August 2015

Kit Frazier on August 9

KIT FRAZIER 2Kit Frazier presents: Dangerous Instincts: Cultivating Sources in Law Enforcement at the Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas meeting at 2 p.m., Sunday, August 9, at the Yarborough branch of the Austin Public Library. She is the author of the Austin-based, Cauley MacKinnon mystery series, including Scoop and Dead Copy.

It will be an interactive, illustrated chat about how to approach, convince and gain the trust of local and federal law enforcement. Learn the secrets of how to get the real techniques, facts and stories (and a few that made it into award-winning fiction).

Novelist Kit Frazier comes from a long line of hardheaded, trailblazing Texas women.  Named for her great, great grandmother, Kit Hockaday, who saved her husband from Civil War bushwhackers – twice – Kit hopes to add to her family’s tradition of unconventional women.

“My mother was a police woman, my grandmother a ‘medicine woman’ and my great, great grandmother could shoot the beak off a chicken. So I turned to what my family knows best – murder, mayhem and more malevolent men than you can shake a stick at.”

Murder on Wheels Launch, 7 p.m., August 11

Please join Austin Mystery Writers at BookPeople

Gale Albright, Valerie Chandler, Kaye George,
Scott Montgomery, Laura Oles, and Kathy Waller
& Earl Staggs and Reavis Wortham as they celebrate the launch of their first crime fiction anthology

MURDER ON WHEELS:
11 Tales of Crime on the Move

“Eleven stories put the pedal to the floor and never let up! Whether by bus, car, tractor, or bike, you’ll be carried along at a breakneck pace by the talented Austin Mystery Writers. These eight authors 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. Grab your book, hold on to your hat, and come along for the ride!”

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
7:00 p.m.

BookPeople Bookstore
6th Street and Lamar, Austin, Texas

Gale Albright, Valerie Chandler, Kaye George, Laura Oles and Kathy Waller are also members of Sisters in Crime.

murder-on-wheels-panel-10sMOW cover

 

Anna Castle on September 13

castle_72dpiOn September 13, at 2 p.m., Anna Castle will conduct a fun, informative workshop on formatting and blurb writing at the Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas meeting at the Yarborough Library . Bring your notebooks. Bring your pencils. Bring your questions.

Anna Castle is also making great progress toward getting our Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas booth ready for the Texas Book Festival, October 17-18. We have received a grant from national Sisters in Crime to defray book fair expenses. This is exciting news. Bring your questions to the meeting.

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July 2015

HELEN CURRIE FOSTER ON JULY 12

JULY SINC HELEN CURRIE FOSTER Mystery writer Helen Currie Foster will be guest speaker at 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, July 12, at the Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas chapter meeting at the Yarborough branch of the Austin Public Library, 2200 Hancock Drive.

She plans to walk through a discussion of the step-by-step efforts required to get her books published on CreateSpace—from sublime to ridiculous, not to mention tears at 5 a.m.  She’ll also talk about the advice she got before starting the whole process, as well as getting the covers done and post-publication issues like the pros/cons of using consignment programs at independent bookstores. She is the author of Hill Country mysteries Ghost Dog and Ghost Cave, and will read brief excerpts from them at the meeting.

Helen Currie Foster is the author of the Alice MacDonald Greer Mystery series. earned a BA from Wellesley She College, an MA from the University of Texas, and a JD from the University of Michigan. Having grown up in Texas surrounded by books and storytelling, she taught high school English and later became a prize-winning feature writer for a small Michigan weekly. Following a career of more than thirty years as an environmental lawyer, the character Alice and her stories suddenly appeared in Foster’s life. In her writing, Foster explores the interaction between history and the present and the reasons we tell the stories we do.

Married with two children, she lives north of Dripping Springs, Texas, supervised by three burros. She works in Austin, and she’s active with the Hays County Master Naturalists and the board of Austin Shakespeare.

http://helencurriefoster.com/books

SINC JULY GHOST DOG

ghostcave.cover.rev.indd

KIT FRAZIER ON AUGUST 9

KIT FRAZIER 2On August 9 at the Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas meeting, Kit Frazier will give a presentation on Dangerous Instincts: Cultivating Sources in Law Enforcement. It is an interactive, illustrated chat about how to approach, convince and gain the trust of local and federal law enforcement. Learn the secrets of how to get the real techniques, facts and stories (and a few that made it into award-winning fiction).

She is the author of the Austin-based, Cauley MacKinnon mystery series, including Scoop and Dead Copy.

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June 2015

Minerva Koenig on June 14

minerva koenig nine daysMystery writer Minerva Koenig will discuss gender roles in crime fiction at 2:15 p.m. at the Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas chapter meeting on Sunday, June 14 at the Yarborough branch of the Austin Public Library, 2200 Hancock Drive.

Her first novel was Nine Days.

“She’s short, round, and pushing forty, but Julia Kalas is a damned good criminal. For seventeen years she renovated historic California buildings as a laundry front for her husband’s illegal arms business. Then the Aryan Brotherhood made her a widow, and witness protection shipped her off to the tiny town of Azula, Texas. Also known as the Middle of Nowhere.”

Ms. Koenig’s second novel is the soon-to-available South of Nowhere.

“The dead body stuffed into the upstairs closet at Julia Kalas’ fixer-upper ranch house has been there too long to be related to her short-lived WITSEC past, but that doesn’t stop the local cops from giving her the hairy eyeball.”

Details about her biography and books can be found at her website.

http://www.minervakoenig.com/

minerva koenig

Helen Currie Foster on July 12

Helen Currie Foster will be guest speaker at 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, July 12, at the Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas chapter meeting at the Yarborough branch of the Austin Public Library, 2200 Hancock Drive.

She is the author of Hill Country mysteries Ghost Dog and Ghost Cave.

http://helencurriefoster.com/books

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May 2015

Back to Back May 17 and May 23

Two Exciting Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas chapter

events for May Mystery Month

Barbara Burnett Smith aspiring writers event, Yarborough Library, May 17

Jan Grape

Jan Grape

Anthony and Macavity Award-winner Jan Grape will receive the 2015 Sage Award from W.D. Smith of the Barbara Burnett Smith Mentoring Authors Foundation on May 17 at the Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas chapter’s May meeting.

Mystery authors Karen MacInerney and Susan Rogers Cooper will be guest speakers and Jan Grape will give the keynote speech. Jessie Winter (mentor Susan Rogers Cooper) and Tresha Barger (mentor Russ Hall) will be honored as aspiring writers.

Karen-MacInerney-214x300 (1)SUSAN ROGERS COOPERThe May 17 meeting will start at 2:15 pm at the Yarborough branch of the Austin Public Library in Austin.

 

Three Looks at Crime Fiction, BookPeople, May 23

img_2570[1]BookPeople picLike to read mysteries? Like to write mysteries?

Come to the free all-day mystery writing workshop at BookPeople, Sixth Street and Lamar Boulevard, on Saturday, May 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be free door prizes, free parking, and free workshops.

The first speaker is Reavis Wortham, author of the Red River mystery series. He will discuss the things an author learns once a manuscript goes into production. His mysteries Burrows and The Right Side of Wrong have received critical acclaim from Publishers Weekly and The Library Journal.

George WierSecond speaker George Wier presents a workshop on editing, or as the author says, “Without Mercy: The alternative to hiring a contract killer—why the author should be his or her own best editor.” He wrote the Bill Travis mystery series and co-authored Long Fall From Heaven. He writes principally mystery and science fiction.

Les EdgertonThird speaker Les Edgerton presents a workshop on protagonists and antagonists. He is a full-time writer and writing teacher. His eighteenth book, a black comedy crime caper, titled The Genuine, Imitation, Plastic Kidnapping, came out in October from Down & Out Books. Three Looks at Crime Fiction is presented by Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas chapter and BookPeople.

Minerva Koenig on June 14

Mystery writer Minerva Koenig will talk about gender roles in crime fiction at the June 14 meeting of Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas chapter. She is the author of Nine Days and the soon-to-be-released South of Nowhere.

Details about her biography and books can be found at her website.

http://www.minervakoenig.com/

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April 2015

This month’s program will be on the third Sunday, April 19, instead of our usual second Sunday presentation.

