Archive for 'anthea lawson'

Hot Summer Nights!
Monday, June 28th, 2010 ♦ One Lonely Comment »


The second annual Hot Summer Nights author signing event is scheduled at the Olympia Borders bookstore in Olympia, WA, on Saturday, July 10th from 3 to 5 PM. Signing authors will be: Yasmine Galenorn, Stella Cameron, Ilona & Gordon Andrews, Margaret Mallory, Anthea Lawson, Laurie Ryan and Kim Fisk!

Come on down to the store, meet your favorite authors or strike up a conversation with a new-to-you writer, grab some books and get them signed! It’s a fun event, packed with talented writers, snacks and even live music. We hope to see you there!

This event is sponsored by my home chapter of Romance Writers of America, the Olympia chapter. The Hot Summer Nights committee includes myself, Margaret Mallory, Laurie Ryan, Debby Lee, Bridget Jameson and Dawn Calvert. We’d also like to thank Felicia Nasco, the sales manager at the Olympia Borders store, for making this event possible, making sure all the books are in-store for the signing and helping out with the promotion, yummy snacks and all the billions of other things she does for us. You’re awesome, Felicia!

Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard over the last two years to get this event off the ground, we’re all looking forward to making it a successful and fun annual treat for the South Sound!

1st Turning Point: Captain’s Log—March 2010
Friday, April 16th, 2010 ♦ One Lonely Comment »

Chassily Wakefield, Author & Pirate Queen

Chassily Wakefield, Author & Pirate Queen

By Chassily Wakefield
1st Turning Point Cabin Girl

Ahoy, mateys! Winter squalls are fast becoming sprightly spring winds wi’ a promise of smooth sailing fer 2010. Put yer Pirate Hat on an’ prepare to parlay wi’ the 1st Turning Point Crew. Get ready fer a purely profitable year of Piratical Promotion, sailing upon the open Seas of Publication.

Fer the uninitiated Pirates ‘n Parrots amongst ye, 1st Turning Point is a place where authors ‘n artists teach, share, and learn all about promotion. Published or unpublished, we don’t care – come aboard, tour the ship and sail away with us while we all improve our promotional skills. Sign on to become a subscriber—or Parrot, as we like to call our motley bunch. To learn more about 1st Turning Point, check out our About page.

Mark your calendars now for Saturday, May 1st, our one-year anniversary! Lots of doings are planned, and you won’t want to miss the fun. It’s been quite a year, but we’re just getting started!

Be sure to note the 1st Turning Point article, Beat the Promotion Learning Curve—Before the Call, in the latest edition of the Romance Writers Report. It’s the latest of many exciting ways Cap’n Jacquie Rogers ‘n Cap’n Ann Charles are getting the word out about 1st Turning Point and all the strategies the site can help you learn for the best methods to promote yourselves and your work. Our venerable Cap’ns also gave their “Get a Jump Start on Your Writing Career” workshop for the Rose City Writer’s Retreat in Portland in February, for writers who have yet to develop a platform.

Read on for an overview of the latest exciting developments on 1st Turning Point:

Our Current Schedule ~ Learn Marketing & Promotion Skills from the Best!

Sundays: Book Video Reviews

Mondays: Instructional Articles

Tuesdays: Featured Artists and Special Guests

Wednesdays: Reviews of Publishing Industry Books

Thursdays: Special Features

Fridays: More How-To Articles

Saturdays: Website Reviews

New for 2010: Make special note of our latest Saturday offering, Website Reviews, which debuted February 13th to wild acclaim. Interested in finding out how your own website rates? Send the following information to with WEBSITE REVIEW in the subject line:

  • Your author name
  • Web designer name
  • Website URL
  • Plus an optional short paragraph on where you are in your career and a few items about your website that might be of interest.

What else is new, you ask? How about a sparkly new Forum! Cap’n Ann spent hours ‘n hours chained in the bowels of the ship to get the forum up and running January 1st. It’s a place for the Parrots to come together and share their wisdom, ask questions and have some pirating good fun. Be sure to stop in, sign up for the monthly contest, and stay awhile. There are always new topics and new Parrots to squawk with.

We love to share our Parrots’ ‘n Pirates’ GOOD NEWS on our Good News page, such as:

Amber Scott’s entry, Deuce Bigalow: Elf Gigolo, won an Honorable Mention in the Save the Cat! Last Logline of 2009! contest at!

Laurie Ryan won 1st Turning Point’s January forum contest. Laurie won a CD from January’s guest artist, Fiddlehead; a $5 giftcard to Starbucks; and an article slot for May on 1st Turning Point. Keep an eye out for her article in a few months. Congratulations, Laurie, and thanks for entering the contest! See you in the forum.

