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Monday, September 26, 2016

Next SJ Sinc Meeting



NEXT  SAN JOAQUIN
SISTERS IN CRIME MEETING


Michele Drier is our speaker--going to talk about dialogue.

Scene of the Crime
Yosemite Falls Restaurant      On Ashlan, West side of 99     EARLY START at 10:00 am
SATURDAY Oct. 1, 2016. – Please come early by 9:45 so we can start on time and you can look at books

 Members - $16.50      Visitors - $21.50
  
**NOTE:  We will be served a choice of  California Burger, Soup & Salad Combo, or
                                                                                                        Spaghetti & Meatballs with bread.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
RESERVATION PROCEDURE
RSVP by Wednesday before the meeting
If you can, we highly encourage you email your reservation instead of phoning it in, Thanks.
NOTE:  please put your lunch choice on subject line
Do not log on to the website, simply send email to the above address.
IF YOU CAN NOT EMAIL Please call 559-431-0360 
AND LEAVE VOICEMAIL
with your name & choice of lunch.
Dial carefully, there is no greeting announcing SJ SinC.


Program

AUTHOR MICHELE DRIER

 In October we will hear Michele Drier. Her topic is, "Can we talk?" She is going to talk about dialogue, one of the most important experiences of life, in reality or fiction. Michele is the author of the Amy Hobbes Mysteries and the Kandesky Vampire Chronicles

 Michele Drier, a fifth generation Californian, was born in Santa Cruz, California to a family that migrated west to San Francisco in 1849. Unfortunately, they never found gold, nor did they buy (and hang onto) any California land, but books and writing are in her blood. Her mother named her Michael, after author and actress Blanche Oelrichs, who wrote under the name of Michael Strange. Her maternal grandmother belonged to a writing club in San Francisco in the early part of the 20th century and wrote poems and jingles— one of which won her a travel trailer during the Depression. Before she began her third career as a genre novelist, she had a two-decade stint as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, and also spent about 20 years as a non-profit CEO. She’s a member of the Society of California Pioneers and Sisters in Crime and lives in California’s Central Valley with a cat, skunks, wild turkeys and an opossum (only the cat gets to come in the house, although the others have tried!).


 San Joaquin chapter of Sisters in Crime meets the first Saturday of the month at Yosemite Falls Restaurant (which is located at Ashlan & Freeway 99.)  10:00 AM.  Price includes lecture & lunch. 

AN OPENED BOOK BY TERELL BYRD

I have been reading a lot of big city mysteries lately. I do like hanging out with guys like Harry Bosch, Martin Beck and Sean Duffy. I decided it would be good to take a break and visit some gal pals who know about small town crime. My next three reads are Amy Hobbes, Tempe Crabtree and Bella Kowolski.

Edited For Death
by Michele Drier

Amelia Louise "Amy" Hobbes was a big city journalist. A policeman's widow, she married a cad the second time around. At the time of this story the cad has departed and she is the managing editor for The Monroe Press, a California foothill town newspaper.

Robert Calvert, a US Senator and native of nearby Marshalltown, has just died. Amy sees a chance to get out of the newspaper business by writing a book about the beloved war hero's life. Her best reporter, Clarice Stamm, is helping her with some research.

At this point the story takes a turn into the past. We see through letters, illegal diaries and other sources the actions of Robert Calvert during World War II. People start dying in Marshalltown from unnatural causes. The old Calvert family hotel is being renovated. The residents of the building are troubled by deeds from the past in the shape of villains in the present. What is going on? Will Amy and Clarice survive to finish the book? You will have to read it to find out!


This book is in the first person and the present tense. As a writer I can tell you that present tense is not easy to sustain. It took me about a chapter to adjust to living in the moment with Amy, but it soon faded and the story flows very well. Because of the passage of time, a story where people were involved in WWII is hard to write without making it a period piece. It was nice to read one more novel about people from the 'Greatest Generation' before they are all gone. Enjoy!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Michele Drier Reports on Bouchercon

Our speaker for October, Michele Drier, shared this report on Bouchercon, the world mystery convention.

Lee Child on the right.


Lee Child, Sara Paretsky, Harlan Coben.

Aching feet, lack of sleep, erratic meals.

David Morrell, Michael Connelly, Catherine Coulter, Catrinona McPherson, C.J Box, Charlaine Harris.

