HOTXSINC Meeting: January 14, 2018

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


Program: US Army Lieutenant Colonel Michael Grygar
Art Taylor: Sue Grafton, A Remembrance (of Sorts)
HOTXSINC Election of Officers
The Word on Our Members
Selected Sites
May Your Coming Year
Nolo Contendere



Sue Grafton: Alphabet crime author dies aged 77

 “As far as we in the family are concerned, the alphabet now ends at Y,”
her daughter said in a statement posted to Facebook.


On January 14, Join us at HOTXSINC’s


We’ll meet at the delightful

Café Express

   3418 N. Lamar, Austin 78705
512 452-9888

~ Same time ~
Second Sunday, 2:15 p. m.

Parking behind restaurant!
Great menu!


Our dues remain the same
~ $20 for the year ~
and should be paid
at the first meeting.
Cash or check, please.


Our 2018 programs will be terrific
starting with

US Army Lieutenant Colonel Michael Grygar

LTC Grygar will speak about his work as a Military Police officer (MP) and Foreign Area Officer (FAO). 

If you have questions about the Army, military police, or how the US Army trains and supports foreign military forces, bring them to the meeting.

 LTC Michael Grygar entered military service in June of 1992, enlisting in the US Army Reserve as a Combat Medic. He was commissioned as a 2LT in the Military Police Corps through the University of Texas at Arlington ROTC program in 1996, while simultaneously earning a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. LTC Grygar entered Active Duty in 2002. In 2009, he began Foreign Area Officer training at the Defense Language Institute where he studied Portuguese. He has completed a Masters in National Security Studies with a focus
on Latin America at the Naval Postgraduate School.  

 LTC Grygar has been assigned to Fort Leonard Wood, MO; USAG Bamberg, Germany; Iraq; Monterrey, CA; US Military Group, Guatemala; Fort Polk, LA; Afghanistan; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Fort Sam Houston, TX. He has served in a wide variety of assignments as a Military Police officer and then as a Foreign Area Officer, including positions as a Battle Captain in Iraq; Commander of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 793rd MP BN; Director of Emergency Services/Provost Marshal of the US Army Garrison in Bamberg, Germany; visiting instructor at the Guatemalan Command and General Staff College; Battalion Operations Officer, and Battalion XO of the 2nd Battalion, 353rd Infantry Regiment; instructor at the Brazilian Command and General Staff College in Brazil; and as the Political Military Affairs Division Chief within the Regional Affairs Directorate.

He is the recipient of the Bronze Star Medal (1 OLC), the Meritorious Service Medal (1 OLC), the Army Commendation Medal (1 OLC), the Army Achievement Medal (1 OLC), the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the NATO Medal, the Parachutists Badge and the Air Assault Badge.


Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Chapter meets monthly on the second Sunday of the month, at 2:15 p.m. at Cafe Express,  3418 N. Lamar, Austin 78705512 452-9888

For information about the Heart of Texas Chapter contact Joyce Arquette, Publicity, (512) 266-6543.

Check out our blog/newsletter at


Sue Grafton: A Remembrance (of Sorts)
by Art Taylor


HOTXSINC Election of Officers

At the December 10, 2017 meeting, HOTXSINC elected officers for 2018. There being no nominations from the floor, the nominating committee’s slate of candidates was elected by acclamation:

President – Helen Currie Foster
Vice President/President Elect – Noreen Cedeno
Secretary/Membership – Francine Paino
Treasurer – David Ciambrone



K. P. Gresham’s radio play “The Case of the Poisoned Holly” was performed by a cast of HOTXSINC members at the annual holiday party on December 20, 2017. She spoke and signed copies of her mystery MURDER IN THE SECOND PEW at BookPeople on December 8.



Most of the articles listed below appeared on The Passive Voice: A Lawyer’s Thoughts on Authors, Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing. Subscribe to The Passive Voice to receive daily blog updates via email.

Amazon Review Policy Change & More

“Amazon now requires you to purchase a minimum of $50 worth of books or other products before you can leave a review or answer questions about a product. These purchases, and it looks like it is a cumulative amount, must be purchased via credit card or debit card — gift cards won’t count.”

Stability in the book marketplace does not mean commercial publishers continue to maintain their share

American Literature Needs Indie Presses

How Indie Presses Are Elevating the Publishing World

The Secret Life of ‘Um’

Business Musings: Sustainability

Astronauts Get Writer’s Block, Too: An Interview with Scott Kelly

Another Bay Area Barnes & Noble bites the dust

The Rise of Surender Mohan Pathak: HarperCollins India Wins Big With Hindi Pulp Fiction

“Hindi pulp fiction writer Surender Mohan Pathak has been made ‘the Agatha Christie of India’ by Minakshi Thakur, who saw potential in a genre ignored by other publishers.”

