Category: Chapter News

Published Author Chat

It’s a tornado, it’s a hurricane, no….it’s just The Gale Force Winds of Change in the world of publishing!

red_mugAll published authors of LARA are invited to the Published Author Chat at 9 am every other Sunday before the LARA meeting at our regular meeting place (Bridges Academy).

What does published mean? Any author who has indie pubbed or traditionally pubbed a short story, novella, or novel.

Is coffee provided? “Bring Your Own Coffee!” Starbucks and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf are both about a block from Bridges Academy.

What is the chat about? Publishing! Anything that has to do with what happens once publishing happens.

Why are we having a published author chat?  This is a less-formal event that allows pubbed authors to discuss what is and what isn’t working for them in publishing. The agenda is loose and flexible.

How often is the published author chat? Every other month! See our meeting schedule for specific dates.

If you’re a LARA member and have thoughts, suggestions, or questions about the Published Author Chat, our beloved president Maggie Marr would love to hear from you! Please use the handy LARA member comment form!

March Meeting: Self-Publishing Q&A

Join us on March 15th for questions and answers about self-publishing from two very successful self-published authors who know what they’re talking about!

We meet at Bridges Academy in Studio City. Doors open at 10am, and the meeting will begin at 10:30am and finish at noon.

See you then!

Pam-selfiePamela DuMond is a bestselling author in Barnes and Noble and Amazon bookstores. She discovered Erin Brockovich’s life story, thought it would make a great movie and pitched it to Hollywood. Pamela’s romantic YA time travel novel, The Messenger (Mortal Beloved, Book 1), was recently optioned for film and TV. She writes romantic comedic mysteries, YA, and New Adult romance including romantic comedy.

When she’s not writing Pamela’s also a chiropractor and cat wrangler. She loves reading, the beach, working out, movies, TV, animals, her family and friends. She likes her coffee strong, her cabernet hearty, her chocolate dark, her foods non-GMO and she lives for a good giggle. She lives in Venice, California with her fur-babies.

Maggie MarrMaggie Marr is the author of steamy contemporary romance, women’s fiction, and steamy new adult books. Her books contain alpha bad-boy heroes and feisty heroines. She got her start in Hollywood pushing the mail cart at ICM where she became a motion picture literary agent. Once her first book Hollywood Girls Club sold, Maggie left agenting for writing.

Maggie is a huge reader. She also loves all things ‘pop’ culture. She writes for film, TV, and ghost writes for celebrities. She has been featured on KCRW’s The Business and reviewed by Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Romantic Times. Maggie is eternally grateful for the graciousness and support of her readers. She lives and works in Los Angeles.

November’s Featured Speaker: Joseph Marich, Jr.

logoNovember’s meeting will feature literary publicist Joseph Marich, Jr., founder and President of Marich Media (formerly Marich Communications). With an emphasis in consumer, entertainment, and literary publicity, he has worked in public relations for more than twenty years, planning and executing national and international campaigns for book launches, consumer products, special events, fund-raisers and openings in the theatre, art, fashion, television and film industries.

Representing author-director-producer, Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park, ER) for over 16 years until his untimely death in November 2008, Marich coordinated global media tours, personal appearances, and interviews for Dr. Crichton, working closely with his publishers in the U.S., as well as his international publishers throughout Europe.

Marich is also the author of the public relations book, Literary Publicity: The Final Chapter. It explains differences between media roles, and teaches readers how to view their product in the same manner as the media, then plan the most effective publicity plan accordingly. It includes tips on how to write for presentation, how to create the necessary collateral material for all types of media outlets, and how to get local, regional, or national media attention.

Join us on at 10am on Sunday, November 16th at Bridges Academy in Studio City.

Annual Dues in 2015

© Kmitu | Dreamstime Stock PhotosWhat’s romantic and under $5?

  • A paperback romance novel by one of LARA’s fabulous authors? Sadly, no (though they’re worth every penny).
  • A sexy thong from Victoria’s Secret? Nope.
  • Bottle of good champagne? Bwah-ha-ha-ha.

What is under $5 – still – is your average monthly LARA membership dues.

Although due to rising expenses, the Board of Directors has voted to increase the annual dues on January 1, 2015 to $48 per year (compared to the current rate of $40 per year), that’s still only $4 per month. Such a deal!

Meeting fees will remain at $5 per meeting.

Dues will be paid at your anniversary renewal date via the RWA website (for most members, in January).

You must be an active member of RWA to be eligible to join LARA or to renew your LARA membership.


Ready to renew? Click here!


Questions or concerns? Contact Beverly Diehl, LARA Treasurer, at: treasurer (at)

Holiday Romances with Alanna Lucas & Rick Bitzelberger

Once-Upon-a-Montana-Christmas-cover-213x300In October, we’ll hear from Alanna Lucas and Rick Bitzelberger on Writing Holiday Romances That Sell!

Holiday romance novels and novellas are a perennial favorite among readers. Publishers often release holiday anthologies, which can be a great opportunity for writers to get known or increase their fan base.

