May’s Featured Speakers: Michelle Klayman & Jill Limber of Boroughs Publishing Group

bpg_logo_color_reversed_stackedEndLies_FinalNext month, we will have a publisher’s spotlight session with Boroughs Publishing Group.

We are pleased to welcome Michelle Klayman, President/CEO and Jill Limber, Editor.

See you at 10am on Sunday, May 18th at Bridges Academy in Studio City.


April’s Featured Speaker: Anne Cleeland

Anne CleelandDaughter of the God King-Anne CleelandNext month, our featured speaker will be Anne Cleeland.

In 2013, Anne debuted by publishing two different series in print with two different publishers.  Was it luck?  Talent?  No—mainly it was getting the projects in front of the right people at the right time. (Well, that and luck, too.)  Along the way she wrote a million queries and through trial and error, discovered some important strategies, including the best time of the year and day of the week to submit a query.

Murder-in-Thrall-Anne CleelandIn April, Anne will help you come up with the appropriate strategy to get your own project reviewed by an agent or editor and (hopefully) give you the best chance for success.

Join us on the second Sunday, April 13th at Bridges Academy in Studio City. Doors open at 10am, and the meeting runs from 10:30am-12pm. See you there!

Anne Cleeland holds a degree in English from UCLA as well as a degree in law from Pepperdine University, and is a member of the California State Bar.  She writes a historical fiction series set in the Regency period as well as a contemporary mystery series set in New Scotland Yard.  A member of the Historical Novel Society and Mystery Writers of America, she lives in California and has four children.

March’s Featured Speaker: Mallory Braus

MalloryBrausNext month’s featured speaker will be Mallory Braus.

The topic will be What to Expect When You’re Expecting…Edits. Just like every story is unique, the edits constructed for each story will vary. Editors must adapt to the story needs — craft, story, prose/narration,etc — but also to the author’s needs — varying from debut authors to multi-published authors. Mallory will discuss the basics of what every author should expect from the editorial process.

Mark your calendar and we’ll see you at Bridges Academy on Sunday, March 16th! Doors open at 10am, and the meeting runs from 10:30am-12pm.

Mallory Braus graduated from UCLA in 2009 with a BA in English. From there, she became a freelance editor for Carina Press. She works with the stories she loves, authors she adores, and consider herself a sort of Indiana Jones—searching for treasure in the book world, and in the comfort of her office, safe from actual snakes and plane crashes.

Mallory has always had a passion for reading. But she never considered that the books she loved could lead to a future career. Until one fateful day she was offered an internship with a fabulous literary agent. A position as  intern for editor Rose Hilliard at St. Martin’s Press soon followed. She graduated from UCLA in 2009 with a BA in English. After a brief stay in New York, in which she discovered that city life did not agree with her, she returned to California and accepted a position as freelance editor for Carina Press. She also works as an independent freelance content editor and consultant. She feels so blessed to have found a job that lets her work with her one true love — stories.

Mallory will read just about anything — except horror. She’s especially on the look out for historical romance, mystery, sci-fi, urban fantasy, speculative fiction, and dark paranormals. More than anything, she loves character driven stories. Make her believe in your characters — give them real depth and vulnerabilities and quirks — and she’ll be putty in your hands.

You can follow her on Twitter @MalloryBraus or visit her website at

February’s Featured Speaker: Jennifer Haymore

JenniferHaymore2Next month, our featured speaker will be LARA’s own Jennifer Haymore.

The topic will be Writing Short(er).

Join us at Bridges Academy on Sunday, February 16th!

USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Haymore is the author of sexy historical and contemporary romance.

You can find Jennifer in Southern California trying to talk her husband into yet another trip to England, helping her three children with homework while brainstorming a new five-minute dinner menu, or crouched in a corner of the local bookstore writing her next novel.

January’s Featured Speakers: Susan and Harry Squires

At this month’s meeting, our featured speakers will be Susan and Harry Squires.

