ORACON 2013 – Save The Date

Save The Date

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Ozarks Romance Authors Annual Conference

Springfield, MO

Workshops – Pitch Sessions – Speakers – Headshots – Networking – Fun

We’re putting together a fantastic lineup of speakers. Stay tuned for more details!

The romance fiction genre takes yet another bash in the media

If you are a fan of (or writer of) romance fiction, you’ve probably heard the latest round of bru-ha-ha about the genre supposedly being bad for women. It came in the form of a news story titled Romance novels can be as addictive as pornography on a news site affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

This claim comes from Dr. Julianna Slattery, of Focus on the Family. She is a psychologist and author of “Finding the Hero in your Husband,” and her views on the romance fiction industry were shared in an article written by Kimberly Sayers-Giles, a Latter-day Saints “life coach,” for KSL.com.

Slattery’s theory includes the following points:

There are similarities between what happens to a man when he views pornography and what happens to a woman when she reads a romance novel.

Men are very visual, and viewing pornography produces a euphoric drug in the body. This drug is the reason pornography becomes addictive. When the natural high wears off, a man will crash and feel depressed (as happens with any drug) and crave another hit.

Women are more stimulated by romance than sex, so when they read romantic stories (and they don’t have to be explicit to work) they can experience the same addictive chemical release as men do.

For many women, these romance novels may be more than a necessity; they may be an addiction — and Slattery said she is seeing more and more women who are clinically addicted to romantic books.

Women may find their standard for intimacy begins to change over time because may not be able to get as satisfied with their partners as they can reading a book.

Tamar Bihari has written a fabulous blog post in response to Slattery’s claims over at Women’s Voices for Change: Redefining Life After 40.

Tamar Bihari’s arguments include the following points:

Because romance novels at their core are all about relationships and largely aim for a happy ending, they necessarily reflect their authors’ takes on what it takes to build a healthy relationship. How two people learn to communicate, how to treat each other with respect and appreciation, how they can help each other heal from old wounds. They don’t generally begin from a healthy place, but the characters grow and learn through the story.

In so doing, they can illuminate that process for their readers, much like women might do in person, sharing stories while sitting around an office break room, or hanging out at the local playground with their toddlers. Shared experience, giving the reader a few new tools to bring to her own relationship. What’s wrong with that? (Unless you don’t believe that a woman should challenge her spouse to bring more to the relationship emotionally? Hmm…)

Relationships, emotional connections, these are foundational to our lives. To dismiss (or condemn) an entire genre because it focuses on the subject smacks of Victorianism, dismissing the “women’s sphere.” Sexist? I think so, yes.

Incidentally, romance, like any other genre (including literary!), has its share of clunkers and unfortunate genre cliches, but also a surprising richness of high quality fiction. Beautifully written or delightfully fun depictions of a place, a time, a relationship.

Bihari graduated from Harvard University with cum laude honors in History & Literature. A native New Yorker, she lived in Los Angeles for several years before returning east, and edited low-budget features and high-profile TV shows, including “Northern Exposure” and “LA Law,” before turning to writing full time. Bihari recently wrote a review for WVFC of HBO’s Temple Grandin; she’s also given us her story of sharing her brilliant and talented son, Damian, with her Harvard reunion. She also written about her family for Autism Speaks and has published articles and personal essays in various other venues. As a screenwriter, Bihari was a quarter-finalist in the prestigious Nicholl and Austin screenwriting competitions and had three screenplays optioned by producers. She, Damian, and her husband Dan Valverde now live with their two cats in New York City.

What is YOUR take on this topic? Do you feel that romance novels equal pornography for women?
KSL.com

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February 5, 2011: Amanda Barke on Supplementing Income Through Journalistic Writing

Based in the rural Ozarks, Amanda J. Barke is a freelance journalist, author, editor, singer, and songwriter. She splits her time between writing Christian romance novels and children’s picture books, editing newsletters, and writing articles for five regional publications, including Missouri Life Magazine, The Ozarks Mountaineer Magazine, and Ozarks Senior Living Magazine.

Her work can also be seen online at ehow.com, livestrong.com/lifestyle, and amykitchenerfdn.org.

When she is not writing, she enjoys traveling with her family’s Bluegrass/Gospel band, The Clarke St. Strings.

For more information on Amanda’s many projects, visit her online at: http://www.AmandaBarke.com.
From “A Distant Rumble” by Amanda J. Barke:

When an underground cave in Kauai collapses, Dezarae Collins, a young archaeologist, is trapped beneath the surface and fights for her life. From above ground her Hawaiian assistant, Derek Makoa, and hundreds of volunteers frantically search for her. Dezarae’s widowed mother, Sydney, wonders why God would allow such a tragedy. Hope wanes as the search continues well into the third day.

Meanwhile, Dezarae struggles to maintain consciousness with a life-threatening head injury. Desperate to stay awake, Dezarae finds the missing journals of the late, great cave explorer, Elizabeth Rochester. The historical documents relate Elizabeth’s discovery of a missing English cruise liner rumored to have carried half of the Queen’s fortune.

Will Dezarae survive her injury? Will Derek ever confess his love for her? What happened to the treasure? Why would God allow such tragedy? Could God really have a plan in all of this chaos?

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What is on the summer reading list of best-selling author Emily Griffin?

How fabulous to see a peek into how a best-selling author is developing a love of reading in her three young children.

Emily Griffin, author of “Heart of the Matter,” “Love the One You’re With,” “Baby Proof,” “Something Blue,” and “Something Borrowed,” was recently profiled on People Magazine’s Celebrity Babies web site in a story titled, “Author Emily Griffin’s Top Summer Reading Picks — for the Whole Family.”

