Jo Haraf – Luncheon – April 2015

“When Characters Take the Stage”

Bring a Sample from Your Own Work – See Bold Text Below

“Three Things Writers Should Know When Searching for an Independent Editor,” Robin Martin, Two Songbirds Press – See blue box below

Saturday, April 18, 2015 11:00 AM-1:00 PM

Jo HarafThinking of writing a personal history? A memoir? Every author of fiction and nonfiction faces the challenge of bringing in characters or “real” persons. What do we say, how much do we say, when is the best timing, and how do we pace character details? Or does it matter?

Definitely it matters, according to Jo Haraf, who says that when writers sit down to compose, they develop characters who through action, dialogue, thought or physical appearance claim, “This is who I am!” These first steps create personas, ripe for reinforcement or—even better, intrigue or contradiction—as the story continues.

In a stirring presentation chockfull of tips, Haraf will demonstrate the effects of character introductions and, drawing from works by well-known authors, how characters evolve through a story’s conclusion. Haraf will discuss the four ways a character may appear, what the author says by the introduction, and how first impression may change over time.

Whether fiction or non-fiction, characters (people) play a critical role in our narratives. Meeting attendees are invited to bring examples of how they introduce a character in their own work, especially fiction or memoir.

Haraf comes to Sacramento with a reputation for concise and helpful presentations. After retiring as Chief Information Officer for a global 50 law firm, she pursued her dream to write. She began to study fiction at various colleges. People who have heard her call her “smart, personable and a … good writer and teacher.” A popular speaker on writing craft, she refers to herself as a lifelong “techno-geek” turned born-again fiction writer. Having written hundreds of articles, she blogs, produces poetry and short stories about 1920s New York. She is a proud member of the California Writers Club and the Historical Novel Society.

Local Expert segment will feature Robin Martin (Two Songbirds Press) on “Three Things Writers Should Know When Searching for an Independent Editor.” Martin has served as assistant agent, editor of fiction and creative nonfiction publications, and trustee of the Northern California Editorial Freelancers Association. She helps authors complete their projects and related goals, whether to find an agent and a book deal, create a manuscript to self-publish to sell with pride, or complete a book to pass on to their families.

Catching Up with Bay Area’s Jo Haraf

Q. You speak on many different topics. What are some of the topics that you speak on?

A. From time to time, I become obsessed with an element of craft. Once my research is complete, I’m always eager to share my insights with others. My topics have included: the structure of novels and memoir with retrospective narrators, elegant transitions in time and place, duration and scenes in short stories (nearly all short stories take place in less than 24 hours, most under four), and, of course, how character introductions set the stage.  Right now I’m tracking short story endings such as the death of a character, life goes on, and epiphanies.

Q.   What do nonfiction writers stand to learn from presentations on fiction? Do you see a lot of overlap?

Memoir, biography, and history writers use the same techniques as fiction authors with the added challenge that their stories must be true. I’ve read hundreds of articles and books on 1920’s New York. The best scenes are those in which characters’ dialogue and action engage the reader. One day, from the top of my reading pile I grabbed Harold Waters’ Smugglers of Spirits-Prohibition and the Coast Guard Patrol. I randomly opened the book to a chapter that begins with a page and a half of narrative and then…”During the night of July 3, 1927, a picket boat covering the Narrows, at the entrance to New York Harbor, first picked up the lights, and then outlines of a small inbound freighter….” Waters continues with a scene reliving the capture of the rumrunner Economy and its 25,000 case cargo. After that scene, the remaining narration smells of the sea.

Q. What would you most like writers of any genre to understand?

I like to save authors from the same mistakes I’ve made. In the past, I revised poorly. I used to believe that finding a better verb or reordering sentences or paragraphs was revision. I now understand that revision starts with movie-style storyboard to confirm a varied emotional message and to confirm that the action is happening in the right order. I use other diagrams to link core themes to scenes and characters.  Once I know I’m telling the right story in the right order, then I revise one element at a time.

Luncheon Information

  • Monthly Luncheons are open to the public
  • Cost is $17 for members, $20 for nonmembers
  • The meeting fee includes lunch and beverage
  • Cattlemens Restaurant, 12409 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova, CA

The restaurant is located just east of Hazel Ave. at the northeast end of the Nimbus Winery complex along Highway 50. Cattlemens offers CWC a spacious meeting room with free WiFi, quality AV equipment, free off street parking and excellent food.


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Media to the Max – March 2015

Media to the Max for Authors
Poise, Not Panic

Featured Panel on Successfully Working with the Media

Saturday, March 21, 2015 11:00 AM-1:00 PM

krista-minardKrista Minard has been editor of Sacramento magazine since 1994. She oversees editorial content for this glossy lifestyle magazine covering Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado and Yolo counties. Minard also manages editorial content for Our Wedding, a magazine published twice a year for engaged couples planning a local wedding. She also works on her company’s custom publications (Serrano magazine) and websites. Working with a team of editors, writers and designers, she sees stories from conception to ship-out. She lives in Folsom with her husband, two daughters, a dog and three cats; she also volunteers with the nonprofit 916 Ink, promoting literacy by turning kids into published authors.

