Weta Nichols (seated) with long-time ORA member Sharon Kizziah-Holmes
Weta Nichols launched Ozarks Romance Authors in 1987 in Springfield, Missouri, with the goal of encouraging writers in southwest Missouri who were interested in the art of writing for the romance fiction industry.
As the popularity of the industry grew, the membership and its outreach grew. Members achieved various levels of success in the publishing industry, and the organization gave back to the community by donating to scholarship funds with the Writers Hall of Fame, with its headquarters in Springfield, Missouri.
Weta (pronounced “WEE-ta”) was devoted to the group and its members until her death in the spring of 2008 at age 84.
Weta was a Texan by birth, but lived in many different places. Her husband’s work took them to many states, plus Peru, South America. She soon felt that writing letters and journaling wasn’t enough. She wanted to include the many places she had been in stories, and she began learning the basics of writing. She attended a Romance Writers of America conference in Dallas, Texas, and was then inspired to form Ozarks Romance Authors.
She called the Missouri Ozarks her home for the last 18 years of her life. Her family included 1 son, 2 grandsons, and 1 great-granddaughter at the time of her passing. According to one of her publishers, Whiskey Creek Press, Weta was “described as a person with determination, grit and perseverance.”
She published many articles for both magazines and newsletters. Her repetoire included short stories and novellas, and several novels, including the Whiskey Creek Press Number One Bestseller, “Cutter’s Woman.”
Her books are still available in many places, including Whiskey Creek Press and Amazon.com. Several of her books are also available in print and Nook editions at Barnes & Noble.
Members of Ozarks Romance Authors continue the tradition of holding an annual fiction writing contest, which was renamed The Weta Nichols Writing Contest in her honor, as a way to acknowledge talented authors and the industry that meant so much to her. Winners are announced each summer at the writers’ group’s annual conference in Springfield, Missouri.
What did reviewers say about Weta’s work?
Review For BELINDA’S LOVE by Weta Nichols
“Lawlessness, prejudice, and love permeate the pages of BELINDA’S LOVE. This novel takes the reader to Pioche, Nevada in 1875 where “bad guys” abound as the lure of the Nevada silver mines brings in a motley assortment of people.
Both the newcomers and the old-timers are less than admirable in their dealings with their fellowman.
Belinda’s low self-esteem, due to the way people treat her because of her ethnicity, is a strong thread in the makeup of the story. At times, I read with a sense of urgency as I looked for her to become aware of her own self-worth. Prejudice, as it was at that time, comes through loud and clear.
Both men and women are culpable and inflect much underserved cruelty on Belinda and her family.
The parade of adversaries that both Belinda and Rich have to deal with kept me turning pages. If you enjoy a story of the early days of settling the West and of how love blooms among a multiplicity of thorny problems, BELINDA’S LOVE is it.”
– Camellia, The Long And Short Of It Reviews
Reviews For CUTTER’S WOMAN by Weta Nichols
“Cutter’s Woman is a romantic story that carries the reader into the lives of two lonely characters who have lost so much in their years. They’re just trying to find happiness with each other. The setting and landscape are so brilliantly detailed, as are all the secondary characters, that the reader can’t help but feel a part of this rare read. The ending almost makes you swoon; such a perfectly packaged romance that feels good all over. I loved that Maggie never regretted going to Wyoming and marrying a man like Cutter. Weta Nichols composes a delightful story that reaches out and pulls at the heart. She weaves in characters that jump right from the pages. It was so in-depth, the way Cutter claimed her for his woman. This book is a rare find and a keeper.”
Linda L 5 Angels Fallen Angel Reviews
“This is an excellent historical romance. Ms. Nichols described the country and the era vividly. The characters are exceptionally written with plenty of history and emotions. Secondary characters pull up from the back to enhance this tale with plenty of excitement of a ranch life of this time of history. Sensual romance scenes ties all of this up, making is a wonderful read.”
Wateena 4 cups
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books
Review For HONEY’S LOVE by Weta Nichols
Ms. Nichols’ story is one of hardship, love and acceptance, The author’s attention to detail lets the reader picture the scene so well that they can almost smell the flowers, feel the rain falling and sweat from the heat of the hot sun. Ms. Nichols gives the readers some historical events along with the story that only make it more believable and help it to flow smoothly from one scene into the next without a hitch.
Reviewed by: Donna – 5 Angels