Upcoming Events

   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 1
SSA Santa Cruz Chapter @ 1—2:45pm
Friends in Deed
Susan Lowell with stories of best-loved desert tales like The Three Little Javelinas
(see article here)

   February 21
SSA Forum @ 11am—2pm
Tucson City Center InnSuites
Dan Baldwin, "I’m Not The Author, I Only Wrote the Book"
(see article this page)

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

   March 7
SSA Santa Cruz Chapter @ 1—2:45pm
Friends in Deed
Susan Cummins Miller and her metamorphosis from U.S. Geological Survey field geologist to college instructor to creative writer.
(see article here)

   March 20
SSA Forum @ 11am—2pm
Tucson City Center InnSuites
Mabel Leo, "When a Door Opens, Walk Through It"
(see article this page)

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

   "Ghostwriting is a rewarding experience in itself," says Dan Baldwin, but he adds, "The effort I put into ghostwriting projects has enhanced my ability to write fiction." Short story writers and novelists often have to get into the heads of their characters. Imagine what you can learn getting into the head of a real person. Ghostwriting requires mastery of the same techniques as fiction—plotting, characterization, dialog and so on. But the constraints of working within an established and real-world story line require an intense concentration. And that's where the learning (and the fun) comes in.

   He says, "Ghostwriting can be lucrative, too. My ghostwriting pays for my novel writing so I've been able to give up my paper route and the job as a Mall-Mart greeter. This has the added benefit of keeping me off the streets, so society as a whole benefits from my ghostwriting projects."

   Dan's program covers the basics of ghostwriting from the perspective of the client and the writer. He says it is more than a how to lecture; it's also a how to sell it to a client and profit from your efforts presentation. Topics covered will include a segment on contract essentials. "The program is based on my philosophy of 'Do as I say not as I have done,' so it reflects real-world experiences. I'll tell you my mistakes so you don't have to make them and I'll show you successful techniques so you can put them to beef up your writing and your bank account."

   Dan has ghostwritten or co-authored more than 50 books, including work for the "...For Dummies" group, Streetwise Guides, major publishers and self-published authors. He is also the author of nine novels, a short story collection, and three non-fiction books on psychic detecting. Contact Dan at baldco@msn.com and visit his website www.fourknightspress.com or www.danbaldwin.biz

   Mabel Leo's first book, The Saga of Jack Durant, began as a curiosity about a nearby restaurant that had a sordid history. Mabel started her saga by doing research for an article and it expanded into a phenomenon. Her 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 was initially turned down by publishers because it was "too local" but Mabel persisted and the book struck a cord with it's audience.

   The popularity of her book caught the attention of playwright Terry Earp who wrote an award-winning play, In My Humble Opinion. The play was to be performed five nights. It was sold out every night with people waiting outside hoping for no-shows. Earp then extended the play and it continued for 22 more sold out performances. Terry had to then close the show as the actors had other commitments but she brought it back a few months later for 15 sold out performances. She then inspired Leo to write, Jack's World with more tales of Jack, including his spirit being seen at the restaurant long after his death.

   Interest in Jack grew and, after more research, Leo wrote Mob Mole, revealing more of Jack's life with the mob. The play was a hit and money was raised through Kickstarter for a movie, Durant's Never Closes. The movie is now opening throughout Arizona and hopefully nation wide.

   Though Jack Durant died in 1987, his story still lives.

   Come to the March 20th forum to find out more and visit her website to see when and where the movie is showing: http://mabelleo.com/default.htm
(see "Successes" below for Tucson times)


Dan Baldwin's Bock's Canyon and They Are Not Yet Lost: True Cases of Psychic Detecting came out in December and are available at Amazon.com.
In Bock's Canyon, young Brodie Dephrane was forced to watch the murder of his mother by a gang of killers. He grows into a strong, reliable man and a deadly shot with a .45 revolver. Yet, he is a restless man obsessed with a need to protect women who cannot protect themselves and for revenge against the killers. He puts his ranch, his romance and his future on hold when he saves a young woman who puts him on the trail of the man responsible for killing his mother. Brodie's dangerous quest drives him from Utah through Arizona Territory and to a final conflict above New Mexico's Gila River on Deadman's Ridge. But the price of his obsession is found elsewhere—in a place called Bock's Canyon.
In They Are Not Yet Lost Dan Baldwin volunteers his time and talents as a pendulum dowser to help find missing persons and solve crimes. As an inaugural member of the Find Me II organization and now as a private psychic investigator, he relates many of the actual cases of psychic detecting he was involved with during the past decade and a half–many of them swinging his "rock on a string" and pounding the ground with his own two feet. The authentic cases presented in They Are Not Yet Lost reflect the hard work of genuine psychic detectives and the frustration, heart-rending outcomes, and the joy found by people who do not give up on finding the lost.

James E. Cox's poetry blog, It's My Turn, at http://jim-cox.blogspot.com has received over 10,300 visits. Over 1700 visitors were from forty-eight foreign countries. Jim averages twelve new poems on the blog each month. His poetic website, All that Rhymes, at http://allthatrhymes.squarespace.com has received over 13,000 visitors. Jim posts at least three new poems on this site on the first of each month.
The internet sites present the reader with multiple poetic forms and rhyme schemes to penetrate into the realms of philosophy, logic, love, humor, and everyday disquietudes.
The public recognition of the sites is an indication that poetry is still a valuable part of literature. Jim's 685 books, chapbooks, CDs, and media poems have not returned such positive feedback.

James Gurley's latest horror publication, a novel from Severed Press, Kaiju Kiribati, the sequel to Kaiju: Deadfall. Severed Press also bought two other novels, Intulo, a Lost World novel, and The Law Giveth, A Jake's Law zombie novel, for release early in 2016.
Montag Press is releasing his YA science fiction novel, Pools of Yarah, early in 2016 and bought the rights to the sequel, Children of Yarah. They will also be releasing the sequel to my YA science fiction novel Oracle of Delphi, Dark Delphi, later in 2016.
Please visit my website at http://www.jamesgurely.com/

Mabel Leo's movie, Durant's Never Closes, based on her book, The Saga of Jack Durant, began it's run on January 22 at Harkins Shea 14, in Scottsdale. It will be at The Screening Room in Tucson from Feb. 5 to Feb 11. The Screening Room is at 127 E. Congress Street in Tucson— ph: 520-882-0204. Jack Durant is played by Tom Sizemore; perfect for it.
It will also show in Sierra Vista Uptown 3 Theatre on February 5. Mabel will be SSA's forum speaker on March 20. www.durantsnevercloses.com

Mike Rom had two of his digital art images, "Twilight Cowboy" and "Wire Cowboy in the Sky," selected for Pima College's 2015 Cababi Art & Literary Magazine. The e-Book will be available soon at www.pima.edu/cababi.

Mark Sneller's two new books Toxic Exposure and Dying to Read (Wheatmark Publ.) will be released in 2016. Toxic Exposure will be available free online after January. Follow Mark's health blog on his facebook page.

Stuart Watkins' poem, "House for Sale," won first place in the Arizona State Poetry Society contest in the Facebook category. Stuart was quite pleased. He also had his short story "God and Good Deeds" printed in the December issue of SaddleBag Notes. Then he got news from Amazon.com that five people bought his book Kona, Hawaii, Walking Alii Drive. Two other people bought in November. "It seems people headed to Kona search for books on amazon and they seemed to like my picture book about places to see, things to do, sites to visit, and information about sites most tourists will miss. It was a fun write and the owner of Poke Man Shack thanked me for mentioning his eating shack in my book. (My son John's favorite spot.)"

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 March