Vol. 34, No. 1 February/March '06

Upcoming Events

   February 19
Forum @11:30-2PM
Sheraton Four Points
Maralys Wills,
"Making Your Own Luck"
(see article)

   March 19
Forum @11:30-2PM
Sheraton Four Points
Jerry Simmons,
"What Writers Need to Know About Publishing"
(see article)

   April 16
Forum @11:30-2PM
Sheraton Four Points
Ralph Keyes,
"The Courage to Write"

see more about Ralph at www.ralphkeyes.com

To R.S.V.P. Forum
Leave Phone Message
at 546-9382
before noon the
Wed. before the Forum
$20 paid at the door

Making Your Own Luck

   SSA welcomes author Maralys Wills, author of ten books, as our forum speaker on Sunday, February 19. Maralys' presentation focuses on making your own luck, with examples of how it is possible to prevail in the very difficult publishing world.

   Out of her first nine books, all agented, "five sold because of things I did myself," said Maralys.

   Among the "things" Maralys includes are informal rules for a workable critique group, small tricks to upgrade a manuscript to make the difference between adequate writing and great writing, and many more.

   For the past 19 years, Maralys has taught novel writing at the college level, earning recognition as Teacher of the Year in 2000. A self-described "genre hopper," Maralys has published four romance novels and a technothriller, Scatterpath, which the New York Times described as "putting the reader at the controls" in an aircraft cockpit. Her book, Higher than Eagles, has had five movie options. She also published nonfiction books about hang gliders and hang gliding, and a book to help in dealing with drug addiction.

What Writers Need to Know
About Publishing

   SSA welcomes author Jerry Simmons, retired VP Director Field Sales for the Time Warner Book Group, as our forum speaker on Sunday, March 19. Jerry presents: What Writers Need to Know About Publishing. In this competitive publishing environment, writers and authors need to understand what goes on behind the scenes with the publication of their book. Jerry shares the secrets of the largest publishers and booksellers in the world. From acquisition to the day a book goes on sale, there is a process that authors must be involved with in order to improve their chances of having a book successfully published.

   There are so many writers desperate to become authors that it is easy for a publisher to become complacent about authors and their books. This can result in a disastrous launch of a new book and can jeopardize the career of a writer before it even starts. Jerry explains: the industry, changes taking place, and how to compete for book sales; why it is important for writers to know their genre; what writers need to know about marketing; the importance of understanding numbers and distribution; how to become a participant in the process of publishing.

   Jerry spends his time writing, teaching, and speaking with writers about the importance of understanding the business of publishing. Don't miss this tremendous forum speaker on March 19, 2006.

processing fees are too high,
we do not make a profit on the luncheons-
what you pay is what the hotel charges us.

Also, if you R.S.V.P. please attend-SSA pays full fee if you don't!)


Mary Ellen Barnes' Forged by Fire: The Devastation and Renewal of a Mountain Community was recently named one of the ten top Southwest Books of the Year 2005. A Tucson-Pima Public Library project supported by the Friends of the Library, this annual guide was initiated 29 years ago by Arizona Daily Star's book reviewer J. C. Martin. Panelists meet during the year to discuss books they have read and make their selections from more than 275 books, both fiction and nonfiction. For the first time, two of the books in the ten top list--Barnes' book and one other--were independently published.

Marylyn Chapman's short story was published in August issue of Good Old Days magazine. It recounts the work of a 1940's Midwestern thrashing day through the eyes of a ten year old at her grandparents' farm. Marylyn now spends summers in Stillwater, Minn. where she teaches memoir and creative writing short courses in a senior community.

Margaret Falk's new book, Dark Side of the Moon, published under her pen name J. Carson Black, is the second book in the Laura Cardinal mystery series, set in Tucson and other parts of Arizona. The first book in the series, Darkness on the Edge of Town, was a Doubleday Book Club selection and appeared on the Poisoned Pen Bookstore's Mass Market Paperback Besteller List for January 2005.
Her detective with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Laura Cardinal, troubleshoots homicides in small towns. When a young couple on their honeymoon is found shot to death in a campground in Williams, Arizona, the consequences go far beyond a simple murder investigation. Teamed with a partner she doesn't like and distracted by frequent appearances of her ghostly mentor, a dead homicide cop named Frank Entwistle, Laura is already walking an emotional tightrope. As she investigates this double homicide, Laura uncovers a chilling portrait of the dark side of love. And when she discovers one victim's ties to an underground organization called the Earth Warriors, she is plunged into a high-stakes conspiracy played out against the unforgiving backdrop of the Mojave Desert--where there are no second chances.
Two-time Edgar Award winning author T. Jefferson Parker hails J. Carson Black a "Strong new voice in American crime fiction."
To learn more, please go to www.jcarsonblack.com

