October RMMWA Meeting

A full dinner is served at our evening meetings including non-alcoholic beverages, coffee and dessert. Beer and wine are available for sale.

Location: Colorado Auto Dealers Association, 290 E. Speer Blvd., Denver, 80203
Cocktail hour: 6:30, dinner 7 p.m. Program follows.

October 11 Meeting

RSVP by Monday, October 8

Advances in Forensic Technology with David Maloney, Forensic Services Laboratory Manager, Colorado Bureau of Investigation
Learn about the latest in forensic analysis including toxicology, collection and preservation of evidence from the crime scene, controlled substance analysis, forensic biology/DNA, firearms, tool marks, latent fingerprints, trace chemistry, and digital evidence examination. Additional program details and speaker bio to come.


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September RMMWA Meeting

September Meeting

RSVP by Monday, September 10

Price: RMMWA members $20, guests $25 Includes dinner and presentation
CADA, 290 E. Speer Blvd., Denver
As a consultant to films, authors, historians, and genealogy researchers, Police Sgt. Dean Christopherson will demystify the real grind and nitty gritty of real police work. In addition, Sgt. Christopherson will give us a history of law enforcement, procedures, and technology. He promises to answer as many questions as time allows.

“Much of the critical work to solve crimes is still done at an initial scene, just not so much by a patrol officer, but by a crew of highly trained specialists and detectives,” he said.

Sgt. Dean Christopherson has been with the Denver Police Department for 18+ years and has been the director of citizen police academies, founder of the Denver Police Museum, a patrol officer, field training officer, and community relations officer.

He worked as a narcotics agent for the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, where he was on the drug task force, worked as a K-9 handler and weapons instructor, and was involved in undercover investigations, the Special Response Unit, and assisting local agencies in criminal investigations.

He also has several years’ experience as a firefighter and arson investigator, and has moved into restaurant and nightclub operations, owning and operating two locations and developing several more.

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Boy, Howdy: Lunch with Craig Johnson

Non-members are welcome! Space is limited. RSVP by Friday, Aug. 31.

Lunch: Salads, sandwiches and wraps accompanied with by pasta salad, fruit salad, and dessert.

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“Thinking–I do that sometimes before I talk.” – Walt Longmire

Wednesday, Sept. 5, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location: Colorado Automobile Dearlers Assn., 290 E. Speer Blvd.

Special lunch speaker Craig Johnson, author of the Walt Longmire mystery series, the basis for the hit Netflix series Longmire.

Craig Johnson is the author of the Walt Longmire mystery series, which has garnered popular and critical acclaim. Craig will be on tour for his new novel, Depth of Winter, but is making time for a special talk for Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America.

The Cold Dish was a Dilys Award finalist and the French edition won Le Prix du Polar Nouvel Observateur/BibliObs.

Death Without Company, the Wyoming State Historical Association’s Book of the Year, won France’s Le Prix 813. Another Man’s Moccasins was the Western Writers of America’s Spur Award winner and the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers’ Book of the Year, and The Dark Horse, the fifth in the series, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. Junkyard Dogs won the Watson Award for a mystery novel with the best sidekick, and Hell Is Empty, selected by Library Journal as the Best Mystery of the Year, was a New York Times best seller, as was As the Crow Flies. The Walt Longmire series is the basis for the hit A&E drama Longmire, starring Robert Taylor, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Katee Sackoff.


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The Ups and Downs of the Publishing Business

A Literary Agent and Two Writers Offer Insights on the Topsy-Turvy World of Books and Writing

With Chris Goff, Kevin Wolf & Terrie Wolf
Location: Private Home in Colorado Springs (address and direction will be emailed to attendees).
Time: Thursday, August 9, 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Cost: $10

Includes a light meal.

Chris Goff is an award-winning author of six novels based on environmental themes and two international thrillers. Her most recent book, Red Sky was a 2018 Colorado Book Award Finalist. Set in Ukraine and Asia, Agent Raisa Jordan must test the boundaries of diplomacy as she races to prevent the start of a new Cold War. Catherine Coulter had this to say: “Breathtaking suspense, do not miss Red Sky.” Goff’s series debut, Dark Waters, was dubbed “a sure bet for fans of international thrillers” by Booklist. Dark Waters was a finalist for the 2016 Colorado Book Award, 2016 Colorado Authors’ League, Genre Award, and the 2016 Anthony Award for Best Crime Fiction Audiobook.

Named the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ 2002 Writer of the year, Goff’s bestselling Birdwatcher’s Mystery series was nominated for two WILLA Literary Awards, a Colorado Author’s League Award, and was published in the UK and Japan. Her latest, A Parliament of Owls, came out in May 2016.

A long-standing member of multiple writing organizations, Goff has served on several local, regional and national boards, including Mystery Writers of America. She began serving a four year term on the Executive Council of International Crime Writers Association in October 2017, and current serves on the Education Committee of Sisters in Crime.

Kevin Wolf is a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and Crested Butte Writers. The great-grandson of Colorado homesteaders, he enjoys fly fishing, old Winchesters and 1950s Western movies. He lives in Estes Park, Colorado, with his wife and two beagles. He is the author of A Town Called Vengeance, Brokeheart, and The Homeplace.


Terrie Wolf, a full member of AAR (Association of Authors’ Representatives) and founder of AKA Literary Management, is a literary agent and foreign rights manager with a background in publishing, international media and criminal investigations. This fourth-generation Colorado ranch kid has built a solid reputation working with authors and entertainers across the globe and has literally traveled the world in search of real answers and unforgettable stories, but she might tell you the skills she developed as a member of The Greatest Show on Earth helped best prepare her – and her clients, no doubt – for the topsy-turvy, ever-changing, literary industry.


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June RMMWA Meeting

Speaker: Melody Jones
Program: Get Noticed on Social Media: How to Use Visual Content to Build Your Brand and Get Engagement

Pay online

A full dinner is served at our evening meetings including non-alcoholic beverages, coffee and dessert. Beer and wine are available for sale.

Location: Colorado Auto Dealers Association, 290 E. Speer Blvd., Denver, 80203
Cocktail hour: 6:30, dinner 7 p.m. Program follows.

Did you know that social media posts that include images produce 650 percent higher engagement than text-only posts?

Photos, infographics, memes, illustrations, and videos are just a few forms of visual content that are having a huge impact on the way people consume information today.

In this session, you’ll learn:

  • What visual content can do to help you build your writer platform and brand
  • How to radically improve Facebook engagement, without paying for ads
  • Who uses Instagram and if a photo of your lunch is a good idea, or not
  • Why you don’t have to be artistic to create killer graphics yourself
  • Tools and tips to design your own visual content
  • Basic social media tools and techniques to manage your time

Come prepared to take notes and ask questions.

If you suffer from hashtag headaches, Facebook fever, or Insta [note: not a typo, refers to Instagram FYI] irritations, Melody Jones can help. She’s the dispenser-in-chief of Social Media Aspirin™.

Melody has been working with writers and authors officially since 2011. She manages social media behind the scenes, does individual coaching one-on-one, hosts social media retreats, conducts workshops, and speaks at conferences. One of her favorite clients was The Las Vegas Madam. Yes. A real madam. From Las Vegas. Who did madam things.

Ever aware of the unique needs of writers and authors, she founded Social Media Aspirin™ for Writers and Authors, an interactive membership community online designed to help members learn what they need to know for real social media success in a crowded market. Connect with fellow writers, get daily, weekly and monthly content-rich instruction directly from Melody, all at writer-budget-friendly membership subscriptions. Find out more information here: bit.ly/SocialMediaAspirin

Melody is a Colorado native who loves soft-eared beagles, giant cups of coffee, and writing. She’s published in Stories Gathered at the Kitchen Table: A Collection of Women’s Memoirs. She currently lives in an A-frame mountain cottage near Sedalia, Colorado.

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May 10 RMMWA Meeting

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Location: Colorado Auto Dealers Association, 290 E. Speer Blvd., Denver, 80203
Cocktail hour: 6:30, dinner 7 p.m. Program follows.

Panelists: Becker Parkhurst-Strout, Amy Hall, Jennifer Hendzlik
Program: Get Your Book in the Library

What will make your book stand out so that librarians say “Gotta buy that!?”  Which reviews do we pay attention to?  Which indie-published books do we buy? How important are the title, cover art, and blurbs from published authors?  What does the library purchasing process look like? Join us as we share insights about how librarians make purchasing decisions. Get perspective from collections librarians from different sized systems with varied approaches. Questions encouraged.

Panel Biographies:

Amy Hall has been the Collection Development Librarian for Adult Materials at Jefferson County Public Library for (roughly) the last two and a half years. She has also been a backlist buyer for both general and genre fiction at the Tattered Cover Book Store, and worked for a few years at the University of Denver’s Publishing Institute.

Becker Parkhurst-Strout has worked for the Denver Public Library for 17 years, the past 5 in Collection Development. She is passionate about books, the outdoors, social justice, and her family and pets.

Jennifer Hendzlik is a buyer with Anythink Libraries and sees herself as part fiction guru, part educator and part musician. She also teaches readers’ advisory at the University of Arizona and has presented for a variety of organizations including PLA, MLA, MALA and CAL. She received her MLS from Syracuse University.

A full dinner is served at our evening meetings including non-alcoholic beverages, coffee and dessert. Beer and wine are available for sale.

Menu: Traditional chicken Marsala, pan seared chicken with sautéed mushrooms, Marsala sauce and  fettuccine pasta accompanied by a grilled vegetable salad – seasonal vegetables and feta cheese, atop a bed of spring greens with sun dried tomato vinaigrette. All meals are served with assorted desserts. Iced tea, water and coffee are included, beer and wine are available for sale. Vegetarian meal available upon request.


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March 8 RMMWA Meeting

Location: Colorado Auto Dealers Association, 290 E. Speer Blvd., Denver, 80203
Cocktail hour: 6:30, dinner 7 p.m. Program follows.

Speaker: Kathleen Donnelly
Program: The Crime Fighting Nose

Menu: Elements signature lasagna with salad & garlic bread. All meals are served with assorted desserts. Iced tea, water and coffee are included, beer and wine are available for sale. Vegetarian meal available upon request.

Pay online

Presentation description: We see them on television, read about them in books and see them in action at airports or traffic stops—the amazing K-9s. These dogs work in many different capacities from police and military work to finding cadavers to search and rescue and much more. Ever wonder about their training? What is it like living with a K-9 as a roommate? What does it look like when a dog alerts? This is your chance to see a narcotics K-9 in action and get your questions answered.

Kathleen will present with Willow, one of her Sherlock Hounds partners. During the presentation Kathleen will explain and demonstrate how she and her dogs go into schools and private businesses to help keep them safe. She’ll explain how the dogs are trained to detect illegal drugs in schools which include: marijuana, meth, heroin, cocaine and ecstasy, gunpowder and alcohol. Kathleen will discuss the differences and similarities between her dogs and police K-9s, the ongoing Colorado state level rulings regarding dogs continuing to alert on marijuana and will answer any burning questions you have about K-9s. Willow will give a demonstration and show how well her crime fighting nose works.

Click for more information on Sherlock Hounds.

Kathleen Donnelly Bio: Passionate about animals and the outdoors, all of Kathleen’s interests end up in written form, one way or another. Her experiences being a part-owner and K-9 handler for Sherlock Hounds Detection Canines over the past 12 years play a major role in much of her writing. She is currently working on a mystery featuring a female protagonist who’s a K-9 handler for the National Forest Service, a manuscript that was named a finalist for a 2017 Claymore Award. Kathleen lives in Berthoud, Colorado with her husband and all their four-legged friends.

Willow Bio: Willow has been a K-9 for Sherlock Hounds Detection Canines the past two years. A rescue from Oklahoma, she loves keeping schools safe by sniffing out drugs, alcohol and gunpowder. Willow’s other passion is sitting by Kathleen’s desk and consulting on anything K-9 related Kathleen is writing. She lives in Berthoud, Colorado with her fellow drug dogs DJ, Gracie and retiree Sparky.

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February 8 Meeting

Location: Colorado Auto Dealers Association, 290 E. Speer Blvd., Denver, 80203
Cocktail hour: 6:30, dinner 7 p.m. Program follows.

Pay online

MENU: Grilled top sirloin, mushroom demi-glace and garlic roasted potatoes with a classic Caesar salad. All meals are served with assorted desserts. Iced tea, water and coffee are included, beer and wine are available for sale. Vegetarian meal available upon request.

Presentation: Forensic DNA
Presenter: Chief Deputy District Attorney John Kellner

The presentation will focus on Forensic DNA in the courtroom from a prosecutor’s perspective and how it has been used it to achieve murder convictions in a variety of cold cases. John Kellner will provide an overview of the common sources of DNA, including some surprising items that prosecutors have been able to pull DNA from in real life. The presentation will cover some different types of DNA analysis including mitochondrial, YSTR, and familial, with real-life examples of how it helped solve crimes or gain convictions.He will also discuss a cold case murder from 1994 in Boulder and the subsequent trial of Michael Clark in 2012, and the 2015 trial of Jon David Harrington for the murder of Carolyn Jansen in 2002. Finally, he will discuss some recent advances in DNA analysis such as rapid DNA testing for use in the field, and phenotyping to generate a composite sketch of a suspect.

John Kellner is a Chief Deputy District Attorney in the Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, the largest and most populated jurisdiction in the state of Colorado. In his most recent assignment he served as the senior deputy for the Cold Case Unit and focused solely on solving and prosecuting murder cases. Some of those cases include the 1996 disappearance of Kimberly Medina and the 2013 trial of Michael Medina in a “no body” homicide case; the 2010 murder of a Sudanese refugee that resulted in three separate murder trials and convictions of gang members in 2015/2016; and the 2015 trial of a man convicted of murdering and hiding the body of Carolyn Jansen in a Rubbermaid container in 2002. In 2016, John was recognized as the Prosecutor of the Year for the entire state by the Colorado District Attorney’s Council.

John also serves as a Major in the United States Marine Corps Reserves. He served on active duty for five years and deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan where he assisted local prosecutors with cases against insurgents in the city of Marjah. As a reservist he has travelled across the country supporting military prosecutors in high-profile courts-martials. He is currently assigned to the Staff Judge Advocate’s Office for NORAD-USNORTHCOM as an Operational Law attorney.

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January 11 RMMWA Meeting

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Program:  The Spy-Catcher Who Came In From a Real-World FBI Office

Presenter: Jerry Ackerman

Spies have shaped and influenced the course of history from the shadows since ancient times, and continue to do so today, undermining national and economic security. Special Agent Jerry Ackerman worked foreign counterintelligence and counterespionage for 15 years out of Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Denver. He’ll discuss past FBI espionage investigations as well as the methodology and tradecraft used by spies and how the FBI counters them. The FBI, spies, and tradecraft are portrayed often in film, television, and books, but the portrayals are not often accurate. He’ll discuss the day-to-day investigative duties and terminology to add the required touch of realism to characters and plots involving the FBI as well as espionage stories.


Jerry Ackerman is a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation where he has worked matters such as foreign counterintelligence, counterespionage, and crimes against children. He is a team leader on Denver’s Evidence Response Team, processing crime scenes. He served in the U.S. Navy, where he dangled from helicopters while performing search & rescue operations as well as mission support for NASA projects such as the Mars Pathfinder, space shuttle recoveries at Edwards AFB, and X projects like the X-36 tailless fighter. As Alistair Kimble, Jerry co-wrote Iron Angels, an FBI procedural with urban fantasy underpinnings. Iron Angels was chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of its top 10 science fiction, fantasy & horror picks for the fall of 2017 and was released on September 5, 2017 from Baen Books.


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