HoTXSinC June 22, 2019 – HOTSHOTS! NEWSLETTER


JUNE 22, 2019 HOTSHOTS!
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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. For more information, check out the Sisters in Crime website at https://sinc-heartoftexas.com.

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

Check out our blog/newsletter, HOTSHOTS!, at https://sinc-heartoftexas.com/posts/



HoTXSinC MAY 19, 2019 – HOTSHOTS! NEWSLETTER


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MAY 19, 2019 HOTSHOTS!
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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. For more information, check out the Sisters in Crime website at https://sinc-heartoftexas.com.

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

Check out our blog/newsletter, HOTSHOTS!, at https://sinc-heartoftexas.com/posts/



HoTXSinC MAY 2019 – SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN

****SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN****

Our newsletter is undergoing a change and will not be available until our meeting on May 19, 2019. Until then, we have some special news!

 

Do You Like Free Things?

K.P Gresham is releasing the eBook version of her novel, Murder in the Second Pew, the second in the Pastor Matt Hayden Mystery Series, for FREE from May 18th to May 23rd on Amazon. Although there is no requirement to leave a review on Amazon in order to get the book for free, she would appreciate folks feedback. If you decide to leave a review, please be honest. Feedback is important, and she would like to hear your comments, good or bad. Click on the book cover to the left Murder in the Second Pew to purchase the book now. If you want the eBook for free, please wait until May 18th to download!

 

OUR MEETING IS ON THE 3RD SUNDAY THIS MONTH TO NOT CONFLICT WITH MOTHER’S DAY. 

Laura Bush Community Library
9411 Bee Cave Rd
Austin, TX 78733

Sunday,  May 19, 2019
2:00 p.m.

All HoTXSinC meetings are free, and the public is invited.

 

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




 

“Crimes of Greed”

Det. Matt Conley and Det. Mike Morgovnik , both in APD’s Financial Crimes Unit and on the US Secret Service’s Central Texas Financial Crimes Task force

MoneyAre you writing about bank fraud? Money laundering? Cybercrimes? We are honored to have two veteran APD officers speak at our Sunday, May 19 Sisters in Crime Meeting.  These two public servants have plenty of stories to tell, and incredible amount of experience in Financial Crimes.  They’re the guys who can answer your questions with authority.

Detective/TFO Matt Conley has been with the Austin Police Department since 2001. After five years of working patrol in Central East Austin, Detective Conley was promoted to Detective. For the last ten years he has served in the Financial Crimes Unit, and eight years ago was assigned to the US Secret Service’s Central Texas Financial Crimes Task Force.  Due to that assignment, he is also deputized as a Federal Agent by the US Marshal’s Service as a Deputy Marshal.

Detective Mike Morgovnik has been with the Austin Police Department since 1997. He cut his teeth working patrol in Central West Austin and the Downtown Area Command for nine years. He has been a Detective in the Financial Crimes Unit for nine years, and also served the last four years with the US Secret Service’s Central Texas Financial Crimes Task Force.

This is your chance to hear from the pros on these ever-growing crimes.

 



OUR NEWSLETTER, IT IS A-CHANGIN’

We are revamping our newsletter and we could use your help.  We will be including articles written by our members and hope to multiple monthly columns.  I will be writing a monthly column about the life of the Indie Author (covering subjects like ISBNs, Covers, Software, Library of Congress, and more). We’d love to have a few more monthly columns, like grammar tips, marketing tips, tips on tips! If  you are interested in volunteering to write an article or “lord over” a monthly column, please email me at kelly@kellycochran.com



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. For more information, check out the Sisters in Crime website at https://sinc-heartoftexas.com.

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

Check out our blog/newsletter, HOTSHOTS!, at https://sinc-heartoftexas.com/posts/



 

HoTXSinC April 14, 2019: Colleen Ellis – What Is an Authors Marketing Plan and Why Do I Need One?

New PERMANENT Location!

Laura Bush Community Library
9411 Bee Cave Rd
Austin, TX 78733

Sunday, April 14, 2019
2:00 p.m.

All HoTXSinC meetings are free, and the public is invited.

