Monday, July 12, 2010

Regina speaking at Catholic Writer's Conference at Valley Forge in August!

Catholic Writers to Hold Conference in Valley Forge, PA
Press Release: please re-post and pass this on!

The second annual Catholic Writers’ Conference LIVE will be held August 4-6, 2010, at the Scanticon Hotel Valley Forge in King of Prussia, PA. Sponsored by the Catholic Writer’s Guild and the Catholic Marketing Network (CMN), and held in conjunction with CMN’s annual retailer trade show, the Catholic Writers Conference LIVE provides Catholic authors with a prime opportunity to meet and share their faith with editors, publishers, fellow writers, and bookstore owners from across the globe.

This year's conference will feature presentations on such topics as market tips and time management for busy writers, poetry, creating evil characters, working with an editor, creating winning proposals, journaling and much more.

Speakers include Catholic publishing representatives Claudia Volkman - General Manager of Circle Press, Regina Doman - acquisitions editor for Sophia Institute Press, and Tom Wehner - Managing Editor of the National Catholic Register, all of whom will also hear pitches from writers.

Among the other speakers are Mark Shea (Mary, Mother of the Son), Michelle Buckman (My Beautiful Disaster), Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle (Mother Teresa and Me), Susie Lloyd (Please Don’t Drink the Holy Water), and Publicist Lisa Wheeler from the Maximus Group.

Regina Doman (author of Alex O'Donnell and the 40 CyberThieves) will speak on "How to Create Evil Characters if You're a Good Catholic," "Working with an Editor," and will be participating in the Fiction Writing and Publisher Panels.

Additionally, the Catholic Writers Guild will present its first-ever achievement award for excellence in Catholic Arts and Letters to Rick Hinshaw, editor of the Long Island Catholic.

“Attending this conference has been the best thing I have done for myself professionally,” Carol Bannon, author of the children’s book Handshake from Heaven, said of the 2009 conference. Her fellow writer Melanie Cameron agreed, saying she left the last conference re-energized. “I recommend [this] conference as a resource for any author (or wannabe) at any stage. You will walk away empowered!”

The Catholic Writers Guild, a religious non-profit organization, sponsors both this live conference in August and an online conference in February to further its mission of promoting Catholic literature. “Our conferences are totally focused on encouraging faithful Catholics to share genuine Catholic culture and faith in their writing no matter what genre,” says CWG President Ann Margaret Lewis. “These events are integral to our mission of ‘creating a rebirth of Catholic arts and letters.”

To register go to catholicwritersconference.com.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Alex O`Donnell and the 40 CyberThieves!

Alex O'Donnell and the 40 CyberThieves - a fairy tale retold by Regina Doman
Remember this guy?  He was first introduced in Waking Rose, but even first-time readers will quickly warm up to the sword-wielding Alex O'Donnell and his adventures with his nearly technophobic girlfriend Kateri Kovach, and yes, forty cyberthieves in this high tech thriller. 

Alex returns from college to find that his dad, a hacker-turned-software programmer, has developed the Mouse Catcher; tracking software with a cute Super-Cat interface.

But more ominously, his dad has discovered a mysterious website which leads to sudden wealth. But at what cost? Read the Prologue to find out more.


Samurai Security Cat  
Mouse Catcher
Other computerized cats are featured in the book, including the most unusual override computer protection program ever invented: an animated samurai security cat who prevents other people from using the internet until they have defeated him in a virtual swordfight.
Kateri Kovach 
Practical, hard-working Kateri Kovach is suspicious of all this high-tech hoopla and tries desperately to keep the O`Donnell family running smoothly, mainly by cleaning up after them. One of her biggest worries is finding a job and figuring out how to break up with Alex. Yet, she finds herself evermore immersed in the O'Donnell family activities - playing video games with Alex and his younger brothers Sam and David, caring for their mother suffering from MS, and battling the samurai security cat. Mayhem, martial arts, and murder ensue even as Alex pursues marriage with Kateri who wonders why she's letting herself be a part of the madness. But in the end, it might just be the anti-technological Kateri who saves the day... 
    