Michael Connelly on the left.


Trying to talk to 2,000 people.

Sisters in Crime breakfast when Leslie Budewitz passes the Seal of Office to Diane Vallere for a new presidential term.

Bouchercon, The World Mystery Convention, was last week in New Orleans and 1,967 mystery and crime writers, fans, publishers, agents, fans…did I say fans?...spent five days talking, meeting, listening, drinking with each other.

Mystery conventions are a lot of fun. Where else can you meet a range of authors—your favorites, prepublished, struggling newbies, stars—in an up-close-and-personal way?

Bouchercon is the biggest convention and can be overwhelming. But if you’re a first-time convention attendee, there are many others you can cut your teeth on before you tackle 2,000 people.

One of the ones I like best—about half the people and closer to home—is Left Coast Crime.  In 2017 it’s in Honolulu and 2018 in Reno.

And if you’re a cozy mystery fan, there’s the venerable Malice Domestic in Bethesda, MD. They cut off registration at about 500, so it smaller, more intimate but packed with authors such as Margaret Maron, Hank Phillipi Ryan and Rhys Bowen.

If you’ve always wanted to visit Boston, there’s the New England Crime Bake. Florida? Try Sleuthfest and Killer Nashville. Some of these are self-developed and some are Mystery Writers of America sponsored. Places, costs and authors change, but each offers writers and fans unequaled opportunities to spend time with like-minded people.

Before I threw in the towel and became a full-time writer, I put together (and attended) probably 20 conventions and conferences across the country in the arts, criminal justice, housing and health delivery.  Held onto my program book or panel list and trudged from room to room. I once walked out of a lunch in Monterey where 250 arts administrators were collectively trying to write a telegram to the National Endowment for the Arts.

But mystery conventions? Hearing top-notch writers tell stories of starting out with 50, 100 or more rejections. Driving around with a trunk full of books. Going to signings where the audience consisted of your partner and two people who came in to get out of the rain.

I recommend going to at least one mystery convention. They’re gatherings of folks who love writing, reading, mysteries, whether hard-boiled noir, serial killers or cozy poisonings by the neighborhood baker.

And Bouchercon? Well, it’s coming to you (almost!). It will be in Sacramento in 2020. Guests of honor are Scott Turow, Walter Mosley, Anne Perry and Cara Black, with Catriona McPherson as toastmistress. And I’m pretty sure Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Sara Paretsky, Harlan Coben and new rising authors we don’t know yet will be there.

Catch a conference. Your feet will ache, you’ll lose sleep, you may even have sensory overload. But it will be exciting, fulfilling, stimulating and just plain fun!

.The guests of honor rode Mardi Gras floats into the opening ceremonies. A second line formed to walk to the theater where the Anthony Awards were held.


Despite 88 degrees, 90% humidity and rain, several hundred attendees followed the Preservation Hall Band, twirling umbrellas and waving bandannas, down closed streets at 5:30 p.m. on Friday night. Band members, stilt walkers and krewe members welcomed people to the Orpheum Theater. 

Diane Vallere accepts the Seal of Office from Leslie Budewitz during the Sisters of Crime annual breakfast and meeting.



--Michele Drier

 Editor's Note: Bouchercon can be overwhelming, but it's the place to see the super stars of the mystery world. And Michele really caught the flavor of what it's like.




Thursday, September 22, 2016

PROMOTION COMMOTION by Cora Ramos


What can an author do for promotion? With so much commotion of advice vying for my attention, I felt burned out and decided to go back to the basics—the old methods—put ads in the newspaper, present talks at local venues, find speaker opportunities at conferences and make announcements where we can. I began exploring options for authors in local venues. And an idea began forming.

In the spring, I talked to some romance writer friends who were having their first romance novels coming out in 2016 and asked them to join me for a panel talk at a local bookstore, the Book Barn in Clovis. I wanted to share the publicity to help ourselves and our writer organizations (all of us being members of Yosemite Romance Writers and two of us being members of San Joaquin Sisters in Crime). If I had known all the work it would take, I might not have started, but I found that when you set your mind to a goal, help comes along the way to make it possible.


