Tuesday, November 15, 2011

And So We Said...

The writers' panel at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore was great fun.  We had a full house of listeners and lots of great questions directed our way.  It was gratifying to watch people scribbling down notes when we spoke.  Not so long ago, that would have been me in the audience and it is still me when I have the chance to hear a speaker on writing.
Susan Gourley, Franklin Kury, Cate Masters, Lorrie Myers, and
Don Helin

The wonderful Don Helin led our little group.  He worked with Catherine from Midtown to get us all together.  Don writes thrillers with a military setting, taking full advantage of his background in the US military and at the Pentagon.  Now he's retired and does lots of traveling with his wife.  He started his writing career as a travel writer.  His first thriller, To Kingdom Come, is a great read about some domestic terrorism. 

Lorrie Myers not only has hundreds and hundreds of articles published, she teaches a class on writing for the magazine market.  She gave some great hints on writing a query letter and emphasized its importance.

Cate Masters is multi published in fiction with novels and short stories available.  She shared her knowledge of the ebook market and made mention of the quickly changing business of writing.  Cate knows her stuff and is my 'go-to' girl when I have a question about blogging, promotion and even my venture into self-publishing.  You can read the details of her talk on her blog.

Franklin Kury, a retired state senator, spoke on his journey to publication.  Franklin worked on his novel for quite a while before someone suggested his write a nonfiction novel on his years as a politician.  His book isn't really a biography so much as a story about his fight to pass legislation to protect the environment in Pennsylvania.  He's a real hero for our state.

Don asked me to speak about writing fantasy and romance.  It was a great opportunity to make people aware of the benefit of looking at small publishers if they get rejected by the big NY houses. 

The questions continued well beyond our scheduled time.  I could tell many members of our audience were writers in the making. 

So the panel was fun and I would do it again if an offer arrives. 

What do you feel you could speak with expertise on if someone asked you to present a workshop or be part of a panel? 


  1. What fun! Glad you had a good time and got to be part of the panel.

    I don't know that I could talk with any expertise on any subject, other than my own projects. But I could talk all night about those. :P

  2. Research is my big thing. I write Regency romance and it's such a "big" era, the research I've had to do has been amazing. Too many readers call you out on things you get wrong, so I wanted to get it right.

    That panel sounds amazing. Wish I could have been there.

  3. Line Anne, I would say research would be the top topic. I spend so much time researching material. I can't count the books and shows on theoretical physics I've watched and read.

  4. I am so envious. I have to go to Pittsburgh for anything like this. *sigh*


  5. What a great event! I'm convinced that the independent bookstores that do this kind of thing will not only stay in business, they'll thrive. What would I talk about? Not sure, probably like you, the small press.

  6. I'm glad to hear you had a good time at the panel! :)

  7. Hey, Sue. It looked great. Wish I could have attended, but I had to run my urchins all over the place that day.

    As for presentations. . . You heard my kick ass heroine presentation, though I don't know if I feel expert enough for it. I think I could do a decent presentation on motorcycle basics.

    Glad you had such a great experience. I loved your world building presentation you did for CPRW. It was awesome. I'm sure you did a wonderful job Saturday too!

  8. The best thing about that panel was that all of you were so approachable and downright pleasant to get to know. I'm unpublished but I've probably read every book known to mankind on inspiration...so I guess that would be my thing--encouraging new writers to BEGIN.

  9. Glad you had such a good time :) I'm not sure I know enough about anything to be part of a panel, but if I had to pick it'd likely be on my research into Ancient Egyptian blood ritual.

  10. Fantastic! What an honour to be part of the panel. I've been on a few recently, and it's been so much fun.

  11. How fun! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I feel very much like a novice in writing, but I'd call myself an expert in science and children! ;)