Curiosity Killed the Cat... Open Sesame
TO BUY THIS BOOK:





  

CONTEST: Are You My BIGGEST Fan?

To coincide with the release of Alex, we're having our first Fairy Tale Novel Online Contest to find out: who's the biggest fan of the Fairy Tale Novels?  If you think you're it, prove it by entering this contest! Get points by posting reviews, wearing fan t-shirts, getting your school or library to buy the books, and any other creative ideas you can come up with! Win prizes including a hardcover edition of Alex and lots more!  The contest takes place through August 31st.  Enroll and see the progress of the other competitors by clicking here. Hope you have fun!

My Cup of Tea...

I had the chance to do a new kind of event my friends had dreamed up: a Fairy Tale Novel Tea Party! It was my friend Theresa's idea: she said to me, come to my house, bring your books, and I'll invite my friends to meet for tea and cake and we'll chat and have fun! We held the first ever FTN Tea Party at her house in Alexandria, VA, this past March, and we all enjoyed ourselves so much that we did another one at the Findley's house in Williamsburg, VA two months later!

So I've decided that, if you live within a couple hours driving distance of me (I live in northwest Virginia), let me know if you'd like to host a Tea Party of your own.  Hostesses can earn free copies of the Fairy Tale Novels or other thank-you gifts.  And if you see that I'm speaking at another event in your area, email me if you'd like to host a tea party of your own around the same time.

Fairy Tale Novel Fan Gathering (aka ReginaCon) - in Minnesota?

In June we held what some are calling ReginaCon 2010, but which I still prefer to call the Fairy Tale Novel Fan Gathering at our house (the Black Cat Inn) and on our property (Shirefeld) near Front Royal, Virginia. 

 
This year Elizabeth Hausladen took over the organization and brought our activities to a whole new level of creativity!  This year we had:
We met new friends, were reunited with old ones, and had a wonderful time!  Thanks to all of you who joined us, and to the parents who worked to make this event happen!



Fairy Tale Gathering 2011?
We're hoping to do the Fairy Tale Novel Fan Gathering 2011 in Minnesota, possibly in early June.
Right now we're searching in earnest for a family or group willing to host us for the weekend.

Got any ideas?

Email us now and let us know!


Thanks so much!

Summer Events & Recent Conferences and Talks

April 16 & 17, 2010 - I gave two talks at the Mad Anthony Writers' Conference in Hamilton, Ohio (near Cincinnati) on "Decoding Fiction Submission Guidelines" and "Writing Evil Characters." It was great to meet Ohio writers!

 May 21 & 22, 2010 - I and my husband, Andrew, spoke at the Dayton Catholic Homeschool Conference in Dayton, Ohio about imagination, suffering, men & women, marriage, and fatherhood. We also SOLD OUT of 40 preview editions of Alex O'Donnell and the 40 CyberThieves
Talks from this conference are available for FREE DOWNLOAD by clicking here.


Summer Events
Eastern Pan Handle Homeschool Conference in Shepherdstown, WV has been POSTPONED until March 2011.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHAT: CMN & Catholic Writers Conference

WHEN: August 3-6, 2010

WHERE: Valley Forge, PA

WHY: I will participating in these events and will be available to sell and sign her books.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHAT: Chesterton Conference

WHEN: August 5-7, 2010

WHERE: Mt. St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, MD

WHY: I will be speaking about The Evangelization of the Imagination on Saturday morning, August 7.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHAT: Midwest Catholic Family Conference

WHEN: August 6-8, 2010

WHERE: Wichita, KS. Century II Convention Center

WHY: To get your copy of the official released edition of Alex O'Donnell and the 40 CyberThieves!
The Jeff & Jo Hauge Family will be managing a vendor table for the Fairy Tale Novels.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fairy Tale Novel Fan Gathering This Weekend!

