Upcoming Events

   December 7
SSA Santa Cruz Chapter @ 1—2:45pm
Joyner Library in Green Valley
Jim and Marilyn Johnson
(authors), "De Grazia: The Man and the Myths"
(see article here)

   December 20
SSA Forum @ 11am—2pm
Tucson City Center InnSuites
Bob Early, "Quick Steps to Better Stories & SSA Writing Contest Winners"
(see article this page)

   December 27
SSA Valley of the Sun Chapter @ 2:30—4:30pm
Tempe Public Library
Dan Baldwin (professional ghostwriter of several books), "Ghostwriting,"
(see article here)

   January 16
SSA Santa Cruz Chapter @ 11:30—2:30pm
Desert Hills Lutheran Church in Green Valley
Annual Authors Showcase
(see article here)

   January 17
SSA Forum @ 11am—2pm
Tucson City Center InnSuites
Carol Costa, "Paranormal Facts & Fun"
(see article this page)

   January 31
SSA Valley of the Sun Chapter @ 2:30—4:30pm
Tempe Public Library
Donis Casey, "Writing the Mystery Novel,"
(see article here)

   February 28
SSA Valley of the Sun Chapter @ 2:30—4:30pm
Tempe Public Library
Sharon Magee (Arizona Highways, etc.), "Writing for Magazines,"
(see article here)

To R.S.V.P. SSA Forum
Leave Phone Message
at 546-9382
or e-mail: ssabrunches@gmail.com WEDNESDAY before the Forum
$25 with reservation or
$30 paid at the door

      Bob Early will talk about how to make quick fixes in your writing. Sure fire ways to improve not only the words you use but also the content of your message.

   Bob has spent 48 years writing and editing for newspapers and magazines. He began his reporting career in 1958 on The Indianapolis Star, moving to The Arizona Republic in 1961. From 1969 to 1982 he served as city editor, assistant managing editor and managing editor of The Republic.

   Early also has served as editor of Phoenix Magazine and retired at the end of 2004 after 15 years as editor of Arizona Highways magazine. He currently serves as a consultant to newspapers and magazines and as a lecturer on writing.

   He has taught writing at Arizona State University West for 18 years, has served as a faculty member at scores of writers' conferences from Alaska to the Caribbean, delivered hundreds of talks on writing effectiveness, and serves on the Northern Arizona University School of Communication advisory board.

   Bob was also a judge for the SSA Writing Contest and we will have the awards ceremony at this forum. We had 122 entries in the contest. They were well balanced between personal essay/memoir and short story, with poetry entries lagging. Entries came from far and wide, including Seattle, WA and Ontario, Canada.

   Help us celebrate the writing excellence of members and non-members. We will also have the 2015 StoryTeller so you can take home all the winners.

   Our December forum will at Tucson City Center InnSuites but the January and February forums will be at Golden Pin Lanes. Remember, you save $5 when you register by Wednesday prior to the forum ($25 for registered guests, $30 at the door). Call in your reservations to 546-9382 or e-mail ssabrunches@gmail.com.

   Carol Costa has been writing professionally since 1980. She is a journalist and an award-winning playwright. Carol has worked as an editor, a newspaper correspondent, and has managed a literary agency. Her plays have been produced in New York City, Los Angeles, and in regional theaters across the country. Her television work includes segments for Beyond Chance (Lifetime) and Sightings (Fox). Her published works include several novels, stage plays, and non-fiction books.

   Carol has spent many years researching all aspects of the paranormal and will share her knowledge and actual experiences at the January forum.

   A number of Carol's books contain paranormal events, such as the popular Ask Aunt Emma mystery series and her novel Psychic Evidence, based on an actual court case in Tucson where evidence obtained at a seance was used at a murder trial. She will explain how writers can introduce true and accurate psychic phenomena into their work.

   Due to the Gem Show and other events, January and February forums will be at the Golden Pin Lanes, 1010 Miracle Mile. Remember, you save $5 when you register by Wednesday prior to the forum ($25 for registered guests, $30 at the door). Call in your reservations to 546-9382 or e-mail ssabrunches@gmail.com.


Michael Alvarez, PCC writing instructor and long-time SSA member, has written and published numerous short stories, essays, poems, and articles on writing. His work has appeared in various publications, including The Arizona Daily Star and Writer's Digest. Several of his short stories have been included in anthologies. Although Mike usually writes mystery/suspense fiction, he would like to let folks know that his works also include the following stories:
A House Named Henry (great for kids of all ages, especially grandkids!) and available as a Kindle Single on Amazon. Nothing is more powerful and joyful than a child's imagination. A House Named Henry is not only a house, but also a friend…at least it is to the youngest member of the household.
When Jenny and Karen Walker's parents decide to move the family to another city, Karen worries about her friend Henry whom she will leave behind. He will be left all alone, but maybe Karen can help Henry understand why she is leaving.
And perhaps Henry will help Karen realize the gift of true friendship.

Also, available as an original Amazon Kindle Single is The Christmas Visitors, a heartwarming tale of three childhood friends who learn the true meaning of love and friendship from the town recluse. "From the award-winning imagination of Michael M. Alvarez comes a simple, yet evocative story that proves the most powerful force in the universe is the triumph of the human heart."

