In Praise of Fierce Women – Orr What? Wednesday

There’s no force as fierce as a woman with a purpose she’s determined to fulfill. This was true as ever last weekend at Liberty State Fiction Writers’ Conference in New Jersey. So much impressed me there but I was most impressed by the fierce women who made the event speak to me in ways I needed to hear.

The first of these women was Rayna Vause the Conference Organizer – fierce with service from my initial sighting of her in the morning until my last after the final workshop was done. Rayna tends to be mild mannered but ferocity is mostly about dedication to a goal rather than personality. Rayna’s goal was to help the rest of us.

She was answering someone’s question when I first spotted her and doing the same when I saw her again at late afternoon. In between – the day Rayna had orchestrated spun around us all. She was fiercely determined that we would have an amazing experience and we did.

After lunch I moderated a workshop titled “Raiders of the Lost Arcs” with Kathryn Craft – a woman who is fierce with knowledge. Her complex subject was story structure and lunch had run long. Kathryn had to capsulize a lot of information into an impossibly short time and she did.

I took so many notes my wrist hurt. I also had an epiphany about my own writing process and how emotional arcs keep a story moving. Or slog to down if not artfully portrayed. Kathryn was determined to enlighten us and we were enlightened.

It was dinnertime when Liz O’Connor – who writes as L.G. O’Connor – joined us at a corner table in the hotel restaurant. Liz and I had been alphabetically slotted next to each other at the book fair earlier. Her energy and enthusiasm were evident from the start and continued through our dinner conversation where I discovered that Liz is fierce with encouragement.

The two other authors with us are at the beginning of their careers. Liz couldn’t have been more generous with her long experience and fund of facts about both traditional and independent publishing. Liz was determined that these new writers would be armed with information for the battle they must wage to become published and they were.

On the train back to New York City I was tired but filled with my own ferocity. Fierce with gratitude for the women with fire in their spirits that sets the rest of us aflame.


My latest story is A WRONG WAY HOME – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #1 – Matt & Kara’s Story. Available at This is my 12th novel and the heroine is definitely a fierce woman.

 Alice Orr –


6 thoughts on “In Praise of Fierce Women – Orr What? Wednesday

  1. Kathryn IS fierce with knowledge – and fiercely shares her knowledge to generously! I have learned so much from her about story structure and emotional turning points that enables me to bring that fierceness (I hope!) to my own writing. It was a lovely conference with much to learn – and new folks to connect with, like you! So nice to have met up there, Alice.

    1. To Donna Galanti & Catherine Stine & Linda Wisniewski. The Liberty State Fiction Writers Conference turned out to be a showcase of female fierceness. I am particularly drawn to that characteristic – and the strength and conviction that go with it. Kathryn Craft was a lovely discovery for me in that respect and other respects as well. I had a wonderful day – an inspiring day. Katherine was one of its highlights. I look forward to going back for more of the same next year.

  2. Alice, you are full of surprises. First to have you show up at my morning panel and give me a welcoming big, then you introducing me, and now this lovely blog post. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the woman behind my favorite self-editing book, NO MORE REJECTIONS, was so generous and kind. Hugs!

    1. Thank you Kathryn Craft for your generous words about my book. But what else would I expect? I’ve already experienced your generosity as a teacher. One follows the other. I’m glad we met at last. I hope we meet again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *