Eighteenth Annual Public Safety Writers Association’s Conference

This last week was the Eighteenth Annual Public Safety Writers Association’s Conference. Among the many accomplished authors there, I spent time with three friends from afar. It is always great to put real-life faces on our Zoom contacts. All three have been generous with their friendship, not to mention being awesome guests on my blog.

Peg Roche – Vicki Weisfeld – George Cramer – Sally Handley

SALLY HANDLEY – South Carolina

My introduction to PSWA came about when George Cramer contacted me to learn how his book, Robbers and Cops, could be considered for our Upstate SC Sisters in Crime Mystery Book Club. I invited George to be our moderator for the second quarter of 2023. In addition to his book, he chose books by two other PSWA members, Donnell Bell, and Michael  Black. As a result, many PSWA members attended our monthly book club that quarter. When I learned about their conference, I joined PSWA and registered to participate. I’m so glad I did. The panel discussions have been terrific, and I’ve met so many wonderful writers and public safety professionals. The conference was a great experience. – Sally Handley

Where to find Sally:
Website: www.sallyhandley.com
Blog: https://www.sallyhandley.com/blog/

M.E. (Peg) ROCHE – Florida

I really enjoy and learn from George Cramer’s blog, and it wasn’t until I read his glowing report of the last PSWA conference that I learned of the Public Safety Writers Association. I immediately applied to join and registered for this year’s conference. Because my novels involve law enforcement characters, and my own experience is somewhat limited, I was thrilled to learn of this untapped resource. In addition, Mike Black wrote a wonderful welcome email to PSWA and encouraged my participation in the upcoming conference; I felt I’d possibly found my niche. This year’s conference has been a great experience, providing me with a wealth of information and the enjoyable opportunity to meet writers who share my goals. – M. E. Roche 

Where to find Peg: www.meroche.com

 

VICKI WEISFELD – New Jersey

Vicki was a member of the conference panel about The Art of Revision. Here she shares some of the panel’s conclusions.

The discussion, moderated by Frank Zafiro, began with a discussion of “pantser” versus “plotter.” While this often comes across as a divide between two groups of authors, in truth, most of those on the panel seemed to adopt a more hybrid approach. The pantsers, who love the thrill of discovery and the spontaneity of their process, sometimes have to take stock of where they are in a story and proceed with a bit more of a plan. The plotters, no matter how detailed their outline or how many post-its and 3X5′ cards they have created, often are open to ideas and directions they could not initially anticipate. Suffice it to say, whatever the chosen approach, the author must work out a way forward through the thicket of fictional possibilities that best suits them.

Much the same goes for editing and revision. Reading the manuscript multiple times, on the screen or aloud, focusing on different aspects (dialog, flow, language), using a critique group or beta reader—whatever it takes to give a manuscript the attention it needs. My novel, Architect of Courage, had numerous readers of all or a portion, plus a review of the policing aspects by a New York City detective whose specialty was terrorism. All this input is essential to shaping the final product like any other research.

Vicki did not mention that her novel, Architect of Courage, was awarded second place in the stiff competition for the best-published novel.

Where to find Vicki:  www.vweisfeld.com

The PSWA is an association of writers existing to support people involved in creating content about public safety:

People with public safety careers who write stories, poetry, or non-fiction about their incredible experiences.
Mystery, thriller, and other writers who write about public safety characters and situations.
Publishers, editors, and other professionals

If you wish to learn more about the Public Safety Writers Association, follow this link https://policewriter.com/  

 

13 Comments

  1. Peg Roche

    Thanks, George! It was your blog last year that prompted my joining and it was great to finally meet. Everything about the conference was wonderful and I feel I really learned a lot. Everyone was so welcoming. I’m already looking forward to next year! Peg

    Reply
  2. Jim Christ

    Unhappily, I had to miss the late morning sessions on Sunday, including the one on blogging, etc. I wish I had been able to attend that one, for sure. I enjoyed meeting several talented authors, and I learned a great deal from the knowledgeable presenters and panelists. A big shout out to the skillful moderators for “my” two panels–Frank Scalise and Kelli Peacock. I also want to recognize Kelli for putting together an outstanding conference program. This was my first PSWA conference, but I’ve been to dozens of national conferences for administrators and school board members, and the PSWA’s printed program was one of the best I’ve seen.

    Reply
  3. Bob Doerr

    George, Good seeing you again, and I second everyone’s comments on the conference and PSWA.

    Reply
  4. Marie Sutro

    PSA sounds fantastic!!

    Reply
  5. Marilyn Meredith

    George is a gem and good friend. Loved meeting these three authors in person at our wonderful conference.

    Reply
  6. John Schembra

    Was nice to meet you all at the conference. Thanks for joining us in Las Vegas, and I’m glad you had a wonderful experience! Welcome to the PSWA!

    Reply
  7. Barbara Hodges

    Loved seeing all of you. What talented authors.

    Reply
  8. James L’Etoile

    Wonderful to meet all three of your guest bloggers at PSWA. I appreciated their enthusiasm and contributions on the panel sessions. George, it was great to see you recognized for your ongoing efforts and incredible support.

    Reply
  9. Donnell Ann Bell

    I am so sorry I missed it! My goodness, George, are you really that tall? You’re towering over those women. Peg, Sally, and Vicki, congratulations! Hope everyone had a wonderful time and learned lots. Best,

    Reply
  10. Thonie Hevron

    These three authors are indicative of the talent in the PSWA. I’m thrilled that each one of them has joined. They all bring a unique perspective and expertise to our group. Besides, they are nice folks!

    Reply
  11. Jim Guigli

    Thank you, George.

    For Vicki: When is the editing finished? Someone said, “When you stop editing,”

    Reply
  12. Michael A. Black

    My thanks to Peg, Sally, and Vicki for their participation at the conference and the panels. They were all outstanding. And thank you, George, for all that you contributed to the panels and the conference as well. George was awarded a PSWA Appreciation Award this year for his constant and unwavering support of authors on his incredible blog. He was also a big hit on the panel about AI. His participation on that one was done as a favor to me. Thanks, George. Stay strong.

    Reply

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SALLY HANDLEY – South Carolina Author of Cozys & Suspense

Current Secretary and Past President of the Upstate SC Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Sally Handley is the author of the Holly and Ivy cozy mystery series and the stand-alone suspense novel, Stop the Threat. Additionally, she writes a series on the new Kindle Vella platform entitled The Adventures of Trixie, written from her faithful companion’s point of view. Finally, Sally writes an occasional blog entitled “On Writing, Reading and Retirement” at www.sallyhandley.com. Also a member of PSWA, she is currently busy writing the sixth book in her cozy series entitled The Toxic Blooms Mystery

On Genre – I consider myself primarily a cozy mystery writer. That is the genre I love to read, so it was just a natural choice for me when I started to write. But after I attended a local Citizens’ Police Academy, I was motivated to write a suspense novel based on a discussion we had with the School Resource Officer. The question of arming teachers came up. I asked myself, “What might really happen if we did that?” And that question led me to write my first suspense novel.

On Writing Process – So my writing process is not very complex. Once I get an idea, I mull it around in my head for a bit, but then I just sit down at my kitchen island and start typing. For me, the story evolves based on the things the characters say and do. When I get to a point where I’m unsure about what comes next, I take a legal pad and pen, and a big mug of coffee over to the couch and plot. I ask a bunch of what-ifs and consider where the story might go depending on the scenarios I consider. That usually gets me back to work. Admittedly, it sometimes takes more than one mug of coffee.

On Characters – Next to plotting, character development, to me, is really the key to engaging the reader. In writing a series, the challenge is creating characters your readers enjoy spending time with so they’ll want to continue reading the series. In Stop the Threat, I had a huge cast of characters ranging from School Board Members to teachers to students and their parents. The challenge there was creating a cast of intriguing characters with whom the reader could identify.

You ask if my characters ever disappoint me. Never. But they do surprise me. I’m better at writing dialogue than description, so oftentimes, my characters will say something, and how another character reacts can be rather unpredictable, taking the story in a whole new direction.

On Association Membership – When I moved to South Carolina, one of the first things I did was join the Upstate SC Chapter of Sisters in Crime. The first person I met was Judy Buch, another cozy mystery writer. We hit it off and formed our own critique group, which now includes fellow authors Wayne Cameron and Cindy Blackburn. They are my most trusted and treasured resource. Because writing is mostly a lonely endeavor, having like-minded partners to read and assess your work is invaluable. And, since all writers are subject to bouts of self-doubt, it’s great to have folks cheer you up and keep you from succumbing to the depths of discouragement. Also, I recently joined the Public Safety Writers Association and have already gotten answers to questions about how police would handle a certain situation from author Michael A. Black. My advice to any writer is join a writer’s group. You won’t regret it.

