Monday, July 07, 2014

Perfect Pitch (for writers)

I know it's short notice but RWA's national conference is just around the corner so....I'm offering my online pitch class again.

Want to capture an editor or agent's attention? Want to know how to capture the essence of your book in just a few sentences? Want to know what to expect and how to handle questions that might otherwise throw you off balance? Want to know how to best present yourself in the 10 or 15 minutes you may have to pitch your proposal? 

This class will cover those issues and more as well as a brief critique (if you choose) of YOUR pitch. I often coach writers (in an impromptu as well as formal way) on how to pitch their projects to editors and agents. These pitches tend to be quite successful. I know that pitching can be stressful and this class is designed to take away some of that stress and up the odds that a writer will get a request for their manuscript from their dream editor or agent.

Class 1: Perfect Pitch (for writers) $25 
Dates:
 July 13, 2014 to July 18, 2014
Deadline to sign up: July 11, 2014Class size limited.

Format for this class: All lessons and discussion are handled via email loop set up for that purpose.

To sign up send an email to aprilkihlstrom@yahoo.com with the title of the class in the header and within the email whether you prefer to pay by check or Paypal.

 Bio: April Kihlstrom is an award winning author of 31 published romance novels, a Book in a Week Workbook and a series of easy reading books for beginning readers (designed especially for those with mental disabilities such as Down syndrome). She offers coaching to fellow writers as well as classes and workshops on writing and has spoken at many conferences including: the Romance Writers of America national conference (romance) and the East of Eden conference (non-romance). 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Spring 2014 Book in a Week class

I know it's short notice but...I just realized it's time for another Book in a Week class. I believe Book in a Week--the way I teach it--is one of the best gifts I believe an author can give himself or herself. It's a chance to write better, faster and have more fun doing so. It's also a new way to look at the process of creating a book and discovering what process would be ideal for YOU.

Dates: May 4, 2014 to June 13, 2014 (Note: Last week of class is wrap up and relatively low key.)
Cost: $90 ($50 if you've taken the class before) One time 10% discount if you send me proof of purchase of my April Kihlstrom’s Book In A Week Workbook.
Deadline to sign up: May 2, 2014
Lessons: Everything is handled by email so you do the lessons at YOUR convenience
Class size is limited.

Payment for the class may be made by check or by PayPal. To sign up send an email to aprilkihlstrom@yahoo.com with the title of the class you wish to take in the header and in the body of the email please put: your name and whether you prefer to pay by check or PayPal. Also, please let me know if you have taken the class before.

Note: If you do not get a response back from me, please try emailing me at april.kihlstrom@gmail.com. Unfortunately email does sometimes simply disappear into cyberspace.

Class Description: This class will take you through every step of the writing process—from beginning to brainstorm all the way through sending material out to be published. And it will help you discover who YOU are as a writer. You can participate as much or as little as you like in email discussions.

Weeks 1-3: This is when you do the prep work with lessons that are designed to get you thinking in new ways about your project. Among other things, I'll cover characters and book structure, imagery and use of names, POV and how to make sentence and paragraph structure work for you. If you choose, you can post answers and get help brainstorming ideas for your book but NO ONE is required to do so!

Weeks 4 and 5: Intensive Writing Weeks (May 24, 2014 through June 8, 2014)This is your chance to write better and faster than you ever have before, to discover what YOUR natural first draft will look like and ways to fit writing into your life that you may never have thought of before.

Week 6: Here's your chance to look at the experience of weeks 4 and 5 and use it to create a writing method that works for YOU and is tailored to your most natural writing style. We'll also look at how to revise your work in the fastest, most effective way possible and I'll be sharing some of my thoughts on query letters, synopses, etc.

Does BIAW work? Well, a number of people who have taken this class are now published or under contract and/or finalled in or won contests with material they worked on during my classes.  One author had her book optioned for a movie!

Bio: April Kihlstrom is an award winning author of 32 published romance novels. She offers coaching to fellow writers as well as classes and workshops on writing and has spoken at many conferences including: the Romance Writers of America national conference (romance) and the East of Eden conference (non-romance).

