by Pat H. Broeske
A Busy Year
Orange County Sisters in Crime featured a diverse slate of guest speakers at its 2016 meetings: attendees met an active agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, heard from authors whose works span traditional and self-publishing, and got to pitch storylines to an editor and publishing consultant.
“I love our group of readers and writers, and have tried to lead them with wonderful speakers, outside events, and promotional opportunities,” says chapter president Gayle Carline.
OC SinC began the year with a “Forensics Fest.” The topic, “What makes Bad Guys Tick?,” was discussed by authors D.P. Lyle, Dennis Palumbo and David Putnam, all noted experts within their respective arenas of criminal justice. (Lyle is a board-certified MD; Palumbo is a licensed psychotherapist; Putnam spent more than 30 years in law enforcement.)
Spring brought a Placentia Library writing workshop that prominently featured chapter author-members. It was organized by Carline, a trustee for the library district, and author of books including the Placentia-set Peri Minneopa mystery series.
The chapter sponsored its own workshop in the fall. Jennifer Silva Redmond, a staffer for the Southern California Writers Conference and former editor-in-chief/acquisitions editor for the So Cal-based house, Sunbelt Publications, was the special guest.
During the summer the chapter teamed with So Cal Mystery Writers of America for its annual joint luncheon meeting. The program speaker was Stephanie Romo, an active ATF agent who discussed a recent case, with a Q & A follow-up.
Other meetings boasted guest authors representing diverse subgenres. They included:
- Barry Lancet, the Japan-based author of the Jim Brodie series, who talked international thrillers.
- Jeri Westerson, a past president of the chapter, and author of the Crispin Guest medieval mysteries. Her topic, “Crossing Genres: From History to Mystery,” found the hybrid author utilizing a revealing PowerPoint presentation that detailed the financial realities of traditional vs. self-publishing.
- Tammy Kaehler traced her journey from technical writing to the racetrack. The author of the Kate Reilly auto racing series, Kaehler’s adherence to detail has garnered three different awards in automotive journalism.
- Janis Thomas explained how she went from chick lit to mystery with her “Murder in A-Minor.”
- Lisa Brackmann revealed how her interest in the country’s “prison/industrial complex,” led to her decision to write “The Go-Between,” a follow-up to her 2012 thriller, ”Getaway.”
Connie di Marco brought some appropriate woo-woo to the October meeting, when she discussed her debut title in her new Zodiac Mysteries series, “The Madness of Mercury.” (As Connie Archer, she writes the Soup Lover’s Mysteries.)
The popular Edgar-winner T. Jefferson Parker talked about his latest book, “Crazy Blood,” at a meeting held off-site, at Mystery Ink bookstore in Huntington Beach. Its owner is chapter co-founder Debbie Mitsch.
The chapter wrapped its year with a holiday party held at the bookstore.
The Fun Continues in 2017!
Orange County Sisters in Crime meets the fourth Sunday of the month in the Community Room of the Irvine Water District, located at 15500 Sand Canyon Ave. in Irvine. The meeting room is on the northeast side of the parking lot. (Disclaimer: Irvine Ranch Water District neither supports nor endorses the cause nor activities of organizations which use the District’s meeting rooms that are made available as a public service.)
Meetings are always open to the public. For more information go to: ocsistersincrime.org
Pat H. Broeske is a veteran freelance writer-author-and sometimes producer of reality-based television. A part-time faculty member at the Saddleback College Emeritus Institute, where she teaches Non-Fiction Writing and Film as Literature, she is on the board of O.C. Sisters in Crime.