I did my Romance Slam Jam (RSJ) Conference registration at 9AM then I attended my first workshop of the day by Toni Bonita Robinson, an avid African-American and Multicultural romance reader that knows the works of many authors. She lovingly took on the tasks of making all the ‘newbies’ feel comfortable at RSJ this year. I enjoyed her wit, stories, and learning about her past experiences with great authors like Brenda Jackson, Lutishia Lovely and Zuri Day.
The most important thing Mrs. Robinson wanted the new attendees to know is that we MUST attend writers conferences and support each other, whenever possible. So everyone in her workshop made a point to stay in touch via Facebook and Twitter. We also hope to form a Facebook page where we can network with other RSJ authors and promo events that are happening in our area. It was a great workshop and it was nice to know readers like Mrs. Robinson wants to see AA/Multicultural authors grow and develop with their audience.
Toni and Martha
The second workshop I attended was given by the lovely Mrs. Martha Kennerson. She used her workshop slot to explain how an author could use the romance genre to tell a survivor’s story. Mrs. Kennerson was the victim of a horrific assault by two perpetrators as a young college woman. Her fictionalized novel, Choices, recounts parts of her story while helping young people victimized by abuse learn there is life after the pain.
I enjoyed how honest Mrs. Kennerson was with her workshop attendees. She made it very clear that pain should never be hidden because the true healing can only happen when all the pain and ugliness is exposed to the light of truth. She walked a very hard road filled with fear, guilt, self-loathing, and mental challenges but she rose like a phoenix to help others tell their story.
Today, she tells her story on serveral college campus and many sorority sisters are making her novel a must read. I’m glad I was able to connect with Mrs. Kennerson and I hope to promote her works in the future.
After the lunch break, I attended erotic author, Mrs. Yvette Hines’ workshop. And it was packed with attendees and so much FUN! Mrs. Hines had us review how authors use the five senses to engage readers and started the session off with a bang by reading a very sensual erotic narrative.
It was a fun, wild ride that made all of the authors and readers embrace everything that makes the sensual side of romance novels so enjoyable. And when she passed around the steamy pictures of today’s hot black actors, singers, athletes, etc. all of the women cheered and commented like a bunch of college girls. The workshop was the best one of RSJ, so far, and in my book it’s the one to beat. We all posed for a photo at the end and begged Mrs. Hines to make sure she hosts another workshop on erotica next year.
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