Deborah Schneider took part in two big events: a St. Valentine’s Day Victorian Tea at the Bellevue Library, along with Megan Chance and Anthea Lawson, and the Romance Author Mash-Up at Parkplace Books in Kirkland, with Megan Chance, Rebecca J. Clark, Anthea Lawson and Shelli Stevens.

We’ve rounded up some new Crew members over the last several months, including Norman W. Wilson, Ph.D as Forum Moderator, and Diana Coyle for Website Reviews. Christina Arbini joined the ranks as a columnist, and Kris Tualla has been impressed into service –er, has signed on as well. We’re delighted to have them aboard! You’ll be seeing lots more of them in the coming months.

There are now a whopping 35 of us on ship, not counting frequent guests who swing by to share tales of their promotion and marketing adventures. If you’d like to come by and have one of your articles published, check out our Article Submission Guidelines page for instructions. We love new faces! We’re well over 1000 Parrots strong now, so if you’re not a Parrot yet, stick a feather in yer cap and fly on over. This is the best place to roost in all the seas!

Guess what? 1st Turning Point is looking into offering online classes! The first class is planned for May. Be one of the first to help us launch this new part of life aboard ship.

Upcoming Classes:

How to Build Your Platform

Location: 1st Turning Point Forum

Instructors: Jacquie Rogers and Ann Charles

This interactive workshop is FREE! Attendees will be chosen through a drawing, to be announced soon, so keep watch! To enter your name in the drawing, send an email to with PLATFORM CLASS as the subject. It is designed for those who are serious about building their platforms. This class involves one-on-one interaction, and each attendee should leave with a plan to help themselves along the journey to publishing success.  Class size limited to 12. Stay tuned for more details.

Are you into podcasts? Meet the Parrots, hosted by Jacquie Rogers, is an hour-long, once a month round-table discussion on topics related to promotion and marketing for authors, musicians, and artists, by those who’ve learned from experience. Our latest podcasts:

You’ve Got It, Now Flaunt It: Creating Website Content

(December 16, 2009)

Rowena Cherry, Robert W. Walker, Ann Charles discuss how they determine the most beneficial content for their websites as they go through various stages of their careers.

Booksignings For Fun and Profit

(January 20, 2010)

Guests include: John Foxjohn, Deborah Schneider, Ann Charles and others.

Co-Promotion: If One Is Good, Is Two Better?

(February 17, 2010)

Guests include: John Klawitter, Eilis Flynn, Wendy Delaney and Ann Charles.

Chassily Wakefield, Author & Her Handsome Pirate Lord

Chassily Wakefield, Author & Her Handsome Pirate Lord

And that’s not all. What else have we been up to? Check out the treasure chest for a listing of all the fabulous articles we’ve published, and see below for the ones posted since December:

Internet Promotion:

Reviews (Books, Book Videos & now Websites!)


1st Turning Point has a new plug-in at the end of the articles, making it easier than ever to Tweet, Facebook and otherwise share article info with your friends and fellow writers. Feel free to help us get the word out!

Looking for more Pirate fun? On Facebook? Join our 1st Turning Point crew there, if you haven’t already. You can also follow us on MySpace, Ning, Twitter, LinkedIn and shop Zazzle or CafePress, where you can find the latest Parrot Gear.

Remember, whether you write novels, short stories, lyrics, or poetry, we’re here for you, and artists in all media, too. Come on board and take a look around, read some of the helpful articles, see what online and live classes/workshops are coming your way soon, check out the beneficial list of resources, and share some of your own experiences and wisdom with others via comments and the new Forum.

We have big plans for 2010! Cap’n Jacquie reminds us: “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” (American poet T.S. Eliot, 1888-1965) Come visit and find out just how far you can go. See you there!

Chassily Wakefield, Author & Cabin Girl

Chassily Wakefield, Author & Cabin Girl

Bio: Chassily Wakefield holds a degree in Creative Writing/English Literature from the University of California at Riverside. She writes Mythic Romantic Fantasy and lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three kids and three crazy kittens. She loves being 1st Turning Point’s Cabin Girl, volunteering as Membership Chair for GSRWA, and staying active in the many writing groups in which she is a member, including PNWA, RWA National, OlyRWA, and several online chapters.

*This article first appeared in the Emerald City Romantic Quarterly Newsletter, the official newsletter of the Greater Seattle chapter of RWA and is reposted here with permission.

