RAMP 2023 Mentors

We're so excited to announce the mentors for our Romance Author Mentorship Program! 

Kim Allred

Kim Allred grew up in Southern California but now enjoys the quiet life in an old timber town in the Pacific Northwest where she raises alpacas, llamas, and an undetermined number of free-range chickens. Just like her characters, Kim loves sharing stories while sipping a glass of wine or slurping a strong cup of brew. Kim’s current works include her time travel romance series, the Mórdha Stone Chronicles, a steamy series, Masquerade Club, and paranormal romance series, Of Blood & Dreams.

Kim's Wish List:

Hello there! I’m a fantasy adventure romance writer and though I’m officially a hybrid published author, the majority of my books are self-published. I write time-travel and paranormal, all with a touch of mystery and bits of suspense. And while these are my favorite genres, the point of a mentor, in my opinion, is to provide guidance in the area you want or need support, regardless of genre. My specialty is plot and pacing, followed by character development, but I always look at manuscripts holistically. I’m pretty laid back on the direction you want the mentoring to go—this is your time. I see our time together as a team effort to get you to that next level. Whether we’re working on a first draft or trying to polish for an editor, it doesn’t matter. Most importantly, I believe in the journey. And this is an opportunity for both of us to learn.

Jennifer D. Bokal

Jennifer D. Bokal penned her first book at age eight. An early lover of the written word, she decided to follow her passion and become a full-time writer. From then on, she didn't look back. She earned a Master of Arts in creative writing from Wilkes University and became a member of Romance Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. Winner of the Sexy Scribbler in 2015, Jennifer is the author of author of over 20 novels and novellas, including the Harlequin Romantic Suspense series, Rocky Mountain Justice, the connected series, Wyoming Nights, and Texas Law. She has also written several books that are part of the Colton continuity. Happily married to her own alpha male for more twenty-five years, she enjoys writing stories that explore the wonders of love. Jen and her manly husband live in upstate New York. They have three beautiful grown daughters, two very spoiled dogs, and a cat who runs the house. 

Jennifer's Wish List:

HI! I'm always happy to help fellow writers on their creative journey. After years as a working author, I know that many things go in to making a manuscript sellable. But more than that, I've learned how to balance work and life—an important aspect to any author's success

Betty Bolte

Award-winning author Betty Bolté is known for authentic and accurately researched historical fiction with heart and supernatural romance novels. A lifetime reader and writer, she’s worked as a secretary, freelance word processor, technical writer/editor, and author. She’s been published in essays, newspaper articles/columns, magazine articles, and nonfiction books but now enjoys crafting entertaining and informative fiction, especially stories that bring American history to life. She earned a master’s degree in English in 2008, emphasizing the study of literature and storytelling, and has judged numerous writing contests for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northern Alabama with her loving husband of more than 30 years. Get to know her at www.bettybolte.com. Be sure to check out materials for book club discussions at https://www.bettybolte.com/bookclub .

Betty's Wish List:

I enjoy working with authors to improve their writing. I've been a professional editor since the mid-1990s. I first published in romance in 2014 and have worked to improve my storytelling ever since. I'm looking for writers who are interested in honing their craft, improving on weak areas of their storytelling. I want a mentee who is willing to listen and learn, but also one who has a sense of their abilities (good and in need of help) so they can discern what advice will work for them. I prefer to work with a complete manuscript since then I can assess the arc of the story and the characterizations as a whole. That doesn't mean perfected, but a beginning, middle, and end to work on.

K.L. Brady

K. L. Brady is a D.C. native by way of the Ohio Valley. Her writing career started in the pages of diaries when she was seven or eight years old. But it wasn’t until her 40th birthday and an Oprah “Live Your Best Life” moment that she finally answered her calling and wrote her first novel, The Bum Magnet. The initially self-published book was picked up by Simon & Schuster in a two-book deal, and K.L. hasn’t looked back. She has since penned 17 stories, including nine novels, five novellas, and three suspense novels with romantic elements. Also, she has participated in five anthologies, two of which hit the USA Today bestseller list. She is currently working on two Christmas romances for July and December.

K.L.'s Wish List:

Would love: strong flawed female lead, romantic comedy, holiday romance, contemporary romance, sweet romance, any kind of trope.     
Prefer not to read: erotic, strong sexual situations

Siri Caldwell

Siri Caldwell writes contemporary and paranormal romance and is a Lambda Literary Award finalist. She is the author of Irresistible Blurbs: How to Write a Book Description Romance Readers Will Love, a guide for indie-published romance novelists.

Siri's Wish List:

I love cheering on new authors. I'm happy to help with whatever your individual goals are. If writing a blurb intimidates you, I hope to make it fun—I've coached many writers through this process. Stories about love bridging differences, characters with unusual occupations, and heroines who are kind, caring, and competent are especially welcome.

