April 13th Meeting
The next RMMWA monthly meeting will be held April 13, 2023 at the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association (290 Speer Boulevard in Denver) and we’ll also broadcast a live, interactive hybrid meeting via Zoom. Please join us in-person or via Zoom for a panel on Independent Publishing
The meeting at CADA will start at 6:15 p.m. (MT) with drinks and networking, and dinner will be served at 6:30. Zoom attendees may sign on shortly before 7:00 for the start of the program. See the full agenda below.
To register to attend in person, please use the link below. Please sign up before Monday, April 10th to reserve your spot.
Zoom attendance is free and there is no need to register. Members will receive the meeting link via email. Non-members, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request access.
- To Be Announced
Note: Please contact our Caterer Director directly if you have allergies or specific food issues. We will try to accommodate you if we can.
- 6:15 Networking and drinks
- 6:30 Dinner
- 7:00 Introductions and Member News
- 7:30 Mystery Minute
- 7:40 Program
Independent Publishing Panel
Fifteen years ago, the only way to publish a book was through a literary agent and atraditional publishing house. It was a highly competitive market, saturated with thousands of query letters and writers hoping their bulky piles of paper manuscripts would stand out from the crowd.
Today, we have more options–the current major ones being:
- traditional agent and publishing contract through the Big 5
- traditional publishing via an array of indie presses (some require agents, others do not, buyer beware)
- self-publishing which usually means doing it all yourself
- hybrid publishing which includes sub-contracting out aspects of editing and production. Writers who to both traditional and self-publishing can also be referred to as hybrid authors
95% of the book market is self-published with about 20M books in print (40x more than 1990) but only about 30K volumes are in bookstores at any given time. 90% of the self-published books are sold online. Adult non-fiction is twice the market of adult fiction, by the way.
Looking further into the future, we can follow an author on Twitter or Medium or Substack, then go read their book on Royal Road or Wattpad or Kindle, then review it on Amazon or Goodreads. We can interact with an author on Discord and support them via Kickstarter or Patreon or Buy Me a Coffee. Okay, maybe too much information to digest, but keep these options on your radar.
Join RMMWA authors, Lori Lacefield, Tom Farrell, Jodi Burnett and Sue Hinkin to hear about their publishing journeys and answer questions as to the pros and cons of choices and surviving and thriving in the publishing fray.
Voted Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Writer of the Year for 2021-22, Sue Hinkin was raised in Chicago and is a former college teacher and administrator, TV news photographer, and NBC-TV art department manager. She was also a Cinematography Fellow at the American Film Institute. Her thrillers, featuring Los Angeles TV news journalist Bea Jackson and photographer Lucia Vega, have been recognized with multiple awards including the Colorado Book Award for Best Thriller, The Colorado Author’s League Best Thriller and The Foreword Indies Best Mystery. Book 5 in the Vega and Middleton series, The Rx for Murder, has recently been released. See more at www.suehinkin.com. Sue Hinkin now lives in Littleton, Colorado where she is the new grandmother of twin girls who already love a good book.
Tom Farrell is the author of Wager Easy, A Sports Betting Mystery Thriller and Wager Tough. Both books received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews. Wager Tough was selected by Kirkus Reviews as one of the Best Indie Books of 2021 and one of the Best Indie Mystery Thrillers of 2021.
Jodi Burnett is a Colorado native and a mountain girl at heart. She loves writing Mystery and Suspense Thrillers from her small ranch southeast of Denver where she dotes on her horses, complains about her cows, and writes to create a home for her imaginings. She is the author of the three series: Flint River, FBI K9 Thrillers, and Tin Star K9, and this year Jodi is starting a new US Marshal Thriller series. Her books are available in paperback, eBook and audiobook formats. Inspired by life in the country, Jodi fosters her creative side by writing, watercolor painting, quilting, and crafting stained-glass. She is a member of Novelists, Inc. and Sisters In Crime.
Lori began her writing journey at the age of 14, making up stories about teens navigating the precarious world between childhood and adulthood. Her inspiration was S.E. Hinton and the troubles Ponyboy and the gang encountered in The Outsiders. Those troubles seem tame compared to the entanglements her characters find themselves in now. Whether hunting serial killers, taking on outlaw motorcycle gangs, or facing a threat from the Russian mob, her characters are guaranteed to bring you hours of suspense.
Lori attended her first writing conference more than twenty years ago, and since has studied the art and craft of fiction writing through reading many a book, picking the brains of best-selling authors, and of course, a whole lot of writing and editing. Lori is a lover of coffee, books, music, yoga, pilates, wine, travel, and most of all, dogs. She lives in Centennial, CO with three adorable Pomeranians.
Video from the latest
2022 6-Word Mystery Winners!
The results of the 2022 Six-Word Mystery Contest sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America (RMMWA) have been announced.
Magician escapes gallows when witness vanishes
This entry, written by Rita Popp of Fort Collins, Colorado, was voted the winner over 25 final entries voted on by RMMWA’s members and announced at the chapter’s Mystery and Mistletoe holiday party held December 8th.
This year’s contest attracted 266 entries from 19 states. Writers submitted entries in five mystery categories including Hard Boiled or Noir; Cozy Mystery; Thriller Mystery; Police Procedural Mystery; and/or a Romance or Lust. Four contestants made the finals in more than one category.
According to legend, the first six-word novel was born in the 1920s when Ernest Hemingway at New York’s Algonquin Hotel or Luchow’s restaurant (depending on whom you ask) won a $10 bet by writing a six-word story. His dark and dramatic submission was: “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” Urban legend or no, memorable, heart-breaking and sublime six-word stories have been penned ever since.
RMMWA Chapter President Lori Lacefield said, “This year’s creative entries on the fine art of whodunnit and how ranged from kissing to cat poison, to a folded fitted sheet, and to a prized blueberry pie. The entries made our judges laugh and groan. This year’s contest was great fun all the way around.”
Judges for this year’s contest included Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine Editor Linda Landrigan; New York Times best-selling author Anne Hillerman; award-winning author, lawyer and activist Manuel Ramos; literary agent Terrie Wolf, owner of AKA Literary Management, and John Charles of The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Popp won $100 for her winning entry and all category finalists received $25. All finalists will have their six-word stories featured on the RMMWA website and published in both Deadlines, RMMWA’s newsletter, and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.
Read on for the finalists and winners in all five categories. Category winners are indicated in bold:
News and Notes
Member Profile – Margaret Mizushima
When I started writing fiction twenty years ago, I tried my hand at mainstream and other genres before attempting to write a mystery. I thought at that time that plotting a mystery was going to be hard, and well—as you know—it really is!
Luckily I attended a workshop during Colorado Gold and learned some basics from a mystery writer who was a member of RMMWA. Soon afterward, I joined Mystery Writers of America too and was assigned to my local Rocky Mountain Chapter. There I met like-minded people who knew all about writing mysteries, suspense, and thrillers.
RMMWA offers monthly programs on topics related to crime fiction. The camaraderie is exceptional. This group shares knowledge, friendship, and support with writers at all stages of their publishing journey. I’m so very grateful for all I’ve learned and the fun I’ve had by being a member of RMMWA.
My next Timber Creek K-9 Mystery will launch on March 7th, 2023. Standing Dead, the eighth episode in the series, features Deputy Mattie Cobb, her K-9 partner Robo, and veterinarian Cole Walker. They work together with Mattie’s law enforcement colleagues to provide backup when Mattie goes deep under cover into a killer’s lair to save her family—or die trying.
Margaret Mizushima writes the award winning and internationally published Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries. She serves as past president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America and was elected 2019 Writer of the Year by Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She and her husband recently moved from Colorado, where they raised two daughters and a multitude of animals, to a home in the Pacific Northwest. Find her on Facebook/AuthorMargaretMizushima, Twitter @margmizu, Instagram @margmizu, and her website www.margaretmizushima.com.
March 2023 Mystery Minute
by ZJ Czupor
He Wrote Big Novels About Complicated Lives
From his early days as a gag writer for the most popular radio show of the 1930s, to a stint in the Navy after Pearl Harbor, this internationally bestselling and award-winning author earned fame and fortune for his historical novels of war. But he also wrote science fiction, wrote about his religious beliefs, and ventured into new territory with a serious woman’s novel. Some of his works could easily be classified as riveting thrillers.
And yet, while he was a bestselling author with a popular following, literary critics often spurned him.
Herman Wouk [pronounced: WOKE] (1915-2019) was born May 27, 1915 in the Bronx to Abraham and Ester (Levine) Wouk. His father was a Russian immigrant who started as a laundry sorter making $3 a week but would become president of an industrial steam-laundry business in New York.
Wouk’s introduction to literature was due to his mother’s purchasing a set of Mark Twain (1835-1910) novels from a door-to-door salesman. He devoured them and said, “Now I knew what literature was, where I wanted to go, what I wanted to do with my life.” read more…