HOTSHOTS! Special Texas Book Festival Issue – Author Schedule

2018 Texas Book Festival

The Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas chapter will staff a booth at the upcoming Texas Book Festival on Saturday and Sunday, October 27 and 28, 2018. The Festival takes place in downtown Austin on the streets surrounding the Capitol Building. The Festival runs from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday, and from 11 am to 5 pm on Sunday.

Here’s a link to the Author/Volunteer schedule for Saturday and Sunday.

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080544afaa23a64-2018

HoTXSinC authors will sell and sign their books in Tent 4, near the Capitol.

 

2018-10-26 hotxsinc tbf setting up booth 2
HoTXSinC’s TBF Coordinator K.P. Gresham setting up booth in Tent 4

 

2018-10-26 hotxsinc - tbf setting up booth
HoTXSinC’s TBF Coordinator K.P. Gresham, Secretary Francine Paino, and President Helen Currie Foster — with HoTXSinC table all set for the weekend — Tent 4, near the Capitol of Texas

HOTXSINC Meeting: April 8, 2018 @ Cafe Express

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

Program: Michael Noll on the Writers League of Texas
Upcoming Programs
The Word on Our Members
Blog Challenge: Blogging From A to Z

Selected Sites
Subscribe to
HOTSHOTS!
Nolo Contendere

*****

Writers’ League of Texas Program Director Michael Noll, author of the recently published book The Writer’s Field Guide to the Craft of Fiction, will discuss strategies for solving problems of character, scene, plot, and structure. A great way to find such strategies is by doing close readings of great writing and adapting the techniques gleaned from these close readings to your own work. The approach presented by the book and his blog, Read to Write Stories, is used in more than three dozen university classrooms around the country. This presentation will offer practical tips for reading like a writer, plus a preview of upcoming Writers’ League programming that could help with your writing and publishing goals.

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Michael Noll is the author of The Writer’s Field Guide to the Craft of Fictionthe Program Director at the Writers’ League of Texas, and the editor of Read to Write Stories, where he posts writing exercises based on published work and interviews authors about the craft behind their novels, stories, and essays. His short stories have been published widely, including in The Best American Mystery Stories anthology.

 

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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, HOTSHOTS!, at https://sinc-heartoftexas.com/posts/

*****

The first thing we see about a story is its mystery.
And in the best stories, we return at last to see mystery again.
Every good story has mystery, not the puzzle kind, but the mystery of allurement.
~ Eudora Welty

*****

Upcoming Programs

May 20 – the 3rd Sunday: Ed Martin, former U. S. Treasury agent, now private investigator at Sage Investigationson Breaking the Madalyn Murray O’Hair Kidnapping/Murder Case

June 10: K9 Unit Leader Elizabeth Bryant, Travis County Search and Rescue

*****

I believe I could commit a crime. We all can.
It depends on which situations we find ourselves in.
In despair, I would steal food if my children were hungry. ~ Karin Fossum

*****

The Word on Our Members

Laura Oles’ “Family Matters and Writing” appeared on Women Writers, Women’s Books (March 2).

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Patty Flaherty Pagan of Houston has a new collection of crime, literary & speculative short stories, and flash fiction, ENDURING SPIRIT, coming from Spider Road Press in May 2018.

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NoreenCedeño, KP Gresham, Helen Currie Foster, and Dave Ciambrone have joined the blogging team at Writing Wranglers and Warriors. Recent posts there by HoTXSinC members:

M. K. Waller, “Inspiration, Suspiration, Desperation, Broccoli” (March 1); and “Four-Sentence Book Review: A Broom of One’s Own” (March 7)
Noreen Cedeño, “A Plantain Is Not the Same Thing as a Banana: Merging Family Menus” (March 6)
KP Gresham, “I Love Research and Nolan Ryan,” (March 13)
Helen Currie Foster, “The Deep Dive” (March 19)
Dave Ciambrone, “Finding the Muse” (March 22) and “Your Characters Talk to You?” (March 25)

*****

Blog Challenge

Blogging From A to Z

Starts Sunday, April 1. The last day to sign up is March 31–click here for instructions.

*****

I think it was Freud who said that we’re all arrested at a certain age.
For me, it was always 13. ~ Megan Abbott

*****

 

Upcoming Events

Events listed below appear on the blog Texas Book Lover: Great books and all things Texas. Check Texas Book Lover for info on calls for submissions, workshops, conferences, book clubs, and other topics related to reading and writing.

Austin International Poetry Festival, April 5-8, 2018

Dallas Book Festival, April 7, 2018
Lone Star LesFic Festival, Austin, April 7, 2018

San Antonio Book Festival, April 7, 2018

North Texas Book Festival, Denton, April 7, 2018

 Brazos Valley Book Festival, College Station, April 14, 2018
 National Book Awards Festival, Huntsville, April 16-17, 2018
Poetry at Round Top, April 20-22, 2018
North Texas Teen Book Festival, Irving, April 20-21, 2018
Valley International Poetry Festival, McAllen, April 26-29, 2018\
Authors in the Park, Austin, April 28

*****

Life, too, is senseless unless you know who you are, what you want,
and which way the wind blows.~ Ellen Raskin

*****

Selected Sites

What Editors Want

What Mystery Propels Your Novel?