On Research – I’m not a traditional researcher, but I am frequently amazed at how the information I sometimes didn’t even know I needed just comes to me. My cozy mystery sleuths, Holly and Ivy, are look-alike sisters who like to garden. Their knowledge of plants helps them solve crimes. A few years ago, I took a day trip to an arboretum in North Carolina. Lo and behold, they had an exhibit entitled Wicked Plants, based on a book of the same title by Amy Stewart. That book helped me select the perfect poison in book 4 of my series.

My favorite research story happened very recently. I attended a wedding in New Jersey last November and stayed at a hotel in Morristown. They just happened to be hosting a Goth convention at the hotel the same weekend. Amazingly, in the book I’m currently writing, I have a Goth character. I can’t really say why I chose a Goth character. I just sort of pictured her when I was writing. Anyway, it occurred to me that I really didn’t know very much about Goth culture. So, I introduced myself to a guy on the elevator, explained what I was doing, and asked if he’d be willing to talk to me. Ever so graciously, he invited me to join him and some friends he was meeting in the lobby. I spent about an hour with them. I learned a lot. Talk about serendipity!

I have to say that Stop the Threat involved more research than my cozy mysteries require. I interviewed the School Resource Officer and did lots of online research about guns and gun training. I also read everything I could about schools who had armed their teachers. My critique group and my book club friends were wonderful in forwarding any articles they came across on the topic – another reason to be part of a group. (Wish I had known about PSWA back then.)

The book I’m working on now involves GMOs, and my working title is The Toxic Blooms Mystery. When I began writing this book, I realized, to my horror, that a basic idea that I had about GMOs was erroneous. I knew I had to step back and do some serious research. Then I remembered a young neighbor of mine, who once did some clerical work for me when I was a marketing consultant. She’s now a biology teacher, so I contacted her. We scheduled a Zoom call, and within an hour, she helped me develop a basic plotline for the book. She also agreed to be a beta reader when I’ve finished my first draft.

So, reflecting back on what I’ve written here, I realize there’s a well-known adage that ties it all together –“it’s not what you know, but who you know.” For me, associates, topic experts, and beta readers are the best resources a writer can have.

Where to find me:
• Website: www.sallyhandley.com
• Blog: https://www.sallyhandley.com/blog/
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sally.handley1/
• Linked-in: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sallyhandleyinc/
• Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16850782.Sally_Handley
• Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/sally-handley

12 Comments

  1. Carol L White

    Excellent post!

    Reply
  2. Vicki Weisfeld

    What a great interview! Your writing process is pretty much like mine. I love the thrill of discovery!

    Reply
    • Sally Handley

      Thanks, Vicki! Looking forward to your next book. Are you, by any chance, going to the PSWA conference next month. Would love to see you in person.

      Best regards, Sally

      Reply
  3. Pamela Ruth Meyer

    Sally, this post was so encouraging for me. I’m still unpublished, but I feel I’m really getting close. I soaked up the discussion of your writing process–it resonates with me, sounding similar to mine. LOL at the ‘sometimes more than one mug of coffee’ comment.
    Thanks and best of luck with STOP THE THREAT. As a high-school science teacher here in the Bronx, I live the threat every day. It hits a little bit too close to home for me, if I’m honest. (The first day of school this year the NYC DOE presented a PowerPoint with a slide showing a cartoon teacher responding to an intruder in the building by guiding our students to “RUN, HIDE, FIGHT.” They instructed us to “assess the ability to confront with items already in the room such as chairs, window pole and Lysol.” Note: the Lysol in each room was there as part of our joint confrontation with another endless threat–Covid. I planned ahead, placing our nation’s flag and its 8-foot-long pole in the corner closest to my desk. It had a pointy, arrowhead type of top. There were also lots of rocks on hand from our Earth Science Rocks & Minerals unit). Yes, as Donnell Ann Bell said above, your book is timely.
    Thanks to you too, George. Thought-provoking as usual ( ;

    Reply
    • Sally Handley

      Oh, Pamela. I think perhaps the most heart-breaking accounts I’ve read are those just like yours — teachers and students having to figure out how to take the items that are meant as learning tools and turn them into weapons. I was a public school teacher back in the 70’s and taught English Composition as an adjunct at the end of my marketing career. I was fortunate not to have the active shooter as one of my concerns as an educator. I wish you the best of luck with your writing. So happy to hear my post was encouraging to you. Please let me know when you’ve published your book. sallya@sallyhandley.com. Best regards, Sally

      Reply
  4. Donnell Ann Bell

    Sally, I am the proud owner of Stop the Threat, which reminds me I owe you a review. I admire that you acknowledge your strength. I like to include description through character POVs so it’s up close and personal rather than an omniscient feel. But dialogue is so important. Readers fall in love with characters and differentiate characters if an author is more in their head and not everyone sounds the same. Stop the Threat is a unfortunately timely, important book that makes people think. Well done. Thanks George!