Opportunities opened up, and I flowed with the ideas and inspiration as they came. It started with an ad I saw on Facebook. The local Central Valley Internet Talk Radio was asking for local artists and writers who might want to be interviewed about Art Hop, an event that happens once a month for people in the community to come out and visit local artists where they work and display (I only just learned they were adding authors to the mix and I would be the first author interviewed at CVTR).
So began the journey:


·         I appeared on Central Valley Talk Radio to promote Art Hop and my novels. As a result I was compelled to do what I’d been putting off doing; approaching the one bookstore that would be in keeping with my writing themes (past lives/reincarnation and the wisdom of indigenous people)—our one metaphysical bookstore/gift shop in the Fresno area, The Brass Unicorn, so I could announce where interested readers might find my novels during Art Hop.


·         I was then contacted to talk ta a writer’s group in Visalia which gave me some ideas for questions for the panel.

I    I was asked back to Central Valley Internet Talk Radio and invited fellow author, Krista Lynn, to join me for promotion for the Book Barn event. Our host was charming and made it easy. I was nervous—but not as nervous as when I’d made my first appearance (it gets easier over time).
·         I made up a flyer and put copies around town and all the authors helped spread the word and the fliers. We announced it at our respective writer groups, on Facebook, Twitter and in every other venue we had access to.


·  



·         Then the Book Barn put me in contact with KSEE 24 TV where we all gathered for an afternoon chat with Alex Delgado and Stephanie Bainum about the Saturday event and our books.
·         Finally, The Book Barn event itself was play time. We all learned something in the process of speaking and having some fun with our audience while they munched on cookies we provided. I think we all gained a few fans and feel more confident about our promotional speaking abilities after that.



Long story short, it was a great success. I stopped listening to all the promotion advice of everyone else, learned a few things and lost some of my appearance fears. My admonition to authors who read this and need to do promotion in a way that is right for them, to quote Steve Jobs,

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”


Share what you’ve done for promotion and good luck on your writing journey. 

#writerslife #TV #Radio

Cora J. Ramos
Website  
Blog

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"Can We Talk?' Michele Drier's topic for the SJ SinC meeting

In October we will hear Michele Drier. Her topic is, "Can we talk?"

She is going to discuss dialogue, one of the most important experiences of life, in reality or fiction. Michele is the author of the Amy Hobbes Mysteries and the Kandesky Vampire Chronicles. Her biography is in this newsletter as well as an Open Book on her first mystery Edited For Death.











Michele Drier Bio:

Michele Drier, a fifth generation Californian, was born in Santa Cruz, California to a family that migrated west to San Francisco in 1849.

Unfortunately, they never found gold, nor did they buy (and hang onto) any California land, but books and writing are in her blood.

Her mother named her Michael, after author and actress Blanche Oelrichs, who wrote under the name of Michael Strange. Her maternal grandmother belonged to a writing club in San Francisco in the early part of the 20th century and wrote poems and jingles—one of which won her a travel trailer during the Depression.

Before she began her third career as a genre novelist, she had a two-decade stint as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, and also spent about 20 years as a non-profit CEO.


She’s a member of the Society of California Pioneers and Sisters in Crime and lives in California’s Central Valley with a cat, skunks, wild turkeys and an opossum (only the cat gets to come in the house, although the others have tried!).

Scene of the Crime:

Yosemite Falls Restaurant On Ashlan, West side of 99 Starts at 10:00 am
SATURDAY October 1, 2016. – Please come early by 9:45 so we can start on time and you can check out the book table. LUNCH PRICES Members - $16.50 Visitors - $21.50

**NOTE: We will be served a choice of: California Burger, Soup & Salad Combo, or
Spaghetti & Meatballs with bread.

RESERVATION PROCEDURE

RSVP by Wednesday before the meeting.

If you can, we highly encourage you email your reservation instead of phoning it in, Thanks.
Please EMAIL TO reservationsforsisters@outlook.com.
NOTE: please put your lunch choice on subject line
Do not log on to the website, simply send email to the above address.

IF YOU CAN NOT EMAIL Please call 559-431-0360
AND LEAVE VOICEMAIL
with your name & choice of lunch.


Dial carefully, there is no greeting announcing SJ SinC

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Covers for the Deputy Tempe Crabtree Series

The first four covers were designed by the first publisher, and some have been redesigned by Mundania Press. Fortunately, I’ve been able to give input about the covers, and the artist has done a great job putting my vision into reality.

I’m just going to write about some of the later books and their covers.


