Thursday, March 28, 2019

LIVE Webinar with Tiffany Yates Martin "The 10 Biggest Mistakes Writers Make"

Tiffany Yates Martin
Sisters in Crime International has a new live webinar with development editor Tiffany Yates Martin on  "The 10 Biggest Mistakes Writers Make"

Date: Tuesday, April 23
Time: 3:00-4:00 p.m. EDT
Where: ONLINE. Link will be e-mailed prior to the event.

Presenter: Tiffany Yates Martin

 $FREE for all members and non-members

Register at this link:

All registered attendees will receive a separate e-mail from Crowdcast with log-in information prior to the event.

Overview:  No matter how experienced you may be, no matter how talented, it’s impossible to gain perfect objectivity about your own work—so it’s no wonder there are certain missteps almost every author may make at one time or another.

You can learn to readily spot the common mistakes that may be keeping your story—and your writing—from being as effective and compelling as they can be. Find out how to check your own work for these trouble spots, and how you can address them and make sure your story stands out. This practical, accessible workshop can take your writing to the next level.

About Tiffany Yates Martin: 

AIn her 25+ years in the publishing industry, developmental editor Tiffany Yates Martin of Foxprint Editorial has been privileged to help hundreds of authors, from New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestsellers to up-and-coming authors, tell their stories as truthfully, compellingly, and effectively as possible. She works directly with authors as well as through major publishing houses. She's led workshops and seminars for conferences and writers' groups across the country and is a frequent contributor to writers' sites and publications.

Twitter: @FoxPrintEd

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

How Do Libraries Choose Their Books?

So how do libraries stock their shelves with all those tens of thousands of books -- and now ebooks and audio books, too?

The New York Times has just published a fascinating story about how the New York Public Library chooses all the millions of books on its shelves.

For many books, it's a bit of a formula. All James Patterson books get chosen.  So too with John Grisham, Danielle Steele and Nora Roberts.  A few copies of almost all titles issued by major publishers Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan Publishers, Hachette Book Group and HarperCollins Publishers are chosen, but in lesser numbers than the best-seller names.

The process also involves sometimes taking a chance.  The Library ordered a dozen copies of Angie Thomas' first novel, The Hate U Give, before it was released. The book became an acclaimed best-seller. Now the New York Library has 400 copies -- and 200 copies on order of soon-to-be released second novel.

And as for self-published books, the New York Library even has a smattering of them.

Here's the link to the New York Times article, "How the N.Y. Public Library Fills Its Shelves (and Why Some Books Don’t Make the Cut)" CLICK HERE. 

For writers and readers alike, it's an interesting behind-the-scenes read.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Crystal Rhodes' Play "Lillian and Beulah" Performances at Conner Prairie Feb 9, 16 & 23

Speed City Sisters in Crime member Crystal Rhodes’ latest play, Lillian and Beulah, will be presented each Saturday during February at the Lilly Theatre at Conner Prairie.
The play is part of Conner Prairie’s Black Hoosiers: Untold Tales, honoring Black History Month. Tickets are $6 in advance and $8 at the door.
Crystal is an experienced playwright, with her plays being produced across the country, including New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. She wrote Lillian and Beulah when she was playwright-in-residence at Conner Prairie. She recently won a national playwriting competition.
The play centers on real-life character Lillian Thomas Fox, a civic activist and newspaper writer who rose to prominence in the late 1800s. She founded the Indianapolis Women’s Improvement Club and was an organizing member of the Indianapolis Anti-Lynching League. In 1900, she became the first African-American woman in the nation to write regularly for a white newspaper, The Indianapolis News.
Well-known local actress Gabrielle  Patterson plays the part of Lillian Fox. Patterson received rave reviews for her performance at Fringe Festival in the Sisters in Crime play “Deadbeat.”
Remaining Performances at February 9, 16 and 23 from 7 – 9 p.m.  Lilly Theatre is located in the Conner Prairie Welcome Center, 13400 Allisonville Road, Fishers, Indiana.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Larry Sweazy Message Celebrates 10 Years Since His First Published Novel

I hope your 2019 is off to great start. I have to tell you, mine has, thankfully, been a whirlwind. It’s interesting that this year is my tenth anniversary as a published author. My first book, THE RATTLESNAKE SEASON (Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger #1) was published in 2009. I was 49 years old, so I got a late start. But, as you may know, it took me fifteen years of near misses, near heartbreak, and a lot of determination to get published. My hope was to write a book a year, but more than that, my real hope was to be able to keep writing, publishing, and get better. No matter what, I was going to write. And that’s still true today. I write every day.

