Upcoming Events

   August 20
Desert Sleuths Sisters in Crime @8AM-4PM
"WriteStrong: A Writers' Workout" Desert Sleuths WriteNow! 2001 Conference.
Registration $75, $85 at the door.

   August 21
SSA Forum @ 10AM—1PM
Four Points Sheraton
Betty Webb - "How to Hook Your Readers"
(see article this page)

   September 12
Arizona Mystery Writers @10-2PM
Hometown Buffet, 5101 N. Oracle Rd.
Morning—William Kalt on crimes and shenanigans during the early railroad era in Tucson and southern Arizona. Afternoon—"The Girl With a Draggin' Tutu: What can we learn from twenty-nine years of crime entries to the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest?" Scott B. Rice $17.50 non-members. RSVP Molly 624-0792 or email amw2010mm@gmail.com

   September 18
SSA Forum @ 10AM—1PM
Four Points Sheraton
Shannon Cain - "Shannon Cain, September Forum Speaker"
(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
$20 with reservation or
$25 paid at the door

How to Hook Your Readers

   Journalist, novelist and syndicated book reviewer Betty Webb gives pointers on how to hook your readers—as well as prospective agents and editors—on the very first page of your manuscript. These attention-getting techniques will turn ho-hum openings into sure fire sellers, whether you're writing a feature article, literary novel, or thriller.   

Betty will also give tips on how to create a character that can carry readers through a multi-book series, such as Lena Jones, in her dark "Desert" series, or Theodora Esmeralda Iona Bentley, her much softer zookeeper in her "Gunn Zoo" mysteries. Those who have heard Betty speak say her talks are as much fun as they are informative.   

As a journalist, Betty interviewed U.S. presidents, astronauts who walked on the moon, and Nobel Prize-winners, as well as the homeless, the dying, and polygamy runaways. The seven dark Lena Jones mysteries, many of them based on stories she covered as a reporter, include Desert Lost ("One of the Top Five Mysteries of 2009," Library Journal), Desert Noir ("A mystery with a social conscience," Publishers Weekly) and Desert Wives, ("Eye-popping," New York Times).   

Her humorous Gunn Zoo series debuted with the critically-acclaimed The Anteater of Death, followed by The Koala of Death. A long-time book reviewer at Mystery Scene Magazine, Betty is a member of National Federation of Press Women, Mystery Writers of America, Society of Southwestern Authors, and the American Association of Zoo Keepers.   

Don't forget to call in your reservations to 546-9382 OR e-mail ssabrunches@gmail.com by the Wednesday prior (in this case, August 17).

Shannon Cain, September Forum Speaker

by Concy Richardson
   Shannon Cain, fiction editor at Kore Press in Tucson, has taken a teaching post over the summer in Leipzig, Germany, but will be home in time to be our September Forum speaker.   

Shannon is the 31st winner of the $15,000 Drue Heinz Literature Prize, announced January, 2011 by Mrs. Heinz. The Pittsburg Press will publish The Necessity of Certain Behaviors this fall. As one journalist wrote at the time, if the short story and novella are "stepchildren" in the world of literature, "then the Drue Heinz Literature Prize is a fairy godmother." Shannon also has won a Pushcart for "Cultivation" and an O. Henry prize for "The Necessity of Certain Behaviors."   

Don't forget to call in your reservations to 546-9382 OR e-mail ssabrunches@gmail.com by the Wednesday prior (in this case, September 14).


Steve Adelson's article, "Beginnings and Rejections: Interview With Screenwriter and Director Melissa Cushman Banczak," is featured in Tucson Filmmaker Magazine. It is part 1 of a 3 part article. You can read it at www.tucsonfilmmaker.com.

Mike Alvarez's book on writing and writers, Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Writers and one of his favorite children's stories, The House On Rosewood Drive have been accepted for publication by Red Willow Digital Press.
From Mike's book on writing and writers: "I wish I had read a book like this when I started writing. It would have saved me a lot of time and grief."
"When I wrote The House On Rosewood Drive, I fondly recalled the fantasy tales of Ray Bradbury, whose wonderful lyrical style inspired me from an early age. This story is my tribute to him."

Don Bueltmann recently finished his second book, a tribute to his little furry friend Little Muffin Golden Paws "or Mischief, her name in my book, A Little Mischief and a Lotta Love." A book about her written from her viewpoint portraying the events in her life from birth, adoption, first visit to the vet, the groomers, the kennel, moving to Arizona, and a few fictitious adventures. "Unfortunately shortly after completing the book my protagonist died."
"Oh well, back to the present. My book was edited by Tama White and is ready to go somewhere? Like my last book, The Gift, I'm going to self publish through my company Golden Tree Books. With one significant difference—instead of paying to have my book made print ready I'm trying to master Adobe InDesign (or at least tame it enough to turn out a professional-looking book)."
"I also attended Harvey's excellent class on Digital Publishing and I plan on selling both print and digital copies of the book."

Gail Gibbs' short story "The Hung Gun" was the First Place Winner in the Jim Martin Memorial Writing Contest held by the Arizona Mystery Writers. The award included a cash prize, and a special publication of winning stories in the Mystery Mania. Gibbs encourages all those interested in mystery writing to check out the Arizona Mystery Writers, and to watch for the next contest in the spring of 2012.

Keith Pyeatt's paranormal thriller Dark Knowledge is under contract to be re-published by Etopia Press (http://etopia-press.net). The ebook will be available this summer, with a print version to follow. The novel tells the story of a mentally challenged man named Wesley who discovers a beckoning world inside his mind. When he begins accepting knowledge from this world, dark instincts tag along, thrusting him into a frantic contest where he must fight to survive in two worlds while piecing together his mind and facing decisions that will affect all mankind. All Wesley's options require sacrifices, and his choices are never clear. In Dark Knowledge, good and evil intertwine. Taking one means accepting the other. Keith's website is http://keithpyeatt.com.

Denise Roessle is thrilled to announce that her memoir, Second-Chance Mother, has been accepted by Red Willow Digital Press. It will be released in the fall as both an e-book and trade paperback. Watch for more details in the next Write Word.

Craig Suter's The Inventor's War: 1933-1947; The Durable Ideas and Innovations of World War II outlines in some detail stories and little-known facts gleaned from more than four hundred and fifty bibliographic citations. The ballpoint pen, knobby farm tractor tires and Vitamin C have a common element—they were all influential in World War II. There are more than three hundred everyday civilian products and innovations that came from this war still in use today. Want to know how statistical analysis cut the losses of Allied aircrew? It's in there. Did you know Italy declared war on the United States partly because we proceeded to manufacture ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) without regard how it affected the Italian economy? Check out Chapter 5. Each of the twelve chapters highlights a different aspect of modern life: home, at work, transportation and recreation. This book was written for the teenage and beyond audience. It is not the typical "war" book. All the usual elements of the war genre have been abandoned in favor of an understanding of the long-range effects of the war on our present-day lives. 570 Pages, Index and Bibliography. Published by Ghost River Images and Krieg Books USA.

Lois Schwartz, who also writes as Lois Carroll, announced that Thorndike Press has just contracted her latest hard cover book from Avalon Books, A Case of Puppy Love, to publish in Large Print. The book is available from Thorndike or Amazon. This was one of three books Lois has had published in print within the past year. You can read about them all at her website: http://loiscarrollbooks.com will bring copies of her current books to the next meeting and wants you to know that she donates profits from any book you buy directly from her to a scholarship fund for women returning to college after events in their lives took them out.

Diane Wise has exciting news about her second book, The Fine Arts of Life. It was just named the 2011 Winner in the gift book category by the National Indie Excellence Awards. The NIEA panel of judges bestowed the same honor on her first book, The Dreamzappers, last year. Check out her website: www.drwisebooks.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

Interim Management Committee

Membership; General Questions
Penny Porter:

Traditional Publishing; General Questions
Jane Eppinga: jeppinga@q.com

General Questions; Nominating Chair
Carroll Rinehart: c.rinehart48@gmail.com

General Questions; Dues, Etc.
Jay McCall: jmccall415@msn.com

Forum Chair
Concy Richardson: concy@comcast.net
Reservations: 546-9382 or
E-mail: ssabrunches@gmail.com

Corresponding Secretary
Danette Young: dmyoung3@gmail.com

Tucson Book Festival; Membership Planning
Cynthia Roedig: cynthia_33@msn.com

Other Contributing Members

Speaker's Bureau Coordinator
Carolyn Harris: lynharris@snowcrest.net

Writing Group Coordinator
Barry Webb: Barrywebb3@yahoo.com

Legal Advisor
Jean Young: Migralaws@aol.com

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

SSA Home Page:


Mike Rom: writeword@ssa-az.org

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