Google Chrome will block autoplay video starting January 2018

Content duplication issue briefly keeps Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s latest self-published chapbooks off Amazon

“Now, Amazon is in a strange situation; it cannot itself decide if it’s a publisher or a distributor, but in either case the demand for a copy of our contract with our publisher is out of line, and Steve and I will not comply.”- Author Sharon Lee

The Passive Voice: “In an update to the OP, TeleRead says Amazon customer service solved the problem. PG is happy to hear that in part because the authors seem like nice people.
“PG is usually on the little guy’s/gal’s side in these kind of disputes, but in this case, he understands Amazon’s concerns:…”

5 Things I’m Not Doing to Launch My Book—Plus What I’m Doing Instead

Nobody Has a Clue Barnes & Noble (BKS) /Q2 2018 Earnings Conference Call / November 30, 2017 10:00 AM ET

Barnes & Noble losses: Blame it on Harry Potter

Barnes & Noble Wants to Clear ‘Tchotchke’ Clutter, Sell More Books

Anti-Amazon: A Favorite Investment Theme For 2018

How to use Authentic Historical Detail to Trigger Emotions and Memories in Your Reader

But what about us?



May Your Coming Year…

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness.
I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful,
and don’t forget to make some art–
write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can.
And I hope, somewhere in the next year,
that you surprise yourself.

~ Neil Gaiman



  1. Members, send news for HOTXSHOTS! to kathywaller1 at gmail dot com. Send links you’d like included. Deadline – January 28, 2018.
  2. Send a headshot and titles of books and/or stories (plus links) for the HOTSHOTS! author page. In addition, send a link to your website/blog.
  3. Send links to your website/blog for the HOTSHOTS! blogroll.

HOTXSINC Meeting: December 10, 2017 at BookPeople

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

Program: HOTXSINC Holiday Celebration
“Holly Through the Heart” ~ An Original Radio Play
Election of Officers
Refreshments ~ Finger Foods

The Word on Our Members
Article: “Using Those Movies in Your Head to Promote Your Novel”
Report: Texas Book Festival
Call for Submissions
Selected Sites
Nolo Contendere 

 It’s the Season

Heart of Texas
~ Holiday Mode! ~

Sunday, December 10, 2017
2:15 p.m. at Book People

Election of Officers


*****A Radio Play by Kathy Gresham*****

“The Case
of the
Poisoned Holly”

Refreshments & Finger Foods

Come One & All
Free & Open to the Public 

Celebrate the Holiday Season 

Say Goodbye to 2017 

Look Forward to an
Exciting New Year


Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Chapter meets monthly on the second Sunday of the month at 2:15 p.m. at Book People, 603 North Lamar, Austin, phone 512-472-5050.  Take the elevator to the third floor.

For information about the Heart of Texas Chapter, contact Joyce Arquette, Publicity (512) 266-6543, and check out our website at


An I had but one penny in the world,

thou shouldst have to buy gingerbread.

                                                                   ~ William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost



The popular idea that a child forgets easily is not an accurate one. 
Many people go right through life in the grip of an idea
which has been impressed on them in very tender years. ~ Agatha Christie


 Election of Officers

At the December meeting, HOTXSINC’S members will elect officers for 2018. The nominating committee presents the current members of the board, who have agreed to remain in office for 2018  if members so desire.

Nominees are the following:

Helen Currie Foster — President
Noreen Cedeno — Vice President/President Elect/Program Chair
Francine Paino — Secretary/Membership
Dave Ciambrone — Treasurer

Nominations from the floor will also be accepted.

The Word on Our Members

K. P. Gresham will speak and sign copies of MURDER IN THE SECOND PEW, at BookPeople on December 8, 2017.
The Pastor Matt Hayden returns to BookPeople to solve the latest murder (or was it a missed attempt to kill him?) in MURDER IN THE SECOND PEW. I’m looking forward to seeing all of my Sisters in Crime there!


DAY OF THE DARK: STORIES OF ECLIPSE was reviewed in Mystery Scene magazine. Stories by Laura Oles and M. K. Waller appear in the anthology. Former HOTXSINC member Kaye George edited the book.




Meredith Lee’s SHROUDED was reviewed in Blue Ink Reviews. Sue Cleveland and Dixie Evatt, who write under the name Meredith Lee, spoke and signed at their book launch at BookPeople on November 10.



Manning Wolfe’s second novel, MUSIC NOTES: TEXAS LADY LAWYER VS L.S. BARON was released November 24.
Merit Bridges is left to sort out the truth while navigating the music business and the dark web, but she soon finds herself confronted with a web of lies so masterfully woven that she fears he may never find any answers. Merit must fight not only for justice but for her reputation, livelihood, and her life.


Members, please email links to your websites and/or blogs to kathywaller1 at gmail dot com so we can list them in our blogroll. Email your news/announcements to the same address.

When you send news, please provide working links to everything you want linked: book covers, titles, your name, your website, venues for book launches, signings, panels, preferred vendor, etc. The editor is regrets she can no longer search for them. If you don’t provide a link, there won’t be a link.


People walking under the Zilker Tree. Christma...
People walking under the Zilker Tree. Christmas in Austin, Texas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) by That Other Paper, licensed under CC BY-SA-2,0


Using Those Movies In Your Head to Promote Your Novel

Sue Cleveland & Dixie Lee Evatt

by Sue Meredith Cleveland and Dixie Lee Evatt (aka Meredith Lee)

When you’re writing do you sometimes visualize a scene as a movie in your head? Many of us do but few of us ever see our novel on the big screen.

Now there is a way you can bring a little piece of that movie to life and sell your books at the same time. For about $100 it’s possible to produce videos to promote your book and book events through social media.

These video trailers can be produced using advanced Powerpoint or Keynote software and tapping into websites that sell royalty free images, stock footage and stock music. It’s a four (or four and a half) step process.