    Reply
    • Sally Handley

      Thank you, Donnell. I so appreciate those words coming from an author whose work I admire.

      Reply
  5. Heather Haven

    Great interview and am following Michael A. Black’s suggestion. Checking out your books now. Will also check out the Public Safety Writers Association. Thanks!

    Reply
  6. Michael A. Black

    Good interview, Sally and thanks for mentioning me and the PSWA. I read Stop the Threat several months ago and it literally blew me away. (Pardon the pun.) Sally is one of those rare authors who can handle complex and often controversial subjects with both grace and skill. I haven’t gotten the chance to read her cozy series, but I have it on my kindle and I’m looking forward to it. Check our her books. You won’t regret it.

    Reply
    • Sally Handley

      Thanks, Mike! Truly appreciate your positive remarks, especially coming from an author of your stature.

      Reply

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Beach Bum – Biker – Sailor – Cop – PI – Author

The heading is my life in a nutshell. It’s my birthday, so I’m taking a break from the usual routine to tell you a little bit about me and answer two questions posed by fellow authors—who tried to stump me—they failed.

If you don’t already know, I’m an enrolled descendant of the Karuk Tribe of California. Combining police, private investigator, and corporate experience, I have about forty years of investigative experience. Earning a BA – History from California State University – Hayward took me a dozen years of poor scholarship. Nearly four decades later, I returned to school at Las Positas College. I took a break to earn an MFA-Creative Writing Program from the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, before finishing an AA in English from Las Positas.

I was fortunate to conduct and manage thousands of investigations throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. After forced retirement, I kept my investigative skills honed by volunteering as an investigator at the San Leandro, California, Police Department.

I want to begin with a shout-out to an incredible mentor, Ramona Ausubel. Ramona was one of my mentors at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is a fantastic author, and her latest novel THE LAST ANIMAL is the People Magazine Book of the Week. PRE-ORDER NOW!

Besides writing, my passion was long-distance motorcycle riding on my 2001 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic—my first scooter was a 1959 or 60 Honda 50 (I got stopped for drag racing on it). My sixty-year biker life ended last year when an accident left me with several broken bones—it wasn’t the first time.

Shelley Riley asks: What inspired you first to start telling tall tales? I’m not one of those who has been writing all their life. I was about to turn sixty-seven when the most incredible place I ever worked, PALM, was bought out, and the layoffs began. I ran security and investigations and got advance notice of pending layoffs. Near the end, my name came through.

Feeling strong and unprepared to retire, I began an unsuccessful job search. I learned all about age discrimination. I had sworn never to enter a Senior Center until a writing class was offered. I falsely believed it would help my stellar resume, so I signed up.

To my surprise, it was a fiction writing class. Amazingly, I fell in love with writing and gave up looking for any other type of work. I have two stand-alone novels, and Book One in the New Liberty – A Hector Miguel Navarro series comes out in a few weeks.

Michael A. Black asks: Your writing of dialogue in your books is fresh and realistic, yet it also moves the story along. What tips would you give to other writers for writing convincing and authentic dialogue? I learned early on that I had to leave out the normal jibber-jabber that occurs in our everyday conversations. However, dialogue has to seem natural and to the point, adding to the plot and character development. When I began writing, I included a lot of unnecessary chit-chat. With rewriting and the help of Critters, I started writing more explicit dialogue—there has to be a reason. I ask myself: Why am I writing this? I cut, reevaluate, and rewrite if the conversation is unclear or without purpose. Occasionally, the dialogue seems to wander. When this happens, I’m laying the groundwork for a future event or character development of someone not in the conversation.

I try to add a touch of humor at least once in each chapter, helping humanize my characters.

May will be busy as New Liberty is released, and I will be doing readings and book signings. I hope you can join me at one or more events.

