Meet our featured guest speakers
#1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn loves to dispel the myth that smart women don't read (or write) romance, and in 2001 she did so in grand fashion, appearing on the game show The Weakest Link and walking away with the $79,000 jackpot. She displayed a decided lack of knowledge about baseball, country music, and plush toys, but she is proud to say that she aced all things British and literary, answered all of her history and geography questions correctly, and knew that there was a Da Vinci long before there was a code. Ms. Quinn is the youngest member of Romance Writers of America's Hall of Fame, her books have been translated into 24 languages, and she currently lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.
I grew up in the Yukon, a Hero’s daughter with a Cinderella Complex. Basically life taught me many things I would need to write this book. I spent the first half of my career exploring my masculine side, first as a field geologist and later as a federal land claims negotiator. Exploring my feminine side became important as I raised my two daughters. This lead me to study Writing for Film and Television at Vancouver Film School, and take courses on mythology, feminism and psychology including a Jungian Odyssey in Switzerland. This theory was developed by closely observing the archetypal expressions that are all around us in movies, music, television, advertisements and stories of personal growth, including my own. The Virgin’s Promise is my first book.
Bestselling author Nina Bruhns describes herself as a woman with a varied and checkered past. In the best possible way!
An Egyptologist by profession with a Hungarian gypsy for a grandfather, she's dabbled in real estate, sales, and student counselling, and has lived all over the United States and in Europe, though she now calls South Carolina home. But sifting through the sands of the Sudan is not terribly practical when you have a family, so Nina turned her attention to adventures of a fictional kind--through her characters.
Three time winner of the Overall Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, five time winner of the Dorothy Parker Award, two-time nominee for a RITA Award, and winner of the National Readers' Choice Award, Nina's books have also topped bestseller lists in the US and Europe, and been named book of the year by Romantic Times Magazine. Nina writes bold, sensual romantic thrillers for Berkley as well as erotic thrillers as Nikita Black, and has a long backlist of titles from Silhouette (now Harlequin) Romantic Suspense and Nocturne (paranormal). She is also one of the original indie authors, having blazed the trail with her independently published releases for over ten years.
With that impressive background, Nina was the natural choice for the position of Editorial Director of meteorically successful Entangled Publishing's new digital romantic suspense imprint, Dead Sexy: the Nina Bruhns Collection. Always up for a new challenge, Nina accepted the position, as well as that of Dead Sexy Senior Editor. Nina is looking for a broad spectrum of 60-70K romantic suspense for the line, which launched last May, including everything from light to gritty RS, to sensual thrillers, to cozies, noir, or hard-boiled, to historical or paranormal RS, and everything in between. She especially loves foreign set stories, and has already acquired at least one Aussie author and is seriously considering several others.
Sarah Wendell is author of the book Everything I Know About Love, I Learned from Romance Novels, co-author of the book, Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance Novels, and co-founder of Smart Bitches Trashy Books.com, one of the most popular blogs examining romance fiction. The site specializes in reviewing romance novels, pondering the history and future of the genre in digital form and in print, and bemoaning the enormousp revalence of bodacious pectorals adorning male cover models.
In her quest to celebrate the romance genre and the women who read and write it, Sarah has appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Gayle King Show on The Oprah Winfrey Network, the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s Steven and Chris Show, NPR’s All Things Considered and on Too Many Books. She has been quoted in People Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Post, USA Today, New Jersey Monthly, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Los Angeles Times Book Blog, Redbook, Metro:New York, and Publishers Weekly.
Photo credit to James Leynse.
Laura Bradford established the Bradford Literary Agency in 2001. She considers herself an editorial-focused agent and takes a hands-on approach to developing proposals and manuscripts with her authors for the most appropriate markets. During her own misadventures as a writer, Laura came to understand the importance of having a friendly but critical eye on your side, a career strategist in your corner and a guide who can lead you through the travails of publication.
Her recent sales include books placed with Berkley, Grand Central, Harlequin, Kensington, Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins, Sourcebooks, Hyperion, Flux, Macmillan, Adams Media, Egmont USA, John Wiley and Sons and Mira Books. She continues to actively build her client list and is currently seeking work in the following genres: Romance (historical, romantic suspense, paranormal, category, contemporary, erotic), urban fantasy, women’s fiction, mystery, thrillers and young adult as well as some select non-fiction.
She is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR) and Romance Writers of America, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and she is an RWA-recognized agent.
Laura has a very impressive client list, including New York Times bestselling authors Megan Hart, Erin McCarthy, Beth Kery and Lauren Dane – so start polishing those pitches!
Abby Zidle is a senior editor at Gallery and Pocket Books acquiring commercial fiction and nonfiction, including romance, suspense, women's fiction, memoir, and popular culture titles. Her authors at Pocket include everything from New York Times bestsellers to debut novelists—some recent titles include international bestseller The Sweetness of Forgetting and the NYT bestselling memoir Becoming Sister Wives. Prior to working at Pocket, she was an editor for Harlequin's HQN line. She began her career in publishing at Bantam Dell, after abandoning the glamorous life of a Ph.D. student (the only job that pays worse than editorial assistant).
You can follow Abby on twitter: @AbZurdity plus find out why she thinks women love romance in this video interview with Love Between the Covers.