Step #1: Conceptualize a simple storyboard. Ask yourself: What is my core message? (Example: “Shrouded goes on sale August 16, 2017.”). Think in terms of bumper stickers and billboards not broadcasts. You have less than 10 to 12 seconds to attract potential on-line customers. Viewers will flash through the material pretty fast. What images, colors, sounds and words build tension for your key points? In Shrouded we used graveyards with weeping angels and a night view of the Paris skyline as backdrops.

Step #2 Produce your video. You do this by uploading text, images and sound to your application (Keynote, PowerPoint or similar software). Experiment with the animation tools available to you and synchronize the music for maximum impact. This is where the creative side of your brain gets to play. Select royalty-free images and music from websites that sell these:

Once you have your royalty-free images and music, upload them to a template. The Keynote application on Mac is useful as are the animation options. Experiment with the tools offered for transitioning between slides, confetti, blur and many more, for building transitions between slides.

Set aside some quality time at the computer to synchronize all of this. It gets easier as you work with it.  

Step #3. Post production. Pick your platform (Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, etc.). Read up on the file format required for a particular platform. Convert the now animated slide show to the format required by your online site of choice. Each website will list its specifications. For instance, Amazon will take any of several (AVI, FLV, MOV, MPG, WMV ad MP4).

We uploaded our trailer to our website, Instagram account, author’s pages on Amazon and Goodreads,, and to We added links to the companies that carry our book.

Step #4. Distribution. Now you are ready to let the world see what you have done. You can track whether or not your video trailer is attracting attention for your book or event. When our promo trailer ran, our Amazon ranking hit a high of 47,815. Our ranking dipped as low as 945,856 when we did not run book trailers. These rankings reflect our books standing against other books in our genre, not the number of books sold.

Step #4.5. Targeting. Some platforms allow you to “boost” by targeting selected demographics. For instance, our Facebook author’s page offered boosts. We purchased $35 – $50 “boosts” to run for a week. We selected our demographic. An example: Men and women between the ages of 35 – 80 living in Austin who read mysteries. The “boosts” of our trailers on our Facebook author’s page reached between 4,000 to 6,000 people.

With eight million print titles on Amazon and a million ebook titles, it can be hard to get attention for your book when you have a shoestring budget. We’ve found that video book trailers are one more way to boost sales on a budget.

Click here to view sample trailer:


I have patches of insomnia,
and I’m fascinated by the otherness of the world at night.
The stillness.
Daytime preoccupations fall away, 
standards change, thoughts change.
It’s a canvas for reinvention, I think. ~ Morag Joss




Texas Book Festival

by Helen Currie Foster, HOTXSINC President

Sisters in Crime awarded HOTXSINC a grant to fund a booth and other necessities needed for participation in the Texas Book Festival November 4 and 5. Below is an excerpt of the report President Helen Currie Foster submitted to Sisters in Crime.


Sisters in Crime, Heart of Texas Chapter (HOTXSINC) so appreciates SINC’s $500 grant to us for our non-profit booth at the Texas Book Festival. The Festival is huge; it stretches from the Texas Capitol Building down Congress Avenue and this year up Colorado Street as well.  Thousands of people from all over the country attend every year (we talked to visitors from Seattle, Chicago, Sicily, Turkey…). We were assigned a great location—Booth 417 in Exhibit Tent 4. I’m attaching the information for Exhibitors (you can find us listed therein). We were busy at our booth ALL DAY SATURDAY Nov. 4 and ALL DAY SUNDAY Nov. 5 until the Festival closed at 5:30.

HOTxSINC BOOK SALES!  At our booth we sold books by HOTXSINC members (including Kathy Waller, Dave Ciambrone, Noreen Cedeño, Francine Paino, Kay George, Valerie Chandler, Laura Oles, Helen Currie Foster, Kathleen Phelps, Dixie Lee Evatt, Sue Cleveland, and including two anthologies including member contributions).  We offered bookmarks and information on the plots and authors. The booth was staffed from time to time by Kathy Phelps, Noreen Cedeño, Fran Paino, Dave Ciambrone, Helen Currie Foster, and Dixie Lee Evatt, Sue Cleveland, Valerie Chandler and Pam Baggett-Wallis.

BANNERS:  We had banners! HOTXSINC banners, our SINC banners and the giant SINC table-skirt.

SINC Brochures: We had a purchased Plexiglas table stand to hold SINC brochures, and another stand for our HOTXSINC brochure, which tells the history of our chapter. People were very interested in the history of both SINC and our organization and SINC, and by the end of the festival ALL brochures had been taken.

HOTXSINC Brochures: Fran Paino developed a brochure for the Festival recounting HOTxSINC’s 27-year history—very popular.

Also, we had a HOTXSINC membership signup form with our website listed, and have only a couple left.

CONVERSATIONS!  We talked to many, many people during this two-day event. We talked to Austinites, out-of-towners, foreigners, students, retirees, friends, strangers. As you might expect, a number were writers/aspiring writers. The eye-catching banners drew people who were curious about HOTxSINC and SINC and loved hearing that we were local authors who were there to sign our own books. We made some good contacts with future members and had great conversations with others about critique groups, writing processes, the supportive nature of HOTXSINC, and of course the excellent programs we’ve had this year.