1. 5/9/2023 – New Liberty release – available for pre-order
2. 5/10/2023 – I will moderate the Upstate South Carolin Sisters-in-Crime Mystery Book Club. Michael A. Black with be discussing Chimes at Midnight.
3. 5/13/2023 – Las Positas College Literary Festival – Book signing with local and indigenous authors. Tommy Orange is the keynote speaker. It’s FREE!
4. 5/18/2023 – Barnes & Noble, El Cerrito, 6:00 – 7:330 – Book signing with Lisa Towles
5. 5/20/2023 – NorCal Spring Author Showcase, Orinda Books, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. – I will read and sign
6. 5/272023 Barnes & Noble, Dublin – 1:00 – 3:00 Book signing.
7. 5/28/2023 – Barnes & Nobel, Walnut Creek – 2:00 – 4:00 p.m Book signing

You can find me at:
Email:gdcramer@outlook.com
Facebook
LinkedIn

Groups:
California Writers Club – Mt. Diablo
Crime Writers of Color
Sisters-in-Crime – NorCal
Sisters-in-Crime – Colorado
Sisters-in-Crime – Coastal Cruisers
Mystery Writers of America – NorCal

If you can, pop over to Lois Winston’s blog. Her guest today has the initials: GDC.

Links for my books:
The Mona Lisa Sisters
Robbers and Cops
New Liberty -Book 1 in the Hector Miguel Navarro Series

 

15 Comments

  1. Violet Moore

    George,
    Your schedule looks exciting and busy. Good to see you skipped the author persona for a special birthday as a beach bum.

    Reply
    • George Cramer

      It is good to be visiting the beach. I watched surfers in their wet suits yesterday. We young and foolish ones wore bathing suits, nor did we have tethers. I never learned to swim, so I rode the waves back in or treaded water.

      Reply
  2. Steve Simpson

    Hi George !
    Happy Birthday !
    Thank you for being the person you are ! I have certainly enjoyed the times shared on the rides you organized and coordinated. Your kindness, warm personality and enthusiasm has always given me a sense of inclusion and friendship. I truly appreciate you, and all the joy and wisdom give freely to your friends !
    Thank you, have a Wonderful Birthday !

    Reply
    • George Cramer

      Hi Steve,
      I always got more from our riders than I could ever give. Thanks for the kind words.
      Take Care & Stay Safe

      Reply
  3. John Bluck

    George,
    You helped me a lot with my writing. I’m very grateful. Your books are wonderful. Cheers!

    Reply
    • George Cramer

      Thank you John, especially for the support you have directed my way.

      Reply
  4. Glenda F Carroll

    It is a pleasure to read about you and your writing habits.

    Reply
    • George Cramer

      Thanks, Glenda. You just might be much more interesting.

      Reply
      • McMahon Jim

        Congratulations on your success!

        Reply
        • George Cramer

          Thanks, Jim. It’s been a while. Stay Safe

          Reply
  5. Michael A. Black

    Happy birthday, George and thanks for answering my question about your dialogue writing skills. Your biography reads like a novel in itself. Your indomitable spirit is inspiring, as is your writing talent. You remind me of a real life Travis McGee. I’m looking forward to the release of New Liberty. Thanks for all you do to help other writers. Stay strong,

    Reply
    • George Cramer

      Thanks to you, Big Mike, for all that you do to help your brother and sister writers. Take Care & Stay Safe.

      Reply
  6. Karen A Phillips

    Fun to learn more about you, George! Happy Birthday! And I have to ask, did you ride your motorcycle sans helmet?

    Reply
    • George Cramer

      What happened? I coulda sworn I responded to you with thanks.

      I didn’t own a helmet until I was about 30 and strapped ’em on the back when I was in states without helmet laws. I was glad that I had one on when I went down a few times. I was especially happy when I went down in Oregon and got a life flight to the hospital.

      Reply

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THONIE HEVRON – How Mentoring Helped Shape Her

I wonder how I would’ve ever gotten where I am today without mentors. This includes the mom down the street who took me under her wing when my mother struggled with her own demons. Early in my law enforcement career (as a meter maid), there was a motor officer who introduced me to the concept of “badge-heavy” and changed my adversarial attitude with the public while I issued tickets–I didn’t have to be a jerk. Later, Fred, a patrolman, was another crucial association. He invited me to testify to the county grand jury as part of an investigation of our police administration. Standing up for the integrity of the job was a beautiful burden. These people were life mentors who taught me valuable lessons that extend through my life today.