Don Hausrath's "USLO Peking, Life at a Not Quite Embassy" appeared in the September issue of American Heritage. Capital Books, a Washington DC area publisher, published Weasel Words, the Dictionary of Doublespeak this December, written by Don and collaborator, Paul Wasserman. Details about the book can be found on Amazon.com. Paul and Don collaborated on Washington DC from A to Z also published by Capital Books and they have a contract from Capital Books for a book scheduled to come out next year on obscure travel destinations.

Myrtle Nord's article, "Hot Dog Ski Days," was recently published in the January 2006 issue of Good Old Days magazine. Myrtle has had more than a million words in print in the last 50 years. She has been writing poetry since the age of four and is now an author, historian and editor. She is also a member of The Arizona Mystery Writers and a professional member of The National League of American Pen Women. Good Old Days is published by Dynamic Resource Group. DRG publishes 15 magazines in the quilting, sewing, knitting, crochet, crafts, beading, plastic canvas, woodworking, nostalgia and cooking fields. It is a third-generation privately owned family business. (www.GoodOldDaysMagazine.com)

D. J Smith's first childrens picture book, Dr. Bird To The Rescue, has been published by Arizona Highways Book Division. It is a tale of the desert for 5-12 year olds about how the gila woodpecker can save a sick saguaro cactus. The book was honored with an official launch at Saguaro NP West in late November. It has already been praised for its story and outstanding illustrations by Kevin Kibsey.
D.J. is at home recovering from a triple bypass. He can be reached at djsmi32@cox.net

Lynn Wiese Sneyd, along with Audrey Ricker, Ph.D. and Robert E. Calmes, Ed.D. published How Happy Families Happen: Six Steps to Bringing Emotional & Spiritual Health into Your Home. Using more than thirty years of research, the authors identify characteristics of emotionally unhealthy households, including narcissism, neglect, and abusive behavior, and then share six simple steps that a family can use to create a healthier home. The six steps involve modeling; consistency; reinforcement; using empathy with rational reason; caring for animals, plants and things in the home; and caring for all people in the home. Also included are case histories, references to families in popular culture, and a self-test for rating the happiness in your home.

Connie Spittler won the top two prizes in the Maryland Biennial Literary Competition, 2005. Her short story, "The Consolation of Prayer," took the grand prize and her essay "Words" received the Grace Powers Hudson Award. Connie also captured highest honors for fiction and nonfiction in the 2005 Alabama Pen Women Writing Competition. She won first place for her short story "The Most Beautiful" and the top award for her essay "Cracking Open."

Barbara Jean Young's first book, Helping People with Disabilities Help Themselves: Promoting the I CAN Attitude, was published in both hardcover and paperback by Author House. If you are a person with a disability or know of someone who has one, this book will help them cope and succeed by using positive thinking. It shows different procedures and methods Barbara Jean utilized in her 34 years experience working with a variety of ages and disabilities. There is a special section after each chapter listing references for people who want to learn more.

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

Chris Stern: cstern@us.ibm.com

Dale Adams: 2dale@dakotacom.net

Carol Costa: starlit@theriver.com

Recording Secretary
Bill Pohlman: billpohlmann@hotmail.com

Member Chair
Penny Porter: wporter202@aol.com

Corresponding Secretary
Ruth Beach: rbeach930@theriver.com

Conference Co-Chair
Barbara Stahura: barbara@clariticom.com

Directory Editor
Sam Turner: clearskys@cox.net

Conference Interview Chair
Sharon Landeen: SLLandeen@theriver.com

Forum Program Chair
Rob Raine: rmskraine@msn.com

Reservations Chair
Randy Ford: info@randyfordplaywright.com

Writer's Contest
Mary Ann Hutchison: douglashutchison@comcast.net

Write Word Editor
Mike Rom: (520) 410-1294 (beep)
e-mail: writeword@ssa-az.org

SSA Home Page:


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

Deadline for next issue is the 21st day of March