The articles below were shared on The Passive Voice.

Amazon Severs Ties With Top Lobbying Firms Washington

Facebook to simplify privacy controls amid anger over breach

Four by Royko

Another Downtown bookstore was destined for closure. Then these buyers called.

Microsoft Quietly Rolls Out Its E-bookstore

Romance community be warned: Amazon is stripping rankings from titles

You can now get a PhD in creativity

Mickey Spillane’s Work Keeps Coming, 12 Years After His Death

Tracking the slow, sad death of Barnes & Noble via data

Exclusive: Amazon aims to turn Alexa into a real-time universal language translator

B&N Third Quarter: Sales Drop 5.3%; Net Loss of $63.5M

Barnes & Noble drops after soft quarter

I have forgotten how to read

How to Create New Book Habits

The 15 Most Memorable On-Screen Bookstores

In Praise of Negative Reviews

On Bad Reviews

Measuring Fair Use: The Four Factors

Measuring Fair Use: The Four Factors

Common Examples of Fair Use

Walmart Beat Netflix and Amazon to Video on Demand but Still Lost

The Basics of Using Styles in MS Word

Characters in Cars Thinking, or, How to Deal with the Passage of Time

Right of publicity not a right to control one’s own image by censoring disagreeable portrayals, says appeals court in de Havilland case

How to Develop Buyer Personas Using Facebook Insights

The profits from publishing: authors’ perspective

Using Third Person vs First Person Novel Narratives

The Advice Columnists Who Prescribe Literature as Medicine

7 Books About Different Writing Lives

Insect Photographer Sues Pest Control Company for $2.7 Million

Hundreds protest college’s proposal to drop humanities for more practical majors

President Donald Trump Slams Amazon Over Taxes It Pays and Impact on Other Businesses

*****

The library is what keeps us a step ahead of the apes. ~ Dana Stabenow

*****

Subscribe to HOTSHOTS!

Want to be notified every time HOTSHOTS! goes online?

  1. Go to https://sinc-heartoftexas.com/posts.
  2. On the sidebar at the right, scroll down to the words ENTER YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, AND WE’LL SEND REMINDERS TO YOUR EMAIL. Type in your email address below.
  3. As instructed, Click to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
  4. WordPress will send you an email asking for your permission to notify you when HOTSHOTS! is published. Click on the indicated link. You’ll then receive an email every time a new issue of HOTSHOTS! goes online.

*****

To me thin people never had any meaningful problems. ~ Dorothy Cannell

*****

No Lo Contendere

Members, send news to kathywaller1 at gmail dot com. Include both past and upcoming events.
Also send head shots and a list of your book titles/short story titles for the HOTXSINC author page.

HOTSHOTS! welcomes reviews and articles written by members. Email  kathywaller1 at gmail dot com. 

HOTXSINC Meeting: March 11, 2018 at Cafe Express

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

NEW LOCATION on March 11: CAFE EXPRESS!
Program: Billy Kring on Creating and Stealing New Identities
Subscribe to HOTSHOTS! & HOTSHOTS! Wants
You
Upcoming Programs

The Word on Our Members
Selected Sites
Nolo Contendere

*****

Billy Kring

on

Creating & Stealing New Identities

 

Our Sisters in Crime speaker for Sunday, March 11, will be Billy Kring.  In the world of entertainment, Billy Kring is a prolific writer, authoring over twenty books, as well as an actor. His years as a Border Patrol Agent, brought him into situations that color his stories with first-hand experience. He has been a consultant on terrorism and international border issues in such places as Mexico, South America, Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, and the Pan Pacific.

Billy has also written a romantic suspense novel under the name B.G. Kring, because his wife asked him to, and his latest novel, Hunter’s Moonhas met with great success. He will speak on creating or stealing new identities, a topic that is of particular value to many writers.

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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, HOTSHOTS!, at https://sinc-heartoftexas.com/posts/

 

*****

Subscribe to HOTSHOTS!

You can receive a notification each time HOTSHOTS is published.

  1. Go to https://sinc-heartoftexas.com/posts.
  2. On the sidebar at the right, scroll down to the words ENTER YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, AND WE’LL SEND REMINDERS TO YOUR EMAIL. Type in your email address below.
  3. As instructed, Click to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
  4. WordPress will send you an email asking for your permission to notify you when HOTSHOTS! is published. Click on the indicated link. You’ll then receive an email every time a new issue of HOTSHOTS! goes online.

Some members have already received the email from WordPress (because the editor subscribed for them). If you received the email and didn’t respond but would like to subscribe, follow the steps listed above. If you don’t want to receive notifications, just ignore the email.

***

HOTSHOTS! Wants You 

HOTSHOTS! welcomes reviews and articles written by members. Query kathywaller1 at gmail dot com.