I’m happy to tell you that my fifteenth book, THE LOST ARE THE LAST TO DIE (Sonny Burton #2), is slated for publication in November of this year (2019). This book is the follow-up to A THOUSAND FALLING CROWS, and I couldn’t be happier that Five Star is going to continue this series. It will be available in hardcover, ebook, and large print. The next Sonny Burton book in this early-20th century western/thriller series, WINTER SEEKS OUT THE LONELY (Sonny Burton #3), is scheduled to be published in mid-2021.

There’s more good news for Josiah Wolfe fans. The books in the Josiah Wolfe series have steadily and continually gained fans and readers since 2009. I’m happy to say that none of these books, which started out as paperback originals (PBOs), have been out of print, though the series did end with THE GILA WARS (#6) in 2013. Five Star has enthusiastically decided to continue the series with THE RETURN OF THE WOLF (Josiah Wolfe #7) to be published in mid-2020 in hardcover, ebook, and large print. The chance to revisit Josiah and the Frontier Battalion-era Texas Rangers ten years later is a thrill, and I’m really excited about the future of this series.

And finally, if all that isn’t enough to pop a cork for, I have also contracted with Kensington to write a new western series featuring U.S. Deputy Marshal, Trusty Dawson. Publication dates will be forthcoming, but the first one will most likely debut in late-2020. Once I know more, I’ll let you know.

I know some of my Marjorie Trumaine fans might be disappointed that I don’t have any news about that series. Don’t give up hope. I haven’t. Josiah Wolfe is a good example. A series can continue on a few years down the road. As it stands right now, SEE ALSO PROOF is last book in the Marjorie Trumaine series—but I have other ideas and irons in the fire for that series. Marjorie still has plenty of stories to tell as far as I’m concerned, and I hope there are more Marjorie books in all of our lives. The audio version of SEE ALSO PROOF will be available later this year.

In the meantime, I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to continue to write for and work with some of the best editors in the business. Ten years down the road, I could have never dreamed that I would be so lucky to get to write every day like I set out to do. Writing is something I never take for granted, and feel privileged to do. I’m lucky to have the support that I have from Rose, my agent, my editors, and everyone involved who make it possible for me to be able to tell the stories that I do. But none of this would be possible without the people who read and enjoy my books. Thank you. I’ll try my best to continue to entertain you.

THE LOST ARE THE LAST TO DIE (Sonny Burton #2/Five Star) – available 11/19

WINTER SEEKS OUT THE LONELY (Sonny Burton #3/Five Star) – available mid-2021

THE RETURN OF THE WOLF (Josiah Wolfe #7/Five Star) – available mid-2020

U.S. Deputy Marshal, Trusty Dawson series (Kensington) – dates forthcoming

SEE ALSO PROOF (audio) - available mid-2019

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Sisters in Crime Launches "SinC Talks" Jan 15: Learn How to Create Your "Author Brand"

Looking for a great way to jump start your year? Want to learn how to grab readers’ attention and increase your readership? Join the International Sisters in Crime organization for the first in a series of LIVE Webinars with Dana Kaye. The first event is FREE to members and non-members alike. 

“Your Author Brand”  will be presented by Dana Kaye on Tuesday, January 15, 2019, 3:00-4:00 pm ET

Online Registration is available until: 1/14/2019

Each year, millions of books hit the market, both online and in-stores. How will yours stand out?

While some readers are willing to take a chance on a new author or a book they’ve never heard of, most want a guarantee that the next book they pick up is worth their time and money. That means the established names, the books getting tons of media attention and the current award winners get chosen.

So how can new or midlist authors tap into that buzz? How can you get readers’ attention and build an audience in such a crowded marketplace?

By establishing an author brand.

This workshop will lead you through the steps in identifying your author brand, creating a tagline or brand message, and establishing that brand online.

Dana Kaye is  veteran publicist, social media pro, and brand manager. She founded Kaye Publicity, Inc., a boutique PR company specializing in publishing and entertainment in 2009. Known for her innovative ideas and knowledge of current trends, she coaches her clients on how to identify and establish their unique personal brands. Kaye is also the author of Your Book, Your Brand: The Step-by-Step Guide to Launching Your Book and Boosting Your Sales, and the creator of Branding Outside the Box, where she helps driven entrepreneurs and aspiring leaders become more memorable.

All registered attendees will receive an email with the time and log-in information prior to the event.

The next two SinC Talks will be:

Tuesday, February 12, 2019: Growing an Engaged Community
Social media and email marketing should not be a one-way conversation or a constant wave of self-promotion. The most successful authors are the ones that cultivate relationships with their readers and grow an engaged community.

