Sisters in Crime ~ Heart of Texas Chapter

Promoting Women Crime Writers


Leave a comment

HOTXSINC April 9, 2017: Cyber Security

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

Meeting April 9: Richard Taylor on Cyber Security
News from Our Members
Calendar
Selected Sites
Nolo Contendere
_______________

Richard Taylor, Technical Project Manager at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, will speak about cyber security at the April 9, 2017, at 2:15 p.m., at the SINC Heart of Texas Chapter meeting.

The presentation will cover efforts underway to understand how higher-risk small to medium-sized machining and tooling companies that are vital to U. S. Military and Energy sectors protect cyber information. He will discuss past and current cyber attacks, consequences of attacks, and how attacks are mitigated or reduced.

From Santa Fe, New Mexico, Mr. Taylor has worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory for the past 23 years. He works in Division A, Group A-3, Technology Applications, to develop, promote, direct, and work on the technical aspect of projects related to cyber security for the U. S. Government. Group A-3 recently made a presentation at the White House.

*

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 http://sinc-heartoftexas.com.

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

*****

In 1986 we were trying to help women get in print, stay in print,
and come to the attention of booksellers and libraries.
At that time, books by men mystery writers were reviewed
seven times as often as books by women. ~ Sara Paretsky

*****

News from Our Members

Manning Wolfe

*

*

MANNING WOLFE is presenting Legal Issues for Authors at the Houston Writers Guild Annual Conference on April 28 -30. She will be covering contracts, copyright, the use of trademarked products in writing, obtaining an ISBN & LCCN, and much more!  The conference will be held at Rice University and those interested in attending can register HERE.

*

V. P. Chandler

*

*


V.P. CHANDLER’S
story “Kay Chart” was published on the MysteryPeople blog. For more about what V.P. has been doing, read her latest blog post.

Helen Currie Foster

*

*


HELEN CURRIE FOSTER’S
GHOST DAGGER, the fourth mystery in the Alice Greer MacDonald series, is now out on Kindle as well as in print on Amazon—and at BookPeople in Austin. In Scotland to investigate disturbing occurrences on her mother-in-law’s farm, Alice immediately runs into murder. With love interest Ben Kinsear providing archaeological insight and the aid of a surprising cast of characters, can she unearth the ancient secrets at Gran’s farm and solve the mystery before she herself becomes the third victim?

*

Alexandra Burt

*

*

 

ALEXANDRA BURT will be at the San Antonio Book Festival on April 8, 2017. You can find her at the Festival Marketplace, Booths 35-36, at 3:00 p.m., at the Central Library (600 Soledad) and Southwest School of Art in downtown San Antonio.

*

Nancy G. West

 *

*

 

NANCY G. WEST will be at the San Antonio Book Festival, Saturday, April 8, with the new Aggie Mundeen Mystery, RIVER CITY DEAD. Aggie and SAPD Detective Sam plan their first rendezvous at a San Antonio River Walk hotel during Fiesta Week…a vacation from crime and reset for their tumultuous relationship. With Aggie, nothing goes as planned.

           
        I have visited the River Walk. I wish I had read this book first.
        Like taking a vacation while reading a mystery.
        A great series with fun characters.
 
To see all books in this San Antonio/Hill Country mystery series and enter the drawing for giveaways, stop by Booth #20.

*****

Using insult instead of argument is the sign of a small mind. ~ Laurie King

*****

Calendar

4/8/17 @ San Antonio Public Library
SAN ANTONIO BOOK FESTIVAL

4/8 @ MysteryPeople/BookPeople
PHILIP KERR 
speaks and signs his new Bernie Gunther novel, PRUSSIAN BLUE.
He will be in conversation with Mark Pryor, author of HOLLOW MAN.

4/17 @ MysteryPeople/BookPeople
MURDER IN THE AFTERNOON BOOK CLUB
Discusses  THE THIN MAN by Dashiell Hammett

4/18 @ MysteryPeople/BookPeople
GREG ISLES, speaking and signing MISSISSIPI BLOOD, the concluding volume of his epic trilogy featuring Penn Cage

4/20 @ MysteryPeople/BookPeople
MEGAN MIRANDA speaks and signs THE PERFECT STRANGER

4/26 @ MysteryPeople/BookPeople
THE HARD WORD BOOK CLUB
Discusses HEADSTONE by Ken Bruen

4/28-30/17 
HOUSTON WRITERS GUILD ANNUAL CONFERENCE

4/28 @ Bethesda, Maryland
MALICE DOMESTIC 29

*****

You have got a good side? I have. I just do not use it too often.
My bad side is so much more fun. ~ Faye Kellerman