Jen Picard

Jen Picard’s love affair with radio began while a student at Humboldt State. Her show on the student-run station KRFH led to an internship in Yuba City. There she served as weekend and afternoon news anchor. After a six-year detour into newspapers, where she served as Entertainment Editor and wrote a weekly pop-culture column, she found her way back radio. A regular listener of Cap Public Radio’s Insight, she jumped at the chance to join the team as assistant producer in 2006. Soon she was promoted to senior producer. She oversees the day-to-day operations of the daily show. Picard lives with her husband and daughter and happily discusses the merits of public radio with anyone who will listen.

Cindy SampleCindy Sample’s book launch parties are the talk of the town (and the writing community). Recent events include a Dying for a Daiquiri luau launch party held at California Backyard and a Dying for a Dude hoedown at Toby Keith’s. More than 250 people partied and purchased personalized books. Many remember her ballroom dancing at an earlier book launch. Sample is a former CEO who retired to pursue her dream to write. A master marketer as well as a writer, Sample has gracefully edged her way into journalists’ hearts and copy. A 2015 Lefty Award Finalist Best Humorous Mystery, Sample is also the author of Dying for a Date and Dying for a Dance.

Bill SessaThroughout a respected 30-year career, Bill Sessa has been on both sides of the media, asking and answering tough questions. As press secretary and senior executive in state government, he has managed high profile communications and mass media programs throughout California and internationally, answering reporters’ questions for numerous agencies and has handled political issues in the Capitol. A former reporter, Sessa is an award-winning freelance writer, specializing in business, automotive and motorsports topics.  He contributes to Comstocks and other magazines. His work also appears in newspapers such as the Napa Valley Register and Petaluma Argus-Courier newspapers.

Luncheon Information

  • Monthly Luncheons are open to the public
  • Cost is $14 for members, $16 for nonmembers
  • The meeting fee includes lunch and beverage
  • Cattlemens Restaurant, 12409 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova, CA

The restaurant is located just east of Hazel Ave. at the northeast end of the Nimbus Winery complex along Highway 50. Cattlemens offers CWC a spacious meeting room with free WiFi, quality AV equipment, free off street parking and excellent food.


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Susan Spann – February 2015

Mystery Author and Publishing Law Expert

Words on Fire: Rights or Risks
Be Your Own Watchdog
The Questions You’ve Not Asked, The Answers You’ve Not Heard

Saturday, February 21, 2015 11:00 AM-1:00 PM

Note: Previously-announced speaker Joshua Mohr has been rescheduled for spring.

Susan SpannWriters of fiction and nonfiction can never hear enough on legalities… copyright, use of people’s names, taxes, publishing contracts, scams, business plans and managing a writing career. If these issues concern you, you’ll want to hear Sacramento’s own “Writer-in-the-Right” attorney Susan Spann.

“People who don’t know their rights are easier to take advantage of,” says Spann. “And writers who don’t know the industry are far less likely to get the best possible publishing deal. Knowing your rights, and how to protect them, makes you a far more effective manager of the business side of your writing career.” Spann promises to cover new issues. Says Spann, “There have been interesting (not good) developments in some small press contracts that I’ll be covering.”

A California transactional attorney specializing in publishing law and business, Spann represents publishers, authors (traditional, self-published, and hybrid), editors, artists, and web developers. She herself is a writer. Her books include the Shinobi Mysteries (Minotaur Books, an imprint of MacMillan), featuring ninja detective Hiro Hattori. Her debut novel Claws of the Cat was a Library Journal Mystery Debut of the Month and a finalist for the Silver Falchion award for Best First Novel. Blade of the Samurai (2013), was followed by Flask of the Drunken Master (2014).

Spann’s interest in Asian culture and mystery inspire her. When not writing or representing clients, she enjoys archery, martial arts, horseback riding, online gaming, and raising seahorses and rare corals.

Find Spann at SusanSpann.com, on Facebook (SusanSpannAuthor), or on Twitter (@SusanSpann), where she curates the #PubLaw hashtag, providing legal and business information for authors at all stages of their publishing careers.

The 10-minute “expert” segment preceding the speaker will be filled by California Writers Club Central Board President Dave George, making a premiere appearance in Sacramento. A member of the Berkeley and the Mt. Diablo branches, George writes short stories and poems.  His non-fiction has appeared in newspapers and periodicals. He has won several writing awards and has participated in critique groups for over ten years.  Currently he is currently writing a novel and an anthology of modern fables.