If you are local to me in Virginia, I just wanted to post the schedule for the third Fairy Tale Novel Fan Gathering, held at my home, which we call The Black Cat Inn and organized by Elizabeth Hausladen, moderator and founder of the FTN Forum and director of the Shadow of the Bear movie.

Fairy Tale Novel Fan Gathering 2010
Thursday, June 24th

9 AM Rosary

12:00 Angelus and lunch

1:30 writing workshop on fiction by Regina

3:00 Swimming at Shirefeld and hanging out

5:30 potluck supper (if you come for any meal, either bring a dish or snack to share or $ to contribute)

7:00 PM Talent night and concert by Marie Miller

8:30 PM The Importance of Being Earnest by the Shirefeld Players

Friday, June 25th

9 AM Rosary

10:30 Marriage vocation talk by Andrew

12:00 Angelus and lunch

1:30 Narnia Treasure Hunt (Please RSVP to Elizabeth H [writebymoonlight@gmail.com] if you want to participate in this costumed event)

3 PM Weapons demonstration (tentative time)

4:30 Film workshop by Elizabeth Hausladen (director of the Shadow of the Bear movie)

6 PM supper

7:30 Fairy Tale Character Mystery Party (to participate in this costumed event, email Elizabeth H [writebymoonlight@gmail.com] to RSVP)

Saturday June 26th

9 AM Rosary

10:30 Writing Workshop #2 with Regina

12:00 Angelus and Lunch

1:30 Thrift store shopping in Front Royal for girls/fishing for guys

3:00 Weapons demonstration (alternate time)

4 PM Supper

5 PM Mass at St. John's

8:00 PM Jane Austen Ball with music by the Randolph Family (please RSVP to Elizabeth H [writebymoonlight@gmail.com] to participate in this event: particularly guys are welcome!)

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Editor's Desk: Showing Vs. Telling

A break from Alex work to give my opinion on a question that frequently comes up for new writers:

Yesterday a friend commenting on my posts asked:
Just out of curiosity, what is your view of showing versus telling? I wonder this because there seems to be this very hard and fast rule currently that everything possible must be shown rather than told. But if you go back some years and look at what is considered great literature, there is a lot of telling. I recently read a short story from the 1930's by John Cheever which was almost entirely telling, but a really good story.
How do you approach this in your own books, and how do you approach it when looking at a manuscript for Sophia Press?

As a hard-and-fast rule, eliminating all "telling" from your story is usually impossible. Some telling is nearly inevitable: there's no easy way to inform your reader a character's age, for example, without telling. (It's much easier to say, "he was about thirty years old" than to show him having a 30th birthday or to have a friend say, "Now that you're thirty, are you going to settle down?" etc.)

My philosophy, inasmuch as I even have one on the subject, is that both showing and telling should serve the demands of the story. Some stories demand more telling than others. But there are a couple of caveats new authors should remember:

In our culture, movies are the predominant medium, with television being the second most-predominant medium. As Walker Percy acidly observed, more people will watch one Superbowl than will read any particular New York Times Bestseller. So most of us bring our viewing habits to our reading habits.

How does this affect storytelling? Well, we literary types can moan and groan about the predominance of the visual as much as we like, but the fact is, our audience (who, from my view, we are here to serve with our stories, not to teach) prefers that their stories be visual. They enjoy them more, they read them more, they find those stories more moving, more powerful, more entertaining. 

This is the main reason why "telling" has fallen out of fashion since the 1930s: because most modern readers find excessive "telling" is boring to read, simply because it's dificult to visualize, and the modern reader reads by drawing heavily on his visual imagination.

Also there's the element of impatience and escape. When I say that modern readers are impatient, it doesn't mean we only want short stories: quite the contrary! But we have a lot of stress and distraction in our lives, and we don't want to have to work so hard at trying to enjoy our entertainment: we appreciate it when the story helps us launch into escape mode immediately by immersing us in action or conflict or another world.

We modern readers like the sense of being immersed in a story, part of the action, flowing along with the narrative. We like it when our books read like movies: when we can just sit back and watch it all go by. When the narrative is halted for any reason, it can be jarring. So authors shouldn't do it, unless they have a very good reason to.

And, let's be honest, authors make the most money when their books are bought and made into movies. Books that contain more showing than telling are easier to translate into film: hence are more likely to be bought. Any writing teacher worth his salt is going to point that out to his students.

So if your story requires telling (and some do), make certain that the telling is:
a) humorous and entertaining, stylistically fun to read
or
b) heavily visual so that your reader isn't bored.
I've always been a very visual writer (I think in images and don't consider myself a particularly strong stylist) so accepting the viewpoint of the modern reader hasn't been difficult for me. I *am* in many ways, a modern reader myself! I don't have a literary background, and studied television, not literature, which may indicate my inclination. Scriptwriters must think in images and seldom, if ever, are allowed to tell their audiences anything. But I don't believe that this is a hard-and-fast rule for books.

As an editor, again, I primarily look at storytelling technique to find out if it is adequately serving the story. I don't start out with a set of rules in my head and look at a manuscript to find out if it obeys them: I open the MS and read it the way any reader would.

But when I come to a part that is wooden, clunky, or boring, I stop reading and try to figure out why. That's what editors do. And yes, sometimes the reason it's boring is because the reader has yanked me out of the story in order to subject me to several paragraphs of telling. This is really annoying when I was enjoying being immersed in the escape, or the argument, or the complex situation the character was grappling with. Once you've been sucked into the story, you don't like to leave.

Or, if I'm not interested in the story at all, I often discover that the reason I'm not is because the author is summarizing action and events instead of involving me in it. They're telling me about how the character responded to, say, his mom's death or his father's betrayal instead of showing me and letting me have a chance to feel the character's pain or rage.

I don't notice 'telling' if the author uses it to explain action I've just seen and am interested in knowing more about. I don't mind 'telling' if the author halts the narrative to give some funny commentary on what the characters have just been doing. So long as I'm entertained, I'm good.

But most authors whose MS I read have not yet mastered the storytelling form, and so 'telling' for them is an easy-out, a way to dump information on the reader, or to moralize or preach to me. They often don't recognize what a jolt they've given me, their reader, when they halt the story for a 'telling' session. They don't realize how non-engaged I am when they start their story by giving me information that doesn't seem releveant to me instead of pulling me into a fascinating situation.

It's a tricky operation, storytelling. And for most beginning authors, the mantra "show don't tell" is useful because it helps them learn to see their story the way their readers will: it gets them away from summarizing and keeping us distant from the action and instead forces them to learn to let the reader share in the action.

Some masters of storytelling will always be able to break the rules and still entertain us. But for beginning writers, learning the parameters of their audience, and accepting their limitations and needs, will be more helpful than setting out to ignore rules they haven't yet mastered.

Hope this helps!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Preview Edition of Alex available May 21st!!!

... So our entire family is working hard to make our Preview Edition Release Deadline for Alex O'Donnell, which, I'm delighted to say, will means that the Preview Edition of Alex O'Donnell and the Forty Hackers will be available for sale at the Dayton Catholic Homeschool Conference! So if you are in or near Ohio, and want you very own limited-edition copy of Alex, come to the Fairy Tale Novels table at the conference on May 21, 2010 and pick up a signed copy from me! The Preview Edition of my books are released specifically in honor of a particular conference (Waking Rose was released at the Midwest Catholic Family Conference of 2007, and Midnight Dancers at the Illionois Catholic Homeschool Conference of 2008) and bear a stamp stating this fact on the same page. They're highly limited-edition (we only run about 50 copies or less of each edition) and they probably all contain some typos, since they're released before we are able to do more thorough read-throughs. However, the Preview Edition is a chance for fans to get a first-look at the new book and to own edition that might someday (possibly) become highly collectible.

(We'll do another Preview Edition for the Minnesota Catholic Homeschool Conference on May 28-29th, but I won't be at that conference: Elizabeth Hausladen, director of The Shadow of the Bear movie will be manning the Fairy Tale Novels table. Those copies of Alex won't be signed, but they will be available.)

The official release date of Alex will probably be sometime in June: and this time we'll be able to take pre-orders. Stay tuned for further details!

Editing Alex: The Importance of the Read-Aloud

Alex O'Donnell and the Forty CyberThieves marks an important milestone for me: this the first book where the final edit involves reading it out loud to my own children.  For one thing, I have two teenagers now (13 and almost-15), which is a somewhat nerve-wracking development.  For another thing, Alex has turned out to be a surprisingly family-friendly book: my 6 year old and 10 year old are avidly following the story as well.  (This should be good news to all the 14-year-old readers who are still waiting for parental permission to read The Midnight Dancers and Waking Rose!)

An important component of the final edit of a book is the Read-Aloud.  Now, I confess that I haven't done an official read-aloud since Black as Night. Reading your manuscript out loud to a small audience is a great way to do a thorough edit quickly, and I bet it'll weed out typos better than Microsoft spellcheck. But there are other advantages to doing a Read-Aloud, which I'll list for those of you who are writers (or who want to be!). 

Basically, the Read-Aloud has a way of making even the Writer (who is thoroughly familiar with the work) a Listener, and gives that crucial Outsider's Perspective that's so critical to the editing phase. But these are the aspects of the work that particularly stand out when you read it out loud to an audience:

1. Awkward phrasing.
If you can't read it out loud smoothly, you'd better rephrase it.  Some of the manuscripts I see for Sophia Institute Press could be easily ironed out if only their authors read them out loud before submitting.  If this is your bugaboo, start reading your early drafts out loud (hint: make a friend read it while you listen).  Reading aloud the final draft will hopefully eliminate the clunkiness.

2. Inconsistencies
If someone stands up in the same paragraph (without sitting down in between) you or your audience will probably notice it. Also basic fact checks. ("Hey, you just said ten percent of a million bucks is $10,000: is that really true?")

3. Rhythmn
Andrew Pudewa opines that fine writing style comes by hearing, not from seeeing, the written word. Poetry and plays come alive only when they're read aloud. Same with a novel. Rhythmn, the "third dimension" of the novel, so to speak, is thrown into sharp relief when the book is spoken. If your writing has style, speaking will reveal it.  If it doesn't, same thing. 
I don't consider myself a particularly strong stylist.  It's something I'm working on (and teen fiction is rather style-lite, so I don't work on it much).  But the Read-Aloud is an invaluable aid to developing this intuitive writing virtue.

4. Humor
I'm not a very funny person, and the jokes I make in speech tend to be either a) lame or b) too esoterically subtle to be recognizable.  Writing gives me a chance to actually try to sound funny, but it's still a lot of work for me. If you've read one of my books and laughed at something, chances are it's because I rephrased it and rephrased it and fiddled with it until it got a laugh out of me.  Reading-aloud has a way of generating even better punchlines. Sometimes your audience might even suggest a better one for you. :)   And on the basic level, humor is all about rhythmn, so see #3. 

Some of the characters in Alex have rather corny humor (ie: like mine) but others actually need to be funny. And pulling the humor out of a situation is always tough. Working on humor in a manuscript, I find Mark Twain's aphorism is particularly appropriate: "The difference between the right word and the almost-right-word is the difference between the lightning and the lighning bug."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Violence Experts for Alex: Nunchaku vs. Katana

Any book about Alex O'Donnell is going to involve fighting--and the fifth Fairy Tale Novel, Alex O'Donnell and the Forty Cyberthieves is no exception!  In fact, this book has more (and more elaborate) fight scenes than any I've done thus far.

Of course, being a rather wimpy and terrified person myself, I still don't know much about any kind of fighting, so that's where I depend on the two friends I've termed my "violence experts."

They've helped choreograph the fight scenes for my last three books, and they always make those sessions so fun to work on.  This time I finally thought to bring a camera to one of our sessions, which was helpful not just for creating memories but for referencing various stances in the book text itself.
In the left-hand picture, they're demonstrating how to use nunchucks (or Japanese: nunchaku) to neutralize a sword by locking the blade in the chains. One scene in Alex O'Donnell involves the Japanese katana sword and the flail weapons.  It's very interesting to see these two very different weapons interacting with each other.