*****

 Selected Sites

The Brass Teapot (short story)

Parade Magazine’s Sunday With: Nancy Pickard

50 Mysteries by Women Crime Writers, Read in a Year

MysteryPeople Pick of the Month: A WELCOME MURDER by Robin Yocum

MysteryPeople

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog

2017 Derringer Finalists

Amazon Tips, Tricks and Tools to Ensure You Never Pay Too Much

Kevin’s Corner

Manual Dexterity, Revisited

Shelf Awareness

The Stiletto Gang

Celebrating the Short Story: The 2016 Agatha Short Story Nominees

The Laptop Is Dead

 

Thanks to The Passive Voice for alerting us to the following sites:

Male Crime Writers Eclipsed by Golden Age of Female Authors Brought Back into Print

Making Friends in a New City Via Our Little Free Library

Make the Most of Your Book Back Cover With These Tips

The Holiday Is Over: Amazon Will Collect Sales Tax Nationwide April 1

eBook Pirates Are Relatively Old and Wealthy, Study Finds

Amazon’s Lockers Gave Me a Shameful Taste of a World Without People

The Laptop Is Dead

*****

I wanted to pay homage to working women because they are the bridge that got us over.
My work is about the people who are assumed not to have a worldview ~ Barbara Neely

*****

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 HOTXSINC 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 currently unavoidable. It will take a conversation with tech support to root them out.

Kathy Waller, editor
kathywaller1 at gmail.com


1 Comment

To All HOTXSINC Members–A Call for Submission

Knife Challenge

–from Eugenia Parrish

eugenia-parrish-knife-0109171014At the HoTSinC meeting on Jan 8, I offered a writing challenge to the members, with this knife as the prize. The parameters are taken from Ellery Queen magazine’s guidelines for a short story, which are between 2500 and 8000 words (approx 10 to 32 pgs depending on the font, word processor, etc.)  For those who weren’t there, the knife is a “hunting knife” of 8.5″ overall length and a blade of 4″.  Surgical steel blade, Paka wood handle and comes with a leather sheath.

I wish I could accept emailed manuscripts, but I’m just not set up for it, so at the next meeting, Feb 12, everyone give me their printed out manuscript with their name on, of course, and the word count.  We will announce our winner at the March meeting at BookPeople.  We are all pros, but I’ll just mention that the font should be pretty standard, like Times New Roman, nothing fancy or hard to read, and the usual size 12 or 14.  Please no pink paper!

The story has to be a crime/mystery that includes the knife in this picture.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be THE weapon, just in the story somewhere.
I look forward to reading some great stuff!
Note: The Knife Challenge is open to members of SINC Heart of Texas Chapter. If you’re not a member but would like to participate, you’re welcome to join now. Membership form and instructions are here: https://sinc-heartoftexas.com/about-hotxsinc-2/how-to-join/hotxsinc-membership-form-2017-3/ 


Leave a comment

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.

*****

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

*****

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.

 

*****

“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?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*****

Opening Line

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

 *****

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

*

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

 

*****

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

*


2 Comments

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.


Leave a comment

June 14’s New Topic: From Play to Publication: Creating an Anthology of Crime Fiction

Murder on WheelsThere is a change in Sunday’s program. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Minerva Koenig cannot present the program at the HoTXSinC meeting.

But the meeting will go on!

In Minerva’s place, HoTXSinC members Gale Albright, Valerie Chandler, and Kathy Waller, and Scott Montgomery, Crime Fiction Coordinator at BookPeople Bookstore, will discuss the stages in creating a crime fiction anthology–from coming up with an idea through unpacking their own author copies.

They’ll also read excerpts from their own stories in the recently published MURDER ON WHEELS: 11 STORIES OF CRIME FICTION ON THE MOVE–“stories that transport you from an eighteenth-century sailing ship to the open roads of modern Texas, from Alice’s Wonderland to a schoolbus yard in the suburbs of Dallas.”

A number of members have said they would be interested in submitting stories for a HoTXSinC crime fiction anthology. This program will offer information about that process. We hope it will also encourage more members to participate in the project.

As always, the meeting is free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome to attend, and to gather with us for dinner after the meeting at La Mancha, across the street from the Yarborough Library.

Authors who bring books to sell may sell them after the meeting, off library property.

If you stay for dinner, please move your car from the library parking lot to La Mancha’s parking lot. We want to leave plenty of spaces open for library patrons.

We also hope to reschedule Minerva’s presentation at a later date.

***

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

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.