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VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND | WORDS & IMAGES

Writers Learn to Put Their Passion in Romance Genre

Simi Valley's Margaret Brownley has published her fifth historical novel, and Anaheim's Patricia Thayer will give tips to struggling authors.

November 21, 1996|FRANCES HALPERN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Frances Halpern is co-host with Jon O'Brien of "Beyond Words" at 10 a.m. Sundays on KCLU 88.3 FM, Ventura County's National Public Radio station

Because romance titles make up approximately 40% of the fiction sold in the United States, many new writers have started out by publishing books in this genre.

While the market is now a little tougher for first-time authors, publishers are still creating new romance subsidiaries and supporting their authors with large print runs and innovative publicity campaigns.

Simi Valley author Margaret Brownley is riding the crest with her fifth historical romance novel, "Ribbons in the Wind," just released by Topaz. Over 400,000 copies of Brownley's books in this genre are still in print. For an in-depth look at romance publishing, read the Nov. 11 edition of Publishers Weekly.

And if you are struggling with a romance novel, join the Gold Coast Fiction Writers at 6:30 tonight to hear Patricia Thayer of Anaheim, author of seven novels, describe how to put emotion into a manuscript. The group meets monthly at Carrows Restaurant, 2401 E. Harbor Blvd., Ventura. Nonmember fee is $4. Call 985-2959 for details.

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Los Angeles literary agent Susan Travis will describe "What It Takes to Make Editors and Agents Say Yes," from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Learning Tree University, 72 Moody Court, Thousand Oaks. The fee is $49. Call 497-2292.

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Californians, who live with the specter of devastating fires, are particularly aware of the heroism firefighters display in our behalf. Steve Delsohn has interviewed firefighters around the country and presents an emotional portrait of these uniquely dedicated public servants in "The Fire Inside," which he will sign at 2 p.m. Saturday at Barnes & Noble, 4360 E. Main St., Ventura.

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There are hundreds of authors in Ventura and Santa Barbara who have self-published their books. An opportunity to win cash and acclaim is offered to authors of books released in 1996 by Writer's Digest magazine, sponsor of the National Self-Published Book Awards contest. Deadline is Dec. 15. Contact the magazine at 1996 Book Awards, Dept. PW, 1507 Dana Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45207 or call (513) 531-2690.

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In Santa Barbara

Sojourner Truth was born into slavery in 1797 and later became a free woman. She spent her life advocating equal rights for African Americans and for women, and is regarded as a genuine hero. She is once again remembered, this time by NASA, who has selected the name Sojourner for the robot aboard the Mars Pathfinder space probe.

Local poet Sojourner K. Rolle will describe the life of the woman whose name she shares, and present memorabilia from her own collection at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the Santa Barbara Library, 40 E. Anapamu St. The program is part of the Children's Book Week celebration.

Events at Earthling Bookshop, 1137 State St.: Daphne Rose Kingma will discuss and sign "Finding True Love" at 3 p.m. Saturday. And Diana Cary describes the life of the first child movie star, and signs "Whatever Happened to Baby Peggy?" at 3 p.m. Sunday.

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When Maya Angelou read her poetry on a cold January day in 1992 at the televised swearing-in ceremony of a new young president, millions of people became aware of her compelling voice and delivery. Angelou, author of "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," will perform at 8 p.m. Sunday in the Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St. Her appearance is sponsored by Terrapin Station Bookstore, 536 N. Milpas St. Tickets are $25 and $45. Call 963-3020 for details.

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