THANK YOU AGAIN FOR THIS GRANT.  We believe we’re establishing a presence at the most important book festival in Texas, one heavily attended and publicized, and we think it’s really important for the advancement of SINC and HOTXSINC for us to be there.



I do read P.D. James because she pays much more attention to character,
to a particular atmosphere or setting.
But most mystery writers, I think,
are controlled by the plot. ~ Martha Grimes


One definition of noir is where a not-so-good man or woman
tries to touch something good – and fails. ~ S. J. Rozan


Call for Submissions

HOTXSINC lists the following websites for information only.  Readers themselves will need to evaluate reliability and quality. 

Writing Career

Level Best Books

East of the Web

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog



 Selected Sites

The Passive Voice

Writer Unboxed

Jungle Red Writers

Mystery Writers of America

Mystery Fanfare

The Authors Guild
What Authors Need to Know About the New Tax Bill

N.Y. Times Scales Back Free Articles to Get More Subscribers

Electric Lit
A New Story by the  Master of Hardboiled Detective Fiction



Nolo Contendere

Members, when you email news to kathywaller1 at gmail dot com. Send a headshot or snapshot and titles of books and stories for inclusion in the author page. Send the URL of your website or blog so the can be included in our blogroll

Also – When you send news, please provide working links to everything you want linked: book covers, titles, your name, venues for book launches, signings, panels, etc., and make clear which link goes with each item. (The editor is a little slow on the uptake and needs help). The editor will no longer search for these. If you don’t provide a link, there won’t be a link.

Kathy Waller, editor
kathywaller1 at gmail dot com


HOTXSINC November 12: New Laws That Went into Effect September 1st – & – This Month We Meet at Bookwoman!

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

Change of Meeting Place

HOTXSINC will meet at

BookWoman Bookstore
5501 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78751

November 12th

Our thanks to Bookwoman for providing a place
***filled with books***
for our November 12th meeting




Exhibitor Tent 4

Saturday, November 4 – 10:00 a.m. t0 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 5 – 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Stop by!

HOTXSINC authors will
sell their books,
meet the public,
spread the word about
SISTERS IN CRIME ~ Heart of Texas Chapter
and support public libraries throughout the state

Texas State Capitol Building and Grounds

HOTXSINC’s booth is courtesy of  a grant
from the Sisters in Crime national organization 


November 12 Program: Sgt. Robbie Barrera on New Laws That Went into Effect September 1
The Word on Our Members
HOTXSINC Authors Guest on MysteryPeople Blog
Friday Fictioneers
Ramona DeFelice Long on NaNoWriMo
Selected Sites
The One Thing More
Nolo Contendere

New Laws That Went into Effect September 1, 2017

Sgt. Robbie Barrera

At the November 12 HOTXSINC meeting, Sgt. Robbie Barrera of the Texas Department of Public Safety will speak  about new laws that went into effect September 1.

Sgt. Barrera graduated from Texas State in San Marcos and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology. She is a Master Peace Officer and an approved Instructor for the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) and FEMA. She is certified as an Advanced Public Information Officer through U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She has served the state of Texas for over 24 years and currently serves as a Sergeant in Media and Communication. She was named Trooper of the Year by the Austin Exchange Club. She has been recognized for her public service by Safe Kids, Travis County Sheriff’s Office, MADD, Travis County Underage Drinking Program, FEMA, People against Violent Crime, and TABC.



Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Chapter meets the second Sunday of each month at Book People, 603 North Lamar, Austin, phone 512-472-5050. Meetings begin at 2:15 p.m. Take the elevator to the third floor.

NOTE:  On November 12, 2017, Heart of Texas Chapter will meet at 

BookWoman Bookstore
5501 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78751

For information about the Heart of Texas Chapter, contact Joyce Arquette, Publicity (512) 266-6543, and visit our website at


Murder is a plant of slow growth … ~ Mignon Eberhart


***** *****

It was said of Miss Letitia
that when money came into her possession
it went out of circulation. 

Mary Roberts Rinehart


The Word on Our Members

N. M. Cedeno‘s THE WALLS CAN TALK, a ghost mystery, is available in ebook format.


Laura Oles debut novel, DAUGHTERS OF BAD MEN, will be released by Red Adept Publishing on November 14, 2017. The story follows Jamie Rush, a skip tracer working in Port Alene, Texas, and her search for her missing niece.  DAUGHTERS OF BAD MEN was named a Killer Nashville Claymore Award Finalist in 2016.


Meredith Lee’s new novel, SHROUDED: A CRISPIN LEADS MYSTERY, is taking to the road. A book club in Morrison, Colorado, featured the thriller in a two-and-a-half group discussion on October 22.  Another group of readers is planning a book sale/signing celebration in Stephenville, Texas on Sunday, November 19 from 2-4 p.m. The celebration will be at 1442 Private Road 2114 (South US 81).

Meredith Lee is the pen name for the Austin-based writing team of Dixie Lee Evatt and Sue Meredith Cleveland. For more about their debut novel go to


Patricia Flaherty Pagan‘s award-winning mystery story, “Padre,” has been published in the anthology TALES OF TEXAS. The anthology of short stories by Texas authors is available in select indie bookstores and on Amazon. The publisher will donate a portion of the fall sales to benefit Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.


