Newsletter of the Society of Southwestern Authors           Vol. 40, No. 1 Feb.—March '11


Upcoming Events

   January 28
Metro Phoenix Chapter Meeting
Sandra Lee Smith was multi-published in the eighties with three major publishers, lost it all–it took 10 years but she's multi-published again. Here’s our chance to share the steps it takes to be multi-published today. Ballroom B at the EmbassySuites, 4400 South Rural Road in Tempe. RSVP Carole Schoneman at or 480-831-3685
(More info on SSA-MPC page)

   February 7
Santa Cruz Valley Chapter Meeting @1—2:45PM
Jennifer Ashley will talk about "Title & Premise: How to Grab the Reader's (or Editor's) Attention Before They Read a Word." At Friends in Deed, SW corner of La Canada & Camino Casa Verde.
(More info on SSA-SCVC page)

   February 20
SSA Forum @10—1PM
Four Points Sheraton
Willma Gore - "Writing What You Know"
(see article this page)

   March 5
Santa Cruz Valley Chapter Meeting @1—4PM
Second Annual Local Authors Book Fair at Valley Presbyterian Church, Green Valley.
(More info on
Call For Authors Flyer)

   March 12-13
Tucson Festival of Books
10am-5pm on the campus of the University of Arizona. See additional information about SSA's Booth (yes, we will have one) and how YOU can sign up and help out from the article on this page.

   March 20
SSA Forum @10AM—1PM
Four Points Sheraton
Ethel Lee-Miller - "Public Speaking Without Panic for Authors"
(see article this page)

To R.S.V.P. Forum
Leave Phone Message
at 546-9382
or e-mail: WEDNESDAY before the Forum
$20 with reservation or
$25 paid at the door

Writing What You Know

   Have you ever wondered if attending a writers' conference can be of significant help to you as a writer? I was freelancing light touch columns for a local monthly in San Luis Obispo, California, my fifth residence in ten years. One friend complained that inking in my addresses had already filled one page. This sparked a column titled, "Just Pencil Me In," warning correspondents to use pencil for addresses of ever-moving friends. I took a copy of the newly published article to a California Writers Club Conference at Asilomar. Among the presenters was Steve Mettee, then editor/publisher of Quill Driver Books, non-fiction "how-to's." (He has been a speaker at SSA conferences.)

   The Asilomar conference offered attendees personal meetings with the presenters. I showed Mettee the published article. After a quick read of my column, he asked me to send him a proposal for a book on how to move. The result was my first published nonfiction book: Just Pencil Me In—Your Guide to Moving & Getting Settled. I'm still collecting royalties on that book and the next one for Quill Driver, Long Distance Grand Parenting. Lerner Publishing purchased Quill Driver last year and continues to publish how-to books. You never know what opportunities you may find at conferences.

   My Forum presentation will include contact information about publishing with Lerner as well as Enslow, publisher of children's books for hire; recent publication of my memoir with Create Space POD, my long career of "writing what you know" for regional and national publications and currently, for anthologies, an excellent market for today's writers. Every person has unique experiences and can "mine" his imagination for more that can be written up and sold for publication.

   Don't forget to call in your reservations to 955-9382 OR e-mail by the Wednesday prior (in this case, February 16).

Public Speaking Without Panic for Authors

   In today's writing market, chances are you, as an author, will be expected to do major marketing to distribute, advertise, and sell your book. Even with a superlative technology program, sooner or later you'll have to actually speak about your writing. Don't let your fear of public speaking stop you from taking advantage of your most powerful marketing tool—YOU! Ethel Lee-Miller's presentation is for anyone who wants to build communication skills and reduce anxiety.

