Coming in May: Author Steve Goble

Steve Goble

For our May 15 meeting, be sure to join us as we chat with Ohio author Steve Goble!

Update: To view the session, click this link and use the passcode 4S9Y%kMq. Please note, this will only be available for about a week.

Steve Goble is a mystery writer based in Ashland, Ohio. His first series, the Spider John mystery series, focuses on a reluctant pirate trying to solve murders in the cutthroat world of piracy. The first three novels, “The Bloody Black Flag,” “The Devil’s Wind” and “A Bottle of Rum,” are all still available, and the latest, “Pieces of Eight,” released in March.

Steve’s second series is a very different one, focusing on small-town detective Ed Runyon. This modern-day, hardboiled series features a detective in rural Ohio. The first novel, “City Problems,” releases in July. Best-selling author William Kent Krueger called it “an authentic, compelling story of a rural cop with a haunted past,” adding “the stunning, profane prose should be savored.”

City Problems/Steve Goble

Steve doesn’t confine his writing to mysteries, however. Other topics he writes about include beer, Godzilla, politics, James Bond, comic books, movies, music, zen, science, pop culture and just plain weird stuff.

He is a former journalist who now works for a digital investigations and cybersecurity firm.

For more information, follow Steve on Twitter @Steve_Goble or visit his website at https://stevegoblefiction.wordpress.com/.

Our meeting will be held via Zoom from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. May 15.

Pieces of Eight/Steve Goble

April meeting: Book Brush demo

Ever heard of Book Brush?

Book Brush is the easiest way to create professional ads and social media images for your books. 

EDIT: The recording of this meeting can be found here.

Join Kathleen Sweeney from Book Brush on Saturday, April 17 for a fun live walk-through of the Book Brush tools. Get ready to embrace the marketing side of writing and see why authors say Book Brush saves them both time and money! Learn how easy it is to use Book Brush to create your own eye-catching marketing images, design book covers and all things social media. Plus explore video effects, box set images, animation and more! Kathleen will share handy tips & tricks along the way and have time for Q & A, too.

Here’s a sample of what Book Brush (and you) can do: 

Many Easy to Use Options

Everything you need takes just a few clicks.

Kathleen is the manager of marketing and customer service at Book Brush. She has over 19 years of client service and business assurance experience. She thoroughly enjoys working with authors and helping them create eye-catching images. She lives in central Illinois with her husband and three busy boys. Her hobbies include reading and turning socks right side out.

Coming event: Attorney Larae Schraeder

Larae Schraeder

UPDATE: Did you miss this meeting, or just really want to hear Larae’s advice again? Click here to watch the full meeting!

Hot girl meets rich boy, boy proposes to girl, and there is a HEA. Wait a minute; we’re not romance writers. Our ending’s more likely to be: girl makes sure boy meets with unfortunate demise, girl inherits, and lives HEA.

In crime writing, there’s usually a motive for killing someone. And all too often, that motive is money. Ever wonder how the laws of inheritance work? How about someone who kills a rich, elderly aunt to inherit her fortune. What if the inheritor is caught? Do they automatically lose the money? Do laws vary by state?

Join Buckeye Crime Writers for an interactive Zoom session with Larae Schraeder, Schraeder Law, LLC, on Saturday, March 20,, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST as she touches on what happened in a few high-profile cases, talks through some of the gradations of guilty and the impact that has on inheritance, helps you with your questions, and explains some things that we as writers should be thinking about in our own plans.

Who is Larae Schraeder? Larae earned her Juris Doctor summa cum laude from Capital Law School while working full time at a Fortune 100 company. Larae served as Editor in Chief of the Capital University Law Review, as an extern for two federal judges, and as a law clerk at legal clinics for low-income clients. Larae earned the American Legal Institute Scholarship and Leadership Award and became the inaugural recipient of the Excellence in Pro Bono Service Award for helping others.

Larae is a member of the American Bar Association, the Columbus Bar, and the Ohio State Bar Association’s Estate Planning and Elder Law groups.

