Marciaís Romantically Yours
Issue # 36
marcia king-gamble

Dear Romance Writer,

Here it is the end of February and I am finally just getting to the newsletter. Excuses! Excuses! Thereís been so much going on this month and admittedly I have been peddling furiously to keep up. Next month the second book in The Get A Life series is due and I have been requested to ďSex it up.Ē

Iím someone who really enjoys developing a relationship before tossing my two people into bed. Therefore this is work for me. What will make my heroine toss her good sense and ethics to the wind to make this happen? Am I a dinosaur because I think thereís got to be more going on here than a physical attraction?


February is the month of love, a fitting time to create steamy love scenes. Hopefully by the time I translate them to paper my hero and heroine will have established some kind of relationship to make their coupling believable. Ah such angst!

Okay, okay. So how was your Valentineís Day? Were you treated to the usual fanfare of flowers, candy and confessions of love from long lost admirers? A strange thing always happens to me during this time of year. Usually I hear from people I havenít seen or spoken to in years. At times itís a nice surprise to become reacquainted at other times not.

Whatís made this month even busier is that its Black History month. As a result I did several book signings and even recorded a podcast for the Sankora Literary Society. If youíll type this link into your browser youíll hear me talking - Marcia's Podcast. Please overlook the barking dogs at the very end. Iíve come to expect disturbances from my menagerie of animals. Makes me human doesnít it?

More good news. Dave Madden is my featured interviewee this month- Dave is best known for being Reuben Kincaid of the Partridge Family fame. He and his lovely wife, Sandra Madden; one of my favorite romance writers, also a good friend jointly penned Daveís memoirs titled Reuben on Wry.


Yes I know this is a departure from our usual fare. But I thought it might be fun to have a stand up comicís take on this crazy romance business. Read on and you just might smile.

This month share the love and continue to write.

Romantically Yours,

Marcia King-Gamble
Editor -- Romantically Yours

Tools of the Trade

Youíre not alone if -

Youíve had to scrap large portions of a manuscript after giving it your all.

As writers we have to be smart enough to know when something just isnít working. If you know itís not working then be sure your reader also knows. Rewriting is an important part of the writing process. But there are times writers get so close to their work they can no longer be impartial. Check your ego and give yourself a heart to heart talk. Sometimes all thatís needed to fix a manuscript is the introduction of new characters, a change of setting, or a change of point of view. These simple changes can keep a story fresh and moving.

Youíre not alone if -

Youíve gotten so close to your novel that you miss the big picture. Your gut tells you a major demolition is needed now what?

Go with your gut feeling. If you no longer believe in your book or your characters seem not to work then something is wrong. If youíre a seat of the pants writer (which I am) - someone who works without an outline, then maybe you need to back up to the point when your adrenaline was still flowing. Take your character in a totally different direction and see if that helps.

Youíre not alone if -

Youíre feeling bogged down and just canít get past a particular scene.

Start another. Begin something fresh. Change the setting, introduce a character. Get those creative juices going again. Another little trick is to start writing in first person. First person is very freeing and thatís when the real thoughts of your character come out. Once youíve gotten into that personís head and heart switch back to third person.

Youíre not alone if -

Youíre having difficulty making your characters individuals. This goes way beyond appearance weíre talking dialogue here.

Keep in mind each character has a unique personality. You should know what this person looks like, sounds like, and even eats. You should know what drives them and what really makes them tick. An exotic dancer uses totally different language and inflections than a woman running her own company. She will be driven by totally different motivations. The true test is to write a full page of dialogue with no description or tag lines (he said, she said) and see if you can figure out whoís speaking.

Youíre not alone if -

You angst over whether youíve chosen the right name for your characters.

Your characters names should reflect who they are. If youíre going for strong Alpha type then you might not want to choose Jamie (nice as the name is,) or Brent. If youíre looking at the country club set then safe to say Towanda or Fannie just wouldnít work.

Youíre not alone if -

Youíve revised your manuscript a hundred times and are still receiving rejections.

Brush yourself off and send it out again. Stay true to yourself and stop revising in the hope that some other house will like it. Manuscripts get rejected for a host of different reasons that might have nothing at all to do with your writing. It may not be right for a particular publisher. The house may have filled all of its slots, the setting or characterís profession may not be something that sells. Keep at it and continue to write that book from your heart.

Writing is like loving. There are bumps and there are bruises. But the highs are just so worth it.


    Southern Lights
    First Coast Romance Writers
    March 28-30, 2008
    Jacksonville Marriott
    Jacksonville, FL.
    Fee: $150-$190
    Speakers : Suzanne Brockmann

    Central NY Romance Writers
    March 28-29, 2008
    Comfort Inn & Suites
    Syracuse, NY.
    Fee: $80.00 non members
            $65.00 members

    Silken Sands
    April 11-13, 2008
    Hampton Inn Resort
    Pensacola Beach, FL.
    Registration - $145
    Speakers: Sherrilyn Kenyon
                    Catherine Mann

    Desert Dreams Conference
    April 04-06. 2008
    Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort
    Chandler, AZ.
    Registration: RWA Members $228 - non Members $248
    Speakers: Sherrilyn Kenyon
                    Carly Phillips

INTERVIEW with actor Dave Madden (Reuben Kincaid of the Partridge Family)

Most baby boomers may remember Dave Madden as the affable actor who played Reuben Kincaid on the Partridge Family - a sitcom that was wildly popular in the seventies and still has a cult following. This talented actor is married to romance writer Sandra Madden see When you read Daveís responses keep in mind he was once a stand up comic. In a joint venture Sandy and Dave penned his memoirs, a funny and whimsical account of his life. For more on Reuben on Wry, his new book log onto


When did you know you wanted to become an actor? Was this something you studied for or fell into?


What time is it now? My entire life is something I fell into. It certainly wasn't planned...even by my parents. I started out as a magician, then a stand up comic, then an actor...mostly because it was handed to me by a producer. Yes, "fell into" would be an apt description.


You started out as a stand up comic. Tell us a little about your stint on Laugh In in the late nineteen sixties.


Started out as a magician actually. Laugh-in was my second series. Once again, handed to me. Rowan and Martin were looking for a comedian who could do 25 minutes, for a live tour. They had seen me work and hired me...that was it. The words "fell into" come to mind. Laugh-In was fun...but not as much fun as it appeared to be. It was basically an edited show...not at all done like most variety style shows. It was shot over a period of 3 days.


Youíre listed as a Canadian actor. Why did I think you were a nice boy from the Midwest? Tell us about the move to Indiana and why it came about?


I was born in Canada but was never a Canadian; in the depression era it was cheaper to have children in Canada than in the U.S. I spent most of my life from age 5, until I joined the Air Force in 1951, in North Terre Haute, Indiana...before 5, I lived mostly in Port Huron, Michigan. I was not married at the time so I just vegetated...until I was shipped off to North Terre Haute to live with my Aunt and Uncle. Not enough room in the computer to explain why.


Youíve had acting roles on the Partridge Family, Alice, Happy Days, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island and many other popular T.V. Shows, yet you are probably best known for your role as the curmudgeon manager on the Partridge Family. What did you like most about your role on that show? What did you like least?


I was not a curmudgeon. Certainly not by dictionary definition. What I liked most about doing the show was the money...what I liked least...was the money...I would have liked more. All seriousness aside, playing someone who is constantly "put-upon" is fun to do. What I liked least? The interminable boredom of waiting to shoot scenes. Filmed shows are like that.


Currently you are the voice of Bernard Walton, the janitor on Adventures in Odyssey. Could you tell our readers about this role and a little about Adventures in Odyssey?