Did you ever wonder why one day you get stuck while on another day your writing flows easily? Does it sometimes seem like your brain is actually fighting you?  Well, maybe it is. Recent insights into the structure of the human brain and how the parts work together (or don’t) provide powerful techniques to free your creativity and jump-start your writing.

The Squires will help you learn how to use these techniques not only in your writing, but in the rest of your life as well. Bring your current work in progress, and they’ll show you how to solve problems (including writer’s block), make your characters and plots deeper and more resonant, and create a book that keeps your reader turning pages.

Join us on Sunday, January 19th!

SusanSquiresSusan Squires published seventeen books with Dorchester and St. Martin’s Press, and has self-published four. Her books have appeared on the NYT Bestseller list. Her first novel, Danegeld, was a Golden Heart winner. Body Electric was named by Publisher’s Weekly one of the most influential mass market books of 2002. No More Lies was a Rita finalist. Her books have frequently garnered 4 ½ star reviews and Top Pick from Romantic Times BookReview, and starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, which also named One With the Shadows a Best Book of the Year.

HarrySquiresHarry Squires published his first novel, What Rough Beast, as H. R. Knight with Leisure Books. A paranormal mystery with romantic elements, it garnered enthusiastic reviews not only from horror venues but also from romance reviewers. He also writes for Wine Adventure Magazine and Front and Finish. Harry was a corporate trainer with an insurance company for many years. He’s coached extensively on techniques of learning and unleashing the creativity of the brain.

Both Harry and Susan are members of Romance Writers of America.

Next month’s meeting – see you on January 19th!

Happy Holidays! Hope you’re enjoying the end of year festivities.

Mark your calendars – at next month’s meeting, Susan and Harry Squires will be talking about How to Talk Back to Your Brain. See you there!

LARA meets at The Bridges Academy.  (See the map and address below.)

Attendance costs $5.00 for members and $10.00 for visitors. Your first visit is free!


Meet and Greet 10:00 a.m. General Meeting begins at 10:30 a.m. (All meetings are the third Sunday of the month unless otherwise noted.)


Bridges Academy

3921 Laurel Canyon Boulevard, Studio City, CA 91604 Toll Free: 800.821.8511 Local: 818.769.4700

Click on the Map to Get Directions

Join SPA

Interested in Becoming a SPA Member?

Click the Picture for a Sneak Peak at the SPA Forum

LARA is the first chapter in RWA to have a SPA Liaison.  (SPA stands for Self Published Authors.)  The SPA Liaison’s job is to run the SPA Forum and find resources for authors interested in self publishing their novels or their backlists.

The Benefits of being a SPA Member include:

  • Access to the SPA Forum
  • Articles and Video Resources on Self Publishing on various Self Publishing platforms (like Kindle / Createspace, the Nook, Smashwords, etc.)
  • A chance to ask all types of questions of authors that have already self published
  • Formatting Tips
  • Marketing tips
  • Links to Formatters, Cover Artists, Book Reviewers, and Freelance Editors
  • An opportunity to help other Self Publishing Newbies on their journeys.
  • Daily Emails of JUST questions that other members are asking.
  • Weekly Digest of everything that is happening on the SPA forum.
  • The opportunity to choose conversations you would like updates on through email versus occasionally checking back.

To become a SPA Member, you must:  

  • Be an RWA Member  (Click here to apply if you are not already an RWA member.)
  • Be a LARA Member (Click here to apply if you are not a member already.  Pricing is pro-rated based on the month you are joining.)
  • Apply with the SPA Liaison  (Click here for the application.)

Not sure if you want to be a SPA Member?  Non-LARA and Non-RWA Members can get “Guest Access” to the SPA Forum for up to one month.  LARA Members who have not yet self-published can get access to the SPA Forum for up to three months.  Simply email the SPA Liaison to request temporary access at or click here for the application.