 

*****

“What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this — two things:
I crave truth. And I lie. ” 

― Tana FrenchIn the Woods

*****

Upcoming Programs

April: Michael Noll, Program Director of the Writers’ League of Texas

May: Ed Martin, former U. S. Treasury agent, now private investigator at Sage Investigationson Breaking the Madalyn Murray O’Hair Kidnapping/Murder Case

*****

“Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” 
― Tana FrenchIn the Woods

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The Word on Our Members

Noreen Cedeño‘s post “Wedding Receptions in the You-Tube Era” appeared on Writing Wranglers and Warriors on February 7. “A Plantain Is Not the Same Thing as a Banana: Merging Family Menus” appeared on March 6.

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Noreen’s novel THE WALLS CAN TALK was chosen for the American Library Association’s Book Club Central for this month: March Mysteries with an Irish Connection.

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Helen Currie Foster’s GHOST DOG was reviewed in Publishers Weekly: “Foster’s entertaining sequel to Ghost Cave … Alice’s plausible efforts to clear Tessa of a murder charge make for suspenseful reading. (BookLife)”

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Sue Meredith Cleveland and Dixie Lee Evatt, aka Meredith Lee, were featured in a four-part article in February in AARP Texas. The authors of SHROUDED: A Crispin Leads Mystery spoke about their book and writing as a team.

https://states.aarp.org/taking-pen-duo-releases-award-winning-mystery/

https://states.aarp.org/taking-pen-seeking-like-minded-souls/

https://states.aarp.org/taking-pen-going-press/

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Meredith Lee’s SHROUDED received a starred Blue Ink review in the February 15, 2018 issue of Booklist. Sue Cleveland and Dixie Evatt write together under the pen name Meredith Lee.

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Manning Wolfe‘s essay “‘Based On’ or ‘Inspired By’ a True Story?” appeared on the Killer Nashville blog.

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M. K. Waller will be selling and signing books at AllCon 2018 in Dallas the weekend of  March 16-18.

 

*****

“I wasn’t sure I could make it through another hour of his company
without throwing my stapler at his head.” 

― Tana FrenchThe Likeness

*****

Selected Sites

What Editors Want

The articles below were shared on The Passive Voice.

Mickey Spillane’s Work Keeps Coming, 12 Years After His Death

Tracking the slow, sad death of Barnes & Noble via data

Exclusive: Amazon aims to turn Alexa into a real-time universal language translator

B&N Third Quarter: Sales Drop 5.3%; Net Loss of $63.5M

Barnes & Noble drops after soft quarter

I have forgotten how to read

How to Create New Book Habits

The 15 Most Memorable On-Screen Bookstores

In Praise of Negative Reviews

On Bad Reviews

Measuring Fair Use: The Four Factors

Measuring Fair Use: The Four Factors

Common Examples of Fair Use

 *****

“Here’s a little tip for you. If you don’t like being called a murderer, don’t kill people.” 
― Tana FrenchFaithful Place

*****

No Lo Contendere

Members, send news to kathywaller1 at gmail dot com. Include both past and upcoming events.
Also send head shots and a list of your book titles/short story titles to Kathy for the HOTXSINC author page.

HOTSHOTS! welcomes reviews and articles written by members. Email  kathywaller1 at gmail dot com. 

HOTXSINC Meeting: January 14, 2018

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

NEW LOCATION on January 14: CAFE EXPRESS!

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

NEW LOCATION in 2018!

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!

http://www.cafe-express.com/locations/austin

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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.

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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 https://sinc-heartoftexas.com/posts/

***

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

***

THE WORD ON OUR MEMBERS

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.

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SELECTED SITES

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?

ON THE PERILOUS PLIGHT OF THE PART-TIME LIBRARIAN

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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

***

NOLO CONTENDERE

  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

SPECIAL EVENT

*****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 http://sinc-heartoftexas.com

*****

An I had but one penny in the world,

thou shouldst have to buy gingerbread.

                                                                   ~ William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost

 

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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!

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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.

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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.

 

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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, http://readersreviewroom.com, and to https://bookclubreading.com. 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:  https://youtu.be/T7yzZeW94oY

*****

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.

SUCCESSFUL USE OF SINC GRANT

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.

 

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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

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

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Call for Submissions

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

Writing Career
https://writingcareer.com/call-for-fiction-submissions/

Level Best Books
https://levelbestbooks.wordpress.com/submissions/submissions-novels/

East of the Web
http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/index.php?p=submissions/20131_3

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog
https://shortmystery.blogspot.com/p/markets.html

Crimewave
http://ttapress.com/crimewave/guidelines/

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 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

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

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-01/n-y-times-scales-back-free-articles-to-get-readers-to-subscribe

Electric Lit
A New Story by the  Master of Hardboiled Detective Fiction
https://electricliterature.com/a-new-story-by-the-master-of-hardboiled-detective-fiction-1ff845e9479a

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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

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