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.


“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!


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.

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

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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