HOTXSINC March 12, 2017: Drones


Our mission is to promote
the ongoing advancement, recognition,
and professional development of women crime writers.


Reminder: HOTXSINC now meets on the 3rd floor of

603 N. Lamar (6th St. and Lamar), in Austin, Texas.


SINC heart 4

News from Our Members
From SINC National
Events @ MysteryPeople
Writing Groups

Conferences, Workshops, & Retreats
Prompts and Challenges
Selected Sites
Nolo Contendere

Last Month’s Meeting

SINC heart 4

Andrew Maximow, Business Development and Training Instructor at Drone Dynamics, will speak about drone technology at the HOTXSINC meeting on March 12, 2017.

If you want to be the worst spy ever, fire up your drone and launch it to gather intelligence.  The buzzing motors and bright flashing LED lights will help maintain your stealthy position.  Seriously?  Unfortunately, drones have received a bad rap in recent years especially with negative newspaper headlines like, “killing war machines,” “invasion of privacy,” “ban the drones,” “threat to the public,” etc.  Much of this stems from the complete lack of understanding, increased use of drone by the military, and a few “bad apples” that makes for sensational news.  All that being said, counter-drone is top of mind for Public Safety organizations and law enforcement departments across the nation.  With advanced technology like autopilots, night vision, autonomous navigation, augmented reality, and optical flow & thermal sensors, drones are quickly becoming the tool of choice for terrorists, bad guys, and overall nefariousness.  The good guys are scrambling to understand and acquire the technology for all sorts of applications, including  counter-drone, situational awareness, search and rescue, crime scene investigation, missing person, drug interdiction, fire fighting, barricaded subject, and disaster relief – all in the name of saving lives!
"Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)" by CISRO licensed under CC BY 3.0. Via Wikipedia.
“Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)” by CISRO licensed under CC BY 3.0. Via Wikipedia.

Andrew Maximow, Business Development & Training Instructor, possesses more than 20 years of advancement and achievement leveraging technology to transform the customer experience, including 4 years in the drone/UAV/sUAS industry. In his business development role at Drone Dynamics, Mr. Maximow is responsible for solution selling to AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) market segments as well as local and state government entities. Andrew created the Drone Dynamics Drone Training Program. Prior to that Andrew led the Enterprise Services organization at 3D Robotics, resulting in engagements most notably with BNSF Railways, Kiewit, Liberty Mutual, and Google Fiber. Prior to 3DR, Mr. Maximow held a variety of senior positions at Cisco Systems, including development of Channel Partner services, and as Dir. Professional Services with P&L responsibility, with over $50M in recurring revenue. He has also demonstrated expertise in business development, solutions selling, planning, executing growth, and exceeding profitability and customer satisfaction goals.

He possesses B. S. and M. S. degrees in Industrial Engineering.

HOTXSINC meets from 2:15 to 4:00 p.m. the second Sunday of each month at BookPeople, 6th St. and Lamar, in Austin. For more information, email JArquette (at) austin (dot) rr (dot) com.


Photographs used by permission of CISRO under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) licence.

“English: Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) offer a cost-effective way of inspecting power lines, bridges, buildings, and cooling towers. CSIRO researchers are developing technology that will allow UAVs to safely and reliably perform such tasks with only minimal guidance from a ground-based operator. This UAV research is part of the Smart Skies project, which will develop and demonstrate automated separation management technologies that allow greater use of the National Airspace System by manned and unmanned aircraft through the integration of information and communication technologies. The CSIRO Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) component of the Smart Skies project will allow UAVs to safely fly close to structures such as power lines, bridges, buildings and cooling towers and transit through controlled airspace.” –


  My friends call me Miss Worst Case Scenario. ~ Patricia Cornwell


SINC heart 4 News From Our Members

sue-cleveland-photo-02-14-2017Sue Cleveland read an excerpt from her piece “Decoy” during the 2017 Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference & Bookfair (AWP) at Minerva Rising’s contributor event in Washington D.C. “Decoy” appeared in the spring 2014 issue, Turning Points. The issue received a Notable Edition nod in the 2015 Best American Essays edited by Ariel Levy.

Writers published in Minerva Rising gathered during the AWP conference to celebrate the literary journal’s fifth birthday by reading their work and applauding Executive Editor Kimberley Brown’s vision of creating a journal that “celebrates the creativity and wisdom in every woman.”

Where were the writers from? There were too many to ask, but here’s a sampling: Maine, Texas, New York, the Carolinas, Washington D.C., and Massachusetts. What moved me the most about the readings? Gutsy honesty.


