2012 ORAcon Speakers

2012 25th Anniversary Ozarks Romance Authors Conference

Saturday, June 23, 2012 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Howard Johnson 3333 S. Glenstone Springfield, MO 65804



As in previous years, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Ozarks Literacy Council to help their mission of promoting literacy in our region.

Members (before May 15) - $50.00 Members (after May 15) - $55.00 Non-members (before May 1) - $60.00 Non-members (afterMay 15) - $65.00 Student discount (up to age 15) - $30.00 Booths for selling books are free for members and an additional $20.00 for non-members.


8am: Breakfast and Raffles

8:45am: Introductions and Opening

9-12pm: Pitch Sessions with Cori Deyoe and Lucienne Diver

9-12pm: Critique Sessions with Rob Thurman

9-10am: Leigh Michaels – Workshop: Self-Publishing – Tips, Tricks, and Tripwires

10-11am: Jennifer Brown – Craft Workshop TBA

11-12pm: Steven Law – Workshop: Publishing and Publicity

12-1pm: Lunch and Raffles

1-3pm: Pitch Sessions with Goldminds Publishing

1-2pm: J. Brown, C. Deyoe, R. Thurman and L. Diver – Panel: Negotiating the Agent/Author Relationship

2-3pm: Leigh Michaels – Craft Workshop: Plotting Without a Net

3-4pm: C. Deyoe, L. Diver – Query Letter Gong Show

4-5pm- All Speakers – Q & A Panel

5-5:30pm Raffle Drawings and Presentation of Awards.

About The Speakers:







Cori Deyoe





Cori Deyoe (Three Seas Literary Agency) - Cori Deyoe has over 20 years of experience in the writing industry. She is a published author at Silhouette (national and international). She has also been published in various non-fiction projects. As an employee of 3 Seas Literary Agency since June, 2006, she traded in her "author's" hat for a brand new one -- "literary agent" and concentrates on her clients' writing only.

Backed by the success of Michelle Grajkowski and 3 Seas Literary Agency, Cori handles her job and clients with the same commitment and values Michelle believes in.

Cori's clients appreciate her experience in the publishing world, and she has a special talent for editing.

On a personal note, Cori loves reading, traveling, photography, dogs, cats, horses and all animals.






Lucienne Diver




Lucienne Diver (The Knight Agency) - Lucienne Diver joined TKA in 2008, after spending fifteen years at New York City’s prestigious Spectrum Literary Agency. With her sharp eye and gift for spotting original new voices, Lucienne is one of the most well-respected agents in the industry. A lifelong book addict, she graduated summa cum laude from the State University of New York at Potsdam with dual majors in English/writing and anthropology. She thus came well-equipped for her work as an agent. Over the course of her dynamic career she has sold over seven hundred titles to every major publisher, and has built a client list of more than forty authors spanning the commercial fiction genres, primarily in the areas of fantasy, science fiction, romance, mystery, suspense and erotica. Her authors have been honored with the RITA, National Readers’ Choice Award, the Golden Heart, and the Romantic Times Reader’s Choice, and have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. A publishing veteran, Lucienne has superb industry knowledge, numerous editor relationships, and a keen understanding of the foreign rights market. She is a member of the Association of Authors Representatives, RWA, MWA and SFWA.






Jennifer Brown




Jennifer Brown - Two-time winner of the Erma Bombeck Global Humor Award (2005 & 2006), Jennifer's weekly humor column appeared in The Kansas City Star for over four years, until she gave it up to be a full-time young adult novelist.

Jennifer's debut novel, HATE LIST (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009) received three starred reviews and was selected as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a VOYA "Perfect Ten," and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. HATE LIST also won the Michigan Library Association's Thumbs Up! Award, was an honorable mention for the 2011 Arkansas Teen Book Award, is a YALSA 2012 Popular Paperback, received spots on the Texas Library Association's Taysha's high school reading list as well as the Missouri Library Association's Missouri Gateway Awards list, and has been nominated for the Oklahoma Sequoyah Award. Jennifer's second novel, BITTER END, (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011) received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and VOYA and is listed on the YALSA 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults list and is a 2012 Taysha's high school reading list pick as well.