Coincidence means only a connection that’s not seen.
Roots meet underground. ~ Charlotte Armstrong

***** *****

It is a curious thing
that when one speaks from the heart
it is invariably in the worst of taste. ~ Ngaio Marsh


HOTXSINC Authors Guest on MysteryPeople Blog

In recognition of Sisters in Crime’s 30th Anniversary, MysteryPeople  has hosted blog posts by four SINC authors. Three Heart of Texas Chapter authors led off.

October 5 Fran Paino

October 9 Dave Ciambrone

October 19Noreen Cedeno

post by Terry Shames, president of Sisters in Crime Northern California Chapter, completes the series.

Thanks to MysteryPeople for helping celebrate SINC’s 30th Anniversary.


As cows need milking and sweet peas need picking,
so writers must continually exercise their mental muscles
by a daily stint. ~ Joan Aiken

***** *****

Don’t matter if you believe in them or not.
If they’re there, they’re there,’ Mrs. Phipps said. ~ Joan Lowery Nixon


Friday Fictioneers–Flash Fiction Opportunity


Rochelle Wisoff-Fields:

Each week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields hosts Friday Fictioneers, bloggers from all over the world who share 100-word stories. Every Tuesday, she posts a picture prompt. The following Friday, Fictioneers post their stories on their own blogs and link to InLinkz, a collection of links to all the stories posted that week. (Stories may be linked before and after the posting Friday–but not after a new photo prompt has been posted.)

Instructions for writing and for linking appear on Rochelle’s blog and on the Friday Fictioneers’ Facebook page.

Below are some examples of stories by Friday Fictioneers.

Tresha Barger: “Right or Wrong (2)”

Clare Hempstead: “Duplicity”

Susan Spaulding: “Deadly Curiousity

Kathy Waller: “‘Shrooms”

Janet: The Assignation

Dawn M. Miller: Friday Fictioneers: Haunted by Knick Knacks

Linda: “Old Tree”


The most important thing she’d learned over the years
was that there was no way to be a perfect mother
and a million ways to be a good one.~ Jill Churchill

***** *****

Perfume companies ought to bottle the smell of crisp bacon.
Forget pheromones.
I’ll bet a woman with a little spot of bacon grease behind her ears
would attract every male within a five-mile radius. ~ Blaize Clement


 Ramona DeFelice Long on NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo–National Novel Writing Month–begins November 1. Writer and editor Ramona DeFelice Long offers advice for beginning and winning the challenge.

–from Ramona DeFelice Long






 The mills of God work like lightning compared with the law. ~ Mary Stewart

***** *****

 His books distracted him for a while.
They were like the aspirins you take when you’ve got a headache.
They kill the pain for two hours and then it comes back.  ~ Barbara Vine


Selected Sites


Chicago’s Radio Days Return in ‘Homicide for the Holidays’

Many, often most, of the Selected Sites come from the blog The Passive Voice: A Lawyer’s Thoughts on Authors, Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing.  (“Passive Guy is an attorney, entrepreneur, former tech executive and writer.”) Each issue offers summaries of articles related to writing and links to the full articles in various publications. Those listed below are drawn from a number of PV’s posts. You can receive daily updates of The Passive Voice via email by subscribing to the website. In addition, when you purchase books from Amazon, you can support The Passive Voice at no extra cost to you–instructions appear in the blog’s sidebar.

From Amazon, a Change That Hurts Authors

Self-Published ISBNs Hit 786,935 in 2016

The Attention Economy

“Does Each Click of Attention Cost a Bit of Ourselves?” [Conversation; link embedded in the article above]

Sonny Bono Memorial Collection

Why the Seattle Mystery Bookshop Must Close

Fast-Draft Writing for NaNoWriMo and Every Other Month

Help! I Don’t Know How to Rate Books!

Hey, Websites: Think Before You Link to Amazon

Sexual Harassment Is a Problem in Publishing

 Amy Tan on Writing and the Secrets of Her Past

The 5 Weirdest Lawsuits About Authors Stealing Ideas

Supreme Court says copyright law does not protect publishers in discount re-sales

When Copyright Goes Copywrong

[“Charade: The Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn film, a big-budget Universal Pictures release, fell out of copyright immediately upon release because the title screen failed to actually use the word “copyright,” instead stating “MCMLXIII BY UNIVERSAL PICTURES COMPANY, INC. and STANLEY DONEN FILMS, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.”]

Bookstore Sales Dropped 10.9% in August

Amazon Bookstores Offer Peek Into Whole Foods’ Future

A new study shows that students learn way more effectively from print textbooks than screens

How Harvey Weinstein Used His Book Imprint to Cover His Tracks



Love and a cold cannot be hid.
It is, I believe, a Spanish proverb. ~ Patricia Wentworth

***** *****

Have you ever noticed the softness of a kitten’s feet?
– they are like raspberries to hold in one’s hand.
~ Anne Douglas Sedgwick


The One Thing More

You are the lady to help people. The words came back to her as she made her way home that evening. It was pleasing to know that people thought that of you, but worrying, too. You could not help everybody–nobody could–because the world was too full of need and troubles, a wide ocean of them, and one person could not begin to deal with all that. And yet, even if you were just one person, and even if you could not solve everybody’s problems, when somebody came to you and looked frightened, you could not say, Go away. I cannot do anything for you. You say instead, Yes, I will do what I can. And then, when you go home from work at the end of the day, you sit on your small verandah watching the day turn to dusk, nursing a cup of red bush tea in your hands, and wonder what on earth what you could possibly do to help.

