“Do you guys want to be poets, or do you want to get paid?” Romance writer Rhonda Pollero made no excuses for her career choices during her trip to Rollins as a visiting author for Winter With the Writers. She and author Lydia Peelle, who just published her fi rst book, costarred in the final week of the 2011 festival, the first time that two writers have shared the stage in the annual literary event.
The two writers conducted master classes, offering advice that clearly came from writers with different career goals. Peelle spent her time describing the importance of place in students’ work, off erring that locations affect characters more than writers may anticipate, postulating that a couple’s argument goes differently depending on where it occurs.
Pollero spent her time simply giving advice about getting published, offering insights about literary agents, publishers, getting rejected and other necessary steps forward. She was asked why she chose to write under the name Kelsey Roberts for the majority of her career. She revealed that her publisher at the time, Harlequin Romance, required her to choose a pseudonym after the stalking and murders of several of their romance writers.
The main event brought both authors to the stage in Bush Auditorium. Peelle read the title story from her short story collection Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing and Pollero followed with an excerpt from her next novel Slightly Irregular, a continuation of her Finley Anderson Tanner mystery/romance series. With the event’s end, Winter With the Writers concluded its 2011 festival.