See You TOMORROW! End-of-year BOOK LAUNCH!

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Our final meeting of the year will take place TOMORROW at 3pm at our Member Book Launch! Here is information on the event and links to purchase all the books!

  • Thank you to Fred Dodsworth for emcee-ing the event…
  • Welcome to new member, Jane Anne Star, author of Small: The Little We Need for Happinesswho will be joining us last-minute…
  • Say you are coming on Facebook HERE! Please bring a friend!
  • Plan to come a little early to find parking… and stay after for another book event and/or some socializing!
And now a word from Laurel Bookstore:
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CWC Author BOOK LAUNCH June 16th!

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Instead of our regular meeting, this June we will celebrate all the Berkeley CWC authors who were published in 2017-2018 with an evening of readings at Laurel Bookstore. Come and celebrate our amazing members! The diversity of our writers gives a unique taste of the Bay Area publishing scene and nine creative, emerging authors.

The event is steps away from the 12th St. BART station in a charming local bookstore, Laurel Bookstore at 1423 Broadway St., Oakland, CA 94612.

We are holding this event from 3-5 on Saturday, rather than our regular Sunday meeting, so as not to conflict with Father’s Day. No meeting on June 17th!


Books by CWC Authors Featured Sat. June 16th:

51t-cfi3y3l-_sx322_bo1204203200_JoAnn Smith Ainsworth: Expect Deception

(She Writes Press)

Just when US WAVE Livvy Delacourt thinks she and her team of psychic Nazi hunters are ready for whatever The Reich can throw at them, Hitler adds to the mix a spy who also happens to be a wizard. Now dark magic is being used to attack US facilities, and Livvy must match wits with the evil wizard, whose objective is to destroy Operation Delphi and all her team. If she fails to ramp up her psychic powers, she may perish―and perhaps cause the US to lose the war with Germany while she’s at it.

An emotional journey through paranormal realms, Expect Deception is a fast-paced, suspenseful sequel to Expect Trouble, about what happens when US Navy psychics pit themselves against their Nazi counterparts.

cover1Kristen Caven (writing as Cosima Zanardi): The Vesuvian Affair

(Mystic Editions)

Carla White never expected to be climbing a volcano, and she never expected to be at Carnevale in Venice, much less swept up by romance. Had she been paying attention, she might have been prepared for the Italian *baci*. But no one ever expects to be possessed by a goddess.

The Vesuvian Affair is a limited edition art print only available at special events, exclusive venues and from the author at www.kristencaven.com. Kristen, who also writes psychology, poetry and personal essays,  will also give a sneak peek at her forthcoming travel memoir, Ten Days, Ten Pounds, which inspired this fantasy.

51hk42bn6igl-_sx326_bo1204203200_Tim Jollymore: Lake Stories and Other Tales

(Finns Way Books)

Comic, heartfelt, and mysterious, these stories charm the reader with good humor, affection for their natural settings, and the gentle, persistent seeking for a lasting place in the daily world of common folk.

Some tales cast moonlight over the solitary in us all who wander at dusk. Others haunt us with loss and evoke a certain sense of autumn, likely to press sighs from an ache in our breath. Still others fill us with the pride in a true hero.

Within, the reader finds young love, aged angst, bumbling travelers, the fogged memory, moon watchers, dog rescuers, lost and very-lost tourists, and long, sweet farewells.

The humorous among these engender wistful smiles, occasional smirks, and outright chuckles punctuated by a shaking of the cynical head.

9781631523106Christine Evelyn Volker: Venetian Blood, Murder in a Sensuous City

(She Writes Press)

Struggling to forget a crumbling marriage, forty-year-old Anna Lucia Lottol comes to Venice to visit an old friend—but instead of finding solace, she is dragged into the police station and accused of murdering a money-laundering count with whom she had a brief affair. A US Treasury officer with brains and athleticism, Anna fights to clear her name in a seductive city full of watery illusions. As she works to pry information from a cast of recalcitrant characters sometimes denying what she sees and hears, she succeeds in unleashing a powerful foe bent on destroying her. Will she save herself and vanquish her enemies, including her darkest fears?

A mysterious tapestry of murder, betrayal, and family, Venetian Blood is a story of one woman’s brave quest for the truth —before it’s too late.

51fwyiqriol-_sx326_bo1204203200_Alice Jurow: Vamps of ’29

(Deco Vamp)

In the darker corners of the City of Light, three fashionable young women revel in the glamor of late-1920s Paris nightlife. They model cutting-edge styles at a couture house on the rue Cambon. And, they are vampires. “Vamps of ’29” follows their piquant and picaresque adventures as they seek to define for themselves what it means to be a modern vamp. Jazz-mad and fashion-obsessed, this debut novel is period fiction with a touch of urban fantasy.

Alice Jurow, as “Ms Mhoon” is a bit of a cult figure in the Art Deco Society and it’s worth coming out just to see what she will wear.  She is working on the sequel, Vamps of ’39.

Kymberlie Ingalls: 43

(Rainfall Press)

“Like the Fool, I began this life feeling strangely empty and profoundly sad as if I had already lost something. I have no prediction to how it will end, but do believe my truth will be found when I get there. I am a hoarder of moments, of words and photos and status updates. I’m not sure if I’m letting go so that I can move forward, or so that I can finally be at rest. Death has taken hold and isn’t letting go – 12 people in 12 months was only the beginning. I’m tired of the fight, of the grieving and the recovery that never has a chance to happen.

I’m ready for it to be over.

My life was to expire at 43 years of age. My Intuition said so, and she’s never wrong.

Interpretation is everything.”

51k52uhmz4lSheryl J. Bize-Boutte: Running For The 2:10

(Createspace)

This book of autobiographical short stories follows Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte’s 2014 publication of “A Dollar Five: Stories From a Baby Boomer’s Ongoing Journey.” In “Running For The 2:10: More Stories From a Baby Boomer’s Ongoing Journey,” the discord of skin tone often seeps in to color the path, playing like an ever present low hum in the background of these coming of age tales. Set in Oakland, California, the road winds from family shopping trips to the local hardware store that activate the writer, to near derailing losses and finding alternative ways back to joy. In these stories, Bize-Boutte deftly describes how heartbreak can give way to hilarity and loss can make room for celebration. Be prepared to laugh, cry and gasp out loud, in no particular order.

61xtw43yw1lGary Durbin: Nano-Uncertainty

(Amazon Digital Services)

Nano-Uncertainty brings to life the strange world of high-tech in the Bay Area while presenting the real danger of an unconstrained artificial intelligence.
Software super geek James Forrest becomes unexpectedly embroiled in a murder case when he is hired to investigate the software at Distributed Nanotech Inc., a Berkeley supercomputer software company. James tells Susanne Anderson, the CEO, that DNI’s murdered Chief Scientist copied his code from an artificial intelligence project; this makes her life even more complex. While she struggles to keep the company’s venture financing on track and James struggles to understand the software, they become murder suspects.
James builds a visual tool to see inside the supercomputer. Even though the Visualizer is hypnotic and painful, it helps him unlock a hidden AI. The DNI system breaks, and when James figures out how to fix it, the murderer is enraged and comes after James. Pulled together by their romantic attraction for each other, James and Susanne join forces to contain the dangerous AI.

51de6m0tggl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Henry Hitz (writing as KM Lovejoy): Supremacy

(Wordrunner Press)

Peter Graves, a longtime activist, with inoperable brain cancer, is desperate to have a meaningful death. The Supreme Court is about to forbid the use of the stem cells that could save his life. Someone needs to arrange the assassination of one of the reactionary Supreme Court Justices, and it might as well be him…

This “kinky political thriller with a big heart” is written pseudonymously by an author of White Knight, another political thriller about an activist caught in the secret and tragic connection between the Harvey Milk and Jonestown massacres.

 

 

 

CWC Summer Social—July 23rd at Heinold’s

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There will be no statewide picnic in Joaquin Miller Park this year, our club’s original “home base,” but we will once again be holding an “open house” for all “California Writers.”

(That’s a lot of “quotation marks.” We writers sure know how to use our tools, don’t we?)

Join the Berkeley Branch of the California Writers Club at Jack London’s favorite hangout, Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon in Jack London Square, from 3:30-5:30pm on Sunday, July 23rd. No-host bar & lots and lots of writers.

We welcome all California Writers, and invite you to come and see if joining the club will benefit your writing career.

happy hour-kristen-copy

P.S. Although this is an “open house,” Jack London’s cabin won’t actually be open but you can learn about this important founding member of our branch.

Get Inside Your Reader’s Brain with Novelist and Scientist Ransom Stephens

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Ransom Stephens speaks March 19 CWC - "Be a better writer...with SCIENCE!"

The Neuroscience of Reading

How to Make Readers Laugh and Cry

Neuroscience is like looking under the hood to see how It works. When you know how readers process your writing you can figure out what grabs readers, what bores them, and why. In this presentation, we’ll investigate how to write in ways that administer dopamine when you want readers happy and withholds it when you want readers sad. We’ll explore the roots of what people like and why bestsellers aren’t always critical favorites. Art is subjective, but our subjectivity has a lot in common. Join us for this exciting approach to writing March 19th!

About Ransom Stephens

Ransom Stephens, Ph.D., is a scientist, science writer, and novelist. He’s written hundreds of articles on subjects ranging from neuroscience to quantum physics to parenting teenagers. In his first novel, The God Patent (47North, 2010), a troubled father is caught in the science-religion culture war and in his second, The Sensory Deception (47North, 2013), scientists and venture capitalists use the relationship between the senses and the mind to give people the experiences of endangered animals. His first nonfiction book, The Left Brain Speaks but the Right Brain Laughs (Viva Editions, 2016), is an irreverent and accurate look at neuroscience for a lay-audience with emphasis on innovation in art and science. Ransom has given thousands of speeches across the US, Europe, and Asia and has developed a reputation for making complex topics accessible and funny.

RansomStephens.com

MEETING SCHEDULE

12:00–1:00 – Craft Support Group
1:00–2:00 – Marketing Group

Simultaneously
12:30–2:00 – Social Hour
2:00–2:30 – Break, Book Sale
2:30–3:00 – Announcements

Featured Speakers
3:00–3:15 – CWC Featured Member reads
3:15–4:30 – Keynote Speaker Dr. Ransom Stephens

 

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Jan 15: Best-Selling Writer Joshua Mohr’s Innovative Approach to Plot and Character

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Josh_mohr_CWC_plaracterization_event

The Kiss between Plot and Character
with Best-Seller Joshua Mohr

Sunday Jan 15th 12-4 p.m.

Learn an exciting new approach to writing from an author whose books have been praised by The New York Times, The SF Chronicle, and O magazine. Josh Mohr’s unique voice won him the Northern California Book Award. This Sunday he teaches what he calls plaracterization (plot + characterization).

The best plots aren’t controlled by the author. They spring from the characters themselves. The writer masterminds all things, yes, but the more we as writers realize that our characters are sovereign beings with independent consciousnesses, the better prepared we are to traverse plaracterization. The third Sunday in January, let Josh Mohr show you how to apply this technique to your own writing.

About Joshua Mohrbest-sellinga author Josh Mohr

JOSHUA MOHR is the author of five novels, including Damascus, which The New York Times called “Beat-poet cool.” He’s also written Fight Song and Some Things that Meant the World to Me, one of O Magazine’s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle best-seller, as well as Termite Parade, an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times. His novel All This Life recently won the Northern California Book Award. He is the executive editor at Decant Editorial, and his first book of nonfiction, a memoir called Sirens, is due out January 2017. Check out his site joshuamohr.net for more info.

Meeting Schedule for Sunday, Jan 15th, at
Connexion in Jack London Square

MEETING SCHEDULE

12:00–1:00 – Author Support Group
1:00–2:00 – Craft Support Group

Simultaneously

12:30–2:00 – Social Hour
2:00–2:30 – Break, Book Sale
2:30–3:00 – Announcements
3:00–3:15 – CWC Featured Member: Bobbie Kinkead
3:15–4:30 – Joshua Mohr

Admission

CWC Members: $5
Non-Members: $10

* Guests may visit any of our author support groups once before joining.

Click here for more information about location and time.

Here’s a flyer for this event you can download and share: cwc-flyer-joshua-mohr-edited

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9/18 CWC EVENT—”Pitch Slam” with Francine Howard

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cwc logo - b/wThe California Writers Club—Berkeley Branch

     WELCOMES YOU BACK

to a Brand New Year (2016-17)

with a

PITCH SLAM!

Well, maybe not a “slam” per se but this mini-workshop will be your chance to perfect that one minute speech that opens the door to publication!

WHO’S IT FOR? All Writers. Have you ever been asked, “What’s your novel, non- fiction book, magazine article, journalism piece about?” Sure you have. And how have you responded? “Uhh,” or worse yet, you ramble on for ten minutes while the ears of your listener long for a thick wad of cotton.

But I’ve Not Finished My Project Yet: Great! If you can crystalize the point of your project into one minute, your writing will flow both better and faster. You NEED a pitch.

WHY IS A PITCH IMPORTANT? If you want to publish your book, convince a newspaper editor to accept your article for publication, or complete your project, then you’ve got to convince that decision-maker of the strength/uniqueness of your special offering.

                                            We’re Here to Help!

WHEN: Sunday, September 18, 2016. Meeting 12:00-4:00 (Pitch Practice 3:00-4:00)

WHERE: ConneXion: Third Street, Jack London Square,Oakland

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bestselling author, CWC Member Francine Thomas Howard

HOW DO YOU PREPARE? Come to the meeting with your pitch condensed to ONE minute. (Yes, I’ll have a stop watch.) After you’ve delivered your words of supreme intelligence, your fellow writers will give you feedback. You will remain silent. You can then judge if your pitch has conveyed your writing intentions.

WHO WILL MODERATE THIS FUN EVENT?” Me, Francine Thomas Howard. I’ve had a little bit of practice at this sort of thing. My latest traditionally published novel reached #3 (released August 1, 2016) in the paid Kindle Store and, yes, I had to pitch it.

ALL ATTENDEES INVITED TO PARTICIPATE!

$10 Public ~ $5 for CWC Members

Our featured CWC author this month is John Byrne Barry.

Meeting Schedule for Sunday, June 19th, 2016:

12-1 Author Support Group*
1-2 p.m. – Marketing Group*
12:30-2 p.m. –Social Hour
2-2:30 p.m. –Break & Book Sales
2:30-3 p.m. — Club Business & Announcements
3:15-4 p.m. – Pitch Slam!

* Guests may visit any of our author support groups once before joining.

Click here for more information about location and time.

Daughter Official Cover

 

Francine Thomas Howard is the author of four novels—three of them published by Lake Union, the historical fiction wing of traditionally-published Amazon Publishing.  Ms. Howard’s latest novel, The Daughter of Union County, won top billing as the lone representative for Historical Fiction in Amazon’s prestigious Kindle First program for July.  This program reaches millions of select readers on five continents.  Ms. Howard’s novel, touching on controversial topics—racial passing in turn-of-the-20th-century-Arkansas, oil and grab, mistreatment of women, betrayal, greed, and murder—ranked as high as #3 in the paid Kindle store.  Daughter sold over 17,000 copies in its first seven weeks to readers in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, India, Denmark, and the United States.

Ms. Howard is current Vice President of the Berkeley Branch of the California Writers Club.   She credits lessons learned at a CWC-BB sponsored critique group as key to her pitch submission leading to her first Amazon contract.  Page from a Tennessee Journal, released March 2010, has sold nearly 35,000 copies and continues to sell monthly to readers around the world.  Though Ms. Howard is a novelist, she has also crafted a non-fiction pitch—one that landed her a literary agent.  She feels privileged to share lessons learned at the CWC-BB with her fellow writers.

Magic of Memoir—SPECIAL for CWC members

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The MAGIC OF MEMOIR 2016 conference is happening October 15-16 in beautiful downtown Oakland at the Marriott Hotel—overlooking San Francisco and the Bay—an amazing venue with panoramic views and fantastic food. 

This conference is being co-led by memoir experts Brooke Warner and Linda Joy Myers. They also have two expert panels—with renowned memoirists and three agents who will give individuated attention and advice as part of the Pitch-a-thon. Read all about it on MagicOfMemoir.com.

One of the best things about an event like this is the networking and connection with fellow memoirists. Last year’s participants made friends for life, and Brooke and Linda Joy are excited to offer CWC members this deep discount on the weekend.  

Don’t hesitate to be in touch with Brooke Warner directly if you have any questions: brooke@warnercoaching.com

SATURDAY

Getting Started with Your Memoir

  • Find your category and themes, create a structure that works, and discover techniques to get started.

5 Key Elements of a Successful Memoir

  • Straight to the point, here’s what you need to master: scenes, narration, theme, characterization, and takeaway. We are going to hit the ground running.

How to Map Your Memoir

  • This session is focused on proven strategies to turn your memories into scenes.

THE MAGIC OF MEMOIR: Why We Write Memoir

  • Three courageous panelists (all published memoirists) talk about this craft we all love—and what keeps them coming back for more.

SATURDAY, 7-9 PM

RECEPTION AT DESCO (nearby bar)

  • Join Linda Joy, Brooke, and your fellow memoirists for drinks and conversation at Desco, just two blocks from the Oakland Marriott.

Register Today | CWC Member Discount Link

“An awe-inspiring weekend! The valuable information and resources were amazing. The connections, inspiration and motivation invaluable.” —Jean Wells, Magic of Memoir 2015
“The event was really well planned—everything ran smoothly and I learned so much. I was challenged to rethink structure and to really get at my truth.” —Marianne Rossi, Magic of Memoir 2015

SUNDAY

Scene Intensive

  • There is nothing more important in memoir writing than mastering scenes. Understanding scene is the key to writing your whole book—and this intensive is geared toward locking in this skill set for good.

Writing Exercise

  • This one-hour writing session opens with a prompt and is designed to get you practicing some of the elements of craft you will have absorbed during the weekend.

Platform and Pitching

  • How important is platform really? This session will explore why agents and publishers care so much about author platform—and why it’s easier than you might think to start building the foundation of your own right away.

PITCH-A-THON!

  • Yep, we’re doing it. A real-live pitching session to practice your skills on agents. Participants will be drawn from a pool of interested memoirists.

WHAT AGENTS ARE LOOKING FOR: Agents Talk about the Secrets to Getting Published

  • Three agents talk about what they’re looking for—and give tips to help memoirists better prepare themselves for the experience of shopping to the pros.

Raffle

  • We’ll be giving away tons of great prizes, including a Kindle Fire, consulting time, and many other valuable prizes for writers. You get 2 free raffle tickets when you register for the Summit!

Register Today | CWC Member Discount Link

“I learned how difficult and brave it is to write your best work. A great experience all around!” —Lori Nicholson, Magic of Memoir 2015

PANELS & INSTRUCTORS

We are excited to announce a talented and experienced roster of guests who will be joining us for two lively panels about the writing process and getting publishing your memoir.SATURDAY PANEL: THE MAGIC OF MEMOIR: WHY WE WRITE MEMOIR

SUNDAY PANEL: WHAT AGENTS ARE LOOKING FOR: AGENTS TALK ABOUT THE SECRETS TO GETTING PUBLISHED

READ MORE ABOUT ALL THE PRESENTERS.

YOUR INSTRUCTORS

LINDA JOY MYERS, PhD
ljm-bio-photo_smLinda Joy Myers is the president and founder of theNational Association of Memoir Writers. She is the author of The Power of Memoir—How to Write Your Healing Story, Becoming Whole, and the award-winning memoir Don’t Call Me Mother, which won the BAPIA Gold Medal prize. Her workbook Journey of Memoir was published by She Writes Press in 2013.
BROOKE WARNER
Warner-headshotBrooke Warner is publisher of She Writes Press,president of Warner Coaching Inc., and author of Green-Light Your Book, What’s Your Book?, and How to Sell Your Memoir. She sits on three boards: the Independent Book Publishers Association; the National Association of Memoir Writers; and the Bay Area Book Festival. She blogs for Huffington Post and SheWrites.com.
“Linda Joy and Brooke give such value. I learned that you can take steps that will cut years off the memoir writing process.” —Peggy Thomson, Magic of Memoir 2015

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