But let’s talk about mentors for writers.

Pat Tyler – In most other industries, colleagues could look upon newbies as potential competition. While I’ve found that all writing teachers aren’t necessarily mentors, I can say I have never seen professional acrimony toward another. My first true writing mentor, Pat Tyler, during her Jumpstart Writing class, encouraged me with provocative prompts. She provided a safe, non-judgmental place to read and hone my stories. Then, she pointed me toward Redwood Writers (a branch of the California Writers Club), where I found much more to learn. The motto of the club is “writers helping writers.” It made a significant impact in my writing career.

Sharon Hamilton – Sharon is a prolific romance writer I met through the Redwood Writers. Soon after I joined the club, the idea of signing your emails with your author name and including the links to your work. Sharon barely knew me but spent half a day helping me set this up. This little thing stayed with me. She’s a living example of “writers helping writers.”

Marilyn Meredith – Another invaluable mentor is Marilyn Meredith. She’s a board member of the Public Safety Writers Association, who I met in 2014 at the club’s annual conference. Marilyn is an experienced author who helped me navigate small press publishing and writing ethics. She’s a prolific author of over 40 books who gets up in the middle of the night (4 AM) to accomplish her myriad goals. Even with huge family demands, she writes and promotes almost every day. A lady in the most refined sense, she’s also a model of Christianity—not the clichéd version. She walks the walk. She’s unpretentious, accepts people the way they are, and believes in sharing her gifts—as she has with me. I’ll bet she never even considered herself a mentor. But she is. She continually inspires me to be better.

Recently, I was privileged to be offered a contract job for multiple books. I’d be paid a flat rate for each, and the publisher would reap the royalties. It was a dream come true. But the time frame was strenuous-three books in six months. Yikes. With the support of my family, friends, and colleagues, I signed the contract. The colleague who facilitated this offered me one piece of advice. Write the book, then go back and edit.

So, I did that. In all my years of writing, I’d always thought a thousand words a day was optimum. But with the timeline I had, I had to kick it up a notch. I wrote consistently and turned in 2500 words per day. With the aid of a flexible outline, I completed all three before the deadline. Even though I’d signed on the dotted line, I had no idea that I could do that much work. Until I did it.

That one simple piece of advice changed my work habits forever. I look upon that colleague as a mentor, although he’s too modest to agree with me.

How did mentors change your writing? Do you have one or many? Do you help new writers as they begin this arduous journey?

Even if you don’t consider yourself a mentor, I want to suggest why you should consider it.

Why?

  • It could change someone’s life—really. Think about words of encouragement you heard that motivated you. Be that person. (see above)
  • It will take you out of your own world—we create them in our heads, don’t we? Telling another person about your process attaches words to abstract thoughts. Sharing can enlarge thoughts if you listen. For both of you.
  • You’ll be building a writers’ community based on the positive aspects we’re talking about here.
  • The life you change may be your own. Sometimes, verbalizing the process gives us a clearer picture. Sharing and giving aren’t unique to humans, but we’ve refined it through evolution.

Let’s keep working and helping each other.

Thonie is the author of four police procedural mysteries set in the Sonoma Wine Country. While three of the books are on Amazon now, they will be re-edited, re-covered, and re-published by Rough Edges Press, an imprint of Wolfpack Press. The fifth book in this series will debut sometime in 2023.

Thonie’s website is www.thoniehevron.com

Author Facebook page: Thonie Hevron Author

By Force or Fear 

Intent to Hold

With Malice Aforethought

Felony Murder Rule

28 Comments

  1. Joseph Bryce HAGGERTY Sr

    I’m with you Thonie, Marilyn is also a mentor of mine, not just about writing, but about living. The most important mentor I’ve had in regards to writing has got to be Michael Black. He has a gift in the sense of not being critical, but being constructive. He’s certainly made a different in my writing. That’s the wonderful thing about the PSWA group, so many of our members are more than willing to offer ideas, suggestions and literary help. I would have to say that the entire membership of PSWA, at least the ones who have attended the conferences in the last 14 years I have been a mentors to me.

    Reply
    • Thonie Hevron

      So true, Joe! Some terrific folks willing to help.

      Reply
  2. John Bluck

    Thonie, I’ve read two of your books, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. Thank you for telling your personal story here. Cheers!

