel will also be addressed.

Professor Ponte teaches and writes about intellectual property, contracts, and cyberlaw at Florida Coastal School of Law. A member of the MA bar, she previously served as in-house counsel for government agencies and technology companies in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., negotiating complex commercial agreements and handling a broad range of internal legal matters, including products liability and employment issues. She has authored two books and numerous legal and travel publications, including articles in the The Boston Globe, Hemispheres, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Roanoke Times, Alternatives, and LegalZoom.

Under her pen name, Bridges DelPonte, she is a member of the Florida Writers Association and Sisters in Crime, Inc. and has written one mystery, Deadly Sacrifices, and is currently working on an undersea fantasy novel, The Last Emissary. Her essay, Brick, appeared in the 2010 anthology, Living Lessons (Whispering Angel Books). Her short story, Claire de Lune, will be published in a 2011 Dragon Moon Press anthology. To learn more about her writing, visit her author website at

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Keeping Focused

Wow, February is nearly over - are you working on your writing goals? I constantly have to remind myself to stay focused. Weekly attendance at
a writing group gives me the motivation to do that.

Janelle is the most disciplined person I know. Each week she establishes a goal and consistently meets it or comes darn close. She has finished her character development and has 20,000 words written for her second novel.

Greg, after much urging from the group and other friends, has launched his blog. Time Worth Taking provides encouragement and inspiration and is another example of accomplishing goals.

Tandeace is using Facebook and Twitter to get her words out. I know she's faithful - I see her on Facebook at least once everyday. Visit her Website at Tandeace Hairston Writes.

Deadlines are a sure fire way to bring focus (or at least stress) to a project. Tracy has been working under that particular gun with two assignments. First, a marketing project - capturing a client's attention in a few well chosen words. Second, a technical paper on dream analysis.

As I work to bring order to my diverse writing interests, seeing others succeed is just the spark I need to keep me on target.

We are currently booking speakers on the following topics:

Using social media for marketing
Getting published without an agent
Setting SMART goals
Freelancing successfully
Editing and critiquing tips

If you have a contact or suggestion for a speaker, please contact Tracy.

Members - remember dues are $1.00 per week payable in January and June - if you haven't sent in your dues, please contact Tracy or Lynn.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Meeting Location

Effective Thursday, January 20, 2011, we will be meeting at a new location:

Charles Webb Wesconnett Regional Library
6887 103rd Street
Conference Room C
Jacksonville, Florida 32210

The library is located just east of I-295 and west of Blanding Boulevard

We meet every Thursday evening from 6:45 to 8:45. Visitors 18 and older are always welcome. Dues are one dollar per week.