Sisters in Crime ~ Heart of Texas Chapter

Promoting Women Crime Writers


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HOTXSINC March 12, 2017: Drones

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

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Reminder: HOTXSINC now meets on the 3rd floor of
BookPeople,

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

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

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.

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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.” – https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35496684https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35496684

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

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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.

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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.”

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Nancy G. West

Nancy G. West

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

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.

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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.

 

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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 media@starpathbooks.com and ask when I’ll be in your area.”

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Alexandra Burt has published the following guest posts: “So I Wanted to Be a Writer,” at My Reading Corner; “The Summer of Evil” at danielriding.com; 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.

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

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 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.

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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

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SINC heart 4 Opportunities

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

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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

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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

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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

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Prompts and Challenges SINC heart 4

Blogging from A to Z Challenge [April 2017]

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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

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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)”

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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

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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

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

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

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 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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HOTXSINC January 8: Death by Firearms or, What Really Happens When You Shoot Someone

Author Dave Ciambrone will present Death by Firearms or, What Really Happens When You Shoot Someone at the January 8th Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Chapter meeting, 2:15 p.m. at the Yarborough Branch of the Austin Public Library.

Dave Ciambrone

Dave Ciambrone

In addition to describing different types of firearms and ammunition, Dave will discuss how to fire a gun successfully, and how the impact from a bullet affects the human body. He will also talk about using firearms for self-defense.

He will address the differences between reality and Hollywood shootings. Using visual aids, he will show the impacts of ballistic gel bullets on actual gun shot victims, none of whom survived.

Following his presentation, Dave will take questions from the audience.

Dr. David (Dave) Ciambrone spent 40 years developing weapons for the military and special equipment for government clandestine organizations. He took the “short course” at Camp Perry for the CIA. He worked with a police department and was a consultant to the LA County Coroner. Dave did consulting for police and sheriffs around the country. He has also consulted for National Laboratories.

Dr. Ciambrone was appointed a U.S. Treasury Commissioner and a board member of the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) by President Clinton. Since moving to Texas he has served on library and theater boards, a water district board, and an appraisal review board. He is Chairman of the Williamson County Historic Commission.

An award-winning and best-selling author, Dr. Ciambrone has published 19 books, (2 textbooks, 4 nonfiction, and 13 mysteries) and has more in work. He wrote three newspaper columns and a business journal column. He has been VP of the Orange County, California, Sisters-in Crime chapter, and twice president and treasurer of Heart of Texas Chapter of sisters in Crime. Dave has spoken at numerous writing conferences around the country.

Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Chapter meets at the Yarborough Branch of the Austin Public Library, 2200 Hancock Drive, Austin, Texas. Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information, email Joyce Arquette, Publicity, JArquette at austin dot rr dot com.

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Opening Line

On November the twenty-first, the day of her forty-seventh birthday, and three weeks and two days before she was murdered, Rhoda Gradwyn went to Harley Street to keep a first appointment with her plastic surgeon, and there in a consulting room designed, so it appeared, to inspire confidence and allay apprehension, made the decision which would inexorably lead to her death. ~ P. D. James, The Private Patient

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Call for Submissions

from Kaye George’s Travels With Kaye:

“Last bit of news for this week. I decided to put together a short story anthology that I’m calling DAY OF THE DARK. It’s inspired by the total eclipse of the sun coming up August 21st, 2017. Wildside Press has agreed to get it to publication in time! I’ve gotten several submissions already, but the deadline is 1/31/17. (Yikes, it’s almost 2017!) Here’s the details from the announcement I sent out. Feel free to ask me about this if you’re interested!”

Find complete guidelines here.

 

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“Everyone predicted a bad reunion. Few expected murder…”

For the December 2016 HOTXSINC meeting, members of the dysfunctional Stout clan gathered at their ancestral home in the mountains. The next morning, the elderly head of the family, Malachi Stout, was found dead, smothered in his sleep. The safe in his study was open and–the family jewels were gone.

Phone lines were down, and rain had washed out the road to town, so it was up to the Stout family to determine–Whodunnit?

Armed with the mystery game Malachi Stout’s Family Reunion, Valerie Chandler led HOTXSINC members in a rousing murder investigation. Which of the suspects pictured below killed Malachi Stout?

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Opening Line

They used to hang men at Four Turnings in the old days. ~ Daphne DuMaurier, My Cousin Rachel

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Book Notes

unsettling-crime-thumbAN UNSETTLING CRIME FOR SAMUEL CRADDOCK: A Samuel Jarrett Mystery by Terry Shames is out today.