 

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




Colleen Devine Ellis on an Authors Marketing Plan

 

Colleen Davis

Colleen Devine Ellis is a bookseller and literary publicist who has worked in publishing and sales for nearly 20 years. She was previously a community relations manager for Barnes & Noble in Austin, the Publicity & Communications Manager for the University of Texas Press, and now is working with the owners of Lark & Owl Booksellers in Georgetown to establish a new bookstore in Central Texas. Some of her favorite writers include Margaret Atwood, Jesmyn Ward, and Jasper Fforde.

Colleen will talk about the basics of putting together a Marketing Plan specifically tailored for authors. This is an opportunity to learn about what the publishing and publicity world expects from us, and the steps we need to follow to be as professional as possible in presenting ourselves and our books to the world.

Please join us, and feel to bring your questions and notepads to the meeting!

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. For more information, check out the Sisters in Crime website at https://sinc-heartoftexas.com.

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

Check out our blog/newsletter, HOTSHOTS!, at https://sinc-heartoftexas.com/posts/



Upcoming Programs

April: Colleen Ellis, Marketing Plans for Books
May: Fighting Crimes of Greed
June: Workshop
July: TBA
August: Ron Franscell, True Crime Writer
September: Sarah Stone, Alamo Area Search and Rescue



Writing in an Air of Intimidation

In her post for this week’s Ink-Stained Wretches, Noreen Cedeño, President of HoTXSinC, explains how books are being delayed or pulled from the publishing process before their publication dates because of online criticism–from people who haven’t even read the books.

Both writers and readers are affected by this practice of censoring books before they even hit the market, and would do well to read Noreen’s post.



The Word on Our Members

Meredith Lee traveled north–across the Brazos, Trinity and Red Rivers – to Oklahoma City for a book signing on Saturday, March 23. Pro tip: It’s about six hours by car so you can get a serious case of earworm if you decide to listen to the musical tune named after the state (“Yeeow-a-yip-i-o-ee ay! You’re doin’ fine, Oklahoma! Oklahoma, okay.) Besides, whoever wrote that song really needs to check the dictionary on how to spell potato and tomato.

*

In the past few months, Dave Ciambrone has been an invited speaker at the following Texas quilt guilds and sold a lot of mysteries: Dallas, Galveston, Temple, Victoria, Buda, Llano, Marble Falls, Pflugerville, Sulfur Springs, Round Rock,  Greenville, Denisen, Denton, Wimberly, Lockhart.

He’s also done quilt shows and sold a boat load of books at each show: Buda, Killeen, Georgetown, Llano, and S. Padre Island. He’ll be at a show in Waco later in the year.

And he’s given talks at the Kerrville and Belton Public Libraries.

*

Who’s Blogging

Tresha BargerIt’s a Long Story

Austin Mystery Writers

Laura Oles – AMW’s Anthology to Support Ellis Memorial Library

Ink-Stained Wretches

Noreen CedeñoDeath Investigations in the United States (an overview of Jan Burke’s presentation in February 2019)

K. P. GreshamThree Days at Wrigley Field

Helen Currie FosterSometimes You Need a Break

Fran PainoThe Writing Life – For the Sandwich Generation

M. K. WallerSit Down, Shut Up, and . . . You’re Invited

 

If you blog, please send title and URL of your blog for inclusion in HOTSHOTS! If you wish, send title and URL of a specific post you’d like mentioned. Email to kathywaller1 at gmail dot com.



Writers’ League of Texas Upcoming Programs and Events

From Michael Noll, WLT Program Director

*Agents and Editors Conference, June 28-30, 2019

 Registration information

“I wanted to make sure that Sisters in Crime knew about the 2019 Agents & Editors Conference, June 28-30. It’s our annual conference, and I know some of your members have attended in the past. This year, we have six agents who are seeking mystery/suspense novels. If anyone is interested, they can read more about our agents here: http://www.writersleague.org/FeaturedAgents2019
“Registration info can be found here: http://www.writersleague.org/75/Registration-Information”

*On the Craft of Writing

“We’re introducing a new program at the Writers’ League: WLT’s On the Craft of Writing. A few times a year, we’ll partner with an author coming through town on book tour (or traveling nearby) to put on a free craft talk. It’s a chance to bring high-level craft programming to writers who might not be able to afford our classes–and also a chance to bring great authors to the wonderful Austin literary community.”



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In Memoriam: Gale Albright

Posted by Kathy Waller

 

Gale Albright
Gale Albright, November 2016

Gale Albright, 2016 president of Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas chapter, a member of Austin Mystery Writers and the Writers’ League of Texas, an author, and our dear friend, died on November 19.

Gale was born in Tyler, in the Piney Woods of East Texas, where her family has lived for generations. She attended the University of Texas at Austin, and in the late 2000s completed a degree in English Writing and Rhetoric at St. Edwards University.

In an interview posted on the Austin Mystery Writers website, Gale spoke of how important her East Texas upbringing was to her writing:

“I always have to write about Texas. I had many conversations with older people in my family when I was a little kid, so I heard a lot of stories about hard times picking cotton, taking a lunch to school in a lard bucket and going barefoot until it was time to start school in the fall. I am fascinated with the Great Depression and the WW II years, all from an East Texas point of view. I love Southern story telling, all the rhythms of language and colloquial expressions.”

Gale had a fine ear for language. One of her stories, Eva, winner of the 2008 Writers’ League of Texas Manuscript Contest for Young Adult Fiction, and based on her aunt’s childhood in East Texas, demonstrates her ability to duplicate the rhythms of East Texas speech on the page. You don’t just read Eva; you hear it.

In the following passage, for example, the main character, twelve-year-old Eva, describes the new boy at school:

Mama had raised me to be polite and not stare at folks, but it was hard not to stare at this boy. He looked like he had slept in a mud puddle. His overalls were patched and filthy and his shirt collar was ragged. The shirt was so dirty I didn’t even know what color it used to be. And he was barefoot. Now, some of the farm boys kept on coming to school barefoot, at least as long as the warm weather held, but this boy’s feet were solid black! …

West Jonah was a small town in East Texas. Everybody knew everybody else. Where had this boy come from? It had been three years since the hard times started, but things kept on getting worse. It was 1932 and we still had hungry strangers coming through, looking for jobs, looking for a meal. Whole families sometimes, in beat-up old cars with furniture piled high and kids sitting on top of the furniture. But I had never seen a boy my age on his own.

By lunch time, everybody was calling the new boy “Dirty Billy.”

Gale Albright check for grant from the national SINC to Lake Travis Community Library Director, October 2016
Gale Albright presenting check for grant from the national SINC to Lake Travis Community Library Director, October 2016

Gale’s first ambition was to be an actress–she said by the time she was three years old, she was singing and dancing for an audience of women in her grandmother’s beauty shop. Years later, she played the role of Stella in a little theater production of Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire. But for a profession, she turned to writing and editing. In a training program at the Chicago Tribune, she learned to typeset news and proof galleys when the technology involved hot metal. Later she worked for twenty-three years at the University of Texas as a typesetter and an administrative assistant, first for the Petroleum Extension Service, and later for the School of Engineering, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and finally, the School of Law. After retiring, she wrote and edited for the Hutto News.

Gale loved her family: her husband, Joe; her daughter, Sarah; her brother, Stuart Inman, and her sisters, Molly Inman and Dawn Holmes. She loved her friends and co-workers at UT; the members of her Sisters in Crime chapter and of Austin Mystery Writers, and many others.

img_2439
AMW members Kathy Waller, Laura Oles, Gale Albright, and Valerie Chandler, outside Habana Restaurant.

She loved the butterfly garden she was building in her yard in Hutto; Pashmina shawls and scented soaps; reading crime fiction; going to writing workshops–“I’m a workshop junkie,” she said; organizing workshops; going on writing retreats, especially those held in Alpine, Texas; and her cat, Maggie, a rescue cream tabby she adopted from Austin Pets Alive!. Maggie supported Gale’s writing career by spending a goodly portion of her time meowing to be let into and out of Gale’s office. (Gale spent a goodly portion of her time opening and closing the door).

Gale loved the Hutto Public Library and belonged to Friends of the Hutto Library. She volunteered, wrote about the library for the Hutto News, and took Spanish and drawing classes there.

And Gale loved writing.

She did say, now and then, that she’d been avoiding working on a piece because writing was hard, and that she knew if she just started writing, the words would begin to flow, and what had been torture would become fun; and that she was so frustrated because she avoided doing something she would inevitably enjoy. Actually, I usually said that to her and she agreed. But for a person who admitted to avoidance, she put a lot of words on paper.

She loved National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWrimo). Every November, she focused on writing 1667 words a day–a 50,000-word novel in thirty days. Last year she organized two NaNoWrimo Write-Ins at the Hutto Public Library, and this November, she hosted another for the 2016 round. She proudly wore the tee-shirt proclaiming her a NaNo winner.

