Newsletter of the Society of Southwestern Authors           Vol. 36, No. 5 Oct./Nov. '08


Upcoming Events

   October 19
Forum @11:30-2PM
Four Points Sheraton
Kathy Lacapa
"SSA Writing Contest Awards!"
(see article this page)

After the forum, Star Cactus, the new group for writers of fantasy and science fiction, will have a brief planning, get-acquainted session. Prior to the meeting, interested cadets can e-mail Katherine Rambo at

   October 25
Saguaro Romance Writers @10-1:30PM
El Parador, 2744 E Broadway Blvd
Howard Allen, "Subtext and Writing Dialog"
$15 members, $20 others. E-mail Suzanne Moore at

   October 26
Readers' Theatre @2-4PM
St. Frances Cabrini Church
3201 E. Presidio (Country Club & Ft. Lowell area) Showcasing SSA Playwrights,
$10 admission includes refreshments
  (see article)

   November 8
Arizona Mystery Writers @10-20PM
HomeTown Buffet, River and Oracle
Sam Turner, "How to 'Read' the Night Sky"
$12 or $5 if you don't want lunch.

   November 16
Holiday Book Fair @12-4PM
Four Points Sheraton
"Get your Holiday shopping done early"
(see article this page)

   November 22
Saguaro Romance Writers @10-1:30PM
El Parador, 2744 E Broadway Blvd
Jessica Faust, co-founder of BookEnds, LLC
$15 members, $20 others. E-mail Suzanne Moore at

   December 21
Forum @11:30-2PM
Four Points Sheraton
Carol Costa and her Readers' Theatre Troupe
"Christmas Mystery Play and Par-tay"

To R.S.V.P. Forum
Leave Phone Message
at 546-9382
or e-mail: WEDNESDAY before the Forum
$20 paid at the door

October Awards Luncheon - The Reveal

by Mary Ann Hutchison
   From start to finish, the Writing Contest consumes the better part of ten months. Judges and appraisers are found and their names kept under wraps, entries are received, emails are answered, meetings are held, decisions are made, and the results are kept as secret as is humanly possible; only given on a need-to-know basis.

  On October 19, poker faces will be replaced by happy smiles as winners meet judges, and vice-versa, and winning stories are revealed. No, our judges do not know the names of the winners, and the winners do not know the names of the judges. Hopefully, only immediate family members now know which relative will receive a winner's packet along with applause—happy secrets can only be kept just so long without being shared.

  Although not a secret, how much do you know about Michael Lacapa, the man SSA chose to honor by naming the First Place Winner's Award in the Children's Short Story Category in his memory? Kathy Lacapa, Michael's wife, will join us for the third year in a row, to share their story—one of inspiration and love. Make your reservation early, and join us at this happiest Forum of the year!

SSA Holiday Book Fair - Sunday, Nov. 16, '08

   Instead of our normal forum, SSA will hold its Fourth Annual Holiday Book Fair at the Four Points Sheraton Conference Center from Noon until 4pm, featuring two Award-Winning Guest authors: Rhys Bowen (IMBA #1 best seller Her Royal Spyness, The Royal Pain, Molly Murphy Mysteries) and Virginia Nosky (Blue Turquoise, White Shell—IPPY Gold Medal, First place Glyph trophy Arizona Book Publishing Association). This event is open to the public to attend and is a fabulous venue to sell your books. Space is limited to SIXTY authors—and it's filling fast. You must be an SSA MEMBER to sell, but everyone is welcome to attend.   

AUTHORS: $20 registration fee gets you a FULL TABLE to display your work, as well as munchies and beverages. DEADLINE TO REGISTER IS NOVEMBER 1ST. A registration form is attached to this edition of The Write Word. VOLUNTEER HELPERS: $10 sign up fee will cover food and beverages.   

We will have door prizes to give away to the public and a fun Holiday atmosphere to get them in the gift-buying mood. But it's up to YOU, SSA Members, to make this a great success! Tell everyone you know to come and find that unique gift for someone special. All genres will be represented—Children's Books, Mysteries, Romance, Historicals, Non-fiction—so there will be something for everyone. Don't forget—no forum, just BOOK FAIR! Sunday, November 16, noon till 4PM at the Four Points Conference Center, 1900 East Speedway (At Campbell).


Peter Baird was interviewed by Professor Ron Carlson about his novel, Beyond Peleliu, on his KAET, channel 8, "Books & Co." show which aired on April 27, 2008. To watch a repeat of the program, go to YouTube and type in "Peter Baird." His next book, Protecting Moscow From The Soviets, will be released by National Writers Press in September, 2008. "It is a collection of pieces I have written for The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Mens Health, The Chicago Tribune Magazine, Writers Digest, Rosebud, The Cleveland Plain Dealer Magazine, The Arizona Republic, American Heritage Magazine, Phoenix Magazine, Shark Tales (Simon & Schuster), Criminology (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich), My Brush with History (Black Dog & Leventhal) and dozens of other publications." "The Phoenix NPR station, KJZZ, has chosen both Beyond Peleliu and Protecting Moscow From The Soviets for a fundraising drive, which will kick off at the Arizona Historical Society Auditorium on October 6, though the date has not be officially confirmed."

