Scott D. Roberts

Novelist, Screenwriter, Producer, Actor, and Director

Why Not Turn Your Work into TV or Film?

Saturday, June 20, 2015 11:00 AM-1:15 PM

Scott D. RobertsHave you ever thought, “My book would make a great movie, but I have no idea where to start?” Join Scott D. Roberts, novelist, screenwriter, producer, actor and director, as he teaches the elements of taking a story from page to screen.

Join us as Roberts tells us:

  • How to sell your book for acquisition
  • Methodologies to adapt a book for screen
  • Unique ways to write captivating and winning “log lines” that attract agents and producers
  • Where and how to find an agent by overcoming the Catch-22
  • Understanding the buying process and knowing the difference between an option or a purchase
  • Insider tips and tricks to getting to know the “right” contacts and people

A 25-year veteran of the film and television business, Roberts has worked in almost every role, from assistant to talent agent, actor, writer, producer and director. He has written over 50 screenplays and TV shows and has had projects optioned and/or developed by New Line, Warner Brothers, Paramount, MGM, EUE/Screen Gems and Columbia. With experience appearing on national TV and radio including MSNBC and Fox News, he is co-writing an episode of “Survivor’s Remorse” for the Starz network.

Roberts is the author of the award-winning novel, Vengeance Is Now, placing as finalist in the Indie Excellence Awards and twice-named “Best in New Fiction” for 2013. He is writer, producer, and co-director of the international award-winning documentary, Gas Hole, narrated by Peter Gallagher. Gas Hole 2 is soon to be filmed. Roberts is also co-writing the book, The Making of Gas Hole: From Death Threats to a Call From The White House, due out in 2016. Roberts looks forward to sharing the second story in his Tate Holloway series, Hidden Agenda.

As president of 3L Publishing (3LPublishing.com; contact, info at 3LPublishing dot com), Roberts coaches authors on their books and screenplays. He is also a professional ghostwriter and executive editor.

Filling the “local expert” segment will be Gini Grossenbacher, presenting The Develop-Mental Self-Edit: 5 Key Tips. Founder of Elk Grove Writers & Artists, modeled on the Amherst method, Grossenbacher leads memoir and short fiction classes and critique groups. She has published book reviews for Historical Novels Review, and is writing two historical romance series. She belongs to the Amador Writers Critique Group, Historical Novel Society, Romance Writers of America, and the Editorial Freelance Association. Currently she is completing requirements for editing certification through the University of California San Diego.

2015 Short, Short Story Writing Contest Awards

Winners of the California Writers Club, Sacramento Branch 2015 Short, Short Story Writing Contest will be announced and awards will be presented.

Catching up with Scott D. Roberts

Q. Should writers think that their work warrants either TV or film production?

A. My answer would always be — why not? A well told story is what TV/film executives crave. Stories unfold in writers’ minds whether it’s in a book format or a screenplay. The trick is understanding the difference in format.

Q. How has the screen made you a better writer?

A. The major difference between the mediums is the exposition. I enjoy fast paced action and pushing the story forward. Writing for the screen has helped me streamline my writing by showing with words what I want you to see without rambling about the grain in the wood that’s on the wall of the office where my characters are standing.

Q. What’s the one question writers always ask?

A. How can I get my book made into a TV/movie?

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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Joshua Mohr

Novelist & Professor, University of San Francisco

“Plaracterization” – a strategy that will help any writer build characters and plot

Saturday, May 16, 2015 11:00 AM-1:00 PM

Joshua MohrHis work has been reviewed in major newspapers on both coasts and has appeared in the New York Times Book Review. Meet Joshua Mohr, observing the world and writing long after midnight, while the rest of us sleep.

His novels have caught the eye of some of the world’s most visible media: O Magazine, The New York Times, and The Huffington Post. His novel Some Things that Meant the World to Me became an O Magazine Top 10 reads of 2009. Termite Parade received Editors’ Choice rating on The New York Times Best Seller List. Damascus earned the designation “Beat-poet cool” by The New York Times. Mohr’s most recent novel, Fight Song, inspired The Huffington Post to label him “a brilliant and skilled storyteller.”

A former Mission District bartender who admits he wrestled with alcohol, Mohr once told The San Francisco Chronicle, “So much about being a writer isn’t about talent, it’s work ethic.”  Acclaimed for his characters, Mohr is equally known for describing the world uniquely. (When busy, he refers to himself as “in the weeds”.)  He calls his tattoos a personal timeline, witness to the scribbling he’s been doing on his skin for years.  “My memoir is all over me,” he says, offering no apology for his “wedding invitation” inscribed on his arm, even after the marriage failed.

Teaching in the MFA program at the University of San Francisco, Mohr maintains that the best plots aren’t controlled by an authorial presence, but spring from the characters themselves. During his Sacramento appearance, he will cover characters’ decision making, the causality between plot points, how to include specific tactics for constructing a present action and how to fold in backstory. “The more we program ourselves to think of it in this way,” he says, “that our protagonists are sovereign beings with independent consciousness, the better prepared we are to traverse plaracterization.”

“Local expert” segment will spotlight Linda Bello-Ruiz, memoir writer and international book author. She will present tips on “Writing an Award-Winning Memoir.”  Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, Bello-Ruiz’s winning smile and articulate insight will offer some gems on deepening and polishing your writing to captivate your audience and those judges.

Catching up with Joshua Mohr

Q.   What do non-fiction writers learn from novelists and other fiction writers such as yourself?

A.      We are all working toward the same goal of telling a compelling story, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction.  And I’m just putting the finishing touches on a memoir and leaned heavily on the principles of Plaracterization.  It crosses genres!

Q.  What’s the most important advice you can give to writers with dreams of writing fiction?

A.      Show up every day.  There is no magical answer for finishing a book, except that it’s a page by page, sentence by sentence process.  Do your best to engineer a writing life that you’re deriving pleasure from.  That way, it never feels like a chore to get back into the draft and do the work.

Read more about Joshua at http://joshuamohr.net/.

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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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.


View Larger Map