Fiddling With the Muse – An Interview With Musician Anthea Lawson of Fiddlehead
Sunday, January 31st, 2010 ♦ Leave a Comment »

Posted By Chassily Wakefield on January 26, 2010


Fiddlehead, with Musician/Author Anthea Lawson

Anthea Lawson of Fiddlehead Celtic Band
Interviewed by Chassily Wakefield
Copyright © 2010 Chassily Wakefield and Anthea Lawson

This interview was first published on 1st Turning Point on January 26, 2010, as part of our featured artist schedule. 1st Turning Point’s January featured artist is musician Anthea Lawson. Anthea Lawson is the pen name for a husband and wife writing team, co-authors of spicy Victorian-set romantic adventures. Anthea has contributed an article to 1st Turning Point in her role as Romance Author, but she and her husband are also accomplished musicians with their own Celtic band, the popular Northwest group known as Fiddlehead. Lucky for me, she’s also a friend, so I was able to pelt her with questions over brunch.

CW:  Tell me about your background in music.

AL:  I grew up in a very musical household: my mom is a professional classical viola player. It was not a question of if I would play an instrument, but which one. I came home from school in 4th grade and announced I wanted to play…the trumpet! I ended up settling on the violin. In high school, I began to play fiddle music, and in college really got into Irish fiddling. I’ve also always sung, and I love the richness of traditional Celtic songs and ballads.

Lawson took some guitar lessons in high school, then tucked his guitar in the closet when he left home for college. After we met, he called his parents and had them send his guitar to him—it was obvious that he was getting involved with a serious musician and needed to be ready!

CW:  You play music and co-write novels with your husband, not to mention being married and raising a child. How does so much togetherness feed your creative muse? How do you handle creative differences?

AL:  We have the temperaments for working closely together—luckily! Creative collaboration keeps us connected, and over the years we’ve worked out how to communicate about our projects. There’s a lot of similarity between playing in a band, writing novels, and raising a child.

There are inevitable differences of opinion. We each have our own vision of where we’re going. Usually, whoever feels the most strongly about something can talk the other one around to their point of view.

We have to respect one-another’s opinion, recognize we’re both contributing to a whole that’s greater than both of us, and keep the ultimate goal in mind: A solid and lyrical song arrangement, a book that delights readers, or a competent and confident kid.

CW:  You also teach violin. What’s your favorite part of passing on your musical knowledge?

AL: Getting people hooked on playing the fiddle. I love the traditional music idioms (Irish, Old-time, Quebecois, Contradance) and the way people can go out, have fun, and make music socially with only a handful of tunes under their fingers. It’s a very satisfying job.

CW:  Do you have a manager? How is promoting your music different from promoting your novels? Is there overlap between the two fields?

AL:  I manage the band—we’re not commanding the kinds of fees that would justify involving a manager, plus we’re not able to tour extensively. That said, we’ve played all over the Northwest and in Canada as part of various Celtic Music Festivals.

In terms of promotion, we apply to festivals and concert series with a promotional pack that includes a CD, band bio, and glowing reviews. A number of local gigs come our way because we’ve been playing for quite a while, are known in the area, and have a specialized niche. March is a busy month for us, with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations giving us lots of performance opportunities.

We could do more as a band with a website, though we are online at, where you can purchase our music and read a little about the band. Eventually, we’d like to make a page at our home site of that focuses on our musical lives.

I think the overlap between promoting a band and promoting an author comes in the big areas like branding, word of mouth, and taking the opportunities that come your way.

CW:  How has the economy affected the band? Is it harder to find paying gigs? What strategies do you employ for overcoming those obstacles?

AL:  The economy has definitely made it harder to find gigs. We didn’t play any weddings last summer, and usually we do at least a handful of those. A few venues have folded or are not hiring as many bands. Or people want you to play for free, which doesn’t work out that well when you’re trying to make a partial living by playing music. We’re playing less and waiting for things to come around. We still have our regular gigs—St. Patrick’s Day, the Seattle Folklife Festival, etc.

CW:  What are your musical goals, personally and for the band?

AL:  It’s not that difficult as niche musicians playing traditional Celtic music to find work if we’re motivated. I think it must be similar to self-publishing in nonfiction to a tightly targeted market. We don’t need national distribution. Stores that specialize in Celtic items or folk music are willing to carry our CDs. We have played national (and international) music festivals and made a lot of people happy with our music. What could be better? Ok, maybe selling another thousand CDs, but the music is only a part of what we do. We’ve always quilted together a bunch of smaller projects to make a creatively fulfilling life.

CW:  Anything else you’d like to share? Where can local readers see you play next?

AL:  We usually announce gigs on our website at, so take a look there, especially in early March when we know what our St. Paddy’s line-up will look like.

Thanks so much Chassily and 1st Turning Point for having us back, this time wearing our musician hats!

CW:  Thank you for being here, Anthea! It’s always a pleasure to talk with you.