Testimonials from students who have taken the Book in a Week class:


“April's course always makes me take a good hard look at my characters, their motivations and what it will take to tell their story. Even better is the feedback she gives to responses.  She really makes me think!”--Anne McAllister


“I had been stuck for 18 months on my book, writing next to nothing after the loss of a family member. I was desperate to get it going but couldn't seem to muster the enthusiasm. Your class was just the ticket.”--Robin Heart Shepperd


 “Through the series of questions that April asks she makes each author delve deeply into their character and story line. April's questions make you think about how your character's history, social standing, occupation, family position, and more impacts how they handle the various situations we authors toss them into. At the end of April's class you have a deep understanding of your characters that writing the story will be a breeze. “--Ruth A Casie
 
“I so enjoyed every minute of April's class. First, she hands out the BEST lessons, they make you think and show you just how much insight April brings to her class, on writing, on writers, and on LIFE! Then she carefully answers all the questions online or privately and we all learned from everyone else too!  This class is really a fantastic jump starter for any book, idea, premise you might be struggling with.  I was unable to write but two days of the writing weeks and still got in over 10,000 words because the class allowed me to get to some truths in my work.  Hat's off to April for providing the inspiration and know how, and finally for her innate quality as a human study. If you are a writer - this is the class YOU need!”--Cheryl Rae


“I first tried "Book in a Week" when I wanted to start a new novel but was having trouble gathering ideas.  The process really jump-started my brain and my creativity and pretty soon the ideas were flowing!  Although I didn't finish the book that week, I wrote more than I thought possible and went on to finish the book more quickly than I ever had in the past.  That book was not only published, but nominated for a National Readers' Choice Award! Since then I have taken the class several times and it has always gotten me started with plenty of plot and character ideas; and has helped me to get my novels well underway!”--Roni Denholtz






Sunday, February 09, 2014

photo and an excerpt from Dangerous Masquerade

Lots of fun at the Romance Reader Social at the Pflugerville library yesterday. Here I am in Regency costume.


We were supposed to read excerpts from our books but everyone was having way too much fun without that so....I thought I would post it here. It's from Dangerous Masquerade (Amazon  B&N.com kobo )



Ransford stared at Rebecca, achingly handsome in his favorite jacket of blue Bath cloth that matched his eyes and pantaloons of biscuit hue. Rebecca wanted to tell him the truth, had meant to tell him the truth, but when she tried to speak no words came out. Instead, she was paralyzed by fear. He was a friend of Lord Templeton and he even knew her stepbrother now. Despite Lady Sarah's assurances that she was safe here, Rebecca could not help feeling that if they knew where she was, Andrew and Lord Templeton might try to snatch her away from here. Later, when it became common knowledge Rebecca was a guest in Lady Sarah's house, it would be harder for them to try to harm her.
To be sure, she might be wrong to be suspicious of Ransford. If she was, Rebecca ought to tell him the truth now, for the longer she waited, the worse it would be. He would not like her masquerade, but it would be better if he heard the story from Rebecca's own lips rather than from someone who would tell him he had been made a fool by her.
It was useless to deny, either, that she wanted to tell him the truth, to trust him and to have him see her as she really was. For what had only been a seed so long as Rebecca was in his house, now became a full grown truth: she was in love with Oliver Ransford. She loved his kindness, his quick intelligence, and much more she could not even put into words. But head must rule her heart and Rebecca did not speak.
Ransford, of course, did not expect her to speak. He went on, gently, "How do you like it here, as my mother's companion? Is she kind to you?"
Rebecca nodded emphatically.
"I'm glad you're happy here," Ransford said.
Even to him the words sounded trite and he rose to his feet, holding out a hand to her. "It is time, I think, that I took you back in to see my mother. She asked me to come and fetch you, you know."
Rebecca rose and gave him her hand, trembling slightly at his touch. She was not prepared for the wellspring of longing that rose in her heart. A longing to be held by this man. A longing to be kissed. She could not break the gaze that bound her eyes to his and it seemed as if he was about to lean forward, perhaps even to kiss her on the lips, when the door to the library opened, breaking the spell.
"Here you both still are," Lady Sarah said mockingly, but the look she bent on them was kind, indeed one might say approving. "Have you had a pleasant conversation together?"
Ransford shot a warning glance at his mother, unable to credit the insensitivity in her choice of words. Rebecca colored, pulled her hand free of Ransford's, and looked at the floor, unable to meet Lady Sarah's eyes.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

online revisions class

Ordinarily, at this point I'd be offering my Book in a Week class but given the issues that came up with yahoogroups with my last online class and given that I'm using a new site for the class, I felt it wise to begin with a shorter class. 

