April 20th Speaker: Marie Breaux

What You Don’t Clear Might Bite You:
The Author’s Warranty of Right to Publish

Every publication agreement requires the author to warrant that their work does not violate the rights of any third parties. This talk will touch briefly on what rights are protected by copyrights, trademarks, and the rights of publicity/privacy (including limitations such as fair use) and then focus on clearances for book publication and marketing activities. Many, if not most, publication agreements now require the author to do the clearance work for their books and, of course, the author is responsible for any errors. All authors should understand what they are warranting in their publication agreement and what they need to do for proper clearance of their work.


Marie practices exclusively in the area of intellectual property law – copyrights, trademarks, IP-related contracts, and select litigation. She helps businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals protect their valuable rights. She represents both authors and publishers in the highly specialized area of publication agreements.

Membership Dues Information

Dear SOLA members:

SOLA has extended the membership dues deadline until the April meeting, which is on April 20th. Due to confusion with the still non-active “pay online” option through RWA’s website, no late fee will be incurred.

The dues are $40. We ask that you pay directly to SOLA in one of the following ways:

1. By check, mailed to 9012 Camille Ct., New Orleans, LA 70123


2. By check or cash handed to Ann Cantrell at the next SOLA meeting (March 16th)

Thanks for your patience!

March 16th Speaker: Farrah Rochon

Using Psychology to Create Memorable Characters

Join USA Today Bestselling author Farrah Rochon for an interactive deep dive into creating characters using various methods rooted in psychology, including characterization with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Keirsey-Temperament Sorter, and how to apply them to fiction writing.


USA Today Bestselling author Farrah Rochon hails from a small town just west of New Orleans. She has garnered much acclaim for her Holmes Brothers, New York Sabers, Bayou Dreams and Moments in Maplesville series. The two-time RITA® Award finalist has also been nominated for an RT BOOKReviews Reviewers Choice Award and in 2015 received the Emma Award for Author of the Year.

When she is not writing in her favorite coffee shop, Farrah spends most of her time reading, cooking, traveling the world, visiting Walt Disney World, and catching her favorite Broadway shows.

Important Membership Dues Information

Dear SOLA members:

We recently learned that the “pay online” option via RWA National’s website is not yet active. For now, please select either one of these options to pay your dues:

1. By check, mailed to 9012 Camille Ct., New Orleans, LA 70123


2. By check or cash handed to Ann Cantrell at the next SOLA meeting (Feb.16th)

Also, if you haven’t yet done so, please take a few minutes to explore the new RWA website and review your profile and email delivery options under the tab “My Community.” (https://community.rwa.org/communities/mycommunities–Please note you must login to view this link.)

We will begin using RWA’s forums platform to communicate with our members (and you can use it, too!) and alert you to specific updates pertaining to SOLA. You may change your email alert settings by clicking the gear icon marked “Settings” next to the community title. You may choose one of the following:

1) Receive email alerts of a post on the discussion board in “Real Time.”
2) Receive a Daily Digest of all posts to your email.
3) Opt out of all email alerts.

Thanks for your patience!

February 16th Speaker – Deanna Chase

From the First Word to Hitting Publish:
A Step-by-Step Plan on How to Indie Publish

Deanna is a native Californian. After spending five years traveling in an RV, she and her husband moved into an adorable cottage in a small  town outside of New Orleans. After about six months, Deanna was convinced their 1907 home was haunted. Late at night as she penned Haunted on Bourbon Street, she often heard footsteps throughout the old house. Luckily, the spirit appears to be harmless, as he/she has never done more than make a little noise and possibly smoke a few cigars. However, if the ghost ever shows up in a dream, you’ll be the first to hear of it. Smudge stick anyone?

When she isn’t writing, she is often goofing off with her husband in New Orleans, playing with her two shih tzu dogs, and making glass beads.

January 19th Speaker: Laura Cayouette

Self-Publishing and Tackling the Series

“Learn about self-publishing: when to choose it, what to expect, hints, hacks and some hard truths. Then we’ll tackle writing for a series, and I’ll share a process for organizing, developing story and character ideas, and avoiding writer’s block.”


Best known as Leonardo DiCaprio’s sister in Django Unchained, Laura has acted in over 60 movies and TV shows including Kill BillNow You See MeFriends and recurring roles on Treme and Oprah Winfrey’s and Ava Duverney’s Queen Sugar.

