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.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Speed City Sisters in Crime BIG HIT at Annual Indiana Historical Society's Authors Fair

Co-editors Marianne Halbart and Diana Catt*
Several members of the Speed City Sisters in Crime participated in the Indiana Historical Society's Annual Author's Fair on December 1 at the Indiana Historical Society in downtown Indianapolis.
Authors were selected by the Historical Society.

Members greeting readers and signing books were:

Diana Catt, editor of the just released Speed City Sisters in Crime anthology Homicide for the Holidays. The recently released book includes 12 seasonal tales of murder, mayhem and Christmas joy, along with a dozen recipes that correspond with each story. The book is available at local Barnes and Noble stores, as well as online at Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com and Walmart.com.
Author Larry Sweazy*

Larry Sweazy, author of the Marjorie Trumaine series and recently named by Indianapolis Monthly Magazine to its annual Book Recommendations list for his western, "Pointe Blank, Texas."

Author Janis Thornton*
Janis Thornton, author of "Too Good a Girl," a true crime book about a 1965 unsolved murder in Tipton, Indiana. The book has been receiving high praise, including a feature article in the Indianapolis Star and appearances on Indianapolis television stations.

*Photos by Crystal Rhodes.