    Reply
  3. Steve Rush

    Thonie,

    Thank you for this insightful article, and congratulations on your success. I look forward to reading your novels.

    Reply
  4. Mysti

    Thanks for sharing this! What a great reminder that a rising tide floats all boats–so let’s keep helping each other!

    Reply
  5. Donnell Ann Bell

    How lovely, Thonie, I have so many mentors I couldn’t possibly name them all. I hope I have returned the favor. I have certainly tried. Congrats on managing such a hectic schedule!

    xoxo

    Reply
    • Thonie Hevron

      Donnell, I’ve almost read through all your books. You are fast becoming my favorite author! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Reply
      • Donnell Ann Bell

        What an amazing compliment. I am fast becoming one of yours 🙂 Thank you!

        Reply
  6. Sharon Hamilton

    Thonie, so great to see your successes over the years. Thank you for mentioning me, although I really didn’t do very much. But it is nice, when you’re first starting out, to have someone point you toward something you can do, until you find your voice, pacing and footing. There’s a lot more to writing great books than just the writing of them. An encouraging word is always helpful to me as well, even with my books out. Everyone always looks up to someone.

    One thing you probably never knew was that I was one of those people you gave a ticket to “badge heavy”. I came back to my car when you were writing me up! No talking could talk you out of it, either! As it should be…

    I didn’t have the heart to tell you that, but now I can! LOL. All the best for your future successes to come. Sending love and yes, love Florida. I think I’ve always been a Southern Girl at heart. Found my home.

    Reply
    • Thonie Hevron

      Offline, Sharon and I figured out that it wasn’t me who gave her that darn ticket!

      Reply
    • Thonie Hevron

      Rest assured I got my humility handed to me on a plate by this cop who I truly respected. The nature of the job is a negative for the public (tickets for being a minute late…) but I like to think after my epiphany that I made it less miserable.

      Reply
  7. Thonie Hevron

    George,
    Thanks so much for having me today. As always, I appreciate your kind thoughts. I’m looking forward to seeing you in Las Vegas for the Public Safety Conference in July! You’re one of my favorite folks.

    Reply
    • George Cramer

      I’ll be there with bells on. By the way, you just made me blush. Awh, Shucks.

      Reply
  8. Pete Klismet

    I have 3 favorite writers and Thonie is one of the three. I also have my wife and sis-in-law hooked on Thonie’s books. She is a great writer and, even better, is a great person with a tremendous imagination. We always are anxious to read Thonie’s next book. Knowing we have three to read soon is a great bonus.

    Reply
  9. Michael A. Black

    Thonie is an inspiration to all of us. She’s a fabulous writer and I’m looking forward to her next book.

    Reply
    • Thonie Hevron

      Thanks, Mike. I hope you recognized some unnamed mentor(s) in that post. You’re a pal and I treasure your help through the years.

      Reply
  10. Rhonda Blackhurst

    Wonderful post! Thanks, George & Thonie. Paying it forward is the best way to journey on in this career. 🙂

    Reply
    • Thonie Hevron

      Thanks, Rhonda. This is best as a shared journey.

      Reply
  11. John Schembra

    Terrific article. Thonie is a great writer- I have read all her books and thoroughly enjoyed them. Only one thing I disagree with- Knowing this wonderful, kind person, I find it hard to believe she ever could have been a “jerk” 🙂

    Reply
    • Thonie Hevron

      Thanks for your kind thoughts, John. But there was a time when I had my role in law enforcement all wrong. I thank God that officer had the sand to speak to me. He opened me to the path of many valuable life lessons.

      Reply
  12. Marie Sutro

    Love this article! Mentors matter and everyone has something to give. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  13. Galit

    Wonderful essay – it’s good to give thanks!
    But WOW, 2500 words a day? Hope you still enjoy writing!

    Reply
  14. Marilyn Meredith

    Thonie, thank you. I’ve always admired you and your words are extremely kind. My biggest mento was a woman named Willma Gore who is no longer with us. She and I were in a writing group together and she taught me so much about writing. The group was founded and run by Shirley Hickman who taught me so much about grammar. Both women were, and is Shirley’s case, are close friends.

    Reply
    • Thonie Hevron

      Marilyn,
      You’re in my personal hall of fame–both as a writing mentor and friend. Hope to see you in July!