Cayouette earned her Master’s Degree in creative writing and English literature at the University of South Alabama where she was presented the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award. She’s taught both English and acting/directing at various universities.

Laura has authored several books including the Charlotte Reade Mystery series. Beginning during the Saints march to the Super Bowl amid Mardi Gras 2010, the books feature colorful local characters, a haunted chandelier, and mysteries, not murders.

Cayouette is also the author of Know Small Parts: An Actor’s Guide to Turning Minutes into Moments and Moments into a Career with foreword by Richard Dreyfuss and endorsements from Kevin Costner and more, as well as Lemonade Farm, a coming-of-age novel set in a commune in rural Maryland in 1976. She currently resides in New Orleans and writes a blog, latonola.com, about her love for the city.

Hands-On Workshop!

SOLA will sponsor a critique/brainstorming session.

SOLA is offering multiple options for this hands-on workshop. For those looking for short critiques, please bring either the first page of your WIP, a blurb for your book, or a book pitch. For those participating in NaNoWriMo, word sprint exercises will be an option. Finally, anyone else may bring a book idea to participate in a brainstorming session. We will break into groups for each activity. Every member will benefit from the feedback from peers and the chance to help fellow writers.

October 20th Speaker: Elizabeth Desimone

Tech Tools for Writers

Elizabeth Desimone is an instructor in the library’s Internet Technology group and a creative writer. During this presentation, she will discuss the following:

•       Process-friendly word processors
•       Cloud storage for research
•       Creativity-sparking web tools
•       Blogs by industry professionals
•       Social media marketing platforms
•       Craft-related podcasts

At various points in her life, Elizabeth Desimone has been a paralegal, bookseller, teacher, cashier, and a make-believe cross-dressing Arabian pirate, but she says, she has never not been a writer. In 2012, she received a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts in fiction-writing from Oklahoma State University. Her work has appeared inCricket magazine and on BustedHalo.com. She’s been working on a middle age fantasy series for the past six years. She was born in Laplace.

September 15th Speakers: Chris Champagne & Mike Strecker

Comedy Event! Talk About How to Write Humor

Comedians Chris Champagne and Mike Strecker will talk about comedy writing and how to write effective humor. During the presentation, they will discuss the following.

  • Voice
  • How to use comedy with conflict
  • How to be humorous in a meaningful way that promotes the plot
  • The rule of three
  • Misdirection
  • Using funny anecdotes and stories

Chris Champagne is a graduate of the Orleans Parish School System and of the University of New Orleans where he earned a BA in History. He is a writer, performer, poet, comedian, political satirist, radio show host and columnist who has performed on stages throughout the Greater New Orleans area.

He was voted one of 144 New Orleans Characters in 2012 and also was voted best comedian in New Orleans in 2013 and 2014. He was a member of National Poetry Slam teams in San Francisco in 1993 and Chicago in 1999. He received artist residencies from the Alliance of Artists in 2006 and The College of Santa Fe in 2008. Champagne is the author of the poetry book Roach Opera, and The Yat Dictionary, a book on the dialect spoken by many native Orleanians. He is also the author of Secret New Orleans, published in 2017.

Mike Strecker has performed at comedy clubs throughout the United States, including The Improv in Los Angeles, HA! Comedy Club in New York, and the House of Blues in New Orleans, where he was billed as one of the top acts of the New Orleans Comedy Festival. He has won numerous comedy contests. He is a regular performer with Heffron Talent, Ken-Ran Entertainment, Summit Comedy, Running Funny, and other booking agencies throughout the country. Going to the grocery store, buying a car, or trying to make a relationship work provide the basis for Strecker’s humor.

Strecker is the author of Jokes for Crescent City Kids which includes more than 600 jokes as well as advice for kids about delivery of punch lines. It also includes a “Who Dat” glossary of local terms and their pronunciations.

August 18th Speaker: Nancy Wagner

What to Pack for the Writer’s Journey

Nancy Wagner (aka Hailey North) will share resources and techniques garnered during her twenty-plus years of the writing life.

Nancy began writing while employed as a “game show lawyer” for NBC Studios. Tired of hearing lawyers weren’t creative, she quit her job and typed “Chapter One” (not the chapter, just the heading!). That book became Two Sisters, the first of two fiction titles from Avon Books.

Nancy is also the USA Today bestselling author of eight romantic comedies, written under her Hailey North pen name and published by HarperCollins. She entered the world of indie publishing with her 2017 release The Right Kind of Crazy.