The Art of the Book Cover
featuring Rebecca Byrd Bretz

According to Scott Montgomery, crime fiction coordinator at BookPeople in Austin, authors should pay attention to their book covers. “People say ‘don’t judge a book by its cover, but nobody does that.’ A photograph is better than an ugly book cover with shoddy, computer-generated art. An ugly book cover is a source of embarrassment for your booksellers.”
RBBOn April 19, award-winning graphic artist Rebecca Byrd Bretz will speak at the Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas meeting about creating book covers. She will describe her process of working with authors and the elements of successful cover design. “Meeting authors to hear them describe their stories brings the visuals I need to present them back in print,” she says, “and that is how a book cover is born.”
Ms. Bretz holds a commercial art degree and throughout her career has continued to study. She has worked for UpState magazine, textbook publisher Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Morgan Printing, and Ginny’s Printing, and has developed concepts for malls, hotels, spas, and clowns. She has created book covers through printing companies and agencies and as an independent designer. Clients include SafePlace, the Library of Congress, and numerous self-published authors. She has received a First Place for cover design in the New York Book Show, a Clarion Award First Place from Women in Communication, a Crystal Award for Publishing Excellence from Holt, Rinehart and Winston, and a Texas Graphic Excellence Award for Brochure Design.
Read more about Ms. Bretz and see samples of her work at

http://www.rebeccabyrdbretz.com/book-covers.html

Jan Grape Receives Sage Award, Karen MacInerney and Susan Rogers Cooper Speak, and Two New Aspiring Writers Are Introduced

bbs purple sage 2bbs.1On May 17, The Barbara Burnett Smith Mentoring Authors Foundation will present mystery author Jan Grape with the 2015 Sage Award, which is given to a mentor-author who demonstrates an outstanding spirit of service in mentoring, sharing and leading others in the mystery writing community.

Jan Grapewhat doesnt kill youTwo new Aspiring Writers for the 2015 Barbara Burnett Smith Event, Jessie Winter (mentored by Susan Rogers Cooper) and Tresha Barger (mentored by Russ Hall), will be honored at the Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas chapter meeting.
Susan Rogers Cooper will talk about Jan Grape’s mysteries and Karen MacInerney will speak about Barbara Burnett Smith’s books. Jan Grape will give the keynote address. Mentors and aspiring writers will be honored. The meeting starts at 2:15 pm at the Yarborough branch of the Austin Public Library.

Free All-Day Crime-Fiction Workshops on May 23 at BookPeople–Noir in the Daytime 

BookPeople picAs part of May Mystery Month, Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas chapter partners with BookPeople to present a free, all-day Saturday crime fiction workshop fest featuring writers Reavis Wortham, Les Edgerton, and George Wier.

Free parking–free workshops–free doorprizes!

The show starts at 10 am and runs until approximately 4 pm.

There will be ample opportunity to ask questions, buy books, and have them signed. Come for an hour or stay all day at BookPeople, 6th and Lamar in Austin.

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March 2015

 Anna Castle March 8 program

Learn to Plot from Agatha Christie, the Queen of Crime

castle_72dpiAnna Castle, Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas chapter’s secretary/historian, is “happily embarked on the adventure of indie publishing.” She will tell you everything you want to know about Agatha Christie’s “sneaky plot tricks” and show their relevance to modern mysteries.

Black&White&Dead_proof1

“Anna Castle writes two series: the Francis Bacon mysteries and the Lost Hat, Texas mysteries. She has earned a series of degrees — BA in the Classics, MS in Computer Science, and a Ph.D in Linguistics — and has had a corresponding series of careers — waitressing, software engineering, grammar-writing, assistant professor, and archivist. Writing fiction combines her lifelong love of stories and learning. She physically resides in Austin, Texas and mentally counts herself a queen of infinite space.”

 April 19 Program

The Art of the Book Cover

Award-winning graphic artist Rebecca Byrd Bretz will speak at the Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Chapter on April 19. She will discuss her education and career, her process of working with authors to design book covers , and the elements of successful cover design. “Meeting authors to hear them describe their stories brings the visuals I need to present them back in print,” she says, “and that is how a book cover is born.”

The April program will be on the third Sunday, rather than the usual second because of a scheduling conflict.

 Jan Grape Sage Award

Jan Grape

The Barbara Burnett Smith Mentoring Authors Foundation is pleased to announce Jan Grape as the recipient of the 2015 Sage Award.  The Sage Award is given to a mentor-author who demonstrates an outstanding spirit of service in mentoring, sharing and leading others in the mystery writing community.  Jan Grape will be honored by the Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas chapter at the May 17 Barbara Burnett Smith Aspiring Writers event at 2:15 p.m. at the Yarborough branch of the Austin Public Library.

 

 May Mystery Month Workshop co-sponsored by BookPeople and Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas chapter on Saturday, May 23.

