On your mark, get Setting…

What a great program! In case you missed it, here’s the recording. The passcode is Y2bUyG#6

Every novel has a setting, but it’s often relegated to a minor role in favor of the real stars of the show — character and plot. But can an author make setting work harder and accomplish more?

Mystery writer Connie Berry would like you to think of setting in a new way. Join her for Buckeye Crime Writers’ presentation on The Power of Setting. We’re meeting virtually on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 11-12:30 p.m. Email buckeyecrimewriters@gmail.com to RSVP!

Who you gonna call? Our next guest speaker, Dr. Nancy Tatarek!

Courtesy: Pixnio

UPDATE: What a great meeting! Here’s the link, in case you missed it or want to see it again. Passcode: 1XWQu0#E

UPDATE 2: Nancy talked about a documentary on the Battle of Towton, and some folks were interested in links. Here they are!

Battle of Towton
Wars of the Roses

Original post

A body is found at a wooded site, in a shallow grave by the river. Skeletal remains, no clothing. A hole is in the parietal part of the skull, and the bones could be anywhere from a couple years old to a couple hundred years old. Who are you going to call? The police? The property owner? Your mom? Ghostbusters?

One person you will definitely want to contact is a forensic anthropologist. Maybe that hole was from a bullet or a pickax. Maybe it happened after the person died. Or maybe it was the result of trepanning, a procedure practiced by past societies to remove evil spirits or pooled blood from a head wound. A forensic anthropologist is somebody who studies such things, and we have just the person: Nancy Tatarek, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Ohio University.

We had her as a guest speaker back in March of 2018, and she was such a hit that we’d made plans to have her back again. But then . . . COVID. However, we’re pleased to now announce her return appearance via Zoom. After all, teaching classes with names like ‘Bones, Blood & Violence,’ Nancy is our kind of people. Dr. Tatarek has assisted central Ohio law enforcement for several years, including a stint as the Consulting Forensic Anthropologist for the Franklin County Coroner’s Office. And on Saturday, 6/25/22, from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (EST), you’ll be able to listen to her advice on what you may be doing wrong or what you could be doing better. A Zoom invitation will be sent to BCW members, and any Sisters in Crime chapter is invited to attend. We look forward to seeing you!

Coming in May: A noir panel!

Update: What a fantastic panel! Thanks to Andrew, Dan and Jacob for sharing their insights. If you missed it, you can watch the recording here. Passcode: v^0z0CQ&

Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 21, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. EST for a virtual meeting via Zoom. RSVP to buckeyecrimewriters@gmail.com.

Join panelists Jacob Klop and Buckeye Crime Writers’ members Dan Stout and Andrew Welsh-Huggins as they talk about their spin on noir, moderated by Eileen Curley Hammond.

Noir as a genre often eludes definition. For some, it conjures up flawed characters with a mysterious back story (and a questionable dame in the background), ranging from Humphrey Bogart as a hard-bitten detective in 1941’s “The Maltese Falcon” (based on Dashiell Hammet’s 1930 novel) all the way to the humorous “Guy Noir” of Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion radio show.  For others, it encompasses any dark or violent book or movie, such as the Mel Gibson film Payback based on the Donald Westlake Parker books. For still others, noir is what happens when characters make questionable decisions in misguided attempts to better themselves — think James Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice. A crime novelist Laura Lippman puts it, noir is ”When dreamers become schemers.”

Tackling the definition of noir old and new are three mystery writers who juggle their own versions of the genre. Andrew, author of the Andy Hayes private eye series featuring a former football star with the weight of the world on his shoulders, also shepherded several noir stories as editor of the Columbus Noir anthology. Dan writes a noir/fantasy mash-up in The Carter Archives series set in the fictional city of Titanshade, which follows a homicide detective (Detective Carter) and his non-human Mollenkampi partner. And Jacob Klop writes noir/science fiction with his book Rusted Lies, in which the detective is a genetically modified human with an estranged family.  

Among other topics up for discussion:

  • What is the definition of noir? Is it simply dark and violent, or do a character’s motivations come into play?
  • Which tenets of the noir genre do our panelists adhere to and how have they stretched the boundaries to fit their stories/worlds?
  • How did they decide on their protagonists’ backstories?
  • Their philosophies on the women in their stories.
  • How they keep their dialog true to noir.
  • And more.

If you’re a fan of noir no matter how it’s defined, or are considering writing in that style, you won’t want to miss this informative session.

Jacob Klop

Jacob Klop lives just outside Toronto, Canada, with his wife, two kids, and a friendly cat. An accountant by trade, Jacob has been writing in some form or other throughout most of his life. Jacob has three published novels: two stand-alones, and his latest, Rusted Lies, is the first in a planned series. Jacob has also released a horror anthology, Crooked Souls, and his work has appeared in several other anthologies. Jacob’s website: https://jacobklop.wixsite.com/home

Dan Stout

Dan Stout writes noir with a twist of magic and a disco chaser. His prize-winning fiction draws on his travels throughout Europe, Asia, and the Pacific Rim, as well as an employment history spanning everything from subpoena server to assistant well driller. Dan’s stories have appeared in publications such as “The Saturday Evening Post,” “Nature,” and “Mad Scientist Journal.” His most recent novel, Titan Song, is the third volume in The Carter Archives from DAW Books. Dan’s website: https://www.danstout.com/.

Andrew Welsh-Huggins

Andrew Welsh-Huggins, a reporter for the Associated Press, is the author of the Andy Hayes private eye series, featuring a former Ohio State and Cleveland Browns quarterback turned investigator, and the editor of Columbus Noir. Andrew’s short fiction has appeared in “Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine,” “Mystery Magazine,” “Mystery Tribune,” the anthology Next Time For Sure, and elsewhere. His nonfiction book, No Winners Here Tonight, is the definitive history of the death penalty in Ohio. Andrew’s standalone suspense thriller, The End Of The Road, arrives in 2023 from Mysterious Press. Andrew’s website: https://www.andrewwelshhuggins.com/.

Our next guest: Jodi Andes

Jodi Andes

If you missed it, never fear: Here’s the recording, for a limited time only!

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/BUpVm5UPuGC22Q8HVySnms9VQkXyvoGyJihSYihXm_R3sOGJNamwayLPjr6SKyv7.a3ZWbTE5UI5I1KRQ

(Use the passcode h1ZC$&a9 to access it.)

There are times when truth is stranger than fiction . . . and then there are times when truth makes what crime fiction writers do look like an IRS audit of a Girl Scout troop’s cookie-selling profits in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This is one of those times; meet John Donald Cody (a.k.a., Bobby Thompson), a globetrotting conman with a Harvard law degree who spoke three languages, once worked with military intelligence and eventually defrauded $100 million from U.S. veterans and others, via hundreds of fake I.D.s, disguises and political donations that got him influence and photos with several national political figures, including one U.S. president. 

With addresses in several states, Mexico and the Philippines, he was eventually caught, tried and convicted in Ohio in 2013, where he was sentenced to 28 years imprisonment in Ohio’s Mansfield Correctional Institute.  The prosecuting Attorney General Richard Cordray once referred to him as the ‘Bernie Madoff of charity scams.’

And someone who wrote a book on this ordeal will be BCW’s special guest in April: Jodi Andes. Jodi was a newspaper reporter for the Columbus Dispatch, became a licensed private investigator, worked on an investigative team for Columbus WBNS-10TV news, and was also a senior investigator for the Ohio Attorney General’s office on the John Donald Cody case. 

Her true-crime book “Master of Deceit” covers the background and investigation of the case, and Jodi has graciously offered to be our speaker for April 23, 2022, from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (EST). So if you’ve got a character who lies, cheats and steals, and you’re looking for more insight and details to really make them memorable (or you just need a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon), this meeting is for you. Looking forward to seeing you in April!

Coming in March: Sleuths and Sidekicks

If you missed this event, never fear: Here’s the recording! Just use the passcode =f*pK1Y3

A great mystery is about more than a puzzling crime. It’s the sleuths and their sidekicks who make us fall in love with a book.

SLEUTHS AND SIDEKICKS are four mystery writers from across the U.S. – California and Florida, Chicago and New York. Buckeye Crime Writers invites you to join Jen Collins Moore, Tina deBellegarde, Carol Pouliot, and Lida Sideris on Saturday, March 19 at 11 a.m. EST for a lively discussion about their detectives, their partners in crime, writing, and more.

We look forward to seeing you!

2021 BCW Holiday Event 12/4 (It’s On, Baby!)

After two decades of COVID (all right, two years, but it seems much, much longer), BCW is proud to announce we’re having an actual in-person holiday event! You know, where people gather at a shared location, stuff their faces and exchange gifts and pleasantries! Not on Zoom! But fur real!

The location is same as before: the Rusty Bucket in New Albany, OH (180 Market Street). There’s tons of parking and we’ll be in the separate room immediately right of the entrance. Time is Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, from noon – 2:00 p.m., and all BCW members are invited (spouses, friends and anyone thinking about joining are also welcome). Note: everyone will be responsible for their own food, but otherwise it’s a killer time (ha!). Some of what to expect:

Vote for Board Members: It’s that time again. Note: you do not need to attend the holiday event to vote, but you must contact us prior to the event to count (feel free to reach us at buckeyecrimewriters@gmail.com). Or thinking about participating? We’re always looking for fresh faces and ideas; let us know if you’d like to lend a hand!

Upcoming Events for 2022: Despite COVID, we rocked 2021! BCW had nine monthly presentations (all on Zoom), with a variety of speakers, and provided notices of dozens of other SIC chapter events around North America. In addition, we put up monthly author interviews on the website and continually updated the Facebook and Twitter sites with useful information. Find out what’s in store for 2022!

Story Contest: You know it! We provide the photo, you provide the story (see details below). Prizes of dubious value to be awarded.

Book Swap: The highlight of the party! Each person is to bring a wrapped book to be swapped with someone else. Note: this applies to all attendees (BCW members or not). Once the books are distributed the ‘receivers’ will unwrap them, and the ‘givers’ will provide their reason for choosing that particular book (terrific characters, plot with a surprise twist, inspired writing, etc.). So just remember to pick something good – because like all mysteries, the culprit must confess in the end.

[http://www.utexas.edu/features/2010/12/06/christmas_america/ ‘Santa’s Portrait’ by Thomas Nast, published in Harper’s Weekly, 1881]

Story Contest rules:

  • 100 words maximum.
  • Must involve the following 5 words: 1) bow, 2) nutmeg, 3) angel, 4) whip and 5) holly.

All 5 words must be included in the story, although plurals and transmogrifications are accepted (e.g., ‘bowstring’ and ‘whipped’). Words may also be used as proper nouns, have more than one meaning, etc. (be creative)!

  • Participants can be BCW members or anyone attending the holiday party (Dec. 4). But you must attend the party to win a prize!
  • Extra points for holiday themes, but keep in mind what we write (mysteries, thrillers, suspense, etc.). Let Hallmark handle the peace and joy stuff. Get dark!
  • Submit entries to buckeyecrimewriters@gmail.com no later than midnight, Thursday, Dec. 2 (please include the name of the author). One entry per attendee, please. Top finishers will be presented at the holiday party Saturday, Dec. 4, with awards to be determined.

So that’s it. Sound the horns! Release the doves! The 2021 BCW Holiday Event is officially announced. Mark your calendars and get ready to gently usher out 2021 while welcoming in 2022. See you there!

Coming on Oct. 30: Ellen Byron

Join us on Oct. 30, as we bring Agatha Award winning author Ellen Byron to BCW (virtually, of course!).

Ellen Byron

Before Ellen Byron became an award-winning mystery author, she spent years as a writer-producer on hit sitcoms. She’s channeled the lessons she learned working in the entertainment industry into both her writing and personal life, and shares them in this presentation, which includes a few tips on simple ways to add humor to your writing.

Ellen’s Cajun Country Mysteries have won the Agatha award for Best Contemporary Novel and multiple Lefty awards for Best Humorous Mystery. She writes the Catering Hall Mystery series, under the name Maria DiRico, and will debut the Vintage Cookbook Mysteries (as Ellen) in June 2022. Ellen is an award-winning playwright, and non-award-winning TV writer of comedies like Wings, Just Shoot Me, and Fairly OddParents. She has written over two hundred articles for national magazines but considers her most impressive credit working as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart. She blogs with Chicks on the Case, is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, and will be the 2023 Left Coast Crime Toastmaster.

Byron has written over 200 national magazine articles, and her published plays include the award-winning Graceland. A native New Yorker who attended Tulane University, Ellen lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and rescue chi mix, Pogo. She still misses her hometown – and still drives like a New York cabbie.

Newsletter: https://www.ellenbyron.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ellenbyronauthor/ and https://www.facebook.com/CateringHallMysteries/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ellenbyronmariadirico/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/ellen-byron and https://www.bookbub.com/authors/maria-dirico

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/23234.Ellen_Byron?from_search=true&from_srp=true and https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19130966.Maria_DiRico?from_search=true&from_srp=true

Back by popular demand: Sandra Beckwith

Sandra Beckwith

UPDATE: If you missed this wonderful event, or just want to review it, the meeting can be viewed right here!

You’ve written a wonderful book and it’s about to be released into the world. Or it’s been released but isn’t getting the kind of traction you hoped. What should you do to improve the odds that your book is the one people talk about?

Back by popular demand, publicity expert Sandra Beckwith can help.

Join us via Zoom from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 18 as author and national award-winning former publicist Sandra Beckwith teaches us the ins and outs of Public Relations. You might have seen Sandra on “The Montel Williams Show,” or “CBS This Morning,” or read about her in The New York TimesThe 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!

Sandra Beckwith, Build Book Buzz

http://buildbookbuzz.com –full site

http://buildbookbuzz.com/blog –search for information by topic

http://buildbookbuzz.com/gift –free gift with newsletter subscription

https://www.facebook.com/groups/BuildBookBuzz/ –active group

https://www.facebook.com/buildbookbuzz/ –Page

sb@buildbookbuzz.com

Emailmarketingrecommendation, affiliate link: https://bit.ly/bbbck

How do you keep a series evolving, characters and all?

Note: This event has passed, but if you’d like to watch the replay, you can do so here!

Mark your calendar: Saturday, Aug. 21, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. EST Virtual meeting via Zoom. RSVP: buckeyecrimewriters@gmail.com.

Join panelists Connie Campbell Berry, Eileen Curley Hammond, and Andrew Welsh-Huggins, along with moderator Patrick Stuart as they talk about the ins-and-outs of writing a series. They’ll discuss:

  • Keeping track of those pesky characters
  • Knowing when to introduce new characters
  • Creating episodic stories that come to resolution with characters who grow/evolve across books
  • Making sure descriptions of place and people are consistent
  • Figuring out when to call it quits

If you are thinking of writing a series, or want to transition to one, you won’t want to miss this informative session.

Connie Berry
Connie Berry

Connie Berry is the author of the Kate Hamilton Mysteries, set in the UK and featuring an American antiques dealer with a gift for solving crimes. Like her protagonist, Connie was raised by antiques dealers who instilled in her a passion for history, fine art, and travel. During college she studied at the University of Freiburg in Germany and St. Clare’s College, Oxford, where she fell under the spell of the British Isles. Besides reading and writing mysteries, Connie loves history, foreign travel, cute animals, and all things British. She lives in Ohio with her husband and adorable Shih Tzu, Emmie.

Eileen Curley Hammond
Eileen Curley Hammond

Eileen Curley Hammond is the author of the Merry March Mystery series, which is set in the fictional town of Hopeful. Eileen retired from a successful marketing career in the insurance industry and leveraged that knowledge by making her protagonist an insurance agent. Eileen spends her spare time in cooking experimentation (pizza is her current quest), and she and her husband share the house with two demanding felines.

Andrew Welsh-Huggins

Andrew Welsh-Huggins is a reporter for the Associated Press and the author of seven books in the Andy Hayes private eye series, featuring a former Ohio State and Cleveland Browns quarterback turned investigator. Andrew is also the editor of the Columbus Noir anthology from Akashic Books. In addition, Andrew is the author of two non-fiction books and numerous short stories. When he’s not writing or reporting, Andrew enjoys running, reading, cooking, spending time with family, and trying to remember why having both cats and parakeets seemed like a good idea at the time.

Coming in June: Orman Hall

Update: What a fantastic session! In case you missed it, you can watch the replay here.

Do illegal drugs fit into your next mystery? Are you curious about the latest trends in illicit drugs and how they get to Ohio? This session is your session.

Orman Hall is an expert on the substance abuse crisis in the state of Ohio, and is a Glidden Foundation Visiting Professor at Ohio University. Hall formerly served as director of the Ohio Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team and director of the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addition Services under Gov. John Kasich, and manager of specialized dockets for the Supreme Court of Ohio. Prior to that, Hall served as executive director of the Fairfield County Board of Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services for 21 years. 
 
Hall is a public health analyst and consultant for the Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and as a consultant to the National Emerging Threats Initiative, a National HIDTA Program. The national program, part of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, provides assistance to federal, state and local law enforcement in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions in the U.S. The OHIO HIDTA’s mission is to reduce drug availability by creating intelligence-driven task forces aimed at eliminating or reducing drug trafficking and its harmful consequences through enhancing and helping to coordinate drug trafficking control efforts among Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.

He is also the research lead for the Ohio Alliance for Innovation in Population Health, a statewide collaboration organized to address pressing population health issues in Ohio.

Stay tuned for more information on this program, happening from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. June 12!