Catching up with Susan Spann

Q. What questions have you not addressed in the recent past that you hope someone asks you?

A. The questions I never get to address are the ones that people are too afraid or embarrassed to ask. I hope people ask honest questions about the issues that really concern them. Sometimes the publishing industry seems opaque and confusing, and I hope authors understand that they’re not alone in that confusion. I welcome all questions, at all levels of experience. I hope people ask the questions they most want answered.

Q. Why do writers need to know risks as well as rights?

A. If you don’t see a hole in the sidewalk, you’re much more likely to fall in. Similarly, writers who don’t understand the publishing business—both risks and rewards—stand to fall prey to traps and pitfalls.

Q. What’s the issue most misunderstood by writers?

A. Writing is an art, but publishing is a business. A startling number of writers don’t realize how critically important it is to understand the business and to treat themselves, and their writing, as a professional endeavor.

Luncheon Information

  • Monthly Luncheons are open to the public
  • Cost is $14 for members, $16 for nonmembers
  • The meeting fee includes lunch and beverage
  • Cattlemens Restaurant, 12409 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova, CA

The restaurant is located just east of Hazel Ave. at the northeast end of the Nimbus Winery complex along Highway 50. Cattlemens offers CWC a spacious meeting room with free WiFi, quality AV equipment, free off street parking and excellent food.


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Stephanie Chandler – January 2015

Authority Publishing CEO
Nonfiction Authors Association Director

Build Your Profile and Your Platform Without Going Crazy?!!

Saturday, January 17th, 2015 11:00 AM-1:00 PM

 

Stephanie ChandlerA former Sil-Val “techie” and a bookstore owner, Stephanie Chandler occupies a unique position to talk to writers about platform and social media – from beginning to advanced. Her reputation continues to grow as founder of Authority Publishing. Averaging 25+ speaking engagements per year on book marketing, she wields a consulting portfolio that has included Visa Business Network, Yahoo! and Dell. She also runs the Nonfiction Writers Conference, an annual online event held each May, the Nonfiction Authors Association and the Nonfiction Authors Network on LinkedIn. A frequent speaker at business events and on radio, she has earned coverage inEntrepreneur, BusinessWeek, Inc.com, and Wired magazine. A blogger for Forbes, she merited a place on the list of Top 100 Small Business Influencers for 2012 by Small Business Trends.

Among her own books are:

Visit Stephanie online at http:// NonfictionAuthorsAssociation.com and http://AuthorityPublishing.com. Click the following image to read Stephanie’s handout from the luncheon.

social-media-handout-for-authors

The Local Expert segment will be filled by Denise Branco, author, blogger, book exhibitor, and animal advocate. Branco, who has maneuvered the social media landscape by teaching herself, serves as V.P. for Northern California Publishers and Authors.

Catching up with Stephanie Chandler

Q. Is there one mini-step a writer afraid of social media can take to gain footing (confidence) …rather than jumping into what may seem to some as a scary, thrashing ocean hard to make sense of?

Absolutely. The best way to start is simply by watching. I would recommend setting up a Twitter account and then searching for fellow authors that you admire. Follow their accounts and watch what they do. Note what you like and don’t like about how they communicate. This will begin to give you a better feel for how it all works. You can do the same with Facebook and the other social media platforms (LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+).

Q. Is it true that platform building benefits all writers, not just those with a book?

Oh yes, in fact it’s ideal to begin building your platform months or even years before your book comes out. The idea is to start building a loyal audience so that when your book is ready, your audience is eager to buy.

Q. What’s the one thing a writer would be proud of as a result of implementing any of your suggestions discussed January 17?

Letting go of the fear that surrounds social media and the internet should be a goal for all authors. You are truly missing out on some powerful promotion opportunities by avoiding these promotion tools. My goal is to make it all feel a bit less intimidating, and empower you to take small steps forward that will benefit your author career for many years to come!

Luncheon Information

  • Monthly Luncheons are open to the public
  • Cost is $14 for members, $16 for nonmembers
  • The meeting fee includes lunch and beverage
  • Cattlemens Restaurant, 12409 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova, CA

The restaurant is located just east of Hazel Ave. at the northeast end of the Nimbus Winery complex along Highway 50. Cattlemens offers CWC a spacious meeting room with free WiFi, quality AV equipment, free off street parking and excellent food.


View Larger Map

NO LUNCHEON – December 2014

There is no CWC-Sacramento Branch Luncheon in December.

See you January 17, 2015.


Luncheon Information

  • Monthly Luncheons are open to the public
  • Cost is $14 for members, $16 for nonmembers
  • The meeting fee includes lunch and beverage
  • Cattlemen’s Restaurant, 12409 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova, CA

The restaurant is located just east of Hazel Ave. at the northeast end of the Nimbus Winery complex along Highway 50. Cattlemen’s offers CWC a spacious meeting room with free WiFi, quality AV equipment, free off street parking and excellent food.


View Larger Map