New York Times best-selling author of The Prince of Risk, Rules of Deception, Rules of Vengeance, Rules of Betrayal, Numbered Account, The Runner, among other thrillers, Christopher Reich will be joining us as a Special Guest Speaker for SD30. His latest, the standalone Invasion of Privacy, pits one women’s quest to uncover the truth behind her husband’s death against a new generation of cutting-edge surveillance technology and the most dangerous conspiracy in America. It’s his first appearance at the SCWC and we’re happy to have him. Welcome, Christopher.
Our second Special Guest Speaker confirmed is Howard Shulman, author of Running from the Mirror. Orphaned by his parents after contracting a disfiguring infection only three days following birth, Howard’s unflinching memoir chronicles his journey from bitter, bullied outcast ward of New Jersey to soul-lifting salvation decades later. An affirming testament to the resilience of the human spirit, he also joins us for the first time Presidents’ Day Weekend. Welcome aboard, Howard.
Howard will also debut a new workshop, co-conducted by writing coach, freelance editor and veteran SCWCer Trish Wilkinson, “Writing a Memoir: Making the Process Rewarding and Your Story Salable.” Despite rumor and those nay sayers claiming that memoir is dead, sales continue to prove otherwise, as they have done year after year after year. So long as you know how to write it, chances are you can sell it.
Along with our usual slate of targeted craft-centric, business and “Do Yourself Independence” sessions, all geared to getting you where you want to be as a writer, we’ll be introducing several new workshops for our 30th anniversary. First off, a standalone track conducted by novelists Claudia Whitsitt and Jeremy Lee James, “A Novel Journey: From Beginning to THE END,” kicks off Saturday at 9 a.m. and runs through Sunday afternoon. Comprised of eight daytime sessions, ANJ is limited in attendance and requires advance signup prior to the conference. Full details are available here.
Award-winning author Ara Grigorian will debut “Book Blueprint: From Foundation Forward.” This objective-oriented five-part series, spanning Saturday and Sunday afternoons, focuses on yielding participants a clear template unique to their specific WIP to facilitate completion post-conference. Details here.
Next up, Jean Jenkins will again conduct her popular genre workshop, the two-part “Best Foot Forward: Polishing to Impress,” which has so far contributed to yielding some dozen published novels out of the SCWC (details here). She’ll also introduce “Master Class: Editors’ Tricks to Grow Your Writing.”
Our periodic “Writing for Real” returns to San Diego with several new sessions. For those writing about law enforcement perspectives, experiences, procedures, strategies and tactics, numerous accomplished authors, federal, municipal and judicial agency members of the SCWC community are jumping in to make it great. Workshop leaders on the docket include Richard Craig Anderson, Paul Bishop, Teresa Burrell, Neal Griffin, Michael R. Shevock and, of course, Wes Albers.
Many, many more workshops to announce, as well as all those familiar friends and new who’ll be populating the schedule. Among them: agents Paul Fedorko and Samantha Bemekamp make their first appearance at our San Diego event. Also joining us, before taking a long hiatus, is novelist Bethany Lopez. She’s got a new short story just out, “Leap of Faith,” which is a fun read.
Good “Muse” Abounds
Other SCWCers with books recently out, or soon to be released, include Margaret Dilloway. A companion to her lauded Sisters of Heart and Snow, The Tale of the Warrior Geisha tells the historical part of the novel and is now available as an e-book only edition. And in a departure from her award-winning women’s fiction, the first in a new middle-grade fantasy series, Momotaro: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters, is out April from Disney-Hyperion … Another bit of a departure comes from critically acclaimed mystery author Alan Russell. His latest is A Cold War, which Booklist calls, “[A] fascinating look at survivalists and the wilderness of our fiftieth state as well as being a truly gripping page-turner in the manner of Tim Johnston’s Descent.”
Of true crime writer Caitlin Rother’s latest, Then No One Can Have Her, Suzy Spencer (Wasted) affirms, “It’s riveting, revealing, and insightful.” … Book one of the Tasa’s Passage Trilogy, by Jeffrey J. Michaels, Tasa’s Path, is just out, as is Alan Patch’s re-release of Passage at Delphi (Apollo Series), a formidable mix of historical fiction, mythology fantasy and adventure … Finally, Oz Monroe’s debut novel, a dark fantasy, Soil-Man is set for publication by year’s end. Best of success to all!
That’s it for now. Meanwhile, take advantage of the pre-registration Early “Bard” Discount, be sure to join our greater .COMmunity conversation on Facebook, and follow the SCWC on TSU.co/SoCalWriters and Twitter for exclusive authorial insights and opportunities. Now here’s an excerpt from Neal Griffin’s moving talk last month at LA13, addressing his need to challenge readers’ expectation of what crime fiction should be about.
–Michael Steven Gregory
Executive Director, SCWC