  • Get tips, tricks, and tools to: polish your "30-second commercial"; create programs that fit your book event; handle Q&As; and manage both the glories and difficulties of speaking about writing.
  • Create your own package of fear fighters.
  • Learn how to use S.P.E.A.K.©, a 5-point public speaking strategy.
  • Whether your book is in stores, in production, or still a dream to be fulfilled, be prepared to be the most effective PR tool for your work . . . and enjoy the process.
   Ethel blends three decades of education, public speaking and coaching, and writing in her presentations. As a retired teacher, she turned to writing about her personal experiences as an identical twin. The result was her first book, Thinking of Miller Place: A Memoir of Summer Comfort (©2007 iUniverse).

   A member of the Society of Southwestern Authors, Arizona Authors Association, Easy Writers, and the Tucson area representative for the International Women's Writing Guild, Ethel continues her public speaking career of 13 years in Toastmasters International as a member of Tucson's Roadrunners Toastmasters.

   Join us at the Sheraton Four Points Conference Center on March 20, 2011 for an enlightening luncheon with Ethel. As always, you can either call in your reservations to 955-9382 OR e-mail by the Wednesday prior (in this case, March 16).

   Eat for less and enjoy Sensational Speakers and a bang-up brunch in 2011 WITH THE SSA FORUM/BRUNCH.

   Starting in February, SSA Forum Brunch Buffets will take place on the 3rd Sunday of the month as usual but will run from 10 am—1 pm at the lower price of only $20 when you register (it will still be $25 at the door for walk-ins) . . .  INCLUDING Delicious All-American or Mexican brunches on alternate months.

   For RESERVATIONS, call (520) 546-9382 by Wednesday preceding the event.


10:00 AM-5:00 PM, Saturday, March 12
& Sunday, March 13, 2010!

Are you an SSA member? Do you have a book(s) you'd like to market from our booth at this year's festival? All genres welcome!

Cost for a spot in the booth will be $30 plus three-hours of general booth service. Exhibiting authors are encouraged to spend as much additional time in the booth as desired. We will have electricity to run a cash register, process credit cards, run computers, light the books and a PA to offer readings, book chats, etc.

The slots are filling fast, so get your reservation in as soon as possible.

We want ALL members to volunteer to work in or help setup the Booth.

For those planning to attend, remember, free admission and free parking to the event itself!

We look forward to seeing you at this year's event!


   Mike Rom had a one-man art and photography show in the new Learning Commons Library at Pima Community College in November. His recent work, "Neon Look," will be showing at the Blue Raven Gallery and Gifts "Photographer's Eye" show from January 22 to March 12. For more information on the location and show you can go to

   Margaret Ward, with co-author Marc Belanger of Montreal, recently published the fifth edition of the textbook, The Family Dynamic: A Canadian Perspective. The publisher is Nelson Education of Toronto. This has proven to be one of the best-selling introductory books in the field of family studies in Canada.

   Ben F. Williams, Jr.'s new book, Pancho Villa: A Lifetime of Vengeance, has the infamous revolutionary weaving his evil heart in and out of an American family tapestry. The author spins the tales of his own boyhood years growing up in the southeastern corner of Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. Through facts and memorable reality from his parents and lifelong friends, Williams' stories follow the crazed Pancho Villa from his earliest days of life, through war and survival along the border lands. Williams includes horrific tales of Villa's famous battles and his growing eccentric and violent behavior, as personal cruelty and murders increase.
This well-researched book culminates with little-known truths about the disappearance of Pancho Villa's skull—from his tomb in Parral, Mexico. In his third book, Ben discloses a wealth of information about what it was like for a boy and his family to ranch, mine, and survive during Mexican revolutionary times. Against this background, he not only tackles stories about Pancho Villa's battles and the man accused of stealing Villa's skull from his grave, but he baits the reader with the most curious story of all: Who was the accused thief of the skull, Emil Holmdahl? And what was his connection to Ben F. Williams, Sr.—the author's father? And where is the skull today?

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 Chair
Concy Richardson:

Members at Large
Mark Jepperson:
Mike Nicksic:
Carroll Rinehart:
Danette Young:

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 March