Newsletter of the Society of Southwestern Authors           Vol. 39, No. 5 Oct./Nov. '10


Upcoming Events

   October 9
Arizona Mystery Writers @10-2PM
Hometown Buffet, 5101 N. Oracle Rd.
Morning: "How to Inject Humor Into Your Writing"—Kris Neri.
Afternoon: "How to Avoid The Seven Deadly Writing Errors"— Mike Alvarez.
RSVP 624-0792 for your reservation or email

   October 17
SSA Forum @11:30-2PM
Four Points Sheraton
SSA's Contest winners and Jane Candia Coleman - "Rhinoceros Hide"
(see article this page)

   October 23
Saguaro Romance Writers @9-1:30PM
El Parador Tropical Restaurant, 2744 E. Broadway Blvd, Tucson
Morning speaker: Maya Reynolds, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly about the Publishing Industry"
Afternoon speaker: Connie Flynn, "Beginnings and Middles... & Satisfying Endings"
$20 members, $25 non-members. To make a reservation, email Crystal Marshall (

   November 20
Saguaro Romance Writers @9-1:30PM
El Parador Tropical Restaurant, 2744 E. Broadway Blvd, Tucson
Susan Ginsburg will join us and speak on "Literary Agent, Writers House."
$20 members, $25 non-members. To make a reservation, email Crystal Marshall (

   November 21
SSA Forum @11:30-2PM
Four Points Sheraton
Claire Gerus, John Quinn, and Lynn Wiese Sneyd. - "Do You Want to Become a Successful Author?"
(see article this page)

To R.S.V.P. Forum
Leave Phone Message
at 546-9382
or e-mail: WEDNESDAY before the Forum
$25 paid at the door

SSA's Contest Winners & "Rhinoceros Hide"

   Please join us October 17 to honor the SSA Writing Contest winners in the categories of Poetry, Short Stories, Personal Essays/Memoirs and Children's Short Stories—this category's First Place award is in honor of Michael Lacapa, a man who delighted in the telling, writing, and illustrating of children's stories. Jane Candia Coleman will then explain why writers need a "rhinoceros hide." She will cover the trials and tribulations every writer faces and share what writing and publishing has taught her over the years.

  Jane has published 24 works of fiction, memoir and poetry. Her latest poetry collection, The White Dove, has been celebrated and performed in Mexico and has been translated into Spanish. Jane is the only woman to have three Western Heritage Awards from the National Cowboy Hall of FameÐtwo for collections of poetry and one for a collection of short fiction. She also received the Willa Award from Women Writing the West for her historical novel, Tombstone Travesty in 2005. Prior to that she was twice runner-up for the Willa in memoir and historical fiction. She has three Spur Awards for fiction from Western Writers of America and has received writing grants from both the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Pennsylvania Arts Commission. For the past six years she has been fiction mentor in Carlow University's MFA Program in Pittsburgh, PA. Before coming West she was director of the Women's Creative Writing Center and Head of the Creative Writing Department at Carlow, where she also founded the adult courses in fiction and poetry, "The Madwomen in the Attic."

   As always, you can either call in your reservations to 546-9382 OR email by the Wednesday prior (in this case, October 13).

Do You Want to Become a Successful Author?

   Do you want to know what it takes to work with an agent, find what a publicist can do for you, and how to sell lots of books? Find out all of this and more at the November forum. Claire Gerus, Lynn Wiese Sneyd, and John Quinn will be presenting a panel at our Holiday Book Fair. Bring your questions for the panel and your books to sell. The cost is $25 and includes a buffet lunch. (There is no charge for selling your books, but please let me know when you are making your reservation so I can make sure there is enough table space) The Book Fair Forum is located at the Sheraton Four Points at the SE corner of Campbell and Speedway from 11:30 until 2 pm.

   Claire Gerus is a literary agent and consultant, she has been editor-in-chief of two publishing houses and executive editor at Harlequin, Rodale, Random House, Doubleday, John Wiley, Kensington, and Adams Media. Today, Claire is a book development consultant and literary agent. She sells books to every major publisher, most recently including Center Street Books (Hachette's Christian line), Kunati Books, Prometheus Books, John Wiley & Son, Leisure Books, Harlequin, Potomac Books, and Perseus Books.

   John Quinn, a native of Detroit, MI, is the author of the memoir, Someone Like Me: An Unlikely Story of Challenge and Triumph Over Cerebral Palsy. In 1982, John joined the Navy, but never revealed that he has CP. Throughout his distinguished twenty-year career, he sailed around the world on carriers, battleships and destroyers, and received numerous military decorations including Navy Commendation Medals, Joint Service Achievement Medal, and four Navy Achievement Medals. He retired as Senior Chief Petty Officer in 2000 with his health history still a secret. John now resides in Tucson, AZ

   Lynn Wiese Sneyd has published articles and poetry in publications nationwide. In addition, she is the co-author/editor of How Happy Families Happen (Hazelden Publishing, 2006) and Healthy Solutions: A Guide to Simple Healing and Healthy Wisdom (Basic Health Publications, 2006), which received the 2007 Arizona Book Award for best health/nutrition/wellness book. Her articles and poetry have appeared in publications around the country. She currently is working on her first novel. She branched out on her own in 2008 when she started LWS Literary Services, which assists authors in book publicity campaigns, agent searches, book proposal writing, and editing.


