400 Things Cops Know:
A Police Officer Tells What
Police Work is Really Like
Real-life police work is not like what you see on TV -- all too often, mystery writers get the details of how cops and criminals behave embarrassingly wrong. Adam Plantinga, author of "400 Things Cops Know" and a working sergeant with the San Francisco Police Department, will speak on the realities of day-to-day police work. From how to drive safely in a car chase, to how to tell if a suspect is carrying a weapon, to what to do if you find a severed limb in the street, Adam has invaluable information for all writers who want to put more realism in their crime writing and create realistic police characters.BIO:
Adam Plantinga is the author of "400 Things Cops Know," a nonfiction book about police work that has been nominated for the Macavity and Agatha awards and has been praised by legendary crime writers Lee Child, Ed Conlon, George Pelecanos, and Joseph Wambaugh. He has been a police officer for thirteen years, in Milwaukee and San Francisco, and is currently a sergeant with the San Francisco Police Department. His previous writing has included nonfiction articles on police work for the literary magazine "The Cresset," published by the Valparaiso University Press.
Social Media Workshop (special extended meeting)
10am to 3:30pm
Learn more and register here
December 5 - Holiday Party
4 to 8 pm. Potluck
Plarachterization: Intersection of Plot and Character
The best plots aren't controlled by an authorial presence. Plot springs from the characters themselves. The writer masterminds all of these things, but the more we program ourselves to think of it in this way--that our protagonists are sovereign beings with independent consciousnesses from our own--the better prepared we are to traverse what I'm calling "plarachterization." This talk will be geared around characters' decision-making, the causality between plot points, how to keep a reader excitedly flipping pages. We'll also delve into tactics for constructing a present action and how to fold backstory into it. Plarachterization is a strategy that will help any aspiring writer.
Fiction, poetry, novel, memoir: Demolishing categories, undermining cliché. Included a reading from Tribute (a novel in single-sentence paragraphs), a collaborative exercise, and plenty
of Q&A. Reinventing language, resuscitating consciousness.
July 18 2015
Annual CWC SF/Peninsula Branch Picnic
July 25 2015
California Writer's Club Annual Picnic
Cathie Glenn Jennings
To Blog or Not to Blog: How Blogs Can Help You Write Your Next Book, Even if You Don’t Have a Blog Learn ways to use blogs to improve the research and writing of your current projects. Get to know your target readers long before publication, so you can have a built-in fan base eager to buy when your book launches.
Simon Wood, author
The 21st Century Author: You don't get a second chance at making a first impression. That's never been truer for writers. While publishing opportunities have increased, so have the demands. Editors, agents and publishers expect writers to be born fully formed to tackle the reading public. You need to have your image, platform and social networking plan in place the second your book hits the market-and in the case of a new author, long before.
How to Create Tension in Your Novel: We all want to write better, win awards, and be published. Write a good story, it’s said, and you’ll not only enjoy the journey, you will reap those other rewards. Stories are created with imagination, the first of two essential ingredients. They are told with craft, the other ingredient, which Curteman would argue is the more important of the two. Tension is an element of craft and likely the most difficult to handle. Curteman will make this element easier for you with her unusual and engaging presentation.
David Kulczyk, author
From insane celebrities to wacky religious cults, if it's weird, it happens in California-and pop historian David Kulczyk has documented it in his book, California Fruits, Flakes, and Nuts: True Tales of California Crazies, Crackpots, and Creeps. These are perfect stories for anyone who loves true crime, celebrity gossip, or feeling superior to losers.
Mary Knippel, Writing Mentor
Fast, Fun and Fundamental
Change your writing, change your life in 15 minutes a day. Fun, fast and effective writing tips, techniques and strategies to connect with your most important reader.
Lisa Meltzer Penn and Audrey Kalman
Red Pen Secrets: No matter how great a writer you are, there’s a limit to how well you can edit your own work; at some point, you’ll need to work with an editor.Fault Zone editors, presented a lively hands-on session to help understand the editing process.
Nick Taylor / T.T. Monday
Another You: Working in Two GenresNick writes in both literary/historical fiction and crime. From a working author's perspective, Nick discussed pseudonyms, marketing, research, work flow, and prioritization.
