This summer will mark seven years that I have been writing and pursuing my dream of publication. Seven years is a long time and yet it flew due to the fabulous community of Romance Writers.

Romance writers, and for all I know, writers in general, are a unique breed.  When I attended my first NJRW Romance Writer’s Conference back in 2006, I was shocked to discover the vast amount of knowledge published authors willingly shared.  Having come from a highly competitive industry of theatre, this struck me as quite unusual.  Not only did these women put their hearts and souls regarding their journeys to publication on their sleeves, they shared their honed-over-time craft secrets.  Any other industry professional would guard and hide this information.  From the conferences, workshops and sessions that followed in monthly meetings, I learned how to write a query letter and synopsis.  I learned how to write in a clear POV with no head hopping, because Nora Roberts has the market cornered on that and no one else is allowed!  I learned how to pitch my book.  I fell in love with The Hero’s Journey.  I learned to write with emotion, and countless other things.  In short, I discovered with the help of a community what it would take to transform my fledgling writing and dreams into the reality of a publishing contract.  I look forward to the day when I can confidently share a component either of my journey or writing technique that might make an impact on other writers.  The day that I can give back to this community who have invited me on their journeys and showered me with knowledge and support and will mark an immense milestone in my writer’s journey. 


Until the day that I can give back in a big way, such as a conference or workshop, I will look for small ways to pass on amassed knowledge and share my own personal aha moments here on my blog.  I made a recent discovery of an amazing book that should live inside every writer’s tool box.   THE EMOTION THESAURUS: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression.  The book, written by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, tackles 75 emotions listing the possible body language cues, thoughts, and visceral responses for each. The book is easy to use with each emotion given its own page(s).  I’m not suggesting that writers use the book as a crutch, select something listed on a given page, and move on.  For me, the book has helped me analyze my own writing, identify where I’m being lazy or repetitive, nudge me to dig deeper, and spark further thought/emotion to infuse into my writing.    

This weekend I attended The Liberty States Fiction Writers Conference where I was given a First Sale memento and I met a young writer. This was her first ever writing conference and she was anxious about the submission process following her successful pitch meetings.  Within an hour of my arrival home, I sent her information I had gathered over the years on how to write a query letter and synopsis.  Paying this information forward made me feel a deeper connection to my writing community.  So thank you to my fellow writers and friends.  Were it not for you, I’d probably still be writing that 160K word, head hopping novel that refused to end!

About RoseAnn DeFranco

Author - Humorous Contemporary Romance & Young Adult Romance
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  1. Megan Ryder says:

    The Emotion Thesaurus is one of my go-to books now. I discovered it during a Margie Lawson immersion class and I am completely in love with it. And I completely agree with you about the level of support among romance authors – pre and published. Its amazing how many people are willing to help us achieve our dreams!!

    • RoseAnn DeFranco says:

      Hi Megan, Thanks for stopping by. I love how the internet can help our community and network of authors grow. I attended a Margie Lawson workshop a few years ago, but have never taken her immersion class. Several of my friends swear by her. Good luck with your Plotting Challenge. I’m interested in your discovery!

  2. Jenna Blue says:

    R.A., Congratulations again! So thrilled for you landing a contract for the Audobon Springs stories. Sounds like I need to get my hands on that Emotion Thesaurus–everybody raves about it. And paying it forward is a great idea–you’ve paid it forward to me, as well, and I hope to speak to that a bit in my next blog post! Sometimes it’s the little gestures that mean the most–doesn’t have to be a grand thing!
    Nice post, thanks!

    • RoseAnn DeFranco says:

      Thanks, Jenna! We’re all in this together….and I would not have sold anything without the help of some GREAT CPs! 🙂

  3. Nicole Doran says:

    A well-deserved congrats to you RoseAnn. Glad I was able to be there to share in your recognition at LSF Con. This writing community is one of the most supportive I’ve ever encountered for sure. Your recommended readings are great..thanks. Pay it forward should be a motto everyone should live by. Best wishes for many sales….

  4. myota830 says:

    Congrats on the sales. You have already been paying it forward for me and I am appreciative of every thing you’ve told me. It is scary to ask people for help because most industries are closed mouthed. I’m still getting used to the romance writing world of being able to ask and the person doesn’t mind telling.


  5. angelaackerman says:

    Aw, thanks so much for the mention! I am reading this on holiday and so it was nice to have a taste of home while in a foreign country. 🙂 I so identify with your post too…I feel like so many have helped me become a stronger writer and so it feels good when I can pay it forward in some small way, too!

    • RoseAnn DeFranco says:

      Hope you had a great vaca, Angela! Your book is earning quite the buzz within my writing community. Would love to see you attend our upcoming conferences!

      • I love conferences. 🙂 Would love to do a RWA one, even though I don’t write romance, just because RWA is always so craft-improvement focused. I know a lot of people locally who are in RWA. 🙂

        Thanks for the well wishes–I just got back! It was fabulous, but now it’s all about catching up! The break refilled the well though, so I’m all fired up and ready to rumble! 🙂

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