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WOULD YOU LOVE TO WRITE? HELP IS AVAILABLE OCT. 10

So you want to be a romance writer? On Saturday, Oct. 10, the Utah Chapter of the Romance Writers of America meets at Little America Hotel, Salt Lake City. Charge for the workshop is $35, or $45 with lunch. (For more information, call Melba at 262-3265.)

"I went to a lot of workshops when I was getting started. I also did a lot of research and read all the handbooks," says published writer Lisa Bingham. "I'd suggest other writers do the same thing."Bingham, who teaches advanced placement English at Bonneville High School in Weber County, will see her fifth book, published with Pocket, released in a few weeks.

Characters are all-important, she says. "You have to give your readers three-dimensional characters with real problems.

"The market is tough right now," she says. It's not enough to string together some love scenes. "You have to be very focused on what your publisher wants. And you have to make your book different enough to be noticed."

People say these formula books are all alike, but in her field, historical romance, Bingham's publisher requires only two things, she says: "A consummated love scene and a happy ending."

"I tend to take popular ideas and put a twist on them." Her newest book, "Temptation's Kiss," is about a governess who thinks she's going to be taking care of a little boy, but the long-lost heir she is to teach turns out to be a 39-year-old man in a loin cloth.