James B. Golden, Poet Laureate of Salinas
Protest Through Poetry: A Civil Rights JourneyJames read from BULL, his award winning book and talked about journalism, independent / small press publishing and being a Poet Laureate.
Composition by Juxtaposition In a poem, it is often the leaps between juxtaposed images that create meaning and energy, inviting the reader into the space made on the page. Caroline is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow and currently serves as the first San Mateo County Poet Laureate.
Social Media for Beginners
Karma, a local book publicist who loves to discuss web marketing and all that social media jazz wowed us with her depth of knowledge regarding social media.
Adventurer and author, Mary-Rose showed us how to access a character by mining personal experiences and emotions from the past.
Founder of Fearless Books Patrick Miller and Sr. Editor Sari Friedman reveaedl why the time is right to Self-Publish and offered invaluable tips on preparing manuscripts for publication.
What Crime Novel Are You Writing?
The Differences Between Mysteries, Thrillers and Suspense
Sheldon Siegel New York Times Best-Selling Author
Linda Watanabe McFerrin
Pushing the Boundaries
Fiction, Non-Fiction and the Great Beyond
Poet, travel writer, novelist and teacher, Linda regaled us with stories about her writing career and shared her views on how, over time, the non-fiction writing world managed to infuse itself with literary phrases and creative narrative to become far more enjoyable. She also offered a few tips and tricks to keep on writing.
Writing what you know
Out of the boiling pot of experience come the words that work
Michael manages as best he can to avoid the tedium of normal life by writing from the heart. A local boy; he grew up in a commercial fishing family, built his home from scratch and writes what he knows.
For more about Michael: The Fisherman's Son, Random House
Jim Azevedo, Marketing Manager Smashwords
Jim regaled us with behind-the-scenes information about Smashwords and showed us a few tricks of the publishing trade. Smashwords has recently revamped its website and added features to help authors get their work published online. It has long championed self/small published authors. We were honored to have Jim show us how best to utilize Smashword's outstanding site.
For more: Smashwords.com
Scott Thomas Anderson
Penning Reality with a Pulse
Scott, an experienced literary journalist and author, discussed the difference between crime fiction and literary journalism and how to craft audacious creative nonfiction.
For more: scottthomasanderson.com
Memoir or Novel? Is there a difference?
Camille spoke about how the techniques of fiction writing are transferrable to essays, memoirs, and nonfiction books of all kinds. She shared with us some techniques which have worked for her during her prolific writing career.
For more: minichino.com
Amazon Marketing Expert
Explained how to get a share of the exploding eBook market.
For more: letswritebooks.net
Author of Exit Laughing
How Humor Takes the Sting out of Death
Noted author and teacher told us about the Acorn Workshop and how to mold a simple idea into an intriguing story.
For more about Victoria: victoriazackheim.com
Getting to Yes, Polish, PItch, Repeat
Meg shared her secrets about getting a manuscript of any sort to print. She included many stories of her own and how she acquired her hard earned, first-hand knowledge of how to get an agent and how to get published.
For more: megwaiteclayton.com
Creating Memorable Characters, for Fiction, Film and TV
For more: davidcorbett.com
Susan Sachs Lipman
Author of Fed up with Frenzy
The Book's Done, But You’re Not:
Marketing and Promotion for Authors
Susan discussed establishing a platform, writing and pitching releases, blogging, social media, interviews, approaching booksellers, and creating events.
For more: slowfamilyonline.com
Simon Wood: Author of Mystery and Suspense Writer
Simon shared with us his technique for building suspense and how to create a unique and genuinely original plot, twist by twist.
For more: simonwood.net
Priscilla Royal: Author of Medieval Mysteries
Priscilla shared with us her methods of research and how she gets the details just right.
For more: priscillaroyal.com
Cara Black: Author of bestselling and award nominated Aimée Leduc Investigation series
Cara discussed research techniques that she uses to produce her mystery novels set in the 1990's in Paris.
For more: carablack.com
Tanya Egan Gibson: Author, Editor, Writing Coach
Tanya discussed how she used her research to not only enrich her scenes, but to inspire the events, dialogue and subplots in her novels.
She taught us some tricks on how to make a world exciting, and and how to use objects belonging to that world to strengthen both plot and characterization.
For more: tanyaegangibson.com
Lynn Stegner, Author and Educator
Peg Alford Pursell Writer, Editor and Educator
Peg spoke about the art of writing Flash Fiction.