In the right-hand picture, they've switched weapons to show me how someone with nunchucks would attack someone with a sword. (I think that if you click these photos, you can see the larger versions.)

So as you can see, work on Alex O'Donnell and the Forty CyberThieves is proceeding at a pretty good rate!  I hope to bring you more news of the book soon.  In the meantime, check out the new Alex section on the Fairy Tale Novels website, and if you think you're the biggest fan of the Fairy Tale Novels, prove it to the world by entering our contest and winning a free hardcover of the new book!

Enjoy the pictures, and stay tuned for more news on Alex!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Rough cover for "Alex O'Donnell and the Forty Cyberthieves"

Check out the rough cover for the

FIFTH BOOK in the Fairy Tale Novel Series,

Alex O'Donnell and the Forty Cyberthieves,

coming Summer 2010!
Alex O'Donnell and the Forty Cyberthieves - a fairy tale retold by Regina Doman

Friday, April 9, 2010

Mad Anthony Writers' Conference

April 16 & 17, 2010 - I will be taking pitches for books and giving two talks at the Mad Anthony Writers' Conference in Hamilton, Ohio (near Cincinnati).
1. Working with Editors - Decoding Fiction Submission Guidelines
2. Writing Evil Characters -  How to Create Evil Characters when You're a Good Person
Come join us if you can!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Alex O'Donnell Photo Shoot!

Work on Alex O'Donnell and the Forty Cyberthieves continues!  I hope for a summer release date for this fifth installment in the Fairy Tale Novel Series.  Last night we held a photo shoot in Tariq's Oriental Rugs on Main Street in Front Royal. 
Our inveterate photographer Craig Spiering (http://www.spieringphotography.com/) took over a hundred photos, which we'll get next week.  We've yet to decide on a model for Alex, so we took photos of several different Alex's.  My "violence expert" Andrew O'Neill was on hand to coach folks in their sword stances, and he was kind enough to pose for a few photos as well.

Here you can see Andrew O'Neill, the original inspiration for Alex's character, posing with a Japanese katana while Craig captures the action. Some gorgeous rugs in the background.
 Here you can see Angela, modeling for Kateri, talking with the owner, Mr. Tariq Khawaja, who was kind enough to let us hold a photo shoot in his store after hours. 
When we get to the point of shooting photos for the cover, that's a good sign that we're entering the final stretch for finishing a book!  So stay tuned for more word on Alex soon: and if you want the chance to pre-order, click the sidebar button to join my email list for the fasted updates on Alex!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

ReginaCon 2010!!

(aka Fairy Tale Fan Gathering)

As we've done for the last couple years, I and my family will be hosting another Fairy Tale Novel Fan Gathering for my fans June 24 - 27 (Thursday - Sunday) at Shirefeld at the Black Cat Inn, our home near Front Royal, Virginia.  Last year, the fans started calling the event "ReginaCon", thus the new name.

This year Elizabeth Hausladen (seated in front, wearing a white, flowered, full-length dress in the photo above) is helping to organize the event and activities.  Here are some of the activities planned or possible so far:

  • Our own adaptation of The Importance of Being Earnest - by the Shirefeld Players
  • Other skits/Talent Night
  • Jane Austen Ball
  • Masquerade Party
  • Thrift Store Shopping at the best thrift stores in Front Royal! (for the women)
  • Fishing and/or Stone Masonry (for the men while the women are out shopping)
  • Writing Sessions with Regina
  • Marriage Vocation Talk With Andrew: Preparing for Marriage - How to Live Happily Ever After
  • Film Workshop - by Elizabeth Hausladen, director of The Shadow of the Bear film
  • Narnia Treasure Hunt
  • Weapons Demonstration
Please feel free to contact Elizabeth with any questions about this event.
FAQs about ReginaCon 2010
  1. Who's invited?  Any of my fans, their friends, or family.
  2. Arrivals and Departures. Generally speaking, guests that are driving are invited to arrive anytime after 9am on Thursday (June 24).  However, if you would like to arrive early, that's fine as long as you are willing to help us prepare for the activities.  For those guests that are flying into Dulles Airport, we will have two pick-up times: Monday evening (June 21) for those that are arriving early; Wednesday evening (June 23) for those that are arriving in time for the activities on Thursday.  For those guests making a return flight on Sunday (June 27), we will be making a run to Dulles Airport Sunday late afternoon/evening.  If you need to be dropped off or picked up at times other than the ones mentioned, you may need to coordinate with other fans or friends in the area.  There are simply too many activities happening at Shirefeld that we've had to limit the number of airport runs we personally make.
  3. Lodging
    1. THE BLACK CAT INN (our house):  We will be able to accomodate up to about 10 people in our house.  Pretty much, this is a first-come, first served arrangement.  To reserve your place at the Black Cat Inn, contact:
      Andrew the Innkeeper.
    2. SHIREFELD (our property):  We have plenty of flat space on our property for tents and camping right near the house. A family from Iowa camped in our front yard at the previous ReginaCon, and it worked out well.
      (ALLERGY ALERT: We have cats, chickens, sheep, and llamas.) 
    3. HOTELS: There are also a number of hotels in nearby Strasburg, Virginia
  4. Food - We are asking for a $25 contribution per person to go toward food, or you can bring the equivalent in food/drinks to share.
  5. Media - As much as we know that those of you who come to the gathering just can't help sharing it with all your friends back home, we're going to ask for limited use of cell phones, laptops, and individual movie watching during the gathering. This gathering is a rare chance for you to meet other fans face to face. We think it makes more sense for you to spend time with the fans that are here instead of constantly chatting, texting, and webchatting with friends someplace else.
  6. Attire - Since this gathering will include both men and women in the generally warm month of June, we are asking that both genders take some particular thought and consideration in dressing discreetly out of respect for the opposite gender.  Given that some of the activities include plays, skits, and masquerades, you are encouraged to bring costumes for those or purchase something suitable from the local thrift stores. Finally, please remember to bring proper attire for going to church on Sunday.
Again, please contact Elizabeth with any questions about this event.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Catholic Writers' Conference Online

Catholic Writers Conference Online - Feb. 26 - March 5, 2010. PRESS RELEASE
March 3, Noon-1pm ET: I will be "talking" online about Catholic Fiction

March 3, 1pm-2pm ET: I will be taking pitches for fiction.

ReginaCon 2010!!!

(aka Fairy Tale Fan Gathering)


As we've done for the last couple years, I and my family will be hosting another gathering for my fans at Shirefeld at the Black Cat Inn, our home near Front Royal, Virginia. This year we've set the date for June 24 - 27.  Details to follow soon... Stay tuned!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Getting Ready to Work on Alex O'Donnell's Book...

As many of you know, I'm planning a fifth Fairy Tale Novel, hopefully to be published this summer, based on the further adventures of Alex O'Donnell and Kateri Kovach, two characters who appear in Waking Rose.  I finished the first draft this summer, and am now having some tecchie friends review the book for me.  Why?  Because this is my first attempt at a techno-thriller and I hope it's not too laughable.  But it is supposed to be a fun, almost campy book, and in that way, I hope it's something readers will laugh at.  After the relatively serious books of Waking Rose and Midnight Dancers, Alex's book (tentatively titled "Alex O'Donnell and the Forty Cyberthieves") should be a fun diversion. 

So stay tuned for updates!  As befitting a techno-book, I'm attempting right now to streamline communications by using my Facebook page (I attempted to make a fan page for myself, which I hope you will consider becoming fans of: the link is on the blog sidebar) and Twitter to do updates.  Please forgive any accidental overlap, and if you think of it, pray for me as I write! I know the prayers always help my writing, so it's no small request.  And hopefully I will have more of an update soon!