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.
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
Merely two weeks after a sensational LA13 (Irvine) and we’re full-on into prepping February’s San Diego event, which will make for our 48th conference in 30 years. Wes and I and many long-term staffers reflected on that fact recently. “Whoa,” is about all we could collectively muster. That’s a lot of writers who’ve placed their trust in the SCWC; a lot of success stories, too. And we couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to being a part. Among the latest is longtime SCWCer Kelley Kaye, AKA Kelley Gusich, who wrote the cozy mystery now titled Death by Diploma: Chalkboard Outlines Book One way back when she first started attending the SCWC as Kelley Bowles. It’ll be released by Red Adept early 2016, and we’re thrilled.
As usual, tons of other good “muse” to report this time of year—more than we can squeeze into one update … Frederick Ramsay has two new novels coming out: The Vulture, Ike Schwartz Mysteries book 10, plus Danger Woman, the second in his Botswana mystery series … Gayle Carline’s dropping not one, not two, but three new titles on us for the holidays. Raising the Perfect Family and Other Tales, You’re from Where? and Holly Jolly Holidays are all available in the next few weeks.
From SD28, Yvette Hovsepian-Bearc now has The Political Ideology of Ayatollah Khamenei: Out of the Mouth of the Supreme Leader of Iran out from the UCLA Center for Middle East Development series. A fellow at the Center for the Middle East Development at the University of California, Los Angeles, Yvette earned a B.A. in Business, a Masters in Theology, and Ph.D. in Islamic Studies. In other words, she’s basically a big brain bright enough to turn to us for guidance, and we’re pleased to have given it.
Another familiar SCWCer, Jessica Therrien, is finally getting the love she deserves. Acorn Publishing is re-addressing and re-releasing her Y/A Children of the Gods series. Oppression and Uprising are out now. Redemption, for the first time, will be released November.
Still more to announce, but will have to wait until next update. We have other things to discuss…
Unveiled at last month’s Irvine conference, possibly a work in progress. But here’s where we stand:
Probably only those who were in Irvine would know this, but here it is: Two hours before opening the SCWC registration desk on Friday, Sept. 25, our Facebook wall was targeted, deliberately sabotaged and taken down. Well over 1400 members were tossed irretrievably into the ether, along with the voluminous links to invaluable resources, exceptionally argued opinions and perspectives that served one of the best writer walls on Facebook. Facebook has been of no help recovering our wall. Consequently, we’re starting anew. Please re-join the SCWC.community Facebook wall.
The entire ordeal speaks well to Laura Taylor’s wildly popular workshop, “Indie Excellence: Glocalization and the Key to Survival,” which will be updated and slated again for SD30. Fundamental takeaway? Rely solely on one source of outreach to the community and you just might, probably, likely get torched. Another reason why we’re now obsessively backing up so much info on our Tsu and Twitter community feeds.
That’s all for now. Much info more to deliver soon. In the meanwhile, take advantage of the Early “Bard” Discount, have a gander at this excerpt from LA13 Special Guest Speaker Aline Ohanesian and listen hard.
–Michael Steven Gregory
Executive Director, SCWC
Winter in San Diego. The Santa Ana winds were blowing; the writers rocking; and the SCWC rolling. With yet another terrific conference weekend behind us, where both emerging and veteran authors could shed their slacks, roll up their sleeves and collectively focus on the most important work, for any writer–writing a good story well told–we did just that. With so many new faces joining our community, it’s easy to forget how overwhelming an SCWC event can be for those fresh to it. Thank you to all the regulars who jumped in, as usual, to guide, facilitate, and nurture, in effort to affirm what we all understand to be true for all writers aspiring to exceptional: quality matters.
Thanks to all SD29 staff authors, editors and agents who shared their time and unique perspectives. Big spoon to our Special Guest Speakers, Bethany Lopez, Raymond Wong, David Putnam and Kathy Aarons. Also to those helping craft our debut StoryCore track, looks like we’ll be doing that again! And to our conferees, thank you for entrusting us with your work and aspirations.
Now to the awards…
OUTSTANDING FICTION (Historical)
by Earl Wooten of View Park, CA
OUTSTANDING FICTION (Romance)
by Marissa Hughes of Irvine, CA
OUTSTANDING FICTION (YA/Fantasy)
by Amy Hopperton of Ramona, CA
Discounted pre-registration for September’s LA13 (in Irvine) is now open. Register by March 1 and knock $125 off the Full Conference. In the interim, those looking to break the cycle of rejection from agents, from editors, or—most importantly—book-buying readers should join us for our 2-day, 3-track Sunriver Writers’ Summit, taking place on the high plateau of Central Oregon, May 2-3, 2015. Limited in size to only 48 participants, it’s hardcore, but isn’t your work worth it?
That’s all for now. Dates for SD30 are Presidents’ Day Weekend, February 12-15, 2016. Pre-registration opens August 1. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and join the lively discussion on our SCWC Facebook wall. Now go forth, write well, and finish what you start.
–Michael Steven Gregory
Executive Director, SCWC