Toni Jackson

A member of RWA since 2013, Toni Jackson is an indie-pubbed author who always finds herself cheering for the underdog. She is a multi-published with several titles in contemporary, suspense, and sci-fi romance. A PAN member, she is a techno geek and a member of the Mosaic Special Interest Chapter and a member of the RWA Diversity Committee. Toni has served as a volunteer and loves being a sounding board for authors to plot out their stories. She currently lives in Greenbelt, MD, where she dreams of winning the lottery to buy her dream house by the water and write to her heart’s content. 

Toni's Wish List:

My biggest strength is my developmental editing skills and my ability to think of twists on the standard tropes. I have a host of developmental editing skills that I am ready to use to make your manuscript the best it can be. What I'm looking for in a manuscript is depth in both characters. Instalove (lust) is fine, but it does not mean the relationship should not deepen throughout the story. I would really love to work with a diverse author, but am open to assist everyone. I believe I would be a very supportive mentor for someone who is serious about the craft and their story, who is willing to put in the work to present their best product.

Paula Judith Johnson

Authenticity is essential to romance author Paula Judith Johnson, especially in the historical romance genre.  As an avid history buff, I was involved with many mountain man-era (early 1800s) black powder clubs for over 20 years, earning various rifle and pistol shooting trophies. Paula Judith Johnson is the author of esteemed romance novels, such as her historical Sweetbriar, A Love Triangle Romance (a 2020 Book Excellence Award Finalist). Her fourth novel, Brewer’s Betrothal, A Love Triangle Romance (a 2021 Book Excellence Award Finalist) is the first in a trilogy that returns her readers to the era of 1812 America. This novel pulls in a few characters from Sweetbriar for cameo appearances. Her two contemporary romances are Starting Over, A Second Chance Romance, Book 1, and Second Time Around, A Second Chance Romance, Book 2. Paula Judith mentored romance authors in the RAMP program in 2021 and 2022. 

Paula's Wish List:

Strength: historical shooting weapons, especially early 1800s, active writing voice, portraying characters of the opposite gender of the author, writing sensual & sexual scenes, self-publication. Weakness: submitting for traditional publication. I prefer historical manuscripts with the exception of the Civil War era (it's too heartbreaking for me to read). The late 1700s to early 1800s is my preferred time period but I have mentored 1500s Scottish Highlander & the Gay '90s England.

Kristina Knight

Kristina Knight began her writing career as a radio and television journalist, working for NBC affiliates throughout the midwest as a reporter, anchor, and producer. After covering everything from a serial killer’s capture to the National Finals Rodeo, she decided to leave the TV biz in favor of writing stories she was passionate about. Kristina writes sassy contemporary romance novels; her books have appeared on Kindle Best Seller Lists. She loves hearing from readers, so feel free to email her!

Kristina's Wish List:

Hi, I'm Kristina Knight, a best-selling romance author of the hybrid variety. I started out writing for a small publisher (Crimson Romance), and have since written for Harlequin and also have several self-published titles. I read across the board, and have experience editing, as well. My strengths are in character development, author voice, and character voice, and I can't wait to work with you!

Siera London

Siera writes heroines you know, heroes you love, and romance you feel. USA Today bestselling & award-winning author Siera London pens contemporary and urban fantasy romance, romantic suspense, and crime fiction. She crafts stories of diverse characters navigating their journeys to love with intelligence, wit, and heart-gripping emotion. When away from the literary scene, Siera travels the world with Mr. Awesome and a color patch tabby named Frie. Repped by Latoya Smith / ArtHouse Literary Services.

Siera's Wish List:

I’m a full-time fiction author currently pursuing my MFA in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University. Mentees interested in partnering with me should be actively pursing a career in publishing, indie or traditional. Also, be ready to meet agreed upon deadlines and write forward (meaning new words on the page for each of our one-on-one meetings. Mentees should have a working knowledge of the elements of fiction, their genre, and story structure. My strengths are GMC, story structure, and world building.

Tiki Paige

Tiki Paige is a writer, author, teacher, podcaster and writing coach. She helps writers become authors and attract abundance into their life through writing. Apart from creating writer's guides and journals, she also writes feel-good romance novels with zing, swoon, and a guaranteed happily ever after. As an avid globetrotter who was born in Africa, grew up in Europe, lived and worked in Asia, and found love in America, she has traveled the world lengthwise and crosswise and loves using her experiences and faraway corners of the world as motivation to create memorable characters and dazzling settings. When she is not writing, plotting, or swooning over her sinfully gorgeous alpha heroes, Tiki devours personal development books and regularly attends wellness and personal growth seminars around the world.