Correction...not a Janitor...a window washer. Yes, I've been on the show for 20 years (just can't seem to get those windows clean) A long run for an actor. If you think Reuben was a curmudgeon, then you would probably have the same opinion of Bernard. "Occasionally, short tempered" would be closer to it from my point of view. Odyssey comes out of an organization called "Focus on the family" which is officed (is there such a word?) in Colorado, but records in Burbank California.


Recently you and your talented wife, Sandra Madden; a romance writer, jointly penned your memoirs Reuben on Wry. Tell us about this venture. How did it get started and what has the response been thus far?


Sandy (my talented wife) did most of the actual writing. I threw in some anecdotes she didn't know about and answered a lot of her questions. I would never have done it otherwise. I think she's a little sorry she started it (I've lived a long life) but it's over now. (the book, not my life) It will be nice for my kids to have an accounting of their strange father. The response thus far? I don't remember any, except from a few friends and an ex-wife. The ex-wife hated it and is threatening to sue. The friends...well, what are they going to say, right?


How can the reader purchase a copy of Reuben on Wry?


One way is to check my website: where they will find 3 places to purchase it...a fourth might be the dumpster in back of my ex-wife's house.


In your opinion what makes for a good romance novel?


Several things...a good writer, a good romance, a good agent/publisher, and the good sense to never ask that question to an actor. What do we know?


Oftentimes women complain their significant other isnít romantic enough. What advice would you give to keep the fires burning?


Find someone more "significant" or find an endless supply of Viagra.


There are many similarities between show business and romance writing. One minute youíre the flavor of the month, the next you arenít. How do you stay motivated? What keeps you going on?


I've never been "the flavor of the month" I've always been sugar free vanilla...I really don't have to stay motivated...I'm retired. When I was working, money and the fear of unemployment kept me pretty motivated.



Whoís Acquiring

    Ellora's Cave

Send a detailed synopsis (2 to 5 pages describing setting and main characters and outlining full plot, including resolution), the first three chapters and the final chapter of the manuscript via email as an attached file (doc or rtf format) to :

Note: They are an e-publisher and all of their work is done electronically; they do not accept paper submissions.

There are also a number of special projects for which they are soliciting submissions. The Calls for Submissions describes these and provides specific instructions on how to submit for these projects.

Medallion Press:

Accepting Mainstream Fiction, Historical Fiction, Paranormal / Horror, Mystery / Thriller / Suspense, Sci-FI / Fantasy

Submission Guidelines:

Medallion Press, Inc. DOES accept e-mail submissions.

Please mail Submissions to:


    Mrs. Kerry Estevez
    Medallion Press
    P.O. Box 48889
    Tampa, FL 33647

Submission packet should include the following items:

Cover letter including word count and genre.

Guidelines for the Standard Manuscript Format:

  • 1. Publishing Credits (please list title of book, publisher and publishing date).
  • 2. Two to five page synopsis of story.
  • 3. First three consecutive chapters (no other chapters will be considered).
  • 4. Return preference for documents sent.
  • 5. SASE for reply and for return of materials if you've requested.

    All submissions should be in Standard Manuscript Format.

  • 1. 8 Ĺ x 11Ē white paper.
  • 2. Twelve point - Times New Roman font.
  • 3. Double spaced.
  • 4. Black ink.
  • 5. Header on every page containing title, author name and page number.

    Word Count:

  • 1. Gold and Silver Imprint novels must be no less than 80,000 words with no exceptions. Books cannot be any longer than 120,000 words.

Personal Information should include the following:

Name (and pseudonym if applicable)
Mailing address
Phone number
E-mail address (if available)
Web address (if available)

Manuscript return requirements:

Include a self-addressed, sufficiently stamped envelope large enough for your manuscript. Do not send money or money postal orders for postage. Partials or manuscripts outside of the United States will not be returned.

Did you know?

According to a Harlequin survey of 2000 people, 36% of men and 74% of women enjoy reading romance novels. Weíre in the right business then.


Romantically Yours is a FREE monthly newsletter. I would love to hear from you. Please send comments, news, research, or story ideas directly to Marcia King-Gamble at