~ Alexander McCall Smith, The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party


Nolo Contendere

  1. Members, send news for HOTSHOTS! to kathywaller1 at gmail dot com.
  2. Member authors, send head shots and titles of your publications to kathywaller1 at gmail dot com for the HOTXSINC Author page. See how your information will be used at
  3. If you find errors–from typos to information that’s incorrect or that should appear but doesn’t–please email Kathy. HOTSHOTS! will live forever on the Internet. We want it to be accurate.

Kathy Waller, Editor
kathywaller1 at gmail dot com


October 8: Party! Sisters in Crime’s 30th Anniversary





Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Meeting October 8, 2017: Birthday Party!

Our mission is to promote
the ongoing advancement, recognition,
and professional development of women crime writers.
                                             ~ Sisters in Crime Mission Statement

October 8, 2017 Program: Celebrate Sisters in Crime’s 30th Birthday!

The Word on Our Members
Computer Keys for Four Hands: Teaming Up to Write
An Afternoon with Helen Ginger
Call for Submissions
Call to Action: Review!

Selected Sites
Nolo Contendere

October 8, 2017 Program 









2:15 – 4:00 P.M.


603 N. LAMAR



Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Chapter meets monthly on the second Sunday of the month at 2:15 p.m. at Book People, 603 North Lamar, Austin, phone 512-472-5050.  Take the elevator to the third floor.

For information about the Heart of Texas Chapter, contact Joyce Arquette, Publicity (512) 266-6543, and check out our website at


Sara Paretsky at Bouchercon 2009 in Indianapol...
Sara Paretsky at Bouchercon 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) By Mark Coggins from San Francisco (Sara Paretsky Uploaded by tripsspace) [CC BY 2.0 ] via Wikimedia Commons

It gestated at the first-ever conference on Women in the Mystery,
put together by BJ Rahn at Hunter College in March 1986.
Sara Paretsky spoke on the growing use of graphic sadism
against women in mysteries.
“Remarks I made at the conference set off a firestorm around the mystery world,”

founding mother Sara recalls.
“Women began calling me from all over the country
with their personal histories of treatment/mistreatment.”



The Word on Our Members

 Meredith Lee celebrated the launch of her first book, SHROUDED, at the Writing Barn on September 9, 2017. She will speak and sign copies of SHROUDED at BookPeople on November 10. (Meredith Lee is the pen name of HOTXSINC members Sue Meredith Cleveland and Dixie Lee Wyatt.)


“I remember being scared at the start,” Nancy Pickard says.
“Our very first organizing meeting, I remember Sara at the front of the room,
how brave she was, and how smart.




SINC’s Ongoing Pursuit of Reviews for Women Writers: 2016 Report

and HOTxSINC’s Invitation

Mission Statement of the national organization Sisters in Crime (SINC): “Promote the ongoing advancement, recognition and professional development of women crime writers.” Since 1986 SINC has pursued its goal of raising women writers’ share of reviews and recognition through its Monitoring Project, monitoring the share of reviews for women crime writers.  For the first 20 years of the Monitoring Project, SINC noted a long-term upward trend. But the 2016 results are stagnant in the digital category and show only statistically insignificant changes in national and local newspapers, pre-publication sources, and genre-focused magazine categories. Here are the numbers for 2007-2016:

Type of Publication     Reviews of Books    Reviews of Books    Reviews of Books

by Women 2007         by Women 2015         by Women 2016


National  newspapers               31%                                 42%                                41%


Local newspapers                      37%                                46%                                 47%


Pre-publication sources           45%                                45%                                 46%


Genre-focused magazines        40%                               50%                                 52%


Born Digital Review Sources     n/a                               52%                                 52%

SINC notes that the national newspaper category continues to be the most resistant to reviewing women writers—significant because these papers (New York Times, Toronto Globe & Mail, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal) carry prestige and readership. In pre-publication review sources, Booklist (43%) and Publishers Weekly (46%) continued to favor male over female writers, but both improved by one point from 2015. Since 2011, the majority of Library Journal’s reviews have been for women (but the percentage dropped from 60% in 2015 to 56% in 2016.

SINC estimates the percentage of mysteries by women by counting Edgar Award submissions (best novel, best first novel, best paperback or e-original, and submissions for the Mary Higgins Clark award). Women authors accounted for 49% of books submitted in 2016 (51% in 2015). Men continued to dominate Best Novel (57% in 2016); women dominated Best Paperback or E-Original (56% in 2016) but lost ground in Best First Novel (dropping from 52% in 2015, to 48% in 2016).

The Heart of Texas chapter of SINC, HOTXSINC, shares SINC’s goal of improving women’s share of reviews of crime writers by showcasing members’ work, encouraging professional development and advancement, and cheering each other on. We use our website, emails, meetings, and newsletter to do so. Come join us in this effort! Encouragement…strategies…new ideas…our pursuit of excellence…that’s what we’re about.