This workshop will illustrate what happens after a reader becomes familiar with your work, focusing on email marketing, social media, and in-person events.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019: Launch Your Own PR Campaign
Whether you're self-publishing a book, working with a small press, or under contract with a Big Five publisher, most of the promotion responsibilities fall on the author. Between securing review coverage, booking TV and radio appearances, and locating influential bloggers, the book promotion process can feel daunting and overwhelming.

Following the live presentations, all webinars will be available for replay in the MEMBERS ONLY section of the website. Watch for additional programming.  If you have any questions, please email us at Education@sistersincrime.org.

Sisters in Crime is an international organization that promotes the ongoing advancement, recognition and professional development of (mostly) women crime writers. However, male members are welcome. The organization offers networking, advice and support to mystery authors. The 3600 members in 51 chapters include authors, readers, publishers, agents, booksellers and librarians bound by our affection for the mystery genre and our support of women who write mysteries. 

Speed City Sisters in Crime is the Indiana Chapter which meets on the fourth Saturday of every month at Barnes and Noble Bookstore, 8675 River Crossing Blvd, Indianapolis, IN 46240 (next to Keystone at the Crossing).

Membership in Sisters in Crime is $50 per year, and membership in the Speed City Chapter is $15 per year. Information on membership can be found at https://www.sistersincrime.org and http://www.speedcitysistersincrime.org

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Crystal Rhodes Play Selected for American Stage Theatre 21st Century New Play Festival

Writing and Winning!
Crystal V. Rhodes

In January 2017,
Crystal Rhodes
I presented a play that I wrote to the Speed City Chapter of Sisters in Crime critique group for review.  The title of the play is The Diary of Annie Mae Franklin.  Sisters in Crime is an international organization that offers networking, advice and support to mystery writers. 

Although I do write cozy mystery novels,  The Diary of Annie Mae Franklin is a play, but it’s not a mystery.  It is a heart wrenching story about an African American family that harbors a fourteen year old Japanese American boy who has escaped from one of the U.S. sanctioned internment camps during World War II.  

I’ve been writing novels for years.  I’ve been writing plays even longer, and presenting my work to this critique group was the first time I ever sought the opinion of those outside the theatrical community about one of my plays.  In my opinion, good writing is good storytelling, no matter the form.   

The members of the SIC critique group are excellent writers.  I respect the talent in this group, and trust their judgment.  Their suggestions are usually right on point, and the suggestions they made about the characters and the dialogue in my play proved more than helpful. 

Writers look for different things when joining a critique group.  Since I’m a versatile writer, one of the things I was seeking in such a group was fellow writers who were open to the challenge of appraising different types of work.  That’s what I consider a winning critique group.  I found what I was looking for in the Speed City Sisters in Crime organization.

Speaking of winning, I entered The Diary of Annie Mae Franklin in  two theatre festivals.  Last year, the play was chosen as one of a select few to be read at the National Black Theatre Festival.  Less than a month ago The Diary of Annie Mae Franklin was selected out of 500 entries as one of the winners of the American Stage Theatre 21st Century New Play Festival!  

From my point of view, being a writer who is a part of a good critique group is a real winner.
C.V. Rhodes is a member of the Speed City Sisters in Crime chapter and co-author, with L. Barnett Evans, of the Grandmothers, Incorporated cozy mystery series.  Visit their website at www.grandmothersinc.com also visit Rhodes’ romantic suspense website at www.crystalrhodes.com.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Larry Sweazy Book "See Also: Proof" Selected True West Magazine's Top 2018 Western Novel

Speed City member Larry Sweazy's third Marjorie Trumaine mystery has been honored as the was True West Magazine's 2018 Best of the West 20th-21st Century Western Mystery. 

Larry topped a list of notable authors, including Craig Johnson's most recent Longmire novel, Depth of Winter (Longmire #12).  Also listed in the top 5 were:  Reavis Z. Wortham, Gold Dust: A Red River Mystery; Steven F. Havill, Lies Come Easy;  and Keith McCafferty, Depth of Winter.

Larry's lead character, Marjorie Trumaine, is an early 1960s South Dakota farmwife, whose husband was left an invalid by a farm accident.  To raise extra money, she indexes books, an occupation that was actually encouraged by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the early 1960s.  Her job leads to the titles of the books:  See Also: Murder; See Also: Deception, and the latest See Also: Proof. 
Larry D. Sweazy

In addition to the Marjorie Trumaine series, Larry has also written seven westerns in the Josiah Wolf, Texas Ranger series. His other books include "Where Can I See You,"The Devil's Bonesand "A Thousand Falling Crows," as well as short stories included in several Western anthologies.