Before becoming licensed to practice law in Ohio, Larae graduated from Kenyon College magna cum laude and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. For over 20 years, Larae has proudly served in various capacities as a Kenyon volunteer, including roles as president of the Alumni Council and the Board of Trustees. Larae is a ninth-generation Ohioan, an avid genealogist, and a (self-proclaimed) mediocre cyclist. Larae lives in Columbus with her husband and two shelter pets. Larae’s website is https://www.schraederlawllc.com/.

Keep your characters safe

In case you weren’t able to join us, or want to hear it again, the February meeting will be available for a limited time right here!

February. Valentine’s month. The time of year for love and demonstrable affection, traditionally in the form of candy and flowers (or with our group, poisons and red herrings). And because we both love our members and want to demonstrate our affection, we thought this would be the perfect time for an active shooter class with the Columbus Police Department!

Unfortunately, active shooter classes are a thing now. Many workplaces have them so employees will know what to do if someone shows up with both a weapon and intent. And for authors of mysteries, thrillers, police procedurals, cozies, etc., this is doubly important. We want this information not just for our own safety and understanding, but also for our writing. Detail is key, and we need to know what’s realistic and what isn’t. If your protagonist is being hunted by someone, suddenly empowering them with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills and SEAL tactical knowledge isn’t really realistic and may turn off a reader. What are typical motives for active shooters? Is there a preferred weapon type? Do they wear body armor? And how does a potential victim without years of training stay one step ahead? Do they hide? What’s the best way to fight back?

To find out, join us Saturday, 2/20/21, from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., for a Zoom presentation with Columbus Police officer Rick Hannah, who will provide a PowerPoint presentation on active shooter information, then lead a discussion on what the entertainment industry often gets right and wrong in movies, television shows and the rest. Attendees are encouraged to bring questions; please contact us at buckeyecrimewriters@gmail.com for a Zoom link. And please note: this will be a member-only event for BCW and chapters with the national Sisters In Crime organization. If you wish to be a member, please contact us via gmail . . . we’d love to have you! And as always, keep writing.

Patrick Stuart, BCW President

Recent events: Sandra Beckwith

UPDATE: You can watch a replay of this meeting here: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/bGuNb3ufQTuRZUYXxN49skp87T0yXPbqJep17p1hdPSxb4I5od9nDyBEutNxYvCp.djFOykUPJNHmd_7F

Writers need readers! You can write a wonderful book, but if no one knows it’s out there and if no one buys it, what have you gained?

Sandra Beckwith

Join us via Zoom on Jan, 16, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., as author and national award-winning former publicist Sandra Beckwith teaches us how to save thousands of dollars by doing our own publicity, promotion, and marketing. You might have seen Sandra on “The Montel Williams Show,” or “CBS This Morning,” or read about her in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, or USA Today. Feedspot has ranked her Build Book Buzz website as # 7 among thousands of book marketing blogs globally. It has also been honored as a top website for authors and writers six times.

This is your opportunity to listen and ask questions. To get your link to the Zoom presentation, send an email to buckeyecrimewriters@gmail.com. We hope to see you (virtually) there!

Annual BCW Critique!

It’s here! It’s finally here! The annual BCW writing critique! Now you can submit what you’ve been working on the past several months, trapped in your house or apartment, with nothing but deep thoughts, a mountain of dirty facemasks, empty bottles of hand sanitizer and a laptop. Working on that detective novel? Psychological thriller? Murder mystery? A small, warm cozy where that little old lady next door (the one who grows those delicious tomatoes that win the grand prize each year at the county fair) is discovered fertilizing those same ‘maters with the bodies of her last five husbands buried in her garden plot? Now’s your chance to get that sick puppy in front of some eyeballs for some good old-fashioned input from fellow writers! So here’s the details:

  • Meeting date: 11/21/20 (Saturday), 11:00 – 12:30 p.m. (Zoom meeting).
  • Due date: 11/14/20 (Saturday), midnight.
  • Send manuscripts to buckeyecrimewriters@gmail.com. Note: if you submit, you’ll also need to participate as a reviewer. A Zoom link to the meeting will be provided.
  • What to send: manuscripts should be 10 pages, maximum (if not starting at the beginning, try to provide a few sentences for context). Manuscripts can be from a budding novel, novella, short story, etc.. Since these are partials, please do not send your entire work.
  • Manuscripts: double-spaced, 1” margins, 12 pt. font (no fancy/cursive fonts please). For simplicity, all submissions should be in the form of Word documents (no PDFs . . . otherwise we can’t return manuscripts with comments). Also, please include your name and email address (necessary for reviewers to email back comments).
  • All reviews will be sent back to the authors so please make any changes/comments using the ‘Track Changes’ and ‘Comments’ feature in Word.
  • If you don’t want to send anything but are happy to be a reviewer, please contact us for copies of submissions and a link to the Zoom meeting.
  • After the meeting, please email your comments of each manuscript back to the author.

Note: due to brevity of critique time we will be focusing on the first 5 – 6 manuscript submittals only; if we get more interest, we will look into having another critique at a later date. Additional instructions and updates will be provided so keep an eye out for emails. But word to the wise: this is one of our more popular programs so anyone interested in submitting a manuscript, it’s first come, first serve. Otherwise, hope to see you there!

Coming soon: Independent publishing panel

Thinking of going Indie but not sure where to start?

Mark your calendar: Saturday, Oct. 17, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. EST. Virtual meeting via Zoom. RSVP: buckeyecrimewriters@gmail.com.

Join panelists Alicia Anthony, Trudy Brandenburg, Kandy Williams, and moderator Eileen Curley Hammond as they talk about their journeys, give nuts-and-bolts advice, and provide critical resources to help you on your way.

Alicia Anthony
Alicia Anthony

Alicia Anthony is the author of the Blood Secrets Saga, a three-book psychological thriller series about the cost of truth and the price we pay for love. She is a two-time Golden Heart® finalist and Silver Quill award winner.

Trudy Brandenburg

Trudy Brandenburg is the author of The Emma Haines Kayak Mystery Series. Former insurance fraud investigator Emma Haines loves to kayak—and sometimes—she paddles into trouble. But Emma’s spunky tenacity, investigative experience, and connections help her solve the crimes. Trudy’s writing has appeared in various publications, including The Columbus Dispatch, My Scioto Valley Magazine, and Canoe & Kayak Magazine. Her books were read on VoiceCorp, a service that provides audio broadcasting for the blind or people who have conditions that prevent them from reading print. Trudy speaks at book clubs and events, teaches writing classes, and is a researcher at a Fortune 100 insurance company.

Mercedes King
Mercedes King

Kandy Williams, who writes under the name Mercedes King, is a founding member of Buckeye Crime Writers and a Columbus, Ohio, native. With a degree in Criminology from Capital University, she has a passion for crafting true crime into fiction and exploring the depths of deviant behavior. Her upcoming novel, GRAVE SECRETS, features an abuse survivor intent on unraveling the mystery of her mother’s disappearance. 

Eileen Curley Hammond
Eileen Curley Hammond

Eileen Curley Hammond is the author of the Merry March Cozy Mystery series; her fifth book, Murder So Hot, was released in September. Eileen’s micro-fiction appeared in the first VSS365 Anthology (released last year). She has also been featured in several online blogs and will have a recipe in a soon to be released cookbook, Cooking with Fire.

A night with Lee Martin!

Make sure you don’t miss Gramercy Books’ A Night With Lee Martin, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2! Journalist, crime author and BCW member Andrew Welsh-Huggins will have a conversation with Martin about Martin’s latest book, “Yours, Jean.”

Martin, a Pulitzer Price finalist is the author of five additional novels, three memoirs, two short story collections, and a craft book for writers. The Bright Forever was a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in many prestigious publications, including The Best American Mystery Stories, and The Best American Essays. Many of his short stories have appeared in literary journals such as Glimmer Train, The Southern Review, The Georgia Review and The Kenyon Review. Martin is the winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction and of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council. He teaches in the MFA Program at The Ohio State University.

Buckeye Crime Writers is honored to be a community partner for the event, along with The Ohio State University’s creative writing program and the Bexley Public Library.

See Sharon Short!