      Reply

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MARCIA ROSEN – (aka M. Glenda Rosen) Award Winning Author

Marcia Rosen (aka M. Glenda Rosen) is the award-winning author of eleven books, including The Senior Sleuths and Dying To Be Beautiful Mystery Series and The Gourmet Gangster: Mysteries and Menus (Menus by her son Jory Rosen). She is also the author of The Woman’s Business Therapist and the award-winning My Memoir Workbook. For 25 years, she was the owner of a successful national marketing and public relations agency.

An Agatha, Raymond, Sherlock, and Me Mystery: Murder At The Zoo, will be published on March 14, 2023, by Artemesia Publishing.

March 2023: When she was a young girl, Miranda Scott read dozens of mystery books by authors such as Agatha Christie and Raymond Chandler, and she loved characters like Sherlock Holmes. Then she began hearing their voices in her head suggesting what she should and should not do. After a body is tossed into the lions’ habitat at the Zoo where she is the senior veterinarian, Miranda and Detective Bryan Anderson find themselves investigating several murders and dealing with a group of bad guys, while gangster friends of her father’s are trying to protect her. Miranda and Bryan alternate between flirting and fighting off romantic feelings. Murder seems to keep getting in their way!    “An Agatha, Raymond, Sherlock and Me: Murder at The Zoo” is hard to put down! You’ll enjoy getting to know the characters as you read this engaging mystery.”    Cat Harper, National Steinbeck Center

I start writing on blue, pink, or purple lines paper, then transfer what I like onto the computer. I realize it would probably be cumbersome to many, but I write, rewrite, write, and rewrite many times. Then it goes to my editor. Once she has done her magic, I still review the entire book and usually accept about 80 percent of her suggestions. I do accept all her corrections regarding punctuation, spelling, and grammar, aware that is not any part of my skill set.

I’m currently working on the first book in my new cozy mystery series:

An Agatha, Raymond, Sherlock, and Me: Murder At The Zoo, will be published March 14, 2023, by Artemesia Publishing (www.apbooks.net)

After a body is tossed into the lions’ habitat at the zoo where she is the senior veterinarian, Miranda and Detective Bryan Anderson find themselves investigating several murders and dealing with a group of bad guys, while gangster friends of her father are trying to protect her. Plus, Miranda and Bryan alternate between flirting and fighting off romantic feelings.

A clever, intriguing, and gripping new cozy mystery filled with exciting twists and turns, bizarre murders, and fascinating characters, including several dead authors who seem to speak to Veterinarian Miranda Scott. A fan since childhood of Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, and Sherlock Holmes, their voices seem to live in her head frequently telling her what to do…and not do. Especially when it comes to solving mysteries. Murders, deceit, revenge, a gangster father, and a godfather also often get in the way of a fine romance!

Yes. Association memberships have been very helpful to me many times and in a number of ways. There is support, friendship, good connections, and opportunities to promote a book and publish articles on Association sites. They are an excellent resource for information on some murder/police details. I’m a member of:

Public Safety Writer’s Association
Sisters-in-crime (Croak&Dagger) New Mexico
Southwest Writers
Women Writing the West
National Association of Independent Writers & Editors

My advice for new writers, even old ones who have been writing for quite some time, is the same I give to myself when I have a moment of faltering. Believe in yourself, listen to your own voice, not others, be willing to ask for help and get good help, and even be willing to pay for it. Be persistent. Know you have the right to be a writer!

     

MarciagRosen@gmail.com
www.MarciaRosen.com
www.creativebookconcepts.com

www.amazon.com
www.barnesandnoble.com

March 14, 2023 Murder At The Zoo will be available at the above plus www.aptbooks.net

 

 

5 Comments

    • Marcia Rosen

      Yes we’re like Glenda the good witches::))

      Reply
  1. Michael A. Black

    I’m familiar with this lady’s great books and highly recommend them. She’s also an expert on marketing and is a wealth of information on numerous topics related to the publishing field. Marcia, I’m glad to see you’re starting a new series. Best of luck to you on that. It sounds really fascinating. My only question is Raymond Chandler going to stay on the wagon. 😉

    Reply
    • Marcia Rosen

      Mike, Raymond Chandler is on the wagon in my book, but still calls women dames, and is very bossy and evne has a few disagreements with Sherlock which Agatha tries to stop.
      Thanks for such wonderful comments..

      Reply
  2. Marcia Rosen

    Thanks so much for featuring me on your blog, looks great. PSWA….What a great organization, so many generous, thoughtful members, Marcia

    Reply

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