The Sisters in Crime Website

Selected Pages


Who We Are

Local Chapters

Strategic Plan

News and Press Room

Celebrating 30 Years of Sisters in Crime

The Docket

We Love Short Stories


Book Publishing Glossary

Conferences, Events, and Trade Shows


Mystery Bookstores & Websites


References for Writers by Sisters in Crime Members





Sinc Up





“Several women wanted SIC, as in ‘Let’s sic ’em!'” Margaret says, “
but I knew we were less about hostility than about working together in sync,
so I used SinC in all my correspondence and official letters.
By the end of my term, SinC had become the standard abbreviation.”


SINC Guppies Online Chapter–The Great Unpublished

“Lured by Mystery, Hooked on Writing, we are the Guppy Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

675 Members / 6 newsletters each year  / 15 classes each year / Anthologies

“We may begin as ‘the Great Unpublished,’ but we remain as colleagues, friends, and resources in the world of crime fiction.”



Elaine mentions, “Sisters in Crime was called ‘ubiquitous’
by Publishers Weekly that year [1996].
I had to look that one up and found it wasn’t a shooting offense
but ‘that we were everywhere’—
and we were—and we were being imitated.


Hill Country Authors Series

The Friends of the Georgetown Public Library will host their 34st author event on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 2 PM, in the Community Rooms of the library located at 402 W. 8th St.   Austinite Meg Gardiner, whose newest thriller, “UNSUB” was published in June, 2017, will be the speaker.  Lawyer turned author, Ms. Gardiner is an Edgar Award-winning American crime writer who has written thirteen thrillers.

“UNSUB” (short for unknown subject) tells the tale of a young detective, determined to apprehend the serial murderer who destroyed her family and terrorized a city twenty years earlier.  This riveting psychological thriller has been bought by CBS Television Studios for adaptation into a TV series.

Tickets are $15 in advance, or $18 at the door and will go on sale September 11th.  They’re available at the Second-Hand Prose bookstore on the second floor of the library, from the WOW!mobile (the book mobile that visits many locations in the city), online at after September 11th , or by contacting Marcy Lowe at 512-868-8974.  A dessert and beverage from the Red Poppy Coffee Company is included.

The event begins at 2 PM; doors open at 130 PM.  Proceeds are used to fund unbudgeted items and other ongoing library projects.

For more information contact Marcy Lowe at (512) 868-8974.


“Most of all,” Margaret Maron says, ”
I remember the excitement and pride
of being so involved with something important—
the feeling we all had that we could make a difference,
that we could make things better for our sister writers
and strengthen the field for our sister readers.”


“Sisters in Crime is committed to helping women
who write, review, buy, or sell crime fiction.

Our ultimate goal is to become a service organization
to address issues of concern

to everyone involved in the mystery field.”



Selected Sites

The Mysteries of London

From Writer Unboxed

How to Find the Right Developmental Editor for Your Book

Seriously Funny: 7 Ways to Add Humor to a Novel

The Hidden Dangers of Short-Form Publishing Deals

Historical Novels–Your Research To-Do List

Back to Bach

If You Write a Book That Nobody Reads, Are You Really a Writer

The Psychology Behind Good Book Cover Design

News You Can Use (and Some You Shouldn’t)

Say a Little Less, Mean a Little More

Indie Authors: Your Pub Date Is Not as Important as You Think

Authentic Female Characters vs. Gender Swaps


Thanks to The Passive Voice for sharing the following sites:

The 8-Step Daily Routing That’s Enabled Me to Write 100s of Articles and 3 Books

First Books: The Stories That Got Us Into Reading

I Subscribed to What? What Online Subscription-Based Marketers Need To Tell Their Consumers

The Creative Life: How We Do It (Any Way We Can)

Cover versions: why are UK and US book jackets often so different?

Authors Use Multi-tiered Strategies To Gain Max Exposure In Book Price Promotions


Author Blogging 102: a Practical Guide to Developing Your Weekly or Monthly Link Post

Another Murder on the Orient Express

7 Free Online Tools for Writers and Authors

Danielle Steel’s Desk Is Like Nothing You’ve Ever Seen


Nolo Contendere

Members, please email links to your websites and/or blogs to kathywaller1 at gmail dot com so they can be listed in our blogroll. Email your news/announcements to the same address.

Member authors, please send book/story&publication titles and a headshot to kathywaller at gmail dot com. Here’s a link to the Author page so you can see how your info will be displayed:

Kathy Waller, editor
kathywaller1 at gmail dot com


Deputy U. S. Marshal Hector Gomez

HOTXSINC September 9, 2017

HOTXSINC September 10, 2017: U.S. Marshals

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

September 10 Program: U. S. Marshals
October 8: Party! Celebrating 30 Years of Sisters in Crime 

The Word on Our Members
Contests and Calls for Submissions
Selected Sites
The One Thing More
Nolo Contendere


The U.S. Marshals Service is the nation’s oldest and most versatile federal law enforcement agency, established in 1789. The Service holds a uniquely central position in the federal justice system and it is the enforcement arm of the federal courts, involved in virtually every federal law enforcement initiative. Presidentially appointed, U.S. Marshals direct actions in 94 districts, one for each federal judicial district and approximately 3,709 deputy marshals and criminal investigators form the backbone of the agency.

