Tag Archives: Florida Romance Writers

Visiting RWA Chapters

Barbara Vey -- February 10th, 2014


Unknowingly, I seem to have started a journey to visit every RWA chapter around the country.  They invite me and I go, that easy.  This past weekend I spent with the talented writers of the Florida Romance Writers located in Ft. Lauderdale.  They are the group who’s known for their great winter conference held on a cruise ship.  You can get the details for next year’s Fun in the Sun cruise here.


There’s so much more to visiting these places than taking about the workshop I do.  I get to be up close and personal with lots of individual authors I might not have met otherwise.  Special props to Victoria Pinter and Demi Alex for putting up with me on the long ride to Ft. Lauderdale and Debby Grahl and her husband, Dave, for the ride back.  Let me tell you, you really get to know a lot about a person on a road trip.  Unfortunately, much of it is under a cone of silence, but from there strong bonds grow.

The bathroom sinks at Ford's Restaurant where we stopped for lunch.  Love it!

The bathroom sinks at Ford’s Restaurant where we stopped for lunch. Love it!

Friday night a large part of the group took me to dinner where we celebrated the news of new books being sold, writing accomplishments and Victoria’s upcoming wedding in June (not only does she have 5 books coming out this year, she’s also getting married).  She even brought her handsome fiance along.



The officers and committee heads of FRW

The officers and committee heads of FRW.


I love this group because they always start off their meetings with a hearty breakfast at a local hotel.  No excuses for anyone to be sluggish this morning.  While most business meetings aren’t all that exciting, I especially enjoyed this one because the group voted to donate a spot on their conference cruise, January 2015, to the Brenda Novak Diabetes Auction.  So, if you are even considering going, here’s your chance to bid on it.  A wonderful gesture that I’d love to see more chapters follow by offering registration to their conferences on the Auction site.



Ahh...a captive audience

Ahh…a captive audience

I don’t mind sharing a little of myself with everyone so they can see I’m just a regular person and though it’s not easy to talk about agoraphobia, depression and anxiety, it warms my heart to receive quite a few emails after events when writers can confidentially admit that they suffer the same.  Many express the relief in knowing there are others out there, like them, and they are not alone.  Some tell me about friends and relatives they want to do more for.



Author Zelda Benjamin passed out this adorable swag at the meeting. Inside is the makings of a s'more with heart shaped marshmallows.

Author Zelda Benjamin passed out this adorable swag at the meeting. Inside is the makings of a s’more with heart shaped marshmallows.

I find the workshops I attend are not only about the craft, but a lot of times about the people.  We can learn so much from each other and with that understanding create wonderful things.  So I raise my glass to the wonderful writing groups I’ve talked with and many more I plan to meet in the future.  Keep the conversations going and you’ll all be successful.


Bottom Line:  “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” ~ Henry Ford

Giveaways this WeekfreeStuff

From Connie Mann Sharon Sala is going to be a guest on my blog, Busy Women, Big Dreams on Thursday, and we’ll be giving away a copy of her new book, The Curl Up & Dye.  Stop by to win.

From Susan Hanniford Crowley:  Nights of Passion Blog will celebrate its birthday with a Birthday Bash on Friday, February 14th. Romance Authors Gerri Brousseau, Toni Kelly, Marian Lanouette, Susan Hanniford Crowley, Leia Shaw, and Jenna Jaxon will all be having contests on Friday to celebrate.  Visit Nights of Passion Blog for details.
From Dianna Love: Six bestselling and award-winning Keeper Book Tour Authors (Nancy Naigle, Tonya Kappes, Adrienne Giordano, Tracey Devlyn, Mary Buckham, Dianna Love) are chatting from 10am to 10 pm (CST) on Goodreads Tues, Feb 11th and giving away a free (incl shipping) Keeper Kase® starter set of 12 signed cover cards to all attendees and donating a Kindle Paperwhite plus books and more for drawings.


Florida Romance Writers

Barbara Vey -- January 14th, 2013

I guess when a group offers to pick you up at 7 a.m. for a 2 hour drive just to have you give a one hour workshop, one should be flattered.  I was extremely flattered.


The Florida Romance Writers sent the wonderful Victoria Pinder to get me and she came with her grandmother’s car that was all pimped out with OnStar.  Since I’m staying in the boonies, it was dark when she arrived we had no problem finding our way to Ft. Lauderdale. (Well, except for finding a Starbucks.  Apparently, there isn’t one on every block between Ft. Myers and Ft. Lauderdale.)


The meetings are held at the Sheraton at the airport because it is centrally located for many of the members.  I was surprised by an extraordinary deluxe breakfast to start the meeting (I’m joining this chapter).  They were talking the usual group stuff, but they also have a very special event coming up.  January 24-28, they are taking a writer’s cruise with keynote speaker Charlaine Harris.  They asked me to come along, but I still don’t have a passport (yes, I know I need one).  There’s still a few openings, so contact them if you are interested.  It sounds like a fabulous time.


awards were given to best selling author , Linda Conrad on the left, NY Times Bestselling author, Heather Graham and reviewer Joan Hammond.

Awards were given to best selling author Linda Conrad on the left, NY Times Bestselling author, Heather Graham and reviewer Joan Hammond. (Picture taken by Marcia King-Gamble)

It was also award day with special awards going to best selling author Linda Conrad, NY Times Bestselling author, Heather Graham and reviewer Joan Hammond.  Well deserved, ladies!


One of their successful chapter members, Linda Cohen, gave a terrific workshop on basic social networking.  It eased the intimidated user into trying the many different venues out there.  Linda really made it easy to start by offering a handout that outlines exactly how to do everything.  I kept a copy for myself.  I expect to see all the Florida writers online and chatting it up by next week.


Florida Romance Writers at the Irish Pub

Florida Romance Writers at the Irish Pub

I do my workshops a little different.  I kind of feel my way with the group to see how much they already know and go from there.  It’s more of a discussion.  We touched on social media, but the emphasis was on Building Reader Loyalty and keeping it.  Since all the authors are readers, many things made common sense when we talked about it.  This group was very interactive, inquisitive and cared deeply about the readers.


After the meeting it was off to an Irish Pub to social and really get to know one another.  With the Guinness flowing, the talk was mostly about their upcoming cruise.  I don’t know if I could concentrate on work while sailing the ocean blue.  But this crowd is determined and were looking forward to the guest and speakers coming.


It was a great way for me to spend a Saturday in Florida, in January.


Bottom Line:   Please ask me back!



Where in the World is Barbara Vey…2013?

Barbara Vey -- December 26th, 2012

Once again I’m amazed at all the wonderful places I visited in 2012 and all the place I plan to go to in 2013.  As I do every year, here’s a list of where I’ll be and when.  If you’d like me to visit your group or attend your event, please email me at barbaravey@gmail.com .  Hope to see you in 2013!


January 12 – Florida Romance Writers, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

March 1/2 – NOLA Conference, Shreveport, LA

March 15/17 – SoCal Conference, Santa Ana, CA

April 25 – Cudahy Library Author Event, Cudahy, WI

April 26 – Q & A with Authors, Milwaukee, WI

April 27 – Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Luncheon, Milwaukee, WI

May 1/5 – RT Convention, Kansas City, MO

May 29/June 1 – BEA, New York

June 21/23 – RomCon, Colorado Springs, CO

July 17/20 – RWA, Atlanta, GA

Bottom Line:  Looking forward to adding things along the way.