Monday, February 12, 2018

Lillie Evans' Play "Take My Hand" Set for 6 Performances at IndyFringe Onyx Festival

TAKE MY HAND (A Blues Man's Path to Gospel), written by Speed City Sisters in Crime author and playwright, Lillie Evans will be presented at the 7th annual Indyfringe Onyx Festival.  There will be six performances beginning March 23, 2018.

The drama centers on the life of Thomas A. Dorsey, a self-taught piano man, singer, and composer, who struggles with the fact that he is not recognized, appreciated or compensated by white music publishers during the 1920's and 30's. 

Dorsey struggled for years, straddling the fence between blues and gospel, in an effort to combine the two styles in a way acceptable to churches.  He remained uncertain which path to take until an unfortunate tragedy threatened to end his career and possibly his life.  Through the ordeal, emerged one of the best known gospel songs of all time, 'Take My Hand, Precious Lord.'

Lillie is an author and playwright, and a long-time member of Speed City Sisters in Crime. Her writing includes the comic mystery Grandmothers, Inc. series, co-written with fellow Speed City Sisters In Crime member Crystal Rhodes.  The series includes two novels (Grandmothers, Incorporated and Saving Sin City) and two plays (Grandmothers, Incorporated and Stakeout). The play Grandmothers, Incorporated was produced Off Broadway at the Billie Holiday Theater in New York City, where it enjoyed a twelve week run.  Lilly also wrote the play Is God Calling My Name? Her play Take My Hand was selected for a reading at the prestigious National Black Theater Festival.  

You can find out more about Lillie at www.lilliebarnettevans.com or www.grandmothersincorporated.com 

Take My Hand in part of the IndyFringe Onyx Festival celebrating  African American playwrights.  

The 7th Annual OnyxFest Onyx Fest is Indianapolis' first and only theater festival dedicated to the stories of African American playwrights. The inaugural Onyx Fest in 2012, was developed in response to the lack of diversity on stage and in audiences of Indianapolis' theaters; except the IndyFringe Theater. IndyFringe has actively worked towards embracing diversity in the Indianapolis theater scene and these efforts have yielded fruit by working with African American playwrights to change the Indianapolis theatrical landscape of storytellers, actors and audiences at the IndyFringe Theater. Onyx Fest is another step in the IndyFringe Theater's commitment to provide support and a performance venue that is inclusive of all playwrights who make up the Indianapolis community.  

Dates:  March 23/24/25 - March 30/31/April 1
Location:  Indyfringe Basile Theater, 719 E. St. Clair, Indianapolis, Indiana

Tickets information:  www.indyfringe.org or /317-308-9800

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Speed City Authors Will Discuss Writing and Books at Bloomington Event February 11

Speed City Sisters in Crime authors will appear at the Monroe County Public Library in Bloomington on February 11 for The Art of Mystery Writing.  The event will take place from 2-4 pm, and is free to the public.

A panel discussion will cover a wide range of topics, including writing genres, publication, and books for your reading list. 

Authors scheduled to appear include:

Crystal Rhodes, playwright and author of six novels including the recently released Someone Like Me.

Brenda Stewart, editor and contributor to the Speed City Sisters in Crime anthologies, including The Fine Art of Murder.

Stephen Terrell, author of the legal thrillers Stars Fall and The First Rule

Russ Eberhardt, author of Dead Drive and Formula Murder

Michael Dabney, contributing author to each of the Speed City Chapter short story anthologies. 

The authors will also have a book signing. Books will be available at the event. 

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Book Release: Maiden Murders, the Latest Mystery from Speed City Member CL Shore

It's hard to focus on your marriage when you're chasing a serial killer. 

That is the premise of Maiden Murders, the latest mystery from Speed City Chapter member CL Shore. The novel was just released on Amazon, where it is available in both ebook and print formats. 