“Shames’s superior sixth Samuel Craddock mystery…a prequel set possibly during the early 1970s, explores a significant case at the start of the retired police chief’s career. Skilled depictions of the lawman’s formative choices and emotions enhance a timely story with resonance in the era of Black Lives Matter.”
Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

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RIVER CITY DEAD, Aggie Mundeen Mystery #4, by Nancy G. West will be out on January 17.

“The characters are believable and the plot is fascinating. Fast-paced, intriguing, and like an Agatha Christie novel…River City Dead is one adventure I highly recommend to all. ”  ~ Danielle Urban, Goodreads

 

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Selected Sites

MysteryPeople

Events

Malvern Books

Events

Texas Mountain Trail Writers

Ramona DeFelice Long

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog

Derringer Awards Procedure

Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity

47 Calls for Submissions in January 2017 – Paying Markets

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Seeking Aspiring Mystery Writers

Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas chapter calls on all unpublished, aspiring writers of cozies, thrillers, true crime, noir, young adult, middle grade, and other mystery genres to submit the first 500 words of their mystery manuscript (novel or short story) to the Barbara Burnett Smith Aspiring Writers Event.

Aspiring writers are chosen and matched with published author-mentors for one-on-one sessions and recognition at the Sisters In Crime: Heart of Texas Barbara Burnett Smith Aspiring Writers Event in May of each year. The submission deadline is March 31, 2016.

This is not a contest: there is no judging and no fee. It is a wonderful opportunity for writers unpublished in the mystery field to be mentored by published authors and recognized by the Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas chapter.

All aspiring writers must attend the Barbara Burnett Smith Aspiring Writers Event Sunday, May 15, 2016, at 2 p.m. at the Yarborough Branch of the Austin Public Library.

Submission Guidelines

  1. Unpublished writers submit by email a 100 word (maximum) synopsis and the first 500 words of a mystery short story or novel.
  2. Entries must be in standard submission format: 12 point Times New Roman or Courier New font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins.
  3. Attach a Word file document with the synopsis (100 word max) on first page. Put your name, email address, phone number, and title of story or novel in the top left-hand corner of first page. On the second page, start the 500-word submission of your novel or short story. Put your name, manuscript title, and page number on all pages.
  4. One submission per person.
  5. Email subject line: BBSAWE ENTRY.
  6. Email entries and any questions to Gale Albright at bbsaspiring@yahoo.com.
  7. Submission deadline is March 31, 2016.


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Legal Issues for Authors

Have you ever wondered if someone could steal your manuscript? Have you ever badmouthed someone in your book and wondered if they could sue you? Have you ever wondered if it’s safe to say your character drank a Coke or a Lone Star Beer?

Manning Wolfe

Manning Wolfe

These are the questions that Manning Wolfe will cuss and discuss. She will also provide information on copyright, use of photos, ISBN’s, tax obligations, and more.  Lots of handouts will be given to allow a more in-depth study, and as a reminder of the tips she gives in her talk.  Don’t get caught with your proverbial pants down! Come out and learn the nuts and bolts of legal issues for authors!  Hope to see you there.

Manning Wolfe is a writer, attorney, and consultant residing in Austin. All of her education and career that has as its base the use of the written word, organization of ideas, and research.

Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas Chapter meets monthly on the second Sunday at 2:15 p.m. at the Yarborough Branch Public Library. Speakers include published mystery authors and technical experts who help writers craft better mysteries and readers enjoy what they read. Meetings are free and open to all.

Sisters in Crime is an international organization of women and men whose mission is to promote the professional development and advancement of women crime writers to achieve equality in the industry.

For information contact Joyce Arquette, Publicity (512) 266-6543.


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The Craft of Creating Interesting Characters

Need some tips on building character? (The fictional kind, that is, not your own.) Join Sisters In Crime Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 2:15 to hear mystery writer Janice Hamrick for a fun and interactive session about the elements of creating rich and memorable characters.

Janice Hamrick is the author of the Jocelyn Shore mysteries and winner of the Mystery Writers of America/Minotaur Books First Crime Novel award. She recently took a year’s sabbatical to live in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she spent her time researching her next mystery series. (It is true that a great deal of that research took place inside pubs, but an author must be willing to make sacrifices for her art.)

Janice_Hamrick_2012_for_web

Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas Chapter meets monthly on the second Sunday at 2:15 p.m. at the Yarborough Branch Public Library. Speakers include published mystery authors and technical experts who help writers craft better mysteries and readers enjoy what they read. Meetings are free and open to all.

Sisters in Crime is an international organization of women and men whose mission is to promote the professional development and advancement of women crime writers to achieve equality in the industry.

For information contact Joyce Arquette, Publicity (512) 266-6543.