Jennifer writes and lives in the Kansas City, Missouri area, with her husband and three children.






Rob Thurman




Rob Thurman - Rob Thurman is currently writing three series for Penguin Putnam’s imprint ROC FANTASY: The CAL LEANDROS Novels, The TRICKSTER Novels, and The CHIMERA Novels. Her first book, NIGHTLIFE, was released in 2006. She has written eight books to date and is releasing two more in 2011. She has also written for a Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner Anthology, WOLFSBANE AND MISTLETOE.

Although she does not write Young Adult, her first Urban Fantasy book in The CAL LEANDROS Series—NIGHTLIFE—has received a 2011 Eliot Rosewater Award Nomination for Excellence in High School Libraries—rather to her bemusement as she’d be the first to say her books are not for younger teens. Apparently, the librarians and teens disagree!

Rob’s work is dark, non-stop action from beginning to end, rife with purely evil sarcasm as sharp as a switchblade—and probably nearly as illegal. If one shoved LORD OF THE RINGS, THE SHINING, and PULP FICTION into a wood-chipper, the result would be what Rob aims to deliver in her Urban Fantasy novels.

Rob’s main protagonists are almost exclusively written in a male perspective; in fact, she was “in the closet” as a female writer until her third book, when she posted her bio on her website. Some fans took note and some did not as she received one comment saying, “Thank God! A man is finally writing a male point-of-view. Women simply can’t do it.” Whether this was a compliment or insult is still uncertain, but Rob shrugged and went on.

When asked why she uses a male pen name, she responds that with her books frequently being written in a male “voice,” it might momentarily confuse or cause a disconnect in the buyers’ minds to see a female name on the cover before they begin scanning the book. Besides, family and friends have called her Rob her entire life.

A member of the SFWA, Rob Thurman lives in rural Indiana—land of endless fields, infinite cows and where dial-up is still the only soul-crushing option.

Leigh Michaels
Leigh Michaels

Leigh Michaels - Leigh Michaels is the author of nearly 100 books, including 80 contemporary novels, three historical romance novels, and more than a dozen non-fiction books. More than 35 million copies of her romance novels have been published. Six of her books have been finalists for Best Traditional Romance novel in the RITA contest sponsored by Romance Writers of America. She has received two Reviewer's Choice awards from Romantic Times.


Her work has been translated and published in 120 countries in more than 25 languages, including Japanese, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Czech, Bulgarian, Russian, Turkish, Hebrew, Greek, Swedish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Danish, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Africaans, Arabic, Indonesian, and Chinese.

She is the 2003 recipient of the Johnson Brigham Award presented by the Iowa Library Association to an Iowa author for outstanding contributions to literature.

She is the author of On Writing Romance, published by Writers Digest Books.

She is the author of non-fiction books such as WRITING THE ROMANCE NOVEL, a step-by-step workbook, and CREATING ROMANTIC CHARACTERS. She is also the author of DEAR LEIGH MICHAELS: A Novelist Answers the Most-Asked Questions about Getting Published, and a cookbook, A TASTE OF LOVE. She has produced audio programs and written magazine articles on subjects of interest to writers in general.

She teaches romance writing on the Internet at Gotham Writers= Workshop, www.writingclasses.com. Men and women from around the world have participated in her workshops, and a number of them have gone on to publish their own romance novels with commercial publishers. She is currently an adjunct professor in the School of Communications at the University of Iowa.

She wrote her first romance novel when she was a teenager and burned it, then wrote and burned five more complete manuscripts before submitting to a publisher. Her first submission was accepted and published by Harlequin Books, the first publisher to look at it.

Steven Law

Steven Law - Steven is the publisher of Goldminds Publishing. He has written and published four novels. His latest, “Yuma Gold,” is scheduled for release by Penguin Group in New York in November 2011. For 12 years, he has worked as a literary publicist for as many as 30 best-selling authors, including New York Times best-seller Stephen Harrigan, Pulitzer Prize finalist S. C. Gwynne, and the late Elmer Kelton.

As a publicist, he has worked with numerous publishing houses, including Alfred Knopf, Tor/Forge Books, St. Martin’s Press, Little Brown, and others. Steven is founder of the ReadWest Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the awareness and diversity of Western literature.