A sunny Friday morning flirts with promises for the weekend, but one young bride-to-be doesn’t live to see her lunch hour. Detective Mark Forbes and his partner, Jed McCracken, are called to the scene of her murder at an Indianapolis retail store. The death of the nineteen-year-old salesperson leaves Mark simmering with uncomfortable emotions, accentuated by his knowledge that his wife, Sarah, will not be home that evening.

Sarah’s considering a return to graduate school. While accompanying a group of forensic anthropology students, Sarah discovers a murdered shopkeeper in a souvenir store. A skeleton is found in the victim’s back yard a few days later, but those remains are at least a thousand years old. The fiancé of the Indianapolis victim is an obvious person of interest in the murders; he's on the field trip with Sarah. Mark devotes his energies to the case, while Sarah tries to unravel the secrets of the prehistoric backyard skeleton. When the killer strikes again, Mark is concerned about Sarah’s safety. She tells him to focus on his case and not worry about her.

But he should.

For a closer look or to order Maiden Murders: CLICK HERE.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Conner Prairie Features Work of Speed City Playwright Crystal V. Rhodes

The work of Speed City Sisters in Crime author and playwright Crystal Rhodes will be featured at four performances during February at Conner Prairie.  "Black Hoosiers: Untold Tales" will be presented at 7 p.m. on February 3, 10, 17 and 24 at the Lilly Theater in the Conner Prairie Welcome Center. 

The program is billed as a series of performances highlighting African-American playwrights, followed by a dialogue about issues of race, history and identity. Facilitators will be Ernest Disney-Britton of the Arts Council of Indianapolis and Tamara Winfrey-Harris from the Central Indiana Community Foundation.

Admission is $6 for the general public and $5 for members. Tickets can be purchased in advance at connerprairie.org or at the door, subject to availability.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

How an Ugly Picture Became the Inspiration for Diana Catt's Short Story "Framed"

That Ugly Picture 

By Diana Catt

I’m willing to bet your mom has a picture hidden away in the bottom of a box, or a drawer, that makes you cringe whenever it makes the light of day.
You know the one. That awkward pose you hope is not how you really look.
Here’s one of mine – all pointy elbows, shoulder blades, and knees. Odd sunglasses and mother-dictated haircut. About 11 or 12 years old. The cute, photogenic boys in front are my brothers. I’m sure there’s a freaky photo of them in mom’s picture box, too.
I thought about my own ugly pictures when I saw “The Two Sisters,” a painting by Georges Lemmen (1894) on display at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

I can understand how a camera might capture an off-guard moment, a fleetingly awkward position, but don’t you have to pose for extended times for a painting?
Wouldn’t it be appalling if a painting you posed hours for ended up looking like an embarrassing, momentary, snapshot pose? 
Something more had to be going on with those two sisters…
Suddenly, I had my inspiration for a short story,Framed, which appears in the anthology, The Fine Art of Murder.

Since I bravely put up an embarrassing photograph of myself, I’m going to counter with an outright brag.  Framed was chosen to be included in an anthology of the Best from Women in Horror, called Killing It Softly, 2 (Digital Media Publishing, 2017)
Here’s a short excerpt from Framed:

The wilted missionary was back in the foyer when I returned to the living room and I watched Papa escort him into the library. Mama continued her piano playing and singing so I couldn’t hear any conversation leaking from the partially open library door. Papa had given the man some money earlier today, so I couldn’t imagine why he’d be back. I stood erect for Vonnie but kept one eye on the front lobby, waiting for the missionary to emerge.
At the moment the library door opened wider to reveal Papa and his guest, Mama finished the piece she was playing. In the sudden vortex of quiet, I distinctly heard Papa say, “Be careful what you say, sir. Your life may depend on it.”
I didn’t know if that was a warning or a threat.
Then Mama started playing again.

Killing It Softly 2: A Digital Horror Fiction Anthology of Short Stories (The Best by Women in Horror)

The Fine Art of Murder