Griffin’s picks for summer reading with kids include “Harriet the Spy,” “Freckle Juice,” “The Little Princess,” “From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” “Fancy Nancy,” “Pinkalicious,” “The Story of Ferdinand,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” “Harold and the Purple Crayon,” “Madeline,” and “Emily’s Balloon.”

For the grown-ups, Griffin recommends reading “Falling Is Like This,” “Husband & Wife,” “Opposite of Me,” and “My Fair Lazy.”

Be on the lookout for Griffin’s “Something Borrowed” in movie theaters, starring Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin, and John Krasinski from “The Office.”

What books are on YOUR reading list for the summer?

Check Out Cait London, Friend of ORA, at AWritersWork.com

Cait LondonBest-selling novelist Cait London has been a friend of ORA since the very beginning of the group. She lives in our area and has always been one of the first to step up and offer guidance, one of her fabulous presentations, and network with other writers when our conferences roll around.

She recently joined joined AWritersWork.com, a select authors’ community based on presenting their early works in epub. Two of Cait’s books are available for download on that web site — “A Lady’s Choice” and “Gambler’s Lady.”

Here is Lois’ bio on that web site:

With several million books printed, the author of 65 books and novellas Cait London/Cait Logan (pseudonyms) is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller. The recipient of many industry awards, she’s written romantic suspense, contemporary and western historical romance and paranormal romances for Berkley, Dell, Harlequin/Silhouette Desire and Avon/HarperCollins. Readers have enjoyed her many series, including the Tallchiefs.

At this writing, Cait has been published under pseudonyms and is working on yet another facet of writing. She’s really pleased with the revitalization in epublication of her early works.

The mother of three daughters, Cait enjoys creating her own website and blogs. An artist from early years, she is also interested in photography, graphics, reading, cooking, raises herbs and sewing. A former Washington state resident, she resides in the Missouri Ozarks and is a member of Romance Writers of America/Pasic and the Authors Guild; she is active online, mentors, presents seminars/workshops, and runs a regional writers eloop.

To learn more about Cait:

Web site
Twitter
Facebook

Blogs:
Daily or Not
The Second Cup
My Jam Jar

Travel Writing to be discussed at regional writers’ group June 5, 2010

Allan Cannon Young

Allan Cannon Young

Local author/editor/instructor Allan Young will speak to a regional writers’ organization regarding travel writing at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 5, 2010, in the Frisco Room of The Library Station, 2535 N. Kansas Expressway.

Young has written for the travel industry for 40 years and has taught at Ozarks Technical Community College for 14 years. The summer and fall schedules at OTC include Young’s courses Travel Writing, Six Other Ways to Get Your Book Published, and How To Get That Job, Keep It, and Get Promoted.

Ozarks Romance Authors is a non-profit organization for writers in the southwest Missouri region. Monthly speakers help writers of all genres hone their skills and explore writing opportunities.

Meetings are held the first Saturday of each month and visitors are welcome.

For more information, visit www.Ozarks-Romance-Authors.com, become our fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/OzarksRomanceAuthors, or follow us on Twitter @OzarksRomance.

Teen Author Henry Stratmann III Signs Books At ORA Meeting

16-Year-Old Henry Stratmann III Signs Books at ORA on June 2, 2007

16-Year-Old Henry Stratmann III Signs Books at ORA on June 2, 2007

Our June 2, 2007, meeting was extra special as we welcomed Henry Stratmann, III, the teenaged son of member Dr. Maryellen Stratmann.

Henry signed copies of his book, “Eye Has Not Seen: An Anthology of Short ‘Short Stories.'”
His book is available online at Starship Press.

Information about Henry and his book, from his web site:

EYE HAS NOT SEEN: AN ANTHOLOGY OF SHORT STORIES
by teen journalist Henry Stratmann III, age 16

What do you get when you mix H. G. Wells with Ray Bradbury and O. Henry?

The answer: Henry Stratmann III.

This sixteen-year-old takes you on a memorable journey in his first anthology of short “short stories.” With just a few strokes of his pen, he connects you to intriguing characters from the past, present, and future.

Climb on board the roller coaster of his imagination and buckle up for the ride! These are stories that all ages will enjoy.

About the Author:
Henry’s favorite activity is daydreaming. He began writing down his musings at the ripe old age of six, when he started a family daily newspaper. He is a typical teen-ager and attends high school in Springfield, Missouri.

To order Henry’s Anthology of Fiction Fables, send check or money order for $6.99 (sales tax included), plus $2.00 for shipping and handling to:

Fiction Department
Starship Press, LLC
4319 South National, No. 135
Springfield, Missouri 65810-2607

Or order through our bookstore on this website using PayPal or your credit card.

Ozarks Romance Authors, a non-profit group for writers of all genres, was founded in 1987. The regional writers’ group holds its meetings the first Saturday of each month at The Library Station, 2535 N. Kansas Expressway, in Springfield, Missouri.

Join us for critique group at 10:00 a.m., lunch at noon, and our meeting/guest speaker at 1:00 p.m.

Visitors are welcome. Your first three visits are free.

Our annual conference will be held July 23, 2011, at The Clarion Hotel and Conference Center. To learn more about the amazing lineup of speakers and workshops, click here to visit our conference page.

If you have questions about the group, please email us at OzarksRomanceAuthors@gmail.com.

NOTE: When the first Saturday of the month falls on a holiday weekend, we often reschedule. If you’re thinking of visiting and it’s a holiday weekend, please email us to find out if we have rescheduled.