Kitty Chappell's Good Mews, Inspurrrrational Stories for Cat Lovers, was released by Thomas Nelson early this year and is now available in all Sam's Club stores. This beautiful hard cover book contains true stories involving award-winning author, Kitty, and her family cats. You will laugh and cry and relate with each story which relates how while Kitty tries to teach her cats something, God teaches her something. Its foreword was written by Martha Bolton, author of more than 50 books and comedy writer for performers such as Bob Hope, Phyllis Diller, Ann Jillian, Jeff Allen, and Mark Lowry. Martha writes: "Cat lovers are special people. We can be snubbed and not take it personally . . . we can pretend we don't smell kitty litter when it's five feet away (even though it's wilting the house plants) . . . we are fluent in "purr" and can carry on conversations with our pet that no one else understands. That is why this is the perfect book for cat lovers. It not only talks about the world we've all come to know and love, the world of cats, but it reminds us of how much our cats teach us." Good Mews is available at all book stores, Sam's Clubs, the Internet, and, of course, the author.
Kitty is also author of the book Sins of a Father, Forgiving the Unforgivable, which was written into a play, entitled Absolution, by Carol Costa and read at SSA's July meeting in 2006. That same year the book went out of print but was picked up by award-winning Poland Publisher, VOCATIO, and will be released this fall as updated, with a new cover and title, I Can Forgive If I Want to, Forgiving the Unforgivable. It will be released simultaneously in the U.S., Poland and Denmark where it has been translated into Polish and Danish. (A publisher in China has expressed interest in translating it into Chinese) Until its release under the new title, it is available under the original title at and other Internet outlets, as well as from the author at

Bob Hunton roports great news: "I'm signing a contract with Andrew Whelchel, National Writers Literary Agency, New York/Denver, to represent my middle grade/YA novel, Gift of the Desert Dog."

Lorraine Lachs's play, My Son, My Son, was selected by the Vermont Playwright's Circle for their annual Staged Reading of New Works series. The play—an exploration of the treacherous terrain of good intentions —was presented in June.

Mabel Leo is working on Mob Mole, a new book delving more into Jack Durant's criminal activities. She reveals Jack's life as a mole for the mob—his adventures while traveling around the Midwest, waiting for orders. It is a novel describing real-life events behind a facade of fiction (some names have been changed to protect the innocent).
Out of the eight books Leo has written, it is the first one, The Saga of Jack Durant, that after 12 years is still her best seller. This bio of Jack Durant, a well-known restaurateur in Phoenix, AZ, tells the story of how a young boy hopped the train, left his home in Tennessee with the dream of being a professional baseball player. Instead he became the most trusted friend of the infamous gangster, Bugsy Siegel. The book became the basis of an awardwinning play, followed by Leo's next book on Durant, Jack's World. Watch her website for updates: www.

Connie Spittler's story "Universal Language" appears in the July released Cup of Comfort for Cat Lovers, Adams Media's national best selling series. The book celebrating feline friends is available in bookstores or from Connie. She read from the Cup of Comfort book, as well as from her book The Desert Eternal at the Humane Society's Adopt-A-Thon Fair on August 2nd. When Connie read to a group of children there, she noticed one girl about ten years old, hanging on every word. The child's eyes widened with the story's events and she frowned when appropriate. The girl also whispered little comments, like "Oh, no," and "Aw" to add to the reading and flashed a big smile afterward. About half an hour later, the little girl came back and whispered, "Would you read me the story again?" Of course that is exactly what happened. It was Connie's turn to smile, because it's truly one of the reasons that writers write, isn't it? At this same event, Connie sold a copy of Chicken Soup for the Grandparent's Soul, which contains her story, "Through a Windowpane," the true tale of a granddaughter and a baby quail. The purchaser had her son with her and a neighbor child. The woman told Connie the book would be a gift for the little girl's grandparents, who were adopting the child after her parents disappeared. That book received a very special inscription, indeed. Chicken Soup for the Grandparent's Soul is available through Amazon. Recently Connie rewrote the story, "Through the Windowpane" and called it, "The Nest." Recently she received word that it was selected as a finalist in the Environmental Protection Agency competition called the Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Contest. Only stories that were intergenerational were considered. Results expected sometime in the fall.

Karen Ferguson Tauber's second short story collection Reaching for a New Leaf: Stories of Teachers Dancing With Fate has just been released. In this second collection, the teacher-protagonists seize upon various opportunities in hopes of creating new beginnings. Throughout these eleven stories, readers gain an awareness of how new life experiences help us to grow whether the chances we take yield the results we long for or, instead, lead us back to the familiarity of tried and true dances.
Karen's book will be for sale through her at and look for it at various locations throughout Tucson. Reaching for a New Leaf makes a good gift for the teachers in your life and for all those individuals who are curious about the world of public education.

The Write Word
published bi-monthly by the Board of Directors
of The Society of Southwestern Authors
P.O. Box 30355, Tucson, AZ 85751

Dale Adams:

Jude Johnson:

Carol Costa:

Recording Secretary
Carroll Rinehart:

Member Chair
Penny Porter:

Corresponding Secretary
Jane Eppinga:

Conference Co-Chair
Penny Porter:
Barbara Stahura:

Writer's Contest
Mary Ann Hutchison:

Forum Program Chair
Jude Johnson:

Welcoming Committee
Ashleen O-Gaea:

Members at Large
Dewanne Hopson:

Mentoring Groups
Sam Turner:

Write Word Editor
Mike Rom: (520) 410-1294 (beep)

SSA Home Page:

Mike Rom: (520) 410-1294 (beep)

NOTE: Deadline for next issue is the 15th day of November