Tag Archives: Penny Warner

California Writers Club Tri-Valley Branch First Writers Conference

Shelley, Corbett, Penny PanelApril 18, 2015 California Writers Club Tri-Valley Branch First Writers Conference was a huge success.

Attendees selected sessions in one of three tracks that included Craft, Marketing, and Self Publishing. Four one hour sessions were scheduled for each track. The first session I attended was Craft, “Romance, Crime/Thriller, Young Adult: Essential Elements for Writing in a Specific Genre.” Left to right: Shelley Adina. David Corbett, and Penny Warner.

Shelley Adina spoke about romance in her niche, Amish Women’s fiction from Hachette. Her latest traditional release is Keys of Heaven. She also writes steampunk in which her latest indie release is A Gentleman of Means. After lunch, Shelley was our keynote speaker with the topic “Why it’s a Good Time to Be a Writer.”

David Corbett discussed the Crime/Thriller  genre. He is the author of The Art of Character (“a writer’s bible”) and four novels. His fifth, The Mercy of the Night, will appear by the end of this month.

Penny Warner’s topic was Young Adult. She has published over 60 books for both adults and children. Several books from her middle-grade mystery series, The Code Busters, were nominated for the Agatha Award for Best Children’s Mystery.  Penny and David bantered between insightful information, causing loud laughter from attendees. A great way to start the day.

Barbara Grossman reading her award winning poemThe winner of the poetry contest, Deborah Grossman, read her poem. Stacey wins short story contest

Stacey Gustafson won first place in the short story contest:

End of Conference happy organizersAt the end of the conference, four of the main organizers and volunteers had time to relax and smile, knowing it was an outstanding day. Left to right:  Jordan Bernal, president of Tri-Valley branch and author of The Keepers of Eire. Linda Todd, club membership chair, Paula Chinick, past president of the chapter and author of Red Asscher, and Patricia Boyle, Vice President.

Thanks to everyone who worked many hours to make this event happen.

Leave a comment

Filed under conferences

Tri-Valley Writers Conference this Saturday, April 18th

TVW-logo1-150x150Tri-Valley Writers Conference 2015

The Tri-Valley Writers Conference is a full day event on the art and business of writing. Share your passion for writing and network with writers and industry leaders.

Featuring three tracks: Craft, Marketing, & Self-Publishing

  • Date: Saturday, April 18, 2015     Time: 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
JIM  AZEVEDO is the marketing director at Smashwords.

DARIO CIRIELLO’s  indie press is Panverse publishing https://www.panversepublishing.com

DAVID COLIN CARR is a freelance editor since 1988. https://www.DavidColinCarr.com
DAVID CORBETT, author and presenter, https://www.davidcorbett.com
CONSTANCE HALE, has written three books on language and literary style https://www.sinandsyntax.com
STEPHANIE  CHANDLER is founder and CEO of https://nonfictionAuthorsAssociation.com
JASON HOVEY is a former educator with over 15 years experience in online media.
LINDA LEE is a writer, speaker, educator, and website designer.
PENNY WARNER has published over 60 books for both adults and children. https://www.pennywarner.com
The keynote speaker is SHELLY ADINA, award winning author.
It’s not too late to register. Five openings are left.  http://www.trivalleywriters.org/conferences/2015-conference/registration/

Leave a comment

Filed under conferences

Writing Tips from Authors Cara Black, Laurie King, and Penny Warner

Cara Black and Laurie KingPenny warner with Nancy Drew bookMy previous post told about the three panelists at one of the San Francisco Writers Conference sessions I attended this year.The authors spoke about “Heroes & Villains: Building Compelling Characters for Crime Fiction.” The following are some notes I wrote from what each of them and the moderator, Kate Chynoweth, said.

Penny Warner said she gives the protagonist and antagonist equal weight and shows their strengths and weaknesses. She gives both an obstacle they have to overcome.

Laurie King is not an outliner. She writes a 300 page rough draft to find her way through the story and then revises.

Cara Black uses a particular section in Paris where the murder happens in the beginning, writes why the protagonist, Amy Leduc, would be in that area, and how Amy overcomes the unusual obstacles. Each book takes place in a different  arrondissement (administrative district) in Paris and that setting becomes a character as well as the people. Cara also said that the villain is right in his/her own mind and then he/she has to continue with his belief to cover up what was done. Often the villain is smarter than the protagonist.

Kate Chynoweth pointed out that the villain can’t be completely villainous. Show something good about them or a fear they have. “Even a villain can be afraid of spiders.” For example: Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs liked classical music, particularly Goldberg Variations by Johann Sebastian Bach.Kate chynoweth

During Q & A, the authors were asked what time frames they have to write their next book. Penny Warner writes one every six months. Cara Black writes one a year. Laurie King says a goal of an average of 3000 words a day could lead to a rough draft of a novel a month. It takes her 3-4 months to write the draft and then 5 months to revise.

I have to admit it has taken me 6 years to revise my fourth novel, Hada’s Fog. It’s still not polished the way I want it to be. Granted, I’ve been working only part time on it, but I had to put Hada aside for a while in order to write something fresh. I’m determined to finish Norman in The Painting in a year. I have these authors for inspiration.

How long has it taken you to write a book?


Filed under Writing Tips

Heroes & Villians Compelling Characters in Fiction

Penny WarnerLaurie R. KingCara Black





One of the sessions I attended at the San Francisco Writers Conference was called “Heroes & Villains: Building Compelling Characters for Crime Fiction.” Kate Chynoweth, who is the head of the self-publishing division at Girl Friday Productions where she is executive editor, was the moderator for the panel.  Three well-known authors on the panel included Cara Black, Laurie King, and Penny Warner.

Cara Black is the New York Times Bestselling Author of the Aimee Leduc Mystery Thriller Series of 14 novels set in Paris, France. She frequently travels to Paris for research. ” On each visit she entrenches herself in a different part of the city, learning its secret history. She has posed as a journalist to sneak into closed areas, trained at a firing range with real Paris flics, gotten locked in a bathroom at the Victor Hugo museum, and—just like Aimée—gone down into the sewers with the rats (she can never pass up an opportunity to see something new, even when the timing isn’t ideal…” information from her website: http://carablack.com/bio/  Her newest book is called Murder on the Champ de Mars available March 3, 2015 on Amazon.

Laurie R. King is the New York Times bestselling author of 22 novels and other works, including the Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes stories (see my post on February 15, 2015 for more information or her website: http://www.laurierking.com/the-author

Dreaming Spies is the title of her most recent book released February 17, 2015, available on Amazon.

Penny Warner is a prolific writer of 60 published books for both adults and children. Her recent book is Her awards include

Dead Body Language

  • Winner! – Macavity Award for Best First Mystery
  • Nominated! – Agatha Award for Best First Mystery

Mystery of the Haunted Caves

  • Winner! – Agatha Award for Best Juvenile Mystery
  • Winner! – Anthony Award for Best Juvenile Mystery

The Official Nancy Drew Handbook

  • Nominated! – Agatha Award for Best Non-Fiction

Her recent books are called The Death of a Crabby Cook: A Food Festival Mystery and Death of a Chocolate Cheater: A Food Festival Mystery. Her website is: http://pennywarner.com/aboutme.html

Penny Warner is a columnist for VALLEY TIMES AND HERALD, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. Her recent post about missing Valentines Day with her husband because she was at the SF Writers Conference is an example of her humor. It’s called “GRAB A BOX OF CHOCOLATES AND GET INSPIRED” Thursday, February 19, 2015.

My next post will be a writing tip from each of the panelists that I wrote in my notes.


Filed under Authors

Presenters at CWC Tri-Valley Branch Writers Conference

David CorbettIn my last post, I told about the California Writers Club Tri-Valley Branch Writers Conference in April and the due date for attendees to submit an entry to the contest before the end of this month, January 31st. Four days left to submit one poem and one piece of prose at only $5.00 an entry. http://www.trivalleywriters.org/conferences/2015-conference/

David Corbett, the author of The Art of Character and four novels, will be on the morning panel titled “Essential Elements for Writing in a Specific Genre” and also will present “Plot Character and Pacing” in the afternoon. Simultaneously, David Colin Carr will present “The Importance of an Editor–Self-Publishing” and the third choice for the 2:00 session is Linda Lee’s presentation, “8 Must-have Elements for Your Author Website– Marketing.” Linda Lee AskmepcLinda is a writer, speaker, educator, and website designer who demystifies the online experience. She is the founder of Askmepc-Webdesign, “Smart Women, Stupid Computers” and WordPress Total Training that includes support membership.

Constance HalleThe last presentations of the day include one by Constance Hale called “Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wicked Good Prose” Her book, Sin and Syntax has been called a guide for “writers who want more spunk than Strunk.” Her workshop is interactive with readings, exercises, puzzles, and games. She also will talk about how to cultivate the writer’s voice. I went to one of her workshops a few years ago and found it entertaining besides offering good information.

The other presenters at the conference are Jim Azevedo, the marketing director at Smashwords and Jason Hovey who will talk about adding a soundtrack to your book with Booktrack.  Dario Ciriello who is a professional author, editor, and publisher who will discuss all aspects of book design and formatting for print publication. Anne Hill is an author and educator, and writes for Huffington Post. Her session is “Marketing Strategies: How to Sell Yourself.”

The keynote speaker is Shelley Adina who is the author of twenty-four novels published by Harlequin, Time Warner, and Hachette Book Group and seven published by Moonshell Books, Inc, her own independent press. Her topic is how this is the best time to be a writer, with simple strategies to renew your spirit and position yourself to become successful.

See you there.


Filed under conferences

Tri-Valley Writers Conference Contest

Penny WarnerCalifornia Writers Club, Tri-Valley Branch, has a writers conference scheduled for April 18, 2015. Attendees can enter the conference writing contest before January 31st. Here is the link to register:


It is open to the public, but there’s a limit of 100 spaces. April may seem a long way away, but by registering now, you not only will be one of the 100, but you have a chance of being one of the contest winners. Awards are $150 for best prose and $150 for the best poetry.

After registration, each attendee can submit one prose piece  with a 1500 word maximum, fiction, non-fiction, memoir, or essay. A poem of 24 lines maximum may be entered also. Each entry fee is only $5.00. See the website for guidelines, and remember the due date is this coming Saturday.

Presenters at the conference include Penny Warner (photo above) who has published over 60 books for adults and children.

Her first mystery featuring a deaf reporter, Dead Body Language, won the Macavity Award for Best Mystery and was nominated for an Agatha and an Anthony Award. One of my favorites is her The Official Nancy Drew Handbook. At the conference she will be on a panel with David Corbett and Shelley Adina discussing the “Essential Elements for Writing in a Specific Genre”. Warmer also will present a morning session called, “Bringing Emotion in to Your Story through Narration and Dialog.” If you’ve never heard Penny speak, her humor is a pleasant surprise.
My next post will feature the other presenters.

Leave a comment

Filed under conferences

Penny Warner nominated for Agatha Award

Penny Warner has been nominated for the 2013 Agatha Award in the Best Children’s and Young Adult Novel category for THE CODE BUSTERS CLUB #3: MYSTERY OF THE PIRATE’S TREASURE. Her CODE BUSTERS #2: THE HAUNTED LIGHT HOUSE was the winner of the 2012 Agatha Award last year.

Penny presented with Rhys Bowen on Friday at the San Francisco Writers Conference. The title was “Murderers Who Leave Laugh Tracks: Solving the Mystery of Making Crime Fiction Funny”. The humorous pair made the session entertaining and informative.Penny’s website is http://www.pennywarner.com.


Filed under conferences, Humor

Penny Warner at The San Francisco Writers Conference

Penny Warner at The San Francisco Writers Conference

Long time friend, Penny Warner and me. I had a chance to go to two of Penny’s sessions this year at the San Francisco Writers Conference and enjoyed her humor as usual.

1 Comment

February 19, 2014 · 9:59 pm