Tiki's Wish List:

I will help you level-up your game, share ideas and listen to what you have to say, and show you the difference between the writing styles. Teach you how to stick to the right POV. Help you generate ideas and stick to your writing goals. Provide an honest input on your work from a professional who will spot your weaknesses and help you improve your writing. Teach you how to write with passion and emotion as well as show you the difference between show and tell. Identify and prioritize your creative writing goals. Stay focused on your objectives and projects and find your way through the process. Overcome challenges that interfere with your writing progress.  

Linda J. Parisi

As a major in biochemistry with a minor in English literature, Linda has always tried to mesh her love of science with her love of the written word. Once a clinical research scientist, now a NJRW Golden Leaf, N.N. Light’s Book Heaven 2021 Paranormal Romance award, and the 2022 HOLT Medallion winner for Speculative Fiction, she creates unforgettable characters and puts them in untenable situations, much to their dismay. Choices always matter and love conquers all, so a happy-ever-after is a must. Linda is a member of the Board of Liberty States Fiction Writers. She has served on the boards of other writing organizations, and loves to teach the craft of writing at workshops and conferences. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, John, son, Chris, daughter-in-law, Sara, and Audi and Archer, a pair of pooches who had her at woof!  

Linda's Wish List:

I'm not concerned with where you think you stand in your writing career. My mentee two years ago just signed a contract for her first book and had no access to a writers organization until RWA. What I am looking for is heart. If you believe in what you're writing, I'll try to help you achieve whatever goal(s) you set for yourself.

Ella Quinn

Ella Quinn is the USA Today bestselling author of fun, smart, spicy Regency romances. Ella’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side (political science professor, lawyer, and army officer). Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually, her love of historical novels led her to start writing them. She is married to her wonderful husband of almost forty years. They have a son and two beautiful granddaughters, a Great Dane named Lilibet, and a cat named Winnie. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true lived on sailboat for three years. After cruising the Caribbean and North America, she completed a transatlantic crossing from St. Martin to Southern Europe. She's currently living in Italy, happily writing while her husband is attempting retirement for the third time.  

Ella's Wish List:

I like all historical romances. However, I really dislike it when historical facts are incorrect. In other words, I don't like contemporaries dressed in historical costumes. It's an insult to the reader. Other than that, I'm pretty easy going. I think a mentee should be able to take constructive criticism well. That doesn't mean they have to do everything the mentor tells them to do. It's their book. A mentee who'd work well with me would also be willing to do the necessary research for their book. I've written novellas for box-sets, but someone else has to do the heavy lifting. I know almost nothing about indie publishing. I don't even like picking covers.

Leslie Ray

Leslie Ray is a self-published, contemporary romance author, and cover artist. She is a long-standing member of RWA and Heart of Carolina Romance Writers. While her novels are focused on small-town romances, she has also participated in a multi-subgenre critique group for the past four years, with works ranging from sweet to erotica, historical to contemporary, and everything in between. Her passion is helping authors bring their stories to life, whether it be through critique work, formatting, or cover design. Leslie is the author of two contemporary romance series. Her Spruce Pine Series is set in the NC mountains, and her Carefree series, whose third book will be published in May, is based around Beaufort, SC. She loves to twist elements of small-town communities into a delightful love story that will have you both laughing and crying.  

Leslie's Wish List:

For me, my strength lies in storytelling; plot progression, riveting dialog, and drawing the reader in. If you're looking for someone who is excellent at grammar, I'm not your girl, I have an editor for that. I love helping authors move from the "he felt" to really drawing their readers into every emotion the character feels. I also love intertwining dynamic secondary characters who bring a new element to the story, and potentially set them up for subsequent novels or novellas. I'm a team girl and will be your biggest cheerleader, all I ask in return is you be open to suggestions. Ultimately, it's your book. I just want to help you make it the best it can be. 

Claudia J. Severin

I write about regular Joes and Josies. Don’t expect them to be the richest, best-looking, or most athletic, at least not by their own standards. Which doesn’t mean their mates won’t think they’re hot. They will fall hard for each other, and pull you in with their passion. Some of my tales are set in the present day, others in decades or centuries gone by. Love is timeless. Romance should be endless. Unfortunately, I live in the real world, splitting time between several states visiting family, enjoying the itinerant author life. Home base is a farm in Nebraska, smack dab in the middle of the country, where my husband’s ancestors homesteaded over 150 years ago. Come see me. It’s as easy as opening the book cover. 