George Wier @ HOTXSINC, February 2015
George Wier @ HOTXSINC, February 2015

George Wier will be the keynote speaker at the Cuenca International Writers Conference in Cuenca, Ecuador, March 14 through 17. According to the conference website, “There is something magical in the Andean air of Cuenca—sparks of creativity and possibility which will open up your mind and bring fresh ideas to your writing as well as helping you gain valuable knowledge of the publishing industry.”


Nancy G. West
Nancy G. West

Nancy G. West has released “Book News: The First Ever Newsletter.” To subscribe, email her at

A podcast and the transcript of Nancy’s interview with Laura Brennan can be heard on or downloaded from on the February 10, 2017 post on Destination Mystery.


Solar eclipse, Our First Century, ca 1876; Internet Book Archive. No known copyright restrictions. Via Flickr.
Solar eclipse, Our First Century, ca 1876; Internet Book Archive. No known copyright restrictions. Via Flickr.

Stories by Laura Oles (“Ocean Fifty”) and M. K. Waller (“I’ll Be a Sunbeam”) will be published in crime fiction anthology DAY OF THE DARK, compiled and edited by Kaye George. DAY OF THE DARK will be released by Wildside Press on July 21, 2017, exactly a month before the North American total solar eclipse on August 21.



Manning Wolfe will present Legal Issues for Authors at the Houston Writers Guild Annual Conference, April 28 – 30. Click here to register. Manning writes, “My LIFA presentations are part of my service to the writing community. They are free to any organization or group when and where I can reasonably fit them into my schedule. If you need a speaker, email and ask when I’ll be in your area.”


Alexandra Burt has published the following guest posts: “So I Wanted to Be a Writer,” at My Reading Corner; “The Summer of Evil” at; and “What Remains When Your First Language Fades Away at Literary Hub.

Kirkus Review says of Alexandra’s novel THE GOOD DAUGHTER (Berkley, February 7, 2017), “Burt knows how to propel a strongly character-driven novel forward, using intrigue, mystery, plot twists, and rich—sometimes grisly—sensory imagery. . . .  both fascinating and unsettling and speaks to the strength of the human will to survive even under the most adverse conditions. Burt’s tale captivates to the bitter end, by which time ‘everything that was done in the dark has come into the light.’”

Alexandra spoke and signed THE GOOD DAUGHTER at BookPeople on February 21.


 In first person, readers feel smart, like it’s them solving the case.
~ Patricia Cornwell


 SINC heart 4 From Sisters in Crime National

To active members:

Volunteers are needed for the SINC booth at the American Library Association conference in Chicago, June 22 – 26. You may volunteer your time and/or donate your books (up to 3 books, signed or unsigned OR send 5 copies of the same book for our new Book Club Bags). If interested, fill out the web form in the Members Only section of the SINC website. If you have any questions, please contact Cari Dubiel, Library Liaison.


I never know what’s going to happen in a novel.
I don’t have a plan or an outline. ~ Donna Leon


SINC heart 4 Events @ MysteryPeople

MONDAY, 3/06/17, 7:00 p.m. –

7% Solution Book Club discusses The Red Death by Walter Mosley

MONDAY, 3/20/17, 1 PM

Murder in the Afternoon Book Club discusses The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen.

WEDNESDAY, 3/29/17, 7 PM

Hard Word Book Club discusses Find A Victim by Ross Macdonald.

SATURDAY, 4/8/17, 6 PM

Philip Kerr, speaking and signing his latest Gunther mystery, Prussian Blue.

TUESDAY, 4/18/17, 7 PM

Greg Iles, speaking and signing his final installment of his epic trilogy featuring Penn Cage, Mississippi Blood.

THURSDAY, 4/20/17, 7 PM

Megan Miranda, speaking and signing her sophomore crime novel, The Perfect Stranger.

WEDNESDAY, 5/31/17, 7 PM

Lori Rader-Day, speaking and signing her latest psychological mystery, The Day I Died.


All of us sing more from sorrow than from joy.
It is tragedy that leaves a mark on the mind and calls for the tribute of a song.
Happiness is its own gift, and needs no other. ~ Sharon McCrumbThe Songcatchers


SINC heart 4 Writing Groups

© David Davis, Alien Resort
© David Davis, Alien Resort

15 Minutes of Fame, a writing

practice group, meets the third Saturday of the month at Twin Oaks Branch Library, 1800 S. Fifth (corner of S. Fifth and W. Mary), Austin, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Participants do timed writings, then read aloud what they’ve written (but only if they want to read aloud). Strictly recreation–no critiques.





Horse sense is the instinct that keeps horses from betting on men.
~ Josephine Tey


SINC heart 4 Opportunities

The Masters Review Blog
“March Deadlines: 10 Awards and Deadlines to Meet This Month”


Crime is a very hard genre to feminise.
If you have a female protagonist
she is going to be looking after her mum when she gets older;
she is going to be worried about her brother and sister;
she will be making a living while bringing up kids. ~ Denise Mina


SINC heart 4 Conferences, Workshops, & Retreats

DFW Writers Conference 2017 – Dallas, TX ; May 6 – 7

Killer Nashville 2017  – Franklin, TN; August 24 -27

Elizabeth George on “Process and the Novel” – Tuscany, Italy; May 22 – 31

California Crime Writers Conference 2017  – Culver City, CA; June 10 -11
(Presented by Sisters in Crime LA / SoCal Mystery Writers)

Writers’ Police Academy – Green Bay, WI; August  10 – 13

Mystery Writers Conference 2017 – Corte Madera, CA – September 7 – 10

Bouchercon 2017: Passport to Murder – Toronto, Canada; October 11 – 15

Write, Travel, Transform: Machu Pichu and the Sacred Valley of Peru – Machu Pichu, Peru; October 17 – 31

Find more conference listings at–

Association of Writers and Writing Programs, “Directory of Conferences and Centers”
Author E.M.S., “Upcoming Conferences and Events”
Shaw Guides, “Guide to Writing Conferences and Writing Workshops”
LitReactor, “A List of 2017 Workshops & Conferences for Writers”
Sisters in Crime, “Conferences, Events, and Trade Shows”

Writers Retreat Workshop: Memories, Guidance, Inspiration Since 1987 – San Antonio, TX; May 6 – 13

The Write Life“31 Incredible Writing Retreats to Attend in 2017”

Writing Retreats with Laura Davis

Women Writing Retreats


I always make a point of keeping the most pleasant-sounding name for the murderer.
As he or she is bound to come to an unpleasant end,
it seems the very least the author can do. ~ Ngaio Marsh


Prompts and Challenges SINC heart 4

Blogging from A to Z Challenge [April 2017]


My work is less violent because we tend to write what we want to read…
and I’m not that interested in gruesome books.
Any violence, to fit in well with a crime novel, has to have compassion.
~ Ann Cleeves


SINC heart 4 Selected Sites & Pages

Mystery Thriller Week
“How to Write a Thriller in the Style of Alfred Hitchcock”

The Stiletto Gang
“Two Years of Wisdom in 250 Words or Less”

Ramona De Felice Long
“4 Tough Questions for Your Critique Group”

Mysterious Writers
“Writing Ideas from Some of the Best” 

The Short Fiction Mystery Society Blog

Mystery Writers of America
“Amendment to Active Membership Status Guidelines”

Nightstand Book Reviews
The Edgar Awards – 2017

Thanks to The Passive Voice for sharing the following links:

“Revenge of the Copy Editors: Grammar Pros Find Internet Stardom”

“Real Writers”

“Why I’ve Ditched the Kindle for Print Books (and Why You Should, Too)”


She always says, my lord, that facts are like cows.
If you look them in the face long enough, they run away.
~ Dorothy L. Sayers


SINC heart 4 Nolo Contendere  

  1. Member authors – Send headshots and info about publications–titles of books and short stories (publishers, dates, where stories were published, links to books, if you wish). Also send links to your websites/blogs.
  2. Members – Send your news for blog, at least two weeks before meetings if possible. I try to publish at least a week before each meeting. Whatever I have when the blog is published is what I’ll include.
  3. Members – Submit brief (~ 300 words) book reviews, articles (about classes you’ve taught; tips for writing; the writing life; links to websites you like, info about conferences, workshops, anything you think will interest readers.
  4. Members – Send links to your blog and /or website for inclusion in our blogroll.
  5. If you notice errors or omissions, please let me know so I can correct them. Regarding odd variations in spacing, font size, and other such matters–those are WordPress’ idea. It will take a conversation with tech support to root them out.

Kathy Waller, Editor
kathywaller1 at gmail dot com


 Chemists employed by the police
can do remarkable things with blood.

They can weave it into a rope to hang a man.
~ Marjorie Allingham


 Last Month’s Meeting 

Texas Ranger Cody Mitchell spoke about Interdiction for the Protection of Children, a program he created, designed to train law enforcement officers to recognize indicators of missing, abducted, and exploited children during routine traffic stops. The program also teaches officers to identify, in the absence of a child, indicators that an adult individual has, or will, offend against a child.


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