Newsletter of the Society of Southwestern Authors           Vol. 35, No. 3 June/July '07


Upcoming Events

   June 17
Forum @11:30-2PM
Four Points Sheraton
Betty Webb,
"Five Ideas a Day - Every Day"
(see article)

   July 15
Forum @11:30-2PM
Four Points Sheraton
Dewanne Hopson,
"Sell Yourself - Sell Your Work"
(see article)

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

Five Ideas a Day - Every Day

   Mystery author/book reviewer Betty Webb will give a talk titled "Five Ideas a Day - Every Day." Yes, it's hard to believe, but coming up with five ideas every day for stories or novels is as easy as pie, she says, if you follow her instructions. During the talk, Betty will not only demonstrate how to accomplish this seemingly impossible feat, but will have everyone in the room doing it themselves--during the session! The "Five Ideas" workshop is a lot of fun, very hands-on, and will forever take away the fear of not being able to come up with something new.

   Betty Webb is a retired journalist-turned-mystery author who has interviewed everyone from U.S. presidents to the homeless. Her best-selling Lena Jones detective series (published by Poisoned Pen Press) -- Desert Shadows, Desert Wives, and Desert Noir--has garnered rave reviews from the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and other prestigious national publications. Desert Wives, a mystery set in one of Arizona's notorious polygamy compounds, is in development to become a Lifetime-TV movie and series. Desert Run, based on a real-life murder in a German POW camp in Arizona during World War II, was released in March '06, to rave reviews. Betty also teaches creative writing at Phoenix Community College, and is the Small Press columnist for Mystery Scene Magazine, based in New York City.

   You can read more about Betty at

Sell Yourself - Sell Your Work

   SSA welcomes one of our own board members, Dewanne Hopson, as speaker on Sunday July 15. Dewanne's presentation focuses on how to be ready for all the moments when you are not only selling your work but yourself.

   First impressions speak volumes. Dewanne will touch on that all encompassing interview with the agent when with a glance the agent, editor or publisher has formed a subconscious opinion. She wants to be sure that the first impression is the best for all SSA members.

   As she has stated, "We want to play with the 'big boys' in an industry that is becoming more heartless, so we must help our writers learn the skills that are necessary to compete in the market." Dewanne knows how to play the game of first impressions from her years as an actress and model in Rome, Italy and New York.

   She will be the first one to tell you that not only must you dress for the part but also you must have the attitude of success. Remember the song "Whenever I feel afraid...?" No whistling allowed at the interview but a bit of brazen acting - the show of absolute self assurance will help sell not only your writing but you, the creative force that has dollar signs, for the agent and publisher written all over your presentation.


Mathias B. Freese was honored to be invited as the Holocaust speaker at Yom Hashoah, "Day of Remembrance," on 2 May 2007 at the Davis-Monthan Airforce base. It was a gathering of Holocaust survivors, Jewish and Christian Chaplains, as well as airmen and airwomen on the base. "As you might know The i Tetralogy was the winner of the 2007 Editor's Choice Book Award in Historical Fiction."
"A copy of my talk will gladly be emailed to anyone who requests it. The talk itself is on CD and available for teaching purposes, et al. (the only provisos are the cost for the mailing)."
Call (520) 399-0413 or email: I also provide copies of my book free to survivors and to teachers on the high school and college level if they will state that in correspondence.

Stephen B. Gladish's anthology of stories from prison, Freedom of Vision, is available at discounted rates at Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Noble.
Gladish Suggests, "Try it, you'll like it."
"The anthology represents twenty years of daily effort and five more years to bring it all together for public consumption and inspiration."

Susan Miller and Elizabeth Gunn will present a panel discussion, with two law enforcement professionals, Steve McGuigan from DEA and Andrea Gemson, DNA scientist at the Tucson Crime Lab, at the Bear Canyon Library at 7 p.m. on June 19. They will discuss the rapidly changing methods of law enforcement, and what crime writers can and must do to keep up.

Don L. Nickerson, a psychotherapist and one time Christian minister, is the author of a new book, The Healing of Teddy Bears-Creating an Imaginative Faith. He believes humanity is undergoing a shift from faith belief based on external authority, such as religious hierarchy, scriptural infallibility, or charismatic individuals, to a more organic and highly individualistic faith that is intuitive, imaginative, and creative. He illustrates this shift of consciousness from transitions in his own life from agnosticism, to Christian fundamentalism, to liberalism, and to meditative mysticism. The author, while grateful for the communities that formed his history, also fully understands the pain often involved in letting go of attachments to external structures of faith. He sees faith creating as a sacred responsibility. One of the more controversial lines in the book is, "We must take care in the god that we create, because the god we create will become the god who creates us."
The latter part of the book addresses significant experiences most likely to challenge creative faith consciousness, aging and mortality, illustrated from the author's life.
The Healing of Teddy Bears, published in May by Wheatmark, may be ordered by email at or from your bookstore of choice.

Marilyn Pate has been invited to participate in the annual White Mountains Roundup of Cowboy Poetry, Music and Art, July 27-29, 2007 in Pinetop/Lakeside, AZ. She and other western writers will be talking about and signing their books about the West. Marilyn's book, Mary George, Her Book, is set in northern Arizona and New Mexico in 1885-1895. The book is also now available on the UK Amazon.

Bob Ring announces that his second book, Frontier Lady of Letters - The Heroic Love Story of Ines Fraser, has just been published by Wheatmark, Inc., here in Tucson. The new book is a personal memoir, primarily a touching love story, but also a gripping historical account of how Ines Fraser met the incredible challenges of her enthralling life that spanned the early gold mining days on the western frontier to the beginning of the manned space program. Ines made the best of an incredibly difficult existence with her loving husband Jack in crude mining camps in borderland Arizona, and later, after her husband was horribly murdered she raised her four children alone in San Diego during the Great Depression. You can get more information on the new book and info about Bob's first book, Ruby, Arizona - Mining, Mayhem, and Murder, at

Miriam Seymour researches and writes about aviation history. Her article titled "Alfred W. Lawson and His Airliners" was published in the January 2007 issue of Skyways-The Journal of the Airplane, 1920-1940. Alfred Lawson (1869-1954) characterized himself as a person "born 50 years too soon." His ideas, expressed in 1919, about a future when large numbers of people would travel by air, were dismissed as crackpot nonsense. To prove his contention that people would make use of air transportation he built the first airplane designed specifically for passengers and announced that it would be flown on scheduled routes. He named his airplane Airliner.
On August 22, 1919, Airliner departed the Lawson factory in Milwaukee, WI. There were incidents and accidents but Lawson proved that his idea was workable and laid out plans for establishing east-west and north-south routes for scheduled flights. Investors did not share his optimism.
In 1922 he declared bankrupcy and turned his considerable talents to another field of endeavor. Another important long distance flight flown in 1919, is chronicled in Seymour's book titled The Around The Rim Flight.
For more information contact Miriam O. Seymour at 520-690-9183 ore email

Connie Spittler traveled to San Diego, CA to talk about Life Stories and the importance of preserving family history. She was invited by the international group "Gather the Women" for the February meeting held in Cardiff by the Sea on the 11th. Part of her presentation included her video "Grandmothers Speak."
On May 15th, Connie will be guest speaker at the Welcome Wagon Alumnae group, Savoy Opera House, presenting a variation on the same theme to over 100 women.

Jennifer J. Stewart is excited that her novel, Close Encounters of a Third-World Kind, has been nominated for Maryland's 2007-2008 Black-Eyed Susan Award. It is a children's choice award, meaning kids will get to vote and decide the winner. The book was also a finalist for Arizona's 2007 Grand Canyon Reader Award.

Karen Ferguson Tauber's All Pretty and Bright: Stories of Courage and Hope for the Teaching Life is for sale on, at both Tucson Borders Books, Antigone, Jonathan's Educational Resources, and the University of Arizona. Please feel free to share this information with others who are teachers, have relatives or friends who are teachers, retired teachers and those going into teaching.

Sharon Willing's book about her husband, the late Foy Willing, is a winner! No one to Cry To received a Certificate of Merit in the noted ARSC competition in the Country Music Recording category.

Jim Woods has been contacted by Champagne Books of Ontario, Canada, historically a romance imprint but expanding to include mainstream fiction, to publish his suspense/mystery collection, Gunshot Echoes. The centerpiece is a political assassination novella set in South Africa, and is supported by five fictional short stories set in various world venues, all dealing with killing or murder (not the same thing) by firearm. Release is scheduled for February, 2008, simultaneously in paper print and various e-formats.

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

Mark Sneller:

Penny Porter:

Carol Costa:

Recording Secretary
Bob Nordmeyer:

Member Chair
Penny Porter:

Corresponding Secretary
Ruth Beach:

Conference Co-Chair
Penny Porter:
Carol Costa:

Conference Interview Chair
Sharon Landeen:

Writer's Contest
Mary Ann Hutchison:

Forum Program Chair
Penny Porter:

Member at Large
Dewanne Hopson:
Jude Johnson:
Carroll Rinehart:

SSA Chapters
Dale Adams:

Mentoring Groups
Sam Turner:

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 July