I think the change will be a good one and things will go smoothly and actually be easier than with yahoogroups. But because it IS a change and an experiment, I am holding the price of the class at what it was the last time I offered it--in 2009.

New online class:


Class: Revisions From the Top Down
Dates: Sunday February 16, 2014 to February 28, 2014
(Note: It is strongly recommended that students reread their manuscripts the weekend prior to class.)
Cost: $30 
Deadline to sign up: February 14, 2014
Format: all lessons and responses by email on a private class email loop

Have you been to a conference? Had a manuscript requested by an agent or editor? Are you just stuck on what to do next to make your novel work? Revisions From the Top Down is the fastest and most effective way I know to revise a manuscript. It's a process that will save you time and give you a new way to look at what you've written.

This two week online class will take you through the process of honing your manuscript to grab an agent or editor's attention and never let go! A critique (if you choose) of your first page is included.

To sign up send an email to aprilkihlstrom@yahoo.com with the title of the class in the header and in the body of the email please put: your name and whether you prefer to pay by check or Paypal. 





Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Romance Reader Social Saturday Feb. 8, 2014

I'm jazzed because this Saturday the Pflugerville Library (just north of Austin, TX) is having a Romance Reader Social and I'll be taking part. These are always fun but this year will feature something new. I'm posting the schedule of events below. Below that I'll post directions to the library. And below that look for the list of authors who will be there!



Directions for the library:

For those of you who have not been to the library before, the address is 1008 W. Pfluger St. You will see the back of the library from 1825/Pecan St. If you're coming from 35, you'll need to turn right on 10th St., then right again on Pfluger St. to get to the entrance. Call the library if you have any trouble.

Diane Kelly:
  • Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure
  • Death, Taxes, and a Skinny No-Whip Latte
  • Death, Taxes, and Extra-Hold Hairspray
  • Death, Taxes, and Peach Sangria
April Kihlstrom:
  • Miss Redmond’s Folly
  • The Scholar’s Daughter
  • The Ambitious Baronet
  • The Wily Wastrel
  • Miss Tibbles Investigates
Molly McAdams:
  • Taking Chances
  • From Ashes
  • Forgiving Lies
  • Stealing Harper
Sasha Summers:
  • For the Love of Hades
  • Medusa, A Love Story
  • Hollywood Ever After
  • Hollywood Homecoming
Kathy Clark:
  • After Midnight
Patrice Sarath:
  • The Unexpected Miss Bennett
  • Gordath Wood
  • Redgold Bridge
  • The Crow God’s Girl



If you live close enough, I hope to see some of you there!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Online Writing Motivation Class

Once again I’m offering my one week online writing motivation class.

Cost: $15
Dates:  1/12/2014 to 1/18/2014
Deadline to sign up: 1/10/2014
Lessons all arrive via email.

Goal of this class is to help you rediscover why you WANT to write. I’m a big believer--and research shows--the more fun we have doing any creative activity, the better our brain works and the more productive we will be. So come discover why you became a writer in the first place and why YOUR project is the one you want to write!

To sign up, email me at aprilkihlstrom@yahoo.com  and let me know if you prefer to pay by Paypal or check.

Monday, December 09, 2013

A Gift This Christmas Season

Most of you will not know that for a time I taught creative writing to kids--some on line and some in person. I also taught public speaking to kids in person.

Out of that experience came an short, very short ebook I created a couple of years ago: WRITING TIPS FOR KIDS.

As a gift, I've put that ebook on sale this week, Dec. 8-Dec. 15, 2013 for 99 cents. After that it will go back up to $3.99.

If you've taken any of my Book in a Week classes, you might recognize some of the material, though written more simply for kids and teens.

I hope that if you know a kid or teen who might benefit, you'll consider gifting them a copy.

Here's the link to purchase it for kindle.  http://amzn.to/1bpZWik

Warmest wishes,
April