Saturday!  2/22/20!  Join us to welcome our next guest Sharon Short (pen name; Jess Montgomery), a Dayton author whose background includes being a newspaper columnist for the Dayton Daily News, writer-in-residence at Thurber House, former director of the Antioch Writers’ Workshop, three-time recipient of an Ohio Arts Council grant, and published author of several mysteries, including The Kinship series (Minotaur Books) which she’ll be discussing at our upcoming meeting.  Where, you ask?  Upper Arlington Library (2800 Tremont Road, Upper Arlington), Meeting Room B, at 12:30 p.m..  And just to give you a taste of what we’ll be talking about, BCW asked Sharon some questions about writing, her most recent series, and her love of pie . . . be there to learn more, and join us for lunch afterwards.

BCW:  So you’ve got two books out now in The Kinship series (congrats, btw):  The Widows (2019) and The Hollows (2020).  Both take place in Appalachian Ohio during the 1920’s and center on Lily Ross, the female sheriff of a small town who got the position after the former sheriff (also her husband) was killed.  Note:  this is also based on an actual event from that time period.  What made you think of this as the story you wanted to write?

Sharon:  I happened upon the story of Ohio’s true first female sheriff when I was researching hiking areas for a visit to our daughter, who attended Ohio University. I was struck by the notion of a female sheriff in the mid-1920s in a rural area, and that inspired my version, loosely based on the true first female sheriff. Additionally, my family of origin is from Appalachia — one county in Eastern Kentucky — on both sides. I’m the first Ohioan! So, though I consider myself a child of Appalachia in how I was reared and my childhood experiences, I was not geographically born in Appalachia, so I somehow thought I couldn’t write an Appalachian setting. Finding this story gave me a sense of not just permission to do so, but “coming home.”

BCW:  You’re a fan of Daniel Woodrell (confession; same here).  His books take place in Ozark culture and involve dirty, gritty, dark scenarios, comparable to William Gay, Donald Ray Pollock, or Cormac McCarthy.  Also very “male.”  By contrast, Annie Proulx also writes in this style.  Would you compare yourself to any of these authors, or is it something different?

Sharon:  Oh my. These are such terrific authors. I would not compare myself, though I’m honored if others do. I’ve also been compared to Sharyn McCrumb and Louise Penny for evoking setting. I’ll definitely take those comparisons too!

BCW:  Do you plan on more novels in this time period?  What else would you like to explore?

Sharon:  I am contracted through books three and four in the Kinship series–hurrah! I’d love to write more beyond that as well, if I’m so blessed. My imagination tends toward mid-century U.S., but I can also envision exploring other eras and areas.

BCW:  Finally, your blog features a pie of the month.  Fess up:  which is your favorite?

Sharon:  To bake: French Coconut, Buttermilk, or Sugar Shaker. So easy, and always a pleasure. I enjoy eating any of those, but also like French apple and chocolate cream — those are more difficult but so tasty! (You didn’t think I’d stick to one variation, did you?)

Winning entry from the holiday party

As promised, we had our 200-word writing contest at the holiday party! To refresh your memory, the rules were posted here.

The winner of the contest was Trudy Brandenburg! Her story, “Reindeer Games,” beat a strong field for the top prize. Here is the story:

“Great shot, Loreen,” Elmer, the director of the local shooting gallery said. “You’re sure to get a nice turkey for the holiday.”

“I ain’t out to shoot no turkeys,” Loreen said, aiming the old electric-powered rifle at the cut-out target again.

“Oh? What then?”

“Deer. Great big uns. I seen ‘em twice now–early the past two Christmas mornings. They’re lined up and have a big sleigh behind ‘em. I told that old fat man with a white beard to get offin’ my property both times. He just laughed and waved and headed off with a big bag. I’ll give him somthin’ to laugh about. I’m tired ah them big ruts in my yard, them deer pawin’ and snortin’ at the ground.”

“When did you say you saw them critters and that fat man?” he asked excitedly.

“Early Chrismas mornins, round three. I seen ‘em when I got up to go to the outhouse the first year and the last year, too. One of ‘em’s got a bloody nose.” 

“Loreen, I don’t think you should shoot them deer,” Elmer said, wide-eyed.

She fired off a few more shots before she lowered the gun and looked at him quizzically. “Why not?”