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August 18, 2013

–by L. Dean Murphy

Suspense is a quality in a work of fiction that arouses excited expectation or uncertainty about what may happen.

Florida Writers Association members have great expectations about the upcoming conference because, for one thing, Mary Burton, the “Modern-Day Queen of Romantic Suspense,” is the Person of Renown to launch FWA’s sixth anthology tentatively titled The First Step. She is also the presenter for the October 17 daylong Annual Celebrity Workshop sponsored by FWA’s sister organization, the Florida Writers Foundation.

Burton photo 2013 compressed

I’d never read a Romantic Suspense novel until assigned me a title in that genre—specifically, mega-bestselling Mary Burton’s The Seventh Victim. In the review, I wrote, “There’s far more suspense than romance. This is a thrill-a-minute rollercoaster ride with curlicue plot twists and a breathtaking sudden-stop conclusion.”

Seventh Victim

In 2011, Bookreporter featured an interview with Mary Burton and concurrently reviewed her 21st novel, Senseless.

Some have questioned attending a seminar, workshop or conference hosted by an author entrenched in a particular genre. None of the conference events Ms. Burton addresses specifically concerns Romantic Suspense. As with all FWA conferences, this one is about the craft of writing. FWA is thrilled to have this prolific author share her secrets to succeed as a writer.

Epitomizing FWA’s maxim—Writers Helping Writers—Burton created a seven-minute video entitled “Writing One Draft at a Time”. She adapted that clip’s content to an article with the same name for The Florida Writer. Mary Burton added, “Some of my best writing tips are from other writers, and I now do my best to share what I’ve learned. The drafting process I’ll discuss at FWA’s conference is applicable to any genre. In fact, I used this drafting method when I wrote historical romance, women’s fiction, and suspense/thrillers. Writing is writing is writing, and when we all sit down to a blank computer screen, we’re in the same boat.”

Burton is doing far more than taking five days away from her family and prolific writing to support our endeavors to raise awareness about literacy, launch the next anthology, and encourage writers to write.

For FWF’s Silent Auction, Burton agreed to auction naming a character in an upcoming book for an FWA member. Her publisher, Kensington/Zebra/Pinnacle, is donating many of her books for Silent Auction.

And as a special event, Mary Burton is giving two top bidders the extraordinary opportunity for exclusive interviews at the conference and advance copies of No Escape, her next novel available in November, intended for the auction winners to review. The deadline, however, for this special auction ends on September first. The bidding is as hot as a habañero pepper in boiling bath water, so place your highest and best bid today at


FWA announces the two top bidders in mid-September and they’ll receive copies of No Escape, to prepare for the interview and review the novel. Both bidders will receive hyperlinks regarding Ms. Burton’s career, bio, interviews, and reviews. The bids are FWF donations and therefore may be tax deductible. And best of all, you can market the interview and review to any publication venue. Imagine your byline for the interview/review feature concerning the “Modern-Day Queen of Romantic Suspense.”

“The Greatest Writers Conference on Earth” will be held October 18-20, 2013, at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary. See the FWA website,, to learn more, to register, and to make your agent appointments. Also check out the full set of FAQs. Questions? Contact

By the way, did you know you can do everything online, even get your special FWA hotel rates?

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