   Sandra Farris, a current member of SSA, and Dan Farris sold the movie rights to their book, Obituary Column. The movie titled, Obituary of the Sun, is scheduled for release to theaters September 29. Obituary Column is about Tracy Chapman, an antique dealer, whose true passion is locating missing families of the deceased. Mystery and murder surrounds her latest assignment from the coroner's office: the death of a ninety-six year old Jewish gentleman, Samuel Levine. His death poses more difficulties than just locating his family. What secrets did Samuel keep that led to murder and kidnapping? Did Samuel still have family in Germany, or would Tracy locate them in America.
"I just got word that Robert Loggia is in it and they are preparing it for the Sundance Film Festival. The other known actor is Sam Hennings, who recently appeared on Cold Case File as a race horse owner involved in a murder."

   John R. Gentile recently traveled to the Feel Good Film Festival in Hollywood, California, (at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre) where his screenplay, The Canoe, was one of ten finalists. It was an inspiring weekend of independent films and, although he didn't win, the experience was great fun.
John and his wife Katie Iverson are two of six authors for the recently published The Magnetism of Mata Ortiz, the ultimate guidebook to the pottery, people and places of this region of northern Chihuahua, Mexico.
John and Katie also have a feature-length article in the fall edition of Overland Journal titled "Journey to the Grays: the Whales of San Ignacio Lagoon."
John has just completed his fourth novel, Dance with Me in the Kitchen, a story about aging ungracefully.

   Gerry Hernbrode's Provincial Justice, a murder mystery published by Imago Press, is set in an inner-city school in Tucson. On the eve of the 60s feminist movement, before Vatican II, her protagonist Kate Mahoney was Sister Katherine.
Twenty years later, as the widowed principal of an elementary school in a crime-riddled neighborhood, she is vexed when a deceased Mother Provincial invades her dreams and orders her to solve the murder of the school superintendent that occurs in her first grade classroom.
This mystery, called "impressive" by the Arizona Daily Star and a five-star "terrific read" by the Midwest Book Review, is available on and from the author at PO Box 16403, Portal, Arizona 85632.

   Alison Holt has "just given birth to a new book!" In The Door at the Top of the Stairs, undercover narcotics officer, Jesse Shaunessy, is kidnapped and tortured, then thrown away by her department as damaged goods. The mind is a powerful ally, and 26-year-old Jesse has no memory of the abduction or the subsequent torture. Inevitably, as Jesse drifts from one itinerant job to another, the protective walls carefully constructed by her subconscious are beginning to crumble.
Fate lands her on a farm owned by Dr. Ryland Caldwell, a retired psychologist and her partner, Morgan Davis, the master of the Myrena Fox Hunt club. Ryland suspects there is more to Jesse's foul temper than meets the eye. When Morgan and Ryland accidentally discover vicious scars on Jesse's back, Ryland knows that without their help, Jesse's descent into insanity will rapidly overwhelm them all.
Check out a few chapters at

   Molly McKinney's new cozy mystery novel, In Plain Site, stars amateur detective Mrs. Mildew in a variety of international venues. Nothing is predictable in McKinney's books except offbeat characters, engaging plots and whimsical humor. Autographed copies available at or (520) 624-0792. Discounts end 12/1/10.

   D.R. Ransdell's "The Power of Encouragement" was published in the recent Chicken Soup for the Soul title Thanks Dad. The book is a perfect gift for all those men who already have everything else! "Her dad enjoyed reading the whole book, not just the story about him."

   Charlie Redner's article,"This I believe," for Hummingbird Review is a beautiful tribute to "Tucson where I wrote my first novel and discovered poetry." Read on about Taylor Mali and The Society of Southwestern Authors' writers' conferences. And listen to Charlie's voice when he opens his statement with "This I believe . . . about the Old Pueblo . . . where I learned to appreciate the desert's spectacular beauty, where I experienced its unfathomable wonder and gathered up the vibrations it sent my way." Read it at:

   Betty Webb's The Koala of Death is finally out! This time, Theodora Ã’TeddyÓ Bentley hunts down the killer of fellow zookeeper, Koala Kate, while at the same time, caring for an entire zoo filled with exotic animals. "The critics think KOALA is loads of fun, and I hope you will, too."
Check KOALA out at
"I'll be touring Arizona and California throughout August, and I'd love to see you. To find out where I'll be, log onto"

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

Bob Hunton:

Donna Young:

Jay McCall:

Recording Secretary
Sally Lanyon:

Writing Contest
Mike Rom:

Member Chair
Penny Porter:

Corresponding Secretary
Jane Eppinga:

Forum Program & Conference Chair
Donna Young:

Members at Large
Mark Jepperson:
Mike Nicksic:
Concy Richardson:
Carroll Rinehart:

Writing Group Coordinator
Barry Webb:

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