Mary Ann Carman had two new books come out in September oddly enough written at the same time, medieval and contemporary:
Up To No Good, Book 3 in the Clan Hewit Trilogy and Something Old, Book 1 in the new series Love After Life. You can get more information at www.MaryAnnCarman.info. Book 2 of the Love After Life series will be out before the end of the year.

Ed Harter (aka Emory Cosgrove) has a new book out, Taking Names, that deals with both white-collar crime and violent crime.
An explosion at the home of the Copper State University CFO kills four people, including the CFO himself, James Donner. Sunset Hills police determine that Donner had been shot dead prior to the explosion. Acting on an anonymous tip, they find the murder gun in the office of the University Registrar, Ms. Audrey Simmonds—the romantic interest of Scottsdale Police Detective, Manny Acosta.
Ms. Simmonds's fingerprints are found on the gun; tell-tale signs of bomb-making materials are found in her garage; and she was known to be in very bad terms with Donner. Sunset Hills police arrest her on suspicion of quadruple homicide.
Detective Acosta is convinced that Ms. Simmonds is innocent, but the Sunset Hills police aren't interest in the theories of a Scottsdale detective. Acosta enlists the help of this friends, Jeff and Connie Fletcher, to help him uncover the truth.
Taking Names is available in print through Amazon and other booksellers. It is also available as an ebook through Amazon/Kindle, SmashWords, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and most ebook outlets.

Duke Southard's Live Free or Die, released in March, was a finalist in the 2015 New Mexico / Arizona Book Awards. Winners were announced at the annual banquet in November and Duke was runner up again. "The book joins my first two novels, finalists in 2013 and 2014 respectfully. (Haven't won yet but maybe next year with my new novel, Cracks in the Wall, which should be out by the spring, 2016.(-:)"

Stuart Watkins has a new book, Short Stories to Stimulate, Excite, and Make You Smile. This book will take the reader into the mystery of dead lumberjacks in Oregon, the disappearance of two lovers in Charlottesville, Virginia, an attempt to high jack an airplane, a visit to Tucson, Arizona by God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, a dad explaining buffalo wings to his son, a teacher who has a run in with a Chinese businessman in Tucson, a student from Phoenix, Arizona who sets up a scam against her teacher, and a money laundering set up in Kona, Hawaii. It is now available at Mostly Books and Antigone Books in Tucson, as well as amazon.com. Buy local if you can.

Betty Webb's new Gunn Zoo mystery is The Puffin of Death. In it, California zookeeper Theodora "Teddy" Bentley is sent to Iceland to pick up an orphaned polar bear cub to bring back to the Gunn Zoo. She almost immediately stumbles across the cooling body of Simon Parr, an American birder—and the winner of the largest Powerball payout in history.
Those of you who have enjoyed her posts about spending two weeks in Iceland will love reading about that gorgeous country and the reviews for Puffin have been terrific, with Publishers Weekly saying, "Iceland's rugged and sometimes dangerous landscape provides atmosphere, while Magnus, the polar bear cub, appears just often enough to remind us why Teddy's in Iceland."
"Webb skillfully keeps the reader guessing right to the dramatic conclusion."
Library Journal agrees, "This charming series doesn't fail to please. Teddy is delightful as she copes with the Icelandic penchant for partying hard."
To read the first two chapters, check out her web site at www.bettywebb-zoomystery.com
The Puffin of Death is available at all fine bookstores (plus the usual e-outlets). If your neighborhood bookstore doesn't have it on the shelves, or has already sold all its copies, they will happily order one for you. To find out about Arizona signings, check her Events Page at http://bettywebbssignings.blogspot.com/

Ron Wick's new Santiago Mystery #4, Quantum Kill is now available. It was highlighted on Facebook and launched at a book signing in October in advance of its target date.
Michelle "Mitch" Santiago is caught in a web of suspense, sabotage, revenge and corruption triggered by the murder of Tony Mercedes at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Washington Mall. Quantum Kill takes Santiago undercover from DataFlex in Chandler, Arizona, to New Orleans and Palm Springs in this fast paced thriller seeking Mercedes killer, exposing domestic terrorism, and making her a target.
All the Santiago Mysteries: Gold Coast Murder, Desert Kill, Killer Disc and Quantum Kill are available in print at Createspace.com, Amazon.com and soon available by special order in all book stores. They are also available in e-book format from Smashword.com and Amazon.com.

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

Board of Dirctors

Chris Stern:

Vice President
Rajendra (Raj) Srivastava: rajendrasrivastava@outlook.com

Jay McCall: jmccall415@msn.com

Recording Secretary

Corresponding Secretary

Membership & Forum Programs & Reservations Chair
Sharon Lashinger: srlashinger@hotmail.com
Reservations: 546-9382 or
E-mail: ssabrunches@gmail.com

Members at Large
Dan Baldwin: baldco@msn.com

Bob Hunton: rlh10@cox.net

Debora Lewis: deboraklewis@yahoo.com

Penny Porter: wporter202@aol.com

Jim Snedden: jimsnedden@comcast.net

Danette Young: dmyoung3@gmail.com


Conference Co-Chair

Writing Contest
Bob Hunton: info@ssa-az.org
contest page

Speaker's Bureau Coordinator

Writing Group Coordinator
Write Word Editor
Mike Rom: writeword@ssa-az.org

SSA Home Page:


Mike Rom: writeword@ssa-az.org

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