On September 10, U.S. Marshal Hector Gomez will speak to Sisters in Crime. He will cover the history of the US Marshals (1789 – present), historical and contemporary missions, establishment of the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force in Austin , and high profile local apprehensions. There will be an interactive discussion, and Q&A’s.

“Hector Gomez, Supervisory Deputy US Marshal.  Started my career in 1986 (31 yrs), posted in Brownsville, McAllen, Denver and Austin.  Assigned to general investigations, Witness Security (WITSEC) Division, and Task Force Commander of the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force.  Assigned to high threat trials in leadership and support roles involving Timothy McVeigh, Unabomber, John Gotti, Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, White Supremacists and Narcotics Cartels.”


Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Chapter meets monthly on the second Sunday of the month at 2:15 p.m. We are now meeting at Book People, 603 North Lamar, Austin, Phone 512-472-5050.  We meet on the third floor.

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. 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. Check out the Sisters in Crime website at

For information about the Heart of Texas Chapter, contact Joyce Arquette, Publicity (512) 266-6543


Are those cat hairs on your lapel, or have you been dating a blonde with a crew cut? ~ Lilian Jackson Braun











2:15 – 4:00 P.M.


603 N. LAMAR




“There’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls.”
                                                           ~ Megan AbbottDare Me


The Word on Our Members

ThirtyNineStars will sponsor a book launch for Meredith Lee’s debut mystery novel, SHROUDED, on September 9, 2017, at The Writing Barn in Austin, Texas. The event is set for 3:00 to 5:00 pm.
 On November 10 at 7:00 p.m., Meredith Lee will speak and sign copies of SHROUDED at BookPeople.
Sue Cleveland & Dixie Lee Evatt

About SHROUDED: “Insecure American graduate student Crispin Leads has come to the Vatican to study burial rituals and catch up with her oldest friend, Sister Lew, historian for the Shroud of Turin. Within hours of Crispin’s arrival she witnesses a murder and is drawn into an investigation of multiple homicides.”


A Twitter Chat Party was held for the launch of DAY OF THE DARK: Stories of Eclipse, on August 24. Stories by Laura Oles and M. K. Waller appear in the anthology.



A woman’s body doesn’t quit just because her heart breaks. ~ Margaret Maron 



“Like accidents, marriages result because those involved
happen to arrive at what might be the wrong place,
at the same time.” ~ Margaret Yorke


 Contests & Calls for Submissions

Fiction Writing Contests Worth Your Time (Fall 2017 Edition)

Glimmertrain: Short Story Award for New Writers

Glimmertrain: 2017 Submission Calendar and Writing Guidelines           



Music has power to create a universe or to destroy a civilization. ~ Katherine Neville



9/5/2017 MysteryPeople
Sherry Thomas: Speaking & Signing!
@ BookPeople

9/9/2017 ThirtyNineStars
Meredith Lee: Book Launch! 
@ the Writing Barn

Hector Gomez, U. S. Marshal
@ BookPeople

Craig Johnson: Book Launch!
@ BookPeople

9/13/2017 MysteryPeople
William Kent Krueger: Speaking & Signing!
@ BookPeople

11/10/2017 BookPeople
Meredith Lee: Speaking and Signing!
@ BookPeople


… danger was always at its most lethal when disguised as respectability. ~ Susan Moody


 Selected Sites

From Writer Unboxed

Do Daily Deal Services Work? One Author’s Experience with 18 Promo Sites

Telling the Truth in Fiction

Weaving Backstory into Frontstory

Seven Things I Learned from Wrecking My Novel

Unspoken Dialogue

5 Creative Nonfiction  Skills for Novelists

Blueprint, Territory, Language, Portal, Singular Lens: 5 Ways to Read as a Writer

Your Publicity Timeline: Is There a Best Month to Publish Your Book?

The Trouble With Action

Stealing from Aesop

Every Good Book Is a Mystery, Even When It’s Not

Should You Ever Write for Free?

Thanks to The Passive Voice for sharing the following sites:

Hurricane Harvey: Bookstores ‘Bent, Not Broken’

‘Murder by the Book in Houston reported on Facebook that it “has a few damp places where water came in, but it is minimal compared to what we expected” so it plans to open today from noon to 6. “We’re happy to provide anyone who comes in with free coffee, charging stations, wi-fi and restrooms,” the store wrote. “Please pass this along for those who have lost electricity, or who just need a break from sitting home in the rain.”

Final Chapter for Pears’ Cyclopaedia after 125 Years in Print

Copyright Fable: Debunking the Seven Second Rule

Twitter Will Render Children Illiterate in 20 Years Says Jacobson

Rendezvous with le Carré

The World’s 50 Largest Publishers, 2017

What If Barnes & Noble Went Bankrupt?

Information Sickness: How It Hurts Us and How to Escape

The Evolution of Female Pen Names from Currer Bell to J. K. Rowling


The crimes that become iconic etch themselves into the collective consciousness
because they suggest a frightening truth:
that the universe does not rely on cause and effect.~S. J. Rozan



The One Thing More



When you’ve just made the most complete fool of yourself,
you feel the need of a specially high horse to ride. ~ Patricia Wentworth



Nolo Contendere

Members, send news for HOTSHOTS! to kathywaller1 at Member authors, send titles of your published books and stories, and a head shot, for the HOTXSINC author page, to the same address.

M. K. Waller, editor
kathywaller1 at