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


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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Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Chapter meets the 2nd Sunday of each month at 2:00 p.m. at the Yarborough branch of the Austin Public Library, 2200 Hancock Drive. All meetings are free and open to the public. http://library.austintexas.gov/yarborough-branch

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