Beth Barany; Creative Consultant for Writers
10 Tips to Jumpstart Your Creativity
Writing is much like exercise: the more we write, the better a writer we become. Beth shared much more than her 10 tips and got us all enthused about the writing process. She offered practical advice to keep our creative juices flowing and gave us exercises to help generate new ideas for every stage of the writing process.
Subscribe to Author Entrepreneur Magazine, a monthly online magazine, dedicated to helping author entrepreneurs build a successful and sustainable business.
Anyone Can Write a Kid's Book and Other Myths
A panel of children's book writers
Anyone can write a kids' book, right? Cynthia Chin-Lee, author of six children's books, lead a panel of children's book writers, including SuAnn and Kevin Kiser and Debbie Duncan, and let us know just how difficult and yet rewarding it is.
Weaving fiction into a memoir
Fred Setterberg, author of Lunch Bucket Paradise discussed the personal path he has taken to become a writer of a fictional memoir and why. He read snippets of his work and discussed the how, when, and why one should cling to the facts but allow yourself to invent in some instances.
So you want to publish an eBook?
Debbie Duncan recounted her brave exploits navigating the dangerous arena of self-publishing her first ebook. She gave us a wealth of nuts and bolts information and covered everything from formatting an ebook to dealing with copyright issues.
The Art of Emotioneering
Nora Profit of the Writing Loft spoke about how a writer shoud strive to make an emotional impact in every paragraph. And about how readers hear the words in their heads so writers should make their work rhythmic and interesting to listen to. It was a great session. There will be an upcoming boot camp with Nora in June.
Visit The Writing Loft to learn more about Nora Profit and her creative writing workshops. Nora is also the author of 10 Glaring Mistakes Amateur Writers Make and How to Avoid Them.
The Great Completion: Getting the Book Done
Albert Flynn DeSilver, former Poet Laureate of Marin, spoke about the difficulties he has faced in his past and how they influenced his work and fueled his desire to produce and share. His new memoir titled, "Beamish Boy: A Memoir of Recovery & Awakening" is due out this May.
20% off Mentoring Services!
For a limited time, Albert is generously offering his services as Coach and Mentor for 20% off to Members of the CWC sf/peninsula branch. Download a pdf for more information. Visit his website.
How to Go From Unknown to Bestseller
Ezra Barany used his experience in promoting his own book, the Torah Codes to illustrate his points. He advocated carefully choosing a title by using words which are of particular interest to internet search engines. He also suggested paying special attention to the first sentence, first paragraph and first chapter of one's book. He spoke of the importance of how to make a book easy to read. He also suggested making a book trailer (short video) for Youtube.
For more about Ezrah Barany: thetorahcodes.com
The One That Got Away
Murder Down Under
California Fruits, Flakes, and Nuts: True Tales of California Crazies, Crackpots, and Creeps
The Setup Man
About T.T. Monday
James B. Golden
About James B. Golden
About Caroline Goodwin
What She Had To Do
About Mary-Rose Hayes
Meditations on a Blue Vase
by Arthur Deikman M.D.
About Fearless Books
About Sheldon Siegel
The Fisherman's Son
About Michael Köepf
The Quotient of a Murder
by Ada Madison (pen name)
About Camille Minichino
How Humor Takes the Sting out of Death
About Victoria Zackheim
Meg Waite Clayton
About Meg Waite Clayton
Art of Character
About David Corbett
Susan Sachs Lipman
Fed Up With Frenzy
About Susan Sachs Lipman
About Simon Wood
The Sanctity of Hate
About Priscilla Royal
Murder Below Montparnasse Aimee Leduc Series
About Cara Black
Tanya Egan Gibson
How to Buy a Love
About Tanya Egan Gibson
Because a Fire
Was in My Head
Falkner Award Winner
More about Lynn Stegner
Henrietta The Dragon Slayer
More about Beth Barany
Lunch Bucket Paradise
A True-Life Novel
More about Fred Setterberg
Caller Number Nine
More about Debbie Duncan
10 Glaring Mistakes Amateur Writers Make and How to Avoid Them.More about Nora Profit
Albert Flynn DeSilver
Letters to Early Street
More about Albert DeSilver
The Torah Codes
More about Ezra Barany