I met Gale at a Writers League of Texas meeting dedicated to helping members form critique groups. We read a few pages of each other’s work, decided we could work together, and agreed to meet once a week. Of course, we wanted to be published, but we’d been told writing just to be published wasn’t a good idea–because publication is an iffy thing–our reason should be deeper, more philosophical. So we chose a reason and a name to match: the Just for the Hell of It Writers. At the time, Gale was working on a mystery novel entitled One Small Monkey. It was set in the 1970s Austin music scene, a time she remembered fondly.

Austin Mystery Writers: Gale Albright, Scott Montgomery, Laura Oles, and Valerie Chandler.
Austin Mystery Writers: Gale Albright, Scott Montgomery, Laura Oles, and Valerie Chandler.

A year or so later, we dissolved JFTHOI and joined Austin Mystery Writers. In the larger group, we read more manuscripts, heard more comments about our own work. Gale was a discerning reader. She focused on the positive elements in a manuscript and gently pointed out negatives. She explained how she learned to critique in a blog post: “Critic or Critiquer?”

In 2015, Austin Mystery Writers published its first crime fiction anthology, MURDER ON WHEELS. Two of Gale’s stories appear there: “Aporkalypse Now” and “Mome Rath, My Sweet.” Both showcase her ability to infuse suspense with humor.

“Aporkalypse Now” is the story of a woman obsessed with pork ribs and pistachio ice cream, and resentful–and suspicious–of her husband’s sudden obsession with his bicycle.

In “Mome Rath, My Sweet,” she merges Lewis Carroll, the Brothers Grimm, and Raymond Chandler.

Gale Albright and novelist Marsha Moyer at the MURDER ON WHEELS book launch, BookPeople, August 2015.
Gale Albright and novelist Marsha Moyer at the MURDER ON WHEELS book launch, BookPeople, August 2015.

The story begins, “Joey Dormouse was dead and I was heading for a fall.” With that terse statement, private eye Jacob Grimm turns down the brim of his fedora, leaves his dingy office, and tangles with turquoise-eyed women and tough-talking men to rescue Alice Wonderland from the clutches of the gangster Mome Rath.

This story is probably the only example of noir fiction featuring a dormouse.

Gale joined SINC Heart of Texas in 2009. As vice president for programming, she introduced the chapter to many local authors. She edited the chapter newsletter. She coordinated the annual Barbara Burnett Smith Aspiring Writers Event. She helped facilitate a writing workshop co-sponsored with BookPeople bookstore. She moderated a panel at the Writers’ League of Texas Agents and Editors Conference, and, with host Hopeton Hay of radio station KAZI 88.7, interviewed mystery author Sue Grafton. For the December 2015 party, she wrote, produced, and acted in a radio play, “Holly Through the Heart,” in which Sherlock Holmes meets Tiny Tim. Gale brought  new energy to the chapter. And her involvement wasn’t going to end after her presidency–there were other projects she wanted to pursue.

Cast of "Holly Through the Heart": Alex Ferraro, Kathy Waller, Dave Ciambrone, Gale Albright, and Valerie Chandler; Book Spot, December 2014.
Cast of “Holly Through the Heart”: Alex Ferraro, Kathy Waller, Dave Ciambrone, Gale Albright, and Valerie Chandler; Book Spot, December 2014.

And there was her own writing. At the time of her death, she was working on edits of two stories to be included in Austin Mystery Writers’ second anthology. She was also revising Eva for middle grade readers.

Gale is survived by her husband, Joe Albright; her daughter, Sarah Hathcock; her brother, Stuart Inman; and her sisters, Molly Inman and Dawn Holmes.

She also leaves behind many friends. We miss her.

A memorial service for Gale will be held on Saturday, December 10, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., at the Northland AA Group, 2809 Northland Drive, in Austin.

Memorials may be sent to Friends of the Hutto Library or to SINC Heart of Texas chapter.

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Read more of Gale’s writing at her personal blog, Crime Ladies, and at the Heart of Texas chapter’s newsletter, HOTSHOTS!

Watch a production of Gale’s “Holly Through the Heart.”

*****

Some of the information in this post was provided by Gale’s husband, Joe Albright. Some came from the linked sources, above. Most came from memories.