The research into Kindred Spirits rekindled my interest in the Big Foot legend. I discovered that the Indian reservation nearby had their own version called the Hairy Man.


In Dispel the Mist, the Hairy Man makes his first appearance, and it seemed fitting that the pictograph of him found on the reservation should go on the cover.


The cover of Invisible Path is perfect for the title—and there is reference to the Hairy Man in this one too.


I absolutely love the cover for Bears with Us—it depicts the theme of the story perfectly.
Raging Water’s cover is a stylized design of exactly what the book is about.



Because Spirit Shapes has the ghost of a little girl and a whirlwind of restless spirits, the cover design is perfect.



 The Hairy Man makes an appearance in River Spirits too as do spirits that rise from the river.


Much of the story of Not as it Seems centers around Morro Bay, and of course there are many Indian spirits involved—and you can see how this is shown in the cover.


This is the latest entry into the series: Seldom Traveled. Because a forest fire has much to do with the story, and an eagle plays an important part, once again the artist did a fantastic job with the cover.



What do you think? Which one is your favorite?
Marilyn

Seldom Traveled Blurb:
The tranquility of the mountain community of Bear Creek is disrupted by a runaway fugitive, a vicious murderer, and a raging forest fire. Deputy Tempe Crabtree is threatened by all three.

Buy links:
Directly from the publisher in all different formats:

Thank you,

Marilyn



Marilyn Meredith’s Bio:

Marilyn has had so many books published, she’s lost track of the count, but it’s getting near 40. She lives in a community similar to the fictional mountain town of Bear Creek, the big difference being that Bear Creek is a thousand feet higher in the mountains. She is a member of Mystery Writers of American, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, and is a board member of Public Safety Writers of America.


New Contest:
Winners will be randomly picked from those leaving the most comments on the blog posts. Each winner can choose one of the earlier books in the series as either a print book or e-book.

 Tomorrow look for me at 






Saturday, September 10, 2016

VOIR DIRE? OH DEAR



By Sunny Frazier

On Sept. 3, Criminalist Specialist David Mugridge spoke to the San Joaquin Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Fresno. His topic was jury selection and his tricks of the trade.

In Latin, Voir Dire translates to “To Tell the Truth.” Not the TV game show, although there is gamesmanship involved. The first question an attorney tells himself is “Who are these people?” Through an extensive questionnaire both prosecuting and defense attorneys get a vague idea of the people in the jury pool. Through questioning, they can use a certain number of eliminations for cause in picking the jury.

Mugridge said the attorney has to be a “quasi-psychologist, quasi-Johnny Carson.” The idea is to entertain, make sure they don’t fall asleep and give them a reason to like you. He even throws in a few lawyer jokes to loosen them up.

He also watches potential jurors as they come through the door. Are they carrying a book—what kind? Do they come in groups, indicating early bonding, or alone? What kind of clothes are they wearing? Are they bald? While asking questions, the attorney listens not only what is said, but what words are used. “Words matter,” Mugridge emphasized. As readers and writers, we agree.

As a defense attorney, he dresses the defendant much like himself and lets the jurors try to guess which one is the lawyer and which is the defendant. He seeks to personalize his client. He also seats a woman next to a defendant who is perceived as violent to put in the mind of jurors that she feels “safe” and not afraid.

“The weakest training for lawyers is jury selection,” Mugridge concluded.




      

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

STUN GUN 101, by Sunny Frazier




On Sept. 3, P.I. and forensic expert Myrl Stebens spoke to the San Joaquin Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Fresno.  Stebens is currently consulting on the re-opened Jonbenet Ramsey case. He has been asked to evaluate the multiple marks on the victim’s body.

He educated the group on the difference between stun guns and tasers. Stun guns can be bought over the counter; tasers are harder to obtain. Tasers have hooks on them, much like fishhooks. With a stun gun, both probes have to make contact in order for the volt to connect.

Can stun guns kill? “You would more likely die from an electrical short on a lawn mower,” said Stebbens.

Twenty years ago, at the time of Jonbenet’s death, tasers were not commercially sold. The investigation of the crime scene at the time was not, in Stebens’ mind, properly or effectively processed. Stebens explained that while he is not supporting any theories but only analyzing the evidence, he does believe two different stun guns were used, possibly indicating two different assailants. There were 14 separate groupings of marks.

In Stebens’ opinion the act was done with a high degree of anger and hatred on the part of the killer.