Strong With Heart: Writing Kick-Butt, Relatable, and Complex Characters

Eva Leigh/Zoë Archer and Nico Rosso

Join RITA finalists Eva Leigh/Zoë Archer and Nico Rosso we examine techniques to create strong characters with depth and heart.


Eva Leigh is a romance author who has always loved the Regency era. She writes novels chock-full of smart women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, spending too much time on the Internet, and listening to music from the ’80s. Eva and her husband live in Central California.

Eva also writes in multiple romance genres as RITA-award nominated Zoë Archer.

Nico Rosso learned about the romance genre from his wife, Zoë Archer, and was immediately hooked. He had written HEAs in many forms, and was deeply honored to have his romantic suspense, One Minute To Midnight, final in the RWA RITA™ contest. If he’s not writing, Nico is usually either baking bread or building furniture for the California home he shares with Zoë and their cats.


September 21, 2019

Meeting will be held

at Sandra Master' Place

Please see map on our

Home Page


10:30am on the third Saturday every month except November.


$10.00 non-members

(plus lunch ordered

from the menu.)


president@yosemite romancewriters.com




Writers and “Process”

Carla Neggers


Word counts, page counts, time, outlining, not outlining, revising — from concept to finished book, the ways we get it done.



Carla Neggers is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 75 novels of contemporary romance, romantic suspense and women’s fiction. Whether creating stories of friendship, family and love or razor-sharp suspense, Carla always takes readers on a captivating journey. Her books have been called "smart and satisfying" (Kirkus), “extraordinarily memorable" (RT Book Reviews) and "highly entertaining" (Publishers Weekly). 

In addition to writing, Carla is a founding member of the New England Chapter of Romance Writers of America, a past president of Novelists, Inc., and a past vice president of International Thriller Writers. In her free time, she is a dedicated runner, having completed the Covered Bridges Half-Marathon in Vermont several times and the Dingle Half-Marathon in Ireland. She and her husband are frequent travelers, especially to Ireland. 

Carla lives with her family in New England. Learn more and sign up for Carla’s monthly newsletter at CarlaNeggers.com.

Sheri Humphreys_Photo_50.jpg

Social Media Graphics Panel

Lisa Boyles

Sheri Humphreys

Carrie Padgett


Panel presentation on software applications used in creating graphics for social media. Panelists will share their experiences and tips on utilizing Canva, Stencil, Ripl, and Photoshop for social media and promotional materials. If you’d like help getting started with any of these applications, bring your laptop loaded with the one of the covered software products.

Author Bios

Lisa Boyles

A longtime print journalist, Lisa Boyles had to shift gears seven years ago when the newspaper industry collapsed. Rebranding herself involved acquiring new skills to move toward communications and marketing. Canva, a web-based graphic design tool, helped with one aspect of that transition. Though she no longer does graphic design in her role as public information officer for Fresno State, she still uses Canva to create web and social media graphics for her church. You can see samples of her work on their web page: https://communityucc-fresno.org


Carrie Padgett

Carrie Padgett does words not numbers. So if you want your checkbook balanced, find someone else. If you need help editing your memoir, a novel, or content for a website, she’s your gal. Carrie is a two-time ACFW Genesis Award winner and a RWA Golden Heart finalist. Her clients include best-selling and award winning authors. She lives in Central California with a half-blind dog, an imperious cat, and a long-haired husband, and plays with social media to avoid other work. https://carriepadgett.com


Sheri Humphreys

YRW member Sheri Humphreys lives on the Central Coast and writes Victorian historical romance. Her debut novel was a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2016. http://sherihumphreys.com


Publishing in Today’s Interactive Environment

Alexx Andria (aka Kimberly Van Meter)

Engagement has never been more important than in today's social media-rich environment. The average attention span for an average adult is ten minutes, however, while scrolling on social media that attention span is even shorter. According to a Forbes article,  the average person will only read an article for 15 seconds or less before losing interest, choosing instead to skim for relevant content that interests them. The average video watch time is 10 seconds before losing interest and clicking to something else.

So what does that mean? It's all about the visuals. Now more than ever, social engagement is key to pushing your product. Readers want to feel some sort of connection to the authors of the books they consume because in the age of social media where everyone is connected — there is a serious disconnect — and everyone is searching for a tribe.

Connecting to an author who writes books a reader loves gives that reader a reason to keep buying.

Especially when there are so many vying for their hard-earned cash.


Blessed with a filthy mind and a mouth to match, USA TODAY best-selling romance author Alexx Andria splits her time between writing scorching-hot stories, making brilliant book covers, and eating salty treats. With her traffic-stopping curves and a knack for flaunting them, she gets into--and out of--more than her fair share of trouble. If you want to find your newest reader obsession, check out Alexx on any of her social media platforms.

Alexx also writes romance under the name of Kimberly Van Meter She has over 130 published titles.

FOLLOW Alexx on Amazon: amazon.com/author/alexxandria


Karen Harper

Romance Always Has Suspense



“All good fiction is suspense writing.”



New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Karen Harper has been published since 1982 with over 70 books. She currently writes romantic suspense for Mira Books and historical novels about real British women for HarperCollins.

A former Ohio State University and high school English teacher, she has written full time for over thirty years. She and her husband live in Columbus, Ohio. Please visit her at her website http://www.KarenHarperAuthor.com or her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KarenHarperAuthor.


Tanya Stowe

Finding Your Character's Dark Moment


Hold on to your hats! This interactive workshop is going to cover a lot of territory. Whether you’re a Plotter or Pantster, structuring your characters can help avoid the dreaded pitfalls of lifeless characters and too little or too much conflict. But most importantly, structuring leads to finding the dramatic high point of the story, “The Black Moment.”

Structuring your characters requires answering essential story questions like who, what, why and why not. Putting those answers in a grid can help you avoid those dreaded pitfalls and lead you to the dramatic moment YOU and YOUR READERS want. So bring your pencils (yes, with erasers!) and let’s get started!



Tanya Stowe is an author of Christian Fiction with an unexpected edge. She fills her stories with the unusual…mysteries and exotic adventures, even a murder or two. No matter where Tanya takes you…on a trip to foreign lands or a suspenseful journey filled with danger…be prepared for the extraordinary. You can find Tanya on her Website, Facebook, and Blog.

Every Character is a Stick to Crack the Emotional Pinata of the Reader - Swing Hard!

Speaker - Damon Suede

Dark Heart:

the root of character

Special Presentation
RWA Workshop in a Box

Brianna Boes

Newsletter Tips and Tricks

How to create and maintain a Newsletter


B.K. Boes has been creating stories since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She always drifted toward the fantastical, though she loved most every genre that crossed her path. Now, she writes epic fantasy and science fantasy, transferring worlds and characters from her imagination to the page. A Hoosier at heart, she now lives in Missouri with her husband and two little rascals. B.K can be found on her website at www.bkboes.com and Facebook.


Amy Jarecki

Writing Heart-Stopping Historical Romance


1. A brief intro to Amy's path to a full-time writing career.

2. Researching historical fiction.

3. Keeping your prose period correct without losing your readers.

4. Plotting like a mystery/thriller writer.

5. How to keep the stakes high and the pages turning.

6. Finding readers who love your books.



Multi-Award winning and Amazon All-Star author, Amy Jarecki likes to grab life, latch on, and reach for the stars. She writes historical romance with various series that span many eras and has 30 books in print. She studies karate at the Bobbly Lawrence studio in Saint George and you’ll often find her hiking Utah’s Santa Clara Hills.

Reinventing herself a number of times, Amy sang and danced with the Follies, was a ballet dancer, a plant manager, and an accountant for Arnott’s Biscuits in Australia. After earning her MBA from Heroit-Watt University in Scotland, she dove into the world of Scottish historical romance and hasn’t returned. Become a part of her world and learn more about Amy’s books on amyjarecki.com.


Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amyjarecki/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amyjarecki or @amyjarecki

Instagram: jareckiamy

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/amy-jarecki

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5306959.Amy_Jarecki

Continuing July Workshop in a Box
Special Presentation
RWA Workshop in a Box

Speaker - Damon Suede

Dark Heart:

the root of character

Every Character is a Stick to Crack the Emotional Pinata of the Reader - Swing Hard!