As part of May Mystery Month, Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas chapter will co-sponsor an all-day free mystery workshop with BookPeople on Saturday, May 23. Stay tuned for more details in next month’s HOTSHOTS!

Books

Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas member Helen Currie Foster’s mysteries Ghost Cave and Ghost Dog, both set in the Texas hill country, are out on Amazon (paperback and Kindle) and at BookPeople.

http://www.amazon.com/Helen-Currie-Foster/e/B00R1X9RXK#

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Helen-Currie-Foster/1589101594654123

Fire and Ice: Beyond Alchemy by George Arnold, from Eakin Press, a division of Wild Horse Media Group is now available.

www.CIAcats.com

George Arnold and Ken Squire were Sisters in Crime presenters on June 12, 2011, with “An Author’s Guide to Successfully Selling Your Book.”

 

 

 

 

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February 2015

George WierGeorge Wier: Writing in Multiple Genres

George Wier will be the guest speaker on Sunday, Feb 8, at 2:15 p.m. at the Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas meeting.  George is the prolific author of the Bill Travis mystery series. He will speak about writing in multiple genres, among other literary topics.

George Wier writes books that serve as throwbacks to early action novels for today’s audience. His Bill Travis series (now in print versions, available at MysteryPeople) earned a large online following. Even when he’s writing with another author, Wier’s voice still carries through striving to entertain the reader as much as he can.

He is “comfortable fielding any question under the sun” and especially interested in answering questions about “collaborating, schedule, focus, dealing with life, spouses, traditional vs. Indie, writing on other genres, etc. Ask, ask, ask.”long fall from heaven

According to Wier’s FB page, “Long Fall from Heaven was published in May 2013, and has made its way into bookstores and libraries around the country. I found out today, that it is now in libraries around the world. For instance, Auckland, New Zealand now has the book in two of its libraries. Way to go, Cinco Puntos Press!

“Madeleine Smither, from The Monitor, describes the book as: ‘…a dark, seedy murder mystery dotted with Wier’s sense of humor.’”

http://www.themonitor.com/life/valley_life/article_5dba510a-f3b4-11e2-b93a-001a4bcf6878.html

Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Chapter, meets on the second Sunday of the month at 2:15 p.m. at Yarborough Branch Public Library, 2200 Hancock Drive, Austin, Texas 78756, 512-974-8820.

Meetings are free and open to all. For more information, check out the Sisters in Crime website at http://sinc-heartoftexas.com..

 Speaker for March: Anna Castle

Learning to Plot from the Queen of Crime

castle_72dpiAnna Castle, author of historical mysteries Murder by Misrule and Death by Disputation, will talk about Agatha Christie’s “sneaky plot tricks” at Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas chapter’s March 8 meeting. Ms. Castle is the chapter’s secretary/historian.

Call for SubmissionsIMG_1111.1

Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas chapter calls on all aspiring writers of cozies, thrillers, true crime, noir, young adult, middle grade, and other mystery genres to submit the first 500 words and a 100-word synopsis of their unpublished manuscript to the Barbara Burnett Smith Aspiring Writers Project (BBSAWE). The submission deadline is March 31, 2015.

This is not a contest – there is no judging and no fee. It is a wonderful opportunity for writers unpublished in the mystery field to be mentored by published authors and recognized by the Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas chapter. Please e-mail entries to Gale Albright at bbshotsinc@gmail.com

If you have questions about submission guidelines or other concerns, please contact Gale Albright at the above e-mail address.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

  1. Aspiring Writers (those unpublished in the mystery field) submit a 100-word synopsis and the first 500 words of a mystery short story or novel.
  2. Entries should be in standard submission format: 12 point Times New Roman or Courier New font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins.
  3. One submission per person
  4. Aspiring Writers will be chosen on a first-come, first-served basis depending on the number of mentors available, so submit early.
  5. Deadline to submit: March 31, 2015.
  6. Entry Fee: None
  7. Aspiring Writers and mentors MUST attend the Barbara Burnett Smith Aspiring Writers Event to be held Sunday, May 17, 2015, at the Yarborough library in Austin, Texas.

E-mail subject line: BBS ENTRY

Include name, mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number. Attach: One document with the synopsis (100 word max) on the first page and the first 500 words of the manuscript on the following pages. At the top of each page, note the year, the name of the aspiring writer and the name of the story.

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