Come and learn about how to break into this exciting market from our next guest speakers! Join us at 10am on Sunday, October 19th at Bridges Academy in Studio City.

author-alanna-lucasAlanna grew up in Southern California. From an early age, she took an interest in travel. Over the years, she’s incorporated those experiences into her writing. Alanna is a member of the Romance Writers of America, East Valley Authors, The Beau Monde and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers.

rick_bitzenbergerRick Bitzelberger is a film and television writer and producer, known for Embrace of the Vampire (1995), Crazy for Christmas (2005) and Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook-Off (2003). Rick has been working with Informant Media since their inception. He likes to think of himself as the most dangerous development executive there is: Not only does he cover scripts, he writes them, too.

Same Sex Romance with Tara Lain & Louisa Bacio

Tara LainLouisaBacioNext month, we’ll learn all about writing same sex romance novels. This is not your mother’s romance novel!

Same parts, different spots, right? What’s the difference between writing a male/female erotic romance, and a same sex one? Plenty.

Bestselling authors Tara Lain and Louisa Bacio will explore setting up the same-sex romance, and getting into those detailed sexy scenes. Learn how to keep the relationship complex, and not shy away from real-life complications. How to avoid the famous “chicks with dicks problem” while still creating a deep emotional connection.

And then there are areas some probably haven’t thought about, such as, is there a difference between writing f/f fiction for heterosexual, married readers? Oh, yes, there is.  If you’ve ever thought of writing for the growing same-sex erotic fiction genre, this class is a great way to start.


Tara Lain, like so many novelists, wrote her first book at five. Writing ability got her through college when there wasn’t enough time in the day, and, shortly thereafter, it became a marketable skill. Very early in life, people started paying her to write — scripts for industrial films, brochures, magazine articles on semiconductors. She became a really successful non-fiction “ghost-writer.” When you’re being paid well to write non-fiction, it’s tough to spend time writing fiction that nobody pays you for for a long time. But then Tara found EROM (erotic romance). Always a lover of fantasy, she got hooked on the beauty, emotion, and happily-ever-after of these books (to say nothing of the great sex) and was finally inspired to write one of her own. But writing fiction is different than non-fiction. There was so much to learn, and after writing her first book she went back to school (via online workshops) and got down to learning the craft. A year later, she had rewritten that book, and created another one, and a very supportive publisher said yes! Today, she’s an established writer of romance fiction with over 20 books to her credit.

In addition to working as an editor for magazines and Keith Publications and writing, Louisa Bacio teaches college classes in writing and popular culture. Currently serving her second year as president of OCCRWA, she lives in Southern California with her adoring husband, two wonderful and challenging daughters and a houseful of pets.

Join on on Sunday, September 21st at Bridges Academy to learn more about the world of same sex romance novels!

Editing for Indie Authors with Julia Ganis

JuliaGanisColorAt next month’s meeting, Julia Ganis will speak about Editing for Indie Authors. She’ll address what to know, what to look for and what to avoid on your path to self-publishing. Plus, she will offer tips on self-editing for all authors, from absolute beginners to multi-published authors.

Join us at Bridges Academy in Studio City at 10am on Sunday, August 17th!


Julia Ganis has always loved a great story. A child of Hollywood, she read her first screenplay at age ten, devoured Jane Austen at the dinner table and snuck Harlequin Presents under the covers.

After twenty years of guiding screenwriters, doing script analysis, working in feature films and children’s television, and even teaching science, she decided to return to her first love:  romance novels.  A behind-the-scenes romance copy editor for several years, in 2013 Julia launched to offer her services to a wider sphere of indie writers.  Current JuliaEdits clients range from New York Times bestsellers with hybrid careers, to emerging self-pub authors and absolute beginners.

Julia graduated from the University of California at San Diego’s Muir College with a degree in Visual Arts/Media.  She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son and way too many cats. You can find her online at

Author Branding with Anne Tammel

tammelNext month, build your unique author brand with branding expert and author Anne Tammel, a Silicon Valley native who specializes in guiding artists and professionals through the process of positioning and branding. Join us for this exclusive small discussion, during which you will learn crucial steps toward harnessing your author brand, taking charge of your unique selling points, and connecting with your readers. Walk away from this discussion with a road map for making your vision of success a reality.

Author of the forthcoming collection of poems, Endless: a Literate Passion (Aldrich Press, March 2015), branding expert Anne Tammel has devoted over two decades to coaching writers and executives through successful outcomes. Tammel began her career at the Silicon Valley’s highest-ranking public relations firm, Cunningham Communication, then went on to apply her positioning and branding expertise in the high-tech, medical, and financial fields. While pursuing her master of fine arts degree, Tammel began guiding executives into more prominent leadership roles. This unmatched success led to the inception of Tammel Enterprises: a highly-personalized, results-based, boutique consultancy devoted to your professional advancement.

Tammel’s fiction, poetry, essays, and articles have been published in numerous publications, including the Poydras Review, Annapurna Magazine, 3Elements Literary Review, Mediterranean Poetry, and Saint Julian Press. A news correspondent, professional speaker, and editor for literary journals, Tammel is also owner and founder of Poets and Dreamers, the author’s network featured in CBS Los Angeles. Tammel earned her MFA in creative writing at California State University, San Diego, and her BA in English literature/career writing at California State University, San Jose. Find her at her website and on Facebook.

See you at 10am on Sunday, July 20th at Bridges Academy in Studio City!