Claudia's Wish List:

I like a blend of historical and contemporary romance myself. I’m a big fan of Bridgerton and Virgin River. I am not familiar with paranormal or fantasy romance. Well, I guess all romance involves a little fantasy, but you know what I’m saying. Before I started reading romance novels, I mostly stuck to mysteries, especially with women protagonists or women authors. I like to bring some heat to the romance, without being too crude. On the other hand, I think there is a spectrum for a reason: to each their own. I write real characters in real locations that readers can relate to, the woman who wants to lose 15 pounds, not the one showing off in her bikini, the man who has no idea what his wife is talking about, but tries to understand nonetheless. I would be happy to work with a writer working in either historical or contemporary romance. My personal niche is what I think of as “in between.” If Historical starts fifty years ago, or before 1950 (I’ve heard both versions), I like to write in the 1960s through the 2000s. It’s fun to try to remember things like when we used disposable cameras at weddings, or when we switched from VCRs to DVDs.

Anna Taylor Sweringen

I'm a retired United Church of Christ minister. I joined RWA in 2003 and write African-American romance under three different pen names: As Anna Taylor, I published an inspirational novel with White Rose Publishing in 2008; as Michal Scott, I published steamy historical novellas with (1) The Wild Rose Press in 2016, 2018, (2) in three Passionate Ink charity anthologies in 2018, 2021 with the next novella coming out this year, (3) published steamy short stories in Delilah Devlin's Boys Behaving Badly anthologies in 2019, 2020, 2021 with the next one coming out this May 2023. As Anna M. Taylor, I self-published two second chance romance lite paranormal novellas in 2020 in a series I entitled Haunted Harlem. Presently I belong to these RWA chapters: Futuristic, Fantasy, Paranormal, Land of Enchantment, Kiss of Death, NYC, Hearts Through History. My non-RWA writing groups are Historical Novel Society and Passionate Ink.

Anna's Wish List:

Before I became a minister my background was in journalism and I have used this training mostly in doing research and different types of editing over the years. Since I'm an indie/small press niche writer, I probably would be of most help to someone looking to be niche too rather than someone looking to be traditionally published. From what I've written, I'd probably of most help to someone writing historicals. I don't think I'd be helpful to someone writing YA or shifter/alien type romances. I've participated in both RAMP and Pen to Paper, so I'm open to work with people no matter where they are in their writing career.

Jeannie Watt

Jeannie Watt lives on a small Montana cattle ranch. She writes contemporary and cowboy romance. Her favorite things other than writing are sewing, baking, knitting and horseback riding. She enjoys visiting cities and eating good food, then heading back home in the middle of nowhere to cocoon and write.

Jeannie's Wish List:

I would like to mentor an author who is interested in writing contemporary cowboy/western romance or straight contemporary. My writing style is "clean and lean," and I enjoy helping writers pare down their manuscripts. I gave an RWA workshop on the subject with my Harlequin editor in 2011. My mentor style is to ask questions—sometimes hard ones—and to help authors evaluate areas that may be problematic in their manuscripts. I taught junior high for 29 years, so I'm good at helping people identify problems and potential solutions. I'm empathetic and easy to work with. I've been there. My favorite tropes are opposites attract, redemption and second chance romance. I enjoy humor and light-hearted writing styles, even when exploring deeper subjects. I am ADD (and gave a panel presentation on writing with ADD during RWA 2015), so would welcome a neurodiverse mentee.

Renee Wildes

Renee Wildes grew up reading fantasy authors Terry Brooks and Mercedes Lackey and is a huge Joseph Campbell fan, so the minute she discovered romance novels, it became inevitable that she would combine it all and write fantasy romance. Renee is a history buff and research junkie, from ancient to medieval times, esp. the Dark Ages. As a Navy brat and a cop’s kid, she gravitated to protector/guardian heroes and heroines. She’s had horses her whole life, so became the only vet tech in a family of nurses. It all comes together in her Guardians of Light series — fantasy, action, romance, heroics, and lots of critters!

Renee's Wish List:

Strong background teaching classes in world-building and close POV, looking for sci-fi/space opera romance, high fantasy, and paranormal/shapeshifters. Prefer adult romance to YA, as I write open-door. Any heat level welcome.

Lara Zielinsky

Lara Zielinsky is a bisexual married woman and works from home as a writer and fiction editor. She grew up reading, the one thing as an introvert she could do alone in a house full of people. When she realized these stories weren’t reflecting the things she thought about, she started writing her own. Discovering romance books in her teens, she prefers stories with strong, independent female leads. She pursued publication seriously in her thirties. The magic moment finally arrived in 2007 and her first novel, Turning Point, a workplace enemies-to-lovers romance with a late-in-life coming out subplot, won several awards. An empty-nester, she explores the small towns and beaches of Florida with her spouse of 30 years and an aging pitbull mix named Rocko.

Lara's Wish List: