Speakers & Topics

The Roadmap to Getting Published

A Novel Writing Conference

Saturday ♦ October 28, 2017
8:30 am to 4:00 pm

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Conference Location
Main Conference Page

Published Conference Flyer1

9:00 – 10:00 am
David Morrell
What’s Your Story?

What’s your story? This looks at the process of finding the story you want to tell. How do you determine if this is the right story for you?

 David Morrell is the award-winning author of First Blood, the novel in which Rambo was created.   He has authored over 50 novels – action/adventure, mystery, suspense, non-fiction and even comic books.

Published for over 40 years, his website quotes his approach to writing.  “All my books have action and suspense, but after that, I go where my imagination takes me. Before beginning each project, I write a letter to myself that asks the question: “Why is this book worth a year of my life?” There needs to be something about a book’s theme, its research, and the way it is written that grabs me and won’t let go.”

10:15 – 11:15 am
 Richard E. Peck
The Plot That Sells

This session show you how to outline a plot that builds interest and tension from beginning to end.

A Professer Emeritus from the University of Iowa, Dr. Richard Peck is both a novel and screenwriter with 12 plays, a score of short stories and a novel nominated as Best Sci-Fi Novel of the year (Final Solution) by Doubleday publishing. Dr. Peck is a member of Screen Writers Guild of America (West) and has contributed occasional columns to a number of newspapers. He lives in Placitas, NM, where he takes the 16 steps from his bed to his word processor every day and sits, telling stories, until the gorgeous New Mexico sunsets distract him.

 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Melody Groves
Character and Dialogue

Learn how to introduce your characters and get reader buy-in through authentic and gripping dialog.

Winner of numerous writing awards, Melody Groves is author of her newest novel, She Was Sheriff, and the award-winning Colton Brothers Saga series plus three non-fiction books. She as won six 1st Place writing awards.  She writes for Western and regional magazines as well. When not writing, she plays rhythm guitar with the Jammy Time Band. Melody lives in Albuquerque with photographer husband, Myke.


12:30 – 1:45 pm
David Thurlo
Settings: Place as Character

Setting is critical. Tony Hillerman knew this, as did the writers of Breaking Bad where Albuquerque itself became a character.  David Thurlo will show how to use setting to weave the reader’s interest into the plot.

In addition to many romantic suspense novels written primarily for Harlequin Intrigue, David Thurlo has four different mystery series, each featuring a very different primary investigator. With his late wife, Aimee, he completed dozens of Harlequin Romance novels – selling over one million to date. David Thurlo was raised on the Navajo Nation in Shiprock and uses the mystery and magic of northern New Mexico to enhance many of his works

1:45 – 2:45 pm
Betsy James
 ♦ Revision and Polish

Ok, you have your story, your plot and character and your setting. Now let’s rewrite and revise to perfection.

Betsy James is the author and illustrator of 17 books for adults and children. Among other honors, her books have been named: Locus Magazine Recommended Reading 2016, New York Public Library Best Book for Teens, Voices of Youth Advocates Best Book, Junior Library Guild Selection, Canadian Children’s Book Center Best Book, International Reading Association Children’s Choice, and Tiptree Award Honor Book. She teaches speculative fiction in UNM’s Honors College and leads workshops nationally and internationally. She lives in the North Valley.  Visit her at http://www.listeningatthegate.com.    Her most recent fantasy, Roadsouls, is available from Amazon and/or http://www.aqueductpress.com


3:00 – 4:00 pm
Sarah Baker
Finding a Publisher!

Should you go agent or straight to an editor? Here’s the step-by-step process of grabbing the interest of the publishing world.

Sarah Baker writes mystery as S.H. Baker, romance as Sarah Storme, and erotica as Lydia Parks, and currently has 20 novels, numerous novellas and short stories, and 3 audiobooks published. She writes for Kensington, Harlequin, Five Star, Siren Audio and other publishers. Sarah also enjoys talking to readers and writers, and leading writing workshops, and she occasionally teaches classes for the University of New Mexico’s Continuing Education program.


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